How is your prayer life?

July 29, 2022


Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

pray without ceasing,
(1 Thessalonians 5:17 (ESV))

I love this translation of this passage. Most translations say to pray continually, but there is something in this translation that expresses the importance and the urgency of praying.

Think about this in the context of running a race. If you are running this race and you are told to keep running, what does that imply to you? In my mind, this comes across as a suggestion. It doesn’t give any hint as to the reason and the urgency. Now, imagine the same scenario, only this time you are told don’t stop! To me, this implies an urgency and importance to the fact that you must keep moving no matter what happens. Don’t give up. Don’t throw in the proverbial towel. Push through and finish!

The same is true in my mind of the urgency and importance of praying without ceasing. In other words, no matter what happens, keep praying!

Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying about the other translations.

pray continually,
‭‭(1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:17 (NIV))

This translation has a very valid meaning, but perhaps what the author was trying to convey is a combination of both translations.

Pray continually and don’t stop!

In other words, always be in prayer and always push through and finish! Don’t give up! Don’t throw in the proverbial towel. Don’t surrender to the enemy. Keep in constant communication with God the Father through Jesus. This is especially true if you realize that prayer is simply talking to God AS WELL AS listening to God. If this is your definition of prayer, then you fully understand the importance of praying without ceasing!

How is your prayer life?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you an active worker in the harvest?

July 6, 2020


Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
(Matthew 9:37-38 (NIV))

What do you see when you look around?

Do you see what the world has to offer, or do you see a world of lost souls who need Jesus? Do you see an urgency to get the next big raise and promotion, or do you see an urgency to bring as many people as possible into God’s Kingdom?

Each of us will target our efforts based on what we see, which is a direct result of what is in our hearts. Sadly, it is often the world that is truly in our hearts. Even if we profess a faith in Jesus, many of us are still so caught up in the worldly task of living and making that almighty dollar, that we fail to see the world as Jesus sees it. We don’t truly see the lost because we are thinking of ourselves. We don’t see the needy because we are too worried about our own wants. We don’t make an effort to rescue the dying because we are too worried about the splinter in our finger that has demanded all of our attention!

I often wonder if we have come to look at God’s harvest the same way that we look at grocery stores. When we go into a grocery store, we see all of the things that have been harvested and prepared for our consumption, yet we fail to recognize the work that was required to get everything there. We fail to see the time spent in preparing the soil. We fail to recognize the care that was taken to nurture the plants as they grew. We don’t ever think about the long days spent cultivating the crop and we definitely don’t think of the effort that goes into harvesting the crop. We simply look at the options and find ourselves thinking that the price we must pay is too high!

Do we think that the price that we must pay to work the harvest is too high?

Are we willing to prepare the soil of the heart to receive the seed? Are we willing to nurture that seed in the lives of those who have seen it sprout? Are we willing to cultivate that seed in the lives of those who are growing in their faith? Are we willing to step out in faith and join in the harvest? Have you been sent into the harvest field? Have you been obedient and have you gone?

Are you an active worker in the harvest?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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No matter what, the darkness will not win!

July 27, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
(John 1:5 (NIV))

I have a Bible app on my iPad that I use all the time. No matter what book, chapter and verse I may have been reading the last time I had it open, it always opens to the book of John, chapter 1. This has been going on for quite some time and I have been praying for discernment as to what God is trying to get me to know and understand.

Tonight was no different with respect to how the app opened. Once again, I started reading this chapter and asked God for wisdom and discernment. When I got to John 1:5, I froze with the following realization.

Many people believe that the enemy is increasing his boldness and his attacks. Once Jesus ascended, God sent the Holy Spirit to be with us and guide us. Another very important aspect of the power of the Holy Spirit is that He restrains the enemy. He restrains the darkness! The darkness appears to be increasing rapidly. There will come a day when the Holy Spirit will be removed and darkness will rule. I am not saying that the darkness will overcome the light. It is simply a matter of God saying enough is enough and removing the light. God will remove the restrainer! God will allow the world to have exactly what it wants.

That day is rapidly approaching. Darkness will never overcome the light, but the light can and will be removed. Many things point to that happening very soon. When the light is removed, where does that leave the Body of Christ? Where does that leave the church? Where does that leave you?

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
(Matthew 5:14 (NIV))

If the Body of Christ is the light of the world and light cannot be hidden, how can darkness rule if the light is still here? I have never been someone who tries to find things that aren’t there or to try and fit something into what I see. I try to be a Berean. I study and search the scriptures. I will never set dates for what is written in God’s Word, but I feel something in my spirit. I feel a sense of urgency! Do you feel it?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Who do you speak to please?

March 7, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.
(1 Thessalonians 2:4 (NIV))

Paul wasn’t afraid to say what he knew to be true. I often wonder what he would think of our politically correct society? Perhaps I should take that one painful step further and ask the question that too many of us are thinking. How do you think Paul would react when confronted with our politically correct churches?

I hate to say this, but have we become too concerned with pleasing people, with not telling the truth because it would hurt their feelings?

Did Paul ever hold back the truth because it would hurt feelings?

Let’s go one step further. Did Jesus ever hold back the truth because it would hurt feelings? I’ll give you a little hint. Go ask the group of people whom He called a brood of vipers.

Sugar coating the truth does more damage than it does good.

Imagine that you are in a situation where you come across a group of people who are badly injured and dying. You look around and you see that there is a hospital across the street. Do you calmly tell them to be patient and that they will be all right, or do you tell them the truth?

If you want to live, follow me! I will take you to someone who can save you.

Paul knew the urgency of the words that he had been given to preach. He spoke with the desire to help people find salvation no matter what they may think or feel. He knew that his words would make some people angry. He knew that his words would make some people want to imprison him or kill him.

If given a choice between speaking words that please people of that please God, who do you speak to please?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you feel the urgency?

June 21, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
(Revelation 3:11 (NKJV))

Another translation says it in this way.

I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.
(Revelation 3:11 (NIV))

We could get very analytical and start looking at the differences in the words quickly and soon. Unless you are able to read the original texts in the original language, we will not be able to understand the subtle nuances of the original words. It is these subtle nuances that made the translators pick the English words that they eventually used. Regardless of which translation you prefer, there is a sense of urgency in these words.

Do you feel the urgency in your heart? Do you feel the urgency in your spirit?

I see things on a daily basis from all across the world that make me wonder how much longer before God sends Jesus to come for His bride. Wars and rumors of wars are rampant. Lies have become truth and truth has become ridiculed and attacked. I know that I don’t need to tell you about all of the things in this world that seem to be unfolding at breakneck speed. What I do need to ask you is a simple question.

Are you ready to face Jesus in the air if He were to come for His church this very day?

Are you praying in the urgency of the situation? Are you watching? Are you prepared? Don’t be like the virgins who did not come to wait for the bridegroom prepared.

But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
(Matthew 25:10 (NIV))

They thought that they had more time!

We don’t know how much time we may have. I urge you to be prepared. It is my prayer that you fully understand the urgency of the times.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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The Book of Life!

June 16, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
(Revelation 20:11-15 (NIV))

The book of life!

God’s book of every name that has ever called upon His Son, Jesus, as their personal Lord and Savior. What a book this must be. The simple act of having your name recorded in this book saves you from an eternity cast in the lake of fire for an eternity with God.

Revelation makes it clear what happens to those whose name is not in the book of life. Is this something that we can accept for our family and friends who have not accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior? Can you honestly look at them without feelings of urgency and despair? Can you sit idly by while they continue to make a decision to make no decision for Jesus? Can you look at them the same way knowing that if something were to happen to them, they would be included in the group who is cast into the lake of fire?

Look at these people, and yourself, with eternal eyes. What can you do to portray Jesus to them in a way that they will show them the grace and mercy that is available if they will only accept it?

Jesus gave us a commandment to go into all the world and spread the good news. What can we do to get people to understand that Jesus offers salvation when they do not know the consequences of no salvation? We must be able to convince them of the need for salvation. We must not forget the fate of those who are not in the book of life.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do not delay

July 11, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.
(Psalms 119:60 (NIV))

This verse has come up every day for the last three days. I have almost 3500 passages that I have marked for my reading and reflection. What are the odds that I would turn to the very same one three days in a row? O.K., Lord, I can take a hint. I may be slow to respond, but I understand.

Are we too slow in responding to what God is telling us, to what He is calling us to do?

Think about that for a moment.

What if the things that God is calling us to do are of an urgent nature? What if He is telling His church to get ready for His return? What if He is telling us to be sure that our hearts are right with Him, because He is about to remove the true believers from the things that are about to come? What if He is speaking to us in that still, small voice and telling us to repent and turn our hearts toward Him so that we may escape the tribulations that are about to be released upon the earth?

We all hope and pray for the day that Jesus returns to take His bride home, but what if that day is upon us and He is telling us that we need to have an urgency about us?

What if He is telling you to be prepared?

What if He is telling you to plant the seed in someone’s life?

What if He is telling you to live each day as if it were the last?

What if He were telling you to be a witness for Him to someone who would not hear in any other way?

What if He is calling you to be a light to a dark world?

What if He is calling you to be a beacon on a hill?

Now, look at your life. Look at what He has done for you and think of how you have responded to Him. Have you felt a sense of urgency? Have you felt that He is calling you to do any of the things mentioned above?

He is!

He is calling you. He is telling you that there is a sense of urgency, for the world needs Him and the world is dying without Him.

I pray that the words from Psalms will come alive within your heart and that they will instill within you a sense of urgency for the things that are of God.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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