How big is your mustard seed?

January 29, 2018

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”
(Matthew 13:31-32 (NIV))

The kingdom of heaven is indeed like a mustard seed. Like something small, it is there for us to find. Yet, if you are not looking for it, it will be missed. Once it is found, it grows within us until it is all consuming, until it is the focus of our lives.

God intended it to be this way. We must find it by faith. If it were visible to everyone, where would faith be? God planned it that way. He knew that if everyone could see the visible effects of the kingdom of heaven, then people would choose without testing their faith. God wants people to come to Him of their own free will, not because of His power.

How big is your mustard seed? Has it grown or is it still the smallest of all seeds?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are we united and all together?

September 8, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
(Acts 2:1 (NIV))

At first read, this passage doesn’t seem to say much, but something struck me after reading it again!

Pentecost was the day the Holy Spirit descended upon the body of believers and the church was conceived. Power and authority were given to the church to do the things that Jesus had said we would be able to do. Signs of this power and authority were clearly visible to everyone, for they were all gathered together and they all saw the outward manifestations of the power coming to them.

They were all together!

Not only were they together physically, I believe that they were also together spiritually. They were completely united in their faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. This was before man could interject subtle differences that split the body into factions. They focused on Jesus and His power and authority. When was the last time that you have seen the complete Body of Christ united under one Christ-centered banner? Have any of us ever seen this?

Have any of us ever truly seen God’s power and authority manifested as it was on the day of Pentecost? Some of us belong to congregations that say God doesn’t do this anymore. Some of us belong to congregations that would love to see any glimpse of God’s power. Some of us belong to congregations where God has provided more than a glimpse. No matter which type of congregation you may attend, one thing is certain and that is God will not be recognized as manifesting Himself if there is not a desire to see Him. We have to seek Him. We have to desire His presence. We have to be receptive to His power and authority!

Looking back at Pentecost, do you think that there were people that denied what had happened? Did they come away saying that God doesn’t do that anymore? Perspective is an amazing thing. It makes us see things differently from each other. Do you think those that were a part of what happened at Pentecost had a different perspective or were they united and all together in their understanding of what God was doing?

Are we united and all together?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have the faith to see what God has done?

April 28, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
(Hebrews 11:3 (NIV))

Have you ever made anything?

Even something as simple as making a sandwich starts with bread. From there you have to ask what was used to make the bread. Taking this one step further, you have to ask where those ingredients came from. If we pick just the wheat as one ingredient, where did it come from? In essence, it came from a plant that grew out of the ground. That plant had actually come from other kernels of wheat. We quickly come to the conclusion and realization that everything comes from something else. Things just don’t materialize out of nothing and become something.

I take that last statement back!

It did happen once and only once!

God spoke everything into existence. If you need to refresh on this, read Genesis 1. I see numerous passages that start with “And God said. . .”

I don’t claim to know that much about atomic structures, but I find it interesting that the smallest particles appear to be made out of an electrical charge. To me, that sounds like there is not a true physical component to this particle. To the human eye, it is nothing. To put it plainly, God created what we see out of nothing!

For those who don’t believe, they ridicule anyone who professes a faith in God. I find it interesting that they will come up with any number of explanations for how things came into existence. Theories such as the big bang and evolution, but there is one thing that all of these theories fail to take into account.

Where did all of the matter come from to begin with?

I have the faith to say that I know!

“And God said. . .”

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your definition of faith?

March 9, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
(Hebrews 11:3 (NIV))

What is your definition of faith?

Do you require physical proof before you will “accept something on faith.” That is a contradiction of terms, for faith requires a sound belief in things that you cannot see.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

I find it interesting that as science makes progress in the understanding of our physical world, they have discovered that the atom is not the smallest particle. It is not the protons, neutrons and electrons. There is a scientific theory that states that all of these particles are actually made up of smaller particles called gluons. Do you know what the scientists have speculated that these particles are made of? They theorize that these gluons are actually made up of energy. In other words, they are made out of nothing physical. They are made out of nothing that is visible.

What did Paul know two thousand years ago that our scientists are only beginning to realize is true? Paul knew that the universe was created out of nothing, and the scientists of today are actually starting to say the same thing. The only difference is that today we have super computers to test this theory. We have electron microscopes that can give us hints of what is actually present in the very building blocks of the atoms. We have equipment that allows us to test and verify everything before we draw any conclusions. We can claim with a 99.99% certainty that what is seen is what is the truth.

Two thousand years ago, Paul made the same conclusions.

What did Paul have? He did not have any of the super computers or other test equipment to study his surroundings. He did not spend years formulating mathematical equations to predict the physical world. He had only one thing!

Paul had faith, and by his faith, he was able to know two thousand years ago what our scientists are just beginning to realize. If Paul was so accurate about this, I am going to step out in faith and say that he was right about the message of grace and mercy afforded to us through our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Is your faith based on what is seen or do you stand firm in the hope of what we cannot see?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you clean from the inside or the outside?

January 25, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
(Matthew 23:25-26 (NIV))

Sadly, too many people believe that they must get their lives in order before they come to Jesus or start attending a church. They are focused on the outside. They are focused on the appearances.

They are focused on the symptoms and not the cure!

It is not what is seen on the outside, but what God sees on the inside. Too many focus on the symptoms and overlook the root cause. They overlook the simple fact that they need Jesus!

Don’t focus on the symptoms, which are what is visible. Focus on what is inside. Focus on allowing Jesus to clean your heart!

Woe is an expression of grief, regret or distress. I find it interesting that we are told that those who focus on the outward are subject to woe. We could not have a clearer message that it is not the outward things that are the problem. When you go to a doctor with a health concern, do you want the doctor to give you medicine to mask the symptoms or do you want the doctor to get to the inner root cause of the problem?

Your spiritual life should be the same as your concerns when you have scheduled a doctor’s visit. You must allow the Great Physician to treat the inner sin and then the outer appearance of that sin will disappear.

Do you clean the inside or do you simply mask the outward appearance?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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