The world will not overcome Jesus!

July 12, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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

Do you believe these words?

With all that is going on in the world, do you believe these words?

With all of the evil that is rampant and when the good is vilified, do you believe these words?

It is so hard to look at the things that are happening in the world, and in our own country. It is as if the whole world has gone mad. It is as if the whole world is upside down. Darkness is spreading and it seems as if it can’t be stopped. To be completely honest with you, it cannot be stopped in the natural. It is a spiritual war and it has spilled over into the physical reality that we call the world. Because it is a spiritual war, we have hope. Because it is a spiritual war, we know the final outcome.

Darkness will not prevail!

Have you ever been in a room so dark that you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face? What happens when you are able to light a small candle? The light from the candle prevails over the darkness. No matter how dark something may seem, it only takes a little light to bring hope. It only takes a little light to bring clarity and vision.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
(John 8:12 (NIV))

Perhaps this is why the powers that be want to remove any and all reference to Jesus. They are trying to remove the light. Perhaps this is why the powers that be want to push other beliefs. These beliefs are contrary to Jesus and are darkness. Contrary to what the enemy may think, darkness cannot drive out light. It can make it grow dim, but it cannot engulf the light. Light will prevail.

There are many books and passages in the Bible that speak of terrible times when the darkness will try to overcome the light, but we, as the Body of Christ, know what happens in the end. We know that the light of Jesus will defeat the darkness. The darkness will not be able to overcome what God has planned.

Do you feel that you are overcome with the darkness that is all around?

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
(Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV))

As a member of the Body of Christ, it is time to let your light shine!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How are you at fulfilling your vision?

May 2, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
(Proverbs 29:18 (KJV))

Has God given you a vision?

Life is more than simply working nine to five and then going home. Life is a gift from God. This gift is to be used to reach others for Jesus. It is said that our life is a gift from God. What we do with it is our gift to God.

With this in mind, God has a purpose for each and every single person that has ever lived or will ever live. He has placed a glimpse of this purpose in us as our unique vision. If we acknowledge that vision and seek to fulfill it, then we are pursuing what God has planned for us.

We must remember, though, that God does not want us to seek His vision and forsake His commands. We must seek God each and every step of the way on the journey of our fulfilling our vision. We must not try to achieve His purpose in our own way.

Has God given you a vision?

How are you at fulfilling that vision?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you following God’s vision for your life?

April 1, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Where there is no vision, the people perish
(Proverbs 29:18a (KJV))

Are you going through life with only the goal of making it through another day?

Perhaps you are trying to amass a fortune in worldly wealth. What will you do once you achieve that goal?

Do you feel like something is missing from your life? Do you know what can fill that emptiness?

God has given you and I desires that can only be fulfilled by answering the calling that He has placed upon our lives. Do you know what that calling is? It is the vision, that dream, that He has placed in each of us. He gives us a yearning to fulfill that vision. It is up to us to respond.

First, we must acknowledge the vision.

Next, we must embrace it as our own, after all, God wants to use us to reach other people for Jesus. He did not save us solely to save us. He wants us to embrace our salvation and do what He has called us to so that others may know.

Has God given you a vision? Are you following through with that vision?

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

February 2, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.
(1 John 2:9-11 (NIV))

It is so easy to be blinded in this life. We still may be capable of seeing with our physical eyes, but we are not capable of discerning with our sprit. Sometimes it is those who have perfect physical vision who see things poorly, for they let their physical eyes divert their spirit towards the things of the flesh.

Just what is darkness?

Is it the lack of light that we all have come to understand, or is there something much deeper and complex in its nature? According to this passage, light has something to do with love and darkness has something to do with hate. Isn’t that interesting, because if you hate you become blinded to anything but your hatred. You live in darkness with respect to being able to see anything of value in the object of your hatred. Soon, this blindness spreads to everything that you touch. It spreads and soon takes control of every aspect of your life.

Light can overcome darkness.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
(John 8:12 (NIV))

Do you long to see?

Turn towards the light.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Talents

August 23, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
(Matthew 25:14-18 (NIV))

What have you done with the talents that God has given to you? Have you used them or have you hidden them?

Perhaps we should take a look at the talents that have been used. Were they used for your own gain or did you use them for the gain of the one who gave them to you? It is so easy to get caught up in what the world is selling and get sidetracked from the true reason for your talents. The world tells us to make money and seek after fame. It tells us that we are better than others and our talents are to be used for our gain. How will this attitude be rewarded?

Consider those who have used their talents for the gain of the one who gave them the talents. What was their attitude? How was it rewarded?

What about the one who is afraid to use their talents? They lack faith. Perhaps it is the lack of faith that the talent they have been given is of any value. Perhaps it is a lack of faith in themselves. Either way, it is a lack of faith in God, for He has created both the individuals and the talents. It is a misguided fear that God will punish us if we do wrong, and so we do nothing.

Each of us falls somewhere within these three scenarios. Perhaps we can lay claim to each one of them at different times in our lives. Either we misuse our talents and fall short of what God intends, or we use them for His good. Perhaps the worst case is not using our given talents at all.

What talents has God given to you? How have you used them? How can you change to be a better servant using your talents?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you see?

July 28, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked.

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
(2 Kings 6:15-17 (NIV))

How many times are we guilty of the same thing as Elisha’s servant? We see only with the natural and do not even acknowledge the supernatural that God is doing all around us. We do not stop to realize that God is capable of doing anything and that we do not have to see it happen in order for it to happen.

Could you imagine how Elisha’s servant felt after his eyes were open and he was allowed to see what God was actually doing? I can honestly say that I would have been humbled and humiliated especially when you stop to consider who I would have been serving. Elisha was a man of God. He was a prophet with a track record that just would not quit. It should have been obvious to his servant that God had something in the works, after all, Elisha had walked earnestly with God and God had honored that walk with allowing Elisha to speak His Will to the people. God always delivered what He said would happen as told by Elisha.

Has something happened recently that has made you feel like Elisha’s servant? Did you come away from that episode or event with a clearer understanding of God? Will you look at future situations with more faith as a result of that event?

How do you see?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Seasons

May 13, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV))

Patience in all things is what God is wanting. God’s timing is perfect. He is never late, and He is never early. Everything has its time in His eternal plan. Do not rush tomorrow. Today is where God wants you now! He has something that He is trying to teach you in the day that He has made for you. Do not overlook the gift of what is for what may never come.

As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
(Psalm 103:15-16)

Tomorrow may not remember you. Today is a precious gift from God. Live in the gift with hope for the promise of tomorrow.

All throughout the Bible, God promises His people protection by saying “I am . . .”. He did not say “I will be”, He said “I am!” Anybody who knows the English language knows that what was translated from the Hebrew text is the “PRESENT” tense. God is saying that He is with us NOW! He wants us to rely on Him for this moment. For once we finish with this moment, it is history, and a new moment is now.

God is always in the “now” or present. Do not try to push God. Be patient and wait in God’s presence.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Does your armor shine?

February 11, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
(Romans 13:12 (NIV))

All throughout history, humanity has lived in the darkness of “night” caused by the sin of Adam and Eve. When Jesus came into this world, the lightness was made possible for all of humanity. However, knowing that light exists does not make you an expert on the light, just as seeing a computer does not make you an expert on computers. Jesus provided the means for us to step into the light, yet, it is up to each one of us individually to take that step.

We must want to take that step. We must long to end the darkness in our lives. It must be a burning desire to walk in the light and avoid the darkness at all costs. It is not good enough to simply prefer the light. We must hate the darkness from which we came. If we only prefer the light, then we will be prone to return to the darkness when the light is not available, or when it is not convenient for us to stay in the light.

If we truly desire to “put on the armor of light,” then we will shine wherever we may be, bringing the light into the darkness. If we only prefer the light, then we will not shine, but we will be like a chameleon, adapting our persona to the surroundings in which we find ourselves. A chameleon does not have an impact on its surroundings, its surroundings have an impact on it!

Put on the armor of light and shine! Shine in the darkness. Do not change to exist in the darkness.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Mirror, mirror on the wall

June 8, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.
(Psalms 23:4-6 (NIV))

How many times have we heard or quoted parts of this passage? Isn’t it wonderful to be able to know and to trust in God and His strength and His mercy.

Unfortunately, many nonbelievers read this and take it to mean that we will not have any troubles in this life. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because they see that believers do have troubles, they doubt. They do not fully understand how God works. They think that God is supposed to take all of their troubles and remove them.

They do not understand that we, as believers, still are faced with troubles. It is these troubles that God uses to mature us in our faith. Anyone can have faith when things are going great. At the same time, most people ignore God when things are going well. Ironically, it is when things are bad, when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, that most people turn to God. They expect God to fulfill this passage even though they have not walked with Him at all.

The reason that David could write about God being with him in the valley of the shadow of death is simple. David knew that God was with him before that time. He knew that God had walked with him and that He did not disappear when things turned bad. David knew that he had a mighty warrior on his side.

If people only understood that by placing our faith in God, we will always have goodness and mercy even when faced with these troubles. It is how we reflect this goodness and mercy during these troubles that will solidify our faith and bring people to Jesus.

Faith is like a mirror. If you spend time polishing and honing your faith, it will reflect the light of Jesus. If you ignore your faith, your mirror will grow dim and dark. It will not be able to reflect anything. It will become like a black hole. It will absorb any and all light that it comes into contact with.

Are you a mirror that reflects goodness and mercy, or are you a black hole that absorbs all light, and does not allow any to pass?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you see the Lamb of God?

April 12, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
(John 1:35-36 (NIV))

The Lamb of God!

What does that mean to you? What do you think of when you envision a lamb? Be honest. Have you ever even thought about the meaning of this symbolism?

I have a print of a painting that shows a lamb sitting in the middle of a crown of thorns. Rays of sunshine stream down upon the lamb as it looks, with big, innocent eyes, up to the very throne of God. The clean, white wool radiates from the glory that is shining down upon it from heaven. The innocence is overwhelming. I find myself wanting to embrace the lamb and protect it from whatever evil will befall it.

He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
(Isaiah53:3 (NIV))

Ironically, the world sees the Lamb of God in a much different way than the body of believers sees Him. We see a willing sacrifice to pay the price once and for all for the sins of the world. The world sees a foolish act by someone who was merely a man. They see Jesus as the despised one spoken of in Isaiah. The body of believers sees a savior. The world sees a scapegoat for the beliefs of the “foolish.” Those who believe see a scapegoat who took the weight of our sins upon himself.

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
(1 Corinthians 1:27 (NIV))

Jesus, the Lamb of God, has always and will always cause people to have very different visions of who He is.

How do you see the Lamb of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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