Have you put your childhood ways behind you?

February 16, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
(1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV))

Spiritual maturity is a wonderful thing. When you are new in your faith, it is easy to become disoriented and allow the world to knock you off balance. You have a hunger, but you are uncertain about what you are feeling and experiencing. At this early stage of faith, just as in the childhood years, you are limited in your understanding and your ability to fully comprehend all that you experience. You are still being spoon fed. Perhaps I could and should say that you are still in the milk stages of your faith.

Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
(Hebrews 5:13-14 (NIV))

In essence, being a child can mean that you are naive to the ways of the world and the enemy. Spiritual maturity brings an understanding, an ability to discern what is right and wrong in God’s eyes. It means that you are diving deeper into God’s Word and your understanding is getting much deeper. Consider this case in point as an example. When you were a child, could you comprehend and solve complex mathematical problems? Could you develop and communicate complex thoughts in such a manner so that others could understand?

Being a child is supposed to be a simple, joyful time. It is the time to develop trust and belief.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
(Matthew 19:14 (NIV))

Even though we are called to be like little children in our faith, we are also called to a maturity. This is a maturity that prepares us to face the enemy. It is a maturity that firmly grounds us in Jesus.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
(Ephesians 4:14-15 (NIV))

As members of the Body of Christ, we are all called to maturity in Christ. We must long for the substance of solid faith. We must realize that faith is something that we are to desire to grow and mature. We are to change our ways of thinking so that we are in line with what Jesus desires. We are to desire to mature into the likeness of Christ!

Have you put your childhood ways behind you?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is there anything that God cannot do?

September 6, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?
(Jeremiah 32:27 (NIV))

I have had this verse at my fingertips for a few days. I have been thinking about it. Something in these words has made me stop and reflect on them. Several things have made me pause on this passage.

The biggest question that I have is why do we even need to be reminded of this? Is humanity so completely idiotic that we have forgotten what has been common knowledge since creation? Of course we are! All throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, as well, humanity has ignored God. We have rebelled against God. We have embraced evil and called it good. We have embraced false gods. We have created our own gods when we couldn’t find one that we liked that someone else had created. We have limited God in so many ways that by the time that Jeremiah walked the earth, God had to speak through Jeremiah to remind creation that only He is Lord. Keep in mind that this was not the first time that God had to remind people exactly who He is. God used Noah to let creation know that He is Lord. God used Moses to let people know that He is Lord.

These are just a few of the instances when God reminded His creation that He is Lord, still, there is something about the words from Jeremiah that stand out!

“Is anything too hard for me?”

Why is humanity so fickle? Why do we place limitations where no limitations can be placed? Why do we try to define God in terms that we can understand? If we can understand everything about whom we worship, then it is not the one true God, but a god of our own creation.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord,
(Isaiah 55:8 (NIV))

Do you try to limit God?

Is there anything that God cannot do?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you see the things of God?

August 22, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,
(Genesis 1:14 (NIV))

Did you watch the solar eclipse? Are you glad that it is over? If you are like the majority of people in the United States, you have seen enough information about the solar eclipse to where you could probably write your own research paper solely from memory. To be honest with you, it was an amazing event to see.

I find it interesting that humanity is so obsessed with these types of events, yet they fail to recognize that these types of events are clearly defined and foretold in the Bible. Society tries to explain them based on scientific reasoning. Please don’t misunderstand me and try to draw any false implications. There is nothing wrong with science. Science allows us to explore and try to understand creation. It allows us to form a hypothesis about a particular subject and then test that hypothesis to see if it is accurate. Over the course of human history, scientific conclusions have often changed when addressing the same subject. In essence, a hypothesis is only an assumption that someone makes for the sake of argument. They then have to defend that assumption. What I find so perplexing, based on this definition, is that when someone comes to a different assumption and tries to have a civil argument over the different assumption, someone is always labeled as ignorant and uneducated. Based on historical record and the very definition of hypothesis, science is man’s attempt to correctly explain what we see when how we interpret what we see is influenced by our less than perfect ability to perceive the truth.

The solar eclipse was a fantastic example of humanity trying to explain what we see when what we see is so far beyond our comprehension. If Jesus delays His return, humanity might get better at explaining things. However, we will never understand creation the way that the Creator does. If God said that something is to serve as signs, then we should take that at face value. I, like may people, are intrigued by the “how” with respect to what God does, but it will never be more important than the “why.”

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:9 (NIV))

How do you see the things of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you love the Lord and keep His commandments?

January 5, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul.
(Joshua 22:5 (NIV))

Even though these words were spoken through Joshua, they still hold true today!

About two thousand years before Jesus came to this world to teach us, and to die for us, these words of truth were spoke to the nation of Israel and to all who would listen. Have you listened to what Joshua has written? They do not differ from what Jesus has taught us.

Take a long, hard look inside your heart. What is it that you love most?

Money? Fame? Power? Family? Worldly possessions?

Or is it something that has an everlasting value?

Do you hold fast to God and desire to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul?

The world can assault us in many different ways. There is the direct attack and then there is the sneak attack where we do not even realize that we are being attacked. It is these attacks that can slowly divert our love from God. We come under attack daily. We should be renewed by God’s Word daily. Loving God and obeying his commands is a daily desire.

What is your desire today?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Who’s ways do you need to follow?

October 6, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
(Isaiah 55:8 (NIV))

We should be very thankful that God’s ways are not our ways, for our ways have allowed sin into the world and have turned everything in our lives into a disaster!

No matter what we attempt on our own, it is a failure due to humanity’s fall from grace. We can do nothing on our own. All that we do and think is as filthy rags in the eyes of God. When we are thinking about greed and worldly matters, God has thoughts that would save us from our greed. When we think about thoughts and desires for physical pleasures, God has desires for us to know Him intimately.

We are tossed about by the desires of the world and face these temptations daily, yet, we have a God who has sent His son to experience these temptations with perfection. We can rely on God’s ways to lead us into salvation and away from temptation.

Are you thankful that God’s thoughts and ways are not our ways?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We may not fathom His greatness, but we can praise Him?

May 11, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
(Psalms 145:3 (NIV))

Have you ever stopped to contemplate greatness?

What did you find yourself thinking about?

Some may think of massive structures such as tall buildings or massive natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon. Some may think of someone from history who had a tremendous impact on the world. Others may think of someone from sports that has set multiple records, while others may think of people who have been shrewd at business and amassed great wealth. It is funny how, in our humanity, we define these things as great, for they are all based on the physical world in which we live. But have you ever stopped to consider the greatness of the One who made the physical world?

We fail to truly realize the greatness of the One who created everything, for our perspective is limited and our understanding is as through a glass darkly.

Think about that using the following comparison.

Consider your perspective if you were an ant. Your world would be the same, but very different. Your understanding of your surroundings would be very limited. What you would consider to be great would be such things as the queen of the ant hill and the actual structure of the ant hill. You would have no concept of anything beyond this perspective. To an ant, a human being is huge. Would you even be able to grasp the concept that the giant mass in front of you is a living being? Could you even begin to fathom such a notion?

I often feel that in our relationship to God, we are the ants. We see things from a very limited perspective. We see traces of what God can do, but we do not truly comprehend the majesty and the greatness of our God for we try to understand Him from our limited perspective. How can we, as created humanity, ever begin to understand the Creator? How can we comprehend His greatness when all we see is His fingerprint on our lives?

Perhaps, the following passage says it best.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV))

How can we truly comprehend the greatness of the Lord when we stop to consider the truth written in Isaiah? We don’t have the capacity to understand infinite greatness! All that we can do is praise His name!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you try to limit God?

April 11, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
(Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV))

In our limited understanding and ability, this seems impossible that anyone could do immeasurably more than we could imagine. We tend to place human limitations on God. We tend to put Him within a box that is all neet and tidy and has defined boundaries that we can understand in our limited wisdom. After all, we have a limited understanding of God’s ways.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:9)

What is it about God’s ways that we find so difficult to understand? Is it the fact that He never waivers or falters from His true nature and that this nature never changes? Is it the fact that He is Creator and we are the creation that limits our understanding? Perhaps, it is the fact that humanity fell from grace into sin. We are tainted by the world view of everything which has a tendency to place “me first.” Since we do not have the capabilities of immeasurably more, we, in our self-centeredness, assume that we are the most powerful beings around and that no one can do more than us.

Does this sound familiar? It is exactly the attitude that lead to Satan’s fall. He wanted to place himself above God. In our attempt at limiting God, we are also placing ourselves above God, or, at least, as equals to God! Even God’s own Son, Jesus, when He walked this earth, did not consider himself as equal with God. Jesus also did not limit what God could do. If our Savior and Lord took this attitude, what attitude should we have?

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