How long did it take you to respond when Jesus called?

March 8, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
(Matthew 4:22 (NIV))

Have you ever been in a situation where you knew immediately that you were committed for the rest of your life?

Some people will say that they knew instantly when they first met their spouse. How long would that have lasted if that person had turned you down? Some people may say that they knew immediately that they had to help with programs such as Compassion International. What happens when you are called home? There are very few times that everyone can agree that you realize you are committed for all of your life. Personally, I can count three times: the birth of our three children. The first time that I saw each of them, I knew immediately that I would always be committed to them.

I can hear some of you asking, “What about your wife?”

I can honestly say that I was instantly enthralled with her, but I was not able to make a lifelong commitment immediately. I love my wife very much, but it is a love that grew and continues to grow. From the day I knew that she felt the same, my commitment and my love has been unwavering. Next to my faith, she is the most important part of my life.

Still, it was not immediate!

Can you imagine what Peter and Andrew experienced that made them follow Jesus immediately?

Thinking back on my acceptance of Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, it was not immediately upon hearing the Word. It took time for me to think. It took time for me to understand. It took time for me to fully embrace my sinful nature and the tremendous gift of grace. Looking back, I wonder what took me so long! I often wonder what type of faith is required to follow immediately as Peter and Andrew did?

How long did it take you to respond when Jesus called?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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The enemy even tried to trick Jesus!

August 12, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator `made them male and female,’ and said, `For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ ? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
(Matthew 19:3-6 (NIV))

Isn’t it sad how creation tries to take everything that God has created and completely turn it upside down? Ever since the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden, the enemy has been planting deceptions and lies into the minds of people to get them to step away from what God desires. The enemy, as witnessed by the above passage, has deceived people who claim to follow God in order to trip up other people. The enemy even tried to do that very same thing with Jesus.

I never realized the level of arrogance that satan has until I thought about this passage with the realization that he is the one who planted the idea for this question into their minds. He knew who Jesus was, yet he had the audacity to try to trick Jesus with His own Word.

We are up against a very deceitful, vengeful and arrogant persona, but we, as the Body of Christ, must never forget that Jesus has defeated satan. All that needs to happen is for satan to realize it. His days are numbered! He is like a wounded animal who is more dangerous because of the wound.

We must arm ourselves and be prepared to face the enemy at any time. We must stand firm in God’s Word and be prepared to use God’s Word to remind satan of his place.

I find it interesting that the concept of man and wife is what the enemy used to try and trick Jesus when He walked the earth. Satan never learns. He is using the very same concept to try and trick the followers of Jesus today.

Stand firm in the knowledge that Jesus has defeated the enemy!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you love or hate your sinful nature?

May 9, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
(Luke 14:26-27 (NIV))

Ouch! This is painful, yet, this is exactly what we are expected to do.

Do you love the sinful life that you live? Do you love the sinful nature of those who are a part of your physical family? Do you hate the sin that has taken control of the world, and as a result, the very nature of everyone, including yourself?

We live in a fallen world and everyone is saturated in the sin that this world is consumed with. As a result, we can’t truly love what is saturated in sin, including our own lives. We can love the individuals to the point where we care about them and want good things to happen, but our understanding of good is severely distorted because of the sin that we live in. Our understanding of love is severely limited.

I know that I have asked something similar already, but I think that it merits being asked again. Can you honestly love someone if they are saturated in sin? Can you honestly love your own life if it is engulfed in sin? Most, if not all, sin is based on the individual. It takes hold of a person’s heart and makes them the center of their own universe. It turns the individual into the center of their own worship. If we truly love our lives and each other, then we are not capable of truly loving God in all of His perfect glory.

I know that it is human nature to look out for yourself and to love yourself, but I honestly believe that we are being told to hate our sinful nature and make a decision to turn away from our sinful nature. You embrace what you love and you reject what you hate.

What do you think of your life and the lives of those around you?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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We all need rest!

August 16, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV))

I want to start off by saying thank you to all that have supported this ministry.

With that said, we all need rest. We need time to get away from the world and slow down and enjoy what God has created. We all need to spend time refreshing and strengthening our relationships whether these relationships are between a married couple or between yourself and Jesus. We need to take the time to recharge our batteries so that we can face the things that this world throws at us. Lately, I have seen far more than I could ever imagine being thrown at the Body of Christ. I feel a heaviness in my spirit. I need rest.

I have been blessed with a lovely lady as my wife for twenty-five years. I have been blessed with a family that loves the Lord. I have been blessed by God in so many ways. One blessing that I never imagined happening is my sharing of God’s Word through this devotional ministry. I may not have riches as the world thinks of riches, but I am rich in ways that the world can’t imagine.

There is a spiritual war that is unfolding. It is spilling over into the physical world. We all need to rest in Jesus so that we may be prepared for what is coming. Take the time to slow down and spend time with God. Listen for the Holy Spirit. Follow the words of Jesus. Spend time with God.

“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
(Psalms 46:10 (NIV))

I love the first line of this passage. Many people use it and ignore the next two lines, but today, I feel that the last two lines of this passage need to be used and heard. We are to be still and listen to God. This gives us insight into His heart and His desires. Many people, and I probably have been guilty of this, use the first line of this passage to show what you need to do to get to know God without stressing the last two lines, which tell us why we need to know God.

The world is falling apart and many people believe that we are in the End Times. We are to know God so that we may tell a fallen, sinful world about salvation and grace. We are to exalt God and tell of His plan for redeeming each of us. God is to be exalted so that others may see Him and what He offers to those who will simply ask.

Sometimes we need to reset our priorities. Sometimes we need to spend time in our relationships. Sometimes we need to listen more than we talk. Sometimes we need to rest so that we may be better prepared to continue.

See you in a week.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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