It’s not too late to change to whom you belong!

September 29, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
(John 15:19 (NIV))

Have you ever wanted fame and fortune?

Have you ever wanted to be in the spotlight and adored by countless numbers of people?

After reading the words that Jesus spoke, aren’t you glad that this never happened?

When the world loves you, you are probably pushing the proverbial envelope as to what is “new and trendy.” This is simply another way of saying how flagrantly can you sin and lead others to sin? This basically reinforces the simple fact that the world loves sin. Anyone who flaunts it and shows others new ways to sin is going to get their proverbial fifteen minutes of fame. If you are really good at it, you make a career out of leading people down a path that they shouldn’t venture down.

These are the people who belong to the world, but you don’t have to be in the public eye to belong to the world. You can simply be a follower of someone who is. You can simply be the “cool” person who always has something going on that makes others want to be like them. The world loves those who rush headfirst into the sin that is the latest trend.

That is why the world hates Jesus and those who follow Him!

When the world says that to be loved you have to sin and flaunt it, Jesus tells us that to truly be loved, we simply turn to Him and repent of our sin.

When the world says that to live life to the fullest, you have to grab for all that you can get, Jesus tells us that life to the fullest only comes through Him.

I could go on with examples, but it is clearly obvious that what the world wants and what God wants are polar opposites. They are so far apart that we can never bridge the gap from the sinful world to God on our own strength and on our own righteousness. It is true that if you are loved by the world, and that in turn you love the world, it is still possible to repent. You can turn to Jesus and forsake all that the world has put in your way.

Repent!

It’s not too late to change to whom you belong!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you believe this?

September 21, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
(John 11:25-26 (NIV))

Does this sound too fantastic to be true?

According to the world, it is, but we don’t live according to the world. If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you don’t need to live according to the world, either! It all starts with one basic truth that is clearly evident in the world today.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

We are all sinners and because of that, we can never be in the presence of God, for He cannot associate with sin. Because of this, we are condemned to an eternity without God. We are condemned to spiritual and physical death.

for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

But . . .

Did you notice that word in the middle of Romans 6:23? As humans, we often use this word to indicate that we have an excuse for what we have done. God uses this word to turn the tables on sin and death.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

God loves us enough to provide a way out of the consequences of sin and death. It all starts with the ABCs.

A is admit that you are a sinner in need of a Savior.

B is for believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead.

C is for call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.

Do you long for life beyond what we know in this sinful, fallen world? Do you long for life in the presence of a just and loving God? Do you long for life without tears and heartache? Now is the time to make that confession of faith before it is too late!

Is Jesus your resurrection and your life?

Do you believe this?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

September 15, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

For years I have not only studied God’s Word, but I have also watched the news and have found pastors who have studied prophecy. I watch multiple different sources and weigh each source’s material against God’s Word. I recently became aware of a video that I feel that I need to share. This video was put together by the underground church in Iran. We know that the church in Iran is facing severe persecution, yet they felt that they needed to warn the church in America and in other parts of the western world! They see the signs even when we fail to recognize what is happening in our own back yard!

In America, we think that we are the ones going into all the world, but when believers in persecuted parts of the world reach out to warn us because they have been given insight by the Lord, we MUST listen. We must prepare. We must stop thinking that nothing like this could ever happen where we live. We must realize that the enemy is angry at those who profess a faith in Jesus no matter where we may live. We must be ready and willing to stand firm in our faith in Jesus even if it means persecution or death.

Are you prepared?

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
(Ephesians 6:13 (NIV))

We have been told that troubles will come.

Are you prepared?

Do you follow Jesus?

Are you prepared?

Are you at peace even in the midst of chaos?

Are you prepared?

Keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is it time to accept the wages of sin, or repent?

September 14, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
(Romans 12:2 (NIV))

When you take a look around at the world, what do you see?

I realize that this is a very loaded question, for the world is a sinful, fallen place that just keeps getting further and further away from what God created it to be. People are doing whatever pleases themselves and the depravity of these actions is sad to the point of being sickening.

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.
(Romans 1:28 (NIV))

God sees the depravity. People have turned, and more are still turning away from God, and doing whatever their depraved minds can imagine. I believe that we are at the point in human history, in God’s timeline, where the Lord is saying if that is what you want, then you will get exactly what you desire. People want perversion. God allows their minds to lead them deeper and deeper into what they desire. People want rebellion. God allows people to rebel to the point where they have dug their own proverbial pit to fall into. People want sin over righteousness. God is allowing them to go down the path that they have chosen. He allows them to go down the path that they think is comfortable to them.

All the while, He is calling them to repent. He is calling them to return to Himself and to His righteousness.

Sadly, too many are completely comfortable in their sin. They enjoy their sin. They are to the point where they feel that they can kick back, relax and enjoy their depravity, but, . . .

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

Are you ready to accept your wages? Are you ready to accept the consequences of your sin?

The choice is yours.

Is it time to accept the wages of sin, or repent?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you appropriately dressed?

September 12, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
(Ephesians 6:13 (NIV))

If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you have an assignment. You have been given marching orders. We are to go into all the world and share the Gospel. We are also told that we will face tribulation in this world, but to rely on Jesus because He has overcome the world.

We are also told to dress for battle!

If you believe that God is love and accepts everyone no matter what their lifestyle and the sin that they practice, then this doesn’t make sense. But, if you hold fast to the truth that Jesus came to set the captives free, to deliver the sinner from bondage, and to offer hope to a sinful, dying world by calling sinners to repentance, then you fully understand why we are to dress for battle. We will be facing the enemy. We will be facing the father of all lies. We will be facing an entity who utterly hates those who profess a faith in Jesus and in God the Father. In all of this, Jesus is our protector. He is our champion. He is our armor. He is THE full armor of God!

We are to fully clothe ourselves in Jesus, who is the Word made flesh!

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
(Ephesians 6:14-17 (NIV))

In light of the events that are transpiring in this world, we need to fully clothe ourselves with Jesus. We are to recognize and clothe ourselves with the armor that only He can provide. When we do this, we no longer fight the battles. The battle then belongs to the Lord!

With this truth, are you still fighting the battles based on your abilities or have you allowed the Lord to fight for you and to protect you? Are you trying to stand in your strength or are you standing in His strength?

It is time that you answered one very important question.

Are you appropriately dressed?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you enduring and watching?

September 9, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
(Revelation 3:10 (NIV))

Enduring patiently!

In today’s world, those two words seem like an oxymoron. The whole world has endured some very strange things over the last several years. I have lost track of the number of times that I have heard people say that they wish things would return to the way that they used to be, and SOON! For those who wish this to happen, I honestly believe that what we used to know as normal will never return. What we now know is only the beginning, and what is before us is something that we, as believers in Jesus, do not want to see.

I have one very important question for you.

Are you longing to be in the presence of the Lord?

We know that He promised to prepare a place for us and that He will return. We know that those who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior will be saved from the test that the inhabitants of this earth will face. There is some disagreement on timing, but we know that the Lord will snatch away those who believe in Him so that they do not face the test. That does not simply mean that we go about our lives as if blind to the events in this world, especially when they align with what we have been told in God’s Word. We are to pay attention. We are to watch and be aware. Things are transpiring in what many are saying is a convergence of prophetic events all leading to either being in the presence of the Lord or being left on this world without the Holy Spirit to hold back the enemy.

Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
(Luke 21:36 (NIV))

I find it disheartening that most pastors in the denominational churches are not saying anything about world events. They are not teaching on God’s plans that appear to be unfolding right before our eyes. They are not telling people to watch for the Lord! At best, many are simply doing verse by verse teachings about how to live in this world. Don’t get me wrong. We need to know that, but we also need to know what God has planned. We know what He saw when He looked at the earth’s corruption in Genesis.

God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.
(Genesis 6:12 (NIV))

What does He see when He looks at the earth today?

Are people calling good evil and evil good? Are there wars and rumors of wars? Are there drastic weather issues all around the world? Are there higher prices and shortages? Are there people who openly blaspheme God? Is our corruption equal to or greater than in the days of Noah?

With all of these things, and much, much more, what do you think that God sees when He looks at the earth today?

I don’t profess to know what will happen next. All that I do know, as someone who professes a faith in Jesus, is that I have an assignment to share the Gospel with those who do not know Jesus. I also know that I have a responsibility to keep watch and recognize the signs. I have a responsibility to alert others to what I see. I also know that I may be wrong, but it is better to watch and warn and things not happen than to watch and not warn and things do happen.

We don’t know God’s exact timing, but we must be diligent. We must endure and we must watch in anticipation of meeting Jesus!

Are you enduring and watching?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Take heart! For Jesus has overcome the world!

August 1, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
(2 Corinthians 4:16 (NIV))

This evening, I came very close to losing heart!

I came into my office and went to turn on the computer that I use to write, store and update the devotionals, the images, my notes, my reference materials, and the main website and the backup blog site, AND . . .

It would not turn on!

NOTHING!

With all of the storms that have been moving through my area, apparently they took out the computer since Friday evening. My first reaction was exactly what you would expect from a typical human reaction when anyone encounters this type of situation. It made it through my surge protection and my battery backups. After taking a step back and asking the Lord the typical why me question, He reminded me that no one is exempt from the attacks of the enemy and that the attacks increase if you are trying to do what you are called to do for the kingdom. I then remembered my small external hard drive that I use for file access when I use a less powerful laptop with far less storage. I found myself praying that this portable hard drive wasn’t hit. Thankfully, it was spared and I am able to get this devotional written and sent today even though my database of devotionals and images are not up to date. God made me realize that I was relying on my skills with computers and not relying on Him. At present, I do not have access to the almost 2 TB of notes, images, and reference materials that God has shown to me over the years. I have an automatic backup in place, but I do not currently have a computer with enough capacity to get to these backup files, and that is IF the backup system was not taken out as well!

I pray that it wasn’t, BUT . . .

Even if it was, it is not the end of the world, or the end of this ministry. I do not rely on things made of man. I use them to do what I am called to do. The technology is the means of distribution. It is not the means of inspiration. Tonight I had a personal reminder of exactly what Jesus spoke of.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

Since I started this path almost twenty-five years ago, many things have changed. What I was once able to do for free, the ministry now has to pay monthly fees, and these fees are not cheap. I want to take this opportunity to stop and thank those who have contributed over the years and to say that it is with your help that this ministry has been able to reach 128 countries on six continents. Today, I had someone ask me why I missed a day last week. I had to explain that I had power problems that only effected my office and my internet. I had to stop this evening and think back on that question with the realization that the power event had also been an attack of the enemy.

I realize that things happen in this world. I also realize that when these things do happen, we do not need to lose heart.

Take heart! For Jesus has overcome the world!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How does God see your faith?

July 27, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

What are you the most confident of in this world?

What is it that makes you feel this confidence?

There are many things that are in this world that I am confident of, but everything that I am confident of are things that I can see, hear, feel and touch. Still, even these things can and do fail me. If you look at things in this manner, you could almost say that you are confident to a point, but what happens when that point is reached or you go beyond that point? For example, you are confident that the brakes on your car will help you stop, but what happens when someone pulls out in front of you and you physically can’t come to a stop?

In essence, everything in this world that we place our confidence in will at some point fail us!

Our health will deteriorate. Our strength and youth will leave us. Our homes will need repairs. Our cars will break down. Our relationships will be stressed and sometimes they will break. Even the things that we love the most in this world will eventually lose their luster.

But, . . .

If we place our faith in Jesus, we truly have the confidence in what we hope for. We have the assurance that even though we don’t see Him, He will return for us. We have the witnesses who recorded His life when He walked this earth. We have God’s promises that we can hold fast to.

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
(2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV))

Yes and Amen!

Positive affirmation and a resounding proclamation of “So let it be!” Human language can’t express the fullness, the completeness of our confidence in what we hope for in Jesus. We have assigned a very simple word to try to convey what we feel. That word is faith. I love how faith is defined for us in Hebrews 11:1, but do you have a personal definition of faith that you cling to in times of trouble? Perhaps it is beyond words.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
(Romans 8:26-27 (NIV))

There is something wonderful and powerful when you have the confidence and the assurance that the God of all creation can and does intercede for us through our wordless groans. Even when you can’t define it, God sees our faith!

How does God see your faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t be a fool!

July 25, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The fool says in his heart,
     “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
     there is no one who does good.
(Psalms 14:1 (NIV))

Is it just me, or do you think that we are seeing an overabundance of fools in the world right now?

Based on God’s definition from this passage, there are far too many fools in the world and they just seem to be increasing in numbers daily! Is it possible to equate God’s definition of a fool and the concept that evil will increase in the last days? We know that the wheat and the weeds will grow up evenly during these times. Are we seeing a growth spurt of weeds right in front of our eyes?

Every person who has ever lived has had a choice to make. Adam and Eve believed a lie from the serpent and fell from grace. They made the wrong choice. Cain and Abel had a choice to make. Cain made the wrong choice. All of the people alive except Noah and his family made the wrong choice. I could go on and on with example after example of how fallen humanity has constantly made the wrong choice.

Even after God sent His Son Jesus to redeem us from our sin, people still make the wrong choice!

I can’t stress this enough. Every single one of us has a choice to make. We can accept God’s grace as freely given through the gift of His Son Jesus or we can reject that gift. There are many reasons why people reject God’s grace. Some believe one of many lies from the enemy such as God won’t save them or that they have plenty of time to accept Jesus. These are the people that have a misunderstanding about God. It is a slippery slope from there to denying God. Sadly, many will fall into the group that God calls foolish.

Do you know anyone in this category?

Are you in this category?

What do you think of Jesus and the cross?

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
(1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV))

If you look at the passages that talk about being a fool or being foolish, they reference a hardened heart that rejects God and/or His plan of salvation through Jesus.

Don’t be a fool!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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His plans are out of this world!

July 22, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
(Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV))

Do you feel like you have hope and a future?

Your answer to that question is all a matter of perspective.

Do you look at your life in relation to how things are in the world around you or do you look at your life in relation to whose you are?

You can feel helpless, hopeless and lost if you focus on the things of this world, especially when the things of this world are progressing as they have been for the last few years. If your hope is based on worldly things, then you truly are helpless, hopeless and lost for the things of this world are rapidly turning evil and depraved. We can focus on the troubles that we are walking through, or we can focus on the promises that are at the end of those troubles and we can focus on the one who is with us even in the midst of those troubles. Even the disciples of Jesus knew that they would face troubles. They also knew that they had placed their faith in the one who has overcome the troubles of this world.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

The words from Jeremiah were recorded when many had been carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. In essence, they were taken captive and taken to another country. Babylon was not a country you went to for a vacation. They took captives from all of the lands that they had defeated in war. They attacked the other countries in order to extend their kingdom! The words recorded within Jeremiah were a promise to those who were in the midst of very difficult times. They were a promise from the Lord that He still had plans for them. He still knew what the future held even though the people in captivity could see no possible reason to have any hope.

The Lord is still saying this today to those who call upon His name!

He has plans for us. He has given us a hope far greater than the promise of the hope that He gave to the exiles. They were looking for freedom in the physical world. We have been given freedom from the consequences of our sins. He has such amazing plans for those who call upon His name. We should know a peace that passes all understanding even in the midst of the chaos of this world. Our peace comes from the One who has overcome the world by defeating sin and death. Our true prosperity is coming as we are given an eternity in His presence.

His plans are out of this world!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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