It doesn’t matter what the world thinks!

October 6, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.
(Hebrews 10:33 (NIV))

Think about this passage for a moment.

Did you come to any conclusions or did you have any insights that you hadn’t had before?

Perhaps what caught my attention is related to the following passage.

“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))

If you truly stop to think about this, the world does not insult and persecute those who belong to it. If we are to face insult and persecution because of our faith, there is only one way that we, as members of the Body of Christ, should respond.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
(James 1:2-4 (NIV))

Are you truly prepared for what the world will probably be sending your way?

I realize that there isn’t a single person who looks forward to insults and persecution, but we must be prepared for whatever the world may send our way. We must stand firm so that we do not fall away when our faith is tested. We may face things individually, or we may face them together as members of the Body of Christ. No matter what the world may send our way, we must remember that the world is not our savior. With that in mind, there is only one thing left to say.

It doesn’t matter what the world thinks!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you long to conform to Jesus?

September 30, 2021

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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))

I don’t know about you, but I want to have nothing to do with the world as it is!

There is absolutely nothing in what is happening that is patterned after what God desires. It may be in His plans, but He does not desire to see any perish. He knows that evil will make one last stand against His plans. Even so, the Lord desires righteousness. He does not desire good being called evil and evil being called good. He does not desire sin to be tolerated, yet it is openly embraced. He does not desire to see the persecution of His church. He does not desire to see people who profess a faith in Jesus distort His teachings. He does not desire to hear His name profaned, yet that is where we are in history. It is true that things have been happening all throughout history, but there is an acceleration, there is a convergence of events like never before.

Do you feel it?

Do you understand that something is not status quo?

The whole world is seeing things like never before. Do you recognize these events?

Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
(Luke 21:11-12 (NIV))

If this is what conforming to the world looks like, I don’t want any part of it!

I only want Jesus!

I want to conform to Jesus. I want to mature in my faith to be like Jesus even if it means persecution.

“But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.
(Luke 21:12 (NIV))

Now is the time to immerse yourself in His Word. Renew your mind so that it desires His righteousness and detests the evils of this world. Renew your mind so that you can recognize God’s will and run from the lies of the enemy.

Do you long to conform to Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you believe?

September 20, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
(1 John 4:1-3 (NIV))

In today’s world, deceit is everywhere. The prince of this world tries to deceive the faithful by wrapping his deception in a cloak that imitates the Truth.

Be careful in what you allow into your heart. Test everything. Satan can also appear as an angel of Light. If something does not acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, run from it.

All of God’s Truth throughout the history of the Bible has pointed to one man through many prophecies. If something professes to be from God, yet does not acknowledge that Jesus is the only begotten Son, it is not from God.

Jesus foretold of this and left us a warning.

For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect–if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
(Mark 13:22-23 (NIV))

Do not be deceived, but keep your eyes focused on God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

What do you believe?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Call collect. He will accept all charges!

September 8, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
(Romans 10:13 (NIV))

Do you know someone who feels that they are too far gone for God to care about them? Are you trying to share the grace and mercy that is freely given and their reply is that you don’t know what they have done? Do they think that what they have done is so bad that God could never forgive them? Perhaps that someone is you and you were given this to read. Rest assured that the only thing that God cannot forgive is a hardened heart. His forgiveness requires that you soften your heart and turn to accept His offer of grace and mercy.

God loves you. He never left you. It is we, in our sinful nature, who have left Him. Each of us have tried to fill that void where God should be with what the world has to offer. Nothing in this world will work! He has provided a way for this void to be filled with Himself. He has provided a way to return to Him. In fact, He is calling us to return to Himself.

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. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
(John 3:16-21 (NIV))

As you can see, God’s offer is on the table. It is up to us whether we accept it or reject it. It is as easy as ABC.

A is for admit that you are a sinner in need of a savior. Soften your heart and turn to the Lord.

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.

Something else for you to think about. He wants you to call on Him.

Call collect. He will accept all charges!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What are you struggling with?

September 7, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
(Ephesians 6:12 (NIV))

Do you ever feel like you are fighting a losing battle? Do you feel that no matter what you do, nothing ever goes your way? Do you ever feel like you do all the work and everyone else gets ahead? Do you see evil triumphantly defy all that you struggle to do?

Every person who has ever lived has faced struggles, but some seem to face more than others. If this is you, how do you respond?

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
‭‭(James‬ 1:2-4‬ (NIV‬‬))

Do you face your struggles with joy?

I realize that this is an unusual question, but that is exactly what anyone who professes a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior is called to do. We must remember that we have changed our citizenship. We are no longer part of this world. We are just passing through on our way to our ultimate home with Jesus. Because of this, the world hates us.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 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 15:18-19‬ (NIV‬‬))

Who do you belong to?

What are you struggling with?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t listen to the world. Trust in the Lord!

August 23, 2021

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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))

What do you listen to most of the time?

Do you listen to what the world tells you? Do you fall prey to the fearmongering that the world tries to sell us? Does the world have you so worried and troubled that you have no peace of mind? With all that is going on in the world right now, it is so easy to focus on the troubles in this world, but we must never forget the one who has overcome the world!

Don’t get me wrong. We need to be aware of what is going on in the world, but we don’t need to make it the center of our attention. We need to focus on Jesus. We have all done something where we change our visual depth of field by focusing on what is far away. When that happens, what is close is still there, it is just out of focus. If we focus on what is close, then what is far away becomes out of focus. We also have a spiritual depth of field. When we focus on the troubles, they become the primary thing we see and Jesus gets fuzzy and unclear. When we focus on Jesus, He becomes the clarity that we need and the troubles in this world, even though they are still there, become less of a focus. We can acknowledge them, but at the same time we can rest assured that everything is in His control!

When we focus on Jesus, we listen to His voice. We listen to His truth. When we focus on Jesus, we hear His reassurances that He has overcome the world. It is time to change our focus. It is time to change what we truly listen to! What do you find yourself listening to?

Don’t listen to the world. Trust in the Lord!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How can you share the Good News?

July 28, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.
(Mark 16:15 (NLT))

It is so easy to sit back in our comfort zones and rationalize that we are doing our part. We know that there are so many in our own area that still need to hear the Gospel. Do we use this to convince ourselves that we don’t go anywhere? Still, there are those in our areas who do need to hear the Gospel! Are we doing anything about this? Are we willing to share the Good News with those whom we encounter on a daily basis? Are we willing to accept that our mission field is right where we are?

Think about that.

Is your workplace part of the world? Is your neighborhood part of the world? Is the grocery store that you go to part of the world?

Not all of us are called to go halfway around the world. Not all of us are called to go to a foreign mission field. If everyone who professed a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior had the same calling, who would stay home and witness to those who still needed to hear the Good News in our hometowns? Just because we don’t go to exotic parts of the world to share the Gospel doesn’t mean that we can’t share it where we are. In fact, if you stop and think about it, people in those places think that our hometowns are exotic and different. If they are believers, they like us, still have a calling.

Everyone!

Everywhere!

Two crucial words that we must take to heart for they are the very definition of who God loves and who He wants to redeem.

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.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

Do you desire to be so in tune with God that when His heart is broken, you shed tears? Do you desire to share His love with a lost and dying world? Everyone! Everywhere! Even in your hometown? Do you want to use this to reach those whom God loves? What if we personalized this in a different way?

For God so loved _________ that he gave his one and only Son, that if _________ believes in him, _________ shall not perish but have eternal life.

Think about your workplace. Think about your neighborhood. Think about the grocery store that you go to. They are all part of the world and there is probably someone at each location whose name you could easily place in the blanks to truly personalize John 3:16. Who needs to hear of the love that came to seek and to save the lost?

How can you share the Good News?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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He is the eternal constant that we all need!

July 7, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
(Matthew 24:35 (NIV))

With everything that is going on in the world, is there anything that is constant in your life? Is there anything that you can always count on to be the same no matter when you encounter it and where you encounter it?

If the last year or two has taught us anything, it has taught us that nothing in this world can be trusted to never change. We have seen this exact thing with basically everything that we took for granted being completely upended. Be honest with yourself. Is there anything that has remained constant for you over the last two to three years? Have you changed how you do your job? Have you changed where you do your job? Have you changed how you look at public events and gatherings? Have you changed how you interact with people in general? Do you find yourself saying that you wish things would get back to normal?

What if they never do?

What do you cling to when all around you is chaos?

What can we count on to provide us with that constant, eternal guidance and direction when all around us is constantly changing right before our eyes?

As for God, his way is perfect;
     the word of the LORD is flawless.
(2 Samuel 22:31a (NIV))

The grass withers and the flowers fall,
     but the word of our God stands forever.
(Isaiah 40:8 (NIV))

In this world of uncertainty and change, isn’t it good to have something that you can lean on not only in times of trouble, but also in times of good. God’s Word is our strength. It is our hope.

In God, whose word I praise,
     in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
     What can mortal man do to me?
(Psalms 56:4 (NIV))

Jesus is that Word. He is our hope. He is our salvation.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (NIV))

Jesus is the Word made flesh. He has given us promises. He has given us hope. Even though He was crucified, dead and buried, He arose on the third day and now sits at the right hand of God the Father. He is our eternal King. He is our eternal hope. His words never change just as He never changes. He has told us that we would face troubles in this world, and troubles are ever increasing. He has also assured us that He has overcome the world. When this world overwhelms you, simply look to Jesus.

He is the eternal constant that we all need!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you believe in Jesus?

June 14, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God ; believe also in me.
(John 14:1 (NIV))

For anyone who professes a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, it should be second nature to do what this passage states. We know and trust these words as well as other words that Jesus has spoken about troubles in 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 big question that should be evident from these passages is a simple question.

Do you believe in Jesus?

It is your answer that makes this difficult. It is the state of your heart that gives you away. Is your heart troubled by all of the events that have been transpiring and increasing in frequency in the world lately? What does that say about your faith if you look to the state of the world to determine your peace? These events should make you turn to the one who has overcome the world. They should make you lift your eyes in hopeful anticipation of seeing Jesus!

Exactly what do you believe about Jesus, for what you truly believe will dictate how your heart reacts? How confident are you of your salvation, for that confidence will determine the relationship that you have with Jesus?

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

How strong is your relationship with Jesus, for this relationship will determine your trust? In other words, do you trust Jesus to be who He is and to fulfill all that He has promised? If you fully trust Jesus to fulfill all of His promises, then why should you let your heart be troubled? Why should you not believe in the Lord?

Do you believe in Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you accepted His peace?

May 14, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
(John 14:27 (NIV))

There is so much packed into these three short sentences!

Jesus starts off by telling us that He gives us peace, but we know that the peace that He gives is so much more than the fleeting glimpses that the world shows us.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:7 (NIV))

What has the world given you?

You may start to say life and love, but where did those truly come from?

The things that this sinful, fallen world gives us are not what God gives us. Pain and heartache come to mind as just two examples of the not so wonderful gifts the world gives us. Sickness and death come to mind, as well as bitterness and anxiety. In essence, the things that the world bestows upon us are not the gifts that we want.

With that in mind, what has the world actually given to you?

Is it anything that you desire to keep?

What has Jesus given to you? What has God given to each of us in our sinful, fallen nature?

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:8‬ (‭NIV‬‬))

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))

Lastly, Jesus tells us to not be fearful and troubled.

“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))

We can stand firmly on the promises of these three sentences, but it comes with a price. We must profess a faith in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior! We must repent and follow Jesus! Only then will we have the peace that only He can give.

Have you accepted His peace?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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