Is your faith strong enough for this?

January 16, 2023

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
(Matthew 5:44 (NIV))

This goes against everything that our sinful human nature desires!

We instinctively only love those who love us in return. We only want to pray for those whom we love, yet, we are called to break with our sinful human nature and do what we don’t desire to do.

Have you ever stopped to reflect on why we are called to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us? Perhaps the answer is so simple that we don’t want to see it.

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))

If you have come to the realization that our enemies are part of the world that God loves, then you begin to understand why we are called to love our enemies. God loves them just as He loves you and I. In fact, the only difference in God’s eyes are whether they have accepted the gift of grace freely given through the cross. The cross is the ultimate example of love.

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

If you stop to consider that you were once an enemy of God, then you realize that God showed you love when you were His enemy. As the Body of Christ, we are called to do the very same thing. We are called to show love to those who are our enemies, for it is through love and prayer that an enemy is lost and a friend is won. This takes a faith that goes far beyond what our sinful human nature can comprehend. It takes a faith firmly grounded in God’s word and in His promises. It takes a faith strong enough to realize that through God’s love anything is possible, even turning an enemy into a brother or sister in Christ! Do you possess a faith strong enough to surrender to God’s Will as He calls you to embrace your enemies with love?

Today’s society is uncertain. Evil is called good and good is called evil. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but we do know one thing – Jesus will come again! When He walked the earth, He called people to repent. He called them to this action out of love. If you have professed a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then you have shown a faith strong enough to accept that gift. Now, we are called to show a faith strong enough to share that gift even with our enemies.

Is your faith strong enough for this?

Copyright 1998 – 2023 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


It is time to join the celebration and have a Merry Christmas!

December 20, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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))

There will never be a greater gift that can be given!

To those who have accepted this gift of grace, we use this passage to convey exactly what God has done. We use it to explain to others what can be theirs if they will only accept. We use it to explain the magnitude of God’s love for His creation, but, I think that we use it to remind ourselves of the mercy that we have been given. We use it to remind ourselves that we were all sinners in need of a Savior. We us it to remind ourselves that we were helpless, hopeless and lost as a result of our sin. We use it to remind ourselves that we are not worthy to receive such a great gift, but, God gave it to us in spite of ourselves.

In just a few days, we will celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. We will celebrate Jesus stepping out of eternity and into this world so that we could be ransomed by His great love. For those who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, you truly have something to celebrate. Do you need to join the celebration? For those who have not made that profession of faith as of yet, it is as easy as ABC.

A is for 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.

The greatest gift of all time is yours. All that you must do is accept.

I have referred to this before. The word “merry” in Old English means “mighty.” The word Christmas is a shortened version of two words “Christ Mass” in which the birth of Jesus was officially celebrated by the church. People would wish each other a blessing so that they would have a MIGHTY (Merry) Christ’s Mass (Christmas). They wanted each believer to fully realize the gift of grace and mercy that was theirs because God sent His Son Jesus into this world.

It is time to join the celebration and have a Merry Christmas!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Don’t believe the lies!

December 1, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.
(Matthew 24:4 (NIV))

We are constantly on the lookout for SPAM, PHISHing attempts, and fraudulent credit card charges. We have come to understand that this is now the world in which we live. We spend so much time dealing with these type of deceptions and how they could harm us, that we never truly stop to reflect on the biggest deceptions that are going on in the world right now. These deceptions could have such a far greater impact on us than we even stop to consider.

How well do you know God’s Word? How well do you know why Jesus came to this earth? How well do you know what Jesus lived and taught? How well do you know why He went to the cross? How well do you know why He had to die and then be resurrected? How well do you know what Jesus has promised about His return?

If you are not able to give detailed accounts for these questions, how do you plan on overcoming the biggest deceptions that your faith will face?

Let’s look at this mathematically based on the following assumption: God’s Word is true. It is infallible. It is what we can label as 100% accurate.

My formula for calculating mathematical truth for this example is Xn where X equals the accuracy of what is being told and n equals the number of times that is it changed with the accuracy of X. For this example, X = 1 for 100% and n=6. This still calculates out to equal (1)(1)(1)(1)(1)(1) = 1.

With that in mind, let’s look at what happens when you hear something that sounds mostly true. Let’s say that it is 90% true. It is close enough that most people who do not know the Lord will make the assumption that it is correct. If we use the same Xn formula where X =0.9 for 90% and n=6, we get (0.9)(0.9)(0.9)(0.9)(0.9)(0.9) = 0.531441 as our calculated result. So much for the infallibility of the perceived truth when it is constantly twisted by the enemy!

Too many people fail to recognize the ramifications of a slight variance in God’s Word. If something doesn’t sound completely true, then it is not the truth. If someone twists God’s Word, then it is no longer God’s Word.

The enemy will try to deceive the very elect. We must be able to recognize the truth for our eternity depends upon it!

Stand firm in His truth! Don’t believe the lies!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Do you understand?

November 4, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
(John 13:7 (NIV))

You may not recognize this passage immediately, but think about Jesus and the disciples in the Upper Room. Peter was about to rebuke Jesus for washing his feet. It is true that Peter did not understand what Jesus was doing. In fact, most people don’t fully grasp the symbolism of this action. It was a hint of a much bigger “washing” that Jesus was about to undertake.

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
(John 13:8-9 (NIV))

Thankfully, Peter realized what was going on and fully embraced it. In fact, he wanted more!

Think about that for a moment.

Do you want more of what Jesus came to offer? Do you want to be washed white as snow? Do you want to stand before the Lord and hear Him say, Well done, good and faithful servant”? Do you want to know Jesus intimately?

It all starts with a simple act. It all starts with us allowing Jesus to wash us clean!

What Jesus did in the Upper Room symbolizes what He does for all of us if we will simply believe.

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))

We, as sinful humanity, can be washed clean of our sins simply by believing in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. That is the most powerful cleansing that we will ever experience. This is the plan as spoken of in Isaiah. This is the plan that settles God’s redemption of those who believe.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
     says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
     they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
     they shall be like wool.
(Isaiah 1:18 (NIV))

I believe that Peter understood this connection.

Do you understand?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Are you ready?

October 14, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
(Luke 12:40 (NIV))

Preparation is essential in just about any undertaking.

It means that you have an understanding of what is needed to succeed at what you desire to do. It means that you have done your best to get ready. It means that you are prepared mentally or physically for some experience or action. It means that you are available and willing. It means that you are anticipating what you have prepared for!

Are you anticipating the coming of the Son of Man?

Are you currently available and willing?

Are you prepared mentally, physically, but most importantly, spiritually for the coming of Jesus?

Are you eager to see Jesus face to face? Do you long to sit at His feet? Do you hunger and thirst for His righteousness? Are you ready to say goodbye to this sinful, fallen world and spend eternity in His presence?

God loves us so much that He has made it easy to get ready!

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))

Have you believed in Jesus?

Are you ready?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

October 12, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”
(Revelation 14:11 (NIV))

I don’t know about you, but this does not sound very pleasant. It is not something that I would desire, nor can I even imagine anyone wanting this for themselves, their friends or their family. Still, because people reject Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, they will suffer this fate. The sad thing is that no one has to suffer the eternal consequences of their sins.

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))

If you have been following these devotionals for very long, you have probably noticed a shift from living according to God’s Word to a more urgent nature. There is something unsettling in my spirit and the events of the world support what I, and many others, are sensing. I have numerous trustworthy sources that I read and watch every day. What I am seeing is not being reported, and it is amazing. If I did not know Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, I would be completely and utterly scared of what I see. It is my desire to “fly under the radar” so that my posts are not blocked on social media. For this reason, I will not provide sources for these comments, but rest assured that the comments are legitimate. With this in mind, I want to present some of the things that I have recently read or heard.

  • The culling of humanity is about to accelerate taking many children and young adults, as the doctors, politicians and preachers remain silent.
  • History began with humans inventing gods and will end when humans become gods.
  • The resurrection of Jesus is fake news.
  • Humans are now hackable animals no longer subject to the intelligent design of some fictional god above the clouds but our intelligent design.
  • The idea of humans having free will is over. Today, we have the technology to hack human beings on a massive scale.
  • You will own nothing and be happy.

Do you believe the Bible? Do you believe in the prophecies that foretold of Jesus’ first appearance on this earth? If you say that you believe the Bible, then you have to believe the prophecies that it contains. It is said that somewhere between 20-30% is prophecy. God’s track record is perfect when you look at what has been fulfilled so far. Why do we even venture to think that what has not been fulfilled will be any different?

God created us to have free will. Once we take the mark, based on the comments above, our free will is gone forever! There is no turning back. If the few comments that I have included do not unsettle your spirit, then perhaps you need to take a long, hard look at your priorities. You should also take a long, hard look at the 20-30% of the Bible that you have ignored before it is too late. Just for reference, just in case you did not know, digital tracking technology is already in place! If you don’t believe me, take a look at the face recognition on your phone. Do you honestly believe your face scan stays on your phone? Do a search for something and then log into one of your social media accounts. I am positive you will immediately see ads for what you just searched for. If this can be done, what will this technology be used for in the hands of the antichrist?

Keep your eyes open to the world. We are told to watch and recognize the signs.

There is even one more important thing that we are told to do.

Keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Seek Him before it is too late!

October 7, 2022

Image

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.
(Judges 21:25 (NIV))

It is amazing what people will do when they think that no one is watching, or when they think that nothing they do will get them in trouble. In other words, if there are no consequences, people will do just about anything that they see fit to do!

This passage from Judges tells us that this was the case in Israel, and the events in the world during the last several years tell us that this is the case today. People simply don’t believe in any worldly authority. They definitely don’t believe in any heavenly authority. If you bring up the subject of God, they simply scoff, or they have their own ideas of what their god is like. Plus, when the laws aren’t upheld and people can get away with whatever they choose, people have no consequences for their actions. They follow the old saying that if it feels good, do it. They only care about themselves!

When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong.
(Ecclesiastes 8:11 (NIV))

I honestly feel that the situation in the world today is due to the live and let live concept, that there are no absolute right and wrong ways to live. When we praise the person who makes a fortune because they did it their way, we have lost any semblance of moral balance. When we praise the person who stepped all over others to achieve what they wanted, we praise them. Does this sound familiar?

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God
(2 Timothy 3:1-4 (NIV))

I don’t know about you, but these characteristics are all a result of the lack of consequences for wrong actions. During my lifetime, we have increasingly seen the consequences of sparing the rod and spoiling the child. These people have grown up to possess far too many of the characteristics written about by Paul in his letter to Timothy. They do not fear any repercussions, any consequences for anything that they do.

Do you fear the Lord? Do you understand that your sinful nature has consequences? On a side note, when people simply cannot understand consequences, I shake my head in disbelief. I have heard of too many people complaining about suffering from something like lung cancer even though they profess a faith in Jesus. We are forgiven the spiritual consequences of our sins, but we still live in a sinful, fallen world and the physical consequences still apply. No one makes it out of this world alive physically! As believers, we have eternal life, but that is not in these physical bodies that have been destroyed by sin. It is the sin that destroys. It is the lack of consequences that destroys.

If you have professed a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then you understand consequences. You understand that this life is fleeting and your only hope is in Jesus.

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
(Isaiah 55:6 (NIV))

Seek Him before it is too late!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


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

September 29, 2022

Image

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
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Do you believe this?

September 21, 2022

Image

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
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


Keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

September 15, 2022

Image

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
Support Daily Living Ministries
Subscribe to daily email delivery
Visit us on facebook


%d bloggers like this: