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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN 2 Corinthians
Devotional - Faith Tested
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Feb 28, 2019
Devotional - Faith Tested

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” – James 1:2-3

 

Rhonda Harrington Kelley was the daughter of Bob Harrington, who was known as the Chaplain of Bourbon Street. His ministry in New Orleans stretched for two decades. Then Bob left the Lord, left the ministry, and left his wife and family. Rhonda remembers what a painful time it was for the family.

Rhonda remembers: “God immediately spoke to me about forgiveness. I needed to forgive my dad even though he did not ask for forgiveness. Initially I did not want to forgive him, but later I chose to obey God's clear command. We prayed faithfully for Dad's restoration for 17 years before he returned to the Lord. What a time of rejoicing for our family! We were a part of his redemption story as Dad sought forgiveness from each of us.”

 

Through testing our faith can be strengthened. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that when we face trials, we do not have to face them alone. In Christ, we can endure them and preserve in our faith. 

 

"Faith must be tested, because it can only become your intimate possession through conflict. What is challenging your faith right now?" - Oswald Chambers

 

God’s Word: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” – 1 Peter 1:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

Devotional - The Sin Of Jealousy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Feb 27, 2019
Devotional - The Sin Of Jealousy

“For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.” – 2 Corinthians 12:20

 

In October 2017, police arrested Angela C. Zippilli, age 36, of Larksville, Pennsylvania. She was jealous her ex-boyfriend, Brian Miller, was dating other women and set his bed on fire, displacing six tenants in his building

Zippilli reportedly had a key to a first-floor unit where her ex-boyfriend, Brian Miller, resided. Zippilli entered Miller’s apartment when he was not home and allegedly set the bed on fire.

Firefighters had to force open a locked door to Miller’s apartment to extinguish the blaze.

A second-floor occupant directly above Miller’s apartment claimed she heard noises from the apartment below her about 10 minutes before she smelled smoke.

As firefighters battled the blaze, police responded to a vehicle crash at about 12:10 a.m., finding Zippilli trapped in the wreckage. The crash occurred about a half mile from the apartment building.

While Zippilli was trapped in her vehicle, she continued to use her cell phone to send text messages. She told a police officer she was in an argument with Miller and provided his address.

She was arrested for arson and endangerment.

 

Jealousy is a sin and it can inflame other sins. Today in prayer, confess any jealous thoughts to the Lord and seek to be thankful for all that is in your life.

 

“O! Beware, my lord of jealousy; It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.” – William Shakespeare

 

God’s Word: “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” – Galatians 5:19-21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - Endure Persecution
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Feb 26, 2019
Devotional - Endure Persecution

“That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:10

 

In January 2019, Fayaz and Samina Riaz, a Muslim couple living in Karachi, Pakistan, were asked to vacate their rented house by their Christian landlord, Amjad Dildar. According to local Christians, the Muslim couple had been “causing trouble among the Christian families in the community” and were asked to leave.

On Tuesday, February 19, Samina Riaz accused four Christian women, including three of her landlord’s daughters, of desecrating a Quran. She claimed they stole a copy of the Quran and ruined it by submerging it into a basin of dirty water.

As news of the accusation spread, a mob of enraged Muslims gathered and attacked several Christian properties, including Amjad Dildar’s house and a nearby church. The mob killed pets, livestock, and damaged several Christian homes by stoning them.

Approximately 200 Christian families fled their homes and moved to safer areas within Karachi. Local police have regained control of the neighborhood; however, members of the mob are still refusing to allow Christians to open their churches.

“After police investigated, it was revealed that Samina Riaz borrowed a copy of the Quran from Khalid Khan, a nearby shopkeeper,” Masih told ICC. “When she reached home, she threw it into a water tub in the restroom. She purposely alleged the Christian women of desecrating the Holy Book of Islam.”

Samina Riaz later admitted to orchestrating the incident and she and her husband, Fayaz, were arrested.

 

Many Christians in the world are enduring persecution for their faith in Christ. Today in prayer, pray for those who are persecuted that they may be strengthened in their faith as they endure hardship and that their persecution may soon end. 

 

“The servant of Christ must never be surprised if he has to drink of the same cup with his Lord.” – J.C. Ryle

 

God’s Word: “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” – Romans 5:3-5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - Not My Strength
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Feb 25, 2019
Devotional - Not My Strength

“If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 11:30

 

Although, Kendrick Farris was raised in a Christian family, attended youth group and vacation bible school, it wasn't until he suffered an injury in 2008 that he says he began to wholeheartedly pursue a relationship with God. 

"I've really been growing spiritually since then," he said.

Kendrick's success has grown as well, being twice named the U.S. National Champion, earning eighth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and finishing 10th at the 2012 London Olympics.

For Farris his weightlifting success gives him the opportunity to evangelize.

"I try to share my faith as much as possible, using this platform that I have as an Olympian," he said. "For me, part of that is just being real and showing that faith is a part of me. This is the truth for me."

 

All of us need to acknowledge that we are weak and Jesus is strong. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is strong enough to overcome every obstacle.

 

“We live in a world full of people struggling to be, or at least to appear strong, in order not to be weak; and we follow the gospel which says that when I am weak, then I am strong. And this gospel is the only thing that brings healing.” – N.T. Wright

 

God’s Word: “But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - Don't Compare
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Feb 24, 2019
Devotional - Don't Compare

“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” – 2 Corinthians 10:12

 

The phrase “Keeping Up with the Joneses” is an idiom referring to the comparison to one's neighbor as a benchmark for social class or the accumulation of material goods. To fail to "keep up with the Joneses" is perceived as demonstrating socio-economic or cultural inferiority.

The phrase originated with the comic strip “Keeping Up with the Joneses”, created by Arthur R. "Pop" Momand in 1913. The strip ran until 1940 in The New York World and various other newspapers. The strip depicts the social climbing McGinis family, who struggle to "keep up" with their neighbors, the Joneses of the title. The Joneses were unseen characters throughout the strip's run, often spoken of but never shown. The McGinis family was laughable as they constantly compared themselves to the Joneses and tried to “keep up” with them. The idiom keeping up with the Joneses has remained popular long after the strip's end.

 

The Lord has created each of us in a unique manner. We need to be humble in the descriptions of ourselves and not compare ourselves with others. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that that He has uniquely created you to bring glory to Himself and no comparison to others is needed.

 

“Personality begins where comparison leaves off. Be unique.” – Shannon L. Alder

 

God’s Word: “Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else” – Galatians 6:4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - Giving Thanks
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Feb 21, 2019
Devotional - Giving Thanks

“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.” – 2 Corinthians 9:12

 

Melodie Beattie, a noted self-help author, has survived abandonment, kidnapping, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, divorce, and the death of a child. Her international bestselling book, “Codependent No More”, introduced the world to the term “codependency” in 1986.

In her books she often stresses the importance of gratitude. She says, "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." She also said: “Gratitude isn't a tool to manipulate the universe or God. It's a way to acknowledge our faith that everything happens for a reason even if we don't know what that reason is.”

 

Give thanks to God continually and your giving will increase with your affection for God and others. Today in prayer, give thanks to God and ask Him how you can give to others.

 

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” – Gilbert C. Chesterton

 

God’s Word: “I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers” – Philemon 1:4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - Excel In Giving
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Feb 20, 2019
Devotional - Excel In Giving

“But just as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us--see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” – 2 Corinthians 8:7

 

Pastor Brian Kluth tells the following about giving:

“Do you remember the little boy in the Bible who tried to give Jesus his lunch to feed the 5,000, and the disciples thought it wasn’t enough? When I first wrote the ‘40 Day Spiritual Journey to a More Generous Life’ Bible devotional, I contacted seven Christian publishers to see if any of them would want to publish it. They all told me no one would ever want a generosity devotional. But my wife and I still felt Jesus could use this devotional to bless thousands. So, we took some inheritance money and printed the first 15,000 copies. Within 2 years, we had to print over 300,000 more copies to keep up with the demand. We also got requests from around the world to translate the book into 43 foreign languages. We feel just like the little boy that gave Jesus his lunch and stood in amazement as Jesus kept multiplying it to feed thousands.”

 

No one excels more in giving than the Lord. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for all that He has blessed you with and seek to excel in giving to the Lord.

 

“What I gave, I have; what I spent, I had; what I left, I lost —by not giving it.” – Christopher Chapman

 

God’s Word: “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed.” – Psalm 37:25-26

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - Repentance Road
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Feb 19, 2019
Devotional - Repentance Road

"yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us." - 2 Corinthians 7:9

 

Gordon MacDonald is Chancellor of Denver Seminary where he also served as interim president from 2008-09. He is Pastor Emeritus of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts, and Editor at Large of Leadership Journal.

He has written more than 12 books and co-authored others with his wife, Gail. On the subject of repentance he wrote:

“‘Repentance’ is not basically a religious word. It comes from a culture where people were essentially nomadic and lived in a world with no maps or street signs. It’s easy to get lost walking through the desert. You become aware that the countryside is strange. You finally say to yourself, I’m going in the wrong direction. That’s the first act of repentance. The second act of repentance is to go in an alternate direction. It implies that you not only do this but you admit it to your companions.”

 

The Lord wants us to walk the road with Him. Today in prayer, confess and repent of any sin in your life and follow Christ in all that you do.

 

"The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance." – Billy Graham

 

God's Word: "From that time on Jesus began to preach, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.'" - Matthew 4:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - Relying On His Resources
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Feb 18, 2019
Devotional - Relying On His Resources

“sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything” – 2 Corinthians 6:10

 

In 1962, Mother Angelica began a series of community meetings on matters relevant to Catholicism and also began recording her talks for sale. Bishop Joseph Vath noticed her talent for communicating with the lay public and encouraged her to continue; she began taping a radio show for broadcast on Sunday mornings and published her first book in 1972. In the late 1970s she began videotaping her talks for television, which were broadcast on the satellite Christian Broadcasting Network. In 1981, after visiting a Chicago television studio and being impressed by its capability, she formed the non-profit EWTN Corporation. Initially, she recorded her shows in a converted garage at the monastery's property.

It was at this time she had a satellite dish deliveryman at the door that needed $600,000 or he was going to return the dish, thus killing all the plans for the new television station. She ran to the chapel and prayed, and a man she’d never met randomly called and wanted to donate $600,000. Her prayer wasn’t answered because she had a personal interest in television and wanted it, but because she had correctly discerned God’s plan that she was to start a television station and He would provide the resources.

 

We are made rich when we love Jesus and follow Him. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that His love for us has made us rich.

 

“Oh, how holy and how rich is the poverty brought on by giving alms!”– Francis de Sales

 

God’s Word: “Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?” – James 2:5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - Now Is The Time
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Feb 17, 2019
Devotional - Now Is The Time

“For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.” – 2 Corinthians 6:2

 

Missionary to South Korea Dr. Worth Worley tells the following story: “One night while preaching at a halfway house in Taegu, South Korea where Mrs. Worley and I were missionaries, a group of inmates, after hearing the Word of God came forward to receive Christ as their personal Savior. We were happy to help them. After we had thoroughly led them through the Word of God, we then felt that they understood. Colonel Kim Chang Hup was one of them that gladly received Jesus Christ as his Savior. We then were having fellowship with them and I learned that the Colonel, who just received Christ as his Savior was a North Korean. Then I learned his story.

It seems that he was a spy that had been caught attempting to come South in order to assassinate South Korean President Park Chung Hee. Colonel Hup, was the leader of the spies. He had been in the South Korean prison for a number of years and had finally been rehabilitated. That was the Colonel’s fateful day. He heard the wonderful story of Jesus Christ and that day was his day of salvation. Later he was released he was baptized and was very faithful in our Taejon Bible Baptist Church."

 

We don’t have to wait for a special time to share the good news of the Gospel; today can be the day of salvation! Today in prayer, pray for your friends and family who do not yet know Jesus Christ and be bold and loving as you share the Gospel with them.

 

“God does not violate the human will when he saves men. They are not converted against their will, but their will itself is converted.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “This is what the LORD says: "In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances” – Isaiah 49:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - A New Creation
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Feb 14, 2019
Devotional - A New Creation

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Nabeel Qureshi was a young Muslim man living in Great Britain. He met David and they quickly became firm friends due to their common morals and devotion. “The time came when I challenged him on the reliability of the Bible,” said Nabeel, “and I had finally met someone who was equipped to defend his faith.While discussing the Bible and the Koran, he also challenged David on the divine authority of Jesus. “He responded to my points, but he also challenged me to contrast my arguments with a case for the authority of Muhammad. It was then that I realized my standards for criticizing the origins of Christianity would raze the foundations of Islam if I applied them consistently.”

Through an open heart and mind, the Lord was able to work in Nabeel’s life and he gave his life to the Lord. He is now reaching other Muslims for Jesus.

 

Jesus Christ can change lives into His image. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that in His hands we can become new creatures and our lives can bring Him glory.    

 

“I felt myself absolutely born again. The gates of paradise had been flung open and I had entered. There and then the whole of scripture took on another look to me.” – Martin Luther

 

God’s Word: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - Our Day In Court
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Feb 13, 2019
Devotional - Our Day In Court

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” – 2 Corinthians 5:10

 

On March 23, 2005, police officers arrested 32-year-old Ben Baker for dealing heroin in Chicago’s Ida B. Wells housing projects. After his arrest, Baker filed a complaint claiming he was framed by the officers. In December 2005, the same police officers arrested Baker and his wife during a traffic stop after officers said they found cocaine in the car.

During the trial, Baker and his wife, 34-year-old Clarissa Glenn, introduced two statements from two separate drug dealers saying they paid one of the officers, housing authority police Sergeant Ronald Watts, thousands of dollars in exchange for protection while dealing in the housing complex.

Baker was found guilty of felony drug possession and sentenced to 14 years on the heroin charge. He eventually agreed to plead guilty and serve four years on the cocaine charges in exchange for his wife receiving probation.

At sentencing, the judge told Baker:

“If something should happen in the future—where has happened before as you may have read about in the paper in the last few weeks police officers do get charged with doing things that are wrong, breaking the law. If that should happen here in this case, I would have no hesitation to vacate all of the guilty findings, judgments, sentences, including the 14 years that you’re doing now…If something should develop, then I think your lawyer has told you my position and I would vacate these findings and I would toss out these convictions.”

In September 2018, Cook County, Ill. Judge Leroy Martin Jr. overturned the convictions of 18 men who were victims of a corrupt group of Chicago police officers who fabricated evidence, falsified evidence, and planted contraband on suspects for more than a decade. 

Ben Baker’s conviction was among the 18 men.

 

The Lord promises that everyone will appear in His court and stand before Him one day. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that when you stand before Him your defense is that He paid the price for your sins on the Cross.

 

“The Christian making God's statutes his song, is a pilgrim to the judgment; the sinner treading upon the mercy of Jesus, and trampling upon His blood, is hastening to the judgment. ‘We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ.’” – Richard Fuller

 

God’s Word: “You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written: 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'” – Romans 14:10-11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - Our Hearts Are Not Blind
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Feb 12, 2019
Devotional - Our Hearts Are Not Blind

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

 

Gordon Mote was born on October 25, 1970, in Gadsden, Alabama, as a blind person. When he was just three, Gordon surprised his family on Thanksgiving by sitting down at the piano and miraculously playing “Jesus Loves Me” with both hands.

“My music is so eclectic today because I listened to every album I could get my hands on growing up. As kids, my brother (who is also blind) and I traveled and sang in churches of all sizes and denominations.” As a young man, Gordon became one of the first blind students in the country to be mainstreamed into the public school system and later received a full scholarship to Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. 

After graduating from Jackson State University, Lee Greenwood asked Gordon to join his band. Since then, he has toured with artists such as Trisha Yearwood, Tanya Tucker, Porter Wagoner, the Gaither Vocal Band, and the Gaither Homecoming Tour. In 2001, when a pianist was needed for Alan Jackson's "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" recording, Gordon was recommended. After that, he became a very sought-after studio musician, playing on numerous country and gospel artist's albums.

In 2007, his studio album, “Don't Let Me Miss the Glory”, was his debut as a vocalist. He tours regularly giving concerts and glory to Jesus.

 

Though we cannot yet see our Heavenly Father, we can hear and follow His Word. Today in prayer, set your heart’s focus on Jesus and follow His Word.

 

“It gives me a deep comforting sense that ‘things seen are temporal and things unseen are eternal.’” – Helen Keller

 

God’s Word: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - In Our Lives
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Feb 11, 2019
Devotional - In Our Lives

"For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body." - 2 Corinthians 4:11

 

At age 38, Augustus M. Toplady died in London. He was the author of the immortal hymn “Rock of Ages.”

He had everything before him to make life desirable, yet when death drew near, his soul exulted in gladness: “Sickness is no affliction, pain no curse, death itself no dissolution; and yet how this soul of mine longs to be gone – like a bird imprisoned in its cage, it longs to take its flight. Had I wings like a dove, then would I fly away to the bosom of God and be at rest forever.”

About an hour before he died he seemed to awaken from a gentle slumber. “Oh, what delights! Who can fathom the joys of heaven? What a bright sunshine has been spread around me! I have no words to express it. I know it cannot be long now till my Saviour will come for me... surely after the glories that God has manifested to my soul! All is light, light, light – the brightness of His own glory! O come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!”

He then closed his eyes and went home to be with the Lord.

 

The Lord wants us to live fully in Him so He may be glorified in us. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He loves you and that He can be gloried in your life.

 

"When we are abandoned by the things we value, when we discover that no matter how much we have gathered we do not have enough, when we realize that even in the currency we value we are very poor, we are ready to start talking to God. Not before. Faith means betting our lives on the grace of God." - M. Craig Barnes

 

God's Word: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." - Romans 8:35-37

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - When Pressed
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Feb 10, 2019
Devotional - When Pressed

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” – 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

 

Choi Kwanghyuk started an underground church in North Korea. “There were about nine people,” he said. “I couldn’t do mission work because we had to keep it secret that we had a church.”

“If that information had leaked, we could have faced the death penalty,”

Choi said. “We had only one Bible. North Hamgyong province is very cold. In the winter, we would dig a big hole and store kimchi there. We sometimes had services there. In the summer, we had services in the mountain or by the river.”

In 2008, North Korean authorities caught up to Choi and arrested him. He was held in prison by the state security department where he says he was interrogated about his faith.

“I was tortured there,” he said.

Choi escaped his camp before being transferred to one of North Korea’s brutal labor camps. He now lives in Los Angeles, California bringing awareness of Christians being persecution in North Korea.

 

When life presses in, look to Jesus. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that in every situation, He is faithful to lead us toward Himself.

 

“More persecution—more growing!” – Samuel Lamb

 

God’s Word: “Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.” – John 15:20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - His Likeness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Feb 7, 2019
Devotional - His Likeness

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” – 2 Corinthians 3:18

 

In 2014, a “virtual autopsy,” was performed on the mummy of King Tutankhamun. His golden burial mask shows a young man with strong, idealized features: a strong jaw, full lips, high cheekbones, and a regal brow.

But thanks to high-tech 3-D imaging, the truth has finally been unwrapped, and it is far less pretty.

Tut’s remains underwent CT scans, genetic analysis, and over 2,000 digital scans used to generate a computer model of the pharaoh. Previous attempts to reconstruct Tut’s visage were fairly attractive, based on the theories that he had sustained facial injuries in a fatal chariot race crash or when he was murdered.

This new research not only indicates that Tut was born with the misshapen features and prominent overbite that he took to his grave at 19, but that he was physically unable to participate in chariot racing.

The boy king, the new science reveals, was sickly, with twisted, malformed hips. He suffered from epilepsy and malaria, and had to walk with a cane due to a clubfoot.

He was not the beautiful young man his crypt depicted.

 

There is no photo or reliable portrait of Jesus Christ. The only Jesus many people will ever see is your transformed life in Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that you are being transformed into His likeness and let others see the glory of our Lord.

 

“We are called to be ‘stewards of the mysteries of God.’ . . . And the great mystery is ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.’ . . . And that glory is the glory of God.”  – John Piper

 

God’s Word: “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one” – John 17:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - Freedom In Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Feb 6, 2019
Devotional - Freedom In Christ

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17

 

In 1861, Russia had 23 million people living in slavery. They were serfs living on private estates.

Emperor Alexander II, called around him his council, and wanted to have them devise some way to set the slaves at liberty. After they had conferred about it for six months, one night the council sent in their decision, sealed, that they thought it was not expedient. The Emperor went down to the Greek Church that night and partook of the Lord's Supper, and he set his house in order, and the next morning you could hear the tramp of soldiers in the streets of St. Petersburg. The Emperor summoned his guard, and before noon sixty-five thousand men were surrounding that palace. Just at midnight there came out the Emancipation Manifesto that every slave in Russia was forever set free. The proclamation had gone forth, and all the slaves of Russia believed it. They have been free ever since. If one man can liberate twenty-three million, has not God got the power to liberate every captive?

 

There is liberty and freedom found in union with Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that in Him we have freedom.

 

“Man is really free only in God, the source of his freedom.” – Sherwood Eddy

 

God’s Word: “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” – John 8:31-32

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - The Fragrance Of Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Feb 5, 2019
Devotional - The Fragrance Of Christ

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” – 2 Corinthians 2:14-15

 

Roses are undoubtedly the most popular pleasant smelling flower in the world. There are more than 100 different species of roses. This beautiful flower is found in Asia, Europe and North America. It is also one of most common flower that can found in almost every garden.

The greatest collection of roses can be found every January 1 in Pasadena, California at the Tournament of Roses Parade.

All of the floats are entirely covered with living materials. They can be covered with anything from seeds and bark to multicolored varieties of flowers, grasses, vines and leaves. These motorized works of art are enormous, and their grand size and flowery scent is far more magnificent in person than on television. 

Though there are other flowers in the parade, it is the roses of the Rose Parade that make it the most beautiful, sweet-smelling holiday spectacle.

 

There is a sweet smell we enjoy when we are in fellowship with Jesus. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Christ, that there is a pleasing aroma of the knowledge of Him.

 

“When we lift our hands in praise and worship, we break spiritual jars of perfume over Jesus. The fragrance of our praise fills the whole earth and touches the heart of God.” - Dennis Ignatius

 

God’s Word: “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” – Ephesians 5:1-2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - The Way Of Forgiveness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Feb 4, 2019
Devotional - The Way Of Forgiveness

“Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.” – 2 Corinthians 2:7

 

Christy Little Jones of Fort Washington, Maryland received an email which stopped her heart: “You don’t know me, but I am no longer dating your husband,” it read. “I’m sorry for any pain I caused your family.” Christy recalls, “I felt paralyzed.” Until that point, Christy, a relationship coach, believed that she and Adrian, 46, her husband of 10 years, were happily married.

After reading and rereading that e-mail, Christy called her husband at work. Voice shaking, she demanded an explanation. “Adrian was defensive at first, said it never happened, and even hung up on me,” she remembers. “But a minute later he called back, crying, admitted it was true, and begged me to forgive him.” She said: “Once the initial shock passed, I was faced with a choice. I could either fight for my marriage or let this event change everything.” Christy made a conscious decision to forgive. It didn’t happen instantly. For the next six months, she struggled with resentment and the fear that Adrian would not be committed to making the marriage work. “Forgiving him was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” says Christy, “but his honesty made it easier.” So did the fact that Adrian confided his wrongdoing to two friends from their church. The three of them began meeting each week to pray together and discuss their faith and the importance of marriage. “I appreciated that he wanted other people to hold him accountable,” says Christy. “We continue to work on trust issues,” she admits. “But our marriage is stronger for it. I have no regrets.”

 

Forgiveness is a difficult act of love, but it demonstrates God’s love for us. Today in prayer, let the Lord know you have forgiven those who have hurt you and then let them know that you forgive them.

 

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Boese

 

God’s Word: “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – Colossians 3:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - A Clear Conscience
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Feb 3, 2019
Devotional - A Clear Conscience

"Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God's grace." - 2 Corinthians 1:12

 

Oswald Chambers in "My Utmost For His Highest" said, "Conscience is that ability within me that attaches itself to the highest standard I know, and then continually reminds me of what that standard demands that I do. It is the eye of the soul which looks out either toward God or toward what we regard as the highest standard. This explains why conscience is different in different people. If I am in the habit of continually holding God's standard in front of me, my conscience will always direct me to God's perfect law and indicate what I should do. The question is, will I obey? I have to make an effort to keep my conscience so sensitive that I can live without any offense toward anyone. I should be living in such perfect harmony with God's Son that the spirit of my mind is being renewed through every circumstance of life, and that I may be able to quickly ‘prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.'"

 

The Lord has given us a conscience to awaken us to sin. Today in prayer, confess any sin to Jesus and seek to keep a clear conscience before Christ and others.

 

"Conscience tells us that we ought to do right, but it does not tell us what right is--that we are taught by God’s word.” – H.C. Trumbull

 

God's Word: "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." - 1 Peter 3:15-16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - The God Of All Comfort
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Friday Feb 1, 2019
Devotional - The God Of All Comfort

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

 

In April 2001, Veronica and Charity Bowers died after a Peruvian military jet, believing the pontoon plane was smuggling drugs, shot it down over northeastern Peru. Jim Bowers, 38, and son Cory, 6, were also on board but were unhurt. Pilot Kevin Donaldson, 41, who managed to land the plane on the Amazon River, suffered serious leg wounds.

At the funeral for his wife and infant daughter, Jim said he has forgiven the Peruvian pilot who shot down their small plane and said his wife would have done the same. “I’m not bragging about my attitude. I have no idea why I feel this way,” Jim said. “God’s given me peace.”

In a 30-minute eulogy, spoke calmly as he recalled fond memories of his wife and daughter, and thanked people around the world for their prayers and words of comfort. “Obviously it hurts” Jim said. “But God works mysteriously to give me comfort so that I don't have to be sad all the time.”

 

At any time, we can look to Jesus Christ and receive comfort in Him. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Christ, that He is Lord of all, and seek comfort in Him so you may comfort others in Christ.

 

“It will greatly comfort you if you can see God’s hand in both your losses and your crosses.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus” – 2 Corinthians 7:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

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