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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN Acts
Devotional - There Will Be A Resurrection
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 30, 2020
Devotional - There Will Be A Resurrection

“and I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.” – Acts 24:15

 

Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of 20. 

Alexander expanded his rule to over 2 million square miles. He founded some 20 cities that bear his name, including Alexandria in Egypt. He spread Greek culture and language throughout the former Persian Empire. 

Centuries later, many Romans generals admired Alexander and desired to associate themselves with Alexander’s achievements. The Roman author Polybius began his “Histories” by reminding Romans of Alexander's achievements, and thereafter Roman leaders saw him as a role model. Pompey the Great adopted the epithet "the Great", even Alexander's haircut, and searched the conquered lands of the east for Alexander's 260-year-old cloak, which he then wore as a sign of greatness. 

Augustus Caesar was also a worshiper of Alexander. He traveled to Alexandria, Egypt to view Alexander’s burial place. When he was there, Augustus was asked if he would like to see the Egyptian ruler Ptolemy’s coffin. Augustus replied, “I came to see a king, not a corpse.”

 

Jesus Christ is alive. He died and rose from the grave. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His Resurrection and for promising that we too will have eternal life

 

“His resurrection is not only the object of our faith but the example of our hope.” - Thomas Adams

 

God’s Word: “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” – Philippians 3:10-11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

 

Devotional - A Good Conscience
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 29, 2020
Devotional - A Good Conscience

“Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, ‘My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.’” – Acts 23:1

 

In 1988, a team of sophisticated art thieves with ties to Bulgarian organized crime bypassed a burglar alarm and slipped into a sprawling 16th-floor apartment in one of Manhattan’s most exclusive neighborhoods.

They took their time and plundered the apartment of Ernest and Rose Heller, stealing artwork estimated at $750,000 at the time. 

Then in 2018, one of the stolen paintings surfaced. It was Chagall’s “Othello and Desdemona,” which had languished for years in a Maryland attic. 

The painting was discovered, in part, because an aging criminal, a terminally ill man who was 72 and who has long been involved with Bulgarian organized crime, wanted a clear conscience before he died. 

“One of the things he did say to me is that he was partially motivated by his imminent demise,” said Marc Hess of the FBI Art Crime Team. “He talked about meeting his maker and trying to clear his conscience and make things right before he dies.”

 

In all that we do, we need to honor the Lord and keep a good conscience.  Today in prayer, confess any sin to the Lord and seek to walk closely with Him and to have a clear conscience. 

 

“A good conscience is the palace of Christ; the temple of the Holy Ghost; the paradise of delight; the standing Sabbath of the saints.” - Augustine

 

God’s Word: “Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way.” – Hebrews 13:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Be An Encourager
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 28, 2020
Devotional - Be An Encourager

“When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said good-by and set out for Macedonia. He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece,” – Acts 20:1-2

 

Soichiro Honda was born on November 17, 1906, in rural Iwata-gun, Japan. In 1922 he graduated from the Futamata Senior Elementary School. The son of a blacksmith, Honda had little tolerance for formal education and jumped at every opportunity he had to work with his true love: motors. 

Honda was turned down for a job by Toyota Motor Corporation after interviewing for a position as an engineer, leaving him jobless for quite some time. He started making scooters of his own at home, and encouraged by his neighbors, finally started his own business.

Honda's first attempts at the personal motor business came in the mid-1940s when he designed and manufactured a small engine that could be attached to a bicycle to create a motorbike. The venture proved a great success.

Encouraged by his early success, in 1948 he organized the Honda Motor Company. The following year Honda manufactured a small motorcycle called the "Dream D". Within a decade Honda was the leading motorcycle manufacturer in the world. 

 

Everyone needs encouragement in this life. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for the encouragement you have received from others and seek to encourage someone today to follow Christ. 

 

“Flatter me and I might not believe you. 

Criticize and I might not like you 

Ignore me and I might not forgive you 

Encourage me and I will not forget you.” – William Arthur Ward

 

God’s Word: “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.” – Hebrews 3:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

 

Devotional - How To Be Saved
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 27, 2020
Devotional - How To Be Saved

“He then brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’  They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household.’” – Acts 16:30-31 

 

Pastor W.A. Criswell said the following: “I was seventeen years old when I began pastoring, preaching.  I look back over some of the things that I did and I am astonished at them.  Here’s one.  In this village where I was the undershepherd, there was one general store.  And the man who owned and ran that store was the number one citizen in that part of the earth.  Naturally, one store, and he owned it and ran it.  He was not a Christian.  I talked to him so fervently and earnestly.  And did you know in one of the morning services in the little church where I pastored, down the aisle he came.  Down the aisle, he came and took me by the hand.  And he said, ‘Today, I accept Jesus as my Savior.’

Oh, I was so wonderfully glad.  Then he added, ‘But I’m going back to my seat for I have said all of my life I will never stand down there at the front and confess my faith in the Lord Jesus.  I’m going back to my seat.’

I don’t know what I’d say to him now.  But this is what I said to him then, being a youngster in my teens.  I said to him, ‘Sir, you go back to your seat and you’ll go back a lost man.  You will face the judgment of God in the eternal damnation of hell and separation if you go back to your seat.  You have to stand here at the front and publicly, openly, and unashamedly confess your faith in the Lord Jesus.  And if you don’t, you’re going to be lost.  Now, I said, Let’s pray.’

And I took his hand again and prayed that God would give him that openness, that unashamedness to publicly confess His name, and commit his life to the Lord Jesus, and said amen.  And praise God, I don’t know what I would have done if he refused.  And praise God, he squeezed my hand and said, ‘Young fellow, I’ll do it.’  And there in the front of the church, he gave his life and committed his life to the Lord Jesus and was the leading member of that church for the years remaining in his days.  That is what it is to believe.  It is to commit your life to the Lord Jesus.”

 

Jesus Christ died for your sins. He desires to give you eternal life if you put your faith in Him. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is our Savior and has blessed us with eternal life in Him.

 

“Christians are not men and women who are hoping for salvation, but those who have experienced it.” – M. Lloyd-Jones 

 

God’s Word: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” – 1 John 5:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Living By Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 26, 2020
Devotional - Living By Faith

“He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.” – Acts 15:9

 

In March 2019, after a 30-year career in medicine in the United Kingdom, the Reverend Dr. Susan Salt resigned from her post in palliative medicine, voluntarily removed her name from the General Medical Register, and was ordained a deacon in Blackburn Cathedral.

A year later, at the start of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK, when the Government asked medics to return to frontline health care, by faith she answered the call. Dr. Salt, who is on the coronavirus task group for the diocese, returned to her post at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

She said: “I have found myself drawing on both my pastoral and medical experience to be a listening ear to staff and patients as all of us navigate the impact of this pandemic. It has been a profoundly humbling and exhausting experience which continues to challenge and inspire in equal measure.”

 

The Lord desires us to live by faith in Him. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He is a rewarder of those who place their faith in Him. 

 

“God does not call us to be successful. He calls us to be faithful." – Teresa 

 

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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

 

Devotional - Light To Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 23, 2020
Devotional - Light To Others

“For this is what the Lord has commanded us: "'I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'" – Acts 13:47

 

In 1827, Sarah Lanman Smith, at the age of 25, began sharing the Gospel with the Mohegan tribe close to her home in Connecticut. From hut to hut, she visited them in the forest, started a Sunday school, of which she and another young woman were the sole teachers, and provided books for those who could read. Not satisfied with this, she determined to build a church, and secure the services of a missionary. For this purpose, she wrote to several of her influential friends, to secure their cooperation and sympathy. For aid in her work, she also applied to the Connecticut General Assembly, and when that failed, she turned to the United States Secretary of War. She was successful and obtained the esteem and gratitude of the Mohegan. She usually rode from Norwich on horseback, and, taking a little girl with her into the saddle, passed from house to house, using the child as a guide, interpreter, and adviser. When she met in the road a few Native Americans or a group of men and women, she would stop her horse, and converse awhile with them. In this way, she gained the confidence and love of the people.

 

Jesus Christ has chosen us to be His ambassadors, to bring the light of the Gospel to others. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that we can reach others with the good news of Jesus Christ.

 

“Every heart with Christ is a missionary, and every heart without Christ is a mission field.” – Dick Hillis

 

God’s Word: “he says: ‘It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.’” – Isaiah 49:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Pray For Imprisoned Christians
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 22, 2020
Devotional - Pray For Imprisoned Christians

“So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.” – Acts 12:5

 

On January 11, 2015, his friend, Christian Pastor Peter Yein Reith, was arrested in Sudan after inquiring about fellow Pastor Michael Ruot in a letter he sent to the Religious Affairs Office in Khartoum.

For months, both pastors, who are from South Sudan, were secretly detained and held on unknown charges. Their families did not know their whereabouts.

Then seven months later on August 5, 2015, a Sudanese judge released Pastors Michael and Peter after an international advocacy campaign for their freedom. 

Following their release, the two pastors shared their gratefulness.

Pastor Michael said, “They released us today. We are happy. We had heard we won't be released. But praise God!”  Pastor Peter echoed his friend’s joy saying, “We are very happy now we are free because of your prayers. Thank you for all that you have done for us.”

 

There are many in the world that are being persecuted or are imprisoned for their faith in Christ. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to strengthen those who are imprisoned and to hasten their release.

 

“Jesus promised his disciples three things – that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and in constant trouble.” – G.K. Chesterton

 

God’s Word: “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.” – James 5:13-14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

 

Devotional - A Proud Name To Bear
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 21, 2020
Devotional - A Proud Name To Bear

“and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” – Acts 11:26

 

In 2008, a Lake County (Illinois) judge granted permission to a man to officially change his name to “In God We Trust.” That’s “In God” as a first name and “We Trust” as the last name.

The 57-year-old artist and bus driver was ecstatic about the name change as he exited the court.

“I feel great. It’s just like, yes!” We Trust said.

The entire process before Judge David Hall took less than two minutes, but We Trust said he was quite nervous.

“I have been praying for this. I didn’t want anything to mess this up,” he said.

We Trust said the new name more closely represents his devotion to God than “Steve Kreuscher” did.

The process to change his name took roughly three months. Throughout the course, We Trust said he was looking for a sign from God that would let him know it was a good idea. He got it one day while adding up the expenses for the name change, which came out to roughly $600.

“I didn’t want to use my own money because things are tight,” said the father of four. “Three weeks later, I got my (tax) rebate check for $600.”

Changing his name to something so out of the ordinary is bound to get mixed reactions from people, especially because of the religious overtones, he said.

“I’m not out to offend anybody. People can call me something different,” We Trust said.

We Trust must now go about changing his name on all legal documents. Early next week, he’ll visit the Social Security office in Waukegan and then the Secretary of State’s office and his bank.

He’s already begun signing his artwork with his new moniker, a move that may add value to his work.

“There are billions of artists out there. If you don’t do something to stand out in the crowd the world won’t recognize you,” We Trust said.

 

The name “Christian” is a proud name to bear and one we should always desire to be called. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that you are a member of His family and seek to bring Him glory in all that you do.

 

“God looks at you as if you were a little Christ: Christ stands beside you to turn you into one.” – C.S. Lewis

 

God’s Word: “However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” – 1 Peter 4:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

 

Devotional - No Prejudice
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 20, 2020
Devotional - No Prejudice

“Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.” – Acts 10:34-35

 

In 1807, The Third Baptist Church built the Charles Street Meeting House in Boston. It was built according to a design by Asher Benjamin. As was the case with every American church in the early 19th century, segregated seating was enforced. African Americans who attended this predominately white church could only sit in the gallery and were excluded from other privileges of membership. On a Sunday in 1836, Timothy Gilbert tested this exclusionary rule. Gilbert invited several African Americans to join him in his pew and he was immediately expelled from the church. Gilbert and several other members of Third Baptist Church subsequently founded the First Free Baptist Church, which became Tremont Temple. This church did not sell pews to individuals and is known as the first integrated church in America. In later years, Third Baptist Church did take a position against slavery, despite its earlier treatment of African Americans.

 

The Lord has created diversity and we are not to show prejudice to anyone. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He does not show favoritism and loves everyone.

 

“Never try to reason the prejudice out of a man. It was not reasoned into him and cannot be reasoned out.” – Sidney Smith

 

God’s Word: “Now let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.” – 2 Chronicles 19:7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

 

Devotional - Visions of the Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 19, 2020
Devotional - Visions of the Lord

“While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, 'Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.'” – Acts 10:19-20

 

For decades, a well-documented phenomenon has been occurring in the Muslim world—men and women who, without knowledge of the gospel, or contact among Christians in their community, have experienced dreams and visions of Jesus Christ. The reports of these supernatural occurrences often come from “closed countries” where there is no preaching of the gospel and where converting to Christianity can invoke the death sentence. But these are more than just dreams. Setting them apart is the intense reality of the experience and the surrender of one’s heart and mind to Christ in the wake of the dream.

Mohammed of northern Nigeria did not have just one dream of Jesus Christ—he had seven! Son of a prominent Fulani herdsman, Mohammed had studied the Qur’an in-depth at several Muslim schools and was preparing to leave for advanced studies in Saudi Arabia when he experienced the series of dreams that convinced him of the deep love and lordship of Jesus Christ. Although his father tried to kill him in the wake of his conversion, Mohammed survived the various attempts on his life and persevered in his Christian walk, eventually leading his father to faith in Christ.

 

The Lord will use every means, including visions and dreams, to bring the lost to Him. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He goes to great lengths to tell us that He loves us.

 

“We are experiencing an amazing phenomenon. Moslems in particular are having dreams and visions confirming the reality of Christ.” - Bill Bright

 

God’s Word: “he said, “Listen to my words: ‘When there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams.’” – Numbers 12:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Friends Need One Another
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 16, 2020
Devotional - Friends Need One Another

“But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.” – Acts 9:27

 

Randy Fernandez met Sal Guzman in second grade and they graduated from the same East Los Angeles high school. Both joined the military in the 1940s after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Guzman became a member of the Coast Guard. Randy served in the Army.

The two men are still alive and reside in Whittier, California. 

Their birthdays are only two weeks apart, so friends and family decided to have a giant celebration for the two men who turned 97-years old. 

In May 2020, they were treated to a drive-by parade in Whittier, including deputies, former members of the military, and many community well-wishers.

A sheriff's helicopter saluted them with a flyover. 

"I'm very thankful to friends and my family and I am glad we're still here. Hopefully, we'll be here another couple of years," said Guzman.

 

All of us in ourselves are incomplete.  Today in prayer, thank Jesus for your faithful friends. 

 

“A genuine friend helps out even when it comes at great personal cost. – Guy Caley

 

God’s Word: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” - John 15:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Yes Lord!
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 15, 2020
Devotional - Yes Lord!

“In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!" "Yes, Lord," he answered.” – Acts 9:10

 

In an article entitled “Trust and Obedience”, Rachel Balducci relates an experience she had while learning to drive an automobile:

“One evening, I was driving home from the grocery store; my dad was in the passenger seat and one of my brothers was buckled in behind me. We were climbing a hill in our neighborhood, heading towards an intersecting street that had a stop sign, giving us the right-of-way.

Just as we approached the intersection, my dad yelled.

“Stop,” he shouted, “stop the car!” I didn’t have time to ask or look – I threw my foot on the brake as hard and fast as I could. Immediately, a car flew in front of us with such speed that it seemed to be flying in the air.

The driver never even slowed down. That car came through the intersection so fast that if my dad hadn’t seen it, our van would have been crushed. I remember sitting for a split second, shaking badly, before I could put my foot back on the gas to pull down the street and into our driveway. We walked inside and I fell crying into my mom’s arms.

What I realized, what my dad told me several times after, was that my quick obedience saved our lives. That thought terrified me. If I had flinched, had taken even one second to ask my dad why I needed to stop when we didn’t have the stop sign, things would have turned out different that night.”

 

When you hear God calling, do you say “Yes, Lord!” Today in prayer, ask the Lord to give you a ready and willing heart to obey Him. 

 

“A servant of God has but one Master.” – George Mueller

 

God’s Word: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” – Colossians 3:23-24

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

 

Devotional - It's A Calling
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 14, 2020
Devotional - It's A Calling

“When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money and said, ‘Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’” – Acts 8:18-19

 

In 2005, Bobby Henderson wrote a satirical open letter to protest the Kansas State Board of Education decision to permit teaching intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in public school science classes. In the letter, Henderson demanded equal time in science classrooms for "Flying Spaghetti Monsterism", alongside intelligent design and evolution. After Henderson published the letter on his website, the Flying Spaghetti Monster rapidly became an Internet phenomenon and a symbol of opposition to the teaching of intelligent design in public schools. Its tenants (generally satires of creationism) are presented on Henderson's “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster” website, where he is described as "prophet", in “The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster”, written by Henderson in 2006. This “religious organization” is made up mostly of agnostics and atheists. For $25, people can become ordained ministers for life to poke fun at people of faith. 

 

Being called to ministry is a serious calling. It is representing Jesus Christ in every situation of life.  Today in prayer, praise the Lord for your pastors and their commitment to follow Jesus. Thank the Lord for their character, their commitment, and their knowledge of the Bible. 

 

“When appointing priests we should choose only those of spotless and upright character as our leaders.” – Cyprian of Carthage

 

God’s Word: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” – 1 Timothy 6:10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

 

Devotional - Give Attention To Prayer
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 13, 2020
Devotional - Give Attention To Prayer

“and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” – Acts 6:4

 

When Norman Vincent Peale was an American minister and author known for his work in popularizing the concept of positive thinking. On the subject of sin and prayer, Peale gave the following illustration:

When he was a boy, Norman found a large cigar and hurried off to a secluded spot to try it out. He didn't like it, but he felt grown up, at least until he saw his father coming. Hoping to distract his father, he pointed to a billboard advertising a circus. “Can I go?” he begged. “Can I go to the circus when it comes to town? Please, dad?” 

“Son,” his father replied, “One of the first lessons you need to learn about life is this: never make a petition while at the same time trying to hide a smoldering disobedience behind your back.”

 

It is good to confess our sins and only then come to the Lord in prayer. Today in prayer, come to your loving Father and pour out your heart, knowing that He wants to hear from you all of the time.

 

"I'd rather teach one man to pray than ten men to preach." - John Henry Jowett

 

God’s Word: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” – Ephesians 6:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - We Must Obey God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 12, 2020
Devotional - We Must Obey God

“Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men!’” – Acts 5:29

 

In July 1955, Andrew van der Bijl visited communist Poland "to see how my [Christian] brothers are doing". He signed up on a government-controlled communist tour, the only legal way to be in the country. During that time, the Netherlands native felt called to respond to the Biblical Commission, "Wake up, strengthen what remains and is about to die" (Revelation 3:2). That was the start of a mission leading him into several communist-ruled countries in which religious belief was actively persecuted. 

He became known as “Brother Andrew” and he began to smuggle Bibles into closed countries. He started in the 1950s in communist countries, including Poland, the Soviet Union, China, Czechoslovakia, and Cuba. He founded the non-profit organization “Open Doors” and his work continued to countries in other closed countries, particularly in the Middle East. Annually, Open Doors distributes millions of bibles in countries where it is illegal to own a bible. 

 

In all things follow Jesus and you will not be disappointed. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He alone must be worshiped no matter what circumstance we face. 

 

“Persecution for righteousness' sake is what every child of God must expect.” - Charles Simeon

 

God’s Word: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” – Matthew 5:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Avoid Deceit
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 9, 2020
Devotional - Avoid Deceit

“Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?” – Acts 5:3

 

On the morning of March 5, 2019, Adrianna Green called 911 to say that her neighbor had been hurling racist insults at her, and her friend Dyma Loving. The neighbor then pulled out a shotgun and threatened to shoot her. Four officers reported to the scene and interviewed Green and Loving about the incident before going to the neighbor’s home to interview him about the allegations.

They told Loving and Green “not to go anywhere.” 

Then two more officers reported to the scene. One of the officers, Alejandro Giraldo, pushed Dyma Loving against a fence before grabbing her by the neck and pulling her to the ground. Giraldo said he made the arrest because Loving “would not obey commands,” was “uncooperative,” and was “screaming at us, causing a scene in a residential neighborhood.” 

But police body cameras, as well as someone who videoed the arrest, showed Loving was not uncooperative and that officer Giraldo had lied in his report. 

 

There is no such thing as a “white lie.” Deceit in any form is a sin. Today in prayer, confess any sin of lying to the Lord and seek to make matters right. 

 

“Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle that fits them all.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

 

God’s Word: “I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.” - 1 Chronicles 29:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Be An Encourager
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 8, 2020
Devotional - Be An Encourager

“Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet.” – Acts 4:36-37

 

Benjamin West was an American-born artist, who painted famous historical scenes such as “The Death of Nelson” and “Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky”. He also painted religious subjects, as “The Preservation of St Paul after a Shipwreck at Malta” and “Christ Healing the Sick”. Entirely self-taught, West gained valuable patronage, and he toured Europe, eventually settling in London. He impressed King George III and West was largely responsible for the launch of the Royal Academy Arts in London. As a child, Benjamin’s mother left him alone with his little sister Sally. Benjamin discovered some bottles of ink and began to paint Sally’s portrait. When his mother came home, she noticed the painting, picked it up and said, “Why, it’s Sally!” and kissed him. Later, he noted, “My mother's kiss made me a painter.”

 

Life is hard, but encouragement to live in Christ is stronger. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for those who have encouraged you and seek to be an encourager to others.

 

“Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

 

God’s Word: “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.” – Hebrews 3:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020,

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Devotional - We Cannot Help Speaking
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 7, 2020
Devotional - We Cannot Help Speaking

“For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” – Acts 4:20

 

J. I. Packer is an English-born Canadian evangelical theologian. He served as general editor of the English Standard Version of the Bible. He is the author of more than 30 Christian books. In his book entitled “Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God”, Packer writes the following about evangelism: “How then should evangelism be defined? The New Testament answer is very simple. According to the New Testament, evangelism is just preaching the gospel, the evangel. Evangelizing, therefore is not simply a matter of teaching, and instructing, and imparting information to the mind. There is more to it than that. Evangelism includes the endeavor to elicit a response to the truth taught. It is communication with a view to conversion. It is a matter, not merely of informing, but also of inviting.”

 

Hearts are hungry wanting to hear the good news of the Gospel. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for the Gospel and ask Him who you should share the good news of Jesus Christ.

 

“Our power in drawing others after the Lord mainly rests in our joy and communion with him ourselves.” – J.G. Bellet

 

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” – 1 Peter 3:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

 

Devotional - Completely Turn From Sin
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 6, 2020
Devotional - Completely Turn From Sin

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you--even Jesus.” – Acts 3:19-20

 

In his book “A Month of Sundays”, Eugene H. Peterson writes: 

“There is an interesting history of the word repentance. The word in Hebrew means originally “to take a deep breath and sigh.” A deep feeling of sorrow, of remorse. Repentance at the root, at the very beginning, seems to have the idea that you realize that you have done something wrong and you feel badly about it. And you feel it deeply; it gets down deep inside you, and you groan or sigh or you breathe deeply.

All of us know how that works. We know that part of repentance. We know the part that has to do with our feelings. The interesting thing is that use of the word didn’t last long in the Bible. Very quickly the writers began to substitute another word for the same action, and this other word meant “return” or “turn around and go.”

Not a word of feeling at all, but a word of action. Under the influence of the prophets, repentance became not something you felt but something you did. And it’s essential you get that through your head if you are going to understand what the Bible means about repentance. You don’t repent by taking a deep breath and then feel better.

You repent only when you turn around and go back or toward God. It doesn’t make any difference how you feel. You can have the feeling, or you don’t have to have the feeling. What’s essential is that you do something. The call to repentance is not a call to feel the remorse of your sins. It’s a call to turn around so that God can do something about them.”

 

When the Lord gets a hold of our life, we should have a new focus. Today in prayer, repent from any and every sin in your life and follow Jesus.

 

“That promise applies to you today…repent of your sins and they will be blotted out!” – Jerry Shirley

 

God’s Word: “And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’” – Matthew 18:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Devoted Fellowship
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 5, 2020
Devotional - Devoted Fellowship

DEVOTED FELLOWSHIP                                   Monday - July 6, 2020

 

“They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” – Acts 2:42

 

In an article entitled “A Relationship Among Fellows”, Pastor Stuart Strachan Jr. writes:

“Did you know that the history of the word ‘fellowship,’ is, rather simply, a relationship among fellows? The idea of a fellowship being that two or more people have been bonded together in some significant way.

For obvious reasons, this idea of fellowship, or ‘koinonia’ in the Greek, came to signify the life of the early church. Why? Because of the unique power of the bond of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. This bond made through Christ enabled deep roots and ennobled the community of faith to the kind of rich, sacrificial life that Jesus himself modeled in the gospels.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his classic book on Christian community, ‘Life Together’, argues that Christian community is unlike any other community because of this unique bond, a bond that exists between each of us through Christ. When Jesus is at the center of our fellowship, the world is radically transformed. So, may the church be a relationship among fellows, a fellowship bound not by ethnicity, social class, or status, but by the redeeming power of Christ at work in us through the Holy Spirit.”

 

Are you in fellowship with other Christian believers? Today in prayer, thank Jesus for other believers and seek to draw closer to Christ by being in fellowship with other Christians.  

 

“Behind every saint stands another saint.” – Friedrich van Hugel

 

God’s Word: “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:25

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - The Need To Repent
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 2, 2020
Devotional - The Need To Repent

“Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 2:38

 

Ken Bailey was a laborer on the Alaska Pipeline back in the mid-1970s. He worked up in the icy cold for a year and came back home and decided to visit a church. The first Sunday he walked through the doors and sat in the back seat. He had a beard, looked like a Grizzly bear, and perhaps a man that would never become a Christian. That morning the gospel was preached and an invitation given. The instant the music began Ken came rushing down the aisle. Tears came down his face as he gave his life to Jesus. The next Sunday he came back to services and he was dressed in a 3-piece suit and no beard! When someone asked what caused him to shave and dress up he said, “Jesus changed me on the inside and I want people to know it - so I changed the outside.”

 

Once we realize the gravity of our own sin, the next step in healing our relationship with God is to repent of our sins. We need to trust that Christ died for those sins and He has forgiven us. Today in prayer, confess any sin in your life to Jesus and receive His forgiveness.

 

“True repentance has a double aspect; it looks upon things past with a weeping eye, and upon the future with a watchful eye.” – Robert Smith

 

God’s Word: “‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!’” – Mark 1:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Filled With The Spirit
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 1, 2020
Devotional - Filled With The Spirit

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” – Acts 2:4

 

In the world of sound technology, there is a new development called Hypersonic Sound (HSS). The inventor, Elwood “Woody” Norris, has engineered sound waves to travel like a laser beam for about 150 yards. This allows sounds to be heard by a person in a particular place but not by those immediately around them. The biggest advantage of this technology is that it does not include any complex electronic circuits having enclosures, crossovers, woofers, and midrange or tweeter elements as compared to a conventional loudspeaker system. You could be listening to music or specific instructions while those standing next to you would be left in total silence. If you move out of the tightly formed path of these unique sound waves you too will be unaware of any noise.

God's communication with us is very similar to these sound waves. We must be in the right place to hear the Holy Spirit, and when we’re there the message is clear. If we move away from the pathway of His voice we become unaware of the fact that He is communicating with us and we consequently miss the message.

 

We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit, listening, and following Him in all that we do. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to fill you with the Holy Spirit that you may do His will.  

 

“Savior, fill me with Thy Spirit, As I seek and wait and pray, 

Bend and break me, blessed Master—Make me wholly Thine today.

Lord, I bow in full surrender, Yielding all I have to Thee:

Come and fill me with Thy Spirit—Sanctify Thyself in me.

I would tarry in Thy presence, 'Til endued with power and love:

I would know the mighty fullness, Of Thy Spirit from above.

Will He come in all His fullness, As I now obey Thy call?

Yes, oh, yes, for Thou has promised, If I come confessing all.” —Oswald J. Smith

 

God’s Word: “he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior” – Titus 3:5-6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Made To Be Played
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jun 30, 2020
Devotional - Made To Be Played

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8

 

Fritz Kreisler was a world-famous violinist, who earned a fortune with his concerts and compositions, but he generously gave most of it away. So, when he discovered an exquisite violin on one of his trips, he wasn’t able to buy it. Later, having raised enough money to meet the asking price, he returned to the seller, hoping to purchase that beautiful instrument. To his great dismay, it had been sold to a collector. Kreisler made his way to the new owner’s home and offered to buy the violin. The collector said it had become his prized possession, and he would not sell it. Keenly disappointed, Kreisler was about to leave when he had an idea. “Could I play the instrument once more before it is consigned to silence?” he asked. Permission was granted, and the great virtuoso filled the room with such heart-moving music that the collector’s emotions were deeply stirred. “I have no right to keep that to myself,” he exclaimed. “It’s yours, Mr. Kreisler. Take it into the world, and let people hear it.” We have a message to share. Our heavenly Father created us as exquisite instruments, and the beautiful music we are to make is the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. We were made to be played.

 

The Lord desires us to reach others for Him. Today in prayer, ask the Lord how you can be His witness in the world.

 

“It is always right that a man should be able to render a reason for the faith that is within him.” – Sydney Smith

 

God’s Word: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020,

Devotional E-Mail DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

 

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