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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN Galatians
Devotional - Doing Good
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 27, 2018
Devotional - Doing Good

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." - Galatians 6:9

 

In November 2002, Jeff Trask, Associate Pastor of New Covenant Fellowship in Champaign, Illinois, attended a workshop led by Bruce Miller, Director of Lawndale Christian Health Center in Chicago, Illinois. After speaking with Bruce and visiting Lawndale, Pastor Jeff began developing the concept for a Christian health center Champaign County for those without health insurance.

In January 2003, two attendees of New Covenant Fellowship, Wayne Mathews, a Physician Assistant, and Nita Skeels, a long-time CCDA supporter joined Pastor Jeff in organizing an informational meeting open to anyone interested. In May 2003, eighteen people from various church, racial, and professional backgrounds attended this informational meeting just by word of mouth.

In September 2004, Champaign County Christian Health Center (CCCHC) was formed. It developed into a health center that provides health education, preventive services, and primary care. The mission of CCCHC is to show and share the love of Jesus Christ to the people of Champaign County by providing holistic, free, and quality health care services.

Annually serving more than 1500 people, CCCHC is the recipient of the Daily Point of Light Award for doing good in their community.  

 

The Lord wants us to be people of action, always doing good to help others and to bring glory to God. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He is our greatest example of doing good and seek to do good in all that you do.

 

"When you are able to do good, do not defer it." - Polycarp

 

God's Word: "Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share." - 1 Timothy 6:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

Devotional - Do Not Be Conceited
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 26, 2018
Devotional - Do Not Be Conceited

"Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other." - Galatians 5:26

 

Salvador Dalí was a prominent Spanish surrealist painter. He was a talented artist whose conceit exceeded his imagination.

"Every morning when I awake, the greatest of joys is mine: that of being Salvador Dalí" he once said.

He was criticized for choosing to live under General Franco's fascist government in Spain. Dalí defended his position by stating that he didn't care about others so long as he could be king.

If he wasn't getting enough attention, he was known to walk the streets of New York City clanging a hand bell. He is also the man who once said, "The thought of not being recognized [is] unbearable."

He summarized his ambitions, and his conceit, by saying: "At the age of 6 years, I wanted to be a chef. At the age of 7, I wanted to be Napoleon. My ambitions have continued to grow at the same rate ever since."

 

Conceit is a sin - be on your guard against it! Today in prayer, confess any sin of conceit in your life and seek to walk humbly with the Lord.

 

“Conceit, more rich in matter than in words, brags of his substance: they are but beggars who can count their worth.” – William Shakespeare

 

God's Word: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

Devotional - The Sin Of Envy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 25, 2018
Devotional - The Sin Of Envy

“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

 

Christine Paolilla had a rough childhood. Her father passed away when she was just two-years-old and her mother struggled with drug addiction. To top it all off, she suffered from alopecia, a hair-loss condition, leaving her to go through school bullied for wearing a wig.

However, in Paolilla's junior year at Houston's Clear Lake High School, she was taken under the wing of two "cool girls," Rachael Koloroutis and Tiffany Rowell. After receiving a makeover from the two girls, Paolilla was even voted "Most Irresistible" by the student body. Despite their kindness, Koloroutis and Rowell were shot at point-blank range and killed in 2003, along with a cousin and boyfriend. It took three years to connect the murders to then 17-year-old Paolilla and her boyfriend Chris Snider, thanks to a tip.

Though Paolilla has since blamed her actions on Snider, who committed suicide, investigators believe her envy of the beautiful and popular young women who were supposed to be her best friends. While nothing ever came easy for Paolilla, her friends seemed to naturally possess the qualities she wanted most. She was sentenced to 40 years in prison in 2012.

 

Envy is an abhorrent sin and one that leads to many other sins. Today in prayer, confess any sin of envy to the Lord and seek to rejoice in other’s successes as you follow Christ.

 

“Envy is the diabolical sin.” – Augustine

 

God’s Word: “Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple. – Job 5:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

Devotional - Love Your Neighbor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 24, 2018
Devotional - Love Your Neighbor

"The entire law is summed up in a single command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" - Galatians 5:14

 

On March 10, 2018, Allen Clemmons was working on his Mustang convertible in his backyard in Sumter, South Carolina. As he attempted to remove the transmission, the car slid off the blocks and jack holding it up and fell onto Clemmons.

"I was having a really hard time breathing with it on top of me, even though I was kind of on my side," Clemmons said.

For the next hour and a half he called out for help, but no one responded. His family was out running errands and most neighbors were out of earshot.

"I asked God to help me, to give me one more holler and send an angel by my way," Clemmons said. "The last holler before I give up."

After letting out that last holler, Clemmons was shocked to see 9-year-old Malachi running from a nearby yard.

"I was playing outside and I heard someone yelling," Malachi said. "He was saying something like he was stuck but I didn't know what he meant."

When Malachi got close enough to see what had happened, he immediately grabbed a nearby jack and with the help of Clemmons guiding him, was able to get it back under the car. From there, he began pumping the two-foot pole until the car was raised off of Clemmons.

"My uncle taught me how to use a jack so I knew how," Malachi said.

After relieving Clemmons of the weight of the car, he ran back to his aunt's house to get help. Shortly after, a tow truck arrived and with the help of another jack, onlookers were able to pull Clemmons out from underneath the car. He was flown to Palmetto Health in Columbia for his injuries.

"I have six broken ribs and a fractured pelvis," Clemmons said. "My shoulder is also banged up."

Despite being injured, Clemmons said he is happy to be alive and thankful to his neighbor Malachi for saving his life.

"I don't think I would have survived another 30 minutes," he said. "It was getting really hard to breathe. He is truly my guardian angel."

 

Do you love others as Jesus loves you? Today in prayer, seek to love your neighbor for Jesus' glory.

 

"Love is an act of endless forgiveness" - Peter Ustinov

 

God's Word: ""The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."" - Mark 12:29-31

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

Devotional - Serve In Love
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 23, 2018
Devotional - Serve In Love

"You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love." - Galatians 5:13

 

Each year St. Michael the Archangel High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana presents a service award to the seniors who demonstrate the best in Christian Service. In April 1997, Abigail Matthews was one of the winners who received the Mother Teresa of Calcutta Christian Service Award.

Her award read: “Abigail Matthews reached her required school service hours and continued to seek ways to serve and encourage others to join her.  Service is something that brings her great joy.  Abigail has taken part in a summer service camp, in which she lived the life of the poor and served many people who were disadvantaged, disabled and elderly along the way.  She also dedicated three weeks of her summer serving with the Missionaries of Charity sisters at their camp for children in poverty.  Her undying love for persons with disabilities is seen in an incredible amount of service done through Miracle League.  However, Abigail’s heart for service is seen mostly in the small ways that she reaches out to those who others would not even notice. Through her smile, her presence and simple conversations, she has been the presence of Christ to others.”

 

When we serve one another, we glorify our Father in Heaven. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He showed us how to serve. Seek to serve others to bring glory to Christ.

 

"No man was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” – Calvin Coolidge

 

God's Word: "The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." - Matthew 23:11-12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

Devotional - Freedom In Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 20, 2018
Devotional - Freedom In Christ

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." - Galatians 5:1

 

At age 18, Mary Frances became a prisoner of the sex trade industry. She grew up on the ‘wrong side of the tracks’ in Louisville Kentucky. “I’m one of 15 children born into a family of poverty, alcoholism, depression, mental illness, drug abuse,” she said.

For the next 35 years, she worked in strip clubs and in prostitution.

Mary tried to escape the black hole of the adult entertainment industry but its pull was too powerful. “I hated being there. But, I had no support, nowhere to live,” she says. “I’ve got to eat. I’ve got to sleep. I have to survive.”

Several times, Mary was overcome by guilt and shame. Once, she even attempted suicide. 

Then someone gave Mary a Bible.  She began reading it in the dressing room of the club where she was a dancer.  “I would find myself with a pocket Bible in the back of this nasty club, and I would pray and cry out to God.” She started going to church and met some Christians.

Then one evening, two ladies from Scarlet Hope, a group which ministers to women in the sex trade, came to her club. “I’m sitting on this barstool. And then it occurs to me, these are the church ladies. I jumped up, ran across the room and grabbed this one girl and I said, ‘I need prayer!’ So immediately they prayed for me.”

The ladies gave Mary food and invited her to a Bible study and to church.  “I’d never seen love like this. They didn’t come to judge. They didn’t even tell me to get out of there. They just came to tell me Jesus loves me, and I never knew that,” Mary says. “So I went to the shack where I lived, and I laid down and took out the Bible that I had in that bag. And in my broken, sniveling tears, He heard me. God heard me.” 

 

Only Christ can free us to be who we were created to be. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that in Him we are free from sin.

 

"We find freedom when we find God; we lose it when we lose Him.” – Paul E. Scherrer

 

God's Word: "Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God." - 1 Peter 2:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

Devotional - Christian Zeal
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 19, 2018
Devotional - Christian Zeal

"Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you [from us], so that you may be zealous for them. It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always and not just when I am with you." - Galatians 4:17-18

 

In an article entitled “Christian Zeal,” English Evangelical Anglican bishop J.C. Ryle wrote the following:

“We all know the habit of mind that makes men great in this world-that makes such men as Alexander the Great, or Julius Caesar, or Oliver Cromwell, or Peter the Great, or Napoleon.

We know that with all their faults they were all men of one thing. They threw themselves into one grand pursuit. They cared for nothing else. They put everything else aside. They counted everything else as second-rate and of subordinate importance, compared to the one thing that they put before their eyes every day they lived. I say that the same habit of mind applied to the service of the Lord Jesus Christ becomes Christian zeal.

We know the habit of mind that makes men great in the sciences of this world-that makes such men as Archimedes, or Sir Isaac Newton, or Galileo, or James Watt. All these were men of one thing. They brought the powers of their minds into one single focus. They cared for nothing else. And this was the secret of their success. I say that this same habit consecrated to the service of God becomes Christian zeal.”

 

We should be zealous to know the Lord and to make Him known. Today in prayer, thank Christ for the passion that He has for you and seek to be zealous only in knowing Christ deeper.

 

"Zeal without knowledge is fire without light." – Thomas Fuller

 

God's Word: "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." - Romans 12:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

Devotional - Joy In Jesus
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 18, 2018
Devotional - Joy In Jesus

"What has happened to all your joy? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me." - Galatians 4:15

 

Brookstone is a retail store and a mail order company that prides itself on innovative products. Their web site boasts: “Every day, people around the world go to Brookstone to see what's new, find smart solutions to real life problems and have some fun. Always marvelous-never ordinary-Brookstone products do amazing things in surprising ways.”

Rick Chollet was the president of Brookstone Company when it was still a small mail order company. He transformed it into a national retailer.

But on March 18, 1991, Chollet took his own life. He locked the garage door of his New Hampshire house, climbed into his BMW, and turned on the engine. He left behind a note that read, “Please forgive me, but the thought of going through the torture of living is just too much to bear.”

 

Let Jesus be your joy, not the things of this world. Today in prayer, praise the Lord with all of your heart and seek Him in all that you do.

 

"The opposite of joy is not sorrow. It is unbelief." – Leslie Weatherhead

 

God's Word: "If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." - John 15:10-11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

Devotional - No Longer A Slave
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 17, 2018
Devotional - No Longer A Slave

"So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir." - Galatians 4:7

 

In 1843, Omoba Aina was born in a village in West Africa. She was a princess of the Yoruba people. Her parents died during an intertribal war and she was sold into slavery.

Intended by her captors to become a human sacrifice, she was rescued by British naval officer Frederick Forbes, who was on a mission to end the slave trade. He convinced her captor to give her to Queen Victoria; "She would be a present from the King of the Blacks to the Queen of the Whites," Forbes wrote later.

Forbes renamed her Sara Forbes Bonetta, Bonetta after his ship HMS Bonetta. In 1850, she met the queen, who was impressed by the young princess's exceptional intelligence, and had the girl, whom she called Sally, raised her as her goddaughter. She grew up with Queen Victoria’s nine other children as a daughter of royalty.

 

We were all once slaves to sin, but now freed by our Heavenly Father who has adopted us as His son. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He has made you His child.

 

"Formerly slaves, Christians, are now both sons and heirs." – James Montgomery Boice

 

God's Word: "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will" - Ephesians 1:4-5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

Devotional - All One In Christ Jesus
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 16, 2018
Devotional - All One In Christ Jesus

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." - Galatians 3:28

 

In January 1945, 16-year-old Sarah Matuson was among the inmates of Stutthof concentration camp in Poland who were taken on a death march to the Baltic coast. The group of 1,200 women, including her sister, Hannah, and her mother, Gita, was staggering in the snow, dressed in rags, with only wooden clogs on their feet, with no food and under the heavy blows of the SS guards. Hundreds of women perished on the way and only about 300 survived. Seeing the hopelessness of their situation, Sarah’s mother pleaded with her daughter to try and escape. The Lithuanian, Jewish girl succeeded to leave the line of prisoners unnoticed and found refuge in a barn where she collapsed.

It was here that she was found by a group of British prisoners of war. Stan Wells was working on Mrs. Miller’s barn. He belonged to a group of British prisoners of war who had been captured in 1940 in France, and who were transferred to the east, interned in a camp close to the Baltic coast, where they were engaged in various tasks in the German farms of the area. Finding Sarah who was starved and totally exhausted, Wells first gave her some food and then brought her to the other prisoners wrapped in an old army coat. Shocked by her poor physical condition, they decided to help her. They smuggled Sarah into their prisoner of war camp - Stalag 20B in Gross-Golmkau, where they hid her in a hayloft. Because she was in a fragile state, they took turns in caring for her.

On the eve of their evacuation into Germany, Sarah’s British benefactors arranged for a local woman to take care of Sarah until the arrival of the Soviet Army.

After liberation Sarah found out that she was the only survivor of her family. The British POWs were later honored by Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Center as Righteous Among The Nations.

 

We are all equal before Christ’s throne and are precious in His sight. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to expose any prejudice in your life, confess it as sin, and be as impartial as Jesus is in all of your relations.

 

“Jesus loves the little children, All the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, All are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.” - C. Herbert Woolston

 

God's Word: "Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all." - Colossians 3:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

Devotional - God's Grace
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 13, 2018
Devotional - God's Grace

"For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise." - Galatians 3:18

 

Elizabeth Keckley was a slave in Missouri before the Civil War. Her greatest desire was to purchase freedom for herself and her son. Her owner agreed that if she could raise $1,200 she could gain her freedom. Elizabeth worked as a seamstress and came up with a plan to go to New York City and work there to raise the money, but her owner feared that she would not return.

Instead, one of her wealthy clients in St. Louis, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Le Bourgeois, contributed the money she needed. Lizzie said: “It would be a shame to allow you to go North to beg for what we should give you.”

Elizabeth was able to pay the price for her freedom as well as her son’s. She moved to Washington, DC, where she counted Mary Lincoln among her dressmaking clients. But without Lizzie’s graceful gift, Elizabeth would never have been able to purchase her freedom on her own.

 

We are all enslaved to sin. But with God’s grace, we can be free. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His death on the Cross. Thank Him that He is with you and continually gives grace to you.

 

"No one is safe by his own strength, but he is safe by the grace and mercy of God." - Cyprian

 

God's Word: "For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." - John 1:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

Devotional - He Rescued Us
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 12, 2018
Devotional - He Rescued Us

“He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” – Galatians 3:14

 

On June 23, 2018, 12 young members of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach went exploring into the Tham Luang Cave in Thailand. Suddenly, rising floodwater cut them off deep inside the cave. Spaces through which the boys previously crawled were now completely underwater.

Thailand’s Navy SEAL Divers were able to locate the boys and their coach and brought them food, blankets and other supplies. The team was found around two kilometers (1.24 miles) into the cave and somewhere between 800 meters (2500 feet) below the surface.

A daring rescue was devised. A team of 2 divers would escort one person at a time. Because of the darkness, the coach or boy was tied loosely to the lead diver who carried the team member’s oxygen bottle. Because it took several hours to manipulate the cave, multiple oxygen tanks needed to be staged within the cave.

After being trapped for 18 days, the rescue was completed.

"We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave," said a Thai Navy SEAL.

 

Christ’s death on the Cross was the largest rescue event in history. Today in prayer, give thanks to Jesus that He saved you.

 

“By the cross we know the gravity of sin and the greatness of God’s love towards us.” – John Chrysostom

 

God’s Word: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men--the testimony given in its proper time.” – 1 Timothy 2:5-6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

Devotional - Not Above The Law
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 12, 2018
Devotional - Not Above The Law

"All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law."" - Galatians 3:10

 

On September 11, 2018, a Dallas police officer was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. 

Rowlett, Texas police arrested Officer Ashley N. Parmley, age 33, after someone called 911 about 2:15 a.m. to report a possible drunken driver near Highway 66 and the Bush Turnpike.

Officers found a vehicle stopped less than two miles away in the parking lot of a business in the 4300 block of Miller Road that matched the description the caller had given.

Parmley, 33, was sitting in the driver's seat and was "showing signs of intoxication," police said. 

She was brought to the Rowlett City Jail. She faces charges of driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest. 

The case is still under investigation. Bail has not been set. 

Parmley is a three-year veteran of the department and is assigned to the north central patrol division. 

She was placed on administrative leave.

 

No one is perfect, even those who are tasked to enforce our laws. We all fall short of the letter of the law. Give thanks to Christ, who lived a perfect life, and gives us His grace. Today in prayer, thank God for the law that it points us to His love and grace.

 

"The utility of the law is, that it convinces man of his weakness, and compels him to apply for the medicine of grace, which is in Christ." - Augustine

 

God’s Word: “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness." - Genesis 15:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

Devotional - Live By Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 10, 2018
Devotional - Live By Faith

"Consider Abraham: ‘He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’" - Galatians 3:6

 

George Beverly Shea was born on February 1, 1909 in Winchester, Ontario, Canada. He was the son of a Wesleyan Methodist Pastor. He is remembered as the gospel singer at Billy Graham Crusades. George became a Christian at the age of five or six, but made a re-dedication to Christ when he was 18. He remembered:

“There were times when I needed to rededicate my life to the Lord Jesus. When I was 18, my dad was pastoring a church in Ottawa, and I was feeling not too spiritual. The church was having a ‘special effort,’ as they called it, for a week. I remember that on Friday night Dad came down from the pulpit and tenderly placed his hand on my shoulder. He whispered, ‘I think tonight might be the night, son, when you come back to the Lord.’ Whatever Dad did or said, I listened to him and respected him. And, yes, that was the night!”

 

No matter what your circumstance, live by faith in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, give your concerns to Jesus and trust in Him.

 

“All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired.”– Martin Luther God’s Word: “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness." - Genesis 15:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

Devotional - Avoid Hypocrisy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 9, 2018
Devotional - Avoid Hypocrisy

"The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray." - Galatians 2:13

 

The Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau made an impressive number of contributions to modern political thought, but his favorite work, and the one he considered his most important, was the 1762 book “Emile, or On Education”, a treatise on the education of children.

Opposing the strict, authoritarian education style of his day, Rousseau maintained that children should be free to discover the world on their own, play, and explore, with an ever-approachable father always present to answer their questions about the nature of the world. The book was shunned in its day, but eventually caught on and continues to influence our ideas about education now.

So how did Rousseau treat his own children?

His lover Therese gave birth to at least five kids, and in his autobiography, Rousseau admits that he persuaded her to give up each of their children to an orphanage (or a "foundling hospital," as it was known) pretty much as soon as the children entered the world.

What was Rousseau’s reason for his hypocritical behavior? He didn't think he'd be a good enough teacher for his kids, which kind of puts a damper on his education revolution.

 

Hypocrisy is a sin. Today in prayer, confess any sin of hypocrisy in your life and seek to have integrity in all that you do.

 

"Do not live one way in private, and another in public.” – Quintilian

 

God's Word: "Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind." - 1 Peter 2:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

Devotional - Remember The Poor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 6, 2018
Devotional - Remember The Poor

"All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do." - Galatians 2:10

 

According to Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, the person who has had the single greatest impact on addressing global poverty in the past twenty-five years is a largely unknown World Vision staffer named Steve Reynolds. In 1985, a young Steve Reynolds was working in Ethiopia, during what was the worst famine of a generation. Steve spent many dreary days in the relief camps as an eyewitness to the horrors of massive starvation and death, gathering information that he hoped would provoke people to notice and respond.

One day he got a call from headquarters asking if he would host a young European couple, Ali and Paul Hewson, who wanted to visit and learn firsthand what was happening. Steve was willing to help. Ali and Paul stayed almost a month, rolling up their sleeves to help and showing tireless compassion. Paul was a musician, so he entertained the kids by writing little songs. Paul and Ali finally went home but not before they had committed to do whatever they could to help. You may know Paul better by his nickname, Bono.

Since that trip in 1985, Bono, the lead singer of the Irish rock group U2, has traveled the globe as an advocate for the poorest of the poor. He has met with kings and queens, presidents, prime ministers, and the pope. He has lobbied members of parliaments and congresses. He has persuaded governments to appropriate billions of dollars of aid to the poor.

But in a later interview with Christianity Today, Bono specifically mentioned the key influence of Steve Reynolds. Bono said, "All of this started for me in Ethiopia in the mid-'80s, when my darling wife and I went out there as children, really, to see and to work in Africa."

Twenty-seven years later Steve Reynolds still works for World Vision working behind the scenes on behalf of the world's poorest people. 

 

We need to continually remember the poor and help provide for their basic needs. Today in prayer, ask Jesus how you can tangibly serve others this week.

 

"When we serve the poor and the sick, we serve Jesus. We must not fail to help our neighbors, because in them we serve Jesus." – Isabel Flores de Oliva

 

God's Word: "After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring my people gifts for the poor and to present offerings." - Acts 24:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

Devotional - Following God's Call
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 5, 2018
Devotional - Following God's Call

"But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man" - Galatians 1:15-16

 

George Truett was studying law and, occasionally, preaching for First Baptist Church in Dallas when the pulpit needed filling. One night in 1897, during a church business meeting, an older man arose and, in part, said, "This church has a duty to perform, and we have waited late and long to get about it. I move, therefore, that this church call a presbytery to ordain George W. Truett to the full work of the gospel ministry." This motion was made and seconded without consulting Truett.

Truett was thunderstruck. He rose to his feet and said, "You have me appalled; you simply have me appalled."

But one person after another stood up and said, "Brother George, we have a deep conviction that you ought to be preaching." He begged them to hold off for six months. They said, "We won't wait six hours. We are called to do this thing now… we dare not wait … we must follow our convictions."

Truett recalled, "There I was, against a whole church, against a church profoundly moved. There was not a dry eye in the house - one of the supreme solemn hours in the church's life. I was thrown into the stream, and just had to swim."

George Truett was the pastor at First Baptist in Dallas for 47 years.

 

The Lord calls each of us to follow Him and to do His will.  Today in prayer, thank Christ for calling you and be faithful in following the Lord’s will.

 

"The responsible person seeks to make his or her whole life a response to the question and call of God." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

God's Word: "As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received." - Ephesians 4:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

Devotional - Man Made Religions
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 4, 2018
Devotional - Man Made Religions

"I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ." - Galatians 1:11-12

 

In 1954, George King founded the Aetherius Society. It was a new religious movement as the result of what King claimed were contacts with extraterrestrial intelligences that he referred to as "Cosmic Masters". The main goal of the believer is to contact these Cosmic Masters, who may help humanity solve its current Earthly problems and later allow them a place in the world to come.

It is a New Age and UFO religion. Emphases of the religion include altruism, community service, nature worship, spiritual healing, and physical exercise. Members meet in congregations not unlike a church. Unlike many other New Age or UFO religions, the Aetherius Society is largely considered uncontroversial, although its beliefs are sometimes ridiculed. The religion may be considered to have relatively conventional practices and members come from mainstream society. The society's membership, although international in composition, is not very large. It was suggested in 2011 that the worldwide membership was now into the thousands, with the largest number of members being in the United Kingdom, United States (particularly Southern California), and New Zealand.

 

Man continues to make up his own false religions. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for revealing Himself to you through the Gospel.

 

"The true message of good news, that salvation from sin can be found in the sacrificial death of Christ through faith alone, is not a man made message. It is at once too simple and too magnificent for man's wisdom. It is a transcendent message, a message from beyond our mortal limitations. It is a message from God." - Guy Caley

 

God's Word: "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute." - 2 Peter 2:1-2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

Devotional - Deserting The Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 3, 2018
Devotional - Deserting The Faith

"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ." – Galatians 1:6-7

 

Bart Campolo is the son of Pastor Tony Campolo. In 1999, Bart and his wife, Marty, founded Mission Year, an urban Christian ministry program.

But following a cycling accident during the summer of 2011, Bart came to terms with his growing lack of belief. He has since announced that he no longer believes in God and has transitioned to Secular humanism. He decided that "He’d help [people] accept that we’re all going to die, that this life is all there is and that therefore we have to make the most of our brief, glorious time on earth." Applying the tools of the trade that he refined during his Christian ministry, he swapped his former beliefs for secular humanism and tried to continue to help those in need. He became the first Humanist chaplain at the University of Southern California.

How did Bart journey from a believer to a secular humanist? “I started rejecting the supernatural stuff, the orthodoxy. I no longer believed God does miracles or that Jesus was raised from the dead or that other religions were false,” he said. “My Christianity had died the death of a thousand nicks and cuts.”

 

The road to loss of faith happens when we take our eyes off of Jesus. Today in prayer, pray for those who began in faith following Christ, that they may focus on Jesus and His redeeming work on the Cross.

 

"This would be the first step in apostasy; men first forget the true, and then adore the false." – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God's Word: "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." - 2 Timothy 4:3-4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

 

Devotional - His Grace
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 2, 2018
Devotional - His Grace

"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" - Galatians 1:3

 

J. Hudson Taylor was a British Christian missionary to China and founder of the China Inland Mission. Hudson spent 51 years in China. The society that he began was responsible for bringing over 800 missionaries to the country who began 125 schools and directly resulted in 18,000 Christian conversions, as well as the establishment of more than 300 stations of work with more than 500 local helpers in all eighteen provinces.

On the subject of God’s grace, Hudson wrote: “It does not matter where He places me or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me. For the easiest positions, He must give grace; and in the most difficult, His grace is sufficient. So, if God places me in great perplexity, must He not give me much guidance? In positions of great difficulty, much grace? In circumstances of great pressure and trial, much strength? As to work, mine was never so plentiful, so responsible, or so difficult; but the weight and strain are all gone. His resources are mine, for He is mine!”

 

It is by God’s grace that we are saved. And it is by His grace we face today and tomorrow. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for His grace and love towards you.

 

"Between here and heaven, every minute that the Christian lives will be a minute of grace." – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God's Word: "And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus." - Ephesians 2:6-7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN GALATIANS

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