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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS
Devotional - The Eternal Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 30, 2019
Devotional - The Eternal Christ

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8

 

What is the oldest living thing in the world? Some scientists believe it is the “Pando” in central Utah. “Pando” is a Latin word that means, “I spread.” The Pando of Utah is a group of 40,000 individual quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) trees, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The Pando originated from a single seed and spreads by sending up new shoots from the expanding root system.

Pando is believed to be the largest, most dense organism ever found at nearly 13 million pounds. The clone spreads over 106 acres, consisting of over 40,000 individual trees. The exact age of the clone and its root system is difficult to calculate, but it is estimated to have started at the end of the last ice age, an astounding 80,000 years old. Some of the trees are over 130 years old. It was first recognized by researchers in the 1970s and more recently proven by geneticists. Its massive size, weight, and prehistoric age have caused worldwide fame.

In 2006 the U.S. Postal Service honored the Pando Clone as one of the “40 Wonders of America” with a stamp in its commemoration.

 

Though are some living things are remarkably old, they are not eternal. Jesus Christ lives before, during and well after these old trees. Today in prayer, praise Christ Lord that He is our eternal Lord!

 

“The Savior is the Fountain of Life; the Gospel is a Message of Life; the Volume that John saw opened in heaven was the Book of Life. There is infinite comfort in that.” - Arthur Penrhyn Stanley

 

God’s Word: “You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.” – Hebrews 1:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

 

Devotional - Remember Those Imprisoned For Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 29, 2019
Devotional - Remember Those Imprisoned For Christ

“Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” – Hebrews 13:3

 

In July 2019, Iranian regime police arrested a young Christian woman, Fatemeh Mohammadi. Fatemeh was filing a complaint about being assaulted when the police decided to arrest her. She was held a few days and then released on bail. Fatemeh became a Christian in November 2017. Since then she has served a six-month prison sentence for membership in Tehran house church. “She is a rare public Christian activist inside Iran and has raised a number of issues to the forefront of conversation,” reported International Christian Concern. “She has publicly accused her interrogators of sexual harassment and published material questioning the government’s treatment of Christians. She has particularly raised awareness about how the government’s persecution of Christians is in violation of Article 23 of the Iranian Constitution, which says that ‘no one may be molested or taken to task for simply holding a certain belief.’”

 

Throughout the world, there are still men and women being imprisoned for their faith in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, pray for those in Iran and ask the Lord to comfort them and free them from their prison.

 

“Those that are themselves at liberty must sympathize with those that are in bonds and adversity as if they were bound with them in the same chain: they must fell the sufferings of their brethren.” – Matthew Henry

 

God’s Word: “I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'” – Matthew 25:36

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - The Fruit Of Discipline
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 28, 2019
Devotional - The Fruit Of Discipline

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:11

 

Long-distance runner Paavo Nurmi of Finland was called the "Flying Finn" as he dominated distance running in the early 20th century. Nurmi set 22 official world records at distances between 1500 meters and 20 kilometers, and won nine gold and three silver medals in his twelve events in the Olympic Games. At his peak, Nurmi was undefeated for 121 races at distances from 800 meters upwards. Throughout his 14-year career, he remained unbeaten in cross country events and the 10,000 m.

How was Nurmi so dominate? He was considered a pioneer in regard to training; he developed a systematic all-year-round training program that included both long-distance work and interval running. His training program included walking, sprints, and calisthenics. When he was in the Finnish Army, he developed new training methods. He ran behind trains, holding on to the rear bumper, to stretch his stride, and used heavy ironclad army boots to strengthen his legs.

He was one of the first to use a stopwatch in his hand to check his performance. Through discipline, Nurmi became a world-class runner.

 

Discipline is never pleasant, but it is necessary to become more like Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for the discipline that has come into your life and seek to learn from it and to walk closer to the Lord.

 

“Discipline is the secret to godliness. You must learn to discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” – Jay Adams

 

God’s Word: “Blessed is the man you discipline, O LORD, the man you teach from your law” – Psalm 94:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Persevere!
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 27, 2019
Devotional - Persevere!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” – Hebrews 12:1

 

In 1787, he came into contact with a group of anti-slave-trade activists. They persuaded Wilberforce to take on the cause of abolition, and he soon became one of the leading English abolitionists. He headed the parliamentary campaign against the British slave trade for twenty years until the passage of the Slave Trade Act of 1807.

Wilberforce supported the campaign for the complete abolition of slavery. That campaign led to the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, which abolished slavery in most of the British Empire. Wilberforce died just three days after hearing that the passage of the Act through Parliament was assured.

William Wilberforce said: “Our motto must continue to be perseverance. And ultimately I trust the Almighty will crown our efforts with success.”

 

The Lord has called us to follow Him. Persevere in your calling. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His perseverance to the Cross and pray for His strength to continue following Him through all difficulties.

 

“Our motto must continue to be perseverance. And ultimately I trust the Almighty will crown our efforts with success.” – William Wilberforce

 

God’s Word: “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” – Hebrews 10:36

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Faith Is Seeing The Unseen
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 24, 2019
Devotional - Faith Is Seeing The Unseen

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.” – Hebrews 11:13

 

Kenneth Peter "Ken" Medema was born almost blind; his eyes let him tell light from shadow and see outlines of major objects. He began playing the piano when he was five years old, and three years later began taking lessons in classical music through braille music, playing by ear and improvising in different styles.

In 1969, he majored in music therapy at Michigan State University in Lansing, studying both piano and voice. Afterward, he worked as a music therapist in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and later at Essex County Hospital in New Jersey.

In 1973, he began performing and recording his own songs while at Essex County Hospital. "I had a bunch of teenagers who were really hurting," he says, "and I started writing songs about their lives. Then I thought, 'Why don't you start writing songs about your Christian life?' So I started doing that, and people really responded."

His lyrics generally provide social commentary on themes such as justice, hunger, poverty, homelessness, and Christian charity as it pertains to them.

Ken said: “Jesus is my teacher and guide, my way of seeing the world and seeing divinity and holiness.”

 

Though you may not see what God is doing, have faith in Him that He will work in you. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His faithfulness and place your faith in Christ.

 

“Faith is nothing but believing what God promises or says.” – Martin Luther

 

God’s Word: “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.” – Hebrews 11:39

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Spur One Another
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 23, 2019
Devotional - Spur One Another

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:24-25

 

Pastor and author John Piper writes that stimulating one another to love and good deeds should be a focus in our life. He writes: “Here is what you aim at from morning till night as a Christian. Notice carefully: it is not what you might expect. It is not: consider how to love each other and do good deeds. That would be Biblical and right. But it’s different: ‘Consider how to stimulate each other to love and good deeds.’ Focus on helping others become loving people. Aim at stirring up others to do good deeds. And of course the implication would also be that if others need help and stirring, we do too, and so we would be aiming at what sorts of ways we can think and feel and talk and act that will stir each other up to love and to do good deeds. The aim of our lives is not just loving and doing good deeds, but helping to stir up others to love and to good deeds.”

 

Are you spurring others to love and good deeds? Today in prayer, ask the Lord how you can stimulate others to love and good deeds.

 

“Let us go out of ourselves as soon as we can, and find our blessings in blessing one another.” – A.B. Simpson

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Unswerving Hope
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 22, 2019
Devotional - Unswerving Hope

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” – Hebrews 10:23

 

Dr. Billy Graham wrote:

“Perhaps the greatest psychological, spiritual, and medical need that all people have is the need for hope.

For the believer there is hope beyond the grave, because Jesus Christ has opened the door to heaven for us by His death and resurrection.

Christ wants to give you hope for the future. He wants you to learn what it means to walk with Him every day.

When you come to Christ, God gives you eternal life— which begins right now as you open your heart to Him.

Faith points us beyond our problems to the hope we have in Christ. Christ’s second coming reminds us that ultimately our hope is not in this world and its attempts to solve its problems, but in Christ’s promise to establish His perfect rule over all the earth.

Man has no ability to repair this damaged planet. The flaw in human nature is too great. God is our only hope!

Earth’s troubles fade in the light of heaven’s hope. My hope does not rest in the affairs of this world.

It rests in Christ who is coming again. Only because Jesus is God and we have confessed Him as Savior and Lord, can He bestow and we receive these benefits, this blessed assurance and hope (see Romans 10:9).

Our world today desperately hungers for hope, and yet uncounted people have almost given up.

There is despair and hopelessness on every hand. Let us be faithful in proclaiming the hope that is in Jesus!”

 

In Jesus Christ we have an eternal hope. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that He is our Hope.  

 

“One day we will meet beside the river and our Lord will dry every tear. For now, we must live in the joy of that promise and recall that for every generation life is hard, but God is faithful.” – Bodie Thoene

 

God’s Word: “But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-- if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” – Colossians 1:22-23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Destined To Die Once
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 21, 2019
Devotional - Destined To Die Once

“Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” – Hebrews 9:27

 

In the 1970s, University of California sociologist David Phillips started exploring the relationship between death days and significant events.

In one of his first research papers, he examined whether famous people died after their birthdays because of the public attention: These subjects also provided more accurate records at a time when death certificates for the general population were not as readily available.

Of the 1,251 subjects, 86 died in the month before their birth month — this was 17 percent fewer deaths than expected if it was totally independent, Dr. Phillips wrote.

Later, he looked at the influence of race and culture on postponing death. In a 1990 paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Phillips and his co-authors found that for Chinese, deaths dipped by 35.1 percent in the week before the Harvest Moon Festival, one of their most significant holidays, and then peaked by 34.6 percent the week after.

 

We are all destined to die and appear before Jesus. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that after death we will see our Savior’s face and live with Him forever.

 

“He whose head is in heaven need not fear to put his foot in the grave.” – Matthew Henry

 

God’s Word: “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” – 1 Corinthians 15:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - The New Covenant
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 20, 2019
Devotional - The New Covenant

“By calling this covenant ‘new,’ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.” – Hebrews 8:13

 

Beginning in 1784, first Spain and then Mexico carved the Southwest into vast tracts of land, called ranchos that authorities used to reward California's leading citizens and soldiers. These lucky rancheros then became virtual princes, ruling over their fiefs from an adobe ranch house.

After California became a territory of the United States in 1847, many grantees struggled to hold on to these ranchos as U.S. tax law and a cumbersome title-confirmation process forced them to sell or mortgage their vast estates.

At The Sherman Library in Corona del Mar, California, documents for Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana in Orange County, California are stored. These faded land grants are no longer valid. The charters to these ranchos were replaced with new United States land titles. 

 

Old, fragile covenants have disappeared and are replaced by the “new” living and eternal covenant we have in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that the old covenant has faded and we have a vibrant new life found in Jesus.

 

“It is a new heart-righteousness which the prophets foresaw as one of the blessings of the Messianic age. ‘I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts.’ God promised to Jeremiah. How would he do it? He told Ezekiel ‘I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes.’” – John Stott

 

God’s Word: “In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’” – 1 Corinthians 11:25

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - The Superior Mediator
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 17, 2019
Devotional - The Superior Mediator

“But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.” – Hebrews 8:6

 

George Kohlrieser was born in November 1944 in Wapakoneta, Ohio. He entered a Catholic seminary at the age of 13. He received a BA degree in Psychology and Philosophy from the University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio and a doctorate from Ohio State University in 1988, where he wrote his dissertation on the cardiovascular recovery of law enforcement officers following high-stress situations. From 1968 to 1992 he was Director of the Shiloah Center for Human Growth in Dayton, Ohio, specializing in individual, group and family therapy. In the same period, he worked as a hostage negotiator and police psychologist for the Dayton Police Department and the Montgomery Sheriff’s Department.

George was taken hostage four times during this time period and was successful in mediating each of the situations.

He is author of “Hostage at the Table” which discusses the proven techniques and psychological insights used in hostage mediation can be applied successfully to any personal or business relationship.

 

Jesus Christ is the superior mediator of all time. He was able to successfully mediate the difference between sinful man and Holy God by giving His life as a Holy Sacrifice. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He is our mediator.

 

“Christ’s work as Mediator is unique; it was to restore us to divine favor and to make us sons of God” – John Calvin

 

God’s Word: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” – 1 Timothy 2:5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Our Permanent Pastor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 16, 2019
Devotional - Our Permanent Pastor

“Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.” – Hebrews 7:23-24

 

In October 2019, the Rev. Charles G. Adams, the senior pastor at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit, announced he was stepping aside after more than 50 years.

The 82 years old pastor was hailed in Ebony magazine as among the nation’s greatest black preachers and most influential African Americans. He has spoken before the United Nations, met with U.S. presidents and earned many honors.

“He used to try to preach in the garage and have an audience of other children,” said Eleanor Foster, age 98, a longtime family friend and the church’s oldest member. “I think he was born to be a minister.”

Adams went on to graduate from the University of Michigan and Harvard Divinity School and was a doctoral fellow at Union Theological Seminary in New York before spending about seven years presiding over Concord Baptist Church in Massachusetts.

His appointment as Hartford’s pastor in 1969 marked a seismic transformation for the house of worship.

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, pastor emeritus for Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, called the retired Pastor Adams a mentor and noted his absence at the pulpit. "It feels very strange" without him there, he told the congregation.

 

We have a permanent Priest, Pastor and Friend in Jesus Christ. His ministry is eternal. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He has a permanent priesthood.

 

“There can be no vacancy in this (Christ’s) priesthood, no hour nor moment in which the people are without a priest to negotiate their spiritual concerns in heaven. Such a vacancy might be very dangerous and prejudicial to them; but this is their safety and happiness, that this ever-living high priest is able to save to the utmost—in all times, in all cases, in every juncture—all who come to God by him” – Matthew Henry

 

God’s Word: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - The Anchor That Holds
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 15, 2019
Devotional - The Anchor That Holds

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain” – Hebrews 6:19

 

On March 24, 2017, the crew aboard “Star of Abu Dhabi” dropped anchor at a Mississippi River anchorage on a clear spring evening following a long voyage from the Canary Islands. Soon afterward, the captain signaled he was finished with the main engine.  The overnight hours did not go as planned. The ship’s port anchor chain broke at about 2:30 am on March 25 and its starboard anchor began dragging. Eleven nerve-wracking minutes later, the bulk carrier slammed into a loading dock near Gramercy, Louisiana before continuing downriver. Its movement stopped after the ship’s engine came back online. The impact opened a 14-by-7-foot hole in the vessel’s hull above the waterline, causing about $232,000 in damage. The Louisiana Sugar Refinery dock fared worse: It partially collapsed and cost $4.6 million to repair.

Investigators found that the port anchor was carrying much more weight than the starboard anchor that caused the port anchor to snap.

 

Jesus Christ is an anchor that holds us when the most violent of storms in life hit us. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that you can put all your hope in Him and Christ is an anchor that can hold.

 

“The anchor holds, Though the ship is battered, The anchor holds, Though the sails are torn, I have fallen on my knees, As I faced the raging seas, The anchor holds, In spite of the storm” – Ray Boltz

 

God’s Word: “For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.” – 1 Thessalonians 3:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Waiting On God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 14, 2019
Devotional - Waiting On God

“And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.” – Hebrews 6:15

 

In his book “Waiting on God,” Pastor Andrew Murray writes the following:

“If an army has been sent out to march into an enemy’s country, and tidings are received that it is not advancing, the question is at once asked, what may be the cause of delay. The answer will very often be: ‘Waiting for supplies.’ All the stores of provisions or clothing or ammunition have not arrived; without these it dare not proceed. It is no otherwise in the Christian life: day-by-day, at every step, we need our supplies from above. And there is nothing so needful as to cultivate that spirit of dependence on God and of confidence in Him, which refuses to go on without the needed supply of grace and strength.”

 

The Lord desires that we develop the characteristics of patience and dependence on Him. Today in prayer, confess any impatience you may have and patiently wait on Jesus.

 

“There is no patience equal to the patience of God.” – Oswald Chambers

 

God’s Word: “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” – Colossians 3:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Teach Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 13, 2019
Devotional - Teach Others

“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!” – Hebrews 5:12

 

Eleanora Anderson was the longest-serving Sunday school teacher when she died in December 2014. She was a member of St. John United Church of Christ in Valmeyer, Illinois and Taught for 75 years.

She was asked how she began teaching Sunday school. Eleanora replied: “I was the only one still going to Sunday school in my class. A class of girls one after the other dropped out I was the only one left. This one lady was teaching and she quit teaching. Then they asked me to teach and I started. It was in 1941 that was. I had graduated from high school in May and this was August that same year.”

Her largest class was only 7 or 8 children but through the years she impacted hundreds of people.

Her advice to other Sunday school teachers: “Study your lessons.”

 

The Lord desires us not only to follow Him but also to teach others. Are you teaching others how to grow deeper with Christ? Today in prayer, thank the Lord that we are never too old to begin teaching others about the love of Jesus Christ.

 

“I touch the future. I teach.” – Christina McAuliffe

 

God’s Word: “Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God” – Hebrews 6:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Doing The Will Of God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 10, 2019
Devotional - Doing The Will Of God

“During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered” – Hebrews 5:7-8

 

Christian writer Elisabeth Elliot had the opportunity to go up into the top of that great arch in St. Louis. She wrote the following on the subject of the liberty of obedience: “I was fascinated to learn about its construction. I know nothing about architecture, but a few things sank into my thick head. It was designed by Eero Saarinen, the famous architect.

I was thinking about how he as an architect has perfect freedom to design any kind of building he wants, but he does not have the freedom to discard either the plumb line or the level. The mathematical calculations that had to go into the building of that "first of its kind" structure are staggering. The workers put up these tremendous stainless steel triangles one by one on two sides, and they had to bring them up to meet at the top with no other support than themselves. A mistake of an inch at the bottom could have spelled disaster at the top.

There is no freedom apart from obedience.”

 

Our Heavenly Father desires us to be obedient to Him for our own protection. Today in prayer, confess any sin of disobedience and seek to follow Christ in all that you do.

 

“Our gratitude to God can be expressed only in loving, humble obedience to his will.” – Batsell Barrett Baxter

 

God’s Word: “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!” – Philippians 2:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - We Will Be Tempted
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 9, 2019
Devotional - We Will Be Tempted

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.” – Hebrews 4:15

 

In April 1945, American troops captured a deserted and badly damaged 1500-meter coral-surfaced runway on the island of Okinawa. Eight days later, with the addition of eight inches of coral, the airfield became fully operational. After World War II, the runway remained in American hands and was named Kadena Air Base.

Just a few blocks outside the Kadena Air Base is a street known as “Whisper Alley.” For decades it has been an area where Americans stationed at the base have gone to find prostitutes.

The women have small little stalls, often with bars over the windows. As the men walk down the dimly lit alley, the women whisper temptations to them to try to entice them to spend some time and money with them. It has been the fall of many young men who were stationed in Kadena.

Often temptation begins with a whisper. The best way to resist it is to not walk down that alley.

 

In Christ we can have victory over every temptation. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that in this life, we can always face temptation with Jesus and in His power we can overcome it.

 

“Temptation is not meant to make us fail; it is meant to confront us with a situation out of which we emerge stronger than we are.” – William Barclay

 

God’s Word: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Living And Active
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 8, 2019
Devotional - Living And Active

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12

 

Years ago, in Communist Russia, it was common for plays to make fun of the Savior. One such satirical and sacrilegious play, a play called "Christ in Tuxedo" opened to a packed house in Moscow. The first act showed a church altar set up like a saloon. Drunken clergy offered toasts, nuns played cards on the floor. The second act featured a Moscow movie star: Comrade Alexander Rostovzev. The audience roared when he walked out in robes, carrying a New Testament, impersonating the Savior. The script called for him to read two verses from the Sermon on the Mount, throw off His robes and shout, "Give me my tuxedo and top hat." Rostovzev did read Jesus' words: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." Rostovzev stopped. He deserted the script and kept reading his Bible. The actors thought he was drunk; the audience was confused; the management brought down the curtain on the ex-Communist-now-turned-Christian actor. God's Word was active in Rostovzev and he had met his Savior.

 

The words of the Bible can change our lives. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His Word and pray that His Word will change you to be more like Him.

 

“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens through the years.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” – 1 Peter 1:23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Encourage One Another
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 7, 2019
Devotional - Encourage One Another

“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

 

In the early 1960’s, Jean Nidetch, a 214-pound homemaker desperate to lose weight, went to the New York City Department of Health, where she was given a diet devised by Dr. Norman Jolliffe. Two months later, discouraged about the 50 plus pounds still to go, she invited six overweight friends to her Queens, New York home to share the diet and encourage each other how to stay on it. Today, 28 years later, more than one million members attend 250,000 Weight Watchers meetings in 24 countries every week. Why was Jean able to help people take control of their lives? To answer that, she tells a story. When she was a teen-ager, she used to cross a park where she saw mothers gossiping while the toddlers sat on their swings, with no one to push them. "I'd give them a push," said Jean. "And you know what happens when you push a kid on a swing? Pretty soon he's pumping, doing it himself. That's what my role in life is--I'm there to give others a push." 

 

As Christians, we need to always encourage others to grow in the love of Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for the encouragement you have received in your life and seek to be an encouragement to others.

 

“Encouragement is food for the heart, and every heart is a hungry heart.” – Pat Morley

 

God’s Word: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Fix Your Thoughts
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 6, 2019
Devotional - Fix Your Thoughts

“Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.” – Hebrews 3:1

 

In March 2018, Mason Ringer was on a lunch break with his friends when the group decided to briefly go out in a boat on the Okatie River. Then things took dangerous a turn when their boat capsized.

“I got 75 percent across, but because the water was cold I started to cramp up in my legs,” said the South Carolina man.

The 24-year-old said he started to feel like he wasn’t going to make it, and so he stopped swimming.

“I rolled over on my back and I closed my eyes and said a prayer to God asking him to help me somehow,” Mason said. “Then I heard the dog bark on the dock.”

A yellow Labrador jumped into the water and Mason was able to grab the animal’s collar as the dog pulled him to shore. Mason had already been in the 58-degree water for an hour and was suffering from hypothermia. 

“When I saw the dog was coming in, I was skeptical thinking I am going to drown this dog while he was trying to save me,” he said. “It was almost effortless for him to pull me in.”

The heroic dog belonged to the owner of the property where Mason had been working. Once onshore, Tim Helm, a Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard veteran, warmed up Mason. “I wrapped him in my coat and bear-hugged him,” Tim said. “I told him, ‘Man, this is a God-thing, dude — you would have been dead in 30 minutes.’”

 

In this life we can get in trouble very quickly. We need to constantly fix our eyes upon Jesus. Today in prayer, fix your thoughts upon Jesus and seek to follow Him every step of your life.

 

“God’s purpose for my life is to increasingly grow in my personal knowledge of God as I follow Him in a life of faith. And then to make Him known to others.” – Anne Graham Lotz

 

God’s Word: “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 4:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - He Died For Us
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 3, 2019
Devotional - He Died For Us

“For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” – Hebrews 2:17-18

 

On September 26, 2019, 15-year-old Khyler Edman was at home in Port Charlotte, Florida with his 5-year old sister. A burglar entered the home and in the end Khyler was dead.

“We believe the teenager was trying to protect the home and protect (his) younger sibling,” said Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell.

The suspect, who had wounds on his hand, was taken into custody after a brief pursuit.

Deputies found Khyler's body while searching to see whether other homes had been entered.

Investigators believe Khyler died after the suspect entered the home, resulting in "a violent encounter.” The younger sister was unharmed.

Khyler was in 10th grade at Charlotte High School, where he was in the JROTC and took some honors classes, said Mike Riley, the community liaison for Charlotte County Public Schools. “He was the kind of kid you would want to be your son. He was polite to everyone. He laid his life down to save his baby sister and showed his community how much of a hero he was.”

 

Before His birth, the Lord had a rescue plan. He would come to earth and die for our sins. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for His love and thank Him for His death on the Cross for you.

 

“If the death of Christ on the cross is the true meaning of the Incarnation, then there is no gospel without the cross. Christmas by itself is no gospel. The life of Christ is no gospel. Even the resurrection, important as it is in the total scheme of things, is no gospel by itself. For the good news is not just that God became man, nor that God has spoken to reveal a proper way of life for us, or even that death, the great enemy, is conquered. Rather, the good news is that sin has been dealt with (of which the resurrection is a proof); that Jesus has suffered its penalty for us as our representative, so that we might never have to suffer it; and that therefore all who believe in him can look forward to heaven.” - James Montgomery Boice

 

God’s Word: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - The Eternal King Of Kings
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 2, 2019
Devotional - The Eternal King Of Kings

“You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet." In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him.” – Hebrews 2:7-8

 

The Mayan King known as Pacal the Great ruled for 68 years—the fourth-longest verified reign of any sovereign monarch in history. He was born in March 603 in the Maya city-state of Palenque. This was a particularly violent time in the history of Palenque. But Pacal the Great’s long reign eventually calmed the warring and began an era of great building.  

He initiated a building program at his capital that produced some of Maya civilization's finest art and architecture.

The first project was a temple called El Olvidado, sometimes called the forgotten temple because of its distance from the capital. Of all Pakal's construction projects, perhaps the most accomplished is the Palace of Palenque. The building was already in existence, but Pakal made it much larger than it was.

After his death, the Mayans deified Pakal and it was said he could communicate with his descendants. But much of his legacy was lost until 1948 when archeologists uncovered his tomb.

 

Far greater than every man who has ever lived, stands Jesus Christ who is the true “King of Kings.” He eternally reigns over everyone. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He is good and He is eternal and He is Lord of all.

 

“You should point to the whole man Jesus and say, ‘That is God.’” – Martin Luther

 

God’s Word: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!” – Philippians 2:6-8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Pay Attention
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 1, 2019
Devotional - Pay Attention

“We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” – Hebrews 2:1

 

In many Pacific island chains, people use small boats to sail from one island to another. The islands are close enough together that sailing from one to the other is a pretty simple, cheap, and frequent mode of travel.

For three teenage boys on the small island of Tokelau, sailing was routine. However, when Filo Filo, Etueni Nasau, and Samu Pelesa set sail on October 5, 2010, it would be a longer trip than any of them were expecting.

Shortly after sailing into the ocean, the three teens weren't paying attention, lost sight of the shore and became disoriented. Not knowing which way was home, the group became lost, drifting further and further from land.

They had brought enough water with them for two days, but that quickly ran out and they had to rely on rainwater. After a few weeks, with no food and no sign of rescue, they grew desperate enough to catch a bird and eat it.

Meanwhile, after a month with no news, their community believed that the boys were dead. A memorial service for the boys was attended by around 500 people, about a third of the total population of the island chain.

Having spent more than a month adrift at sea, the three boys had no food and no water, and were suffering from extreme exposure. Their situation was so dire that they began drinking seawater, a sure sign that death is near. With only days or even hours left to live, they were spotted by a fishing boat halfway between Samoa and Fiji. They had drifted over 500 miles.

The three boys were rescued and taken to a hospital in Fiji, and then back to their homes on Tokelau. They had been adrift at sea for 50 days.

 

Drift can fatal. Today in prayer, confess to Jesus any distractions to your walk with the Lord. Seek to pay attention and follow Him in all that you do.

“The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.” – Richard Moss  

God’s Word: “Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the LORD.” – Psalm 107:43

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Ministering Angels
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 30, 2019
Devotional - Ministering Angels

“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” – Hebrews 1:14

 

Dave Gibbons, an experienced ice fisherman, went out one December on Bald Eagle Lake, Minnesota with his cousin Eric. They found an isolated spot and settled in.

Dave remembers: “Suddenly, I began to sink as the crusted snow beneath my feet dropped away. I plunged chest-deep into freezing water. I struggled to get back onto the ice, but I could not get my leg on the side of the hole to kick myself out.”

After Eric unsuccessfully tried to reach him, Dave saw a man approaching from behind. Dave recalls: “‘I’ve got a rope,’ he said. He tossed the end to me. I grasped it like a lifeline, and the two of them (Eric and the man) pulled me out of the hole. Relief washed over me.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw the stranger with his rope, walking off in the same direction he had come from. I was too busy counting my blessings to chase after him. Eric and I called it a day, and before we packed up I looked for the man in the distance, but he was gone.

The next day, Eric met Dave to go ice fishing again. “You know,” Eric said, “I never saw that guy’s face.”

“I didn’t either,” Dave said. Eric believes an angel rescued him.

 

Angels are ministering spirits sent to serve us and protect us. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He has sent His angels to protect us.

 

“Could the veil be lifted, we would see that angels of God are around us to preserve us from unseen dangers. Thousands of times has their care been especially manifested for us in our warfare with the agencies of Satan.” - Ellen G. White

 

God’s Word: “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” – Psalm 91:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

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