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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN JOHN
Devotional - Christ's Compassion
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday May 15, 2019
Devotional - Christ's Compassion

“Jesus wept.” – John 11:35

 

Chaim Potok’s book “Chosen” tells the story of Danny Saunders, the son of a strict Hasidic Jew. For many years Danny’s father, though very human, never speaks to Danny, except when teaching him out of the Talmud. One day the mystery is revealed. Rabbi Saunders explains that God has blessed him with a brilliant son, a boy with a mind like a jewel. When Danny was 4 years old his father saw him reading a book and was frightened. The book described the suffering of a poor Jew, yet Danny enjoyed it!

“There was no soul in my 4-year-old Daniel, there was only a mind”

The rabbi cried to God “What have you done to me? A mind like this I need for a son? A heart I need for a son, a soul I need for a son, compassion…righteousness, strength to suffer and carry pain…”

So Rabbi Saunders followed an ancient Hasidic tradition and brought the boy up in silence, for then “in the silence between us he began to hear the world crying.”

 

Jesus has compassion for the world. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He is our model of compassion and seek to have a tender heart toward others.

 

“You may call God love, you may call God goodness. But the best name for God is compassion.” – Meister Eckhart

 

God’s Word: “Oh, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people.” – Jeremiah 9:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

Devotional - Losing Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday May 15, 2019
Devotional - Losing Faith

“Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me” – John 10:25

 

In 2012, Teresa MacBain had a secret, one she was terrified to reveal.

“I'm currently an active pastor and I'm also an atheist,” she said. “I live a double life. I feel pretty good on Monday, but by Thursday — when Sunday's right around the corner — I start having stomachaches, headaches, just knowing that I got to stand up and say things that I no longer believe in and portray myself in a way that's totally false.”

Her secret was taking a toll, eating at her conscience as she went about her pastoral duties week after week — two sermons every Sunday, singing hymns, praying for the sick when she didn't believe in the God she was praying to.

“On my way to church again. Another Sunday. Man, this is getting worse,” she told her phone in one recording. “How did I get myself in this mess?”

MacBain, 44, was raised a conservative Southern Baptist, but she had questions about the Bible which nagged her. She finally came out as an atheist and left the pastorate.

When asked whether she missed God, she answered: “No, no. I can't say that I do.”

 

Do not let any question interfere with your faith in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is worthy of our faith in Him.

 

“None but the Lord himself can afford us any help from the awful workings of unbelief, doubtings, carnal fears, murmurings. Thank God one day we will be done forever with ‘unbelief’” – Arthur W. Pink

 

God’s Word: “‘If you can?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for him who believes.’ Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’” – Mark 9:23-24

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

Devotional - The Good Shepherd Lays Down His Life
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday May 13, 2019
Devotional - The Good Shepherd Lays Down His Life

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep.” – John 10:14-15

 

On April 30, 2019, a gunman entered a classroom at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Riley Howell, age 21, hurled himself at the gunman and was fatally shot. Authorities said he knocked the gunman off his feet and helped end what could have been a deadlier massacre, where two students were killed and four others were wounded.

"He took the fight to the assailant. Unfortunately, he had to give his life to do so, but he saved lives doing so," Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Chief Kerr Putney said.

Riley was a Christian and he laid down his life for others. His aunt, Morgan Howell Moylan, said: “He did such a heroic thing. He was everybody's protector. You felt safe when you were with Riley."

"His faith was strong and he knew what he had to do when people needed him most," the family said in a statement. "He was always the guy you could count on and he delivered."

Riley’s sister said: "He put others before himself. He always has."

 

There is no greater love than dying for someone, and that is precisely what Jesus Christ did for you. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that He voluntarily laid down His life for you.

 

“God proved His love on the cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’” – Billy Graham

 

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 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

 

Devotional - Following Him
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday May 13, 2019
Devotional - Following Him

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.’” – John 8:31

 

In May 2011, Police in New Jersey investigated an accident in which the driver claimed his GPS told him to ignore the end of a road and to drive straight into a house, seriously injuring two people in the car.

It happened early Saturday morning where New Road meets Ridge Road in South Brunswick, N.J., a central Jersey community a few miles north of Princeton.

Traffic engineers designed it so that you can either turn left or right onto Ridge Road.

But faced with that choice in the dark and foggy early morning hours, the motorist told police he followed his GPS.

At a T intersection, where the only options were left and right, the driver opted instead to follow his GPS guidance and go straight. He missed the initial stop sign, ran over the lip of the curb, and continued for another 100 feet before hitting a house. Unfortunately, two passengers who were not wearing seat belts were hurt and taken to the hospital. "This stuff really happens," a police spokesman remarked.

 

It is curious that some people are overly obedient to machines, but will not follow the Lord. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to give you a heart that is ready and willing to follow after Him.

 

“Nothing is really lost by a life of sacrifice; everything is lost by failure to obey God’s call.” – Henry P. Liddon

 

God’s Word: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” – James 1:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

Devotional - The Fear Of Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday May 9, 2019
Devotional - The Fear Of Others

“But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the Jews.” – John 7:13

 

Georg Gärtner was born in Poland. He enlisted in the German Army in 1940 at age 19, and fought in the North African Campaign with the Afrika Korps. He was captured by Allied troops in Tunis in 1943 and was taken to the United States as a prisoner of war.

At the end of the war, Gärtner was terrified at the thought of being repatriated to his hometown, which was now occupied by the Soviet Union, and decided to escape. Several weeks after the war's end, he escaped from his prison camp in Deming, New Mexico, on September 22, 1945.

He moved between various towns on the US West Coast, working as a lumberjack, dishwasher, or laborer. Having studied English as an officer candidate, he perfected his command of the language, created a new identity as Dennis F. Whiles, obtained a Social Security card in that name, and invented a biography in which he had been raised in an orphanage after his parents had been killed in a traffic accident. He eventually settled in Norden, California. He got married and seemingly had dropped off the map. The FBI ceased searching for him in 1963.

In 1984, after his wife threatened to leave him because he would not share his past, Georg fearfully confessed all to her. Then after years of delay, Georg became a U.S. citizen in 2009.

 

As Christians, we should never be fearful of men and we are to always stand-up for the truth. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that we need not be fearful of anyone.

 

“Whenever I hear about Christ as Savior it appears that he saves us from sin – and I don’t wish to deny that – but in my experience he does more than that: he releases us from fear, and I think fear is the great killer.” – Ivor Smith-Cameron

 

God’s Word:  “The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

Devotional - The Sin Of Complaining
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday May 8, 2019
Devotional - The Sin Of Complaining

“‘Stop grumbling among yourselves,’ Jesus answered.” – John 6:43

 

In a civilized game, John McEnroe was pretty much as uncivil as you could be.

Throwing rackets, insulting umpires—McEnroe's reputation is built around his whining and complaining about calls that did not go his way.

If there were a stat for most cursing and making a crowd gasp, John McEnroe would be tennis' all-time leader.

John McEnroe had more than one temper tantrum on court. He’s been filmed shouting at umpires on countless occasions; calling one a “jerk” and another “pathetic”, he’s thrown his racket or used it to knock dramatically knock things over. But he is perhaps best known for shouting this line at an umpire during a match in 1981: “You can’t be serious, man. You cannot be serious! That ball was on the line!"

 

Chronic complaining is a sin. Today in prayer, confess any sin of grumbling and complaining to the Lord.

 

“Anyone who complains or grumbles is not perfect, nor even a good Christian.” – John of the Cross

 

God’s Word: “Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!” – James 5:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

Devotional - The Testimony Of Jesus Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday May 7, 2019
Devotional - The Testimony Of Jesus Christ

"You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me” – John 5:39

 

Charles Feinberg was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in an Orthodox Jewish community, graduating from the Hebrew Institute of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh in preparation to be a rabbi. In 1930, after studying the New Testament, he gave his life to Jesus Christ through the ministry of Chosen People Ministries.

After his conversion, he studied theology at Dallas Theological Seminary, and in 1935 he started broadcasting radio messages. He began teaching at Biola in 1948 when he became a member of the Jewish Department and professor of Old Testament and Bible Exposition.

In 1952 Charles Feinberg became the dean and professor of Semitics and Old Testament at Talbot Theological Seminary. He was known for his vast knowledge of Jewish history and Hebrew attracted many eager students. In his lifetime he read through the Scriptures 154 times!

 

The Bible is the testimony of Jesus Christ. Throughout its books, it declares that Jesus is Lord of all. Today in prayer, worship the Lord and give Him all of your life for His glory.

 

“The Bible is the portrait of Jesus Christ.” – John Stott

 

God’s Word: “He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’” – Luke 24:44

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

Devotional - Desire To Do God's Will
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday May 6, 2019
Devotional - Desire To Do God's Will

“‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.’” – John 4:34

 

In her book “Second Calling”, Dale Bourke writes that years ago, she attended a conference. When it was over, her friend Bruce offered her a ride to the airport. As they were about to leave, another man asked if he could join them. As they drove away from the hotel, she and Bruce asked the man where he worked, and he mentioned a Christian organization. Bruce said, “I have fond memories of that group, because I attended a retreat of theirs one time, and that’s where I became a Christian. It was in 1972 in New Hampshire.” Bruce went on to explain that eventually his whole family became Christians and went into Christian work. His sister was a Wycliffe missionary and Bruce himself became publisher of a major Christian publishing house, which brought many significant Christian books to the public. Bruce finished the story with a flourish saying that the retreat had had worldwide impact when you think about it. The man was silent. Dale and Bruce though that maybe they were boring him. Then the stranger quietly said, “I led that retreat. It was my first time as a conference leader, and I felt like a total failure. Until this moment, I have always believed it was one of the biggest failures of my life.” Dale Bourke wrote, “What had seemed like the simple act of offering a ride to a stranger had turned into a powerful reminder that God uses our efforts whether we realize it or not. I may spend the rest of my life doing things that don’t seem at all successful. Yet only God knows the purpose. I am called simply to be faithful.”

 

Do you desire to do God’s will in your life? Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He desires you to live for Him and seek to do His will every day.

 

“Thou hast made us for Thyself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.” – Augustine

 

God’s Word: “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.” – Acts 20:24

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

Devotional - He Must Become Greater
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday May 5, 2019
Devotional - He Must Become Greater

“He must become greater; I must become less.” – John 3:30

 

Vincent de Paul was born in 1581 in the village of Pouy, France. His parents were peasant farmers and from childhood he had a desire to become a priest. At 15, his father sent him to seminary, managing to pay for it by selling the family's oxen.

On 12 October 1604, he received his Bachelor of Theology from the University of Toulouse.

In 1617, Vincent contacted the Daughters of Charity and they then introduced him to poor families. Vincent then brought them food and comfort. He organized the wealthy women of Paris to collect funds for missionary projects, founded hospitals, and gather relief funds for the victims of war and to ransom 1,200 galley slaves from North Africa.

He is best remembered as someone who was humble, who looked after the poor and who loved Jesus.

 

As we grow in Christ, we need to become more humble and to give more glory to the Lord. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is worthy of our praise and give Him glory throughout the day.

 

“We must view humility as one of the most essential things that characterizes Christianity.” – Jonathan Edwards

 

God’s Word: “Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 18:4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

Devotional - Finding God's Kingdom
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday May 2, 2019
Devotional - Finding God's Kingdom

“In reply Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’” – John 3:3

 

Joanna Reed Shelton was born in the flat lowlands of Texas, in the far southeastern corner near the Gulf Coast and Louisiana. Her parents occasionally took her brother and Joanna to church. Both had been raised in the church and felt they should expose their children to the Bible and religion.

But as an adult, Joanna shunned religion. Then she received an email invitation to the 120th-anniversary celebration of a church in Osaka—a church founded by her great-grandfather, a 19th-century Presbyterian missionary. Feeling a pull to go to Osaka for the celebration, she went and was fascinated by the church and that her great-grandfather had begun.

She returned home and, after a few years, embarked on a book about my great-grandfather.

“I knew that if I hoped to understand what drew him into ministry in Japan, I needed to learn more about Christianity. So, for the first time, I began to read the Bible in a meaningful way, under the guidance of two devout relatives. A long-suppressed inner flame burned brighter as I read and contemplated the Scriptures” said Joanna.

She gave her life to Jesus and continues to follow Him.

“For the first time, I felt I understood the true meaning of faith, as hope in things unseen. I understood, too, how Jesus taught us what it means to be God’s people, loving one another as we love ourselves. Only through love can we help bring God’s kingdom to life on earth as it is in heaven” she said.

 

Happiness, peace, and contentment can only be found in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that in Him you have a rich, eternal life.

 

“For a soul to come to Jesus, is the grandest event in its history.” – Joseph Alleine

 

God’s Word: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” – John 3:16-17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

 

Devotional - The Purpose Of Miracles
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday May 1, 2019
Devotional - The Purpose Of Miracles

“This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.” – John 2:11

 

In June 2014, Grayson Kirby was thrown from a demolition derby car at the Mid-Atlantic Power Festival in Ruckersville, Virginia.

The accident left him in a coma. His lungs were crushed and nearly every other bone in his body was broken. His brain also suffered multiple strokes and hemorrhages and his kidneys were failing. If he did wake up, he would likely—to put it bluntly—be a vegetable. 

But his family refused to give up and turned to prayer. Thousands of people in the community and beyond kept Kirby in their thoughts and prayers and wore red shirts designed to show support for the injured man.

In a final attempt to revive Kirby, doctors hooked him up to a machine typically used for transplant patients, not trauma patients. Whether it was due to a divine intervention or medical intervention (or both), it worked. 

Ten days after the accident, Kirby opened his eyes and mouthed the words, “I love you,” to his father. 

The doctors couldn’t believe it, and neither could Kirby. 

“I’m humble, I’m grateful, just amazed.” Kirby said. “I know that God saved me. I know that prayer and believing saved me.”

 

The same God who performed miracles in the Bible continues to do so to bring glory to Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He continually shows us His glory and place your faith in Him.

 

“A miracle is an event beyond the power of any known physical law to produce; it is a spiritual occurrence produced by the power of God, a marvel, a wonder.” – Billy Graham

 

God’s Word: “And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.” – Exodus 14:31

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

Devotional - His Children
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Apr 30, 2019
Devotional - His Children

“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” – John 1:12

 

In March 1945, John Charles Flaugher was born in Los Angeles to Irene Flaugher, an unmarried woman from Kentucky who became pregnant through a relationship with John Bourgholtzer, a U.S. Army corporal of German background. Actors Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman adopted him shortly after his birth. They named him Michael Reagan. When Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman divorced in 1949, little Michael was sent to boarding school.

When he was eight years old, a photographer sexually molested Michael at school for a year.

The trauma stayed with Michael for decades.

In 1973, he met Colleen, a Christian girl he met on a blind date. They married two years later. He was offered a book deal to “tell all” in 1987. As he was writing his book, he wrote about the photographer. Michael realized he had to tell his dad about the incident before the book was published. Ronald was understanding and embraced his son. Soon after Michael gave his life to Christ.

“That’s why [the book is called] “Twice Adopted” -- first by my parents then by God. If that didn’t happen, we’re not having this conversation,” Michael said. “I am a free man.”

Michael continued: “There will always be pain, but I think also God has allowed me to show the pain so that, when I give my testimony, it brings other people forward.”

 

No matter what our situation in life, the Lord of the Universe wants to adopt us as His children and give us a wonderful eternity. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is a loving God and He has given us the right to become His children through Jesus Christ.

 

“Unless we have seen in Jesus what God is like we would never even have dared to think of ourselves as being able to become the children of God. It is what Jesus is that opens to us the possibility of becoming the children of God.” – William Barclay

 

God’s Word: “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” – 2 Corinthians 6:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

 

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