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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN Jeremiah And Lamentations
Devotional - Learning To Listen And Act
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Apr 8, 2021
Devotional - Learning To Listen And Act

“To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the LORD is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.” – Jeremiah 6:10

 

Dana Visneskie tells the story of a Native American and his friend who were in downtown New York City, walking near Times Square in Manhattan. It was during the noon lunch hour and the streets were filled with people. Cars were honking their horns, taxicabs were squealing around corners, sirens were wailing, and the sounds of the city were almost deafening.

Suddenly, the Native American said, “I hear a cricket.”

His friend said, “What? You must be crazy. You couldn’t possibly hear a cricket in all of this noise!”

“No, I’m sure of it,” the Native American said. “I heard a cricket.”

“That’s crazy,” said the friend.

The Native American listened carefully for a moment and then walked across the street to a big cement planter where some shrubs were growing. He looked into the bushes, beneath the branches, and sure enough, he located a small cricket. His friend was utterly amazed. “That’s incredible,” said his friend. “You must have super-human ears!”

“No,” said the Native American. “My ears are no different from yours. It all depends on what you’re listening for.”

“But that can’t be!” said the friend. “I could never hear a cricket in this noise.”

“Yes, it’s true,” came the reply. “It depends on what is really important to you. Here, let me show you.”

He reached into his pocket, pulled out a few coins, and discreetly dropped them on the sidewalk. And then, with the noise of the crowded street still blaring in their ears, they noticed every head within twenty feet turn and look to see if the money that tinkled on the pavement was theirs.

“See what I mean?” asked the Native American. “It all depends on what’s important to you.

 

When we listen to the Lord, our lives go so much smoother.  Today in prayer, ask Jesus to give you an attentive ear to hear His Word and to act upon it. 

 

“God never ceases to speak to us, but the noise of the world without and the passions within bewilder us and prevent us from listening to Him.” – Francois Fenelon

 

God’s Word: “You have seen many things, but have paid no attention; your ears are open, but you hear nothing.” – Isaiah 42:20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN JEREMIAH AND LAMENTATIONS   †

Devotional - Foolishness Of Men
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Apr 7, 2021
Devotional - Foolishness Of Men

“I thought, "These are only the poor; they are foolish, for they do not know the way of the LORD, the requirements of their God. So I will go to the leaders and speak to them; surely they know the way of the LORD, the requirements of their God." But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke and torn off the bonds.” – Jeremiah 5:4-5

 

Nothing shows the foolishness of man more than wrong predictions. Here are a few of those wrong predictions: 

“There will never be a bigger plane built.”- One of Boeing engineers said after the flight of Boeing-247, which could fit ten passengers.

“Nuclear powered vacuum cleaners will be a reality within 10 years”. - The legendary American businessman and inventor Alex Lewyt predicted in the 1950s.

“There is no chance iPhone will get any significant market share”. - Former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer confidently proclaimed in 2007. (He also dismissed Google in its early days: “Google’s not a real company. It’s a house of cards”.)

“Netflix isn’t even on the radar screen in terms of competition”.  - Blockbuster’s chief executive Jim Keyes boasted in 2008.  

 

Though the world may be foolish, as Christians we are called to be wise in our actions. Today in prayer, look to the Lord and ask Him for wisdom and guidance in all the decisions you face this day.   

 

“Wise men learn more from fools than fools from wise men.” – Marcus Cato 

 

God’s Word: “A fool's mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul.” – Proverbs 18:7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN JEREMIAH AND LAMENTATIONS   †

Devotional - Skilled In Doing Evil
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Apr 6, 2021
Devotional - Skilled In Doing Evil

“My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good.” – Jeremiah 4:22

 

One of the most ruthless drug “queenpins” of all time was Griselda Blanco, nicknamed “La Madrina,” or “The Godmother.” Blanco was one of the key figures in the Medellín Cartel and has been credited with being a mentor to Pablo Escobar, who would eventually become her enemy.

Blanco first made her name by developing bras and girdles designed to hide smuggled cocaine. She left Colombia in the early 1970s and settled in Queens, New York, where she set up a large-scale operation. In 1975, she was indicted when the government intercepted a huge cocaine shipment. Blanco fled back to Colombia, but it wasn’t long before she returned, this time to Miami.

In the 1980s, Blanco painted Miami white and red: white with cocaine and red with the blood of drug rivals. One favorite method included drive-by shootings via motorcycle. Miami experienced a wave of Blanco-related crime, including a submachine-gun attack at a mall. Blanco instigated anywhere between 40 and 250 murders, including a few personal ones (she shot one of her husbands at point-blank range over a drug deal). Eventually, Blanco was imprisoned, but that didn't stop her; on the inside, she plotted to kidnap John F. Kennedy, Jr. in a plan that was foiled only by an insider’s betrayal.

She was gunned down in front of a butcher’s shop by an assassin on a motorcycle, murdered by the very same method she had so often used to dispatch her own enemies.

 

Our sinful nature makes us inclined to become skilled in doing evil. Today in prayer, give thanks to Jesus that He has overcome the world and our sinful nature.  Pray for those who are practicing evil that their eyes and heart might be opened to Jesus Christ. 

 

"Punishment for evil will be administered, and the final dimension of eternal life will be granted to all who have responded to God's loving offer." - Millard J. Erickson

 

God’s Word: “The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” – Genesis 6:5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN JEREMIAH AND LAMENTATIONS   †

Devotional - Worthless Idols
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Apr 5, 2021
Devotional - Worthless Idols

“Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet they are not gods at all.) But my people have exchanged their Glory for worthless idols.” – Jeremiah 2:11

 

Demetrius of Phalerum was a statesman, orator, rhetorician, and writer, as well as a philosopher. He is best known in history for being one of the greatest rhetoricians and writers of the 4th century BC. Together with Ptolemy, he helped found the Library of Alexandria in Egypt. 

As a statesman, he rose to be the governor of Athens and ruled for 10 years with an iron hand. He had more than 300 statues erected of himself during that time. That is more than one statue every two weeks during his reign!

When Rome conquered Athens, they initiated the practice of damnatio memoriae – the expunging of statues, images, and names of disgraced rulers and enemies of the state. All the statues of Demetrius of Phalerum were unceremoniously melted down to make chamber pots.

 

Avoid idolatry. Today in prayer, confess any sin of idolatry and worship Jesus, the one True God. 

 

"You don't have to go to heathen lands today to find false gods. America is full of them. Whatever you love more than God is your idol." - D.L. Moody

 

God’s Word: “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God--or rather are known by God--how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?” – Galatians 4:8-9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN JEREMIAH AND LAMENTATIONS   †

Devotional - He Has Risen
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Apr 4, 2021
Devotional - He Has Risen

“Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” – Matthew 28:7

 

In Charles Colson’s book “The Body” he wrote: “It was May Day, 1990. The place, Moscow's Red Square. "Is it straight, Father?" one Orthodox priest asked another, shifting the heavy, eight-foot crucifix on his shoulder. "Yes," said the other. "It is straight." Together the two priests, along with a group of parishioners holding ropes that steadied the beams of the huge cross, walked the parade route. Before them was passed the official might of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: The usual May Day procession of tanks, missiles, troops, and salutes to the Communist party elite. Behind the tanks surged a giant crowd of protesters, shouting up at Mikhail Gorbachev. "Bread!...Freedom!...Truth!”

As the throng passed directly in front of the Soviet leader standing in his place of honor, the priests hoisted their heavy burden toward the sky. The Cross emerged from the crowd. As it did, the figure of Jesus Christ obscured the giant poster faces of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Vladimir Lenin that provided the backdrop for Gorbachev's reviewing stand. "Mikhail Sergeyevich!" one of the priests shouted, his deep voice cleaving the clamor of the protesters and piercing straight toward the angry Soviet leader. "Mikhail Sergeyevich! Christ is risen!" 

 

Jesus Christ has Risen! He has conquered death and given us eternal life. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He has risen from the dead and encourage others with this Good News.

 

“For like the seeds which are cast into the earth, we do not perish by dissolution, but sown into the earth, shall rise again, death having been brought to naught by the grace of the Savior.” - Athanasius

 

God’s Word: “'Don't be alarmed,' he said. 'You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.'” – Mark 16:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS FOR EASTER           †

Devotional - His Sacrifice
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Apr 1, 2021
Devotional - His Sacrifice

“Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” – Luke 23:46-47 

 

The Red Cross idea was born in 1859, when Henry Dunant, a young Swiss man, came upon the scene of a bloody battle in Solferino, Italy, between the armies of imperial Austria and the Franco-Sardinian alliance. Some 40,000 men lay dead or dying on the battlefield and the wounded were lacking medical attention.

Dunant organized local people to bind the soldiers' wounds and to feed and comfort them. On his return to Switzerland, he called for the creation of national relief societies to assist those wounded in the war. They took the flag of a white flag with a red cross to signify they were helping the wounded. 

The Boer War erupted in South Africa in 1880 between Great Britain and the white colonists. During one battle an overwhelming enemy force surprised a small detachment of British troops. They fell back under heavy fire. Their wounded lay in a perilous position, facing certain death. They all realized they had to come immediately under the protection of a Red Cross flag if they wanted to survive. All they had was a piece of white cloth, but no red paint. So they used the blood from their wounds to make a large cross on that white cloth. Their attackers respected that grim flag as it was held aloft, and the British wounded were brought to safety.

 

In a similar way, Christ’s shed blood on the Cross has peace between God and man. 

Today in prayer, praise the Lord that through His death on the Cross He made a way for sinful man to reunite with our Holy Father in Heaven.

 

“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” “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. – 1 John 2:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS FOR GOOD FRIDAY                                 †

Devotional - Called By The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Mar 31, 2021
Devotional - Called By The Lord

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5

 

During the riots in Palestine in the 1930s, a village near Haifa was condemned to collective punishment by having its sheep and cattle taken by the British Government who occupied Palestine. The inhabitants however were permitted to redeem their possessions at a fixed price. Among them was an orphan shepherd boy, whose six sheep and goats were all he had in the world for life and work. Somehow he obtained the money for their redemption. He went to the big enclosure where the animals were penned, offering his money to the British sergeant in charge.

The sergeant told him he was welcome to the requisite number of animals, but ridiculed the idea that he could possibly pick out his “little flock” from among the confiscated hundreds. The little shepherd thought differently because he knew better; and giving his own “call”, for he had his nai (shepherd’s pipe) with him, “his own” separated from the rest of the animals and trotted out after him. 

 

The Lord has known you before you were born and desires you to follow His call for your life. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His everlasting love for you and seek to follow His call for your life.

 

"If the Lord be with us, we have no cause of fear. His eye is upon us, His arm over us, His ear open to our prayer - His grace sufficient, His promise unchangeable." - John Newton

 

God’s Word: “My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” – Psalm 139:15-16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN JEREMIAH AND LAMENTATIONS

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