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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN Joshua, Judges and Ruth
Devotional - Our Redeemer
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 30, 2018
Devotional - Our Redeemer

“The women said to Naomi: "Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel!” – Ruth 4:14

 

In 1998, when Barbara Vogel's fifth-grade class at the Highline Community School, in Aurora, Colorado, first heard that there was still slavery in Africa, many of the students cried. Then they remembered one of their class rules "Do small things with great love."

They did some research and found that the Swiss group Christian Solidarity International (CSI) buys back Sudanese slaves for about $50 each, and a Boston-based organization, the American Anti-Slavery Group, raises money for CSI's slavery redemption efforts. 

By selling lemonade, T-shirts, and old toys, the Aurora students raised more than $1,000 within the year. Media attention, including a feature on the CBS Evening News, brought in donations from across the country, ultimately totaling more than $50,000. "We became instant abolitionists," Barbara said.

Many other schools have followed Barbara Vogel's lead in redeeming slaves.

 

Christ saw we were caught in our sin as slaves. He redeemed us by dying for those sins on the Cross. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He is our Redeemer and that in Him we can live a life that is pleasing and honoring to God.

 

“At the cross God wrapped his heart in flesh and blood and let it be nailed to the cross for our redemption.” – E. Stanley Jones

 

God’s Word: “while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” – Titus 2:13-14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

 

Devotional - Showing Kindness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 29, 2018
Devotional - Showing Kindness

“"The LORD bless him!" Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. "He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead." She added, "That man is our close relative; he is one of our kinsman-redeemers."” – Ruth 2:20

 

In the summer of 2003, Jerry and Andrea Dinsmore were living in Skykomish, Washington, a small town 16 miles down Highway 2 from where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses Stevens Pass. Jerry saw some folks in town that he felt needed some help. He thought they were homeless. After getting them back to their house, he heard their stories from the trail and realized he had picked up three PCT thru-hikers. One was a doctor and the other two were teachers—a long way from being vagrants.

As they left his home, Jerry gave them a stack of his business cards. That effort brought another 50 hikers by the Dinsmores’ place that summer, which would become their first summer as “Trail Angels”.

As Trail Angels, Jerry would take the hikers down to the post office to get their packages full of food and gear needed for the next section of hiking. They would eat and rest up at the Dinsmores’ house and it was back to the trail the next day.

The Dinsmores eventually relocated to the smaller town of Baring, 26 miles from Stevens Pass. They now have a huge shop that includes the hiker dorm and another outbuilding with a washer, dryer and shower.

Cliff Harden, a veteran PCT hiker said: “I remember thinking that meeting Jerry and Andrea was one of the highlights of my PCT hike—and to this day it remains one of my best memories.”

 

In all that we do, we need to be kind. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to make kindness a quality that you would never tire to give others.

 

"It is the history of our kindnesses that alone make the world tolerable. If it were not for that—for the effect of kind words, kind looks, kind letters, multiplying, spreading, making one happy through another, and bringing forth benefits, some thirty, some fifty, some a thousandfold—I should be tempted to think our life a practical jest in the worst possible spirit." – Robert Louis Stevenson

 

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 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Seek And Follow Jesus
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 28, 2018
Devotional - Seek And Follow Jesus

“But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” – Ruth 1:16

 

Lauren Nelson was the 2007 Miss Oklahoma. That year she competed in the Miss America Contest and won.

It was a dream come true, but Lauren soon realized she carried a heavy burden. “People wanted to meet Miss America; they didn't really want to know Lauren. On the outside it was literally a dream come true, but on the inside, behind the scenes, it was probably the loneliest time in my life.”

As the year went on, Lauren began to have a change of heart. “When I really started get to go to children's hospitals and see kids and actually see that Miss America can make an impact and can inspire, and brighten somebody’s day; those were the parts that I just loved.”

After her reign ended, Lauren had to prepare for the next phase of her life. “In the beginning of my year I was crying because I was too scared to do it and at the end of it I was boo-hooing because I wanted them to ask me to do it another year. I really thought, ‘what do I do now?’ ‘what is life after Miss America?’ ‘Because I’m 21 and I hope I haven’t peaked.”

On the flight home, Lauren ran into a reporter, Robin Marsh. Over a cup of coffee, the two started a friendship. In time, Robin spoke to Lauren about Jesus. “She invited me to go to church with her and her family. She asked me to do a Bible study in her home with her. I really saw in Robin’s life her living out this relationship with Jesus, and I saw the-difference that it made in her life. I thought, ‘I want what they’ve got, and I need what they’ve got.’”

That’s when Lauren made a decision. “I remember just going in front of the church just broken. It was that day that I fully surrendered everything to Him. That was the day that He took all my shame and all of my guilt and that I felt true forgiveness.”

Today, Lauren is married and speaks to audiences about her time as Miss America and finding her true identity in Christ. “My identity is found in who Jesus says I am now instead of what everybody else thinks of me, because that opinion changes all the time, but God’s opinion of me never changes.”

 

Seek and follow Jesus with all of your heart. Today in prayer, seek the Lord in all that you do and delight in His working in you.

 

“The faithful person lives constantly with God.” – Clement of Alexandria

 

God’s Word: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” – Proverbs 3:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Fit In Their Own Eyes
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 27, 2018
Devotional - Fit In Their Own Eyes

“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” – Judges 21:25

 

Outside of a declared war zone, the Juarez Valley in Mexico is considered one of the most lawless places on earth. Located on the Mexico-Texas border, it is a forty-mile stretch of cotton fields and ghost towns. It is so dangerous that even the police don't dare to enter.

Situated to the east of Juarez City – a town which held the title of the world's most violent for three consecutive years – the criminal cartels in 'Murder Valley' run drugs, weapons and illegal immigrants across the border, murdering in cold blood anyone who interferes with their business.

Today the Juarez Valley, which runs along the Rio Grande and is just a stone's throw from the eighteen-foot fence on the US border, sees more death and violence than anywhere else in North America. It has even been suggested that it could be the deadliest place anywhere.

There is an average of two murders each day. 'You get used to seeing dead bodies in the streets', said Alejandro Montes, an employee at the only petrol station in the town of Praxedis Guadalupe.

A community vigilante force established itself in the area, but following the kidnapping, torture and beheading of its chief Manuel Castro, the residents have lived in fear of the brutal treatment reserved for community heroes.

 

Sin and chaos rule our lives when Jesus is not on the throne of our heart. Today in prayer, thank Christ that He died for you and has given you a new perspective for living.

 

“The basis of all sin is selfishness.” – David O. McKay

 

God’s Word: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” – Judges 17:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - A Lesson From A Bee
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 26, 2018
Devotional - A Lesson From A Bee

“So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head," he said, "because I have been a Nazirite set apart to God since birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man." – Judges 16:17

 

In an article entitled “Trapped Bee Offers Simple Reminder on Temptation,” Pastor Craig Larson writes:

“I was at a party over lunch with a dozen of my fellow workers. It was a warm, Chicago day in early September, and we had the windows open wide. Soon a bee found its way in, and after buzzing near me it landed on some food on the table. One of my colleagues a few chairs away took hold of an empty bottle of sparkling grape juice and put the mouth of the bottle near the bee. When she did that, I expected the bee to be startled and fly away for its own safety, as a butterfly might do. Instead, without a moment's hesitation, the bee flew to the mouth of the bottle as if it had done this a hundred times before and climbed inside the narrow opening. Immediately my colleague put the cap on the bottle and screwed it shut. The bee spent the rest of our party drinking at the bottom of the bottle. As far as I know, the bee was never released.

What was my colleague's purpose in luring the bee into the bottle? Was she concerned about the bee, wanting it to enjoy our hospitality and have plenty to drink? No, she dislikes bees. Her purpose was capture and control. The bee had flown into a trap.

When Satan incites us to indulge in the pleasures of the world in a manner that oversteps God's commands, what is his purpose? Is he concerned that we might miss out on the good things of God? No, he despises humans. His purpose is capture and control. We must never forget that when we follow him, we walk into a trap.”

 

We can overcome temptations through the power and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to lead you away from temptations and to follow Him all the days of your life.

 

“Let us learn more about the power of temptation in order to avoid it.” – John Owen

 

God’s Word: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” – Matthew 6:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - So He May Receive The Glory
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 23, 2018
Devotional - So He May Receive The Glory

“The LORD said to Gideon, "You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her” – Judges 7:2

 

Pastor Dave Hess from Camp Hill, Pennsylvania had just come through the worst of his battle with acute myeloid leukemia. He had completed his final round of chemotherapy.

The oncologist was pleased with the latest test results. Then something happened that made it all for naught–his appendix burst.

Dave’s white blood cells were depleted from the chemo–he couldn’t fight infection. His platelet count was low–his blood wouldn’t clot. In other words, surgery was not an option. And without it, the poison flooding from his appendix would be fatal.

The doctors inserted a tube into the 39-year old pastor’s abdomen, hoping to drain off some of the toxins. But it would only delay the inevitable for a few hours, not the weeks needed to build up the strength to survive an appendectomy. Dave’s wife Sheri raced to the hospital and told everyone we knew to come, come now.

“You are a shield around me, O Lord,” Dave said aloud. He repeated it over and over until he was able to sleep. For the next six weeks he clung to life and repeated his prayer throughout the days.

At six weeks, his blood platelet levels normalized. The surgeon prepared me for the operation. “I’m going to do an exploratory procedure,” he said. “We need to see what damage has been done.”

After the operation, the surgeon was dumb founded as he talked to Dave.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” the surgeon said. He held up one of the photos. It just looked like blobs to Dave.

“Here is your appendix, what’s left of it,” he said, pointing with his pen. “But surrounding it...is a kind of tent, composed of adhesions.” He made a circle. “It’s the strongest kind of scar tissue there is. We normally see it only after someone has surgery.”

“What does that mean?” Dave asked.

The surgeon fumbled for the right words. “All the toxins were contained within this structure. These adhesions, they acted almost like...tiny shields, tightly packed together.”

Pastor Dave is extremely grateful for God’s miracle in his life.

 

It is in our weakness and our struggles that Jesus Christ receives glory. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that when we are weak, Jesus is strong and all the glory belongs to Christ.

 

“God’s glory is His reputation. To live for God’s glory means to live so that God’s reputation is enhanced (heightened in quantity and quality) and not diminished in any way.” – Charles Ryrie

 

God’s Word: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - God's Call
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 22, 2018
Devotional - God's Call

“The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?"” – Judges 6:14

 

In August 2009, Patrick Durkin, age 59, was body surfing in Ocean City, Maryland, when he was caught unexpectedly by a wave close to shore. He rode it in but was thrown into a wall of sand that broke his spinal cord and made him a quadriplegic.

Patrick is a Christian and a member of Bethesda United Methodist Church in Maryland and believed the Lord had a purpose for him.

For months he endured physical therapy and he labored to rebuild his life. He is confined to a wheelchair that he operates with just his breath. His experiences have reinforced his belief that God answers prayers. But he could not quite make sense of why such a tragedy befell him—until his church introduced him to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Once a month, members of Bethesda United Methodist Church go to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to provide lunch to military personnel who have been injured in the war in Afghanistan and their families. Patrick accompanied them and offered a friendly heart and a kindred spirit. He was able to talk to the men in a way no one else could. He had wisdom and faith to share his life. “It’s a God thing,” he said. “I feel called.”

 

What is the Lord calling you to do? Today in prayer, look to Jesus to supply all of your needs and then follow Him with all of your heart.

 

“God doesn’t call people who are qualified. He calls people who are willing, and then He qualifies them.” – Richard Parker

 

God’s Word: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"” – Isaiah 6:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Avoid Backsliding
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 21, 2018
Devotional - Avoid Backsliding

“Once again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and because they did this evil the LORD gave Eglon king of Moab power over Israel.” - Judges 3:12

 

Mike Yaconelli wrote the following illustration on backsliding in the Wittenberg Door:

“I live in a small, rural community. There are lots of cattle ranches around here, and, every once in a while, a cow wanders off and gets lost. Ask a rancher how a cow gets lost, and chances are he will reply, ‘Well, the cow starts nibbling on a tuft of green grass, and when it finishes, it looks ahead to the next tuft of green grass and starts nibbling on that one, and then it nibbles on a tuft of grass right next to a hole in the fence. It then sees another tuft of green grass on the other side of the fence, so it nibbles on that one and then goes on to the next tuft. The next thing you know, the cow has nibbled itself into being lost.’ ” Most people don’t deliberately set out to backslide, but following their appetites or desires from one tuft to the next, they nibble themselves through the fence and off the straight and narrow path.”

 

Backsliding is a gradual process. Today in prayer, confess any sin in your life, repent from it and seek to grow closer to Jesus every day.

 

“It is a miserable thing to be a backslider. Of all unhappy things that can befall a man, I suppose ‘backsliding’ is the worst. A stranded ship, a broken-winged eagle, a garden overrun with weeds, a harp without strings, a church in ruins—all these are sad sights. But a backslider is a sadder sight still.” – John Charles Ryle

 

God’s Word: “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 4:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Not Knowing God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 20, 2018
Devotional - Not Knowing God

“After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.” – Judges 2:10

 

Late one night in early May 2011, Pastor Jerry DeWitt of DeRidder, Louisiana was lying in bed when his phone rang. It was Natosha Davis, a friend and parishioner in a church where DeWitt had preached for more than five years. Her brother had been in a bad motorcycle accident, she said, and he might not survive. She wanted Jerry to pray for him. But now he found that the words would not come. He comforted her as best he could, but he couldn’t bring himself to invoke God’s help.

Jerry’s crisis of faith deepened. In October 2011, he left the church and identified himself as an atheist. Today, he is an atheist leader. 

Dewitt said: “In the end, I couldn’t help feeling that all religion, even the most loving kind, is just a speed bump in the progress of the human race.”

 

Knowing Jesus and having a deep personal relationship with Him needs to be our first priority in life. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He saved you and you can know Him better.

 

“They that deny a God, destroy man's nobility: for certainly man is of kin to the beast by his body; and if he be not kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature.” – Francis Bacon

 

God’s Word: “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.” – Galatians 4:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

 

Devotional - The Lord Guides And Protects
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 19, 2018
Devotional - The Lord Guides And Protects

“It was the LORD our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled.” – Joshua 24:17

 

On 10th April 1858, a bell was cast for the clock tower at Westminster. It was nicknamed “Big Ben” and it is an iconic landmark in London.

The tin and copper bell weighs 13 and a-half tons, about the same as a small elephant. Big Ben is 7 feet six inches tall and 9 feet wide.

It is traditionally thought that the melody was originally fitted to the clock of the University Church, St. Mary's the Great, in Cambridge, England. It comes from a composition by Handel, and is found in the fifth bar of the magnificent symphony, "I Know that My Redeemer Liveth."

Words were eventually added and put on display in the clock room:

“Lord, through this hour be Thou our guide;

So by Thy power no foot shall slide.”

 

The Lord protects and guides us through all of the events in our lives. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He protects you from all types of harm.

 

“The moment we begin to tread upon the thin ice of our own abilities, we have traveled beyond the realm of God’s promised protection and provision.” – Bart J. Leger

 

God’s Protection: “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” – Psalm 17:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Serve Faithfully
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 16, 2018
Devotional - Serve Faithfully

“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:14

 

Zelmyra and Herbert Fisher were married on May 13, 1924. Eighty-four years later, in 2008, they broke the Guinness World Record for the being the longest married living couple. After 87 years of marriage, Herbert passed away in 2011 at 105 years old; his wife was the exact same age when she died just two years later in 2013. 

Before they passed the Fishers were asked several questions about their long lasting love. The following is three questions and their answers:

What was the best piece of marriage advice you ever received?

Respect, support, and communicate with each other. Be faithful, honest, and true. Love each other with ALL of your heart.

At the end of bad relationship day, what is the most important thing to remind yourselves?

Remember marriage is not a contest, never keep a score. God has put the two of you together on the same team to win.

What’s the one thing you have in common that transcends everything else?

We are both Christians and believe in God. Marriage is a commitment to the Lord. We pray with and for each other every day.

 

Wherever the Lord has planted you, serve Him faithfully. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for the gifts and talents He has given you and seek to serve Him faithfully.

 

“As long as I see any thing to be done for God, life is worth having; but O how vain and unworthy it is to live for any lower end!” – David Brainerd

 

God’s Word: “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” – 1 Peter 4:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Let The Lord Be Your God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 15, 2018
Devotional - Let The Lord Be Your God

“If you violate the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the LORD's anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you." – Joshua 23:16

 

In an article entitled “Idolatry Is Alive Today: Why Modern Church Leaders Still Fight an Old Battle,” Ed Stetzer writes the following: “Idolatry is not just a pagan issue. It is not just an Old Testament or Jewish issue. It is a human issue.

Is it that a 12-inch tall piece of wood or bronze can do something bad to us? Or is it that we do something awful to ourselves when we place adoration and attention that should go to God in other things?

When it comes to idolatry, the danger is not in an item… it is in us.

It was John Calvin who said our heart is an idol factory. In a fallen world, people constantly seek things they can worship, even though the Creator is before us in plain view.

We are all looking for something to worship and serve. Idols come easy, but go hard.

There is a consistent theme about idolatry throughout the Scriptures—and in our lives as well.

In 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, the Bible describes our new life, our new birth in Christ in this way: “You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” Of course, in comparison to a dead and false idol, serving a living God seems like a no-brainer.

Does becoming a worshiper of the one true God mean we no longer have to contend with the issue of idolatry? I wish it were that simple.

Everything that is not of God raises itself up against God, even in the life of a Christian. So we constantly have idol pop-ups in our lives. We have to cast them down, but they will be there as long as we live here on earth.”

 

Don’t let any idolatry slip into your life. Let the living God be the God of your life. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He is worthy of our worship and confess and repent from any sin of idolatry.

 

“Idolatry is an attempt to use God for man’s purposes, rather than to give oneself to God’s service.” – C.F.D. Moule

 

God’s Word: “Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.” – 1 Corinthians 10:14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Love The Lord Your God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 14, 2018
Devotional - Love The Lord Your God

“So be very careful to love the LORD your God.” – Joshua 23:11

 

Christian author Jill Briscoe relates the following about loving the Lord: “Christianity is not for people who have checked their minds in the cloak room as they come into the church. Christianity is for those with bright minds that will mind God. That mind will say, ‘I have to look at this Christian faith. I have to give the mind that God has given me back to him in such a way that he can instruct it about his nature and his ways.’

And that's what it really means to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. It does not mean a mindless Christianity being told what to think and what to believe. It means exposing your mind to the mind of God. And he, omniscient God that he is, God that he is, will share some of his nature with you and with me. Even though we're little dust people with little dust minds living in little dust bodies eating dust food, he will give us the capacity to understand him. When we love him with all our soul, all our mind, and all our heart, then we will begin to love him with all our strength.”

 

Love Jesus with all of your heart. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His love for you and let Him know that you love Him.

 

“Let us make God the beginning and the end of our love, for he is the fountain from which all good things flow and into him alone they flow back. Let him therefore be the beginning of our love.” – Richard Rolle

 

God’s Word: “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "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.'” – Mark 12:28-30

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Be Strong
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 13, 2018
Devotional - Be Strong

“Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left.” – Joshua 23:6

 

Frederick Sleigh Roberts was a British soldier who was one of the most successful commanders of the 19th century. He served in the Indian Rebellion, the Expedition to Abyssinia and the Second Anglo-Afghan War before leading British Forces to success in the Second Boer War. He was also the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces of all British Military forces.

In November 1914, he was visiting St Omer, France to encourage the Indian troops fighting in the First World War. The 82-year-old retired field marshal caught pneumonia and was about to die.

He told those gathered by him of the importance of their studying the Bible:

“I ask you to put your trust in God. You will find in this Book guidance when you are in health, comfort when you are in sickness, and strength when you are in adversity.”

 

Be strong in Christ and do not be timid in following Him. Today in prayer, thank Christ for His wonderful love towards you and seek to follow Him in all that you do.

 

“It does not require great learning to be a Christian and to be convinced of the truth of the Bible. It requires only an honest heart and a willingness to obey God.” – Albert Barnes

 

God’s Word: “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” – 2 John 1:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - He Gives Rest
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 12, 2018
Devotional - He Gives Rest

“Now that the LORD your God has given your brothers rest as he promised, return to your homes in the land that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side of the Jordan.” – Joshua 22:4

 

In 1981, Joe Hunter started “Truckstop Ministries” in Georgia. He reached out to truckers at fuel stops, in parking lots, on the CB and through a radio show called "Heaven's Road."

He heard all sorts of stories: tales of loneliness, thoughts of suicide, struggles with guilt. A Vietnam veteran, he's even lived a little of what he's heard.

Trucking wasn't simply Joe's ministry. It was his first love. He started working at a truck stop at 16 years old and drove a truck for 20 years.

"America moves by trucks," he said. "Without trucks, America stops."

Hunter's Truckstop Ministries Inc. works like a spiritual gas station. He prayed with truckers, coaxed them to make tough decisions and handed out taped sermons that fortify them on lengthy business trips.

"The greatest thing about being a truck driver is that you have a lot of time to think," Hunter said. "The horrible thing about being a truck driver is that you have a lot of time to think."

There's plenty of time to do ill as well. Drug dealers, prostitutes, runaways -- they all hover around some truck stops, Hunter and drivers said.

Joe Hunter went to be with the Lord in July 2018. But the Truckstop Ministries continues to provide spiritual rest in 28 states and at 70 different truck stops.

 

The Lord desires us to take breaks often and to rest in Him. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that His yoke is light and He gives rest to all who are weary and come to Him.

 

“The stops of a good man are ordered by the Lord as well as his steps.” – George Mueller

 

God’s Word: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - The Lords's Promises Never Fail
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 9, 2018
Devotional - The Lords's Promises Never Fail

“Not one of all the LORD's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” – Joshua 21:45

 

The Anglo-Portuguese Alliance was ratified at the Treaty of Windsor in 1386 between England (later the United Kingdom) and Portugal. It is the oldest alliance in the world that is still in force - with the earliest treaty dating back to the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1373.

The alliance has served both countries throughout their respective military histories, influencing the participation of the United Kingdom in the Iberian Peninsular War, the UK's major land contribution to the Napoleonic Wars and the establishment of an Anglo-American base in Portugal. Portugal aided England (and later the UK) in times of need, such as, in the First World War.

Today, Portugal and the United Kingdom are both part of NATO, a larger intergovernmental military alliance between several North American and European states.

The more than 600 years of cooperation and trust between these countries rests on the promises made in the Treaty of 1373.

 

The Lord is faithful in all that He promises; His promises stand throughout eternity. Today in prayer, thank Christ that you can depend upon His promises and He is true to His Word.

 

“The message of promise is the beginning and end of everything that is included in the Bible. It undergirds every word, sometimes openly, sometimes subtly, but it is always there. God’s promises are the common thread that unites the Old and New Testament, the core that makes sixty-six books into one.” – Mark Tabb

 

God’s Word: “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” – Numbers 23:19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Cling To Our Refuge
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 8, 2018
Devotional - Cling To Our Refuge

“Then the LORD said to Joshua: ‘Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood.’” – Joshua 20:1-3

 

The Rohingya Crisis is the mass migration of people from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). Many have fled the area by sea, where they have collectively been dubbed "boat people" by the international media. But even more have fled by land and settled in refugee camps.

The Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh is the largest refugee camp in the world. More than 1 million people have sought refuge there. The camp doubled in size in just six months.

One aid worker, Sunee Singh, described the exodus of people traveling to Kutupalong: “At the border, I remember my colleagues were saying it was a tsunami of people, waves of people crossing the borders.” 

Sunee gave her first impressions of visiting Kutupalong: “It was very overwhelming in the sense that you’re surrounded by these faces and you see they’ve been through a lot. In front of you there are people who don’t even have umbrellas to shelter them from the rain, who look very thin. There was these women drenched along with their small kids with them, and it was just clear they had been starving for days.”

The United Nations estimates there are some 69 million people who are refugees in the world.

 

Today in prayer, pray for the 69 million refugees and thank Christ that He is your refuge in this turbulent world.

 

“Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee; Leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me. All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring; Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.” – Charles Wesley

 

God’s Word: “Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” – Psalm 2:11-12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Follow The Lord Wholeheartedly
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 7, 2018
Devotional - Follow The Lord Wholeheartedly

“So on that day Moses swore to me, 'The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.'” – Joshua 14:9

 

Fulton Sheen was a Roman Catholic Archbishop who pioneered radio and television religious programing. He gave the following illustration of the human heart:

“The human heart is not shaped like a valentine heart, perfect and regular in contour; it is slightly irregular in shape as if a small piece of it were missing out of its side. That missing part may very well symbolize a piece that a spear tore out of the Universal Heart of Humanity on the Cross, but it probably symbolizes something more.

It may very well mean that when God created each human heart, He kept a small sample of it in heaven, and sent the rest of it into the world of time, where it would each day learn the lesson that it could never be really happy, that it could never be really wholly in love, that it could never be really whole-hearted until it rested with the Risen Christ in an eternal Easter…” 

 

Following the Lord wholeheartedly means commitment, there is no turning back. Today in prayer, thank Christ that He went to the Cross with commitment and choose to follow Him with your whole heart.

 

“Christ is not valued at all unless He is valued above all.” – Augustine

 

God’s Word: “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.” – Romans 6:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

 

Devotional - Avoid Greed And Covetousness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 6, 2018
Devotional - Avoid Greed And Covetousness

“When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath." – Joshua 7:21

 

In 1994, Henry “Deacon” Lyons was the highly-respected president of the National Baptist Convention (NBC).

But in February 1998 he was charged with one count of racketeering and two counts of grand theft, and in summer 1998 he was indicted by federal prosecutors for fraud, extortion, money laundering, conspiracy and tax evasion. He initially protested his innocence and claimed there was a racial motivation for the charges, but the proceedings of his trial and his eventual plea bargaining agreement dampened the enthusiasm of those who maintained his innocence. In 1999 Lyons was sentenced to a total of five and a half years in jail for misappropriating more than $4 million from the NBC while he was its President.

He used the money to buy luxury residences and jewelry and to support his mistresses.

When Lyons was released from prison in 2003, he said: "I know I need to be stronger morally. I need to say 'no' to myself and others and mean it and stick with it."

 

Greed and covetousness puts things above our love for the Lord. Today in prayer, confess any sin of covetousness and seek Jesus with all of your heart.

 

“Covetousness is perhaps the most serious sin in the West today, and no covetous person will inherit the kingdom of God.” – Ron Sider

 

God’s Word: “Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." – Luke 12:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - His Laws Are To Protect Us
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 5, 2018
Devotional - His Laws Are To Protect Us

“Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.” – Joshua 7:11-12

 

On the morning of December 20, 1987, the Philippine passenger ferry Doña Paz left from Tacloban, Leyte, for Manila. During the trip, the sky was clear, but the sea was a bit choppy. The ship had a passenger capacity of 608, but there were more than 2,000 people onboard who were not on the ship’s manifest. The ship also did not have a working radio. During the evening, while most of the passengers slept, Doña Paz collided with MT Vector, an oil tanker.

Upon collision, MT Vector's cargo ignited and caused a fire on the ship that spread onto Doña Paz. Survivors recalled sensing the crash and an explosion, causing panic on the vessel. All of the lights onboard had gone out minutes after the collision. No life vests to be found on Doña Paz. It was later said that the life jacket lockers had been locked. The 24 survivors were forced to jump off the ship and swim among charred bodies in flaming waters around the ship, with some using suitcases as makeshift flotation devices. The waters where the accident occurred were shark infested.

Though the Doña Paz broke many laws, the official blame was directed at MT Vector. The MT Vector was found to be unseaworthy, and operating without a license, lookout or qualified master. With an estimated death toll of 4,386 people, it remains the deadliest peacetime maritime disaster in history.

 

The Lord warns us to protect us. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His Commandments and seek to follow Him in all that you do.

"The law is not over us, to condemn us, but under our feet, to be a guide for our path. In saying that, it is the moral law, as reflected in the Ten Commandments, to which I refer, which we have the pleasure of obeying to the glory of God and out of gratitude for our salvation." – Richard D. Phillips

 

God’s Word: “For in my inner being I delight in God's law” – Romans 7:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - What Message Does My Lord Have?
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 2, 2018
Devotional - What Message Does My Lord Have?

“"Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, "What message does my Lord have for his servant?"” – Joshua 5:14

 

Pastor Tim Keller compares the Lordship of Jesus Christ to what he calls "a life-quake":

“When a great big truck goes over a tiny little bridge, sometimes there's a bridge-quake, and when a big man goes onto thin ice there's an ice-quake. Whenever Jesus Christ comes down into a person's life, there's a life-quake. Everything is reordered. If he was a guru, if he was a great man, if he was a great teacher, even if he was the genie of the lamp, there would be some limits on his rights over you. If he's God, you cannot relate to him at all and retain anything in your life that's a non-negotiable. Anything … any view, any conviction, any idea, any behavior, any relationship. He may change it, he may not change it, but at the beginning of the relationship you have to say, ‘In everything he must have the supremacy.’”

 

Every day we need to seek the Lord and ask Him: “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” Today in prayer, seek to do the will of Christ and let others see Christ at work in you.

 

“It is a vain thought to flee from the work that God appoints us, instead of seeking it in loving obedience.” – George Eliot

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Ask For The Lord's Strength
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 1, 2018
Devotional - Ask For The Lord's Strength

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

 

Pastor Bob Russell is a Christian author and preaching minister at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He wrote about a father who watched through the kitchen window as his small son attempted to lift a large stone out of his sandbox. The boy was frustrated as he wrestled with the heavy object because he just couldn't get enough leverage to lift it over the side. Finally the boy gave up and sat down dejectedly on the edge of the sandbox with his head in his hands.

The father went outside and asked, "What's wrong, Son? Can't you lift that rock out?

"No, sir," the boy said, "I can't do it."

"Have you used all the strength that's available to you?" the father asked.

"Yes, sir," the boy replied.

"No, you haven't," the father said. "You haven't asked me to help you."

 

Troubles will come to all of us, but we can have God’s strength to help us. Today in prayer, give Jesus your worries, anxieties and fears and trust in Him to strengthen you.

 

"The way to grow strong in Christ is to become weak in yourself.” – Charles H. Spurgeon 

 

God’s Word: “But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Studying the Bible
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 31, 2018
Devotional - Studying the Bible

“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” – Joshua 1:8

 

In February 2018, more than 200 Christians and Israeli Jews met in Israel’s Knesset to study the Bible together.

American-born Israeli Orthodox Rabbi and Knesset Member Yehuda Glick hosted the study, cosponsored by the Knesset Caucus for the Encouragement of Bible Study; the Schindler Society, a Christian organization that introduced Bible study in the U.S. Congress; and Israel365, a group which strives to connect Christian Zionists with Israel.

“Of course, there is nothing new about the Bible being studied in the Knesset,” said Rabbi Tuly Weisz, director of Israel365. “Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, was an avid reader of the Bible…yet the Schindler Society is adding an important element that has not - and could not have - existed until this day. Emerging from the pro-Israel Christian community, this week’s Bible study is the fulfillment of one of the most beautiful descriptions of Jerusalem.”

Glick summed up the event in light of scripture.

“It’s exciting to see how the words of the prophets are really coming about,” he said. “We have people from all over the world who come to study Bible from Jerusalem, exactly as Isaiah said.”

“Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it.

And many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.’ For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” - Isaiah 2:2-3

 

Everyone needs to be a student of the Word of God, no matter what age. Today in prayer, read through your favorite Bible verses and ask the Lord to help you commit them to memory.

 

“I am convinced that one of the greatest things we can do is to memorize Scripture.” – Billy Graham

 

God’s Word: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

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