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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN Mark
Devotional - Go!
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 30, 2020
Devotional - Go!

“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.’” – Mark 16:15

 

Dois Rosser was born in Hampton, Virginia, and was a longtime businessman in Virginia's Hampton Roads/Tidewater area. After owning an insurance company, he got his start in the auto business when he bought a small Poquoson car dealership in 1948 for $35,000. He grew the POMOCO Auto Group to become one of the largest dealership groups in Newport News and Hampton, Virginia, opening a new $10 million sales complex in 1996 and operating at least 27 different franchises under the Pomoco Group banner. His companies employed about 350 people and taking more than $150 million in annual revenue.

In 1986, Dois founded International Cooperating Ministries (ICM), a Christian nonprofit organization whose mission is to build a church within walking distance of everyone in the world. As of 2019, the organization had 8,543 church projects built or under construction in 58 countries. 

 

The Gospel is Good News and Jesus desires you to share it with others. Today in prayer, thank Christ for His Gospel and seek to share it with others.

 

"No man on earth is getting along 'pretty well' without Jesus Christ." - William Fraser McDowell

 

God’s Word: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - This Is The Son Of God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 29, 2020
Devotional - This Is The Son Of God

"And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!’” – Mark 15:39

 

Growing up in Iran, the god of the Koran was the only god that Fatima Devanbeigi ever knew. “He’s not a personal god. He’s distant, and nobody knows who he is. Nobody knows his nature. Nobody knows his plans. You just know that he cares about morality and in order to go to heaven, you must do good works.”

As a teenager, Fatima looked for answers. “Finally I came to a conclusion. I said, ‘God, You are either so complicated that I could never know you, or you’re right in front of my eyes, and I can’t see you.’”

Her cry was answered when Fatima says that Jesus appeared to her in a dream.

“I dreamt that Jesus and I were walking in a rose garden. This is going to make my cry. In the dream, I’m thinking he’s a prophet. He’s walking, and I’m following, and He said, ‘Do you want to come with Me?’ and I said, ‘Yes.’ And He said, ‘Then follow me.’”

Night after night, Fatima had dreams about Jesus, God – and churches.

“Old churches, new churches, modern churches. And I dreamt that my Mom and all of my family are holding hands, going to the church.”

Fatima moved to the United States when she twenty. She met a friend from work who told her about Jesus.

That night, after years of searching, Fatima prayed to become a Christian.

 

Jesus is God, but He must also be Lord of our lives. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He is God and walk with Him in all that you do.

 

“Take hold of Jesus as a man and you will discover He is God.” – Martin Luther

 

God’s Word: “When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God!’” – Matthew 27:54

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - The Lord's Supper
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 28, 2020
Devotional - The Lord's Supper

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take it; this is my body." Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them.” – Mark 14:22-24

 

In 1847, a boy named Homan Walsh went out to fly a kite. Homan was taking part in a kite-flying contest, so he brought his best kite, and plenty of string.

He stood on the Canadian bank of the Niagara River, letting more and more of that string go out, and his little boy's kite kept going higher, and higher, and higher ... until it stretched nearly 1,000 feet. When a stranger on the American side of the Niagara Gorge grabbed Homan's string, the crowd that had gathered let up a mighty roar. For the first time in history, people on opposite sides of this great gorge were holding onto the same string. And Homan won $5, the top prize in the contest.

There was much more than $5 at stake, however. In short order, the string was tied to a tree on the American shoreline, and a light cord tied to the Canadian end of the string. The cord was then pulled across the 800-foot span. A rope was tied to the cord and pulled safely across. To the rope was attached a wire cable, and to the cable, a thicker cable attached. It was the beginning of an engineering victory over one of the greatest natural barriers that had separated Americans and Canadians.

Fifty-foot towers were built on each side of the river, and more cables became a part of the picture. In time, people rode across the river in buckets, for $1 each, and then they walked on a footbridge for a quarter. But less than a year after Homan's kite first flew across the river, people were safely riding their horse-drawn carriages across the Niagara, on a marvelous suspension bridge that hung 220 feet over the rushing water.

Eventually, there were 15 bridges that spanned the Niagara, six of which are in use today. 

The Lord's Supper is one of the world's simplest meals. From one vantage point, it might not seem much more significant than a boy flying a kite. It might seem little more than a string of a connection between you and God. But from the smallest beginnings can come great bridges of faith.

 

The Lord’s Supper is a remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice and His promise to all who partake in it. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for Communion with Him during the observance of the Lord’s Supper.

 

“This meal is for sinners only.” – David Watson

 

God’s Word: “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom." – Matthew 26:26-29

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Don't Worry What To Say
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Dec 27, 2020
Devotional - Don't Worry What To Say

“Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” – Mark 13:11

 

Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, evangelist and founder of Dallas Theological Seminary, told a simple story from his life. It seems that one-day Dr. Chafer was walking along the street when he encountered a flagman sitting in a little house at a railroad crossing. He noticed that the man was reading a large family Bible. Though a sign on the door said, "No Admittance," 

Dr. Chafer went boldly through the door to greet the man. In reply to a question from Dr. Chafer, the man said that he read the Bible a lot. So Chafer asked a second question--one most people are too timid to ask these days--"Are you saved?" 

The answer of the flagman carries the sentiments of many: "I never could be good enough to be saved." 

Dr. Chafer countered, "Friend, if God would make an exception of your case, and give you salvation outright as a gift, would you receive it?"

 "Mister," the flagman replied, "I don't know what brand of fool you think I am that I wouldn't take a gift like that!" 

Chafer asked the flagman to read John 10:28. It took the man awhile to find the passage, but then he read, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish..." Then Chafer directed him to Romans 6:23, where he read, "the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." 

The flagman was amazed. He said to Dr. Chafer, "Stranger, I don't know who you are, but you've done more for me today than any other man." Chafer crisply replied, "What have I done for you? I've got you in a trap. You told me that if it was a gift, you'd accept it. Now, what are you going to do about that?" "I will accept it right now," the flagman responded. And he did. 

 

We need not worry what to say when we share our hope in Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for giving us the Holy Spirit to guide us in witnessing to others. 

 

“His voice leads us not into timid discipleship but into bold witness.” - Charles Stanley

 

God’s Word: “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” – Matthew 10:19-20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - The Lamb
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 24, 2020
Devotional - The Lamb

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” – Luke 2:6-7

 

Marv & Marbeth Rosenthal wrote a delightful poem entitled: “Mary had the little Lamb”:

“Mary had the little Lamb, who lived before His birth;

Self-existent Son of God, from Heaven He came to Earth. (Micah 5:2)

Mary had the little Lamb; see Him in yonder stall—

Virgin-born Son of God, to save man from the Fall. (Isaiah 7:14)

Mary had the little Lamb, obedient Son of God;

Everywhere the Father led, His feet were sure to trod. (John 6:38)

Mary had the little Lamb, crucified on the tree

The rejected Son of God, He died to set men free. (1 Peter 1:18)

Mary had the little Lamb—men placed Him in the grave,

Thinking they were done with Him; to death He was no slave! (Matthew 28:6)

Mary had the little Lamb, ascended now is He;

All work on Earth is ended, our Advocate to be. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

Mary had the little Lamb—mystery to behold!

From the Lamb of Calvary, a Lion will unfold. (Revelation 5:5,6)

When the Day Star comes again, of this be very sure:

It won’t be Lamb-like silence, but with the Lion’s roar. (Psalm 2:12

Revelation 19:11-16)”

 

Jesus came as a baby, lived and died as a man. He rose from the dead and reigns as God Almighty. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that He did all of this because He loves you. 

 

“Christ was born in the first century, yet He belongs to all centuries. He was born a Jew, yet He belongs to all races. He was born in Bethlehem, yet He belongs to all countries.”

– George Washington Truett

 

God’s Word: “So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” – Luke 2:16-18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS FOR CHRISTMAS

Devotional - The Star Of Bethlehem
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 23, 2020
Devotional - The Star Of Bethlehem

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem” – Matthew 2:1

 

No one knows what guided the wise men from the east to Bethlehem. One leading candidate is the rare alignment of the planets Jupiter and Saturn. On December 21, 2020 the two planets appeared so close that a pinkie finger at arm’s length will easily cover both planets in the sky, NASA said. In space, however, the two planets remain hundreds of millions of miles apart.

It’s been nearly 400 years since the planets passed this close to each other in the sky and nearly 800 years since the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter occurred at night. The planets also aligned in April 6 B.C.

Although scientists have ruled out several possibilities, we may never know for sure what the Star of Bethlehem was or if it even really happened, barring some remarkable archaeological finding. 

"Nothing in science is ever case closed, nor is it in history," said Grant Mathews, a professor of theoretical astrophysics and cosmology at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. "We may never know if the Star of Bethlehem was a conjunction, astrological event or a fable to advance Christianity. Maybe it was simply a miracle."

 

Wise men and women still seek Jesus. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that God became a man to die for you.

 

“Oh, star of wonder, star of night,

Star with royal beauty bright.

Westward leading, still proceeding,

Guide with thy perfect light.” – John Henry Hopkins Jr.

 

God’s Word: “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.” – Matthew 2:10

 

 By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS FOR CHRISTMAS

Devotional - Loving Your Neighbor As Your Self
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 22, 2020
Devotional - Loving Your Neighbor As Your Self

“To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” – Mark 12:33

 

In October 2011, in the city of Foshan, China, the world was horrified at the behavior of some people. Two-year-old YueYue, which means Little Joy, was with her mother at the market in Foshan. Like two-year-olds, she wandered off from her mother.  Video shows her walking down the narrow street of the market, right into the path of an on-coming truck.

The truck hits little YueYue knocking her down.  The driver, aware he has hit something (later he would say he was on his cell phone), slows, then speeds off.

That would be tragic enough, but the next series of events is what brought the nation of China to re-examine its own morality. As YueYue is lying on the road, 18 people pass by her.  Most are walking, but one man on a motorcycle steers around the little girl.  And then, another vehicle runs over the toddler again.

Finally, a woman pulls the limp body of YueYue to the side of the road.

 

Loving our neighbors not only benefits our neighbors but also it benefits us. Today in prayer, ask Jesus how you can love your neighbor. 

 

“He alone loves the Creator perfectly who manifests a pure love for his neighbor.” – Bede

 

God’s Word: “Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, "'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'" – Matthew 19:19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Being A Person Of Integrity
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 21, 2020
Devotional - Being A Person Of Integrity

“They came to him and said, "Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” – Mark 12:14 

 

Fred Phillips is a retired public-safety director and police chief of Johnson City, Tennessee. He told the story of when was a regular police officer, he and his partner pulled over an unlicensed motorist. They asked the man to follow them to the police station, but while en route they spotted a North Carolina vehicle whose license plate and driver matched the description in an all-points bulletin.

Fred and his partner took off in a high-speed chase, and finally stopped the wanted man's car.

Minutes later, as the felon was being arrested, the unlicensed motorist drove up. "If y'all will just tell me how to get to the station, I'll wait for you there," he said. "I'm having a heck of a time keeping up with you." That unlicensed driver had integrity.

 

Do the right thing in everything you do. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is our model for integrity and seek to follow Him in all your ways.

 

"Real integrity stays in place whether the test is adversity or prosperity." - Charles Swindoll

 

God’s Word: “They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are.” – Matthew 22:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional -Forgive Always
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Dec 20, 2020
Devotional -Forgive Always

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” – Mark 11:25

 

On 31 March 1999, Steven Gonzales, Andrew Ramirez, and Andrew Stone were captured while serving with the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment as part of a peacekeeping NATO force in Kosovo. 

In response to the soldiers’ capture, the Reverend Jesse Jackson and a delegation of religious leaders flew to Yugoslavia to negotiate their return.

On 2 May 1999, the men were released. But before leaving Kosovo, Staff Sgt. Christopher J. Stone of Smiths Creek, Michigan, and Specialist Steven M. Gonzales of Huntsville, Texas – told news media "they had developed friendships with their captors, felt fondly about them and had prayed with them before they left". Christopher Stone said he had told one of the soldiers looking after him that he “hoped that war would not separate them and that the two countries and the two armed forces would not be forced to be enemies.”

 

No matter what life may throw your way, forgive others. Do not hold a grudge! Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His forgiveness and forgive others as the Lord has forgiven you.

 

“The man who is truly forgiven and knows it, is a man who forgives.” – Martyn Lloyd-Jones 

 

God’s Word: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” – Matthew 6:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Don't Let Money Get In The Way
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 17, 2020
Devotional - Don't Let Money Get In The Way

“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’” – Mark 10:21

 

John G. Wendel and his sisters were some of the most miserly people of all time. Although they had received a huge inheritance from their parents, they spent very little of it and did all they could to keep their wealth for themselves. John was able to influence five of his six sisters never to marry, and they lived in the same house in New York City for 50 years. He "taught them they must not marry or dissipate their stewardship and that publicity was demeaning."  

The family refused to use their great wealth to help others. 

When the last sister died in 1931, her estate was valued at more than $100 million. Her only dress was one that she had made herself, and she had worn it for 25 years.

 

Don’t let money get in the way of your relationship with Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He wants a relationship with you and put all your hope in Christ.

 

“Nothing I am sure has such a tendency to quench the fire of religion as the possession of money.” – J.C. Ryle

 

God’s Word: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”– 1 Timothy 6:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Out Of Men's Hearts
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Dec 13, 2020
Devotional - Out Of Men's Hearts

“For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.” – Mark 7:21-22

 

The self-proclaimed “prophet” Manasseh Jordan was mentored by Benny Hinn and his father "Bishop" Elijah Bernard Johnson. He soon became wealthy from unsolicited pre-recorded robocalls to people that promise a "financial blessing" if you call him back or send him an email. He has been sued 19 times in federal court over the last four years for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

The prosecution in its latest case against Jordan cited records showing MJM placed more than 163 million automatic calls to a database of more than 4 million unique cellphone numbers in just two years. Among the violations cited were 74 robocalls to Jeffrey Molitor, 138 calls to Laura De la Cabada, 118 to Steve Clarke, and 36 to Ruth Maki.

The plaintiffs were awarded $549,000.

 

The natural heart of man is full of every kind of sin. But thanks be to God that all sin can be forgiven at the Cross of Christ. Today in prayer, confess any sin in your heart and seek to follow Jesus in all that you do.  

 

“You must keep all earthly treasures out of your heart, and let Christ be your treasure, and let Him have your heart.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” – Matthew 15:19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Walk In Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 10, 2020
Devotional - Walk In Faith

“And he was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village.” – Mark 6:6

 

George Mueller was a Christian evangelist and the director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England. He was one of the founders of the Plymouth Brethren movement. 

He cared for 10,024 orphans during his lifetime and provided educational opportunities for the orphans to the point that he was even accused by some of raising the poor above their natural station in British life. He established 117 schools that offered Christian education to more than 120,000 students.

George lived by the “faith principle” — which meant he would look to God and never directly ask another person for money. Nor did he ever borrow money — for anything. He was renowned for peaceful trust in God’s provision, even when a deadline loomed and food was short.

On the subject of faith, Mueller said: “God delights to increase the faith of His children...I say, and say it deliberately--trials, difficulties and sometimes defeat, are the very food of faith...We should take them out of His hands as evidences of His love and care for us in developing more and more that faith which He is seeking to strengthen in us.”

 

Be on your guard against unbelief. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to strengthen your faith in Him. 

 

"Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

God’s Word: “Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’” – Mark 9:24

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Seeking The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 9, 2020
Devotional - Seeking The Lord

“When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’” – Mark 5:27-8  

 

Adolph Friedrich Erdmann von Menzel was born in Breslau, Germany, in 1815 and died in Berlin in 1905. In between those dates, he became renowned for his fine paintings. At eighteen, he published his first work, a group of lithographs called An Artist’s Wanderings. It immediately attracted attention and Menzel was quickly catapulted to fame.

In the Berlin art gallery hangs a painting by Menzel of Frederick the Great talking to his generals. But in the center of the picture, there is a small, bare patch. The work is obviously unfinished. A faint charcoal outline indicates the artist’s intentions. He had skillfully and tediously painted in each general in his uniform, but he had left the king till the last. Perhaps he thought he wasn’t ready to portray the king in this crowning work of his life. He wanted it to be just perfect. But Menzel died before he was able to finish.

Isn’t that like so many people today? They put in all the generals and leave the King to the last, with good intentions that grow fainter every day.

 

When we seek God first, nothing is impossible. Today in prayer, thank the Lord you have found Him and seek that He may be glorified in your life.

 

"The turning point in our lives is when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is." - Patrick Morley

 

God’s Word: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Share His Love
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 8, 2020
Devotional - Share His Love

“Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.” – Mark 5:19-20

 

From the time he became a Christian at age 16, Bruce Olson felt a pull in his heart to go to the unreached corners of the world and tell others about Jesus. At 19, Bruce bought a plane ticket to Venezuela. Shortly after his arrival, he learned of the Bari tribe, a group of people with little to no positive contact with the rest of the world. They were violent and considered “Stone Age”. He had a burden to reach the Bari with the news of Jesus and his life work centered on connecting with and sharing the Gospel with them in a way that they could understand.

Bruce received international attention when the National Liberation Army (ELN) kidnapped him on 24 October 1988. The ELN judged him in the revolutionary justice system, and found him guilty of exploiting the Motilones. He was condemned to die, and his execution was planned. But after 90 days in captivity, Bruce was freed.

After more than 30 years on the mission field, current estimates are that 70% of the Barí people are now Christians.

 

We need to share the love of Jesus with others. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for your family, friends and neighbors and share how God loves you and them. 

 

"It is high tide to make known the glad tidings in these dark regions of sin and spiritual bondage." - Samuel Marsden

 

God’s Word: “The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, "Return home and tell how much God has done for you." So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” – Luke 8:38-39

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

 

Devotional - The Good Soil
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 7, 2020
Devotional - The Good Soil

 “Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop--thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” – Mark 4:20

 

Angus Buchan was born in Zimbabwe. The son of immigrants from Scotland, he farmed maize and cattle in Zambia until he moved in 1976 to farm in Greytown, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. 

In 1979, Angus and his wife Jill gave their lives to Jesus. In 1980 he started the Shalom Ministries to preach in his local community. Over time he has become a full-time evangelist while his sons run the farm.

In 2004, Angus organized a Mighty Men Conference. It began with only 40 people and grew exponentially by the 6th time it was held gathering more than 200,000 in 2009 and by its 7th and final conference, the following year (2010) seated more than 400,000 men gathered together in South Africa to hear about Jesus. 

 

The Lord is looking for men and women to follow Him and for those men and women to reproduce their lives in others. Today in prayer, that Jesus that He is using people who avail themselves to Him in order to bring greater glory to God. 

 

"When I see with what little effort souls can be won, I tremble to think of the many opportunities I am missing. We must do what we can - the little things. God will save them." - Malla Moe

 

God’s Word: “Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 

Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” – Matthew 9:37-38

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Do Not Worry
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 7, 2020
Devotional - Do Not Worry

“but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” – Mark 4:19

 

Henry Ward Beecher was an American Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, and speaker, known for his support of the abolition of slavery and his sermons that emphasized God's love.

One of Beecher’s favorite stories was about a young man who was applying for a job in a New England factory. Asking for the owner, he found himself in the presence of a nervous, fidgety man who looked hopelessly dyspeptic. “The only vacancy here,” he told the applicant, “is a vice-presidency. The man that takes the job must shoulder all my cares.” “That’s a tough job,” said the applicant. “What’s the salary?” “I’ll pay you ten thousand a year if you will really take over all my worries.” “Where is the ten thousand coming from?” asked the applicant, suspiciously. “That my friend,” replied the owner, “is your first worry.

 

None of us is immune to worry. But we can overcome fear and worry and we place our faith in Jesus.  Today in prayer, cast all of your worries and anxiety on Jesus and believe in Him.

 

"There is no need for two to care, for God to care and the creature too." - Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Better Than Family
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 3, 2020
Devotional - Better Than Family

“Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother.’” – Mark 3:34-35

 

The Rev. Khalid Mansoor Soomro is a former Muslim from Pakistan who committed to Jesus in 1985. He has translated the scriptures into the Sindhi language. He has distributed the Bible throughout Pakistan, conducted Bible courses on the Internet, and taught others in their homes in Pakistan. 

When he shared his conversion story with his parents, he was turned out of his home and no longer accepted as a family member. Khalid had to choose between Jesus and his family. And he chose Jesus. Khalid reflects, “Even though it is not easy and we face many hardships, we feel like Paul, who went through hardships and suffering for the glory of his Savior, who himself suffered during his walk on earth and his time on the cross.”

 

Following Jesus is better than family. Today in prayer, give thanks to Jesus and seek to follow them with all your heart. 

 

"How many observe Christ's birthday!  How few, his precepts!  O! 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments." - Benjamin Franklin

 

God’s Word: “Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?” – Luke 6:46

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Echoing God's Forgiveness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 2, 2020
Devotional - Echoing God's Forgiveness

“Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” – Mark 2:7

 

Miroslav Volf is the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and is the Founder and Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. He was educated in his native Croatia, the United States, and Germany, earning doctoral and post-doctoral degrees (with highest honors) from the University of Tübingen, Germany.

In his book “Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace”, Volf writes the following on participating in God’s forgiveness:

“It’s so crucial to see our forgiving not simply as our own act, but as participation in God’s forgiving. Our forgiving is faulty; God’s forgiving is faultless. Our forgiving is provisional; God’s is final. We forgive tenuously and tentatively; God forgives unhesitantly and definitively…. The only way we dare forgive is by making our forgiving transparent to God’s and always open to revision. After all, our forgiveness is only possible as an echo of God’s.”

 

When we forgive others we bring glory to Jesus. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His forgiveness and forgive those who have wronged you.

 

"Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness, or else forgiving another." - Jean Paul Richter

 

God’s Word: “The other guests began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’” – Luke 7:49

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Filled With Compassion
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 1, 2020
Devotional - Filled With Compassion

“Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. ‘Be clean!’” – Mark 1:41

 

Beth Dykhuizen loves children. As the mother of four from Plano, Texas, she is devoted to serving her family and raising her kids to be fine Christian young people. Early on, Beth learned how painful it is to see innocent children suffer. Her own son, Kurt, was born with Goldenhar Syndrome, which meant he had numerous birth defects and required over 18 surgeries. Watching her son go through these physical challenges drew Beth's heart to other hurting children.

"People used to tell me that I am very sensitive to other people's needs," Beth says. "But it made me think, what am I doing with it? I finally realized that the sensitivity was not beneficial unless I acted upon it. When I would see suffering in this world, I would question why God would allow it. But then I realized that God had made me reach out, touch the suffering, and show them his love."

 

Just as Christ is compassionate with us, we need to show compassion to others. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He is our example of compassion and then be compassionate to others. 

 

"I have long since ceased to pray, 'Lord Jesus, have compassion on a lost world!' I remember the day and the hour when I seemed to hear the Lord rebuking me for making such a prayer. He seemed to say to me, 'I have had compassion upon a lost world, and now it is for you to have compassion.'" - A.J. Gordon

 

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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Following Jesus
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 30, 2020
Devotional - Following Jesus

“At once they left their nets and followed him.” – Mark 1:18

 

It was in 1873, in Dublin that D.L. Moody heard British evangelist Henry Varley utter those life-changing words: "The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him." It was after an all-night prayer meeting in Dublin, at the home of Henry Bewley. Varley did not even remember making the statement when Moody reminded him of it a year later. "As I crossed the wide Atlantic," Moody said, "the boards of the deck...were engraved with them, and when I reached Chicago, the very paving stones seemed marked with them." 

Moody decided he was involved in too many ministries to be effective and therefore began to concentrate on evangelism. 

In his lifetime, on average, Moody spoke to 40,000 to 50,000 people a week. One biographer notes that the assertion that Moody presented the gospel by pen or voice to 100 million people.

 

When Jesus calls you to completely follow Him. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He has called you to follow Him and seek to share the Gospel with others.   

 

"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important." - C. S. Lewis

 

God’s Word: “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” – Matthew 19:29

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

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