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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN Minor Prophets
Devotional - The Lord Is My Strength
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 17, 2019
Devotional - The Lord Is My Strength

“The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” – Habakkuk 3:19

 

One Sunday evening Pastor Jim Cymbala, Pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, was about to preach when he was overcome with emotion. He sensed something was wrong in the congregation and he just sobbed. The organist played: “I Need Thee, Oh, I Need Thee.” Suddenly a young usher came forward, threw himself on the altar and cried: “I’m Sorry, I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.” It turned out the usher was stealing from the collection plate.

He later wrote how about the discovery he made as he acknowledged his weakness: "That evening, when I was at my lowest, confounded by obstacles, bewildered by the darkness that surrounded us, unable even to continue preaching, I discovered an astonishing truth: God is attracted to weakness. He can't resist those who humbly and honestly admit how desperately they need him. Our weakness, in fact, makes room for his power."

 

We cannot rely on our own strength; it will fail us. Today in prayer, pray that the Lord will be your strength in all that you do.

 

“We can never obey God in our own strength, but we can always trust Him to provide the strength we need. If we trust ourselves, we will faint and fall; but if we wait on the Lord by faith, we will receive strength for the journey.” – Warren Wiersbe

 

God’s Word: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” – Psalm 46:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Desire Renewal
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 16, 2019
Devotional - Desire Renewal

“Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” – Habakkuk 3:2

 

In August 1801, Presbyterian minister Barton W. Stone of the Presbyterian Church at Cane Ridge, Kentucky, organized a camp meeting based on Scottish traditions of Holy Fairs. It would run from Friday night through Sunday. The camp included the "large number of ministers, the action sermon, the tables, the tent, the successive servings" of communion, all part of the evangelical Presbyterian tradition and "communion season" known in Scotland.

Crowds of 25,000 traveled by foot and wagon from the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States to attend the camp meeting. The gathering was noted for an awesome atmosphere that evoked spontaneous outbursts of repentance. It has been described as the "[l]argest and most famous camp meeting of the Second Great Awakening." This camp meeting was arguably the pioneering event in the history of frontier camp meetings in America.

 

The Lord desires us to be excited about Him and to turn our hearts toward Him! Today in prayer, praise the Lord for your new life in Jesus. Ask the Lord to renew that desire to love and follow Him.

 

“We've lost sight of the fact that some things are always right and some things are always wrong. We've lost our reference point. We don't have any moral philosophy to undergird our way of life in this country, and our way of life is in serious jeopardy and serious danger unless something happens. And that something must be a spiritual revival.” – Billy Graham

 

God’s Word: “Restore us, O God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.” – Psalm 80:7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Living By Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 15, 2019
Devotional - Living By Faith

“See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright-- but the righteous will live by his faith” – Habakkuk 2:4

 

As a young man preparing to go to China, Hudson Taylor determined to learn to live by faith alone while he was still in England. His resolve was "to learn before leaving England to move man through God by prayer alone." He worked for a doctor and Hudson was paid quarterly. When the time drew near to receive his salary, Hudson was disturbed that his employer said nothing about it. Hudson had only one half-crown piece, but he determined not to break his resolution and ask for his salary. While visiting a needy home on a Sunday, Hudson felt led of God to give his last coin to the needy family. The next day he received an anonymous gift through the mail, four times what he had given to the poor! The following Saturday, the doctor finished up his work and said, "Taylor, is not your salary due again?" Hudson told him that it was and became disappointed when he learned that the doctor had forgotten about the salary due and sent all his funds to the bank! Hudson prayed about the matter (for he had bills of his own to pay) and left it with the Lord. That evening, the doctor visited Hudson and said that one of his richest patients had come over after business hours to pay his bill! He gave the money to Hudson, who rejoiced. He had learned he could trust God and therefore go to China as a missionary.

 

We grow in righteousness when we live by faith in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, ask the Lord how you can trust Him more.

 

 “The essence of faith is being satisfied with all God is for us in Jesus.” – John Piper

 

God’s Word: “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’” – Romans 1:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - He Is Our Refuge
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 12, 2019
Devotional - He Is Our Refuge

“The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him” – Nahum 1:7

 

An area of refuge is a designated location within a building specially designed to hold people safely during an emergency. In other words, an area of refuge is set aside for situations when evacuation may not be possible or is otherwise unsafe. For example, patients in a hospital may not be able to use a stairwell to exit the building because there is a fire. People can wait in the area of refuge safely until rescued by firefighters or emergency rescue teams. This area may also have the name “area of rescue assistance.”

These areas are for the elderly, people with disabilities or operators in a critical facility who cannot leave their station (military base, power station, prison) or any person who cannot access an escape route.

The requirements for an area of refuge is a location adjacent to an emergency exit path, signs designated where to go to shelter, a fire barrier and fresh air. It must also have a communication system.

In many ways, God meets those requirements in our spiritual life. In Him we have safe shelter.  

 

In difficult times, we can come to Our Heavenly Father and He will provide refuge. Today in prayer, thank Christ that in Him we can find refuge in times of trouble.

 

“When we stray from His presence, He longs for you to come back. He weeps that you are missing out on His love, protection and provision. He throws His arms open, runs toward you, gathers you up, and welcomes you home.” – Charles Stanley

 

God’s Word: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” – John 14:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Love Mercy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 12, 2019
Devotional - Love Mercy

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8

 

Henri Nouwen was a Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer and theologian. He took a sabbatical from teaching and for a year researched the subject of compassion. Among other things, he decided to interview significant leaders. This took them to Washington, D.C., and to an appointment with then Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota. He walked into his office and sat down as he remained behind his desk. Senator Humphrey said, “How can I help you?” Henri replied: “I’ve come to ask you, what is compassion?” The senator was taken back by a most unusual question in a congressional office. He got up from behind his desk, came around, and sat with them. He then picked up a #2 pencil and said, “In our country the whole lead and yellow length of this pencil is competition. Then at the very end of it we have this little eraser, and that in our country is compassion. Ours is not a country based on compassion but rather in its length and breadth is based on competition. But when we smear, blot, mess up things and people with our competition, we turn it around and, with this little fixer up of what we have messed up, we tidy things with compassion.

 

We need to appreciate the Lord’s compassion and mercies toward us and extend mercy to others. Today in prayer, praise Lord for His mercy and follow His example.

 

“The essence of justice is mercy.” – Edwin Hubbel Chapin

 

God’s Word: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” – Matthew 23:23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Show Mercy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 11, 2019
Devotional - Show Mercy

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8

 

Henri Nouwen was a Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer and theologian. He took a sabbatical from teaching and for a year researched the subject of compassion. Among other things, he decided to interview significant leaders. This took them to Washington, D.C., and to an appointment with then Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota. He walked into his office and sat down as he remained behind his desk. Senator Humphrey said, “How can I help you?” Henri replied: “I’ve come to ask you, what is compassion?” The senator was taken back by a most unusual question in a congressional office. He got up from behind his desk, came around, and sat with them. He then picked up a #2 pencil and said, “In our country the whole lead and yellow length of this pencil is competition. Then at the very end of it we have this little eraser, and that in our country is compassion. Ours is not a country based on compassion but rather in its length and breadth is based on competition. But when we smear, blot, mess up things and people with our competition, we turn it around and, with this little fixer up of what we have messed up, we tidy things with compassion.

 

We need to appreciate the Lord’s compassion and mercies toward us and extend mercy to others. Today in prayer, praise Lord for His mercy and follow His example.

 

“The essence of justice is mercy.” – Edwin Hubbel Chapin

 

God’s Word: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” – Matthew 23:23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - God's Plan
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 10, 2019
Devotional - God's Plan

“But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD; they do not understand his plan, he who gathers them like sheaves to the threshing floor.” – Micah 4:12  

 

Christian author and speaker Zig Ziglar talked about how in God’s plan redeeming people is the priceless act of God. He put it in great perspective when he asked his readers to think about the priceless masterpieces painted by DaVinci or Michelangelo. Then Zig wrote, “I am roughly familiar with the price of the canvass and the paints. In and of themselves, they are not worth much at all. No -- The value of the painting comes from the touch of the Master’s Hand.”

We are priceless, because we were created by the greatest Master of all. Our lives have great value, because we were formed by the Hand of God for His good purpose.

 

The Lord’s plans for us are much greater than our own. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that God has a plan for your life and seek to do His will in all that you do.

 

“Since God is the highest good, He would not allow any evil to exist in his works unless his omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil.” – Augustine

 

God’s Word: “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.” – Isaiah 55:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - The Reluctant Missionary
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 9, 2019
Devotional - The Reluctant Missionary

“The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.’” – Jonah 1:1-2

 

In an article entitled “Confessions of a Reluctant Missionary,” Barbara Pocius wrote:

“My husband, Michael, and I are regular people. So when our church put out the call for people to go to Peru for missions work, we were ready to drop an extra offering in the bucket and pray for the safety and success of the adventurous travelers.

But as we heard more about the trip, I became aware of a nagging in my head as well as a tugging in my heart.

I’m sure it’s not nice to call the sound of God’s voice nagging, but I wasn’t going to Peru. Other people go on missions trips. You know the kind: young, daring, outdoor-loving. But the nagging got worse.

One early morning, as the sun was coming up, I called out to God with the type of prayers He wasn’t used to hearing from me. This is a bit of how the conversation played out:

‘Heavenly Father, about this Peru trip . . . . You can’t possibly want me to go. I’m old. I’ve never been camping. I don’t like bugs. I don’t like roughing it. Maybe there’s something I should do here at home.’

 

The Lord’s reply seemed clear to Barbara: ‘Meet the need’.

 

Barbara continued to wrestle with God’s call until she and Michael surrendered to it. She went on the mission trip to Peru and they were blessed. She wrote: “I could almost hear His proud response: Well done! Gracias!”

 

The Lord promises to bless us if we follow His call. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that His calling is sure.

 

“Following Christ is not our initiative, merely our response, in obedience.” – Os Guinness

 

God’s Word: “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” – Jonah 3:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Foolish Pride
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 8, 2019
Devotional - Foolish Pride

“Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down," declares the LORD. – Obadiah 1:4

 

In January 2011, then nineteen-year-old Rodney Knight Jr. broke into the home of Washington Post journalist Marc Fisher, stealing a coat, cash, and a laptop belonging to Fisher’s son. Knight was so proud of his little heist that he felt the need to do a little bragging. 

Knight fired up the laptop that belonged to Fisher’s son and then took a picture of himself wearing the jacket and flaunting the cash he had taken. Unbelievably, Knight then posted the photo on the Facebook page of Fisher’s son – which all of Fisher’s 400+ friends instantly saw.

It didn’t take long for police to track down Knight and arrest him. Kyle Roe, the DC police officer working the case, said, “I've seen a lot, but this is the most stupid criminal I've ever seen.”

 

Foolish pride will bring about our fall. Today in prayer, confess any sin of pride in your life and humble yourself before the Lord.

 

“A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” – C.S. Lewis

 

God’s Word: “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” – Proverbs 11:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Woe To Complacency
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 5, 2019
Devotional - Woe To Complacency

“Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation, to whom the people of Israel come!” – Amos 6:1

 

In October 2018, a married couple died while taking a “selfie” photograph in Yosemite National Park. Meenakshi Moorthy, 30, and her husband, Vishnu Viswanath, 29, were Indian expats living in California. 

She was a self-described "adrenaline junkie," and he took "wow-worthy photos" of the couple posing at the edge of cliffs and jumping from planes. Those pictures appeared on social media and a travel blog that attracted thousands of followers. 

The couple's Yosemite trip turned out to be their last. They set up their tripod near a ledge at a scenic overlook in the California park. Visitors saw the camera the next morning and alerted park rangers, who "used high-powered binoculars” to find their bodies about 800 feet below Taft Point. Taft Point is where visitors can walk to the edge of a vertigo-inducing granite ledge that offers spectacular views of the Yosemite Valley below. The couple had become complacent on the dangers of being on the ledge of a cliff.

 

We need to examine our lives and rid ourselves of any spiritual complacency. Today in prayer, ask the Lord that “Thy will be done, not my will” and follow Jesus in all that you do.

 

“I hate to see complacency prevail in our lives when it's so directly contrary to the teaching of Christ.” – Jimmy Carter

 

God’s Word: “For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them” – Proverbs 1:32

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Helping The Poor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 4, 2019
Devotional - Helping The Poor

“This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Israel, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. They sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals. They trample on the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed. Father and son use the same girl and so profane my holy name.” – Amos 2:6-7

 

In the summer of 1946 when a pastor challenged a group of youth to give their lives to the foreign mission field, Rosemary Jensen felt compelled to step forward and answer the call. That one step began a seven-decade journey in God’s service, first as a missionary to Tanzania, then as the executive director of Bible Study Fellowship International, and most recently as the president of The Rafiki Foundation, Inc.

She began the Rafiki Foundation in 1985 with the desire to help Africans. "Rafiki" means friend in Swahili and depicts the purpose of the foundation -- to befriend orphans and widows in their distress (James 1:27). Rafiki’s work expanded from Tanzania into Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Zambia, Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and Ethiopia. Rafiki ministers to the poor through Villages that provide living and educational facilities through Rafiki’s five programs: Bible Study, Education, Teacher Training, Orphan Care, and Widows.

Today they house more than 800 orphans and provide a Christian classical education to an additional 450 students from the surrounding areas.

 

The poor are always on the Lord’s heart. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He has blessed you with many material blessings. Ask Jesus how you can give to those in need.

 

“The cry of the poor must either be heard by us, or it will ascend up against us into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.” – F.D. Maurice

 

God’s Word: “All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.” – Galatians 2:10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - God's Love
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 3, 2019
Devotional - God's Love

“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.” – Joel 2:13

 

Pastor Charles Spurgeon once told the story of the preacher who was walking in the countryside and stopped by a farmhouse for a drink of water. The old farmer who lived there went out to talk to the preacher. As they were talking the preacher noticed that the barn had a weather vane on it that was spinning around in the wind.

On the weather vane the words “GOD IS LOVE” were engraved.

The preacher said to the man, “I don’t think that is a very good way to talk about God’s love. Are you saying that God’s love is wishy washy and changes depending on the way the wind blows?”

“No, no” said the farmer. “That Weather Vane is saying, “No matter which way the wind blows, God is Love.”

 

The love of God can find us in any situation into glory to God. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His love and rejoice that Jesus is compassionate towards you.

 

"The dying Jesus is the evidence of God's anger toward sin; but the living Jesus is the proof of God's love and forgiveness." - Lorenz Eifert

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Repent Of Your Sins
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 2, 2019
Devotional - Repent Of Your Sins

“Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: ‘Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.’” – Hosea 14:1-2

 

Cameron Clark professed faith in Christ as a boy, but in high school, he began being drawn to new age philosophies. “I would have still said that I was a Christian, but I didn't think drinking or smoking pot was wrong. I thought that was just fun. I just looked for, well, maybe there's like a spiritual way to justify the life choices that I was making: crystals or magic or whatever, was fine.”

When Cameron went off to college, his interest in New Age grew. “It felt like I was taking control and like could have some kind of control over what was happening in my life. It's cleverly worded as ‘healing,’ or "evolving." The New Age told me that Jesus was an ascended master; He was just a human who realized He was God. Beginning to believe them, you run up against what you were taught, or what you learned when you were younger.”

About that same time, Cameron read an article--ironically in a New Age magazine--that made him question his new beliefs. “Jesus was in there with His words from Matthew 5:44 and Luke 6:28, ‘Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who persecute you.’ And I thought, "Okay, Jesus, can you help me do these things?”

Through a mutual friend, Cameron met Pastor Chad Osborne and his wife Hunter, a former Wiccan who had turned to Christ, for dinner.

That night Cameron bowed his knees, repented, and gave his life to Jesus.

 

The Lord not only wants us to repent and turn away from our sins. Today in prayer, confess any sin and your life and take the needed steps of repentance.

 

“A Christian is not one who never goes wrong, but one who is enabled to repent and begin over again after each stumble—because of the inner working of Christ.” – C.S. Lewis

 

God’s Word: “From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.’” – Matthew 4:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Thirst For Righteousness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 1, 2019
Devotional - Thirst For Righteousness

“Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.” – Hosea 10:12

 

Years ago, when sailing ships traveled on the Atlantic Ocean near the equator, they ran into problems because the winds would die down. Often the ships who had never been in an area off of South America would cry out in distress because they not only were still in the water, but they also ran out of fresh water.

Ships familiar with the area would respond “Dip it up; you are in the mouth of the Amazon River.”

You see, the Amazon River is the largest freshwater river in the world. Its fresh waters reach some 200 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean. Often men would perish of thirst, ignorant that the boundless, fresh water they desired was right below them.

 

Just as our body thirsts for water to keep it healthy, our soul thirsts for God’s righteousness. Today in prayer, desire Christ in all you do and thirst for His righteousness.

 

"My only hope is that I shall be clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ." - M. Lloyd-Jones

 

God’s Word: “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place” – Ephesians 6:14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

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