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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN Praise And Thanksgiving
Devotional - Give Thanks You Are A Survivor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 29, 2018
Devotional - Give Thanks You Are A Survivor

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” – Hebrews 12:28-29

 

Christian artist Zach Williams shared how the song “Survivor” came about. He said: “I remember the day we were writing this song. My wife Crystal came to mind. She survived a fire accident when she was about 14 years old and there’s a lyric in that song that says “you pulled me out of the fire I’m a survivor.” And a lot of what I wrote the song about was my own personal testimony but it was also with her in mind that she survived this accident and it got me to thinking about so many of us that are all survivors. The one thing we can all relate to is that through Jesus He can pull us out of any place that we’re at and we can all become survivors.”

 

For all who know Jesus, we are survivors and live in Him. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that you are alive in Him.  

 

“Now I'm alive and born again Rescued from the grip of sin God your love came crashing in And pulled me out of the fire I'm a survivor” – Zach Williams

 

God’s Word: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Raising Grateful Children
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 28, 2018
Devotional - Raising Grateful Children

“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” – Colossians 3:16

 

In an article entitled: “Grounding our children in gratitude,” Dr. Meg Meeker writes the following:

 “As a parent, you've probably noticed that gratitude is not a child's natural tendency. But this isn't your child's fault; it's simply how children develop. They are wired to be egocentric, especially when they're young. Children feel the world revolves around them and they focus on their needs, not those of others.

Since they developmentally lack empathy for others, they have a difficult time being grateful for what they have.

This is important to know about your child because it means you're going to have to be intentional about teaching your child to be grateful. It isn't going to just simply happen. Parents who want to teach gratitude to their kids must first model gratitude for their kids.

Discontented, ungrateful parents usually raise discontented, ungrateful children. Behind every grateful child is a grateful parent who showed them what gratitude looked like and why it was important. As Christmas approaches, make a point of telling your children what you are thankful for and ask them to tell you the same.”

 

It is important to be grateful and to raise thankful children. Today in prayer, let your family know you are grateful to the Lord.  

 

"If we are honest, it isn't only kids who need to be more grateful -- it is us. So this Advent, do yourself and your kids a favor. Work as a team to give someone you know (or don't know) a helping hand. Then have a much merrier Christmas."  - Dr. Meg Meeker

 

God’s Word: “Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.” – 1 Chronicles 29:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Giving Thanks For Freedom
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 27, 2018
Devotional - Giving Thanks For Freedom

“Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.” – Psalm 118:5

 

In 2017, the Christian music group “Urban Rescue” wrote and recorded the song “Freedom.” The Christian band “Jesus Culture” heard the song and asked for and received permission to record it.  Kim Walker-Smith of Jesus Culture explains why she loves this praise song. “Jesus is not offended at the mess, even when I have made that mess myself. And He truly does meet me exactly where I am. I feel like that is a truth that so many people need to hear because when you have that revelation it does bring incredible freedom. I think it’s what pulls you out and allows you to just begin the process of walking out the mess with Jesus. It’s a lot of fun because it’s really joyful happy song with a strong message.”

 

Let your heart rejoice knowing that in Christ, you have freedom. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for freedom in Him.

 

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is There is freedom, there is freedom Where the Spirit of the Lord is There is freedom, there is freedom Come out of the dark just as you are Into the fullness of His love For the Spirit is here, let there be freedom Let there be freedom” – Mia Fields, Hank Bentley, Brett Younker, and Kristian Stanfill (Urban Rescue)

 

God’s Word: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8:36

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Let's Be Thankful
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 26, 2018
Devotional - Let's Be Thankful

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” – Psalm 118:1

 

Author John O’Leary in his article: “My plane was shaking and I was terrified. Then this incredible thing happened…” wrote the following:

“As we returned to smoother air, I thought through all the little things I’d already experienced that morning that were worthy of being counted as gifts. From my alarm going off on time, turning on the shower faucet and having hot water come out, seeing my wife and children sleeping soundly, the car starting, getting through security quickly, the plane taking off on time and seeing a magnificent multi-colored sunrise…this all happened before the turbulence hit.

It dawned on me that I hadn’t noticed any of it, much less taken pause to be thankful for any of it. I didn’t contemplate that throughout the night my heart had beaten thousands of times. I hadn’t pondered the gift of a warm bed, my wife’s presence or my children’s health. I hadn’t paused to be in awe of the marvel of technology – or the grandeur of nature. And I hadn’t slowed down to be roused by the promise of the morning, the hope within a new day, the chance to do better, the opportunity to make a difference, to savor, to celebrate, to create, to experience. To live.

This momentary lapse of gratitude surprised me because I, of all people, should be grateful for every single minute of every day. You see, at age 9, I was burned on 100 percent of my body and expected to die. It was only through the overwhelming support of my family, the diligence of my medical team, love from the community and grace from God that I am still here today.

Yet, it is all too easy, even for me, to recognize what we have only after it has been taken away. Too frequently we finally realize how fortunate we once were only after our business enters a downturn, the relationship falls apart, the car won’t start, our child becomes ill, our world catches on fire, or the plane almost crashes.

This Thanksgiving, we should make it a point to slow down, take a deep breath and open our eyes, our ears and our hearts to the magnificence that is our lives.

We should allow the momentary turbulence we experience to awaken within us a profound sense of gratitude for all we have, all we’ve experienced, and all that remains possible going forward.

Things aren’t perfect. But our lives are precious gifts. Let’s be thankful for it.”

 

Everyday we take for granted or even miss all of the good gifts the Lord gives to us. Today in prayer, slow down and give thanks to the Lord for all the blessings of this life.

 

"We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction."  - Harry Ironside

 

God’s Word: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” – Psalm 118:29

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Give Thanks To God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 25, 2018
Devotional - Give Thanks To God

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” – Psalm 107:1

 

Allan McKinlay and Peter Crockett are members of the Christian band “Housefires,” which is the worship band for Grace Midtown Church in Atlanta. Their most well known song is “Good Good Father” that has been sung by Chris Tomlin.

In early 2018, they wrote the song “Give Thanks to God.” Lyrically, it pulls various themes and phrases from all over the Psalms. Instead of setting one particular passage to music, it is a wide-ranging testimony to the faithfulness of God. Structurally, the bulk of the song is a call and response between the leader and the people.

It is this call-to-worship quality that makes it feel at home in both modern and traditional settings. The worship leader describes facets or actions of God, and the congregation responds with praise. Because the responses are repeated throughout the song, the congregation can pick it up quickly.

It is steadily becoming a favorite worship song of thanks because of the Internet.

 

As Thanksgiving Day becomes a memory, don’t let your thanksgiving to the Lord fade. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord for He is good!

 

“He's always pouring out His abundant provision His never ending love is steadfast and sure For the depths of His riches and incredible wisdom Give thanks to God for He is good Give thanks to God for He is good” – Allan McKinlay and Peter Crockett

 

God’s Word: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” – 1 Chronicles 16:34

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - I’m Thanking the Lord He Made You
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 22, 2018
Devotional - I’m Thanking the Lord He Made You

 “I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” – Ephesians 1:16

 

In 1994, in rebellion to consumerism and worldliness, Josef Anderson penned a simple song called “Thanksgiving Prayer.” Anderson was the producer of the television show, “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman” and he wrote the song for the Thanksgiving episode. Guest star Johnny Cash read the lyrics and set it to music. He performed it on the Thanksgiving episode.

The song offers a humble reminder of the principles the holiday. It tells the story of a poor farmer and his Thanksgiving prayer. Even though the farmer doesn’t even have a turkey for the table, he’s thankful for the warm sun and his loving family.

Mr. Anderson recalled,

“I was honored that Johnny Cash performed my song on Dr. Quinn. He also asked my permission to perform the song in his holiday show in Nashville, which of course I granted.”

The song is also known as “I’m Thanking the Lord He Made You,” and it has never been released for commercial profit.

 

During this time of Thanksgiving, thank the Lord for the friends and family he has given you.

 

“We’ve come to the time in the season When family and friends gather near To offer a prayer of Thanksgiving For blessings we’ve known through the year To join hands and thank the Creator And now when Thanksgiving is due This year when I count my blessings I´m thanking the Lord He made you” - Josef Anderson

 

God’s Word: “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you” – Colossians 1:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Perpetual Thanksgiving
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 21, 2018
Devotional - Perpetual Thanksgiving

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” – 2 Corinthians 4:15

 

In 1618, a land grant in Virginia known as the Berkeley Hundred, was given Richard Berkeley. In 1619, the ship “Margaret” of Bristol, England sailed for Virginia under Captain John Woodliffe and brought thirty-eight settlers to the new Town and Hundred of Berkeley. The London Company proprietors instructed the settlers that "the day of our ships arrival . . . shall be yearly and perpetually kept as a day of Thanksgiving."

The Margaret landed her passengers at Berkeley Hundred on December 4, 1619.

Kneeling on the cold ground by the shore, their first order of business, according to their instructions, was to say the following prayer: “We ordain that this day of our ships arrival, at the place assigned for plantation, in the land of Virginia, shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

There was no feast and no Native Americans were present. In fact, under Anglican tradition, they may have fasted rather than feasted.

The Berkeley Hundred "Thanksgiving," founded the tradition two years and 17 days before the Pilgrims arrived aboard the “Mayflower” at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

 

Giving thanks to the Lord is a tradition that is long standing. Today in prayer, this Thanksgiving Day, give thanks to the Lord and praise His name.

 

“Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.” – Robert Casper Lintner

 

God’s Word: “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.” – 2 Corinthians 9:11-12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Give Thanks For His Creation
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 20, 2018
Devotional - Give Thanks For His Creation

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” – Psalm 19:1

 

Christian songwriter and performer Matthew West shared the inspiration of his praise song “The Beautiful Things We Miss.” He said: “I first had the inspiration for the title “The Beautiful Things We Miss” while I was on a hike in Colorado. I’m a city boy. I grew up near the Chicago area, so being outdoors is kinda new to me but I’ve really fallen in love with getting outside and going hiking, especially in Colorado. But for a beginning hiker your sights are really fixed at your feet. I found myself climbing and as I was hiking up I was just focusing on the ground in front of me. There’s all these roots from trees that had popped up that you kind of use as steps and if you didn’t see them you’d trip over them. At one point I was just out of breath and I just stopped and for the first time in the hike I looked around me. It was the most gorgeous scenery. It was just breathtaking. And I literally had the idea ‘The Beautiful Things We Miss.’ Why? Because I was looking down the whole time I was hiking and I was missing what was going on around me.” 

 

The Lord has created a beautiful earth. Today in prayer, pause and open your eyes and thank Him for His creation.

 

“Open up my eyes, Lord Keep me in the moment just like this Before the beautiful things we love Become the beautiful things we miss” – Matthew West

 

God’s Word: “Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds” – Psalm 148:7-10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Be Thankful For This Moment
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 20, 2018
Devotional - Be Thankful For This Moment

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” – 2 Corinthians 4:15

 

Author Brennan Manning told a story about a monk whom a tiger was chasing. The ferocious animal pursued the monk to the edge of a steep cliff where it appeared he had no escape. It was then, miraculously, the monk spotted a rope dangling over the edge.

He grabbed hold of it, and with sweaty palms and knobby knees, began shimmying down the side of the cliff to avoid the clutches of the tiger. Though safely out of his tiger’s reach, the monk was horrified to see two mice emerge from holes in the side of the cliff and begin chewing on the rope.

So, there he was. Hundreds of feet in the air, he couldn’t go up, where the tiger would devour him, and he couldn’t go down, as there was not enough rope for him to reach the canyon floor below. All the while, the tiny teeth of mice nibbled away at his lifeline.

It was at that moment that a beautiful, red, ripe strawberry caught the monk’s attention. It was there, within arm’s reach, growing out of the face of the cliff. The monk picked it, ate it, and exclaimed, “That is the best strawberry I have tasted in my entire life!”

Manning offers the moral to the story: “If the monk had been preoccupied with the rocks below or the tiger above, he would have missed the present moment.” And concluding with a prescription for happiness that is just what the doctor ordered, he wrote: “Life is best lived when you don’t focus on the tigers of the past or the jagged rocks of the future, but on the strawberries that come in the here and now.”

 

Consider all that has shaped you, both the good and the bad, into the person you are today. Then today, in prayer, give thanks to the Lord and be grateful.

 

"In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich." – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

God’s Word: “ Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind” – Psalm 107:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Confidence
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 18, 2018
Devotional - Confidence

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” – Colossians 3:15

 

Sanctus Real is an American Christian rock band formed in Toledo, Ohio, in 1996. The group is composed of Chris Rohman, Mark Graalman and Dustin Lolli. Talking about their new song “Confidence,” the band said:

“Confidence is a prayer. It’s a prayer to see the world selflessly. Not a prayer to be in the lion’s den but a prayer to have such unshakable faith in the kingdom of heaven that we are willing to go through dangerous things. Moses never made it to the promise land. He only was able to view it, but his hope was in God’s plan for God’s people. The plan that he contributed to. He knew it was so much bigger than himself. Confidence is a prayer to see this big picture, to walk humbly, to do what you feel He has called you to do. The truth is real confidence comes from real belief. Belief in a creator that does see this big picture, who does call the unqualified to do unimaginably big things.” 

 

With confidence, be thankful that Jesus is with you. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that you are a child of God.

 

“So I can face my giants with confidence I’m gonna sing and shout and shake the walls I won’t stop until I see ’em fall Gonna stand up, step out when you call Jesus, Jesus” – Sanctus Real

 

God’s Word: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Why God?
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 15, 2018
Devotional - Why God?

“I say to God my Rock, ‘Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?’” – Psalm 42:9

 

Austin French is a Christian musician from Cordele, Georgia. His debut single "Freedom Hymn" was released on December 8, 2017.

In 2018, he wrote the praise song “Why God” and he explains how it came about:

“Why God do people have to die? Why does tragedy still have a place in the life of a Christian? Why another school shooting? God why? Are you even here? Are you with us? These are real questions that inspired my song ‘Why God’ on my upcoming record.I believe that our God is a good father and we are his kids and He’s not scared of our questions. In those moments there’s tons of things in this life that we do not understand, but maybe we’re not supposed to. Maybe we’re supposed to need God, need a father who knows all things and holds all things in his hands. And that’s ok. The world will tell us that those ‘Why God’ moments are exactly why we should run away from God, but I don’t believe it. I believe God is a good father and he wants our questions. He loves us, and those are the moments we need him.

So maybe you can turn your ‘Why’ into worship and maybe the ‘Why God’ moment in your life is exactly why you need him.”

 

We may never know the ‘why’s’ to many questions in life. But we can know the ‘who’ to turn to when trouble comes. Today in prayer, turn your ‘Why’ into worship and know that your heavenly father cares deeply for you.

 

“I don't understand

But I understand  

Why God I need You

It's why God I run to Your arms

Over and over again

It's why God I cling to Your love

And hold on for dear life

And I find You are right by my side” – Austin French

 

God’s Word: “Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” – Psalm 10:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Sing Praise To The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 14, 2018
Devotional - Sing Praise To The Lord

“I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.” – Psalm 146:2

 

The deadly wildfires that broke out in California have prompted fire departments from around the nation to send in reinforcements to the Golden State. A crew of American Samoan firefighters from Hawaii came as "hand crews" and their job is to remove the flammable materials around the edges of a fire so as to help contain it. They do this by digging trenches and cutting down and removing brush. What has made these Samoan fire fighters unique is they sing accapela a song of praise each morning after the fire briefing in Hayfork, California.

The music is beautiful, clear and strong as it echoes through the woods. The tune is familiar to many Christians. It's the praise and worship song "What a Friend We Have in Jesus". The song in Samoan is called, "Fa'afetai i le Atua," which translates to "Thanks Unto God".

 

No matter where the Lord has called you, sing praise to Him. Today in prayer, sing praise to the Lord.

 

“The music of the Gospel leads us home.” - Frederick W. Faber

 

God’s Word: “I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.” – Psalm 104:33

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Good News
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 13, 2018
Devotional - Good News

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’” – Isaiah 52:7

 

The Christian songwriter and performer Mandisa shared how her praise song “Good News” came about: “‘Good News’ was inspired by a couple of events that happened in my life a little bit ago. I hope that many of you know that I have been praying for my brother’s salvation for years. I even recorded a song on my Overcomer album called ‘Dear John.’ Well I’m happy to share the news if you have not heard it yet that this happened a little bit ago. I just prayed the prayer of salvation with my brother John and he is a Christian. AHHH!! Do you see how excited I am? That’s the thing about good news. I shout it from the rooftops when I’ve experience something I cannot wait to share with you. How much more should it be for those of us who know what it is to have salvation? How much more should we want those that we love to experience that same joy? That is why we share the good news. That is why we testify and give our praise reports. It’s because we want the world to know about a great God who still does great things.”

 

Do not let the news of this world cause you to be troubled. Today in prayer, remember the “good news” of Jesus Christ and rejoice.

 

“Good news Got that old made new Got that joy coming through Got me feeling alright” – Mandisa

 

God’s Word: “Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace! Keep your feasts, O Judah; fulfill your vows, for never again shall the worthless pass through you; he is utterly cut off.” – Nahum 1:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - A Sacrifice Of Praise
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 12, 2018
Devotional - A Sacrifice Of Praise

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” – Hebrews 13:15

 

Joni Eareckson was a teenager when she dove into the Chesapeake Bay. She misjudged the shallowness of the water and was paralyzed when her spinal cord was ruptured. For more than 50 years she has been an evangelical Christian author, radio host, and founder of “Joni and Friends”, an organization "accelerating Christian ministry in the disability community."

Joni said the following on praise:

“A sacrifice of praise will always cost you something. It will be a difficult thing to do. It requires trading in our pride, our anger, and most valued of all, our human logic. We will be compelled to voice our words of praise firmly and precisely, even as our logic screams that God has no idea what he’s doing. Most of the verses written about praise in God’s Word were penned by men and women who faced crushing heartaches, injustice, treachery, slander, and scores of other intolerable situations.”

 

Praise God in the night as well as the sunshine. Today in prayer, at this very moment, put aside your hurts and burdens and praise the Lord.

 

“You don’t learn to praise in a day, especially since you may have been complaining for years! New habits take time to develop. But you can begin today, and practice tomorrow, and the next day, until it becomes part of you.” – Erwin Lutzer 

 

God’s Word: “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High” – Psalm 50:14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Your Spiritual Service Of Worship
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 11, 2018
Devotional - Your Spiritual Service Of Worship

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” – Romans 12:1

 

Rhett Walker Band front man Rhett Walker is the son of a preacher from the Aiken, South Carolina. Rhett remembers how the words for the song “I Surrender” began:

 “It was a song I wrote with a friend of mine and it was just a conversation we had one day. We were talking about being a better spouse, being a better parent, just being a good human being and how that goes with this life we live. I feel like we spend a lot of our times trying to please man, try to be good enough, try to be this person that we’re not and we totally forget about grace and we discount it. And so this song was a song where we’re like even on our best days, even when we feel like we have everything under control, we’re one step away from just messing it all up. I was like how do we put that into a song? We thought about a bunch of different ways to write this song and I didn’t want to just throw Jesus into a song or try to say it in a certain way just to make it feel pretty and shiny. I was like one thing I know me personally that I have to do every morning when I wake up is just say ‘God I surrender my life. I surrender my marriage. I surrender my kids. I surrender my music. I can’t do this by myself.’”

 

Let your spiritual service of worship be surrendering to Jesus. Today in prayer, surrender your day, your week, your life to Christ.

 

“I surrender, everything I am I surrender, my heart into Your hands My hope, my Lord My life is Yours I surrender I surrender” – Rhett Walker

 

God’s Word: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” – Galatians 2:20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - It Is Finished
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 8, 2018
Devotional - It Is Finished

“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” – John 19:30

 

Ethan Hulse, Colby Wedgeworth, and Mark Harris are Christian music composers who wrote the praise song “It Is Finished.” Ethan wrote the melody of the chorus singing it out to the other two. Mark remembers: “My first thought was he words have been said before, ‘It is Finished’.  It is kind of a familiar phrase and sometimes when you are writing a song you want something that is said in a new way. And then as we thought about it, we said “that was said on the Cross.” 

Mark continued: “I heard something recently that really blew me away…that a sound wave has no stopping points. So when something is said – when someone speaks something into the air and into the atmosphere – it goes on forever. It doesn’t stop. Nothing can stop a soundwave. It just keeps bouncing back and forth. So when Jesus spoke on the cross – saying ‘it is finished’ – those words are still being spoken over us, in His voice. Think about that. Incredible. I love that we can declare in song that ‘death has lost its’ sting. I’m forgiven. His blood is my victory. Now forever I will stand and sing… hallelujah, it is finished.’ I love that declaration! Because He is the great I AM – because He’s all sufficient – we can declare victory over any circumstance and any situation. I’m so excited to hear the body of Christ sing this song as a reminder of what Christ did on the cross.”

 

Let your praise be to Jesus for finishing His work here on earth. Today in prayer, let your hallelujah be to our victorious Savior.

 

“It is finished, death has lost its sting I'm forgiven, Your blood my victory Now forever, I will stand and sing Hallelujah, it is finished” – Ethan Hulse, Colby Wedgeworth, and Mark Harris

 

God’s Word: “With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.” – Mark 15:37

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Praise Our Deliverer
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 7, 2018
Devotional - Praise Our Deliverer

“Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” – Psalm 34:3-4

 

On Friday September 28, 2018, the Holy Spirit prompted a Christian airline pilot to speed the departure of his Batik Air flight from Palu carrying 140 passengers, narrowly averting a potential disaster with the loss of many lives.

The epicenter of a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck in a mountainous area, 48 miles from the Palu, Indonesia. Only minutes later, underwater landslides apparently triggered a massive 10 to 20-foot tsunami that swept through Palu and other coastal areas.

“All day Friday I had been feeling unsettled and I didn’t know why,” Captain Icoze Mafella recounted at a Jakarta church on Sunday September 30th.

To displace his feelings of unease, Captain Mafella – a strong Christian – began to loudly sing worship songs on his flight from Ujung Pandang to Palu. “Usually I only hummed, but that day I wanted to praise the Lord as best I could,” he said.

When they were about to land at the Palu Airport, the wind was unusually strong and he “heard a voice in his heart” directing him to circle again before landing.

After they landed, the Holy Spirit prompted him once more that he needed to be quick. He instructed his crew to take a shorter, 20-minute break, before the plane was due to take off for Jakarta via Ujung Pandang.

“I didn’t even leave the cockpit and requested permission from the control tower to depart three minutes ahead of schedule,” he recounted.

He received approval for the expedited time for takeoff.

As they sped down the airstrip, the massive earthquake began to strike Palu and both pilots felt the plane sway noticeably to the left and right. The Muslim co-pilot glanced at Captain Mafella with a look of fear in his eyes.

“If I had taken off three minutes later, I would not have been able to save the 140 passengers, because the asphalt on the landing strip was moving up and down like a curtain blowing in the wind,” he testified.

 

In times of trouble, no one is closer than Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that we are His people and He is our Deliverer.

 

"I thank God for the mountains. I thank Him for the valleys. I thank Him for all He’s brought me through. For if I never had a problem. If I had never had to worry. I’d never know what faith in God could do! Through it all, through it all. I’ve learned to trust in Jesus. I’ve learned to trust in God.” – Andre Crouch

 

God’s Word: “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.” – Psalm 68:19-20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Safe
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 6, 2018
Devotional - Safe

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” – Psalm 4:8

 

Christian songwriter Alisa Turner was going through a difficult time, battling lyme disease and feeling isolated. She remembers how her praise song “Safe” began:

“I was asked a question. ‘When you think of God, what is the first word that comes to mind?’ And my instinct with just milliseconds was to say the word ‘Safe’. When I think of the Lord I think of safe. He makes me feels safe; He’s the one that I can constantly go to where I’m not judged. He’s not like where have you been? He just always welcomes me back.”

She recalls after finishing the song, she brought some people in to hear it for the first time. “Everybody had tears in their eyes, and sometimes you write a song, not only you are in that mood, but you watch everybody else, something just shifts in them.”

The praise song “Safe” has connected with many believers because they too think of safe when they think of the Lord.

 

Are you feeling troubled? Look to the Lord and He will make you dwell in safety. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for when you are with Him, you are safe.

 

“Safe, I'm finally safe I can hide here, I can hide here Safe, You hold me safe I'm okay here, I'm okay here Completely safe” – Alisa Turner

 

God’s Word: “The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” – Proverbs 18:10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Praise Him In Your Suffering
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 5, 2018
Devotional - Praise Him In Your Suffering

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

 

Tim Keller is pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. He is also a theologian, Christian apologist and New York Times bestselling author.

He wrote his book “Walking with God through Pain and Suffering” as a Christ-centered, comforting book for readers who hurt, and offers counsel to readers who anticipate future suffering. 

In that book, Tim writes: 

“Some suffering is given in order to chastise and correct a person for wrongful patterns of life (as in the case of Jonah imperiled by the storm), some suffering is given not to correct past wrongs but to prevent future ones (as in the case of Joseph sold into slavery), and some suffering has no purpose other than to lead a person to love God more ardently for himself alone and so discover the ultimate peace and freedom.” 

 

No matter why you are suffering, praise Jesus that He loves you and has your best interest in mind. Today in prayer, give your heartaches and burdens to Jesus and praise His Name.

 

“You don’t really know Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.” – Tim Keller

 

God’s Word: “Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” – Jeremiah 17:14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Free Indeed
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 4, 2018
Devotional - Free Indeed

“Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8:34-36

 

In 2017, Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan of Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia were working on an up tempo song. Ben remembers: “We decided that the theme ‘the Son sets free’ was something we had to write a song on. I actually got together to finish that song and then all of a sudden out of nowhere came this 6-8 version of the song and the theme. Which, in many respects, the chorus and verse really quickly sort of wrote themselves for the most part.” 

Reuben added: “The theme of the song is from John 8 which is you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Jesus says, ‘who the son sets free, is free indeed.’”

The pair completed the praise song “Who You Say I Am” and recorded it live at ‪the Hillsong Worship and Creative Conference. It has gone on to be a new favorite praise song in churches throughout the world.

 

We can worship and praise God because Jesus has set us free. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that you have been set free from sin and are a child of God.

 

“Who the Son sets free Oh is free indeed I’m a child of God Yes I am” – Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan

 

God’s Word: “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” – Romans 8:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Criticizing God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 1, 2018
Devotional - Criticizing God

“‘But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? ‘Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” - Romans 9:20

 

Tancredo Neves was a Brazilian attorney when he entered politics at age 24. In 1950 he was elected to the National Chamber of Deputies; from then on he held a series of political posts, under several presidents, up to being elected governor of his home state just before his name was considered for the presidency. He was one of a handful of opposition leaders who were able to remain in Brazil throughout the dictatorship.

In 1984, he ran for President of Brazil. During the Presidential campaign, he said if he got 500,000 votes from his party, not even God would remove him from the Presidency.

He did receive the votes, but he fell ill before being sworn in as President. He died never being sworn in as President of Brazil.

 

The opposite of praising God is mocking and criticizing Him. Today in prayer, confess any sin of criticism and praise the Lord for He is good.

 

“The most insanely daring thing that any man can do, the most exceedingly foolish thing any man can do, the most desperately wicked thing that any man can do, is to reply against God, to enter into controversy with God, to criticize God, to condemn God. Yet that is what many people are doing.” - R.A. Torrey

 

God’s Word: “You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘You did not make me’? Can the pot say to the potter, ‘You know nothing’?” - Isaiah 29:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - The Sin Of Ingratitude
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 31, 2018
Devotional - The Sin Of Ingratitude

"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." - Romans 1:21

 

Zig Ziglar was a Christian author, salesman, and motivational speaker. He was a World War II veteran, and after becoming a top salesman in multiple companies, he struck out on his own to be a motivational speaker, trainer and teacher of how to live a successful life.

Zig wrote 33 books, and encouraged millions with his down home southern charm, along with his lessons grounded in his Christian faith.

The lessons he taught were no-nonsense common sense, and he had a way of phrasing things that made you smile – he was always entertaining.

On the subjects of gratitude and happiness, he said:

“You'll never meet a happy ungrateful person, or an unhappy grateful person because gratitude and happiness go together. Sometimes happiness precedes gratitude but often gratitude precedes happiness. The latter is achieved by realizing things could be worse but aren't and so feeling relieved, grateful and happy.”

 

We need to be grateful for all the Lord has given us. Today in prayer, confess any sin of ingratitude and be thankful to the Lord.

 

“Ingratitude is always a kind of weakness. I have never seen that clever men have been ungrateful.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

God's Word: "People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy" - 2 Timothy 3:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

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