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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN Praise And Thanksgiving
Devotional - Praise Naturally
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 14, 2019
Devotional - Praise Naturally

“Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.” – Isaiah 25:1

 

In an article entitled: “Here's Why Praising God Should Come Naturally for Us”, written after Christmas 2017, author Rachael Keefe wrote the following:

“No matter what is happening in the world, God is still God. God created the world. God so loves the world. God became flesh and lived among us. God reveals the way of Love. If the world is overwhelmed with hatred and poverty and fear, it is not God's doing. God is still God in the midst of the mess we have created. God was God on that first Christmas when Jesus took his first breath. God was God on that first Good Friday when Jesus took his last breath. God was God on that first Easter morning when Christ emerged from death. God is God, even now, when we live in fear, when we struggle for health and wholeness, when Pharaoh and Babylon are on the rise again, when we forget that nothing can extinguish Love. God is still God. God waits for us to recognize God's presence here and now. God is waiting for us to sing praises to God even when we don't feel like it.

There is plenty to sing about, really. God loves humanity collectively and individually, even when we don't seek out God's ways, even when our sin has lasting effects. Praising God for the goodness of creation should come naturally to our lips. Praising God for God's amazing love for humanity should be as natural as breathing. We have forgotten to step back and look beyond our own lives, beyond this moment in time, beyond the remnants of this Christmas. We have forgotten to listen to the stories of those who have gone before us. We have forgotten to come before God in awe and gratitude for the gift of life and Love. Perhaps we have forgotten how truly loved we are. If we remember, we can change the world. If we remember, we will become known for our songs of praise.”

 

Because God is God I can praise His wonderful name. Today in prayer, reflect on the greatness of God and praise Him!

 

“Praise is a declaration, a victory cry, proclaiming faith to stand firm in the place God has given you. Praise is a proclamation that the enemy's intent to plunder you will not rock you. Praise declares that you will not be moved by the enemy's attempt to snatch you away.” – Darlene Zschech

 

God’s Word: “You are my God, and I will praise you; you are my God, and I will exalt you.” – Psalm 118:28

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - More Love
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 13, 2019
Devotional - More Love

“We love because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

 

Elizabeth Payson Prentiss was born in Portland, Maine, on October 26, 1818. She was known throughout her life as a saintly woman, who continually practiced the presence of Christ.

On one occasion she wrote:

“To love Christ more is the deepest need, the constant cry of my soul … out in the woods, and on my bed, and out driving, when I am happy and busy, and when I am sad and idle, the whisper keeps going up for more love, more love, more love!”

While ministering to a church in New York City during the 1850s, the Prentiss’ lost a child, and then a short time later their youngest child also died. For weeks, Elizabeth was inconsolable, and in her diary, she wrote, “Empty hands, a worn-out, exhausted body, and unutterable longings to flee from a world that has so many sharp experiences.”

During this period of grief, Elizabeth began meditating upon the story of Jacob in the Old Testament, and how God met him in a very special way during his moments of sorrow and deepest need. She prayed earnestly that she too might have a similar experience. She also thought about Sarah Adams’ hymn text, “Nearer, My God, to Thee”. While she thus meditated and prayed, she began writing her own lines in almost the same metrical pattern that Sarah Adams had used in her writing. Elizabeth completed all four stanzas of “More Love to Thee” that same evening; but she never showed the poem to anyone, not even her husband, for the next thirteen years. It was eventually published in 1869 and later made into a hymn.

 

As we grow older, let us grow more in love with Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, may your heart’s desire to have more love for Jesus.

 

“More love to thee, O Christ, more love to thee! Hear thou the prayer I make on bended knee. This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to thee.” – Elizabeth Payson Prentiss

 

God’s Word: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” – 1 John 4:10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Praise God No Matter What
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 12, 2019
Devotional - Praise God No Matter What

“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.” – James 5:13

 

On November 5, 2017, Devin Patrick Kelley walked into the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas and fatally shot 26 people and wounded 20 others. The attack was the deadliest mass shooting in Texas and the fifth deadliest mass shooting in the United States.

Julie Workman was in church that day. She saw the gunman shoot her son. He was paralyzed but survived the attack.

Julie also was shot. She was sitting in the second pew and had just beaten breast cancer. Her recent reconstruction surgery deflected the bullet that entered her chest and saved her life.

“I think God used that as a protection for me,” she said.

Julie wants to remember the event and hopes her story can help prevent others from experiencing the same pain.

First Baptist held a remembrance event on the anniversary of the tragedy.  

“It’s a day of thanksgiving. It’s a day of praising God for His grace,” she said.

 

Even in the worst of times, we can still praise the Lord. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for His grace towards you.

 

“We can always find a reason to praise. Situations change for better and for worse, but God's worth never changes.” – Matt Redman

 

God’s Word: “Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them,” – Acts 16:24-25

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Great God Of Wonders
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 11, 2019
Devotional - Great God Of Wonders

“O Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. For thou hast no delight in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” – Psalm 51:15-17

 

Samuel Davies was the first dissenting minister; he was a Presbyterian, to be licensed to preach the Gospel in the colony of Virginia. He preached to several congregations in Hanover County despite suffering from tuberculosis, and he did much to lay the foundation for religious toleration in Virginia. The American patriot Patrick Henry claimed that he learned his oratorical skills listening to Davies preach as a boy.

Samuel eventually was elected as the fourth President of the College of New Jersey, which became Princeton University, in 1759. He succeeded Jonathan Edwards and like Edwards, his time there was shortened by his death in 1761 at the age of thirty-seven.

Davies wrote over 100 hymns including “Great God of Wonders”.  In the hymn, he asks the recurring questions of “Who is a pard’ning God like thee? Or who has grace so rich and free?” This is in the heart of every Christian who has experienced the pardoning grace of our holy God and praises Him.

 

Our God is a Great God of Wonders. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for pardoning your sins.

 

“O may this strange, this matchless grace, This Godlike miracle of love, Fill the whole earth with grateful praise, And all th’angelic choirs above, And all th’angelic choirs above. Who is a pardoning God like Thee? Or who has grace so rich and free? Or who has grace so rich and free?” – Samuel

 

God’s Word: “And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!” – Psalm 107:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Thank Him For Peace
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 10, 2019
Devotional - Thank Him For Peace

“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

 

Kevin Sorbo is an American actor who best known for the roles of Professor Radisson in “God’s Not Dead”, Hercules in “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”, Captain Dylan Hunt in “Andromeda”, and Kull in “Kull the Conqueror”. At 13, he went to a Billy Graham Crusade and gave his life to Jesus Christ.

It took a series of strokes while filming Hercules in 1997 for Kevin to fully rest in Jesus.

“My true strength comes from God and certainly from my family right after that,” said Kevin. They’re the most important things in my life.”

He said: “I think people need to start realizing that God is a pretty important element to happiness in your life and to stability and to being calm in your life and not being so impatient and angry.”

 

When we abide in Christ, we have a peace and calm in our lives. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord for the peace He brings to you.

 

“Christ alone can bring lasting peace - peace with God - peace among men and nations - and peace within our hearts.” – Billy Graham

 

God’s Word: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” – Isaiah 26:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - I Thank God For You
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 7, 2019
Devotional - I Thank God For You

“We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:2

 

In 1989, at the height of South America’s drug wars, Kurt Muse was the most-wanted man in Panama. He is a U.S. army veteran who was raised in Panama. Muse first rose to fame when he led a band of Panamanian patriots for two years in a plot to overthrow the oppressive narco-military dictator General Manuel Noriega. He used an underground opposition radio station dubbed “The Voice of Liberty”. He was captured by Noriega, was subjected to intense interrogation, paraded in front of the press, threatened, and ultimately placed in solitary confinement for nine months. Then on 20 December 1989, an American Special Operations Force freed Muse from his prison.

Kurt Muse is a grateful man. Each anniversary of his rescue Kurt calls each of his 23 rescuers to thank them and to update them on the life and family of the man they saved.

 

Let us be grateful to God and to others for all they have done for you. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His love and give thanks to all the people who have helped you through your life.

 

“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: “I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers,” – Philemon 1:4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Abide In Jesus
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 6, 2019
Devotional - Abide In Jesus

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” – John 15:4

 

Henry Francis Lyte was an Anglican priest and vicar of All Saints Church in Brixham, England. He was also a published poet and accomplished hymn writer who also penned “Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken” and “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven.” For most of his life Lyte suffered from poor health, and he would regularly travel abroad for relief, as was the tradition in that day. He developed tuberculosis and, at the age of 54, came near to the end of his life in 1847. His daughter, Anna Maria Maxwell Hogg, recounts the story of how the hymn “Abide with Me” came out of that context.

“The summer was passing away, and the month of September (that month in which he was once more to quit his native land) arrived, and each day seemed to have a special value as being one day nearer his departure.

His family were surprised and almost alarmed at his announcing his intention of preaching once more to his people. His weakness and the possible danger attending the effort, were urged to prevent it, but in vain. “It was better”, as he used to say often playfully, when in comparative health, “to wear out than to rust out”. He felt that he should be enabled to fulfil his wish, and feared not for the result. His expectation was well founded. He did preach, and amid the breathless attention of his hearers, gave them a sermon on the Holy Communion. . . .

In the evening of the same day he placed in the hands of a near and dear relative the little hymn, ‘Abide with Me’, with an air of his own composing, adapted to the words.”

Henry Lyte went to be home with the Lord seven weeks later.

 

Nothing brings peace to a soul than abiding with Jesus. Today in prayer, give praise to the Lord and abide with Him.

 

“Abide with me; fast falls the eventide; The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me.” – Henry Lyte

 

God’s Word: “whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” – 1 John 2:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Praise Him For Delivering Us From Our Fears
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 5, 2019
Devotional - Praise Him For Delivering Us From Our Fears

“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

 

The Camp Fire, a wildfire in 2018 in Northern California, burned more than 150,000 acres, destroyed nearly 14,000 structures and killed 86 people, 

Courtney Werblow was in tears when she returned to the Paradise, California property where her parent’s home once stood. But it wasn’t the ravaged property that had her crying. Rather, it was the sight of her beloved cat, Timber.

“You look so good,” she said, breaking into tears as Timber approached. “You made it! You made it! It's okay baby. We are right here. We are here for you!”

Timber, a female with beige coloring and a brown face is “special” Werblow said. Timber came into her life after she and her husband married and she was expecting their second child.

Timber was living with Werblow’s parents at the time the Camp Fire blazed through the Butte County area because her rental property did not allow cats.

“NEVER LOSE HOPE! One month today since the fire, we received an escort to my parents' property & my cat Timber was discovered!! She’s alive. Praise God!!” she wrote.

 

The Lord is good; He delivers us from our fears. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is our deliverer.

 

“Even if God never did another good thing in our lives, we could spend the rest of this life praising Him for what He has already done.” ― Dillon Burroughs

 

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 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Wherever He Leads
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 4, 2019
Devotional - Wherever He Leads

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’” – Mark 8:34

 

It was 1936 and two friends serving together at a Sunday school conference in Alabama were at lunch, sharing what God was doing in their lives.

One, a missionary to Brazil home on furlough, told the other, a hymn writer leading the music for the conference, that a health issue would keep him from returning to the country he had grown to love. The news, received just days before, had broken his heart.

The hymn writer asked, “What will you do?” And through tears, the missionary, R.S. Jones, told the hymn writer, B.B. McKinney, “Wherever He leads, I’ll go.”

McKinney was so moved that he penned the classic hymn that afternoon and sang it that night after Jones had preached. Since then, this song has been sung at invitation times and crusades, revivals and worship services.

 

There is no better way to give praise to the Lord than to follow Him. Today in prayer, dedicate this day to Jesus and follow Him in all you do.

 

“‘Take up thy cross and follow Me,’

I heard my Master say;

‘I gave My life to ransom thee,

Surrender your all today.’

Wherever He leads I'll go,

Wherever He leads I'll go,

I'll follow my Christ who loves me so,

Wherever He leads I'll go.” – B.B. McKinney

 

God’s Word: “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:27

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Criticizing God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 3, 2019
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

 

In August 2008, Nebraska Judge Marlon Polk presided over an unusual case: a lawsuit of state Senator Ernie Chambers vs. God.

Chambers cited the Almighty’s role in “fearsome floods… horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes… widespread death, destruction, and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants.” The state senator, who’d served some 35 years, sought an injunction against all of these wrongdoings.

Judge Polk quickly dismissed the suit before it could truly get started. Polk threw out the case because the defendant (God) couldn’t be properly served, “because of his unlisted home address.” 

Chambers countered by saying that “The court itself acknowledges the existence of God. A consequence of that acknowledgment is a recognition of God’s omniscience. Since God knows everything, God has notice of this lawsuit.”

Nevertheless, Polk dismissed the suit and the matter came to an end.

 

The opposite of praise is criticism and blame, and we should never doubt God’s goodness towards us. 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 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional -Ingratitude
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 31, 2019
Devotional -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

 

The Italian historian and statesman Francesco Guicciardini is best known for his book “History of Italy” which covers the period from 1492 to 1532. He was a friend and critic of Niccolò Machiavelli, he is considered one of the major political writers of the Italian Renaissance. In 1516 he was appointed governor of the papal state Modena and in 1517 also of the state of Reggio. Until 1534 Guicciardini served the papacy almost continuously.

As governor, he had to face internal disorders as well as external dangers, Guicciardini showed outstanding administrative gifts. His severe and sometimes ruthless measures were effective in restoring order but also caused him unpopularity. 

Guicciardini wrote the following about ingratitude: “Even though many people prove to be ungrateful, do not let that stop you from benefiting others-for not only is beneficence in itself a noble and almost divine quality, it may also happen that while you practice it, you will encounter someone so grateful that he will make up for all the others' ingratitude.”

 

We need to be grateful for all that 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 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

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