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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS
Devotional - Working Faithfully
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 29, 2014
Devotional - Working Faithfully

“The men did the work faithfully. Over them to direct them were Jahath and Obadiah, Levites descended from Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, descended from Kohath. The Levites--all who were skilled in playing musical instruments” – 2 Chronicles 34:12

 

Eugene Allen was born in Scottsville, Virginia in 1919. He worked as a waiter for many years, in "whites-only resorts and country clubs."

In 1952, he started work in the White House as a "pantry man", a job which involved basic tasks such as dish washing, stocking and cleaning silverware. Over the years Eugene rose in his position, becoming the butler to the President.

In 1981, Eugene finally attained the most prestigious rank of butlers serving in the White House, Maître d'hôtel, during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Ronald and Nancy Reagan helped Eugene make history when he was the first White House butler to be invited as a guest at a formal state banquet.

Co-worker Wilson Jerman said of Eugene: "He was such a professional in everything he did."

Eugene retired in 1986. He was a quiet, unassuming man who faithfully served in the White House 34 years and 8 Presidents.

 

The Lord desires us to be faithful in every task given to us. Today in prayer, give thanks to Jesus for the work He has given you and pray you can be a more faithful worker.

 

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my little apple tree and pay my debts.” – Martin Luther

 

God’s Word: “A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.” – Proverbs 28:20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - The Lord Chooses Leaders
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 28, 2014
Devotional - The Lord Chooses Leaders

“Praise be to the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on his throne as king to rule for the LORD your God. Because of the love of your God for Israel and his desire to uphold them forever, he has made you king over them, to maintain justice and righteousness.” – 2 Chronicles 9:8

 

Dwight David Eisenhower was born on a farm in October 14, 1890, in Denison, Texas, the third of seven boys.

Dwight was an average student, but was too poor to afford college. He applied and was accepted at West Point Military Academy and graduated in the middle of his class.

When the U.S. entered World War I, he immediately requested an overseas assignment but was denied and assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. When his unit was later ordered to France, to his chagrin he received orders to command a unit that trained tank crews in Pennsylvania. When he finally received orders overseas to France, the armistice ending the war was signed. Rivals continually denigrated Eisenhower for his lack of combat duty.

“Ike,” as he was known, was assigned to various general staffs after WW I. He learned tactics and strategies from the best military leaders of the country.

After Pearl Harbor, he was assigned to the General Staff in Washington, where he served until June 1942 with responsibility for creating the intricate major war plans to defeat Japan and Germany. He was then appointed Supreme Commander Allied Forces and carried out those plans and won the war.

Ike was a Christian and, when he eventually became President of the United States, he pushed to have the “under God” added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954. He also adopted “In God We Trust” as the USA Motto in 1957. He wrote a prayer for his first inauguration and always started his Cabinet meetings with a silent prayer.

Ike once said: “Before all else, we seek, upon our common labor as a nation, the blessings of Almighty God.”

 

The Lord has placed unique men and women into leadership positions. Today in prayer, pray for your leaders that they may lead wisely and be guided by the Lord.

 

“The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.” – Walter Lippmann

 

God’s Word: “Praise be to the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the LORD's eternal love for Israel, he has made you king, to maintain justice and righteousness.” – 1 Kings 10:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Giving With Devotion
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 25, 2014
Devotional - Giving With Devotion

“Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple” – 1 Chronicles 29:3

 

Dr. Russell Conwell was a Baptist Pastor in Philadelphia and during one prayer meeting he asked if there were any tithers present who had tithed through a series of years. Seven people stood up. He asked for a testimony from each one of them in emphasis of the fact of God's faithfulness in blessing them. Six gave radiant testimonies of blessings were given. But the seventh was a frail, gray-haired woman, who spoke with much reluctance: "I wish I could bear such testimony, but I cannot. I have skimped and saved and denied myself through the years to keep a vow made to tithe my income. But now I am old and I am losing my position at work. I have no means of support. I do not know what I shall do." She sat down, and the meeting was closed in the midst of a profound and distressing chill.

The next day Dr. Conwell had an invitation from Mr. John Wanamaker, the famous department store owner, to dine with him. At dinner Mr. Wanamaker said: "I think you will be interested to know that we are about to inaugurate a pension system for our employees. The plan has been worked out, and we are to issue our first life pension today to a woman who has served us for twenty-five years." He mentioned her name, and it was the frail gray-haired woman!

 

Let your giving be out of your love for Jesus Christ.  Today in prayer, praise the Lord that you can give so He may be glorified.

 

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

 

God’s Word: “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” – Proverbs 11:24

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Be Impartial
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 24, 2014
Devotional - Be Impartial

“They divided them impartially by drawing lots, for there were officials of the sanctuary and officials of God among the descendants of both Eleazar and Ithamar.” – 1 Chronicles 24:5

 

During the turbulent 1960's, Hudson Armerding was the president of Wheaton College. He had fought in World War II, and as a member of that generation, was conservative in his grooming and attire. He also despised the counter-culture movement, because to him it represented unpatriotic draft-resisters, flag burners, and the like. So he did not like it when students dressed in the grubby counter-cultural fashion. Also, he thought that it was biblically inappropriate for men to have long hair. But the staff at Wheaton was trying to permit a degree of liberty among the students on this matter.

One day Dr. Armerding was scheduled to speak in chapel. Just before the service, they gathered for prayer. Just before they began, a young man walked in who had a beard and long hair, and was wearing a sash around his waist, with sandals on his feet. Hudson looked at him and was sorry that he had come in. Worse yet, the student sat down right next to him. When they started praying, Hudson did not have a very good attitude.

Then the young man began to pray: "Dear Lord, you know how much I admire Dr. Armerding, how I appreciate his walk with you. I am grateful for what a man of God he is, and how he loves you and loves your people. Lord, bless him today. Give him liberty in the Holy Spirit and make him a real blessing to all of us in the student body. Help us to have open hearts to hear what he has to say, and may we do what you want us to do."

As Hudson walked down the steps to go into the chapel, the Lord spoke to him about his attitude. After giving his message, he asked the young man to come to the platform. A ripple of whispering went through the students, many of whom thought that the president was going to dismiss the young man from school as an example to the rest of the students. But rather than rebuking him or dismissing him, everyone including the young man was surprised when Dr. Armerding put his arms around him and embraced him as a brother in Christ. The chapel erupted in applause. God used that simple act of one man laying aside his prejudice to turn the mood on campus to greater love and acceptance of one another. Dr. Armerding later learned that this young man had adopted his appearance in order to reach some of his generation who were alienated from Christ.

 

The Lord is impartial and desires us to also to be free of prejudice. Today in prayer, confess any sin of prejudice and thank the Lord that He is impartial to all people.

 

“Prejudice is a disease caused by hardening of the categories.” – William Arthur Ward

 

God’s Word: “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” – James 3:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2008, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Only One God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 23, 2014
Devotional - Only One God

“For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens.” – 1 Chronicles 16:26

 

In some of the villages on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu in the South Pacific, Prince Philip of Great Britain is worshipped as a god.

It seems that it emerged during the 1960s, when Vanuatu was an Anglo-French colony known as the New Hebrides.

For centuries, villagers had believed in an ancient story about the son of a mountain spirit venturing across the seas to look for a powerful woman to marry.

They believed that unlike them, this spirit had pale skin.

Somehow the legend gradually became associated with Prince Philip, who had indeed married a rich and powerful lady.

Villagers would have seen his portrait - and that of the Queen - in government outposts and police stations run by British colonial officials.

Their beliefs were bolstered in 1974, when the Queen and Prince Philip made an official visit to the New Hebrides. Here was their ancestral spirit, resplendent in a white naval officer's uniform, come back to show off his bride.

Although Christian missionaries have been in Tanna since the early 1800's and there are many churches, one tribal chief said Prince Philip: "He's a god, not a man."

 

Our hearts are only big enough for One God to live. Let it be the one God, the Maker of Heaven and earth. Today in prayer, confess any idolatry and any love of things. Seek to love and follow Jesus with your whole heart.

 

“That to which your heart clings is your god.” – Martin Luther

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Heed His Warnings
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 22, 2014
Devotional - Heed His Warnings

“The LORD warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: ‘Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your fathers to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.’” – 2 Kings 17:13

 

In early 2009, The National Weather Service completed its "Service Assessment Report" on the Super Tuesday tornado outbreak of February 5-6, 2008. It was a significant severe weather event that saw 57 people die in 10 killer tornados. It was the most deaths in a tornado outbreak since May 31, 1985 and the most during the Doppler radar era that began in the early 1990s. This raised the question "why did this happen?"

The forecasts and warnings were fine. The potential for a tornado outbreak was predicted days in advance. Tornado warnings were issued, on average, 17 minutes in advance of the killer tornadoes. This is above the annual average of about 13 minutes. Communities and many individuals heard the warnings by NOAA Weather Radio, television, or communication from friends or relatives.

A troubling finding of the study was that some people did not heed the tornado warnings. Some thought the risk was minimal because if was February -- not a usual time of year for tornadoes in the Mid-South where the tornadoes struck. Some didn't seek shelter until they saw the tornado -- possibly too late to get to safety. Some dismissed the risk out of an optimistic feeling that "bad things only happen to other people."

 

The Lord warns us in order to protect us and to provide for us. Today in prayer, heed God’s Word and do not be complacent in following Jesus.

 

"The majority of us do not enthrone God, we enthrone common sense. We make our decisions and then ask the real God to bless our god's decision." - Oswald Chambers

 

God’s Word: “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.” – 1 Corinthians 10:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - God's Timing Is Perfect
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 21, 2014
Devotional - God's Timing Is Perfect

“In the seventh year Jehoiada sent for the commanders of units of a hundred, the Carites and the guards and had them brought to him at the temple of the LORD. He made a covenant with them and put them under oath at the temple of the LORD. Then he showed them the king's son.” – 2 Kings 11:4

 

In September 2013, 18-year old Seth Miller, who was a foster child, aged out of the foster care system. He became homeless in Rockwall, Texas. A local television station interviewed him at the time and Seth spoke with anger and determination.

'I'm going to make it because I have to,' he said. 'That's all I have. That's the only choice I have.'

After the broadcast, his childhood court-appointed special advocate (CASA), helped get Seth get an apartment. Others who saw the television broadcast donated money to help him pay rent and buy food.

But for Ara Hunt, she knew it was time to meet Seth.

“That was the moment that we said, 'We have to do something,” recalled Ara Hunt. “We wanted to reach out and at least meet him. For ourselves, for him and eventually for our daughter.”

The Hunts' 11-year-old daughter, Shyann, is Seth's biological sister. She had been adopted as a baby.

The Hunts knew there were other siblings, but only learned where Seth was a few months before the broadcast.

The Hunts met Seth a few days later and there was an instant connection.

“It was just God's time to bring him home,” Shyann said about her newfound brother.

The Hunts began the process of adopting Seth even though he is an adult.

“This is absolutely his family,” Ara said. “This is the family from the day he was born, God wrote on his head, 'Hunt.' I believe that with everything that I have in me.”

 

God’s timing is perfect. Today in prayer, give thanks to Jesus that He is always on time.

 

“In God, time and eternity are one and the same thing.” – Henry Suso

 

God’s Word: “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” - Habakkuk 2:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Beyond This World
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 18, 2014
Devotional - Beyond This World

“And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” – 2 Kings 6:17

 

In April 2011, Jimmy Jones was driving his UPS delivery truck down the interstate near Tuscaloosa, Alabama when he realized an F-4 tornado was bearing down on him. He thought he only had one option - to make it to an underpass. But once Jimmy made it to the underpass the tornado was already on him. Jimmy remembers in the midst of the storm he prayed: “‘Lord, save me.’ I get out of the truck, jump over the guardrail and start up over that hill. That hill is about as steep as these walls in this home. And me trying to run and the wind’s already hitting me in the face and throwing things, I mean, it’s debris coming at me. And I mean I’m digging trying to get up that hill. And I didn’t think I was going to make it.”

When he made it to the top of the underpass someone was already there. “When I got up under there I see this fella sitting on this blanket. I was scared out of my mind. And I run up and got right in his face, I said, ‘Sir, we’ve got to take cover. There’s a tornado.’ And he looked at me and he stood up and it was like everything slowed down at that point. He said, ‘Is that right?’ And that’s all he said. And he said it with no concern, it was just like, ‘What are you worried about?’”

Jimmy held on to a pipe until the wind finally ended. The man was still nearby. “When it was all over with, and I come out from that little cubby hole that I was in, I remember looking and seeing him stand back up over there.”

Soon after the twister left, emergency personnel arrived on the scene. “I saw my truck tore up. There were people screaming. Paramedics and police were there on the scene already. There were a lot of cars flipped upside down tore up in the road.”

“Paramedics were looking in the vehicles and they were asking where I was. And I heard them and I said, ‘Here I am!’ And I run down the embankment, stepped over I said, ‘I was I’m up here with this fella.’ I turn around and pointed and there weren’t nobody up there.”

Jimmy believes the Lord sent an angel: “A preacher friend of mine said that he believed that the Lord put him there to calm me.”

 

There is a reality that is beyond our eyes that only faith can reveal. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He is Lord of all the seen and the unseen.

 

“My knowledge of that life is small, The eye of faith is dim; But ‘tis enough that Christ knows all, And I shall be with him.” – Richard Baxter

 

God’s Word: “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” – Colossians 3:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Be Kind To Widows And Orphans
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 17, 2014
Devotional - Be Kind To Widows And Orphans

“The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves." – 2 Kings 4:1

 

In December 2013, Courtney Barich of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada was preparing for her high school prom.

"I thought my dress should help people who are in need," she said. "I decided I don't need to wear a fancy prom dress."

She found "the one" at a local boutique - complete with a hefty $700 price tag. The store was closing for the night, however, and she was scheduled to return the next day for the alterations.

It was a serendipitous inconvenience.

"We were driving in the car and I felt kind of selfish for how much it cost," Courtney said. "My mom said, 'You would look good in anything, even a garbage bag or a potato sack.' And the idea kind of grew from there."

She created a website where she posted her vow to go to the prom in a potato sack-esque dress in exchange for support for the Saint Martin de Porres Orphanage in Manila, Philippines which she and her classmates were scheduled to visit a few months later.

"I will give up the glitz and glam of a beautiful grad dress and I will wear a Burlap dress to grad instead, if I can get $10,000 in much needed donations to help this orphanage," she wrote.

With the help of a designer, Courtney was able to go to the prom in burlap to benefit charity, and still be glamorous. After launching the project, Courtney knew she'd made the right decision when she and her fellow students arrived at the orphanage in March on a two-week mission trip to build houses.

"It was definitely an eye-opener to see all the poverty, from the houses they live in to what they eat. All the kids were walking around with no shoes," she said. "It was very sad. I came back grateful."

Courtney went to the prom in a beautifully designed burlap dress and she hit her $10,000 goal. She continued fundraising via her website until September 2014, when she returned to the orphanage to do more volunteer work.

 

In all that we do, we need to remember and to be kind to orphans and widows. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His lovingkindness and seek to be kind to others.

 

“The greatest thing a man can do for his heavenly Father is to be kind to some of his other children.” – Henry Drummond

 

God’s Word: “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” – Psalm 82:3-4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Losing Heart And Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 17, 2014
Devotional - Losing Heart And Faith

“As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been.” – 1 Kings 11:4 (NIV)

 

Jonathan David Edwards was born in London on May 10, 1966. He is a former triple jumper who is a former Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European champion. He has held the world record in the event since 1995.

Jonathan's father is a vicar and Jonathan grew up as a devout Christian. He was a presenter on the BBC Christian worship programme "Songs of Praise".

Then in 2007 Jonathan became deeply troubled by the collapse of his Christian faith. No reason was given, but it was an acknowledgment that he no longer believed in God.

In an interview for a film in 2012, after the last medal of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London was awarded, Jonathan stated "It may seem odd to quote from the bible since I have lost my faith, but...(he quoted from Proverbs)".

 

Our hearts can grow cold and turn away from the Lord, if we are not careful. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to give you wisdom to follow Jesus in all that you do.

 

“However advanced a man may be in piety or age, he is still in danger of falling.” – Charles Simeon

 

God’s Word: “So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow the LORD completely, as David his father had done.” – 1 Kings 11:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Believing God's Promises
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 15, 2014
Devotional - Believing God's Promises

“Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.” – 1 Kings 8:56

 

Edward Robinson was born in Southington, Connecticut in 1794. At an early age he became a student of the Bible. In 1830, he was appointed professor extraordinary of sacred literature at Andover Theological Seminary.

In 1838, Dr. Robinson traveled to Palestine. He brought with him two pocket compasses, a thermometer, telescope and measuring tape.  He also brought the Bible not only in English, but also in Hebrew. Dr. Robinson traveled on side roads as well as following the main pilgrim highways.

As he was passing through Galilee, Dr. Robinson passed a nameless tel, known only as "Et-Tell," i.e. "The Mound of Ruins." Dr. Robinson said it was Bethsaida, a fishing village from the time of Jesus and hometown of the disciples Peter, Andrew and Philip.

Forty years later the German scholar Gottlieb Schumacher explored the area, looking for the best route to make railroad tracks for a train from Haifa to Damascus.  Schumacher declared that Bethsaida was too far from the Sea of Galilee.  He suggested a much more likely site called el-Araj, for it was located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.  For one hundred years scholars argued whether Robinson or Schumacher was correct.

In 1987, archeologist Rami Arav carried out probes at the two sites.  The proof was unequivocal: a settlement layer from the Roman period existed only at Et-Tell.  Dr. Arav thus confirmed Robinson's identification of Bethsaida.  Although Bethsaida is today far from the shores of the Sea of Galilee, excavators have found many fishing implements such as rods and lead weights for nets, so that most scholars today agree with Robinson's conjecture.

 

The Bible is true and we can trust in God's Promises.Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He keeps His Word, and live by faith in the promises of God.

 

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

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Be Discerning
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 14, 2014
Devotional - Be Discerning

“Now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” – 1 Kings 3:7-9

 

In December 2013, Texas teenager Ethan Couch was sentenced to 10 years probation for driving drunk and killing four people. His attorneys successfully argued that Couch, who was from a wealthy family, suffered from “affluenza.” Affluenza has been defined as a condition that “a privileged upbringing causes someone to be unable to discern right from wrong.”

The lack of any prison time outraged some and spurred debate on the use of affluenza as an affliction.

Columbia University Psychology Professor Suniya Luthar said it cannot be a diagnosis because affluenza does not exist. It is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as an affliction.

"There is no such thing; it is a catch phrase that people have come to use to describe the risk associated with the lifestyle of the upper middle class," Dr. Luthar said.

Luthar, who has researched affluenza, said there is a concern for the message being sent to wealthy kids.

"If you have enough money, you can basically out-smart the criminal justice system. It is a very dangerous message."

 

In everything we need to practice discernment. Today in prayer, ask Christ to give you wisdom and discernment in all that you do.

 

“God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.” – Oswald Chambers

 

God’s Word: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” – James 1:5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Guard Your Heart
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 11, 2014
Devotional - Guard Your Heart

“Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the men of Israel.” – 2 Samuel 15:5-6

 

In 1971, Elbert Eugene Spriggs, often known as "Yoneq", claimed to have had a vision while on a Los Angeles beach. Before that time, Spriggs had been a high school counselor and a carnival barker, two professions that provided him with skills he would later use as a cult leader. He founded the religious group "Twelve Tribes."

Thirty years later, Yoneq was a jet setting international traveler with palatial homes in the South of France, Brazil, and Cape Cod. The reclusive Yoneq has moved his cult about the country several times to avoid scrutiny. In 1984, authorities seized over 100 cult kids in a raid of Island Pond, Vermont, after brutal child abuse allegations came to light.

Today, the group has at least 7 compounds in New England, but it is thought to have a total of 30 compounds worldwide. Among their beliefs is no dichotomy between Heaven and Hell, but instead the "Three Eternal Destinies".

Twelve Tribe leaders were asked if they ever agree to disagree but love each other anyway, and they said "no." They don't believe they can live in peace with other religions, even Christian ones. The leaders stated that everyone in the world would have to follow them and their theology to realize peace.

 

There are many charismatic people who want to lead you astray from Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord and give Jesus alone your heart.

 

“Do your utmost to guard your heart, for out of it comes life.” – Walter Hilton

 

God’s Word: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” – Proverbs 4:23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

Devotional - Be Kind
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 10, 2014
Devotional - Be Kind

“‘Don't be afraid,’ David said to him, ‘for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.’” – 2 Samuel 9:7

 

On June 29, 2014, Katie Kanefke, the mother of a four month old boy, was checking out at the Walmart in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She was buying diapers and was informed that Walmart would only match the price of one set of diapers.

Unbeknownst to Katie, 73 year old Carol Flynn was watching. "I was standing in line and there was kind of a hold-up," said Carol. "I'm not impatient in my older days, but I noticed this young lady was standing at the checkout. I walked over to her, put my arm on my shoulder and I asked, 'Is there a problem?'"

Katie replied, "I'm just buying diapers."

Carol noticed three boxes of diapers set aside and said, "You probably need those. Diapers are for babies and babies are on my heart. We're always concerned about moms and healthy babies."

Carol showed kindness and bought all 4 boxes of diapers for Katie.

Katie replied: "You don't need to but thank you very much. I have one little boy and he sure goes through diapers fast."

"I'm sure he does," quipped Carol as she paid about $120 worth of diapers.

Katie reflected on the kind act, "I couldn't believe it. I was shocked. I kept saying thank you and God bless you...Then I walked out in the parking lot and started crying. It just hit me. It was an awesome statement of what God's love does."

 

One of the best testimonies of Jesus Christ is kindness to others. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for His kindness towards you and seek to be kind toothers.

 

“To ease another's heartache is to forget one's own.” – Abraham Lincoln

 

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 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

Devotional - Mourning Our Loss
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 9, 2014
Devotional - Mourning Our Loss

"Then David and all the men with him took hold of their clothes and tore them. They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword." - 2 Samuel 1:11-12

 

In September 1997, Mother Teresa died of cardiac arrest at the age of 87. When news broke of her death, the entire world mourned her passing. She was a woman who ministered to the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, India for more than 5 decades.

"I used to look at her picture and get strength, so her death has depressed me," said Karuna Mandal, a Hindu traveled more than 20 miles away to pay her respects.

She was given a state funeral by India, but it was delayed because the Sisters of Charity "had trouble letting go" emotionally of their leader and "wanted to give members of the public a chance to express their grief," one source said.

Jyoti Basu, a Communist who is West Bengal's governor, said he was ''deeply grieved at the demise of such a great humanitarian.''

Albania, where Mother Teresa grew up, declared three days of mourning.

South African President Nelson Mandela called Mother Teresa's death "a loss to the entire humanity."

 

Mourning is loss on earth, but it can be a gain for heaven. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that in Him, we have overcome death, one day all mourning will come to an end, and we will see those who trust in Him again in Heaven.

 

"Death is nothing else but going home to God, the bond of love will be unbroken for all eternity." - Mother Teresa

 

God's Word: "Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him." - Acts 8:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

Devotional - Don't Lose Heart
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 8, 2014
Devotional - Don't Lose Heart

“David said to Saul, ‘Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.’” – 1 Samuel 17:32

 

Jim Ryun was the first high school runner, at the age of 17, to break the four-minute mile. As a freshman, at the University of Kansas in 1965, Ryun set the world record for the mile, lowering it to 3:51.1. At Kansas, Ryun won five national collegiate titles, four of them indoors, and became the world record holder in the 880 yards, one mile and 1,500 meters. In 1966 he was named sportsman of the year and in 1967 he received the Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete.

At the 1968 Mexico Olympics, he contracted mononucleosis but still won a silver medal in the 1,500 meters. He retired in 1969 frustrated that he had not won the gold at the Olympics.

But in 1972, Jim became a Christian. He had a new found peace and began to run again. He qualified for the 1972 U.S. Olympic team. While running in the 1972 Munich Olympics, in a preliminary 1,500-meter heat for the qualifying round, in which he only needed to place in the top four, he lost his balance, tangled with another runner, and fell to the ground. He finished ninth and was eliminated. Jim knew it was his last Olympic Games.

But Jim did not lose heart; he knew Christ had a plan for him. Today, Jim shares his Christian testimony. His wife Anne said, ''Now he runs to spread the word of Christ. 'He has found a peace that he never felt when he was breaking world records.''

 

In our darkest moments, our Heavenly Father is only a prayer away. Today in prayer, ask the Lord for courage as you face difficult situations.

 

“Courage: The lovely virtue – the rib of Himself that God sent down to His children.” – James M. Barrie

 

God’s Word: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

Devotional - Looking At The Heart
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 7, 2014
Devotional - Looking At The Heart

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” – 1 Samuel 16:7

 

Emily James of Toronto, Canada is a little girl with a big heart. In March 2014, the three-year-old, who used to have very long golden brown hair, decided to donate seven inches of it to charity. The compassionate youngster sent her hair to a salon that makes wigs for pediatric cancer patients.

Emily even asked that her doll "Rapunzel" get her hair cut.  

Emily's uncle is a hair stylist and trimmed up the little girl’s hair.

Emily said: “Sometimes kids get sick, and then their hair falls out. That’s really, really sad. My name is Emily James and I’m three years old. This is my uncle Matthew. He cuts my hair. I don’t want any kids to be sad that they have no hair. What I want to do is give them my hair.”

 

The Lord continually is looking for men and women, boys and girls that have a heart for Him. Today in prayer, give Jesus your heart and fully serve Him.

 

“Let your heart soar as high as it will. Refuse to be average.” – A.W. Tozer

 

God’s Word: “then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act; deal with each man according to all he does, since you know his heart (for you alone know the hearts of all men)” – 1 Kings 8:39

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KING

Devotional - Obedience Is Better
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 4, 2014
Devotional - Obedience Is Better

“But Samuel replied: "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” – 1 Samuel 15:22

 

Christian author and teacher Joyce Meyer said the following on obedience: "Many years ago, when God was calling me to teach the Word full-time, my life was much different than it is now. We had three children at home at that time, and I was teaching one Bible study each week in our living room. Dave and I both had good jobs and we were comfortable financially. But God began dealing with me about quitting my job so I could stay home and study the Word more to prepare for full-time ministry.

Now, even though I believed with my whole heart that God was leading me to make this change and I had a strong desire to teach the Word and help people, it was scary to actually take this step of obedience. See, if I quit working full-time, we would be about $40 short of what we needed just to pay our bills each month. Along with that, at that time, it wasn't very popular for women to teach and have a ministry like this.

So I kept my job until I was so miserable I couldn't stand it. Then I quit my job and got a part-time job so I still had enough money to take care of myself instead of completely trusting God and obeying His direction.

I'm a hard worker and a good employee, so it was amazing to me when the part-time job didn't work out and I got fired! At that point, it was very obvious to me that God was saying, 'I told you I didn't want you out in the work force, trying to take care of yourself. I want you to be home, studying and preparing by faith to do what I've called you to do.'

This experience taught me a lot about how important it is to promptly and fully obey what God puts in my heart to do. Thankfully, I eventually submitted to His direction, through His grace, and stepped out in faith and trusted Him to make everything work out.”

 

The Lord calls us to follow Him and to obey Him. Are there any areas of your life where you are not following the Lord? Today in prayer, confess any sin in your life and seek to follow Jesus with all of your heart.

 

“Obedience is a part of the honor we owe to God.” – Thomas Watson

 

God’s Word: “With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 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 6:6-8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

Devotional - The Way Of Good And Right
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 3, 2014
Devotional - The Way Of Good And Right

“As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.” – 1 Samuel 12:23

 

CJ Blair grew up in an inner Washington D.C. neighborhood.  His mother worked on the streets, and the only father he ever knew was her pimp.

Before long, CJ was selling drugs and running with gangs. He says, "My motivating factor was to get my mother off of the corner. When you present an opportunity for me to make $3,000, $4,000, $5,000 a night, then I'm connecting that to my mother [not] selling her body and getting beat up by men."

But there was a bright spot in the young man's life.  He spent summers at his great-grandmother's house, which had a totally different atmosphere.

"My great grandmother believed God for everything. I mean, everything.  If it was bread, if it was rent money, whatever it was, she believed it. So she would line me up every night on the side of the bed. She'd be praying, and she'd be blessing and God keep them. And I was like, 'Wow, this woman is serious.' She would never speak as negative about me as the rest of the family. She would always say that I was a man of God and God was gonna do it. She spoke that in me."

His great grandmother's influence was strong, but CJ wasn't ready to change. He was in an out of prison as a teenager.

Through a Christian sermon on the car radio, CJ turned his life over to Jesus. He enrolled in Bible college and got rid of his guns.

Today, CJ is a pastor and does outreach in the streets where he used to hustle drugs. He said: "I represent the guy that was rebellious, the guy that went to prison, the guy that's been shot, that did all the wrong things. But I show forth His glory, because when there's one word from the Lord that's interjected in your life, all your paths can change."

 

The Bible can teach us the way of good and right. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for the Bible and teaching us to become more like Jesus.

 

“Every word of the Bible rings with Christ.” - Martin Luther

 

God’s Word: “Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever.” – Psalm 37:27

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

Devotional - Hearing The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 2, 2014
Devotional - Hearing The Lord

“So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, 'Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."” – 1 Samuel 3:9-10

 

In 2008, Maxine Kessler of Massachusetts suddenly lost her hearing in right ear because she suffered from an inner ear disorder. She explained, "I was sitting at home watching tv and all of the sudden I couldn't hear out of my right ear."

It appeared Maxine would remain partially deaf the rest of her life.

Then in December 2012 she became one of the first patients to get fitted with a new hearing device called the SoundBite at Boston Medical Center.   

Maxine's bad ear was fitted with an earpiece with a tiny microphone.

It transmits the sound to a special device that is placed on her jaw and carries the sound vibrations though her skull bones to her good ear

Dr. Kenneth Grundfast, the director of the Otolaryngology Dept. at Boston Medical Center explained, "The sound goes from the bone, up into the skull to where the ear is located and vibrates the inner ear hair cells on the side where the hearing is good."

Maxine said the device has made a huge difference. "It's a tremendous difference, socially, and in work situations, I have to give talks, before I couldn't tell if I was talking to loud and now I can."

 

In much the same way, when we read God's Word and obey Him, we can hear what the Lord wants us to do in all situations. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His Word and seek to listen to Him and follow Him in all that you do.

 

“The closer you get to the Shepherd, the louder His voice will be.” – Nate Barbour

 

God’s Word: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” – John 10:27

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

Devotional - Hate Evil
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 1, 2014
Devotional - Hate Evil

“Eli's sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the Lord.” – 1 Samuel 2:12

 

Jim Wallis is a Christian writer and political activist. He is best known as the founder and editor of Sojourners magazine.

He visited South Africa during the years of apartheid. Jim remembers: “I’ll never forget my first day at St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, South Africa. A political rally had been called and canceled by the government, so Archbishop Tutu said, ‘Okay, we’re just going to have church then.’ And church he had. They gathered together in that Cathedral and the police were massing by the hundreds on the outside and they were there to intimidate, to threaten, to try and frighten all the worshipers. I will testify, being on the inside, that I was scared. You could feel the tension in that place. The police were so bold and arrogant they even came into that Cathedral and stood along the walls. They were writing down and tape recording every thing that Archbishop Tutu said. But he stood there to preach. And he stood up, a little man with long, flowing robes, and he said, ‘This system of apartheid cannot endure because it is evil.’ That’s a wonderful thing to say, but very few people on the planet believed that statement at that point in time. But I could tell that he believed it. Then he pointed his finger at those police standing along the walls of his sanctuary and said, ‘You are powerful. You are very powerful, but you are not gods and I serve a God who cannot be mocked.’ Then he flashed that wonderful Desmond Tutu smile and said, ‘So, since you’ve already lost, since you’ve already lost, I invite you today to come and join the winning side’ And at that the congregation erupted. They began dancing in the church. They danced out into the streets and the police moved back because they didn’t expect dancing worshipers.”

 

Jesus conquered evil at the Cross. Today in prayer, confess any sin to Jesus and seek His will in all of your ways.

 

“At the heart of the story stands the cross of Christ where evil did its worst and met its match.” – John W. Wenham

 

God’s Word: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” – Romans 12:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

Devotional - He Answers Prayer
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 31, 2014
Devotional - He Answers Prayer

“So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, ‘Because I asked the Lord for him.’” – 1 Samuel 1:20

 

Ron Wheeler grew up wanting to be a cartoonist. But after college, he worked for a major corporation. He had wealth, but not peace. He continued to try to become a cartoonist but that goal became elusive. Then be was introduced to Jesus Christ and Ron became a Christian.

Ron stated: “The irony of all this is that the day after I accepted Christ, I got my first full-time job as a cartoonist and it was waiting for me for three months, right across the street from my apartment. After I gave my life to the Lord, He opened doors so I could be used where He wanted me. You see, He created me with the desire and the ability to be a cartoonist, and He wanted to fulfill His purposes through me. But He couldn't use me until He had me. Once He had me, the doors began flying open for me to be used drawing cartoons as a communication vehicle for spreading God's truths.”

One particular event demonstrated to Ron that God answers prayer.

Ron needed a new computer and he found out what he needed and started to pray. Two weeks later, a friend called Ron out of the blue and offered him a new computer—the exact model Ron had been praying about.

On top of that, shortly after setting up the computer, Ron received a phone call from American Tract Society asking him to design a whole series of evangelistic cartoon tracts, something he couldn’t have done unless he had the new computer.

 

Our Heavenly Father desires to hear the prayers of our hearts and to answer them. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that our God loves us and answers prayer.

 

“When I stop praying, the coincidences stop happening.” – William Temple

 

God’s Word: “Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say, ‘I have overcome him,’ and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” – Psalm 13:3-5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

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