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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES
Devotional - Giving With Devotion
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 27, 2017
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

 

Robert Arthington was the son of an English wealthy brewery owner. He became a Christian at a young age. A letter from a missionary profoundly influenced him. It read: "Were I in England again, I would gladly live in one room, make the floor my bed, a box my chair, another my table, rather than the heathen should perish for the lack of knowledge of Jesus Christ."

Robert decided God was calling him to live this modest life and giving was his ministry.

He lived in a single room, cooked his own meals, and shared his friendship with students who were in need. He gave large amounts of money during his lifetime to Christian missions. When he died in 1900, his estate was worth about five million dollars which he willed to missions.

On his tombstone, Robert had the following inscribed: "Robert Arthington, His life and wealth was devoted to the spread of the Gospel among the Heathen."

 

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 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Be Impartial
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 26, 2017
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

 

The late Pastor Max Cadenhead, when he was pastor of First Baptist Church in Naples, Florida, riveted his congregation one day with a bold confession.

"My message today is on the parable of the Good Samaritan," Max announced. "Let me start with an illustration.

"Remember last year when the Browns came forward to join the church?" he asked. Everyone nodded; the Browns were a very influential family. "Well, the same day a young man came forward and gave his life to Christ. I could tell he needed help—and we counseled him." No one nodded; no one remembered.

"We worked with the Browns, got them onto committees. They've been wonderful folks," Cadenhead said to muffled Amens. "The young man…well, we lost track.

"Until yesterday, that is, as I was preparing today's message on the Good Samaritan. I picked up the paper, and there was that young man's picture. He had shot and killed an elderly woman."

Chins dropped throughout the congregation as the pastor continued. "I never followed up on that young man, so I'm the priest who saw the man in trouble and crossed to the other side of the road. I am a hypocrite."

 

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 - Room For Only One God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 25, 2017
Devotional - Room For Only One God

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

 

Mao Tse-tung led the Chinese Communist Party from 1935 until his death in 1976. He was the chairman of the People's Republic of China from 1949 to 1959.

He was idolized by almost a billion people. During his rule, his photograph could be found everywhere in China, his followers regularly wore his green military uniform and they religiously followed his little “red book.”

Officially, in China, he is held in high regard as a great political strategist and military mastermind, the savior of the nation.

However, Mao's efforts to close China to trade and market commerce and eradicate traditional Chinese culture have largely been rejected by his successors. While his emphasis on China's self-reliance and the rapid industrialization that he promoted is credited with laying the foundation for China's late 20th century development, he proved to be a ruthless leader. His arbitrary executions,  purges and forced labor caused an estimated 40 to 70 million deaths.

Mao's "Great Leap Forward" and the Cultural Revolution were ill-conceived and had disastrous consequences, causing millions to die of starvation.

 

There is only 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 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Heed The Warnings
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 24, 2017
Devotional - Heed The 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 2012, two professors from the University of Buffalo School of Management studied why people failed to heed disaster warnings.  Dr. Raj Sharman and H. Raghav Rao examined a number of post-disaster reports to assess why some people refused to evacuate in the face of warnings about imminent tornadoes, hurricanes and other emergency situations such as campus shootings and industrial accidents. The reports were conducted by organizations including the National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Congressional Research Service.

The researchers found that past personal experience in “riding out” storms can lead people to feel complacent when receiving emergency warnings. On the other hand, previous warnings that proved to be false can result in apathetic responses when another warning occurs.

Post-disaster surveys also showed that many people lacked awareness about how serious the situation was when warnings happened.

To combat the factors leading to nonresponse, the researchers made three recommendations. First, warnings should come from more than one source.

“Generally speaking, a single source of information rarely prompts people to take appropriate action,” Sharman said. “Multiple sources are more effective.”

Second, warnings should include more descriptive language, using words such as “unsurvivable” and “catastrophic” and urging citizens to take “immediate, life-saving action” to motivate the public in the event of imminent and extreme severe weather.

Finally, communities should take advantage of technological advances to make warnings more specific. Technology may help motivate people to take action because they can see the threat to themselves.

 

The Lord warns us multiple times 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.

 

“Warnings aren’t meant to condemn us—they are meant to help us grow up so that we can be effectively used in building God’s kingdom on earth.” - Crystal McDowell

 

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 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - In His Time
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 21, 2017
Devotional - In His Time

"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

 

South African Pastor Andrew Murray was the author of over 240 Christian books. Once when he was visiting England in 1895, he began to suffer pain from a previous back injury. While he was recuperating, his hostess told him of a woman who was in great trouble and wanted to know if he had any counsel for her. Murray said, “Give her this paper which I have been writing for my own [encouragement]. It may be that she will find it helpful.” This is what Murray wrote:

“In time of trouble say:

First—God brought me here. It is by His will I am in this strait place. In that I will rest.

Next—He will keep me in His love and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child.

Then—He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow.

Last—In His good time He can bring me out again—how and when He knows.

I am here—by God’s appointment, in His keeping, under His training, for His time.”

 

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 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - God Opens Our Eyes
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 20, 2017
Devotional - God Opens Our Eyes

“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

 

Benjamin Rush was a Christian leader from Philadelphia who was one of America’s Founding Fathers. He was a physician, politician, and educator as well as the founder of Dickinson College. He attended the Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence. 

In October 1809, Benjamin had a profound dream about his two colleagues John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Adams and Jefferson had feuded for decades, but in Benjamin’s dream the two men resolved their differences and became good friends.

In a letter to John Adams, Benjamin “foretold” Adams and Jefferson’s reconciliation, and added that it would be followed by the death of both men, “nearly at the same time.” 

As accurately described in Benjamin’s dream, Adams and Jefferson did again become close friends, and there did indeed followed the “correspondence of several years” described in the dream. Furthermore, the “world was favored with a sight of the letters” as entire volumes were eventually published which contained the letters written between those two in their latter years. Interestingly, seventeen years after his dream, they did “sink into the grave nearly at the same time” as the two men died within three hours of each other on the same day: July 4th, 1826.

 

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 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Be Kind To Orphans And Widows
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 19, 2017
Devotional - Be Kind To Orphans And Widows

“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 1993, the Burundian Civil War erupted between the Hutu and the Tutsi ethnic groups. The conflict lasted 13 years with an estimated death toll stands at 300,000 killed.

One Christian who decided to take action was Marguerite Barankitse. She began providing food and shelter to 25 children who became orphaned. With the help of European and Burundian friends she organized a help network that managed to provide care for a growing number of orphans. She helped transform a former school into a children's shelter called “Maison Shalom,” meaning “House of Peace”.

Her activities expanded to several cities throughout the country where she opened other children's shelters.

In 2004 an estimated 20,000 children had benefited from her help, either directly or indirectly.

"I had my faith and I kept hearing the Lord's message, and it was 'Do not be afraid, I am with you,'" said Marguerite.

 

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 loving-kindness 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 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Losing Heart
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 18, 2017
Devotional - Losing Heart

“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)

 

John Kenneth Best was the son of an English minister. John became a chaplain in the First World War where he served with distinction, courage and gallantry and was highly decorated. He was a chaplain on the frontlines at Gallipoli and saw the horrors of war from its trenches.

He re-enlisted in 1940 and served again as chaplain in the Second World War. In between the wars he taught mathematics at Cheltenham College.

John was an accomplished violinist. It was said that on the Western Front during the First World War he would play his violin in the trenches and that even the enemy held their fire and listened when he performed pieces by German composers.

His religious faith was not so enduring, however, and in his later years he described himself as an agnostic.

 

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 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Believing God's Promises
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 17, 2017
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

 

Thomas Burnet was an English theologian remembered for his work “Telluris Theoria Sacra”, or “Sacred Theory of the Earth”. Completed in 1689, Burnet had calculated that the oceans, atmosphere, glaciers, and fresh bodies of water did not contain enough water for a global flood. Burnet put forward the idea that there was a hollow earth with much of the water that flooded the earth coming from fountains within the earth’s crust (Genesis 7:11).

Modern scientists have called worldwide floods a myth, citing the same fact that Burnet had discovered that there is not enough water on the earth’s surface and atmosphere for a global flood. Most modern scientists dismissed the idea of “fountains of water” in the earth’s crust.

Then in 2014, an international team of scientists led by Dr. Graham Pearson, discovered the first-ever sample of a mineral called ringwoodite. Analysis of the mineral shows it contains a significant amount of water — 1.5 per cent of its weight — a finding that confirmed scientific theories about vast volumes of water trapped 410 to 660 kilometres beneath Earth’s surface, between the upper and lower mantle. The report cited: “That particular zone in the Earth, the transition zone, might have as much water as all the world’s oceans put together.”

 

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 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - The Need For A Discerning Heart
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 14, 2017
Devotional - The Need For A Discerning Heart

“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

 

Ed Faubert is one of only 48 certified coffee graders in the United States. The decisions he makes affect the $19 billion industry. Similar to wine tasters, coffee graders describe the taste characteristics of the coffee.

“I can tell from blindly tasting a cup of coffee not just that it is from Guatemala,” said Ed, “but from what state it comes, at what altitude it was grown, and on what mountain.”

Ed likes to tell of the time he walked with a fellow grader into the cupping room, where five tables were set with 60 cups of coffee each. “There’s a fermented cup over there,” Ed’s friend declared, then walked to one of the tables, tasted a few samples, and pushed the offending cup forward. “He was right,” Ed recalled. “Three hundred cups of coffee in the room, and he smelled the fermented cup the second he walked in.”

Ed admits to the enormous pressure of reducing one of the world’s biggest businesses to a simple question: “Is it good?”

 

In everything we need to practice discernment and ask “Is it good?” 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 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Guard Your Heart
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 13, 2017
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 1969, Jim Baker opened The Source, a health food restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. At the same time, he was falling under the influence of Sikh kundalini master Yogi Bhajan. Baker was soon leading meditation sessions in his restaurant and developing his own teachings.

Changing his name to Father Yod and Ya Ho Wha, Baker became the patriarch of a commune of young people, who considered him their spiritual father. The group, known as the Source Family, lived together in a Hollywood Hills mansion and was supported by the earnings of the Source Restaurant, which grossed $10,000 a day during its peak popularity.

Father Yod/Ya Ho Wha had a core communal group of 150 people living in the Hollywood Hills. He had 14 wives and 3 children.

His devotees dressed in white robes and followed a spiritual regimen of breathing techniques, cold showers, gender role shifts, yoga, drug use, and tantric sex.   

The Source Family began to suffer negative social pressure following the Manson Family murders. After abandoning the restaurant in 1974, Baker toured the world with a group of followers in an unsuccessful bid to find a new home for the group.

The following year, Baker returned to San Francisco and died after leading some of his congregation to a cliffside and leaping off with a hang glider he didn’t know how to use.

 

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 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

Devotional - The Kindness Factor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 12, 2017
Devotional - The Kindness Factor

“‘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

 

During the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam, one of rowing’s most unusual events occurred. Australian Bobby Pearce was racing a Frenchman in a single scull heat. Bobby remembers: “I heard wild roars from the crowd along the bank of the canal. I could see some spectators vigorously pointing to something behind me, in my path. I peeked over one shoulder and saw something I didn't like, for a family of ducks in single file was swimming slowly from shore to shore. It's funny now, but it wasn't at the time for I had to lean on my oars and wait for a clear course, and all the while my opponent was pulling away to a five length lead."

Bobby kindly let the family of ducks safely swim out of his path. Then Bobby rowed a magnificent race. He caught up with the Frenchmen and then by the time the race was over Bobby had finished almost 30 seconds in front of his challenger. In fact Bobby Pearce's time even with the stop included was the fastest of the remaining eight scullers in that round. Bobby Pearce’s kindness had won the day.

 

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 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

Devotional - Mourning The Loss Of Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 11, 2017
Devotional - Mourning The Loss Of Others

"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

 

Following the attacks on September 11, 2001, on New York City and Washington D.C., many in the world mourned. There was a solidarity, sympathy and friendship with the people of the United States. The following are some of the outpourings of grief displayed in the days following September 11, 2001:

In London, the "Star Spangled Banner" played during the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, while traffic came to a standstill in The Mall nearby.

In Beijing, tens of thousands of people visited the U.S. Embassy, leaving flowers, cards, funeral wreaths and hand-written notes of condolence on the sidewalk out front.

In Moscow, women who spoke no English and had never been to the U.S. were captured on film sobbing in front of a makeshift tribute on a sidewalk.

In Romania, every single church and monastery held a memorial prayer.

In India, children taped up signs that read, “This is an attack on all of us.” 

In Hungary, firefighters tied black ribbons to their trucks in honor of the victims.

In Turkey, the government ordered all of its flags at half-mast for one day of mourning.

In France, a well-known newspaper, Le Monde, ran a headline reading, “We Are All Americans.”

 

Mourning is an inevitable loss on earth. 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 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

Devotional - Do Not Lose Heart
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 10, 2017
Devotional - Do Not 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

 

In June 2015, Aaron Rose, from Orange, Texas, was on the mission field in Honduras with his family. The teenager decided he wanted to watch the sunset from his kayak. At about 6 p.m., Aaron paddled out to sea while his father Daniel watched.

Suddenly, Daniel “couldn't see him on the horizon”.

The teen's father, who is a pastor, posted this picture on social media from the shoreline in Roatan, Honduras, while his son was missing. 

He wrote: “Thank you Father that my son will never be truly lost or alone because of your love.”

After sunset, Aaron had gone to a familiar area but when it got dark, he started back to shore. The current became strong and his kayak flipped over.

"The first thirty minutes, roughly, I was more terrified than I've ever been before. I had no control over where I was going, and the resort we were staying at was getting farther and farther away," he said.

Aaron said he started singing, “Amazing Grace.”

"I've always loved that song, and I needed something to calm me down. Almost immediately, I felt a real sense of peace. I started singing other songs and hymns, and I prayed a lot, throughout the entire time," he said.

The next day, rescuers resumed their search. Aaron saw a helicopter pass overhead four times. But on the fifth pass, they spotted him.

Aaron was rescued after being at sea for 15 hours. “God answers prayer,” he said. “If he didn't, I know for a fact I wouldn't be alive today.”

 

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 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

 

Devotional - God Looks At The Heart
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 7, 2017
Devotional - God Looks 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

 

In 2004, nine-year-old Austin Gutwein watched a four-minute DVD from World Vision. The Christian organization had videoed Maggie, a little Zambian girl who had lost her parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to AIDS. She lived in a mud hut with her 73-year-old great grandmother. Maggie had no school, no bed, and no food.

After Austin saw the DVD, he thought how awful his life would be without his parents. He was really touched by Maggie’s story, and calls it his “Maggie moment.” Austin did not just want to sit back; he felt God was calling him to do something to help.

Austin loved basketball and decided to hold a fund raising event – much like a marathon – where he would free throw baskets for money. Originally, he called it Baskets of Hope, and he decided to hold the event on World AIDS Day in 2004.

Austin shot 2,057 free throws to represent the 2,057 kids who would be orphaned during a six-hour school day. He raised almost $3000 that World Vision used to help eight orphaned children.

Baskets of Hope became Hoops for Hope. Hoops of Hope is now the biggest basketball shoot-a-thon in the world and Austin has managed to raise over $3 million for children left behind by AIDS. Thousands of participants and teams from around the world now take part in the event that helps children who are in need.

 

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 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KING

Devotional - It Better To Obey
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 6, 2017
Devotional - It Better To Obey

“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

 

During the 1930’s, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor and theologian. He was also a key founding member of the Confessing Church. The Confessing Church resisted the Nazis and it was declared an illegal church in Germany.

Also during this time, Dietrich was leading an illegal seminary and he penned his classic “The Cost of Discipleship.”

In his book, he spoke plainly and powerfully regarding the association of faith and obedience:

“Only those who believe obey…and only those who obey believe. The soul of the believer knows that when we believe we will obey and when we obey we believe. If we believe but do not obey, the believer is laid open to the danger of cheap grace. If we obey but don’t believe, we are laid open to the danger of salvation through works…

Cheap grace has served as an inoculation or more accurately, a vaccination. We have gotten just enough of Jesus to prevent us from catching the real thing. As a result we begin to feel secure even in the midst of godless living. We become aware of our disobedience, and cheap grace provides us with a deceptive sense of strength…

Costly grace is the grace of Christian discipleship. It is costly because it calls us to follow. It is costly because it costs our very lives. It is costly because it condemns sin. It is grace because when we are called to follow, the call is to follow Jesus. It is grace because although it costs our life, it is also the source of the only true and complete life. And it is grace because, although it condemns the sin, it justifies the sinner.”

 

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 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

Devotional - The Way That Is Good And Right
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 5, 2017
Devotional - The Way That Is 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

 

In 1991, when Dave Phillips witnessed the poverty at a children’s hospital in Honduras, it changed him forever. With a united passion to do good and impact the next generation and help local churches build relationships with poor children in their communities, Dave and his wife Lynn founded Children’s Hunger Fund. They began distributing food and aid from their garage in California.

Soon they were serving eight churches composed of 200–300 families.

In response to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Children’s Hunger Fund increased its food distribution program in South Central Los Angeles. When the 1994 Northridge earthquake struck the San Fernando Valley, the federal government asked Children's Hunger Fund to participate in relief efforts.

Over the past two decades, Children’s Hunger Fund has raised more than a billion dollars and helped millions of people during times of crisis and disaster. From serving 15,000 meals per day after a major earthquake hits Los Angeles in 1994, to sending 15 truckloads of aid to Katrina refugees in 2005, to shipping dried fruit, medicine, and blankets to North Korean orphans in 2012, Dave and Children’s Hunger Fund desire to do good in Jesus’ name.

 

In all that you do, may it be the way of good and right. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for the Bible and teaching us to do good and 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 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

Devotional - Hearing Our Father's Voice
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 4, 2017
Devotional - Hearing Our Father's Voice

“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 2010, Len and Nicole Clamp of Charlotte, North Carolina adopted Grayson. Grayson was 2 months old and born with a condition called CHARGE. The condition left him with a heart defect, no hearing, and no sight in his left eye.

In June of 2013, the now three-year old Grayson was the first child in the U.S. to undergo an experimental procedure to implant an auditory nerve directly into Grayson’s brain. This procedure proved successful, and Grayson’s look was one of wonder and joy when he heard his father’s voice for the first time. Len and Nicole, who are Christians, have claimed 1 Corinthians 2:9 as their life verse: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard (until May 21st), no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”

 

In much the same way, when we read God's Word and obey Him, we can hear our Heavenly Father’s voice. 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 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

Devotional - No Regard For The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 3, 2017
Devotional - No Regard For The Lord

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

 

Possibly the most hated minister in America was Fred Phelps, Sr.

Fred grew up in a Methodist home, and he became an American Baptist minister and civil rights attorney.

In the 1980’s, as pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, he became famous for preaching vehemently against homosexuality. But he did not stop there. He and his church began protesting near the funerals of homosexuals. Soon he was protesting at the funerals of military veterans, and disaster victims, whose deaths, he believed, were the result of God’s hatred of America’s "bankrupt values" and tolerance of homosexual lifestyles.

Fred Phelps died in March 2014. His wicked theology had no regard for the Lord. He said the following in a 1998 interview:

“You can’t believe the Bible without believing that God hates people,” he said. “It’s pure nonsense to say that God loves the sinner but hates the sin. He hates the sin, and he hates the sinner. He sends them to hell. Do you think he loves the people in hell?”

 

Because of his great love for sinners, 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 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

Devotional - Our God Answers Prayer
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 31, 2017
Devotional - Our God 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

 

Prince Edward VII of England was well known as the playboy Prince of Wales for his drinking and immorality. When his mother, Queen Victoria, died in 1901, Edward assumed the throne at age fifty-nine and reigned for nine years. In 1910, a British prayer warrior named Joe Evans was vacationing in the New York Adirondack Mountains, away from newspapers and interruptions. One morning he felt a burden to intercede for Edward, and the burden became so intense he anguished in prayer for the king to know Christ. The following day came the news, "Edward is dead." Years later, Joe shared dinner with Dr. J. Gregory Mantle of England. Dr. Mantle said, "Joe, did you know that Edward VII was saved on his deathbed?" He went on to explain: "The king was in France when he was taken ill. He was brought to England and there was hope that he might recover. However, there came a turn for the worse. At that time, His Majesty called one of his lords-in-waiting and ordered him to go to Paternoster Row and secure for him a copy of a tract that his mother, Queen Victoria, had given to him when he was a lad. It was entitled "The Sinner's Friend." After much searching, the lord-in-waiting found the tract, brought it to His Majesty, and upon reading it, King Edward VII made earnest repentance and received the Lord Jesus as his Savior." 

 

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 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

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