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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES
Devotional - Working Faithfully
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 29, 2020
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

 

In the 1880s a young man who was an earnest Christian found employment in a pawnshop. Although he disliked the work, he did it faithfully as unto the Lord until a more desirable opportunity opened for him. To prepare himself for a life of Christian service, he wrote on a scrap of paper the following resolutions: “I do promise God that I will rise early every morning to have a few minutes—not less than five—in private prayer. I will endeavor to conduct myself as a humble, meek, and zealous follower of Jesus, and by serious witness and warning I will try to lead others to think of the needs of their immortal souls. I hereby vow to read no less than four chapters in God's Word every day. I will cultivate a spirit of self-denial and will yield myself a prisoner of love to the Redeemer of the world.” That young man was William Booth, who later led thousands to Christ and founded the Salvation Army.

 

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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

 

Devotional - He Chooses Leaders
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 28, 2020
Devotional - He 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

 

Peter Muhlenberg was the eldest son of the Lutheran patriarch Henry Melchoir Muhlenberg. He grew up in Pennsylvania during the latter half of the eighteenth century. He served briefly in the British army and even traveled to England in 1772 and was ordained into the priesthood of the Anglican Church. He moved to Woodstock, Virginia and was elected to the House of Burgesses in 1774, and was a delegate to the First Virginia Convention.

Toward the end of 1775, George Washington asked Peter to raise and command the 8th Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army. At the conclusion of his sermon in January 1776, in front of his congregation, Peter threw off his clerical robes to reveal the uniform of a Virginia militia officer. He went on to serve with distinction throughout the war, Peter commanded a brigade that successfully stormed the British lines at Yorktown. He retired from the army in 1783 as a brevetted major general.

 

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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Giving With Devotion
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 27, 2020
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

 

Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts store, was established in 1972 and has since grown into 462 stores that operates in 39 states. Its vision statements reads: "Hobby Lobby partners with organizations working to share the Good News of Jesus Christ to all the world."

Founder David Green said: “Coming from a family of preachers, the idea of giving back has been part of my life as long as I can remember. When Hobby Lobby was created in the early 1970s, I was committed to use profits to help ministry work.”

David and his wife Barbara have contributed to missions throughout the world, orphanages and ministries in the U.S., among many other things.

“Hobby Lobby,” he stressed, “has always been a tool for the Lord's work. For me and my family, charity equals ministry, which equals the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

 

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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Being Impartial
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 24, 2020
Devotional - Being 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 

 

Until the eighteenth century, most medical experiments had a bias to them where the patient would report an outcome that may or may not be true. Then in 1784, Benjamin Franklin, while serving as an American ambassador to France, was asked by the Académie des Sciences to co-chair a commission on animal magnetism. The claim that invisible forces exerted by animals provide therapeutic relief in humans was first made by German physician Franz Mesmer; the term mesmerism is alternately used to describe this supposed phenomenon. Mesmer’s ideas influenced medical practices for nearly a century in Europe and the United States. 

Franklin teamed up with French chemist Antoine Lavoisier to investigate this claim. Without realizing it the team would define the future of medical science by creating the first blind trial. Mesmerists were given flasks filled with vital fluids to find out if the essence of certain objects, such as trees, would improve their health. The patients had no idea what was in the flask. The answer to the experiment was a resounding no. The experiment disproved mesmerism because it had no bias. 

 

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 Room For One God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 23, 2020
Devotional - Only Room For One God

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

 

Toyotomi Hideyoshi was a Japanese warlord and politician who ruled over Japan in the late 1500s. He is known as the second "Great Unifier" of Japan. 

His lasting legacy in Japan, included Osaka Castle, the Tokugawa class system, the restriction on the possession of weapons to the samurai, and the construction and restoration of many temples some of which are still visible in Kyoto.

To unify the Japanese people, he commissioned a colossal statue of Buddha for a shrine in Kyoto. It took 50,000 men five years to build, but the work had scarcely been completed when the earthquake of 1596 brought the roof of the shrine crashing down and wrecked the statue. In a rage, Hideyoshi shot an arrow at the fallen colossus. "I put you here at great expense," he shouted, "and you can't even look after your own temple."

 

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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS, AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Heed The Warnings
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 22, 2020
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 

 

On May 7, 1902, Martinique’s Mount Pelée began the deadliest volcanic eruption of the 20th century. The following day, the city of Saint Pierre, which some called the Paris of the Caribbean, was virtually wiped off the map.

Mount Pelée was a 4,500-foot mountain on the north side of the Caribbean island of Martinique. On April 2, 1902, new steam vents were spotted on the peak, which overlooked the port city of Saint Pierre. Three weeks later, tremors were felt on the island and Mount Pelée belched up a cloud of ash.

Caught up in the midst of an important election, residents of Saint Pierre failed to heed the mountain’s warnings and evacuate. The nearby residents mistakenly believed that the only danger from the volcano was lava flow and that if lava started to flow, they would have plenty of time to flee to safety. In fact, some people came from outside the city to view the action, even after ash from the eruption began to block roads.

On May 7, activity on the volcano increased dramatically and the blasts grew significantly stronger. Overnight, there were several strong tremors and a cloud of gas with a temperature of more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit spilled out of the mountain. Finally, a tremendous blast in the early morning hours sent an avalanche of boiling ash down the side of the mountain. The death toll was more than 29,000 people. Only two people survived. 

 

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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS, AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - In His Time
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 21, 2020
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

 

Winston Churchill had nearly reached the height of political power in Britain early in his career; by the age of 33 he was a cabinet minister and one of the nation’s most popular speakers. Yet a series of events and unpopular positions caused Churchill to lose his political standing and become a subject of ridicule and rejection. By the early 1930s, he had been excluded from the seats of power. Churchill’s prophetic warnings about Adolf Hitler were ignored by an English public that preferred to hear comforting worlds of peace.

When Britain was plunged into World War II, Churchill was already 65 years of age, eligible to retire on a government pension. Yet that is the moment when the nation turned to him, and Churchill became the prime minister who inspired the British people to remain firm during her darkest day of the war.

 

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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS, AND CHRONICLES

 

Devotional - Eyes Wide Open To Reality
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 20, 2020
Devotional - Eyes Wide Open To Reality

“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

 

 

Nabeel Qureshi was born in San Diego, California to Pakistani parents who immigrated to the United States. With his father in the U.S. Navy, he moved many times as a youth before settling in Virginia. In 2001 he attended Old Dominion University and served as the president of the Pre-Medical Honor Society. Nabeel also studied Islamic apologetics and engaged Christians in religious discussions. After one such discussion with a Christian at Old Dominion University, David Wood, the two became friends and began a years-long debate on the historical claims of Christianity and Islam.

After one debate, Nabeel prayed to God for a sign:

“I was at the foot of a hotel bed, and I prayed, ‘God, I don’t know. My eternal life is on the line. I ask you to tell me what the truth is. Provide me with a vision. Provide me a dream, anything.’”

“That night, as soon as I prayed that, everything went dark, and there before my eyes were hundreds, maybe thousands of crosses. As soon as they had come they had gone. I knew what had happened – I had received a vision. But I didn’t want to believe it! So I looked up to God and I said, “God, that doesn’t count! That could be my eyes playing tricks on me.” So I said to God, “Forget I asked for a vision. How about you provide me a dream?” That night Nabeel had a dream of Christ and when he awoke he gave his life to Christ. 

 

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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS, AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Be Kind To Widows And Orphans
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 17, 2020
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

 

On April 10, 1899, in Augusta, Maine, a private orphanage opened. It was founded during a time when there were many displaced children living on the streets or in abject poverty. Through the generosity and support of local residents, it became a safe haven for children. 

Funded by donations from local residents, the institution provided food, clothing, and shelter for 28 children in its inaugural year. 

Today, the Maine Children's Home is a multi-faceted organization that has grown and evolved to meet the challenges of changing times. It has a Teen Parent School Program, which is an "alternative" educational program offering high-school classes, parenting guidance, childcare guidance, and counseling for pregnant teens and teen parents. Its Adoption Program places10-14 children each year into loving homes. 

 

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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS, AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Losing Heart And Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 16, 2020
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) 

 

After earning a Masters in Religious Education at Union Theological Seminary, Carolyn Shadle worked as a Director of Religious Education in a large Presbyterian Church.  But somewhere along the line, Shadle never developed her faith. She pretty much treated her calling as a job and did not walk by faith in Jesus. 

In a blog, the 74-year-old Shadle states: “I am now free to admit that ‘demythologizing’ really meant that I did not believe the essence of the Christian story.  Voila, I’m an atheist.

Reason and science suggest to me that the notion of ‘God’ is only a notion – not an entity to be seen or touched or heard. God is no more real than Santa Claus – a mythical character that embodies meaning. ‘God’ (and Jesus) embody love and creativity, just as ‘Santa Claus’ embodies love, joy, and giving.”

 

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 the 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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS, AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Believing God's Promises
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 15, 2020
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

 

The Bible speaks the number of stars is innumerable (Genesis 15:5, Jeremiah 33:22). For much of history, most men believed they could count the number of stars. 

In the 16th century, the Danish astronomer Tycho Brah asserted there were a thousand stars in the sky. He cataloged 777 stars and their positions in space relative to earth. Even the great German astronomer Johann Kepler numbered the stars at slightly over one thousand.

Today, through the use of modern telescopes, we know there are many more stars. Dr. David Kornreich, an assistant professor at Ithaca College in New York State, has estimated that there are 10 trillion galaxies in the universe. Multiplying that by the Milky Way's estimated 100 billion stars results in a large number indeed: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars, or a "1" with 24 zeros after it (1 septillion in the American numbering system; 1 quadrillion in the European system). Dr. Kornreich emphasized that number is likely a gross underestimation of the real number of stars. 

 

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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS, AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - The Need For Discernment
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 14, 2020
Devotional - The Need For Discernment

“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

 

One of the dangers of mining coal was the lack of oxygen in the pits. John Scott Haldane, known to some as “the father of oxygen therapy”, researched carbon monoxide. In 1913, it led him to recommend using the birds to detect the poisonous, colorless gas. Haldane concluded that if the animal became ill or died, that would give miners a warning to evacuate.

Haldane discerned that canaries were the best bird to take into the coal mine. Since canaries are especially sensitive to methane and carbon monoxide, the miners would bring along caged canaries into new coal seams. The birds’ rapid breathing rate, small size, and high metabolism made them ideal for detecting any dangerous gas build-ups. As long as the birds kept singing, the miners knew their air supply was safe. When the canaries stopped singing–or worse, died–the miners knew it was time for immediate evacuation. The birds became tiny sentinels of safety.

 

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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS, AND CHRONICLES

Devotional - Guard Your Heart
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 13, 2020
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”, formed the Twelve Tribes cult. Spriggs claimed to have had a vision while on a Los Angeles beach. Before that time, Elbert Spriggs had been a high school counselor and a carnival barker. 

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 abuse allegations came to light. Today, the group has at least 7 compounds in New England but is thought to have a total of 30 worldwide. 

 

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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES, AND KINGS

Devotional - The Kindness Factor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 10, 2020
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

 

It happened at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. This year, the athletes who captured the essence of the Olympic spirit in a single act of selfless kindness was Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D'Agostino.

During their 5,000 m women’s race, around 3000 m into the race, Abbey D'Agostino from the United States accidentally stumbled into Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand and both fell on the track. Abbey stood up first, put a hand on Nikki’s shoulder, helped her stand up, and encouraged her to keep going. Then it was Abbey, whose knee was damaged during the collision, who fell on the ground after her knee couldn’t take anymore. This time it was Nikki who stayed by her side and encouraged Abbey. Together the two ambled along the track together to finish the race. 

The International Olympic Committee awarded the duo the prestigious “Pierre de Coubertin” medal--also known as the International Fair Play Committee Award, for the kindness each woman showed each other. 

 

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

 

“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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES, AND KINGS

Devotional - Mourning The Loss Of Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 9, 2020
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

 

On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was gunned down. That evening in Indianapolis, Indiana, Bobby Kennedy was campaigning for President of the United States. He stood in the back of that flatbed truck and was the one who announced to the crowd that Dr. King had just been killed.

With a trembling voice Bobby spoke: “For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and distrust at the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I can only say that I feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man. But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to go beyond these rather difficult times.

My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He wrote: ‘In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.’”

 

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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES, AND KINGS

Devotional - Do Not Lose Heart
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 8, 2020
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 1997, Hea Woo escaped North Korea to China and became a Christian through a series of events. She was soon caught by the secret police, repatriated to North Korea, and placed in a prison camp. She experienced the horrors of life in these prisons: death so rampant that bodies would lay on the ground for three or four days without being cleaned up; mental and physical abuse that would make you sick in the pit of your stomach. Every day was torture for Christians.

Yet, in one of the darkest places on earth, Hea Woo chose to do something so radical, and so dangerous, but so Christ-like. In this prison, God gave her the heart to tell her fellow prisoners about Jesus. And so, right there in the middle of a North Korean labor camp, a secret fellowship church began.

In her words: “The Bible verses that I’d recall from memory gave the others hope. They also saw the Spirit at work in me. I stood out among the other prisoners because I helped them. Sometimes I shared my rice with the sick. Occasionally I washed their clothes, too.

“God used me to lead five people to faith,” she said. 

 

In our darkest moments, our Heavenly Father is near. 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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES, AND KINGS

Devotional - God Looks At The Heart
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 7, 2020
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  

 

Deidre Davis was an alcoholic and a drug addict living in Chicago. At rock bottom and near desperation, she enrolled at the Resurrection House, an alcohol and drug treatment center begun by Marcus and Mattie Randle. The Randles are Christians and often invited Deidre to their nearby church. Occasionally she’d accept.

After she left the Resurrection House and the program was complete, she would be tempted—like many other recovering addicts—to cut ties with those who had helped. But she never did. God kept drawing her back to the house and the Randles. When she found out the couple was starting a church at the house, she came for the very first service. She accepted Christ and was never the same again.

Deidre believes God did what no program could have done—He rescued her from her addiction.

“I know it was only the power of God. No human power could have alleviated this addiction” she said. 

After Deidre began a relationship with Christ through the ministry of the Randles, Mattie began to teach her what it means to have a relationship with Christ. Today, Deidre teaches a class on prayer at the Resurrection House church.

 

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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES, AND KING

 

Devotional - Obedience Is Better
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 6, 2020
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

 

There is a little poem that is inscribed in the cathedral of Lübeck in Germany. It reads:

‘Ye call Me Master and obey Me not;

Ye call Me Light and see Me not;

Ye call Me Way and walk Me not;

Ye call Me Life and desire Me not;

Ye call Me Wise and follow Me not;

Ye call Me Fair and love Me not;

Ye call Me Rich and ask Me not;

Ye call Me Eternal and seek Me not;

Ye call Me Gracious and trust Me not;

Ye call Me Noble and serve Me not;

Ye call Me Mighty and honor Me not;

Ye call Me Just and fear Me not;

If I condemn YOU, blame Me not’.

 

The joy of the Christian life is obtained by obeying Jesus. 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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES, AND KINGS

Devotional - The Way Of Good And Right
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 3, 2020
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

 

Christian author and teacher Howard Hendricks told of visiting a leprosy center in India. The morning he arrived, the residents were gathered for a praise service. One of the women with leprosy hobbled to the platform. Hendricks said that even though she was partially blind and badly disfigured, she was one of the most beautiful women he’d ever seen.

Raising both of her nearly fingerless hands toward Heaven, she said in a clear voice, “I want to praise God that I am a leper because it was through my leprosy that I came to know Jesus Christ as my Savior. And I would rather be a leper who knows Christ than be completely whole and a stranger to His grace.” 

 

Following Jesus is good and right. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His Word and the goodness of 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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES, AND KINGS

Devotional - Listening To The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 2, 2020
Devotional - Listening To 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 his book Directions, author James Hamilton shares this insight about listening to God:

Before refrigerators, people used icehouses to preserve their food. Icehouses had thick walls, no windows, and a tightly fitted door. In winter, when streams and lakes were frozen, large blocks of ice were cut, hauled to the icehouses and covered with sawdust. Often the ice would last well into the summer.

One man lost a valuable watch while working in an icehouse. He searched diligently for it, carefully raking through the sawdust, but didn't find it. His fellow workers also looked, but their efforts, too, proved futile. A small boy who heard about the fruitless search slipped into the icehouse during the noon hour and soon emerged with the watch.

Amazed, the men asked him how he found it.

"I closed the door," the boy replied, "lay down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking."

 

In much the same way, we need to be still in order to 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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

Devotional - Hate Evil
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 1, 2020
Devotional - Hate Evil

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

 

The story is told that a friend of Augustine named Alypius was often urged by his neighbors to watch the gladiators in combat. He refused to do so because he abhorred the brutality of those barbaric contests. One day, however, he was forced into the amphitheater against his will. Determined not to witness the gory spectacle, Alypius kept his eyes tightly closed. But a piercing cry aroused his curiosity so much that he peeked just as one of the fighters received a fatal wound.

J. N. Norton says of the incident, “No sooner had Alypius discovered the bloody stream issuing from the victim’s side than his finer sensibilities were blunted, and he joined in the shouts and exclamations of the noisy mob about him. From that moment he was a changed man—changed for the worse; not only attending such sports himself but urging others to do likewise.” Even though Alypius had entered the arena against his will, his exposure to evil and eventual addiction suggests what can happen to the best of people when they get one small taste of lustful pleasures. Their appetite is whetted. They develop a liking for what they once abhorred. And without realizing it they become enslaved. 

 

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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES, AND KINGS

Devotional - Our God Answers Prayer
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 31, 2020
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 

 

James Gilmour, a missionary to Mongolia, was once asked to treat some wounded soldiers. Although he was not a doctor, he did have some knowledge of first aid, so he felt he could not refuse the request. He dressed the wounds of two of the men, but a third had a badly broken thighbone. The missionary had no idea what to do for such an injury. Kneeling beside the man, he asked the Lord for help. He didn't know how God would answer his prayers, but he was confident that his need would be supplied. He couldn't find any books on physiology in the primitive hospital, and no doctor arrived. To complicate matters, a crowd of beggars came to him asking for money. He was deeply concerned about his patient, yet his heart went out to those ragged paupers.  Hurriedly he gave them a small gift, plus a few kind words of spiritual admonition. 

A moment later he stared in amazement at one weary beggar who had remained behind. The half-starved fellow was little more than a living skeleton. The missionary suddenly realized that the Lord had brought him a walking lesson in anatomy! He asked the elderly man if he might examine him. After carefully tracing the femur bone with his fingers to learn how to treat the soldier's broken leg, he returned to the patient and was able to set the fracture. Years afterward, Gilmour often related how God had provided him with a strange yet sufficient response to his earnest prayer.

 

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 2020, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, CHRONICLES AND KINGS

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