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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN Thessalonians
Devotional - Don't Be A Busybody
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 30, 2019
Devotional - Don't Be A Busybody

“We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:11

 

In 1957, Rona Barrett became a gossip columnist for the Bell-McClure newspaper syndicate.  

In 1966, she began broadcasting Hollywood gossip on the Los Angeles television station KABC-TV. She appeared on TV regularly, going on to appear on ABC's five owned and operated stations around the country. WABC-TV in New York put her pre-recorded gossip segment into its nightly local news, but anchor Roger Grimsby would generally introduce it by making disparaging comments about her and gossip columnists. Barrett made Frank Sinatra's enemies list by criticizing his personal life, particularly his relationships with his children. Barrett also angered actor Ryan O'Neal after she wrote some unflattering things about him. To retaliate, he supposedly sent her a box containing a live tarantula.

Barrett said: “I'm not friends with the stars, because if I were I couldn't tell the truth about them.”

 

Gossip is a sin that breaks relationships. Today in prayer, confess any sin of being a busybody and seek to have God honoring relationships.

 

“Busy souls have no time to be busybodies.” – Austin O’Malley

 

God’s Word: “Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.” – 1 Timothy 5:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Don't Be A Burden
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 29, 2019
Devotional - Don't Be A Burden

“nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:8-9

 

In an article entitled “Mooching friends -- how to deal with them,” Liane Yvkoff wrote:

“Brandon Ward, a sports marketing executive in San Diego, got an early lesson in dealing with deadbeats. Now 37 and married, Ward readily remembers a former roommate who rarely picked up his fair share, including his portion of a weekend trip that involved four tanks of gas and three cases of beer.

For Ward, it wasn't so much the money as the principle. ‘He never pulled out his wallet. If he had even offered, there was a chance I would have said no. That was the big sin.’

No matter how charming they may be, a friend who mooches isn't really a friend, says Jeanne Fleming, a financial ethics columnist for Money magazine who also holds a Ph.D in sociology. ‘Moochers are fundamentally motivated by being selfish and self-centered,’ she says. ‘They habitually forgive their behavior. But the truth is that it's complete self-indulgence. It's not benign.’”

 

The Lord never desires that we should never be a burden to others. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for the work He has given you and be diligent in all that you do.

 

“No one is useless in the world who lightens the burden of it for anyone else.” – Charles Dickens

 

God’s Word: “And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so.” – 2 Corinthians 11:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Be Faithful
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 28, 2019
Devotional - Be Faithful

“So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:15

 

One of the most tragic events during the Reagan Presidency was the Sunday morning terrorist bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon.

The attack occurred on October 23, 1983, two truck bombs struck buildings housing American and French service members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon (MNF), a military peacekeeping operation during the Lebanese Civil War. The attack killed 307 people: 241 U.S. and 58 French military personnel, six civilians, and two attackers.

A few days after the tragedy, Marine Corps Commandant Paul X Kelly visited some of the wounded survivors then in a Frankfurt, Germany, hospital. Among them was Corporal Jeffrey Lee Nashton, severely wounded in the incident. Nashton had so many tubes running in and out of his body that a witness said he looked more like a machine than a man; yet he survived. As Kelly neared him, Nashton, struggling to move and racked with pain, motioned for a piece of paper and a pen. He wrote a brief note and passed it back to the Commandant. On the slip of paper were but two words-"Semper Fi” the Latin motto of the Marines meaning “forever faithful.” 

 

The Lord has a plan for you. Be faithful, stand firm and keep following Jesus. Today in prayer, ask the Lord that you may be faithful in following Him in all your ways and in all of your days.

 

“The faithful person lives constantly with God.” – Clement of Alexandria

 

God’s Word: “To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless” – Psalm 18:25

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Beware Of The Counterfeit
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 25, 2019
Devotional - Beware Of The Counterfeit

“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie” – 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11

 

The Nike Trainer shoes are the most counterfeited item in the world - thanks to the distinctive swoosh and a demand from young people for expensive products on the cheap.

In the past, it was easier to tackle because street traders could be spotted and arrested.

But now there's a booming, lucrative online marketplace for the Trainers, which is increasingly difficult to shut down.

One teenage sneaker fan told “The Independent” newspaper: “I buy counterfeit trainers because the retail price on shoes is too high. For the money you pay, the quality is almost identical to authentic shoes.”

“People who cannot afford luxury, but want to look as if they can (‘poseurs’) go for big logos,” journalist Brooke Unger wrote in 1843 Magazine earlier this year. “Counterfeiters usually copy louder goods.”

Some experts say the logo obsession first took off in the late 80s and early 90s, as a result of the booming hip-hop culture, which also places great importance on footwear.

These brands have universally identifiable logos and as a result, really draw on the idea of aspirational dress. 

 

When evil comes, it will be disguised as good. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to give you discernment in all that you do.

“You may imitate, but never counterfeit.” – Honore de Balzac  

God’s Word: “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” – Matthew 24:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - God Is Just
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 24, 2019
Devotional - God Is Just

“All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.’ – 2 Thessalonians 1:5

 

On the morning of June 13, 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were found stabbed to death outside her condominium in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Former football star O.J. Simpson was a person of interest in their murders. He did not turn himself in, and on June 17 he became the object of a low-speed pursuit in a white 1993 Ford Bronco SUV owned and driven by his friend Al Cowlings. The pursuit was watched live by an estimated 95 million people. The pursuit, arrest, and trial were among the most widely publicized events in American history. The trial—often characterized as the trial of the century because of its international publicity—spanned eleven months.

In the end, O.J. Simpson was found not guilty. America was divided if justice had been served.

After the criminal trial, the families of Nichole and Goldman filed a civil lawsuit against Simpson. On February 4, 1997, the jury unanimously found Simpson responsible for both deaths and the families were awarded compensatory and punitive damages totaling $33.5 million. Today Simpson is a free man.  

 

God will judge each person justly. Today in prayer, rejoice in God’s judgment and in His mercy toward you.

 

“None are ruined by the justice of God but those that hate to be reformed by the grace of God.” – Matthew Henry

 

God’s Word: “God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you” – 2 Thessalonians 1:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Persevere In Your Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 23, 2019
Devotional - Persevere In Your Faith

“Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.” – 2 Thessalonians 1:4

 

In July 2019, Iran granted a conditional release Sevada Aghasar from Evin Prison after serving half of a five-year sentence for “acting against national security through house church activities.”

Sevada is a well-known musician and Christian songwriter and a member of the Armenian Orthodox church in Majidiyeh, a suburb of Tehran. 

Aghasar is an Armenian Christian who technically has constitutional protections regarding his faith practice.

The terms of Sevada’s conditional release is believed to include a prohibition against evangelism, a right that Iran’s constitution does not protect. Upon his release, Sevada wrote on his Instagram page that “when I was a child, I thought only criminals and malefactors would be prisoned. Then I got older and knew that debtors and mistakers would be imprisoned too. Now I know that even innocents could be imprisoned!! Thank God, I am free now.”

 

There are many areas of the world where Christians are persecuted for their faith in Christ. Today in prayer, pray for those who face persecution and that they may persevere in Christ.

 

“Persecution for righteousness’ sake is what every child of God must expect.” – Charles Simeon

 

God’s Word: “because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:3-4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Pray Continually
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 22, 2019
Devotional - Pray Continually

“pray continually” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

In Belfast, Ireland, in the 1930’s, a church that ran about 200 attendees experienced revival. Between 12 and 20 people were saved every night. Every morning at 6 a.m. found 50 people in the church praying for an hour.

J. Edwin Orr described one of these prayer meetings. The prayers were short, simple, to the point. Someone prayed for God to reach her wayward son who had gotten into bad company. There was a chorus of “Amens” and “yes, Lords.” One prayed, “Lord, bless the poor woman down the street, the one with the black eye. I’ll try to bring her tonight.” Someone prayed for God to bring conviction and conversion to the man who gave her the black eye.

An hour of prayer like this every morning preceded the 12 to 20 souls saved every night. Orr continued describing this prayer meeting.

“A second year theological student was in the meeting, and these brief, humble prayers ill-suited his idea of homiletics. He decided to show the folks how to pray, and soon was launched upon an oration with introduction, excellent paragraphing, and a theme running throughout the prayer.

“‘We thank Thee, Heavenly Father, that in spite of the disobedience of our first parents, the seed of the woman didst bruise the serpent’s head, and Thy plan didst triumph. We thank Thee, that in spite of the wickedness of the antediluvian world, Thou didst shut the family of Noah in the ark to preserve Thy seed, and Thy plan didst triumph....’

“The theological student prayed on about Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the children if Israel, and Moses. He was traveling with great velocity through the book of Second Kings when the minister interrupted him. ‘Open your eyes, man,’ he said. ‘You’re not praying. You’re preaching a sermon.’

Orr concludes: “We returned to the profitable intercession and sincere petition and we saw the answers come.”

 

Let your prayers come from your heart, not the print in a book. Today in prayer, open your heart to the Lord and talk to Him in prayer.

 

“Conversational prayer is a dialogue with God, not a monologue to God.” – Mark Stepherson

 

God’s Word: “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” – Ephesians 5:20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Be Joyful
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 21, 2019
Devotional - Be Joyful

“Be joyful always” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16

 

In the sermon “A Recipe For Joy”, Pastor Adrian Rodgers said the following:

“Joy is the birthright of the child of God. Every child of God ought to have conscience joy. Every child of God ought to have conspicuous joy. Every child of God ought to have continuous joy. Every child of God ought to have contagious joy. Joy is the birthmark and the birthright of the child of God. And if you're not living a life of joy you're living beneath your privileges as a Christian. And it's so important that you have joy to win the lost. If you want people to believe in your savior dear friend, the mark of the authenticity of Christ in your life is the joy of the Lord Jesus Christ. They're not all that interested in your creed. They're not all that interested in your doctrines. They're not all that interested in your organizations. They want to know is it working for you and there's nothing more attractive in winning the lost to the LORD Jesus Christ than the joy of the Lord.”

 

No matter what circumstance we find ourselves, we can find Jesus. And in Jesus, we can find joy. Today in prayer, seek the Lord in all that you do and He will give you joy.

 

“One filled with joy preaches without preaching.” – Mother Teresa

 

God’s Word: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds” – James 1:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Do Not Be Idle
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 18, 2019
Devotional - Do Not Be Idle

“And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:14

 

Some people refer to Paul Railton of Consett, England, as the laziest man in the world. That would be difficult to prove, but his legal troubles certainly provide evidence that he is in the running for the title. In December of 2009, Railton was reported to the authorities by a cyclist who saw him “walking” his dog by driving his car slowly and holding the leash out the car window! Railton admitted that his unusual method of exercising his dog, “Was a silly thing to do and there was an element of laziness,” and pled guilty to a charge of “not being in proper control of a vehicle.” He was fined sixty-six pounds and ordered not to drive for six months.

 

The Lord warns us not to be idle, but to be diligent to do His work. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for the work He has given you and seek to do it with all your heart.

 

“Even if you're on the right road, you'll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

 

God’s Word: “If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks.” – Ecclesiastes 10:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Be Self-Controlled
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 16, 2019
Devotional - Be Self-Controlled

"But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:8

 

In a longitudinal study of 140 eighth-grade students, Doctors Angela Duckworth and Martin Seligman (2005) asked them to complete measures of intelligence and self-control. At the end of the school year, Duckworth and Seligman collected the students’ grade point averages (GPA).

What did they find? Self-control was over twice as important as intelligence in predicting end-of-year GPA.

This result breathes fresh air into students’ lives. IQ often doesn’t budge, but self-control does. If our students want to get better grades, they need to stop trying to boost their IQ. Their success depends on how hard they work, how much they persist in the face of failure and how well they overcome temptation. These findings suggest a major reason for students falling short of their intellectual potential: their failure to exercise self-discipline.

 

We need to be self-controlled in all areas of our Christian walk. Today in prayer, as you face choices and challenges this day, ask the Lord to give you the strength to be self-controlled.  

 

“Control your appetites before they control you.” – John Climacus

 

God’s Word: “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” – 1 Peter 1:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Our Hope Beyond This Life
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 16, 2019
Devotional - Our Hope Beyond This Life

“Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:13

 

George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright, critic, and political activist. His influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as Pygmalion (1912) and Saint Joan (1923). 

He is perhaps most renowned as a freethinker and liberal philosopher. He was an atheist and he put no hope in Christ. But in his last writings he wrote, "The science to which I pinned my faith is bankrupt. Its counsels, which should have established the millennium, led, instead, directly to the suicide of Europe. I believed them once. In their name I helped to destroy the faith of millions of worshippers in the temples of a thousand creeds. And now they look at me and witness the great tragedy of an atheist who has lost his faith."

 

Only in Jesus Christ can we find true hope. Today in prayer, praise Christ that when we place our trust in Him, we receive eternal life.

 

“Do not look to your hope, but to Christ, the source of your hope.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” – Romans 15:4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Live A Quiet Life
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 15, 2019
Devotional - Live A Quiet Life

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

 

At the Philadelphia Meeting House, Kenneth Boulding, a Quaker, delivered a message entitled “The Practice of The Love of God”. 

Kenneth discusses the importance of being quiet before the Lord. He said the love for God is “more constantly and perhaps more truly expressed in the quiet devotion of everyday life.”

He concluded his thought on quietness saying: “There is a quiet, open place in the depths of the mind, to which we can go many times in the day and lift up our soul in praise, thankfulness and conscious unity. With practice this God-ward turn of the mind becomes an almost constant direction, underlying all our other activities. As a compass swings towards the north immediately after each disturbance, so we swing towards the Pole that draws the life of our being the moment a temporary distraction is removed.”

 

The Lord is honored when we quietly serve Him. Today in prayer, give thanks to Jesus for the quiet moments of each day.

 

“O God, make us children of quietness, and heirs of peace.” – Clement of Rome

 

God’s Word: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Be Holy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 14, 2019
Devotional - Be Holy

“For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:7

 

John Charles (J.C.) Ryle was an English evangelical Anglican bishop. He was the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool.

In his book entitled “Holiness,” Ryle gives observations on holy living still apply to all believers living in a world hostile to Christianity:

“A holy man will follow after spiritual-mindedness. He will endeavor to set his affections entirely on things above, and to hold things on earth with a very loose hand. He will not neglect the business of the life that now is; but the first place in his mind and thoughts will be given to the life to come. He will aim to live like one whose treasure is in heaven, and to pass through this world like a stranger and pilgrim travelling to his home.”

 

The Lord calls us to be like Him and to be Holy. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that we are called to be holy and listen to Jesus to live a pure and holy life.

 

“Holiness does not consist in mystic speculations, enthusiastic fervours, or uncommanded austerities; it consists in thinking as God thinks, and willing as God wills.”  – John Brown

 

God’s Word: “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” – 1 Peter 1:15-16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Avoid Sexual Immorality
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 11, 2019
Devotional - Avoid Sexual Immorality

“It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality” – 1 Thessalonians 4:3

 

In January 2017, O. Jermaine Simmons, pastor of Jacob Chapel Baptist Church in Tallahassee, was caught in the act of adultery.

The husband, Benjamin Stephens, chased after the pastor with a pistol, but police found Simmons first, hiding with no clothes behind a fence.

Simmons, who is married, said that he was sorry that his members had to try to defend him, and that acknowledged that sin cannot be defended. But he contended that he couldn’t step down from preaching because it will appear like his worthiness to serve as a pastor is based on his performance.

Ironically, Simmons was just about to hold a signing of his new book “I Need a Man,” which talks about integrity and “offers a fresh perspective on the issues of godly manhood and mentoring.”

 

Sexual immorality ruins lives and it is sin. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His warning on sexual immorality, confess any sin of sexual immorality in your life and pray that you will not fall into any temptation.

 

“Within marriage, sex is beautiful, fulfilling, creative. Outside of marriage, it is ugly, destructive, and damning.” – John MacArthur

 

God’s Word: “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Loving Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 10, 2019
Devotional - Loving Others

“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 3:12

 

Bob Pierce was the founder of World Vision, the international Christian relief agency. In his latter years, he had advanced leukemia, but he chose to visit a colleague in Indonesia before he died. As he and others walked together through a small village, they came upon a young girl lying on a bamboo mat next to a river. She was dying of cancer and had only a short time to live.

Bob was indignant. He demanded to know why she wasn't in a clinic. But his friend explained that she was from the jungle and wished to spend her last days next to the river, where it was cool and familiar.

As Bob gazed at her, he felt such compassion that he got down on his knees in the mud, took her hand, and began stroking it. Although she didn't understand him, he prayed for her. Afterwards she looked up and said something, "What did she say? Bob asked his friend.

His friend replied, "She said, 'If I could only sleep again, if I could only sleep again.'" It seemed that her pain was too great to allow her the relief of rest.

Bob began to weep. Then he reached into his pocket and took out his own sleeping pills, the ones his doctor had given him because the pain from his leukemia was too great for him to sleep at night.

He handed the bottle to his friend. "You make sure this young lady gets a good night's sleep," he said, "as long as these pills last."

Bob was ten days away from where he could get his prescription refilled. That meant ten painful and restless nights. That day his love cost him greatly. But even in the midst of his suffering, God infused him with a supernatural sense of satisfaction that he had done the right thing.

 

We need to bring the love of Christ to the world, even if it is uncomfortable for us. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that you can share the good news of the Gospel with those who He has placed in your life.

 

“Our Lord does not care so much for the importance of our works as for the love with which they are done.” – Teresa of Avila

 

God’s Word: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” – John 15:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS 

Devotional - Resist Temptation
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 9, 2019
Devotional - Resist Temptation

“For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless.” – 1 Thessalonians 3:5

 

William Barclay was a Scottish author, radio and television presenter, Church of Scotland minister and Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow.

On the subject of temptation, he wrote:

"Temptation is not meant to make us sin; it is meant to enable us to conquer sin.

It is not meant to make us bad, it is meant to make us good.

It is not meant to weaken us, it is meant to make us emerge stronger and finer and purer from the ordeal.

Temptation is not the penalty of being a man, temptation is the glory of being a man,

Temptation is the test which comes to every man whom God wishes to use.

So, then, we must think of this whole incident,

not so much the TEMPTING, as the TESTING of Jesus."

 

We are all tempted in different areas of our lives. But the Lord is faithful and we can resist temptation through the power of Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, confess any weaknesses to temptation and ask the Lord to deliver you from sinning.   

 

“Believe that as sure you are in the way of God you must meet with temptations.” – John Bunyan

 

God’s Word: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” – Matthew 6:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Be An Encourager
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 8, 2019
Devotional - Be An Encourager

“So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God's fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith” – 1 Thessalonians 3:1-2

 

In the 1970’s, Audrey Hunt was teaching music appreciation at a California Community College. One of her students was named Edward. He was a withdrawn young man. “As weeks progressed and tests were given, Edward did not do well” she remembers. “He managed to turn in homework which was marked way below his ability level with my notes. He never participated in the class discussions or offered to answer any questions.

To my knowledge, he had no friends at school. Edward missed too many classes and when he did come, he carried himself like an old man as though he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders.”

At the end of the term, students individually met with Audrey as she explained their grades. When Edward arrived, he was late and looked terrible.

“I know that I'm getting a low grade on my final” Edward said. “I realize that I haven't been participating in class and that I am an embarrassment to others. I'm a lazy, selfish, stupid and an ugly no-good-for-anything person. I have no place on this earth and what’s more, no one can ever love a person like me. I am a hopeless case with absolutely no future.”

Audrey listened and said: “Edward, your final grade is an A”. His reaction was one of total and complete surprise. “You are giving me an A? Me? Why would you give me an A when I did such a poor job in class, on my assignments, and on my final exam. Why would you do that?”

My answer to Edward was this. “You may appear to be a D student, but you are an A person. I believe in you now and I will always believe in you. I am here for you now and I will always be here for you. Never, ever forget that. Now, go and create the life you dream of. Believe in yourself. I will be watching. And by the way Edward - I love you.”

In all of her years of teaching, Audrey had never graded a student this way.

That night at 3:00 a.m. the phone rang. The man said: “I am a priest from Edwards’ Church and I have something to tell you.” I want to thank you on be-half of Edward’s family and myself for saving his life today.” Edward had planned to commit suicide after his meeting with Audrey and had left a note. It was her encouraging words that changed his life.

 

We all need encouragement to grow in the love of Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for the encouragement you have received and seek to encourage others in following the Lord.

 

“Most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragement - and we will make the goal.” – Robert Collier  

 

God’s Word: “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:25

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Our Joy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 7, 2019
Devotional - Our Joy

“For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

 

Reuben Archer (R.A.) Torrey avoided becoming a Christian as a child. At the age of fifteen he entered Yale University, and having no spiritual life, he easily fell into the ways of sin. He associated with a fast crowd and became reckless. However, he continued to go to church and to prayer meetings, as well as daily reading the Bible and praying. During his junior year, life became an utter burden for Torrey. In sheer desperation, one night he rose from his bed, and told God that if He would give relief he would preach the Gospel, should He so desire him.

R.A. Torrey went on to be an evangelist, pastor, educator, and writer.

Reflecting on his life, he said: “There is more joy in Jesus in 24 hours than there is in the world in 365 days. I have tried them both.”

 

There is a joy living with Jesus and leading others to Him. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for all the people who have helped you in your Christian life and seek to help others in their walk with the Lord.

 

“A great part of heaven’s bliss for the redeemed will be the joyful presence of those whom they have been used to reach.” – John MacArthur, Jr.

 

God’s Word: “Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!” – Philippians 4:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Living Lives Worthy Of God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 4, 2019
Devotional - Living Lives Worthy Of God

“For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12

 

The Reverend Janvier Newton and his wife Frances arrived in Firozpur, India in 1877. In 1882 when he took charge of the Mission work in Firozpur, he opened a small dispensary. He daily treated a number of patients during the summer, while in the winter he connected medical work with his preaching. He traveled to the surrounding villages on a camel carrying his saddlebags of medicines and equipment. He worked mainly among men.

Frances was concerned about the women as there was no medical facility for them. She started running a dispensary for women and children from her residence. Later on, her daughter after taking a short medical course in America joined her. It was the mid-1880s that this dispensary from the Newton home began. While Frances was on leave in the U.S., the Lord led her to dream of a hospital for the women and children of the Firozpur area. She started talking about it and praying about it. The result was the Frances Newton Hospital and a 50-bed hospital that opened in 1894.

 

Live your life worthy of Jesus Christ. When you do, the Lord will bless you with greater opportunities. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for the wonderful news of the Gospel and be encouraged to let Jesus shine through in all that you do.

 

“God, the King, wants his royal children to live lives worthy of their paternity and position.” – J.I. Packer

 

God’s Word: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - The Tent-Makers
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 3, 2019
Devotional - The Tent-Makers

“Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:9

 

Increasingly pastors find themselves having to work part-time in a secular profession. They have to do so either for financial reasons or by choice. They are known as “tent-making pastors” or "bi-vocational" pastors. Robin Tedder is one such pastor.

Robin is owner/operator of the landscaping service Tedder Enterprises, LLC. One of his clients where he mows the grass is New Elim Baptist Church in Macon, Georgia. In addition to keeping the grounds, Robin serves the church as pastor on a bi-vocational basis. An advantage to being a bi-vocational pastor, said Robin, is that members of the congregation tend to be more involved in the overall ministry of the church. “As a bi-vocational pastor, people understand you have a job and they have to undertake more ministry,” he said.

 

Ministry is not just for the full-time pastor. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for tent-maker pastors and seek to be more involved in ministering to others.

 

“The man who has had the greatest impact on my life as a Christian and mentor was my father, who was a bi-vocational pastor. When he passed away a few years ago, the words he used to define his ministry were carved on his gravestone: ‘I work to live, but I live to preach.’” - Seaborn Dell  

 

God’s Word: “For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:7-8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Not Trying To Please Men
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 2, 2019
Devotional - Not Trying To Please Men

“On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed--God is our witness.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:4-5

 

On 12 August 2015, a series of explosions killed 173 people and injured more than 700 people at a container storage station at the Port of Tianjin, China. The largest explosion involved the detonation of about 800 tons of ammonium nitrate, the equivalent of 336 tons of dynamite. That is 500 times more than the explosives used in the Oklahoma City bombing.

Investigation of Rui Hai International Logistics, the state-run chemicals firm, revealed many short cuts were taken. The company handled the export of the most dangerous chemicals made in China, promising “outstanding service” and “good results.”

Rui Hai began handling hazardous chemicals before it obtained a permit to do so, and it secured licenses and approvals from at least five local agencies that conducted questionable reviews of its operations. Local authorities outsourced one safety review required for a storage permit to a private contractor that Rui Hai selected and paid.

“Nobody wanted to stand in their way,” said one chemicals exporter in Tianjin, who asked not to be named to protect his business from reprisal, when asked why regulators took no action.

 

The Lord desires that we please Him, not the desires of men. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that we should live our lives so that we speak as men and women approved by God.

 

“Whether men be pleased or displeased, or how they judge you, or what they call you, will seem a small matter to you as their own interest, in comparison to God’s judgment. You live not on them. You can bear their displeasure, censures, and reproaches, if God be but pleased.” – Richard Baxter

 

God’s Word: “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Let Your Faith Be Known
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 1, 2019
Devotional - Let Your Faith Be Known

“The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia--your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it” – 1 Thessalonians 1:8

 

Gerry Lester "Bubba" Watson Jr. is an American professional golfer who plays on the PGA Tour. Bubba is a two-time Masters Golf Tournament winner, but he has said that being a great golfer is not his most important purpose.

"I want to be Christlike as possible," he said. "I'll never be perfect. I'm always going to mess up. My whole goal is to be the role model for my son. ... I want to be the role model, the guy he looks up to and tries to emulate or be better than."

Behind the colorful character is someone who loves the Lord. After Bubba won the Master’s at Augusta for the first time in 2012, he declared, “I thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

His walk with Christ started when he was 19 when a neighbor invited him to church. Later in 2004 he got baptized with his new wife, Angie, and renewed his faith. Bubba’s objective is “getting more in the Word and realizing that golf is just an avenue for Jesus to use me to reach as many people as I can.”

 

Trust in the Lord in all you do, and let others know where your trust lies. Today in prayer, place your faith in Jesus knowing that you are in the best of hands.

 

“Everyone knows how to have faith.  We do it all the time in countless ways.  When I get in a car and turn the ignition key I have faith that my car will start.  When I pick up a ball point pen and press it down on a sheet of paper, I'm exercising faith in the ability of that pen to write.  When I sit down to eat and put my wife's cooking into my mouth I am exercising faith that my wife hasn't poisoned the food.  Day by day, in countless ways we exercise faith in the people or things around us.  Likewise, when Jesus asks us to have faith in him he is only asking us to do what is natural for us to do.” – Bill Gordon

 

God’s Word: “See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright-- but the righteous will live by his faith” – Habakkuk 2:4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Imitating Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jun 30, 2019
Devotional - Imitating Others

“You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:6

 

Rich Little is a Canadian-American comedian, impressionist and voice actor. He has been nicknamed “The Man of a Thousand Voices”. One of Rich’s favorite people to imitate was President Ronald Reagan.

He did a remarkable impersonation of President Reagan, and the President was a huge fan of Rich.

“He was the best audience I've ever had in my life,” Little said. “He screamed with laughter. And of course, when I saw him laughing, that took the pressure off and gave me more confidence.”

Rich remembers, “The first time I ever met him personally, I was invited to an afternoon function at the White House. I was late. I couldn't believe it. I was hung up in traffic. I ran down the corridor to the Lincoln Room, where this function was being held, and he was standing outside the door talking to the press.

“And this is at the time of Grenada. And I could see that he wanted to get in and mingle with the people and have something to eat. And when he saw me coming, he said, 'Rich, thank heaven you're here. You do me better than I do, so would you finish this interview for me? I'm going for a sandwich.' And he turned and walked away and left me with the press.” Rich finished the interview with a comedic imitation of the President.

 

How much better it is to imitate Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for the example mature Christians have shown you and seek to be more like Jesus Christ in all that you do.

 

“Imitate Christ, who is supremely perfect and supremely holy, and you will never ere.” – John of the Cross

 

God’s Word: “Therefore I urge you to imitate me.” – 1 Corinthians 4:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

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