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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS In Mark
Devotional - Eternal Life
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 28, 2017
Devotional - Eternal Life

“As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.’” – Mark 16:5-6

 

Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands reigned from 1890 until her abdication in 1948. She saw first hand the evil and darkness of two world wars. But Wilhelmina was a pious Christian, as was her husband Hendrik. They often discussed death and they wanted their own funerals to be a testimony to their faith in Christ.  Since both regarded it as the start of a new life with Christ, they had promised each other that their funerals would not be shrouded in black, but rather be completely white as a symbol of light. 

In 1934, breaking from the tradition of wearing black, Queen Wilhelmina wore white at Hendrik’s funeral. The Queen’s white funeral dress looked almost like a wedding dress.

Then 28 years later, Wilhelmina followed Hendrik. She died in her sleep due to a heart condition. She lay in state at the Lange Voorhout Palace before being interred in the New Church in Delft. People wore white at her funeral, as she had wished.

 

Death is not the end. It is the beginning of our new life in Jesus. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that when we cross the threshold of this life we enter eternal life with Him.

 

“My home is in Heaven. I’m just traveling through this world.” – Billy Graham

God’s Word: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” – 1 John 5:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - The Cross
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 27, 2017
Devotional - The Cross

“‘Crucify him!’ they shouted. ‘Why? What crime has he committed?’ asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, ‘Crucify him!’” – Mark 15:13-14

 

Pastor R. G. Lee was the pastor of churches in South Carolina, Tennessee, and New Orleans. He served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He wrote that Christ’s crucifixion is mentioned in every book of the New Testament except Philemon, 2 John, and 3 John. Lee wrote that Matthew mentioned the crucifixion in 141 verses; Mark gave 116 verses to the crucifixion; Luke devoted two long chapters to Christ’s arrest and crucifixion; and John used half his gospel to deal with the events immediately preceding the crucifixion. Pastor Lee declared: “Taking the cross out of our preaching, whether that preaching be in a tent, crude tabernacle, the isolated church up the creek, the country church, or the big church in the city. It is like taking heat out of fire, melody out of music, numbers out of mathematics, fact out of history, mind out of metaphysics, words out of vocabularies.”

 

Jesus died a horrible death to give us a heavenly future. Today in prayer, remember that Jesus died on the Cross for your sins and be thankful.

 

“At the cross, God was punishing Jesus for the sins of the world. God's justice required a penalty from sinners, and in his unspeakable love, he paid the penalty himself in the person of his crucified Son.” – Lewis B. Smedes

 

God’s Word: “‘Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.’ Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.” – Mark 15:32

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Do Not Worry What To Say
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 26, 2017
Devotional - Do Not Worry What To Say

“Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” – Mark 13:11

 

B. F. Mills, a preacher from a generation ago told the following story: “I remember going down stairs in a hotel about midnight, with some letters in my hand that I wished to mail. The clerk was not in the office, but a policeman was there, and he said, ‘I will take your letters and mail them for you.’ I thanked him and handed them to him, and started up the stairs. As I went I heard a voice say, ‘Why did you not speak to that policeman about Christ?’

I said, ‘It was because it would not do any good.’

The voice said, ‘How do you know?’ I kept going up all the time. ‘Why did you not speak to him about his soul?’

I said, ‘Lord, he did not look as though he had a soul.’ He was a very fleshy-looking sort of a man.

The voice said, ‘Are you going to preach to others and then be cast away yourself?’

I said, ‘No, Lord; I will go back.’ I started down the stairs, but I heard the door shut, and when I came into the office the policeman had gone. I had a sore heart that night and a sore heart the next day. I said, ‘If I see that man again I will preach Christ to him, if it is a possible thing.’ To my great surprise and joy, he came into the afternoon meeting and sat down on a back seat. There was a throng there, and I tried after the benediction to go back where he sat, but the aisles were filled too quickly and I could not do it. I thought I had missed another opportunity. As I stood talking with some people, in a few moments the aisle was cleared, and as I looked down it I saw the policeman coming up toward the front. The tears were streaming down his cheeks, and he said to me, ‘I have never known what it meant to be a Christian, but if you will tell me I will commence now.’”

 

We need not worry what to say when we share our hope in Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for giving us the Holy Spirit to guide us in witnessing to others.

 

“His voice leads us not into timid discipleship but into bold witness.” - Charles Stanley

God’s Word: “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” – Matthew 10:19-20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Love Your Neighbor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 25, 2017
Devotional - Love Your Neighbor

“To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” – Mark 12:33

 

One day during the 1990’s, Mary Ann Dennis was walking her bull mastiff, Buzz, in New York City’s Riverside Park when an elderly man told her, “That guy robbed me.” The suspect, in black jeans and tank top, was fleeing.

Dennis urged the victim to help her follow the robber, but the man couldn’t run. So five-foot-two Dennis went it alone. With Dennis and Buzz in pursuit, the suspect raced out of the park, ran one block and hailed a cab.

“I was screaming and waving my hands,” Dennis says, “but a taxi picked him up.”

Dennis kept running. Just as she was losing hope, a white van pulled up beside her. After she explained the situation, the driver said, “Get in!”

When they caught up with the cab, its passenger was gone. The cabby told Dennis the man had fled toward Broadway. She and Buzz picked up the chase on foot. Spotting her quarry hopping into another cab, Dennis leaped in front of it, shouting, “Stop! That man robbed somebody.” The thief jumped out and threatened Dennis before running to a third taxi. Dennis jumped in front just before the traffic light changed. Within moments the police arrived and handcuffed the suspect, who was charged with third-degree robbery and criminal possession of stolen property.

Would Dennis do it again? “Definitely! Jesus said love your neighbor as yourself. If the whole world lived that way, this wouldn’t be a cold city.”

 

Loving our neighbors not only benefits our neighbors, but also it benefits us. Today in prayer, ask Jesus how you can love your neighbor.

 

“He alone loves the Creator perfectly who manifests a pure love for his neighbor.” – Bede

 

God’s Word: “"Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, "'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'" – Matthew 19:19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - God's Gift At Christmas
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Dec 24, 2017
Devotional - God's Gift At Christmas

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” – Luke 2:10-12

 

Radio commentator Paul Harvey told the following: “The man to whom I’m going to introduce you was not a scrooge, he was a kind decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn’t believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas Time. It just didn’t make sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t swallow the Jesus Story, about God coming to Earth as a man.

“I’m truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas Eve.” He said he’d feel like a hypocrite. That he’d much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And so he stayed and they went to the midnight service.

Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound…Then another, and then another. Sort of a thump or a thud…At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the front door to investigate he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They’d been caught in the storm and, in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window.

Well, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it.

Quickly he put on a coat, galoshes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light, but the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in. So he hurried back to the house, fetched breadcrumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted wide open doorway of the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the breadcrumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them…He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms…Instead, they scattered in every direction, except into the warm, lighted barn.

And then, he realized that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me…That I am not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him.

“If only I could be a bird,” he thought to himself, “and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to safe, warm…to the safe warm barn. But I would have to be one of them so they could see, and hear and understand.”

At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. And he stood there listening to the bells – Adeste Fidelis – listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas.

And he sank to his knees in the snow.”

 

In God’s great love, He sent His Son Jesus to us. Today in prayer, remember the reason for Christmas and praise the Lord.

 

“Giving is a really big thing around Christmas, as well it should be. Christmas is about giving, and it all stems from the greatest gift the world has ever received - the gift of Jesus Christ.” – Monica Johnson

 

God’s Word: “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” – Luke 2:20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTION FOR CHRISTMAS

Devotional - A Person Of Integrity
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 21, 2017
Devotional - A Person Of Integrity

“They came to him and said, "Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” – Mark 12:14

 

Jack Welch, a humble chemical engineer, rose to become the chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001. During his tenure at GE, the company's value rose 4,000%

In his memoir, Jack said he was able to make strategic decisions all across GE’s portfolio, from nuclear power to the nightly news. The essential character trait at the heart of Welch’s story is simple: integrity. Integrity was “our No. 1 value,” he wrote in his book. “We never had a corporate meeting where I didn’t emphasize integrity in my closing remarks.”

Following the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, Jack made the decision to shut down G.E.’s nuclear plant manufacturing business. Though it was a profitable business line, he was convinced that he could not guarantee safety from future accidents.

 

Don’t be swayed by anyone, follow the Lord in all that you do. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is our model for integrity and seek to follow Him in all your ways.

 

"Real integrity stays in place whether the test is adversity or prosperity." - Charles Swindoll

 

God’s Word: “They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are.” – Matthew 22:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Forgive Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 20, 2017
Devotional - Forgive Others

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” – Mark 11:25

 

On July 20, 2012, James Eagan Holmes walked into the midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado, and opened fire. The senseless tragedy took the lives of 12 people and injured 58 more. Pierce O’Farrill was among the injured, suffering three gunshot wounds. Fortunately, his injuries were not life threatening, and the 28-year-old was released from hospital a few days later.

While any hate or bitterness he could have felt would have been understandable, Pierce chose compassion instead. He is on staff of the Denver Rescue Mission and is a Christian.

In reference to Holmes, Pierce said, “Of course, I forgive him with all my heart. When I saw him in his hearing, I felt nothing but sorrow for him.”

After the hearing, Pierce said: "I want to see him sometime. The first thing I want to say to him is 'I forgive you,' and the next is, 'Can I pray for you?'"

 

No matter what life may throw your way, forgive others. Do not hold a grudge! Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His forgiveness and forgive others as the Lord has forgiven you.

 

“The man who is truly forgiven and knows it, is a man who forgives.” – Martyn Lloyd-Jones

 

God’s Word: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” – Matthew 6:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - One Thing You Lack
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 19, 2017
Devotional - One Thing You Lack

“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’” – Mark 10:21

 

Charles Mulli was born in 1949 in Kathithyamaa Village in Kenya. Abandoned by his family at age six, he spent his adolescence begging on the streets. He completed his primary education in 1966, but he was unable to enter secondary school because he could not afford it. At age 17, Mulli accepted Jesus into his life after walking into a church. He worked at various jobs and got married in 1970.

In 1972, he bought a vehicle and began operating a public transport service running between Eldoret and Nyaru. But in 1986, at the height of his success, he sold it all to become a father to children living on the streets on Kenya. "God was speaking to me this way."

"When I look at it and I look back, I see God's grace and a plan  – and good plan. He says I have a good plan for you. And then when you look at it, it's like God had a good plan. Why? He was planning for me to become an instrument for the future."

Don’t let money get in the way of your relationship with Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He wants a relationship with you and put all your hope in Christ.

 

“Nothing I am sure has such a tendency to quench the fire of religion as the possession of money.” – J.C. Ryle

 

God’s Word: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”– 1 Timothy 6:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Like A Little Child
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 18, 2017
Devotional - Like A Little Child

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” – Mark 10:15

 

Bert Frizen was a classmate of evangelist Billy Graham at Wheaton College. A favorite song of Bert's mother was "Jesus Whispers Peace." During World War II, Bert was involved in the famous Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. Bert Frizen was an infantryman on the front lines in Europe. One day, his patrol reached the edge of a wooded area with an open field before them. Unknown to the Americans, a battery of Germans waited in a trenches about two hundred yards across the field.

Bert was one of two scouts who moved out into the clearing. Once he was halfway across the field, the remainder of his battalion followed. Suddenly the Germans opened fire, and machine gun fire ripped into both of Bert's legs. The American battalion withdrew into the woods for protection, while a rapid exchange of fire continued.

Bert lay helplessly in a small stream as shots volleyed overhead. There seemed to be no way out. To make matters worse, he now noticed that a German soldier was crawling toward him. Death appeared imminent; he closed his eyes and waited. To his surprise, a considerable period passed without the expected attack, so he opened his eyes again. At one point, with his eyes closed, he started singing his mother's favorite as best he could, "Jesus Whispers Peace." When he opened his eyes, he saw a German soldier standing over him with a drawn bayonet. Bert understood enough German to know that the soldier was saying to him, "Sing it again; sing it again." "Sing es noch einmal; sing es noch einmal."

Bert then noticed that the shooting had stopped. Troops from both sides of the battlefield watched anxiously. Without any verbal exchange, this mysterious German reached down and lifted Bert in his arms like a child and carried him to the American lines.

 

It is only by the grace of God that we are saved. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for your new life in Him and learn to trust Him with all of your life.

 

“I felt myself absolutely born again. The gates of paradise had been flung open and I had entered. There and then the whole of Scripture took on another look to me.” – Martin Luther

 

God’s Word: “In reply Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’” – John 3:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Everything Is Possible
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Dec 17, 2017
Devotional - Everything Is Possible

“‘If you can?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for him who believes.’” – Mark 9:23

 

Dawn Cypret of Ortonville, Michigan had just come home from Christmas shopping, when she got the call from her doctor’s office. She was told that she had a serious heart problem and was instructed to call 911.

Dawn did as instructed and told her husband Mike. On the way to the hospital both prayed desperately.

Mike remembers, “My prayers to God was ‘Please don't let nothing happen to my wife.’”

Dawn shares, “And I said, ‘Lord, I just can't leave these kids of mine yet.  I can't leave my husband, I can't leave my grandson. I said, ‘Lord, please, please just give me a little more time down here on earth.’”

At the hospital doctors discovered four of her arteries were almost completely blocked, and she would need quadruple bypass surgery.

Mike said, “So when the doctors told me about the open heart surgery it really bothered me.  I was really upset over it.  And I worried about it. At that time, we'd been married 39 years, and I didn't want to lose her.”

Christmas was just a week away when dawn went in for surgery. Friends and family including dawn’s grandson Ethan prayed.

Surgery went as planned and Dawn was taken to recovery. But five hours later, she flat lined and was rushed back into surgery where she died on the table.”

Doctors said Dawn had been dead for 20 minutes when without explanation, her heart started beating. She was taken to ICU, but doctors cautioned Mike she had a 50/50 chance of living.

By Christmas Eve, Dawn was alert and talking. It was then she told everyone what she experienced those twenty minutes she was dead.

Dawn shared, “I was being called The Christmas Miracle. I was so touch and go that they just never dreamed that I would be alive to leave that hospital.”

Doctors told Dawn she would probably never walk again due to the surgical trauma she withstood. But Dawn believed God for a miracle and after a year of re-hab, she had gone from using a wheelchair to a walker.

Dawn said, “I say that there's nothing. There is nothing God can't do.”

 

Everything is possible for him who believes in Jesus. Today in prayer, give Jesus all of your concerns and worries and trust in Him.

 

“I never have any difficulty believing in miracles, since I experienced the miracle of a change in my own heart.” – Augustine

 

God’s Word: “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” – Mark 11:23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Losing Your Life For Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 14, 2017
Devotional - Losing Your Life For Christ

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” – Mark 8:34-35

 

In 1961, Dr. Paul Carlson arrived in Congo and began working as a medical missionary for six months in Ubangi Province. In December 1961 he returned to Redondo Beach, California but continued to talk of returning to the Congo because of its great needs.

In July 1963, along with his wife and children, he did return and ministered at an eighty-bed hospital and leper colony in Wasolo. In August 1964, rebels captured Stanleyville and the Carlson family crossed the Ubangi River to seek refuge in the Central African Republic. Dr. Carlson, however, remained committed to his hospital and work in Wasolo, and he returned.

Soon after his return, the communist-inspired Congolese rebels of the Simba Rebellion captured him. The rebels accused Dr. Carlson of being an American spy and took him as a hostage to Stanleyville. He was held there and was mentally and physically tortured. In November 1964, the rebels announced Dr. Carlson would be executed. The U.S. began negotiating a release, but when talks broke down, the U.S. sent in a rescue team. On November 24, 1964, some Simbas soldiers panicked when they learned of the rescue. They opened fire into a crowd, and Dr. Carlson and several others ran to a wall in hopes of escaping. Before he scaled the wall, Dr. Carlson urged a clergyman to go first, and as he was climbing the wall after the clergyman, he was shot and killed by rebel gunfire.

Dr. Carlson is remembered as the “Congo Martyr.” On his tombstone in the Congo, bears the inscription "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."— John 15:13

 

The Lord asks us to follow Him, no matter where the road may lead. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He is Lord for your life. Seek to follow Him always. 

 

“Believer, Christ Jesus presents you with crosses, and they are no trivial gifts.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’” – Matthew 16:24

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Out Of The Heart
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 13, 2017
Devotional - Out Of The Heart

“For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.” – Mark 7:21-22

In 1977, Eddie Long was a factory sales representative for the Ford Motor Corporation in North Carolina. He was fired after he submitted falsified expense reports that included personal telephone calls. He moved to Georgia and married Dabara Houston in 1981, but they divorced soon afterwards. Houston said she was the victim of "cruel treatment" and was afraid of Long's "violent and vicious temper," according to Fulton County Superior Court records.

Long then became a pastor for New Birth Church. He saw the church grow from 300 church members to 25,000. He was soon a multi-millionaire, owning a million dollar home on a 20-acre lot, and driving a $350,000 Rolls Royce. He defended his wealth saying: “Jesus wasn’t broke, and leaders of churches shouldn’t be either.”

Long became the subject of a Senate investigation, concerning whether he personally profited from his church's tax-exempt status. Also, civil lawsuits were filed against him alleging sexual abuse of underage male members of his parish. Long denied wrongdoing through his attorneys and privately settled the lawsuits out of court for undisclosed amounts.

 

The natural heart of man is full of every kind of sin. But thanks be to God that all sin can be forgiven at the Cross of Christ. Today in prayer, confess any sin in your heart and seek to follow Jesus in all that you do.  

 

“You must keep all earthly treasures out of your heart, and let Christ be your treasure, and let Him have your heart.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” – Matthew 15:19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Be On Your Guard Against Unbelief
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 12, 2017
Devotional - Be On Your Guard Against Unbelief

“And he was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village.” – Mark 6:6

The most renowned psychiatrist of the 20th century was Sigmund Freud. Freud was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst.

He was born into a Jewish family in today’s modern day Czech Republic. His father was a devout Jew who regularly studied the Torah. As a child, Sigmund also studied the Books of Moses and found comfort in them.

But as he grew older, Sigmund regarded God as an illusion. He placed his faith in reason and in science. He described himself as an atheist.

When Sigmund turned 35, his father sent him the copy of the Hebrew Scriptures he had given to him when he was a boy. Sigmund had read and studied that book, at least for a while. Enclosed in that worn copy of the Scriptures was a note from Sigmund’s father reminding his son that “the Spirit of the Lord began to move you and spoke within you: ‘Go read in My Book that I’ve written and there will burst open for you the wellsprings of understanding, knowledge, and wisdom.’”

Unfortunately Sigmund disregarded his father’s counsel and remained in his unbelief of God.

 

Be on your guard against unbelief. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to strengthen your faith in Him.

 

"Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

God’s Word: “Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’” – Mark 9:24

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Seek Him
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 11, 2017
Devotional - Seek Him

“When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’” – Mark 5:27-8 

 

On July 1st 1999, in Newport news, Virginia, a drunk driver crossed over the median and slammed into a car of teenagers at 80-miles per hour. There was one survivor – J.R. Gurley.

J.R. was rushed to the emergency room where his mother met him.

J.R. remembers, “She said ‘baby, you're not going to die. God said that you're going to live and declare the work of the Lord.’"

He had a host of injuries including brain swelling, a shattered jawbone, and a crushed left hand. J.R. made it through the night. The next morning, he went through 8 hours of surgery. Doctors said J.R. would live, but his future wasn’t hopeful.

J.R. poured out his heart to God, “’How could you allow this to happen? How could you let this happen?’ I was honest with him, ‘I don't want to live like this. I don't want to live like this.’"

J.R. recalls, “I remember feeling the presence of the Lord just come in my room. The Holy Spirit told me that he was going to heal me and in doing so it would be like nothing ever happened. Hope and peace came flooding back into my spirit. I was revived. And at that moment I decided that I was not going to be angry, that I was going to trust him and that he was going to do what he said he was going to do.”

The next several months he went through rigorous therapy, depending on God to heal his mind and body.

J.R. said, “I felt literally like the Lord was strengthening me. I felt like I had a new lease on life and a new mission and I was determined hold up my end. I was determined to serve God.”

Within the next year, J.R. says he fully recovered from all of his injuries, including regaining full use of his hand.

J.R. says, “There is not anything that I could do then that I can't do. God healed me.”

 

When we seek God, nothing is impossible. Today in prayer, thank the Lord you have found Him and seek that He may be glorified in your life.

 

"The turning point in our lives is when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is." - Patrick Morley

 

God’s Word: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Share His Good News
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Dec 10, 2017
Devotional - Share His Good News

“Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.” – Mark 5:19-20

 

In 1978, missionaries George and Harriett Walker as well as their co-workers Bob and Noby Kennell began pioneering work with the primitive Bisorio tribe in the central highland foothills of Papua New Guinea.

The Bisorio were a people oppressed with violence, fear of enemies, personal jungle and ancestor spirits. When reasonable communication was eventually possible by means of Pidgin English and the native language, the missionaries learned that the Bisorios did not have any concept about God. Their god was the sun.

The missionaries were patient and slowly taught the Scripture over a period of eight months before the gospel of Jesus Christ was formally presented.

Today, by God’s grace there are now 5 churches and 8 Bisorio pastors. The entire New Testament and a large portion of the Old Testament scriptures have been translated into the Bisorio language. All because two missionary couples spent time sharing what Jesus had done.

 

During both good times and hard times, we need to share the love of Jesus with others. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for your family, friends and neighbors and share how God loves you and them. 

 

"It is high tide to make known the glad tidings in these dark regions of sin and spiritual bondage." - Samuel Marsden

 

God’s Word: “The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, "Return home and tell how much God has done for you." So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” – Luke 8:38-39

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - The Good Soil
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 7, 2017
Devotional - The Good Soil

“Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop--thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” – Mark 4:20

 

Richard Greenham, was one of the most beloved of the Puritan theologians for his helping other Puritan ministers and their members. Certain Puritan pastors would send their more needy congregants to Richard for pastoral counseling. He was the most celebrated of the Puritan pastors for his ability to help others work through cases of conscience. However, in his day, he saw very little fruitfulness among his own church. On one occasion, Richard suggested that the only fruit that he saw in his ministry in Dry Drayton, England was an ornery man who was an instrument of his own personal sanctification. 

After Richard Greenham’s death, the congregation he pastored grew and thrived under the next minister, Richard Warfield.

When someone asked Warfield what he had done to see such growth, he responded by intimating that it was all the fruit of the labors of Greenham.

 

The Lord is looking for men and women to follow Him and for those men and women to reproduce their lives in others. Today in prayer, that Jesus that He is using people who avail themselves to Him in order to bring greater glory to God.

 

"When I see with what little effort souls can be won, I tremble to think of the many opportunities I am missing. We must do what we can - the little things. God will save them." - Malla Moe

 

God’s Word: “Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” – Matthew 9:37-38

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Do Not Worry About Money
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 6, 2017
Devotional - Do Not Worry About Money

“but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” – Mark 4:19

 

Thomas Gallagher, 72, is a multimillionaire, but he is still nervous about money. When he was 17, he worked as a clerk on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and put $10 a week into an account at Irving Bank. “That was my discipline, my savings,” Mr. Gallagher said. “Back then, the goal was to have enough money to buy Christmas presents.”

Mr. Gallagher, who is retired from his position as vice chairman of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce World Markets, found that money does not bring security.

“I still feel, to some extent, that I don’t have enough money,” he said. “Emotionally, I don’t come from money; I got very lucky on Wall Street. I’ve been dealing with a myriad of psychological issues since I retired. I have more money than I had ever imagined, but I still worry — do I have enough, if I live longer than I thought?”

 

None of us is immune to worry. But we can overcome fear and worry and we place our faith in Jesus.  Today in prayer, cast all of your worries and anxiety on Jesus and believe in Him.

 

"There is no need for two to care, for God to care and the creature too." - Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Following His Instructions
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 5, 2017
Devotional - Following His Instructions

“Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother.’” – Mark 3:34-35

 

In October 2017, James Green, a podcast producer and reporter, from Brooklyn, New York, got a notification from his Apple watch. It alerted him that he needed immediate medical attention for a blood clot in his lungs.  “Saw my heart rate go up, ended up being a pulmonary embolism,” James said.  

The 28-year-old said he owes his life to the HeartWatch app, which monitors a person’s heart rate constantly throughout the day and notifies them when it goes above or below a certain threshold.

James said his doctor was glad he followed the app’s instructions and called, telling him that if he had waited any longer “it would have been fatal”.

Recalling the moment he realized something was wrong, he said: “I got an alert from Heart Watch that my heart rate was continually above my resting heart rate of 54, even when I was just sitting at my desk.

“That, along with other symptoms I was having, was enough data I needed to act on it, and realize it wasn’t a panic attack (since I have severe generalized anxiety), that it was something more.”

A CT scan highlighted the clots and he was then rushed to hospital, he remembered “they did a couple of ultrasounds to monitor and put me on a blood thinner drip to reverse the clot damage”.

He credits the app with saving his life: “It was the data I needed to prove this wasn’t just a panic attack. It helped me get the ball rolling.”

James concluded: “Never thought a stupid lil wrist computer I bought two years ago would save my life.”

 

Our Creator has given us instructions to live by in the Bible. He desires that we follow God’s will and have an abundant life. Today in prayer, give thanks to Jesus for His instructions and seek to follow them with all your heart.

 

"How many observe Christ's birthday!  How few, his precepts!  O! 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments." - Benjamin Franklin

 

God’s Word: “Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?” – Luke 6:46

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Forgiveness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 4, 2017
Devotional - Forgiveness

“Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” – Mark 2:7

 

In November 2012, 13-year-old Jordyn Howe took his stepfather’s gun to his South Miami-Dade school and accidentally shot Ady Guzman-Jesus’s daughter, Lourdes, while showing the firearm to friends.

In a television interview, Ady said: "He should just pay for what he did and he has to pay as an adult."

In the 2014 trial, Ady astonished the judge and courtroom, saying she had forgiven the boy. Ady not only forgave Jordyn but also asked for him to get a lighter sentence, saying that she believes her daughter would have wanted it that way.

The judge finished by saying that she never thought that she would see such forgiveness especially from the mother of a victim.

Jordyn only served one year in a juvenile detention center, and now visits local schools with Ady to warn kids of the dangers of guns and to teach the value of forgiveness.

 

The great gift of forgiveness that God offers us is something we can offer others. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His forgiveness and forgive those who have wronged you.

 

"Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness, or else forgiving another." - Jean Paul Richter

 

God’s Word: “The other guests began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’” – Luke 7:49

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Be Filled With Compassion
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Dec 3, 2017
Devotional - Be Filled With Compassion

“Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. ‘Be clean!’” – Mark 1:41

 

Patrick Greene is a lifelong atheist known for his public stands against Christianity. He has threatened to file lawsuits against the courthouse in Henderson County, Texas, if they didn’t remove a nativity scene from the public property. It wasn’t just that he didn’t believe in God; he fought publicly against the expression of Christianity wherever he deemed it inappropriate.

In late 2011, Greene, who had been a taxi driver for 33 years, was diagnosed with cataracts. He didn’t have insurance or the cash needed for necessary surgery, and so he was at risk of losing his license and his only stream of income along with it.

Upon reading about his situation, Jessica Crye mobilized people at her Christian church to donate to a fund to help Greene pay for his surgery. The small community of faith collected $400, and their generosity inspired others to join in. Atheists and Christians came together to add to the fund until there was enough for Greene to cover his medical bills.

Patrick Greene was dumbfounded. He could hardly conceive of a Christian woman, whose faith had been the object of his attacks for years, would respond his disdain with compassionate generosity.

 

Just as Christ is compassionate with us, we need to show compassion to others. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He is our example of compassion and then be compassionate to others.

 

"I have long since ceased to pray, 'Lord Jesus, have compassion on a lost world!' I remember the day and the hour when I seemed to hear the Lord rebuking me for making such a prayer. He seemed to say to me, 'I have had compassion upon a lost world, and now it is for you to have compassion.'" - A.J. Gordon

 

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 MARK

Devotional - Your Choice
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 30, 2017
Devotional - Your Choice

“At once they left their nets and followed him.” – Mark 1:18

 

Bill McChesney was a wiry young man with a sunny heart. People called him "Smiling Bill," and the one word which best described him was "exuberant." During the 1960’s he became a missionary with the Worldwide Evangelical Crusade to the Congo.

In November 1964, hundreds of Americans, Belgians, and other foreigners were trapped and held hostage by a group of Simba rebels. Bill had contracted malaria and was extremely weak. His friend Jim Rodgers, a British missionary, would not leave him. Both Bill and Jim were captured and imprisoned.

The next morning, when Bill acknowledged that he was American, a rebel colonel ordered him killed. Jim stood beside him. "If you must die, brother, I'll die with you." The rebels clubbed both men to death.

Before he left as a missionary, Bill had written a poem that he titled "My Choice." The poem concluded with the words:  

“If He be God and died for me, no sacrifice too great can be For me, a mortal man, to make; I’ll do it all for Jesus’ sake.

Yes, I will tread the path He trod. No other way will please my God; So, henceforth, this my choice shall be, my choice for all eternity.”

 

When Jesus calls you to follow Him, you have a choice. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He has called you to follow Him and seek to share the Gospel with others.   

 

"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important." -C. S. Lewis

 

God’s Word: “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” – Matthew 19:29

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

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