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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions In Acts
Devotional - In Need Of A Soft Heart
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 30, 2011
Devotional - In Need Of A Soft Heart

“They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: ‘The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet: 'Go to this people and say, You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.’ For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'” – Acts 28:25-27

 

In 1975, Jack deJarnette suffered his first heart attack at age 32. In 1997, he had a heart transplant. Jack is a United Methodist Minister in Pensacola, Florida. For 10 years following his heart transplant Jack gave thanks to God for every day of life. He also had begun to suffer kidney problems, which led him to require a kidney transplant.

Jack shares his story: “I have been pastor of a large Methodist Church that my wife and I founded 20 years ago so I had many contacts. Twenty-one people offered to give me a kidney as living donors. None passed the physical and we had decided that I was not likely to get a kidney from a living donor.”

Jack continued: “Then a miracle happened. A homeless man showed up at church seeking a job. A part time job was arranged and when he heard of my need for a kidney, He said, ‘That's why God sent me here I have that man's kidney.’ The incredible thing is that this man was a recovering alcoholic and drug abuser. He had served nine years in prison and several different terms in jail. We thought there was no possible way that his kidney would be suitable. The miracle--it was a perfect match and on October 26, 2009 I was blessed to receive a functional kidney. My recovery has been uneventful and I am doing extremely well.

Again, I am deeply thankful to the doctors and staff at UAB, my marvelous wife who has stood by me as a caregiver and prayer warrior through all we have been through, Allen Leftridge for the gift of his kidney and to my gracious God for continuing to extend my life.”

 

The Lord desires that we have a soft heart toward Him and others. Today in prayer, confess any sin and hardness in your heart to Jesus and seek Him and the good of others in all that you do.

 

“The worst prison would be a closed heart.” – Pope John Paul II

 

God’s Word: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” – Matthew 23:23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - One Remembrance
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 29, 2011
Devotional - One Remembrance

“After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat.” – Acts 27:35

 

In 1927, Russian Lutheran Pastor Adam Kuortti began ministering to the Finnish-speaking Lempaala parish in Ingria, located in the border zone next to Finland but still inside of Russia. He would often cross the border into Finland ministering to others. This aroused suspicion by the Russian Communists and in February 1930, Pastor Kuortti was sentenced to 10 years in prison for spying.

Many of the prisoners were Christians and one of the Finnish believers received a package from home, a little bread and a few apples. The first thing he thought of was that it would be possible now to celebrate the Lord's Supper. He proposed this to Pastor Kuortti. The pastor thought it impossible. "The guards would certainly interfere." "But it is all arranged," said the man. "I have already crushed the apple juice in a mug and the crusts will serve as communion bread. We can have the holy ordinance in the corner where my brother and I have our place, and the Russians if they see us will think we are drinking tea."

"I gladly fell in with the proposal of the brethren” remembers Pastor Kuortti. “After repetition of Scripture, I blessed the bread and the mug of apple juice, and we ate the Lord's Holy Communion. The altar was but a dirty plank, and the pastor, as well as his flock, was in rags, yet we realized the presence of Christ."

 

No matter what the circumstance, Christ commands us to remember His sacrifice. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for Communion and the honor to take part in the Lord’s Supper.

 

“This meal (Communion) is for sinners only.” – David Watson

 

God’s Word: “Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people.” – Matthew 15:36

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Live Courageously
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 28, 2011
Devotional - Live Courageously

“Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told. – Acts 27:25

 

On July 2, 1987, Ray E. Blankenship, 36, of Andover, Ohio was preparing his breakfast; when gazed out the window. He saw a small girl being swept along in the rain-flooded drainage ditch beside his Andover, Ohio, home. Ray knew that farther downstream, the ditch disappeared with a roar underneath a road and then emptied into the main culvert. He dashed out the door and raced along the ditch, trying to get ahead of the floundering child. Then he hurled himself into the deep, churning water. Ray surfaced and was able to grab the child's arm. They tumbled end over end. Within about three feet of the approaching culvert, Ray's free hand felt something--possibly a rock-- protruding from one bank. He clung desperately, but the tremendous force of the water tried to tear him and the child away. "If I can just hang on until help comes," he thought. He did better than that. By the time fire-department rescuers arrived, Ray had pulled the girl to safety. Both Ray and the two-year-old girl were treated for shock. Ray Blankenship was awarded the Coast Guard's Silver Lifesaving Medal. The award is fitting, for this selfless person was at even greater risk to himself than most people knew. Ray can't swim.

 

The Lord desires us to live by faith in Him and to live courageously. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He can be trusted and live your life boldly for Him.

 

"Jesus promised his disciples three things - that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy and in constant trouble." - G.K. Chesterton

 

God’s Word: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - There Will Be A Resurrection
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 25, 2011
Devotional - There Will Be A Resurrection

“and I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.” – Acts 24:15

 

In July 1969, a small private plane took off from the airport in Burbank, California. Onboard were two pilots and nineteen-year-old Dale Black. Soon after takeoff, the plane’s engine began to sputter. The plane slammed into a building just beyond the runway. The two pilots were killed, but Dale miraculously survived. He hovered between life and death for three days, and he had a breathtaking experience of heaven. Against all odds and with insurmountable injuries, Dale recovered from his injuries and after years of therapy became a professional pilot, an airline pilot instructor, and a jet flight examiner. His faith grew and became a Bible teacher, evangelist, and volunteer missionary pilot in over 30 countries.

In His book, “Flight to Heaven,” Dale describes what he saw in those three days he drifted in and out of life. He saw a beautiful heavenly city, as well as people who passed on who were full of joy in heaven. He summed up his brief glimpse of heaven: “It was beautiful beyond belief. And it was blissful beyond belief. I never felt such overwhelming peace.”

 

Jesus Christ died and rose from the grave. He did it to let us know that there is eternal life in Him. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His Resurrection and for promising that we too will have eternal life

 

“His resurrection is not only the object of our faith, but the example of our hope.” - Thomas Adams

 

God’s Word: “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” – Philippians 3:10-11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - A Good Conscience
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 24, 2011
Devotional - A Good Conscience

“Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, ‘My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.’” – Acts 23:1

 

In February 2011, Iowa high school wrestler Joel Northrup had to make a decision. Would he wrestle a female opponent or forfeit the match and his chance at the state wrestling title.

Joel is the son of a minister and was a state title contender with a 35-4 record. He was paired to wrestle Cassy Herkelman in an early round match. Cassy, along with Megan Black, are the first two girls to qualify for Iowa state individual wrestling tournament.

In a written statement, Joel wrote: "As a matter of conscience and my faith, I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner." He continued: “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan and their accomplishments. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times. ... It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most of the high school sports in Iowa." Joel forfeited the match.

In all that we do, we need to honor the Lord and keep a good conscience.  Today in prayer, confess any sin to the Lord and seek to walk closely with Him and to have a clear conscience.

 

“A good conscience is the palace of Christ; the temple of the Holy Ghost; the paradise of delight; the standing Sabbath of the saints.” - Augustine

 

God’s Word: “Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way.” – Hebrews 13:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Following Christ To The End
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 23, 2011
Devotional - Following Christ To The End

“Then Paul answered, ‘Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.’” – Acts 21:13

 

One of the early leaders of the Reformation was John Hus. In 1415, the Czech priest was sentenced to be burned at the stake for his “heretical” beliefs.

As the fire was lit, a bystander recorded his last moments on earth: “Huss began to sing with a loud voice, ‘Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.’

When he began to say the same the third time, the wind so blew the flame in his face that it choked him.

What is it that the people hear coming from that sheet of flame? "Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace, good will toward men." It is the song which the angels sung above the pastures of above the pastures of Bethlehem. And this: "We praise thee, we bless thee, we worship thee, we give thanks to thee for thy great glory." It is Gloria in Excelsis. The smoke blinds him, the flames are circling above his head. Yet the voice goes on: "Thou that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on me." The flames wrap him round, his head falls on his breast. Huss had given up the ghost.

 

Our faith in Jesus Christ must be unconditional. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for those who have faithfully followed Christ to the end. Pray for those around the world who face life threatening situations because of their faith in Jesus Christ.

 

“You can kill us, but you cannot hurt us.” – Justin Martyr

 

God’s Word: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” – Philippians 1:21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Be An Encourager
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 22, 2011
Devotional - Be An Encourager

“When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said good-by and set out for Macedonia. He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece,” – Acts 20:1-2

 

During the summer of 1986, 18-year-old Scott Rigsby was riding in the back of a pickup truck in rural Georgia. Suddenly the truck was hit by a passing 18- wheeler. Scott was thrown underneath a 3-ton attached trailer and dragging him 300 feet.

His back suffered third degree burns, his right leg was severed off and his left leg hung barely intact.

Over a decade of countless doctor visits and hospitals, 26 surgeries, additional amputation, depression, fear, and uncertainty, Scott had become a professional patient. An inevitable battle with prescription drug addiction followed, as did the loss of many relationships and trust.

Then on Christmas Eve 1998, the Lord started showing Scott his plan and he vowed to “run” through any door God opened. He soon saw a magazine where a single legged amputee had completed the Ford Ironman World Championship. He thought, “This is what I’m supposed to do.”

Through love, prayer and encouragement, in 2007, Scott became the first double amputee to swim, bike and run the 140.6-mile Ford Ironman World Championship course in Kona, Hawaii.

Today Scott is a speaker encouraging others to go beyond their comfort zone and to trust the Lord in all things.

 

Everyone needs encouragement in this life. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for the encouragement you have received from others and seek to encourage someone today to follow Christ.

 

“Flatter me and I might not believe you.

Criticize and I might not like you

Ignore me and I might not forgive you

Encourage me and I will not forget you.” – William Arthur Ward

 

God’s Word: “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.” – Hebrews 3:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Reach The Lost
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 21, 2011
Devotional - Reach The Lost

“One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.’ So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.” – Acts 18:9-11

 

In February 2011, Brazilian government officials were shocked by aerial images. One of the world’s unreached people groups in the Amazon jungle had disappeared.

A guard post erected to protect the tribe and its land was “ransacked and destroyed” by men carrying sub-machine and rifles, reported a guard who survived the ambush.

The 200-person tribe were killed or driven from their homes by drug traffickers. There are some 3,800 unengaged, unreached people groups, similar to the missing tribe, in the world.

"This event is another very chilling reminder of the urgent nature of our mission endeavors," said Tom Elliff, president of the International Mission Board for the Southern Baptist Convention.

"We must reach out with the Gospel now, especially to the world's unengaged, unreached people groups. Our Lord's sobering reminder that 'night comes, when no man can work' is a call for faithfulness at a time when 'the fields are white unto harvest.'"

 

People all over the world need Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, pray for those who have not yet trusted Christ as their Savior.

 

“Evangelism is just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.” – D.T. Niles

 

God’s Word: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” – Matthew 28:18-20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - The Need To Repent
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 18, 2011
Devotional - The Need To Repent

“In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.” – Acts 17:30

 

In his sermon “Whatever Happened To Repentance?” Pastor David Wilkerson wrote the following:

“As I look at the church today, I wonder: Do we evangelicals insist on a biblical "godly sorrow" as evidence of true repentance? Or are we leading masses of unrepentant people into a false peace? Are we wrongly instructing them that all God requires of them is to say, "I believe in you, Jesus"?

Have we cut short genuine conviction for sins? Have we jumped in and offered salvation to those who haven't actually repented -- who haven't sorrowed over their trespasses, who haven't seen the exceeding sinfulness of their sins, who have sought faith so they could merely hide their lusts behind it?

We constantly hear awful exaggerations about the numbers of people who come to Jesus through various ministries. Christians report that scores of people were saved as they preached in prisons, schools, tribal meetings. They say, "Everybody in the place gave his heart to Jesus. When I finished preaching, they all came forward for salvation."

No -- that is a tragic exaggeration! All too often, what actually happens is that everyone simply repeats a prayer. They merely pray what they're told to pray -- and few of them grasp what they're saying. Then most go back to their heathen ways!

Such people never experience a deep work of the Holy Spirit. As a result, they never repent, never sorrow over their sins -- and never truly believe. Tragically, we've offered them something Jesus himself never offered -- salvation without repentance!

I believe the church has even taken the feeling out of conviction. Think about it -- you hardly ever see tears on the cheeks of those who are being saved anymore. Of course, I know tears don't save anyone. But God made us all human, with very real feelings. And any hell-bound sinner who has been moved upon by the Holy Spirit naturally feels a profound sorrow over the ways he has grieved the Lord.”

 

Once a person sees the consequences of his or her sin, one cannot help but to grieve and to repent. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord for His Divine Sacrifice on the Cross. Repent of any sin and walk with Jesus.

 

“Of all the acts of man, repentance is the most divine. The greatest of all faults is to be conscious of none.” – Thomas Carlyle

 

God’s Word: “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” – 2 Corinthians 7:10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Eager Bible Reader
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 17, 2011
Devotional - Eager Bible Reader

“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” – Acts 17:11

 

One of England’s and America’s greatest preachers was George Whitefield. He was an English Anglican priest who helped spread the Great Awakening movement.

Whitefield’s friend and biographer, Arnold Dallimore, discovered Whitefield’s strength of preaching came from his study of the Bible. Dallimore wrote:

“There he is at five in the morning . . . . on his knees with his English Bible, his Greek New Testament and Henry’s Commentary spread out before him. He reads a portion in the English, gains a fuller insight into it as he studies words and tenses in the Greek and then considers Matthew Henry’s explanation of it all. Finally, there comes the unique practice that he has developed: that of ‘praying over every line and word’ of both the English and the Greek till the passage, in its essential message, has veritably become part of his own soul.”

 

Do you have a thirst to study the Bible? Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His Word and giving us the Bible. Invest some extra time today to study His Word.

“In all literature, there is nothing that compares with the Bible.” – John Milton

 

God’s Word: “Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.” – Psalm 119:33-35

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - How To Be Saved
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 16, 2011
Devotional - How To Be Saved

“He then brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’  They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household.’” – Acts 16:30-31

 

In 1951, Bill Bright felt God’s calling to minister to college students. In the fall of that year, he began ministering at the University of California, Los Angeles. Soon after the ministry’s first prayer meeting, 250 students came to Christ.

He called the ministry Campus Crusade for Christ. By the end of the school year, there were four schools in three states with Campus Crusade for Christ ministries.

One of the first things Bill did was outline the Gospel so it could be communicated clearly. He wrote "God's Plan for Your Life," which was a 20-minute evangelistic presentation. The presentation required memorization for staff members, but it proved too long for laymen to share with others. Bill then penned the tract “The Four Spiritual Laws.” This small book eloquently and succinctly explained:

1. God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life. (John 3:16, John 10:10)

2. Man is sinful and separated from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God's love and plan for his life. (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23)

3. Jesus Christ is God's only provision for man's sin. Through Him you can know and experience God's love and plan for your life. (Romans 5:8, 1 Corinthians 15:3-6, John 14:6)

4. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God's love and plan for our lives. (John 1:12, Ephesians 2:8,9, John 3:1-8, Revelation 3:20)

The tract proved to be the most popular Bible tract ever written, with more than 2.5 Billion copies printed.

 

The Good News of the Gospel is Jesus Christ died for your sins. He desires to give you eternal life, if you put your faith in Him. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is our Savior and has blessed us with eternal life in Him.

 

“Christians are not men and women who are hoping for salvation, but those who have experienced it.” – M. Lloyd-Jones

 

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 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Living By Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 15, 2011
Devotional - Living By Faith

“He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.” – Acts 15:9

 

On March 19, 2011, Albert and Rita Chretien of Penticton, British Columbia, Canada were driving to Las Vegas, Nevada for a trade show.  As they were traveling in a remote area of the Nevada Mountains, their van became mired in the mud.

On March 22, Albert left the vehicle looking for help. For the next seven weeks, Rita remained alone. She survived on a tablespoon of trail mix, a single fish oil pill and one hard candy a day, said her son, Raymond Chretien.

She reportedly lost 20 to 30 pounds during the time she was stranded.

Raymond said his mother relied on the Bible during her ordeal, returning again and again to Psalm 86, which includes the passage: "Hear my prayer, Lord, listen to my cry for mercy. When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me."

"She felt Jesus was sitting next to her in the van," said the Reverend Neil Allenbrand, the Chretiens' pastor.

 

The Lord desires an intimate relationship with us. He wants us to live by faith in Him. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He is a rewarder of those who place their faith in Him.

 

“God does not call us to be successful. He calls us to be faithful." – Teresa

 

God’s Word: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - The Value Of Hardship
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 14, 2011
Devotional - The Value Of Hardship

“strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. ‘We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,’ they said.”– Acts 14:22

 

John Donne was a Christian poet who endured much suffering before he went home to be with the Lord in 1631. The following is the closing passage from his devotional “Meditation XVII”:

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee. Neither can we call this a begging of misery, or a borrowing of misery, as though we were not miserable enough of ourselves, but must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the misery of our neighbours. Truly it were an excusable covetousness if we did, for affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it. No man hath affliction enough that is not matured and ripened by and made fit for God by that affliction. If a man carry treasure in bullion, or in a wedge of gold, and have none coined into current money, his treasure will not defray him as he travels. Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it. Another man may be sick too, and sick to death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels, as gold in a mine, and be of no use to him; but this bell, that tells me of his affliction, digs out and applies that gold to me: if by this consideration of another’s danger I take mine own into contemplation, and so secure myself, by making my recourse to my God, who is our only security.”

 

God is our only security, but in His arms we are secure for all eternity. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for any affliction you endure knowing that He is making you more like Jesus.

 

“God brings men into deep waters, not to drown them, but to cleanse them.” – John Aughey

 

God’s Word: “See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” – Isaiah 48:10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Christ Changes Hearts
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 11, 2011
Devotional - Christ Changes Hearts

"In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy." - Acts 14:16-17

 

In the remote Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea lives the Usarufa tribe. For years they have been warring with the Kamano-Kafe tribe. Over a hundred lives have been lost during the feud. The government tried to broker a peace between the two tribes but was unsuccessful.

Some Usarufa individuals became involved in Bible translation efforts for their people. They had made arrangements to attend a translation training course. At the last minute, one man learned he would be unable to attend; and Sivini, who was a ruthless warrior, attended in his place.

As it turned out, some members of the Kamano-Kafe community were in attendance as well. The atmosphere was charged with tension. One Kamano-Kafe student quietly whispered, “My enemy is here.” In spite of their emotions, the students held themselves in check.

The course walked students through the process of translation, beginning in the book of Genesis. Arriving at Genesis chapter four, they began to study the death of Abel at the hands of Cain. When Sivini read how Abel’s blood cried out from the ground for vengeance, the faces of those he himself had killed flashed before him. He was overcome with dizziness and broke into a sweat. He felt as if a spear had pierced his heart.

With hundreds in attendance, several speakers—including children who had been orphaned by the conflict—addressed the crowd. Then Sivini spoke, telling the moving story of his heart change. Leaders from both the Usarufa and the Kamano-Kafe embraced one another and wept.

Today, the peace between the Usarufa and the Kamano-Kafe is still very fragile. But through Christ’s grace and prayer, hearts are being changed.

Jesus Christ changes hearts and lives. Today in prayer, pray for those who do not know Christ and share with them your testimony how Christ changed your heart.

 

"So much so-called "testimony" today is really autobiography and even sometimes thinly disguised self-advertisement, that we need to regain a proper biblical perspective. All true testimony is testimony to Jesus Christ, as he stands on trial before the world." - John Stott

 

God's Word: "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile." - Romans 1:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Light To Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 10, 2011
Devotional - Light To Others

“For this is what the Lord has commanded us: "'I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'" – Acts 13:47

 

Paul Ciniraj Mohamed was born into an orthodox Muslim family in Trivandrum, South India. While in college, he became addicted to drugs. It was then that Paul found Christ through the help of some college friends.

Paul’s friends and family were not pleased about his newfound faith. Salim, one of his cousins, stabbed him with a knife. When Paul didn’t die, Salim made arrangements to murder him again and to make it look like a suicide. As he was constructing a noose on the branch of a tree, a whirlwind blew and Salim fell from the tree. He was near to death when Paul had him rushed to the hospital. Because of Paul’s witness and love of Jesus, Salim recovered and accepted Jesus as his Savior.

“I have a deep burden about those who go astray,” Paul said. “My goal is to win the Muslim world as well as the third world unto the Salvation.”

 

Jesus Christ has chosen us to be His ambassadors, to bring the light of the Gospel to others. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that we can reach others with the good news of Jesus Christ.

 

“Every heart with Christ is a missionary, and every heart without Christ is a mission field.” – Dick Hillis

 

God’s Word: “he says: ‘It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.’” – Isaiah 49:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Called Just As You Are
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 9, 2011
Devotional - Called Just As You Are

“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’” – Acts 13:2

 

George Stott grew up on a farm in England during the 1800’s. When he was 19 years old, he slipped on the road and knocked his knee against a stone. The knee became swollen and complications developed. Two years later, doctors amputated George’s left leg.

For nine months he laid in his bed, but through the deep depression, George found the Lord. After his recovery, he began to teach at a school.  For the next several years he desired to serve the Lord any way he could.

In 1865, George heard the missionary Hudson Taylor and the work that was being done in China. George heard the Lord’s calling and volunteered to go.

“Why do you, with only one leg, think of going as a missionary?” asked Taylor.

“I do not see those with two legs going, so I must,” replied Stott.

He was accepted and for the next 23 years, George Stott worked for the China Inland Mission. He eventually headed the organization. One of the first Chinese who came to know the Lord through George’s ministry was paralyzed and he became an evangelist.

 

The Lord does not look at people’s ability, but rather their availability to Him. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to use you in a special way, and say ‘yes’ when He calls you to a work.

 

“The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions, and the nearer we get to Him the more intensely missionary we must become.” – Henry Martyn

 

“So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” – Acts 13:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Pray For Those In Prison
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 8, 2011
Devotional - Pray For Those In Prison

“So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.” – Acts 12:5

 

In January 2011, two Indian Christians, Vasantha Sekhar and Nese Yohan, were living in Saudi Arabia. Authorities came to their apartment, arrested the two, and had them imprisoned because of their faith in Christ. During the raid, Saudi authorities reportedly confiscated Bibles, Christian literatures, sound equipments and musical instruments. They also painted verses from Koran on the walls of their apartment. Talking with his pastor back in India, Sekhar said that he was pressured to convert to Islam, but that he had refused. "If I have to die for my God, I will die for him here," Vara said. Following his arrest, Vara’s Saudi employer returned his passport making it clear that his job was no longer available.

In July 2011, the two were released from prison and flown to India.

 

There are many in the world that are being persecuted or are imprisoned for their faith in Christ. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to strengthen those who are imprisoned and to hasten their release.

 

“Jesus promised his disciples three things – that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy and in constant trouble.” – G.K. Chesterton

 

God’s Word: “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.” – James 5:13-14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - A Proud Name To Bear
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 7, 2011
Devotional - A Proud Name To Bear

“and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” – Acts 11:26

 

In March 2005, when Terri Iligan’s kids asked to go to the summer golf camp once attended by Tiger Woods, she decided to raise the money by auctioning her naming rights on eBay. The winning bidder paid for the right to change the 33-year old Terri’s name to a moniker of their choosing. The auction was won by Canadian online gambling website GoldenPalace.com who paid $15,199 for the right to change Terri’s name to GoldenPalace.com.

GoldenPalace.com, formerly known as Terri, said that although her name will change on official documents "To my kids and to my husband, I will always be Terri. My husband is real supportive. He thinks it's funny. As long as they get to call me mom, they don't care."

 

The name “Christian” is a proud name to bear and one we should always desire to be called. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that you are a member of His family and seek to bring Him glory in all that you do.

 

“God looks at you as if you were a little Christ: Christ stands beside you to turn you into one.” – C.S. Lewis

 

God’s Word: “However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” – 1 Peter 4:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - No Prejudice
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 4, 2011
Devotional - No Prejudice

“Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.” – Acts 10:34-35

 

Vanessa L. Hill from Howard University School of Divinity shares the following story:

"This is a story of a little boy name Theo who woke up one morning and asked his mother, Mom, what if there were no black people in the world?

His mother thought about that for a moment, and then said, "Son, follow me around today and let's just see what it would be like if there were no black people in the world. Now go get dressed and we will get started."

Theo ran to his room to put on his clothes and shoes. His mother took one look at him and said, "Theo, where are your shoes? And those clothes are all wrinkled, son; I must iron them." But when she reached for the ironing board it was no longer there.

You see, Sarah Boone, a black woman, invented the ironing board; and Jan E. Matzelinger, a black man, invented the shoe lasting machine.

"Oh well," she said, "please go and do something to your hair." Theo ran into his room to comb his hair, but the comb was not there.

You see, Walter Sammons, a black man, invented the comb.

Theo decided to just brush his hair, but the brush was gone-for Lydia O. Newman, a black female, invented the brush.

What a sight!-no shoes, wrinkled clothes, hair a mess. Even Mom's hair was a mess without the hair care inventions of Madam C.J. Walker.

Mom told Theo, "Let's do our chores around the house and then take a trip to the grocery store." Theo's job was to sweep the floor. He swept and swept and swept. When he reached for the dust pan, it was not there.

You see, Lloyd P. Ray, a black man, invented the dustpan.

So he swept his pile of dirt over in the corner and left it there. He then decided to mop the floor, but the mop was gone.

You see, Thomas W. Stewart, a black man, invented the mop.

Theo yelled to his Mom, "Mom, I not having any luck." "Well son," she said, "let me finish washing these clothes and we will prepare a list for the grocery store. When the wash finished, she went to place the clothes in the dryer but it was not there.

You see, George T. Samon, a black man, invented the clothes dryer.

Mom asked Theo to go get a pencil and some paper to prepare their list for the market. So Theo ran for the paper and pencil but noticed the pencil lead was broken. He was out of luck again, because John Love, a black man, invented the pencil sharpener. Mom reached for a pen, but it was not there because William Purvis, a black man, invented the fountain pen. As a matter of fact, Lee Burridge invented the type writing machine, and W. A. Lovette the advanced printing press.

Theo and his mother decided to head out to the market. When Theo opened the door he noticed the grass was as high as he was tall.

You see, the lawn mower was invented by John Burr, a black man.

They made their way over to the car, and found that it just wouldn't go. You

see, Richard Spikes, a black man, invented the automatic gear shift and Joseph Gammel invented the supercharge system for internal combustion engines.

They noticed that the few cars that were moving were running into each other and having wrecks because there were no traffic signals. You see, Garrett A. Morgan, a black man invented the traffic light.

Well, it was getting late, so they walked to the market, got their groceries and returned home. Just when they were about to put away the milk, eggs and butter, they noticed the refrigerator was gone.

You see, John Standard, a black man, invented the refrigerator.

So they just left the food on the counter. By this time, Theo noticed he was getting mighty cold. Mom went to turn up the heat, and what do you know. Alice Parker, a black female, invented the heating furnace. Even in the summer time they would have been out of luck because Frederick Jones, a black man, invented the air conditioner.

It was almost time for Theo's father to arrive home. He usually takes the bus. But there was no bus, because its precursor was the electric trolley, invented by another black man, Elbert R. Robinson. He usually takes the elevator from his office on the 20th floor, but there was no elevator because Alexander Miles, a black man, invented the elevator.

He also usually dropped off the office mail at a near by mailbox, but it was no longer there because Philip Downing, a black man, invented the letter drop mailbox and William Barry invented the postmarking and canceling machine.

Theo and his mother sat at the kitchen table with their head in their hands. When the father arrived he asked, "Why are you sitting in the dark?" Why, indeed? Because Lewis Howard Latimer, a black man, invented the filament within the light bulb.

Theo quickly learned what it would be like if there were no black people in the world. Not to mention if he were ever sick and needed blood. Charles Drew, a black scientist, found a way to preserve and store blood, which led to his starting the worlds first blood bank. And what if a family member had to have heart surgery. This would not have been possible without Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, a black doctor, who performed the first open heart surgery.

If you have ever entertained the thought that any race, nationality, or other subgroup of the human race is disposable, think again.”

 

The Lord has created diversity and we are not to show prejudice to anyone. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He does not show favoritism and loves everyone.

 

“Never try to reason the prejudice out of a man. It was not reasoned into him and cannot be reasoned out.” – Sidney Smith

 

God’s Word: “Now let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.” – 2 Chronicles 19:7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Visions Of The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 3, 2011
Devotional - Visions Of The Lord

“While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them."” – Acts 10:19-20

 

During the 1980’s, a young man named Khosrow Khodadadi was living in Iran. He passed by an Assyrian Christian church and decided to go inside, thinking he might find answers to some of his “questions.”  The elderly pastor gave him a box of books, including a New Testament.  Khosrow read the New Testament from cover to cover.  But after reading the book, he felt despair and threw the book across his bedroom.  Just then, the form of a man came to him in a vision.  This man extended his hands toward Khosrow and told him:  “Take my hands and everything will change forever.”  Khosrow took the man’s hands and a wave of what he describes as “electricity” flowed through his body.  Kneeling, he began to weep, making such a noise that his parents rushed to his room.  They were flabbergasted to see their son crying for the first time in many, many years.

Khosrow’s trusted Christ and grew in his faith. Over the following years, Khosrow became a disciple of the Lord, eventually becoming the Pastor of the Pentecostal Assyrian Church in Hamadan, Iran.

 

The Lord will use every means at his disposal including visions and dreams to bring the lost to Him. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He goes to great lengths to tell us that He loves us.

 

“We are experiencing an amazing phenomenon. Moslems in particular are having dreams and visions confirming the reality of Christ.” - Bill Bright

 

God’s Word: “he said, “Listen to my words: ‘When there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams.’” – Numbers 12:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Miraculous Answers To Prayer
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 2, 2011
Devotional - Miraculous Answers To Prayer

“Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, "Tabitha, get up." She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive. This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.” – Acts 9:40-42

 

Desmond Doss grew up in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. When World War II erupted, Desmond did not want to fight because of his faith. He did want to serve. So the Army labeled him a “conscientious objector” and he became a medic.

During the Battle of Okinawa, Desmond’s company found themselves having to climb up on top of an escarpment. The mountainside was 400 feet high.

Before the ascent, Desmond went to his lieutenant and said: “I believe prayer is the best life-saver there is.” Immediately the officer called our group together and said, “Gather round, fellows. Doss wants to pray for us.”

Once on top of the escarpment, one company of soldiers found themselves in a deadly crossfire. But Desmond’s company was able to make progress: “So we started to move forward,” said Desmond. “As I remember, Company B started to take enemy positions one at a time until we had taken eight or nine Japanese positions. The amazing part of it was that not a single man from Company B was killed and only one man was slightly wounded by a rock that hit his hand. That was one day that I, as a medic, didn’t have much to do.”

The following day, Company B became pinned down and several men were wounded. Desmond was able to move from one man to another and drag them to safety. Desmond received the Medal of Honor for rescuing 75 men under heavy fire. He is the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor.

 

Our Lord loves to answer prayer. He is the author of miracles.  Today in prayer, give thanks to Jesus that He answers prayer and sometimes those answers are miraculous!

 

"Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see." - C.S. Lewis

 

God’s Word: “He went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.’ But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child's father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum!" (which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’). Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.” – Mark 5:39-42

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Helping The Poor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 1, 2011
Devotional - Helping The Poor

“In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor.” – Acts 9:36

 

Dr. Bob Cornuke is an archeologist and explorer. For 20 years he has searched 13 mountaintops in Turkey and Iran for Noah’s Ark. For eleven years he has searched Israel, Egypt and Ethiopia for the Ark of the Covenant. He claims that four anchors found in a Malta bay are from St. Paul’s ship, which according to the Bible sank in the first century.

But as passionate as he is searching for Biblical archeology, Bob has developed a heart for the poor. His focus is now on the poor in Ethiopia.

It was during a search for the Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia that the poor captured his heart. He decided to help them by raising funds for food and building an elementary school.

Walt Larimore, who has accompanied Bob on his trips notes: “Bob has fallen in love with these people. He does the relic quest on the tour, and people recognize him for the Indiana Jones thing. But when he gets around the orphans and the widows, you see his heart melt.”

Bob agrees, saying: “This is more meaningful to me than looking for Noah’s Ark.”

 

The Lord has called us to help the poor. Today in prayer, ask Jesus how you can better help the poor.

 

“When we serve the poor and the sick, we serve Jesus. We must not fail to help our neighbors, because in them we serve Jesus.” – Rose of Lima

 

God’s Word: “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” – Luke 14:13-14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Friends Need One Another
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 31, 2011
Friends Need One Another

“But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.” – Acts 9:27

 

Pastor Donald Barnhouse related the following story: “Several years ago, two students graduated from the Chicago-Kent College of Law. The highest ranking student in the class was a blind man named Overton and, when he received his honor, he insisted that half the credit should go to his friend, Kaspryzak. They had met one another in school when the armless Mr. Kaspryzak had guided the blind Mr. Overton down a flight of stairs. This acquaintance ripened into friendship and a beautiful example of interdependence. The blind man carried the books which the armless man read aloud in their common study, and thus the individual deficiency of each was compensated for by the other.

After their graduation, they planned to practice law together. No believer is complete by himself, we are to minister to one another, as a family.”

 

All of us in ourselves are incomplete.  Today in prayer, thank Jesus for your faithful friends.

 

“A genuine friend helps out even when it comes at great personal cost. – Guy Caley

 

God’s Word: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” - John 15:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Yes, Lord!
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 28, 2011
Devotional - Yes, Lord!

“In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!" "Yes, Lord," he answered.” – Acts 9:10

 

In early 2011, eight-year-old Rachel Beckwith of Bellevue, Washington learned in church that millions in Africa were dying of thirst. On her own, Rachel created the following on her web page:

"On June 12th 2011, I'm turning 9. I found out that millions of people don't live to see their 5th birthday. And why? Because they didn't have access to clean, safe water so I'm celebrating my birthday like never before. I'm asking from everyone I know to donate to my campaign instead of gifts for my birthday. Every penny of the money raised will go directly to fund freshwater projects in developing nations."

Rachel hoped to raise $300 for clean water, but the final amount was $220.

Five weeks later, Rachel was tragically killed in a traffic accident. As word spread, so did the noble cause of this little girl who said, “yes” to the Lord. Within days, more than $200,000 was donated to the charity for clean water.

Rachel’s mother, Samantha Paul, was surprised by the response: “I am in awe of the overwhelming love to take my daughter's dream and make it a reality. In the face of unexplainable pain you have provided undeniable hope. Thank you for your generosity! I know Rachel is smiling!”

 

When the Lord gives us a calling, say “Yes, Lord!” Our dreams and faithfulness can outlive our lives. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He has called you to serve and glorify Him and say ‘yes’ to what the Lord is calling you to do.

 

“A servant of God has but one Master.” – George Mueller

 

God’s Word: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” – Colossians 3:23-24

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Sharing The Good News
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 27, 2011
Devotional - Sharing The Good News

“Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.” – Acts 8:35

 

Soon after Stacie Hooks and Jenna Jones graduated from East Texas Baptist University, they felt called by God to a unique adventure. They were to spread the Gospel, traveling city to city like the early disciples.

In the past six months, the two have journeyed to cities in Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas and Oklahoma, seeking to show Christian compassion to everyone they encountered.

They travel in a van, and their “VanGo” ministry is described by Stacie: “VanGo is two girls, Jenna and I, living in a van, traveling around the nation, city to city, trying to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ in whatever way it needs to be done.”

The two depend on God and donations for gas and food as they travel. They pray asking the Lord to show them a neighbor who has been overlooked.

“We took the command found in the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10—‘Go and do likewise’—seriously,” said Jenna. “Jesus tells his disciples to carry nothing with them and go town to town telling cities and individuals, ‘The kingdom of God is near.’”

 

People need Jesus. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for the people in your life and share the good news of the Gospel with those who do not yet know Jesus.

 

“It is the duty of every Christian to be Christ to his neighbor.” – Martin Luther

 

God’s Word: “He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.’” – Mark 16:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - Forgiving Your Enemies
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 26, 2011
Devotional - Forgiving Your Enemies

“While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.” – Acts 7:59-60

 

Christian author Philip Yancy traveled to the Soviet Union in November 1991. He relates the following story:  

“I was privileged to be with a group of Christians and we went and visited the headquarters of the KGB. The interpreter for that group was a Christian evangelist. He is Russian by birth but his family had to leave when he was seven years old. They were chased out of the country. His uncle was killed. He had relatives who were put in a concentration camp.

Here was an older man who had his radio programs blocked for years, jammed by KGB jamming devices, who had his visas turned down for years. He couldn't visit Russia. Now he was translating for the number two man in the KGB, who was a ramrod straight army colonel.

The KGB colonel went ahead and said, ‘Before there can be perestroika in our country, there has to be a stage of repentance. We have done many things wrong and we must repent for them.’

The interpreter, Alex Leonovich, who is a huge bear of a man, turned to him, broke his interpretation and said, ‘Colonel, Jesus told us how to respond when someone repents. In the name of Christ, in the name of my family, in the name of my uncle, I forgive you for what your organization did to me.’

Then we saw the amazing scene of this big bear of a man, a Russian evangelist, reaching over to a ramrod straight KGB colonel and embracing him in a huge, Russian bear hug. We could see whispers going on. We didn't know what they said until later Alex told us. The KGB colonel said, ‘Alex, only two times in my life have I cried. Once was when my mother died and once was tonight.’

That was the power of forgiveness, a way to break the chain that can go on and on and on. It's not fair, but it breaks that chain.”

 

Does someone in your life need your forgiveness? Today in prayer, ask the Lord who needs forgiveness in your life and then seek to be reconciled.

 

"You have enemies; for who can live on this earth without them? Take heed to yourselves: love them. In no way can your enemy so hurt you by his violence, as you can hurt yourself if you do not love him. And let it not seem to you impossible to love him. Believe first that it can be done, and pray that the will of God may be done in you." – Augustine

 

God’s Word: “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” – Matthew 5:44

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Devotional - It's A Calling
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 25, 2011
Devotional - It's A Calling

“When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money and said, ‘Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’” – Acts 8:18-19

 

“Keeping Up With The Kardashians” is an American, reality television show. It centers around the three Karashian sisters, Kim, Kourtney, and Kloé. Their parents are Bruce and Kris Jenner.

In May 2011, Kris decided she would become “an ordained minister” so she could officiate at a friend of the family’s wedding. She went online and registered with an organization and became an ordained minister. The same organization has issued some 20 million people “ordination” certificates.

Kris has not had any training, nor did she feel particularly called to minister except for officiating at some personal friends’ weddings.

When her husband Bruce heard what she had done, he began laughing and said: “My wife has come up with a lot of crazy things in her life, but an ordained minister?”  

 

Being called to ministry is a serious calling. It is representing Jesus Christ in every situation of life.  Today in prayer, praise the Lord for your pastors and their commitment to follow Jesus. Thank the Lord for their character, their commitment, and their knowledge of the Bible.

 

“When appointing priests we should choose only those of spotless and upright character as our leaders.” – Cyprian of Carthage

 

God’s Word: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” – 1 Timothy 6:10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

When Persecution Hits
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 24, 2011
When Persecution Hits

“And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.” – Acts 8:1

 

In November 2010, Asia Bibi, a poor Christian woman, was jailed for her faith in Pakistan. She was falsely accused of defaming Muhammad. She was given the death sentence. In December, Salmaan Taseer, a Pakistani Christian and the governor of Punjab, visited her.

Taseer could sense the injustice and at a press conference called for the end of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. He knew his speech was dangerous and afterwards he told his wife: “Be prepared to be a widow.”

Two weeks later after having coffee at a café in Ismalabad, Taseer’s own bodyguard assassinated him. The bodyguard became a hero to many and more than 500 Muslim clerics cheered his action. The clerics warned people not to mourn Taseer’s death.

 

There are millions in the world who cannot openly worship or share their faith in Christ. Today in prayer, pray for those who are persecuted that the Lord will strengthen them and that the persecution would be short lived.

 

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

 

God’s Word: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

We Must Obey God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 21, 2011
We Must Obey God

“Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men!’” – Acts 5:29

 

On March 17, 2011, Masoud Delijani was hosting a house-church in Kermanshah, Iran.

Suddenly, during the middle of worship, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry raided the home. They arrested Masoud along with nine other house-church members. During the raid on the house, the security forces also confiscated a Christian painting, Bibles, DVDs and personal identity documents. The group was taken to an unknown location where they were subjected to harsh interrogations. Seven members of the group were released the following day, after they had been photographed and fingerprinted, and had signed a statement declaring that they would refrain from attending any Christian gatherings in the future.

Two others raised bail and were released until their trial. Masoud was placed in solitary confinement. For 114 days he endured torture. The security forces released Masoud on $100,000 bail on July 20, 2011, pending his trial for hosting a church service. His broken health was the reason for the release. But his faith in Christ remains strong, though his health has deteriorated.

 

When you place your faith in Christ, you will not be disappointed. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He alone must be worshiped no matter what circumstance we face.

 

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

 

God’s Word: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” – Matthew 5:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Deceit Will Catch Up With You
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 20, 2011
Deceit Will Catch Up With You

"Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?" - Acts 5:3

 

In September 1991, Algerian runner Abbes Tehami won the Brussels, Belgium marathon. A problem arose when fellow runners realized that he finished without a mustache. The runner who began the race with the number was Tehami's coach, Bensalem Hamiani. But after seven and a half miles, Hamiami veered off into the woods and passed the bib with No. 62 on to Tehami. Hamiami looked very similar to Tehami except Hamiami had a mustache. When spotted by the race organizer, Milou Blavier, just before disappearing into the woods, No. 62 Hamiani seemed to be tiring. But No. 62 Tehami miraculously caught up with the leaders three miles later. "I said, 'Gee, this is some comeback,' " recalled Blavier. Neither Algerian ever got to pick up his $7,150 winner's check. For just as Tehami crossed the finish line, he and his coach took off, apparently realizing they had been spotted.

 

You cannot run away from Deceit, it will catch up with you in the end. Today in prayer, confess any sin of lying to Jesus and avoid all deception at all cost.

 

"Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle that fits them all." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

God's Word: "I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you." - 1 Chronicles 29:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Be An Encourager
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 19, 2011
Be An Encourager

“Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet.” – Acts 4:36-37

 

Joel Manby is the CEO of Herschend Family Entertainment, a company that operates theme parks, aquariums and other family attractions. Manby was featured in the TV hit, "Undercover Boss." In the show, he mentioned that he took a job with Herchend because of their Christian values. While working undercover, Joel discovered what most of the bosses discover. Their employees work hard, have overcome many challenges and have good ideas. At the end of the show, when the workers find out they're working with the boss, Manby seemed genuinely touched when people wept at the words, "Well done," from him. In a later interview, Joel said he has come to the conclusion that CEO ought to stand for Chief Encouragement Officer.

 

Life is hard, but encouragement to live in Christ is stronger. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for those who have encouraged you and seek to be an encourager to others.

 

“Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

 

God’s Word: “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.” – Hebrews 3:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Sharing With Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 18, 2011
Sharing With Others

“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.” – Acts 4:32

 

James Thoburn was an American missionary from Ohio. After graduating from Allegheny College he was ordained as a Methodist Episcopal minister and traveled to India in 1859. During the next 25 years, James founded the Calcutta Boys School and preached extensively in Hindi and in English.

James coaxed his sister Isabella Thoburn to come to India and she established a school for girls. As funds grew, the school became a high school, and then a college was added.

It is today called the Isabella Thoburn College in Lucknow, India.

Who was one of the primary supporters of James and Isabella during those early missionary days? It was there brother, Thomas, who labored in obscurity in Ohio. He selflessly gave to his brother and sister to reach others for Jesus Christ.

One of the joys we can have is sharing with others. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for all that He has blessed you and seek how you can share those blessings with others.

 

“We asked the leaf, "Are you complete in yourself?" And the leaf answers, "No, my life is in the branches."

We ask the branch, and the branch answers, "No, my life is in the root."

We asked the root, and it answer, "No, my life is in the trunk and the branches and the leaves. Keep the branches stripped of leaves, and I shall die."

So it is with the great tree of being. Nothing is completely and merely individual.” – Harry Emerson Fosdick

 

God’s Word: “All the believers were together and had everything in common.” – Acts 2:44

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

We Cannot Help Speaking
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 17, 2011
We Cannot Help Speaking

“For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” – Acts 4:20

 

On July 12, 2011, some 730 people from the Milwaukee area came out to learn about sharing Christ and worship. The event was a Billy Graham Evangelistic Association ministry to teenagers and called FM419.

John Cass, one of the trainers in Milwaukee, emphasized the importance of the Gospel. “The intent with FM419 is to challenge young people to step up and step out, that the Gospel isn’t something to be ashamed of. And it’s not just because God’s Word says so.

If you start living out how your life has been changed, if other people see that, they are going to watch you live this thing called life, and they are going to want to know what’s going on.” Genene Hibbler, a youth pastor in Milwaukee, said: “The event impacted the lives of students at our church, and that following Sunday, one of our students gave his heart to the Lord. It was a revival for young people.”

 

Hearts are hungry wanting to hear the good news of the Gospel. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for the Gospel and ask Him who you should share the good news of Jesus Christ.

 

“Our power in drawing others after the Lord mainly rests in our joy and communion with him ourselves.” – J.G. Bellet

 

God’s Word: “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” – 1 Peter 3:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Completely Turn From Sin
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 14, 2011
Completely Turn From Sin

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you--even Jesus.” – Acts 3:19-20

 

On April 9, 1999, rapper Ma$e sat in his hotel room. He was known as “the flashiest and most pleasure driven performer on… the Bad Boy record label.” But that night he felt empty. The 23-year-old performer realized “I can’t do this no more.” He lowered and his head and prayed and asked Christ into his life. Mason Betha’s life changed abruptly.

He enrolled in college, and eventually became the pastor of a small church in Atlanta. He gave up the material world to pursue God.

“I figured if the devil could use the first 23 years of my life to inspire multitudes of people to live all kinds of lifestyles; which showed a great disrespect for GOD and His Kingdom, then GOD could use the remainder of my life to lead the flock back to Him.”

 

When the Lord gets a hold of our life, we should have a new focus. Today in prayer, repent from any and every sin in your life and follow Jesus.

 

“That promise applies to you today…repent of your sins and they will be blotted out!” – Jerry Shirley

 

God’s Word: “And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’” – Matthew 18:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Give Him The Glory
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 13, 2011
Give Him The Glory

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“Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’” – Acts 3:6

 

George Beverly Shea is a Christian singer who began singing professionally in 1933. In 1947, he teamed up with evangelist Billy Graham for the next 60 years. George has been described as "America's Beloved Gospel Singer."

George has devoted his life and work at telling "of the Christ who died for me." He is a man of deep sympathies, he will listen endlessly to the troubles of others but dismiss his own with a word and a smile.

In December 2010, The Recording Academy decided to award the 102-year old singer with a Lifetime Achievement Award in conjunction with the 2011 GRAMMY Awards.

“I was surprised to receive the call from The Recording Academy president before Christmas and am honored for the recognition,” Shea said. “The music has been for God’s glory.”

 

In all that do, in all the awards and recognition you receive, give glory to Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is glorious and give Christ the glory in all areas of your life.

 

“He is altogether glorious – unequalled in splendor and unrivaled in power. He is beyond the grasp of human reason – far beyond the grasp of any scientific mind. Inexhaustible, immeasurable, and unfathomable – eternal, immortal and invisible. The highest mountain peaks and the deepest canyon depths are just tiny echoes of His proclaimed greatness.  And the blazing stars above, the faintest emblems of the full measure of His glory.  – Matt Redman

 

God’s Word: “Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious!” – Psalm 66:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Adding To Their Number
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 12, 2011
Adding To Their Number

“praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:46

 

Walt Wilson was the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Exclaim Technologies, Inc., an applications service provider in the business-to-business Internet market. He was a successful internet engineer who had a heart for Jesus Christ. He also had a heart for those who do not yet know the Lord. He knew the power of the internet and the power of the Gospel. In 2004, he launched Global Media Outreach to begin sharing the Gospel with others.

In the first year Global Media Outreach saw 21,066 people make a decision for Jesus Christ. In 2010, more than 15 million people came to Christ through Global Media Outreach.

“We are the first generation in all of human history to hold within our hands the technology to reach every man, woman and child on the earth by 2020,” said Wilson. “Our generation has within its grasp everything that is required to fulfill the Great Commission.”

Worldwide, people are anxious to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, ask the Lord how you can share the Gospel with others.

 

“The church exploded in growth because the people loved being together. When you get a group of people together who genuinely believe something and who really enjoy each other, it’s such a contagious atmosphere that you can’t keep people away from it.” – Bob Russell

 

God’s Word: “But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.” – Acts 4:4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

The Devoted Fellowship
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 11, 2011
The Devoted Fellowship

“They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” – Acts 2:42

 

One of the earliest Christian leaders was Tertullian who lived in Carthage in the Roman province of Africa from 160-220 AD.

Tertullian described agape feasts that occurred during his time:  “Our meal explains itself by its name.  It is designated by the Greek word for love (Agape).  Whatever it costs, our outlay is gain if we thus benefit the poor. This is the honorable occasion of our repast.  By this judge its further regulations. As it is an act of religious service, it permits no vileness, nor excess. We do not go to the table until we have first tasted of prayer to God; we eat as much as satisfies the hungry; we drink as much as is profitable for the chaste. We satisfy ourselves as those who remember that during the night also God is to be worshipped; we converse as those who know that the Lord hears them. After water for the hands and lights are brought, each one is called upon to praise God, either from the Holy Scriptures or of his own mind; hence it is proved how much he has drunken. As the feast began, so it is closed, with prayer. Thence we separate, not into bands for violence, nor for roaming the streets, but to take the Fame care of our modesty and chastity as if we had been at a place of instruction rather than at a banquet.”

 

Are you in fellowship with other Christian believers? Today in prayer, thank Jesus for other believers and seek to draw closer to Christ by being in fellowship with other Christians.  

 

“Behind every saint stands another saint.” – Friedrich van Hugel

 

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 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

The Need To Repent
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 10, 2011
The Need To Repent

“Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 2:38

 

On May 27, 2011, Paul Emuria Edome walked into a church in Nairobi, Kenya. Paul was a wanted for robbery. He handed over an AK-47 rifle to the pastor of the church, Dr. David Owour. The 27-year-old confessed before the congregation that he had robbed others for six years. "I have repented and now ready to reform and receive Jesus Christ. I ask those who are holding illegal fire arms to surrender and seek repentance," he said.

Minutes after his confession, Paul was arrested and driven to Naivasha where he was later charged with nine counts of robbery with violence.

Dr. Owour said: “My message to Kenyans is that this should be a year for repentance.”

He called all Kenyans to repent for the country to move forward, adding that healing cannot come through courts or any other institution, but from God.

 

The first step in healing our relationship with God is to repent of our sins. We need to trust that Christ died for those sins and He has forgiven us. Today in prayer, confess any sin in your life to Jesus and receive His forgiveness.

 

“True repentance has a double aspect; it looks upon things past with a weeping eye, and upon the future with a watchful eye.” – Robert Smith

 

God’s Word: “‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!’” – Mark 1:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

My Hope Is In Heaven
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 7, 2011
My Hope Is In Heaven

“Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.'” – Acts 2:26-28

 

John Wesley died on March 2, 1791, in the eighty-eighth year of his life. Shortly before his death he was feeling ill, but he said, "I will get up"; and whilst they arranged his clothes, he broke out singing in a manner which astonished all about him,

"I'll praise my Maker while I've breath, And when my voice is lost in death, Praise shall employ my nobler powers: My days of praise shall ne'er be past, While life, and thought, and being last, Or immortality endures. Happy the man whose hopes rely On Israel's God; He made the sky, And earth and seas, with all their train; His truth forever stands secure, He saves the oppressed. He feeds the poor, And none shall find His promise vain."

Once more seated in his chair, he said in a weak voice, "Lord, Thou givest strength to those who can speak and to those who cannot. Speak, Lord, to all our hearts, and let them know that Thou loosest tongues." And then he sang,

"To Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Who sweetly all agree." 

His voice then failed. After gasping for breath he said, "Now, we have done all." He was then helped back into bed for the last time. After resting a little, he called to those who were with him to "Pray and praise."

One of the last things he uttered was "The best of all is, God is with us." And again, lifting his hand, he repeated the same words in holy triumph, "The best of all is, God is with us."

 

Death is a finish line where our friend and Lord is there to greet us. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that through Him we have eternal life and a hope in Heaven.

 

“Once a man is united with Christ, how could he not live forever?” – C.S. Lewis

 

God’s Word: “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.” – Psalm 16:9-10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

His Second Coming
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 6, 2011
His Second Coming

“The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.” – Acts 2:20

 

May 19, 1780, stands in history as "The Dark Day." Since the time of Moses, no period of darkness of equal density, extent, and duration has ever been recorded. The moon became as red as blood on the night of that "dark day."

Milo Bostick in Stone's History of Massachusetts says, "The moon which was at its full, had the appearance of blood." According to Professor Samuel Williams of Harvard College, the darkness was seen at least as far north as Portland, Maine, and extended southwards to New Jersey. The darkness was not recorded in Pennsylvania.

No one knows the cause of the darkness, but smoke from forest fires is the primary suspect for the unusual event.

In Connecticut, a member of the legislature, Abraham Davenport, sought to calm colleagues' fears that it was the Day of Judgment: “I choose, for one, to meet Him face to face, No faithless servant frightened from my task, But ready when the Lord of the harvest calls; And therefore, with all reverence, I would say, Let God do His work, we will see to ours. Bring in the candles.”

We should not fear Christ’s second coming. Rather, we should look forward and be diligent in doing His work. Today in prayer, praise the Lord He is coming and seek to follow Him every day.

 

"Consider the times: look for Him who is above time." - Ignatius of Antioch

 

God’s Word: “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.” – Joel 2:31

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Filled With The Spirit
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 5, 2011
Filled With The Spirit

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” – Acts 2:4

 

Matthew Simpson was a quiet Methodist Episcopalian preacher from Ohio. He was a personal friend of President Lincoln and Lincoln said Simpson was “the greatest living orator’ of the day. It was Simpson who gave the sermon at Lincoln’s funeral in Springfield.

He soon became popular and spoke throughout Europe and in Mexico.

On September 24, 1881, he preached in London at the Garfield Memorial Meeting at Exeter Hall. Simpson preached quietly and with few gestures, but he awed the London assembly.

A British professor of elocution was there to observe. A friend who knew that he had come to criticize, asked the professor, after the service, how he liked the Simpson's elocution. "Elocution!" he said. "That man doesn't need elocution. He's got the Holy Ghost."

 

It is far better to be filled with the Holy Spirit than to be eloquent in speech. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to fill you with the Holy Spirit that you may do His will.  

 

“Savior, fill me with Thy Spirit, As I seek and wait and pray,

Bend and break me, blessed Master—Make me wholly Thine today.

Lord, I bow in full surrender, Yielding all I have to Thee:

Come and fill me with Thy Spirit—Sanctify Thyself in me.

I would tarry in Thy presence, 'Til endued with power and love:

I would know the mighty fullness, Of Thy Spirit from above.

Will He come in all His fullness, As I now obey Thy call?

Yes, oh, yes, for Thou has promised, If I come confessing all.” —Oswald J. Smith

 

God’s Word: “he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior” – Titus 3:5-6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Look To Him In Prayer
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 4, 2011
Look To Him In Prayer

“They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” – Acts 1:14

 

On the morning of January 16, 1942, a TBD-1 aircraft flew off the American carrier Enterprise on a scouting mission over the Pacific Ocean. Operating under strict radio silence, the crew could not send a distress signal when it got lost and ran out of fuel. The plane ditched in open ocean and the aircraft's crew of Harold F. Dixon, Tony Pastula, and Gene Aldrich scrambled into a life raft.

For the next 34 days, the men survived on rainwater, two birds they were able to catch and fish they were able to spear with a pocket knife. On February 19, the men washed up on an island that was 1,200 miles from where they had crashed.

On the third full day at sea, the sun had parched the men’s throats. Gene suggested they pray for help. Harold Dixon later wrote: “In His almighty goodness, God was gracious to us. Hardly had we stopped praying when overhead there appeared a tremendous black cloud, and down from the heavens poured the rain. The deluge lasted 5 minutes and we had our first drink in days.”

For the remainder 30 days, the three men daily sought the Lord in prayer asking for safety.

 

The Lord deeply desires to hear and answer our prayers. Today in prayer, be persistent in your prayers and seek Jesus with your whole heart.

 

“Wherever we seek the Lord with true hearts he is found of us; whenever we cry unto him he heareth us. Every place is hallowed ground to a hallowed heart, and every day is a holy day to a holy man. From January to December the calendar has not one date in which prayer is forbidden.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “pray continually” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

Deliver The Message Of Freedom
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 3, 2011
Deliver The Message Of Freedom

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8

 

Christian author George Sweeting, in his book “The No-Guilt Guide for Witnessing”, tells of a man by the name of John Currier who in 1949 was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Later he was transferred and paroled to work on a farm near Nashville, Tennessee.

In 1968, Currier's sentence was terminated, and a letter bearing the good news was sent to him.  But John never saw the letter, nor was he told anything about it.  Life on that farm was hard and without promise for the future.            Yet John kept doing what he was told even after the farmer for whom he worked had died.

Ten years went by.  Then a state parole officer learned about Currier's plight, found him, and told him that his sentence had been terminated.            He was a free man.

Sweeting concluded that story by asking, "Would it matter to you if someone sent you an important message -- the most important in your life -- and year after year the urgent message was never delivered?"

 

There are millions of people in the world waiting for the good news of Christ to set them free of their sins.  Today in prayer, ask the Lord how you can be His witness in the world.

 

“It is always right that a man should be able to render a reason for the faith that is within him.” – Sydney Smith

 

God’s Word: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  – Matthew 28:19-20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

He Arose
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jun 30, 2011
He Arose

“After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” – Acts 1:3

 

Wolfhart Pannenberg is a German theologian who grew up during World War II. He was not a believer when he entered high school, but his literature teacher, who had been a part of the Confessing Church during the war, encouraged him to examine Christ.

Pannenberg’s view of Christ is in light of the Resurrection. He subscribes that the Resurrection is the key to Christ's identity, and the disciples’ experience of the risen Christ shaped the early Church.  

In a magazine interview he was discussing the Resurrection and he said this: "The evidence for Jesus’ resurrection is so strong that nobody would question it except for two things: First, it is a very unusual event. And second, if you believe it happened, you have to change the way you live."

 

Jesus Christ did rise from the grave, giving eternal life and hope to all who trust in Him. Today in prayer, praise Christ for His resurrection.

 

“Our old history ends with the Cross; our new history begins with the resurrection.” – Watchman Nee

 

God’s Word: “While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’” – Luke 24:36

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ACTS

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