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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions In Colossians
Devotional - Do Not Drift But Rather Stand Firm
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Feb 27, 2014
Devotional - Do Not Drift But Rather Stand Firm

“Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” – Colossians 4:12

 

On the morning of 28 November 1979, Air New Zealand Flight TE901 lifted off from the Auckland Airport to spend a few hours sightseeing over the Antarctic continent before returning to Auckland. At the controls of the DC-10 was Captain Jim Collins, a veteran pilot and he was assisted by two experienced flight officers. However, none of the three had ever flown over the South Pole.

Unknown to the pilots, someone had modified the flight coordinates by a mere two degrees. This error placed the aircraft 28 miles to the east of where the pilots assumed they were. As they approached Antarctica, the pilots descended to a lower altitude to give the passengers a better look at the landscape. The aircraft's drift placed them directly in the path of Mount Erebus, an active volcano that rises from the frozen landscape to a height of more than 12,000 feet.

As the pilots flew onward, the white of the snow and ice covering the volcano blended with the white of the clouds above, making it appear as though they were flying over flat ground. By the time the instruments sounded the warning that the ground was rising fast toward them, it was too late. The airplane crashed into the side of the volcano, killing everyone on board.

It was a terrible tragedy brought on by a minor error-a matter of only a few degrees.

 

Do not drift from the Lord, but rather stand firm in Him. Today in prayer, look to the Lord and stand firm in your faith in Christ.

 

“When faithfulness is most difficult, it is most rewarding.” – Croft M. Pentz

 

God’s Word: “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” – 1 Corinthians 15:58

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

Devotional - Make The Most Of Every Opportunity
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Feb 26, 2014
Devotional - Make The Most Of Every Opportunity

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” – Colossians 4:5

 

Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, wrote the following on why we should witness: "From His earliest youth and throughout His life, Jesus clearly understood His mission and purpose. His concern for the lost was so deep that at times the flood of compassionate tears rolled down His face. Jesus, the manliest of men, wept. Similarly, Paul pleaded night and day with everyone who would listen to be reconciled to God.

Since then, people of every century and many walks of life have had a heart of compassion for those who are living apart from God. Great spiritual leaders such as John Wesley, D. L. Moody, and Billy Graham dedicated their lives to reaching people with the message of hope.

When one young missionary who had been sent home because of illness was asked why he was so eager to get back to his people, he said, "Because I cannot sleep for thinking about them."

Our Lord has commissioned each of us to share the Good News and "seek the lost." He said, "Go and make disciples of all nations"; and "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation" (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15). It is our greatest calling, then, to share the love and forgiveness He has given us with those who have never received Him as their Savior and Lord."

 

Today in prayer, thank the Lord for your salvation and ask Him to give you wisdom in every opportunity to share the Gospel with those who do not yet know Him.

 

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

 

God’s Word: “Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise” – Ephesians 5:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

Devotional - Pray For Those Who Are Persecuted
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Feb 25, 2014
Devotional - Pray For Those Who Are Persecuted

“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.” – Colossians 4:3-4

 

In late January 2014, violence erupted in northeastern Nigeria. More than 500 people were killed in the first few weeks.

The Reverend Bitrus Bdliya, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called on Christians to commence a one-week fasting and prayer to seek God's protection, blessings and preservation amidst religious hostilities.

He said "Upon the security challenges we face, we will not relent to emphasize the role of the Church as an agent of peace. I call on all Christians to acknowledge this responsibility and to pursue it vigorously. I admonish every Christian to re-examine his or her relationship with God and with his neighbor, knowing well that to be able to maintain peace, you have to be at peace with God and with your brother or sister".

He continued: "It is God's desire to bless us and to give us peace and rest in this generation, but we must learn to dwell in his presence, for that is where all our needs are met".

Bdliya concluded "as we humble ourselves before God in prayers this week, let us come with sincere and confessed hearts to enable our prayers be acceptable unto our God".

 

Christians are under attack throughout the world. Today in prayer, remember in prayer Christians in countries where it is dangerous to be a believer.

 

“The servant of Christ must never be surprised if he has to drink of the same cup with his Lord.” – J.C. Ryle

 

God’s Word: “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” – Ephesians 6:19-20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

Devotional - Devote Yourself To Prayer
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Feb 24, 2014
Devotional - Devote Yourself To Prayer

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” – Colossians 4:2

 

Mark Rose learned to fly at 16, and by age 22 had become a bush pilot. He helped take care of a fleet of helicopters that worked on the Alaska pipeline. He was also an atheist who "had no room for God" in his life.

On one flight, he flew into a snowstorm and then he began to run out of fuel.

He had been flying on empty for 30 minutes when his engine started missing. "I was just waiting for silence and to have to crash at night."

His mind turned to his very last option - God. Rose had never prayed before, but in desperation, he lifted up a silent prayer. "If there is a God, I need your help now."

Then a voice spoke to him that was crystal clear. "Son, you said the right thing." After he heard the voice, Rose also experienced the sensation of "a light bulb" that came on in his mind.

Immediately after his prayer, the plane popped out of the snowstorm!

Miraculously, Mark was able to fly another 20 miles and land safely. Mark began investigating God through the Bible and he eventually gave his life to Jesus.

Today, Mark is devoted to prayer and is a Christian author.

 

There is no greater activity than devotion to prayer. Today in prayer, spend some extra time throughout the day lifting up your prayers to the Lord.

 

“Prayer fills man's weakness with God's omnipotence and opens the gates to new fields of achievement.  It makes the weak strong and the simple wise." – Oliver G. Wilson

 

God’s Word: “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” – Luke 18:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

Devotional - Husbands Love Your Wives
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Feb 23, 2014
Devotional - Husbands Love Your Wives

“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” – Colossians 3:19

 

In 2002, after eight years of marriage, Kiyotaka Yamana, a Japanese professor, decided to get a divorce. Arriving home to break the news, he was shocked to find his wife and child had already left.

Later that year, Yamana happened to reunite with an old acquaintance, Kimiko, whom he married. A few years into their marriage, Yamana realized he was happy, and willingly spending more time at home.

In 2004, he started the Japan Aisaika Organization (JAO), which means "Devoted Husband."

"Japanese men place a high value on which company or organization they work for," Yamana explained, adding that such status also matters to some women looking for a husband. "If they get rid of that culture, almost everyone could become a devoted husband."

The JAO has steadily grown and it is best known for their annual event “Beloved Wives Day.” It occurs on January 31, two weeks before Valentines Day. It is a day which husbands publicly scream their love for their wives before a crowd of onlookers. The husbands are then urged to head home early to express gratitude to their wives.

 

Husbands love your wives as Christ loves you. Today in prayer, pray for your spouse and family’s needs.

 

“Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side.” – Zig Ziglar

 

God’s Word: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” – Ephesians 5:25

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

Devotional - Forgive Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Feb 20, 2014
Devotional - Forgive Others

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – Colossians 3:13

 

On December 5, 2013 Ronnie Smith was shot and killed in Benghazi, Libya while going for a morning jog. In response, his wife Anita wrote this powerful open letter to the Libyan People:

"My husband and best friend Ronnie Smith loved the Libyan people. For more than a year, Ronnie served as a chemistry teacher in a school in Benghazi, and he would gladly have given more years to Libya if unknown gunmen had not cut his life short on December 5, 2013.

Ronnie and I came to Libya because we saw the suffering of the Libyan people, but we also saw your hope, and we wanted to partner with you to build a better future. Libya was very different from what we had experienced before, but we were excited to learn about Libyan culture. Ronnie grew to love you and your way of life, as did I. Ronnie really was "Libya's best friend."

Friends and family from home were concerned about our safety, as were some of you. We talked about this more times than I can count. But we stayed because we believed the Libyan people were worth the risk. Even knowing what I know now, I have no doubt that we would both make the same decision all over again.

Ronnie loved you all so much, especially his students. He loved to joke with you, tell stories about you, help you with your lives and challenge you to be all that you could be. He did his best to live out his faith humbly and respectfully within a community of people with a different faith.

To his attackers: I love you and I forgive you.

How could I not? For Jesus taught us to "Love our enemies" - not to kill them or seek revenge. Jesus sacrificed His life out of love for the very people who killed him, as well as for us today. His death and resurrection opened the door for us to walk on the straight path to God in peace and forgiveness. Because of what Jesus did, Ronnie is with Jesus in paradise now. Jesus did not come only to take us to paradise when we die, but also to bring peace and healing on this earth. Ronnie loved you because God loves you. Ronnie loved you because God loved him - not because Ronnie was so great, but because God is so great.

To the Libyan people: I always expected that God would give us a heart to love you, but I never expected you to love us so much. We came to bless you, but you have blessed us much more. Thank you. Thank you for your support and love for Ronnie and our son Hosea and me. Since Ronnie's death my love for you has increased in ways that I never imagined. I feel closer to you now than ever before.

I hear people speaking with hate, anger and blame over Ronnie's death, but that's not what Ronnie would want. Ronnie would want his death to be an opportunity for us to show one another love and forgiveness, because that's what God has shown us.

I want all of you - all of the people of Libya - to know I am praying for the peace and prosperity of Libya. May Ronnie's blood, shed on Libyan soil, encourage peace and reconciliation between the Libyan people and God."

 

One of the most appreciated gifts of all is the gift of forgiveness. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for forgiving you and forgive others as the Lord has forgiven you.

 

“Only one petition of the Lord’s Prayer has any condition attached to it: it is the petition for forgiveness.” – William Temple

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

Devotional - Be Kind To One Another
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Feb 19, 2014
Devotional - Be Kind To One Another

“Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” – Colossians 3:12

 

On December 2, 2013, an unusual act of kindness occurred during the Burlada Cross race in the city of Navarra, Spain.

Spanish athlete Ivan Fernandez Anaya was trailing Kenyan runner Abel Mutai, an Olympic bronze medalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2012 London Olympics. 

Mutai was leading the race and he thought he had reached the finish line when he stopped running. 

Unable to speak Spanish, Mutai did not understand as spectators tried to tell him he was still a few meters short. Anaya caught up to him and instead of taking advantage of the situation to win, he encouraged the African to continue running and cross the finish line.

"With 150 meters left to go, he was ahead of me by 20 meters and just before entering into the home stretch, I saw Abel Mutai stop before the finish line and I was a little bit surprised, because I didn't know if he was aware that he had not crossed it and that he still had 50 meters to go," the 24-year-old Spanish runner said.

He said Mutai "looked back and saw the people telling him to keep going, but since he doesn't speak Spanish he didn't realize it. So I came up from behind and pushed him to go towards the finish."

Asked if they spoke after the race, Anaya said, "We talked a little bit but we didn't understand each other much. He thanked me for allowing him to win."

"On this occasion I let myself win because my heart told me that he was the winner of the race," Anaya explained.

 

In all that you do, be kind to one another. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that Jesus Christ is a living example of kindness.

 

“If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God.” – John MacDonald

 

God’s Word: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness” – Galatians 5:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

Devotional - Do Not Lie To Each Other
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Feb 18, 2014
Devotional - Do Not Lie To Each Other

“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices” – Colossians 3:9

 

A full day before President Obama delivered the 2014 State of the Union Address, television late night host Jimmy Kimmel asked people what they thought of the President's speech. In a segment known as "Lie Witness News", Kimmel interviewed several people on the streets of Hollywood and caught them on camera lying about the President's speech, which he had yet to give.

Here are some of the foolish lies that they told: One young man said that there was something for everyone in the speech; another guy DEFINITELY noticed that Representative John Boehner kept falling asleep (Representative Boehner was attentive during the real speech). One young man described President Obama's weird tie, as one that you would wear to a Bingo Hall to be funny (the tie the President did wear the next day at the real State of the Union was a conservative blue tie).

And one older gentlemen, who initially said he watched the entire State of the Union, backpedalled from one lie into another, admitting he might not have watched the entire telecast because he kept falling asleep, but he did watch some of it.

 

Jesus Christ is the Truth. Satan is the father of lies. We need to stand with our Savior first in foremost by telling the truth. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He stands for truth and seek to put away any lies in your life.

 

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” – Sir Walter Scott

 

God’s Word: “Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.” – Proverbs 30:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

Devotional - In Your Anger Do Not Sin
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Feb 17, 2014
Devotional - In Your Anger Do Not Sin

“But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” – Colossians 3:8

 

Tommy Bolt was a professional golfer who won 15 titles on the American tour, including the US Open of 1958. Yet it was his quick temper that earned him his enduring fame.

Bolt was better known by his nickname "Terrible Tommy" or the "Thunder Bolt", and he was one of the star attractions on the circuit. The player himself was aware of his drawing power and soon realized he could exploit it.

"I think I can hit a golf shot as well as the next man," he said to one American newspaper. "But do people come out to watch me hit golf shots, the way they do Ben Hogan and Sam Snead? No. They come out for one reason, and one reason only. They want to see me blow my top. And I'm sorry to say I've obliged them."

There was the time his caddie handed him an inappropriate two-iron to play out of thick rough: it was the only club he had left in the bag after Tommy had broken his other clubs.

His proudest professional moment had come in 2002 when he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. "It's funny", Bolt said afterwards to the American magazine Golf Digest. "For years I was critical of the Senior PGA Tour, especially the way the tour took care of the younger seniors but not the older guys like me. Not long ago I stopped complaining, and the next thing you know I get elected to the Hall of Fame. It goes to show: you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar."

 

Anger leads to sin. Today in prayer, confess any sin of anger to the Lord and seek His peace in all that you do.

 

“Anger, if not restrained, it’s frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.” – Seneca

 

God’s Word: “"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” – Ephesians 4:26

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

Devotional - By Faith, Not By Sight
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Feb 16, 2014
Devotional - By Faith, Not By Sight

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” – Colossians 3:2

 

Scott MacIntyre was born in California in 1985. He was born blind, but showed an extraordinary gift of music from an early age.  He started playing the piano by ear when he was just three years old. At six years of age, he began training in classical music.

Scott is a Christian and accepted the Lord at an early age.

At nineteen years old, Scott was diagnosed with stage-four kidney failure.  After a year on dialysis, his college piano teacher’s wife donated her kidney that saved his life.  It was less than a year later that he auditioned for the television show “American Idol”. Scott was disappointed when he finished eighth in the competition.

In his autobiography “By Faith, Not By Sight,” Scott writes about the American Idol experience:

“God had already saved me from so much and blessed me with so much more. In my darkest moments, I had realized that with every obstacle comes an opportunity to trust Him. Getting eliminated wasn’t the end. Although I couldn’t see where I was going, I knew God was leading me and I was willing to follow. My reality has always been driven by faith not by sight. This wouldn’t be any different.”

 

When we look to the Lord, we can find our true purpose in life. Today in prayer, set your mind on Jesus in all that you do.

 

"To become Christ-like is the only thing in the whole world worth caring for, the thing before which every ambition of man is folly and all lower achievement vain."  - Henry Drummond

 

God’s Word: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrew 12:1-2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

Devotional - The Silly Laws And Principles Of This World
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Feb 13, 2014
Devotional - The Silly Laws And Principles Of This World

“Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules” – Colossians 2:20

 

Almost every state there are odd laws on their books that would surprise most people. For instance:

In Baltimore, Maryland, it is illegal to take a lion to the movies. In Nebraska, it is not legal for a tavern owner to serve beer unless a nice kettle of soup is also brewing. In Greene, New York, during a concert, it is illegal to eat peanuts and walk backwards on the sidewalks. In Topeka, Kansas, servers are forbidden to serve wine in teacups. It's illegal to ride an ugly horse in Wilbur, Washington. In Quitman, Georgia, it is illegal for chickens to cross the road. In Mohave County, Arizona, if anyone is caught stealing soap, he must wash himself with it until the soap is gone. A woman in Memphis, Tennessee, is not allowed to drive a car unless a man is in front of the car waving a red flag to warn people and other cars.

In Zeigler, Illinois, only the first four firemen to arrive at a fire will be paid.

Through God’s grace, we are free from the principles of this world. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that we have freedom in Him.

 

“You cannot legislate the human race into heaven.” – Charles Henry Parkhurst

 

God’s Word: “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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

Devotional - We Need To Be Humble
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Feb 12, 2014
Devotional - We Need To Be Humble

“Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions.” – Colossians 2:18

 

Bain & Company is an American global management consulting firm headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. The firm provides management services to many of the world's largest businesses, nonprofit organizations, and governments. Bain has 50 offices in 32 countries and more than 6,000 employees.

Bain has recruited some of the top business minds to help re-engineer struggling organizations.

Keith Bevans is the head of Bain's global consultant recruiting team. He was interviewed on how to land a job with Bain. Specifically, he was asked: "What's the toughest part about consulting? What can new hires struggle with."

Keith replied: "Being humble. Having the humility to say, 'I know I went to Harvard or MIT, but I have a lot to learn here.' We have a lot of valedictorians who are used to being the ones with the answer. It's more of a mindset change than a skillset upgrade."

 

Each of us needs to have the mindset of humility. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to give you a spirit of humility in all that you do.

 

“The smaller we are, the more room God has for us.” – Croft M. Pentz

 

God’s Word: “Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." – 1 Peter 5:5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

Devotional - Our Advocate And Mediator
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Feb 11, 2014
Devotional - Our Advocate And Mediator

“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.” – Colossians 2:13-14

 

Jean Poole is a former nurse and now serves as a medical billing advocate in northern Virginia. She has found that more than 80% of all hospital bills contain overbilling of patients. As an advocate, Jean fights to reduce her clients' medical bills. One client was a 68-year-old man, who had gone to the emergency room after he fell getting out of bed.  The hospital's doctors discovered a series of problems - kidney failure, blood and urinary tract infections, and a blood clot. Ultimately, he ended up staying in the hospital for two months and then being transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation.

The man's initial hospital bill was $132,000.  But Jean spent some 96 hours studying each coded line item, researching each regulation, and deciphering each cost. She discovered not all of the man's insurers had paid their share of the hospital bill.

Jean stood up to the hospital's medical billers, and they cancelled the large debt. Ultimately, the patient only owed $164.99 for his hospital stay.

Everyone needs “The Advocate and Mediator”, Jesus Christ, who cancelled our debt of sins and made things right. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He intercedes for you.

 

“Christ’s work as Mediator was unique; it was to restore us to divine favor and to make us sons of God, instead of sons of men.” –  John Calvin

 

God’s Word: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

Devotional - Deceptive Philosophies
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Feb 10, 2014
Devotional - Deceptive Philosophies

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” – Colossians 2:8

 

In 1980, Teruyoshi Fukunaga founded the Japanese cult called Ho No Hana Sanpogyo.  It was commonly called the "foot reading cult" because he conspired with senior disciples to "diagnose" problems of new adherents, mostly middle-aged housewives, by reading the soles of their feet and then urging them to attend costly seminars to cure their supposed ailments such as cancer.

Soon Fukunaga claimed he was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and the Buddha.

By the 1990's, the group claimed 30,000 members.

But in 2000, the leaders of the cult, including Fukunaga, were arrested for defrauding 31 believers of a combined 1.3 million dollars between 1994 and 1997.

The judge sentenced them to 12 years in prison. "He satisfied his desire for money in the name of religion," chief judge Tsutomu Aoyagi said, noting Fukunaga had made a fortune and lived in a luxury condominium.

"It is obvious that seminars at the sect cannot heal illness or solve problems."

 

Hollow and deceptive philosophies lead to despair and death. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that in Him we have eternal life and an eternal hope.

 

“There is a philosophy which is vain and deceitful, which is prejudicial to religion, and sets up the wisdom of man in competition with the wisdom of God, and while it pleases men’s fancies ruins their faith; as nice and curious speculations about things above us, or of no use and concern to us; or a care of words and terms of art, which have only an empty and often a cheating appearance of knowledge.” – Matthew Henry

 

God’s Word: “Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge” – 1 Timothy 6:20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

Devotional - Encourage Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Feb 9, 2014
Devotional - Encourage Others

“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ” – Colossians 2:2

 

“Duck Dynasty” is an American reality television series that follows the lives of the Robertson family. The family became wealthy by inventing and selling a popular duck call for hunters. The show is primarily a comedy show involving more than 20 members of the family. But the West Monroe, Louisiana family members are Christians and they are not shy to speak out about their faith.

Sixteen-year-old “Duck Dynasty” star Sadie Robertson is proud of the way her family’s television show has encouraged people to embrace Christianity.

Sadie told a Montgomery crowd that young people around the nation have started forming “Duck Dynasty clubs” to pray before lunch at school.

“For a TV show to bring prayer into schools, that’s awesome,” she said.

 

We all need to be encouraged and to encourage others that in Jesus Christ, we are children of God! Today in prayer, praise the Lord that you have a Heavenly Father and family who want you to become all God has designed you to be.

 

“Encouragement is food for the heart, and every heart is a hungry heart.” – Pat Morley

 

God’s Word: “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” – Philippians 2:1-2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

Devotional - Reconciled Through Him
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Feb 6, 2014
Devotional - Reconciled Through Him

“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” – Colossians 1:19

 

On September 15, 1963, Carolyn McKinstry was a 15-year-old African American girl living in Birmingham, Alabama. She went to the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church that Sunday morning and met her friends. It was "Youth Sunday" and the teenagers were excited for the day.

Suddenly, at 10:22, an explosion ripped through the church. Four of Carolyn's friends died and 22 were injured. The explosion was a result of dynamite planted by a white supremacist group.

The explosion left Carolyn traumatized. She went through a phase of darkness and spiritual rebellion against God before experiencing personal revival and renewal of her faith in Christ. In 2011, she wrote about her experience in her memoir, "While the World Watched."

Today, Carolyn has dedicated her life to the cause of forgiveness, love and racial reconciliation.

Across from the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church is a park with a memorial to the four girls who died that tragic day. The inscription on the sculpture reads: "A love that forgives."

"'A love that forgives,'" recalled Carolyn. "That would have been the title of the pastor's sermon September 15th [1963]. He never got a chance to preach that sermon."

 

Forgiveness and reconciliation is a rare and beautiful expression of Christ’s love. Today in prayer, confess and sin that may be in your life and seek to be reconciled to anyone who you are estranged.

 

“Why should the world believe in reconciliation when it doesn’t see the church reconciled? And the church is not going to be reconciled even if it gets all the issues solved. It will be reconciled only through Jesus Christ. He is the Reconciler.” – Richard C. Halverson

 

God’s Word: “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” – 2 Corinthians 5:19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

Devotional - He Rules The Visible And The Invisible
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Feb 5, 2014
Devotional - He Rules The Visible And The Invisible

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” – Colossians 1:15-16

 

In 2011, researchers from the University of Dallas developed an invisible cloaking device. The device works best when underwater, but unlike many other cloaking tools, this new device utilizes a mirage effect to achieve invisibility.

Dr. Ali Aliev, study leader from the University of Dallas, was able to successfully use the mirage effect to create an invisible cloaking device with carbon nanotubes. The mirage effect is a naturally occurring phenomenon that happens when a significant temperature change over a short distance bends light rays so that they're redirected from the hot ground to your eye, creating a displaced image of the sky or distant objects within view.

Dr. Aliev wanted to imitate this process with a material that could conduct heat and send it to surrounding areas quickly. The material needed ended up being carbon nanotubes, which are strong as steel and dense as air with one-molecule thick sheets of carbon shaped like a cylindrical tube.

When the carbon nanotubes were electrically stimulated, the temperature gradient led to the bending of light rays away from the object behind the cloaking device. This resulted in total invisibility.

"Using these nanotube sheets, concealment can be realized over the entire optical range and rapidly turned on and off at will, using either electrical heating or a pulse of electromagnetic radiation," said Dr. Aliev.

 

Though humans struggle with the invisible and rely on the visible, everything is in plain sight to the Lord. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is the image of the invisible God and that all things, both visible and invisible, were created by Him and for Him.

 

“I can study the life of Jesus Christ, for He alone reveals God in totality. He alone is the ‘image of the invisible God.’” – Jon Courson

 

God’s Word: “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.” – John 1:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

Devotional - He Rescued Us!
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Feb 4, 2014
Devotional - He Rescued Us!

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves” – Colossians 1:13

 

In August 2006, three Mexican fishermen, who were lost at sea for nine months, were rescued.

Jesus Vidana, Salvador Ordonez and Lucio Rendon departed Mexico's Pacific Coast fishing village of San Blas in early November 2005 on a routine shark fishing trip in their 25-foot, two-engine boat. One of the engines broke down early in the trip and the other ran out of fuel. Without power, currents pulled the boat farther and farther west. They were not carrying any cellphones or radios onboard.

"We ate raw fish, ducks, seagulls. We took down any bird that landed on our boat and we ate it like that, raw," said Jesus Vidana.

Most of their supplies had been lost to the sea for weeks when a Taiwanese fishing trawler found the group - naked, burned and emaciated - near the Marshall Islands, more than 5,000 miles from their starting point.

The fishermen kept their faith by taking turns reading from one of their last remaining possessions - a battered Bible.

"We never lost hope because there is a God up there," said Vidana.

 

We too were trapped in our sin. Death was all around us. Yet in our darkest moments, Jesus Christ came into our lives and rescued us, giving us eternal life. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for saving you!

 

“Salvation comes through a cross and a crucified Christ.” – Andrew Murray

 

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” – Titus 3:5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

Devotional - The Need For Patience
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Feb 3, 2014
Devotional - The Need For Patience

“being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully” – Colossians 1:11

 

In 1987 at Talladega Motor Speedway, Bill Elliot set the fastest recorded speed for a qualifying lap at 212.809 mph. This was the fastest miles per hour recorded for qualifying in a NASCAR event. The car ran so fast that it literally began to lift off the speedway, creating a major safety issue. The speed was so fast he could not accurately handle his car.

The following year, NASCAR implemented restrictor plates. They are devices that limit the power output of the engine, therefore slowing the acceleration and the overall speed. The horsepower of these cars is immense. In 2004, Rusty Wallace tested a car at Talladega Super Speedway without a restrictor plate, and reached a top speed of 228 mph in the backstretch, and had a one lap average of 221 mph. Wallace would describe the experience as "out of control," and he also said that "there is no way that we could race at those speeds." The restrictor plates have slowed the cars' speeds significantly, and they now average around 187 mph- still very fast for most of us.

In a world that has a "need for speed" there is often a greater need for patience to listen to and follow God's calling.

 

One of the great fruits of the Spirit of God is patience. It is through patience that we mature and become more like our Savior. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His patience towards you and seek to be a more patient person.

 

“He who waits on God never waits too long.”- Chuck Wagner

 

God’s Word: “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” – Ecclesiastes 7:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

Devotional - Praying For Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Feb 2, 2014
Devotional - Praying For Others

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you” – Colossians 1:3

 

Christians in Indonesia have united together to create an intercessory prayer movement. Five million Christians are participating in non-stop prayer throughout hundreds of cities while focusing their prayers on the government, media, youth and social and religious issues of concern.

"24 hours a day, we are praying for the churches in Indonesia, all pastors and leaders. No single hour or day passes without prayers for our country," said Jeffrey Petrus, an organizer of the movement.

Jeffrey is caretaker of the prayer tower. For 12 years this simple room with several bunk beds has been his home away from home.

"We take shifts of four hours a day. When people get tired, they come in here, take a short rest on one of the bunk beds, then back to praying," he said.

Dedi Purwanto works with Petrus as a prayer leader. He said the prayer rooms are packed with people at all hours of the day.

Purwanto believes the prayers lifted from this place and other sites across Indonesia are shaking the spiritual foundations of his nation.

"There is power when hundreds of thousands of believers meet in either small prayer groups, houses of prayer, or prayer towers like this one," Dedi said.

 

One of the best gifts you can give others and yourself is praying for the needs of others. Today in prayer, look to the Lord with expectancy and pray for some of the needs of your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.

 

“I have benefited by my praying for others; for by making an errand to God for them, I have gotten something for myself.” – Samuel Rutherford

 

God’s Word: “God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you.” – Romans 1:9-10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN COLOSSIANS

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