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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions In Ephesians
Devotional - Keep On Praying
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 29, 2015
Devotional - Keep On Praying

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." - Ephesians 6:18

 

 

Bishop Thomas Bowman, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, gives the following instance from his own experience:

“In the fall of 1858, whilst visiting Indiana, I was at an annual conference where Bishop Janes presided. We received a telegram that Bishop Simpson was dying. Said Bishop Janes: ‘Let us spend a few moments in earnest prayer for the recovery of Bishop Simpson.’ We kneeled to pray. William Taylor, the great California street-preacher, was called to pray; and such a prayer I never heard since.

The impression seized upon me irresistibly, Bishop Simpson will not die. I rose from my knees perfectly quiet.

Said I: ‘Bishop Simpson will not die.’ ‘Why do you think so?’ ‘Because I have had an irresistible impression made upon my mind during this prayer.’ Another said:  ‘I have the same impression.’ We passed it along from bench to bench, until we found that a very large proportion of the conference had the same impression. I made a minute of the time of day, and when I next saw Simpson, he was attending to his daily labor. I inquired of the bishop: ‘How did you recover from your sickness?’ He replied: ‘I cannot tell.’ ‘What did your physician say?’ ‘He said it was a miracle.’ I then said to the bishop: ‘Give me the time and circumstances under which the change occurred.’ He fixed upon the day, and the very hour, making allowance for the distance a thousand miles away that the preachers were engaged in prayer at this conference. The physician left his room and said to his wife: ‘It is useless to do anything further; the bishop must die.’ In about an hour he returned, and started back, inquiring: ‘What have you done?’ ‘Nothing,’ was the reply.  ‘He is recovering rapidly,’ said the physician; ‘a change has occurred in the disease within the last hour beyond anything I have ever seen; the crisis is past, and the bishop will recover.’ And he did.’

The doctor was puzzled; it was beyond all the course and probabilities of nature, and the laws of science. What was it that made those ministers so sure -- what was it that made the patient recover, at the exact hour that they prayed? There is only one answer: ‘The ever-living power of a Superior Spirit which rules the world.’”

 

The Lord desires to hear our prayers at anytime, in anyplace. Today in prayer, remember to seek Jesus in all things and to pray.

 

"We must remember God more often than we draw breath." - Gregory of Nazianzus

 

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 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS

 

Devotional - Be Strong In The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 28, 2015
Devotional - Be Strong In The Lord

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power." - Ephesians 6:10

 

In the fall of 2015, high school senior Devon Berry is enjoying his last year at Hampton High School in Hampton, Georgia. He is on the football team, he is on the wrestling team, and he has good grades. He also has cerebral palsy, a condition that affects him physically, though it doesn’t limit what he does or what he knows he can do. Crediting a strong Christian faith and equally strong mother.

Devon uses a walker to get to the practice field and uses his arms to help propel him on the field. He has a very strong upper body and proudly notes the tackles he's been able to make when he gets into the game.

Even though he gets some attention, he doesn’t want special treatment.

"I tell [my teammates], if they're going easy on me, that's making me feel like I'm not part of the team, you know?” said Devon.

He said he plans to attend St. Cloud State University and hopes to one day be a minister or sports broadcaster.

"I mean, what's to be sad for?” said Devon. “God has blessed me, I'm not dead. I'm basically living the dream. I've got good grades. Even though we don't win every game, I'm enjoying the moment because I'm getting an opportunity most people with my disability, even walking, don't get to do."

 

In all that we do, we need to be strong in the Lord. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His love toward you and look to Him to strengthen your faith.

 

"The way to grow strong in Christ is to become weak in yourself." - C.S. Lewis

 

God's Word: "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong." - 1 Corinthians 16:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

Devotional - To Serve The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 27, 2015
Devotional - To Serve The Lord

"Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men" - Ephesians 6:7

 

Pediatrician David Cerqueira shares a story of how a dying girl showed his church the honor of serving God:

“One Sunday my wife had prepared a lesson on being useful. She taught the children that everyone can be useful—that usefulness is serving God, and that doing so is worthy of honor. The kids quietly soaked up my wife's words, and as the lesson ended, there was a short moment of silence. [A little girl named] Sarah spoke up. "Teacher, what can I do? I don't know how do to many useful things."

Not anticipating that kind of response, my wife quickly looked around and spotted an empty flower vase on the windowsill. "Sarah, you can bring in a flower and put it in the vase. That would be a useful thing."

Sarah frowned. "But that's not important."

"It is," replied my wife, "if you are helping someone."

Sure enough, the next Sunday Sarah brought in a dandelion and placed it in the vase. In fact, she continued to do so each week. Without reminders or help, she made sure the vase was filled with a bright yellow flower, Sunday after Sunday.

During that same week I got a call from Sarah's mother. She worried that Sarah seemed to have less energy than usual and that she didn't have an appetite. Offering her some reassurances, I made room in my schedule to see Sarah the following day. After Sarah had a battery of tests and days of examinations, I sat numbly in my office, Sarah's paperwork on my lap. The results were tragic. [She had leukemia.]

Time pressed on. Sarah became confined to bed and to the visits that many people gave her. She lost her smile. She lost most of her weight. And then it came: another telephone call. Sarah's mother asked me to come see her. I dropped everything and ran to the house. There she was, a small bundle that barely moved. After a short examination, I knew that Sarah would soon be leaving this world. I urged her parents to spend as much time as possible with her.

That was a Friday afternoon. On Sunday morning church started as usual. The singing, the sermon—it all seemed meaningless when I thought of Sarah. I felt enveloped in sadness. At the end of the sermon, the pastor suddenly stopped speaking. His eyes wide, he stared at the back of the church with utter amazement. Everyone turned to see what he was looking at. It was Sarah! Her parents had brought her for one last visit. She was bundled in a blanket, a dandelion in one little hand.

She didn't sit in the back row. Instead she slowly walked to the front of the church where her vase still perched by the pulpit. She put her flower in the vase and a piece of paper beside it. Then she returned to her parents. Seeing little Sarah place her flower in the vase for the last time moved everyone. At the end of the service, people gathered around Sarah and her parents, trying to offer as much love and support as possible. I could hardly bear to watch.

Four days later, Sarah died. …

I wasn't expecting it, but our pastor asked to see me after the funeral. We stood at the cemetery near our cars as people walked past us. In a low voice he said, "Dave, I've got something you ought to see." He pulled out of his pocket the piece of paper that Sarah had left by the vase. Holding it out to me, he said, "You'd better keep this; it may help you in your line of work."

I opened the folded paper to read, in pink crayon, what Sarah had written:

Dear God,

This vase has been the biggest honor of my life.

Sarah

Sarah's note and her vase have helped me to understand. I now realize in a new way that life is an opportunity to serve God by serving people. And, as Sarah put it, that is the biggest honor of all.”

 

We are to wholeheartedly serve the Lord and not be distracted. Today in prayer, thank Christ that He has called you to serve Him and serve Him with all of your heart.

 

"Do not be ashamed to serve others for the love of Jesus Christ and to seem poor in this world." - Thomas a Kempis

 

God's Word: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men" - Colossians 3:23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

Devotional - Instruct Them In The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 26, 2015
Devotional - Instruct Them In The Lord

"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." - Ephesians 6:4

 

In the 1950s a psychologist, Stanton Samenow, and a psychiatrist, Samuel Yochelson, sharing the conventional wisdom that crime is caused by environment, set out to prove their point. They began a 17-year study involving thousands of hours of clinical testing of 250 inmates here in the District of Columbia. To their astonishment, they discovered that the cause of crime cannot be traced to environment, poverty, or oppression. Instead, crime is the result of individuals making, as they put it, wrong moral choices. 

In their 1977 work “The Criminal Personality”, they concluded that the answer to crime is a "conversion of the wrong-doer to a more responsible lifestyle." In 1987, Harvard professors James Q. Wilson and Richard J. Herrnstein came to similar conclusions in their book “Crime and Human Nature”. They determined that the cause of crime is a lack of proper moral training among young people during the morally formative years, particularly ages one to six.

 

Fathers, love your children and bring them up to know the Lord. Today in prayer, praise Christ for all of the fathers who are teaching their children to love and follow Jesus.

 

"What a father says to his children is not heard by the world, but it will be heard by posterity." - Jean Paul Richter

 

God's Word: "Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged." - Colossians 3:21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

Devotional - A Husband's Love
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 25, 2015
Devotional - A Husband's Love

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" - Ephesians 5:25

 

Author Jill Severson, in her book “Love to Last a Lifetime,” describes her mother and father’s marriage that has lasted over 62 years. Her mother struggles with Alzheimer's disease and her father had his voice box removed. She writes:

“He can't comfort his frightened, sick wife. But my mother can't remember the surgery so she demands, ‘Why won't you talk to me?’ He shakes his head back and forth. This makes her angrier. ‘He just shakes his head and never talks to me,’ she shouts to the room. She calls him selfish, uncaring, and a host of hurtful words and names. My Dad's eyes are misting. He's a tough man. Strong language is not foreign to this old Norwegian painting contractor. But he understands what she is really saying: ‘I'm scared and confused.’ That's what really breaks his heart.

Finally my mom decides that she could spend the night ‘here’ (her apartment). She turns as sweet as she had been horrid. ‘You poor man,’ she tells my Dad. ‘Swede, you are a good man, we can stay here can't we? We'll be fine for tonight.’ She goes to her room and gets ready for bed. Coming to my Dad one last time before retiring she puts her hands on each arm of his chair, gets her face about a foot from his, and with the most endearing look asks, ‘Do you have something to say to me?’

‘I love you,’ he mouths.

‘I love you too,’ she replies. And then goes to bed.

They have a love that lasts a lifetime—so ingrained that even the loss of memory and voice cannot touch it.”

 

Husbands love your wives as Christ loves you. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for your spouse. Then tell your spouse how much you love her or him.

 

"A man and a woman should choose each other for life for the simple reason that a long life is barely enough time for a man and woman to understand each other-and to understand is to love." - George Truett

 

God's Word: "In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself." - Ephesians 5:28

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

 

Devotional - Submit To One Another
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 22, 2015
Devotional - Submit To One Another

"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." - Ephesians 5:21

 

Pastor Kyewoon Choi of Manahawkin United Methodist Church in Manahawkin, New Jersey, wrote the following about humility and submission:

“To realize God’s kingdom among us, we need mutual submission, and we cannot submit to one another without humility.  How can you submit yourself to an individual, when you think yourself better than the other person?   Here’s what I have discovered through the Bible study what humility is all about.  Humility is the quality of willing submission to God and to one another (Philippians 2:8, James 4:10).  The meaning of mutual submission is this like this: think of the human body where all members and organs work together in ultimate submission to the head (E.g. you want to go to church on Sunday morning; your hands get your body ready—washed, combed, dressed up / your feet take you to the car or walk/ the rest of body goes with them!  All under the decision made by your brain).  Can you imagine the body with mutiny against each other?  It is called cancer.  Likewise, under the headship of Christ, we the members of Christ’s body submit to each other.  The key word is submission: willing submission to God and to others.  When we submit to one another, it brings forth unity, order, and harmony in our family and the church.  Arrogance, on the other hand, brings forth division, disorder, and contention in our family and church.”

 

Submitting to one another is a sign of maturity in Christ. Today in prayer, consider how can you submit to someone out of reverence for Christ. 

 

"A Christian.is the most free lord of all and subject to no one; a Christian.is the most dutiful servant to all and subject to everyone." – Martin Luther

 

God's Word: "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love." - Galatians 5:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

Devotional - Live Wisely
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 21, 2015
Devotional - Live Wisely

"Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." - Ephesians 5:15-16

 

Pastor W.A. Dr. Criswell gives a wise admonition to pastors. He said:

“When a man goes to church he often hears a preacher in the pulpit rehash everything that he has read in the editorials, the newspapers, and the magazines. On the TV commentaries he hears that same stuff over again, yawns, and goes out and plays golf on Sunday. When a man comes to church, actually what he is saying to you is this, 'Preacher, I know what the TV commentator has to say; I hear him every day. I know what the editorial writer has to say; I read it every day. I know what the magazines have to say; I read them every week. Preacher, what I want to know is, does God have anything to say? If God has anything to say, tell us what it is.'”

 

Godly wisdom starts in God’s Word. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that we can obtain wisdom as we look to Him and to the Bible to guide us in all situations.

 

"The truly wise are those whose souls are in Christ." - Ambrose of Milan

 

God's Word: "Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: 'He catches the wise in their craftiness'" - 1 Corinthians 3:18-19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

Devotional - Expose Sin
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 20, 2015
Devotional - Expose Sin

"Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." - Ephesians 5:11

 

In January 1989, Jeffrey Wigand began work for the tobacco maker Brown & Williamson as vice president of research and development. Dr. Wigand was tasked with the development of reduced-harm cigarettes.

Dr. Wigand says he did not suspect there was anything wrong until he attended a meeting of scientists who worked for British American Tobacco companies from around the world. Dr. Wigand said that his colleagues talked about working together to develop a safer, a less hazardous cigarette, a cigarette less likely to cause disease. But when it came time to write up their ideas, to create a documentary record of their discussion, Brown &Williamson’s lawyers intervened and the summary notes were destroyed.

When Dr. Wigand pursued the matter of the dangers of cigarette smoke, he was fired.

On February 4, 1996, he appeared on the CBS news program 60 Minutes and stated he was fired because he knew that high-ranking corporate executives knowingly approved the addition of additives to their cigarettes that were known to be carcinogenic and/or addictive, such as coumarin.

It was Dr. Wigand’s expert witness against the tobacco industry that led to greater awareness on the dangers of tobacco and tighter laws and regulations on its sale and use.

 

We must expose sin any time we discover it. Today in prayer, ask Jesus to show you where sin may be in your own life, confess it and turn away from it, and have the courage to walk in the light of our Savior.

 

"Sin is not a monster to be mused on, but rather an impotence to be got rid of." - Martin Luther

 

God's Word: "The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light." - Romans 13:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

Devotional- Be Compassionate
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 19, 2015
Devotional- Be Compassionate

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." - Ephesians 4:32

 

The first gift appeared in December 2008, after Chris and Kim Bedsole lost their son, Justin, who was killed with his wife’s brother in a car accident. It was then that a young girl Kim had never seen before approached her during choir practice. Dressed as an angel, the girl handed Kim an elegantly wrapped present, recited scripture and said, “More to come.” Then the young girl left.

The gift turned out to be a figure for a nativity set. Pretty soon, more of them began to arrive until the set was complete. In fact, the gifts continued each year, with some items delivered and others left on the porch.

Eventually Chris and Kim moved to Houston to be near their married daughter Jenna. They never dreamed that the angels would follow them there.

Recently, though, proving that Christmas “miracles” can’t be blocked by distance or time, a special delivery message arrived – a note that said, “More to come.”

This time the gift was a framed poem “Merry Christmas from Heaven,” by John William Mooney Jr. Soon, an antique nativity lamp followed, with carved shepherds, the Baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph on the base. No doubt, there’s “more to come.”

 

We need to show the heart of Jesus and to be compassionate to others. Today in prayer, thank Christ for His compassion toward you and seek to show His love to others.

 

“Let all find compassion in you.” – John of the Cross

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

Devotional - Do Not Be Angry
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 18, 2015
Devotional - Do Not Be Angry

""In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry" - Ephesians 4:26

 

In May 2013, Mr. Wang, a resident of Qingdao, China, was angry at the car repair service he received. His argument had lasted more than two years and stemmed from a number of quality and maintenance problems he had with the dealership. One dispute was being charged for a new car part, even though an old second hand one had been used during the repair. 

Furious with how he was treated, Mr. Wang hired three men with sledgehammers, and drove his luxury Maserati outside the company’s show room in a protest at 'poor customer service.' Then he gave the order to the three men to destroy his $430,000 automobile. “I hope foreign luxury car producers acknowledge clearly that Chinese consumers are entitled to get the service that is commensurate with the brand,” shouted Mr. Wang. The supercar was draped in a banner accusing the Italian manufacturer of poor decision-making.

 

We can only control our anger when we give our hurt and anger to Jesus. Today in prayer, confess any sin of anger to the Lord and receive His peace.

 

"It is he who is in the wrong who first gets angry." – William Penn

 

God's Word: "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." - James 1:19-20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

Devotional - Unite With A Church
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 15, 2015
Devotional - Unite With A Church

"It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." - Ephesians 4:11-13

 

Author, pastor, and preacher Dr. Warren Wiersbe is best known for the Old Testament “Be” Series and New Testament “Be” Series of expositional Bible studies, which have sold more than four million copies.

In his book “Prayer: Basic Training,” he writes:

“This modern emphasis only on personal salvation makes us lose sight of the grandeur and glory of God’s church. I am not minimizing our personal experience with Christ, but I am affirming that it is not the primary goal that God has in mind. He is building His church. He is building up the Body of Christ. The glory and greatness of our personal salvation is but a reflection of what God is doing corporately in and through His church.”

Dr. Wiersbe also has this warning: “The Church is always one generation short of extinction, If our generation fails to guard the truth and entrust it to our children, then that will be the end! When you think of the saints and martyrs who suffered and died so that we might have God’s truth, it makes you want to take your place in God’s army and be faithful unto death.”

 

The church is the body of Christ and every believer needs to belong to a local church. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for your church. If you do not belong to a church, ask Jesus for wisdom to bring you to a church where you can grow in Him.

 

"In spite of all its flaws and shortcomings, I still believe that the church is filled, for the most part, with decent and caring people who will be there when you need them." – Tony Campolo

 

God's Word: "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues." - 1 Corinthians 12:27-28

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

Devotional - Be Patient
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 14, 2015
Devotional - Be Patient

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." - Ephesians 4:2

 

In an article entitled “The Virtue of Patience - Waiting without complaining” author James S. Spiegel discusses exercises that develop patience. He writes: “I learned of several such exercises in a book from the 1930s called Strength of Will and How to Develop It. The author, E. Boyd Barrett, prescribes such tasks as the following:

•       Scatter 50 coins on the floor. Then quietly and slowly pick them up and place them in a pile. The author suggests doing this once per day for several days, increasing the number of coins as you go.

•       Take a book of at least 150 pages and turn the pages one by one quietly and slowly, making a pencil mark on each page as you go.

•       Beginning with the number one, count out loud slowly and distinctly for 10 minutes.

Sound ridiculously pointless? That's the point. Such activities test your patience and, thus, build it. Just as weightlifting and jogging accomplish nothing external to one's own body but help the body itself, these exercises accomplish nothing outside one's mind, but help the mind itself. They are forms of mental discipline.”

 

We are called to develop patience. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His patience towards you and seek to be humble and patient in all that you do.

 

"True patience grows with the growth of love. – Gregory the Great

 

God's Word: "Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near." - James 5:7-8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

Devotional - Beyond What We Can Imagine
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 13, 2015
Devotional - Beyond What We Can Imagine

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" - Ephesians 3:20

 

On July 29, 2015, it was a beautiful, summer day in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Jamie Nipper and her 3-year-old daughter, Alise, headed out for a swim party with friends from school.

However, the weather quickly changed.

"We saw lightning from afar, that's when we had the kids get out of the pool," said Jamie. In the scramble, Jamie lost sight of her daughter.

"All of the sudden I look over and she wasn't there, where I last saw her," said Jamie.

In a panic, Jamie ran to the water. After a few minutes, the little girl was found under water. She was blue when she was pulled to the surface and she did not have a pulse.

"I had very little hope of a positive outcome," said a friend Heather Kyle, who is also a nurse and CPR instructor. "I said we are going to do CPR until an ambulance gets here."

For 12 minutes Jamie and Heather continued CPR, and then there was a heartbeat.

"She all of the sudden had color and pink lips," said Jamie Nipper. "Her heart started and she started breathing, it was strong loud breaths."

"I was so amazed and joyful, I can't describe it," said Heather.

Dr. Jeremy Garrett, who attended the little girl at the hospital, said: "For her brain to come through this and be as functional as possible is astounding. Prayer and luck and Divine intervention were the key factors."

 

Our Lord is a God of miracles and He provides for us in countless ways beyond what we can imagine. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He does immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.

 

"He can give only according to His might; therefore He always gives more than we ask for." - Martin Luther

 

God's Word: "The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice." -Psalms 97:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

Devotional - Do Not Be Discouraged
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 12, 2015
Devotional - Do Not Be Discouraged

"I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory." - Ephesians 3:13

 

In 1801, after numerous failures of diplomacy, the British were at war with Denmark. The British sent a fleet under the command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker to engage a huge Danish fleet anchored just off Copenhagen. Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson led the main attack.

Three British warships ran aground in the early minutes of the battle. In the next few hours, three more ships were badly damaged by shore bombardment.

Discouraged, Sir Hyde Parker, also known as “Old Vinegar,” hoisted the flag signaling retreat.

Nelson, when told of the signal, deliberately put his telescope to his blind eye and said, “I do not see it.”

Parker's signals had given Nelson permission to withdraw at his discretion, yet he declined. If Nelson had retreated when it looked like defeat, he would not have captured twelve Danish ships. With the Danes offering a very stubborn resistance, Copenhagen is often considered to be Nelson's hardest-fought victory.

 

Do not become discouraged during difficult times; the Lord is with you. Today in prayer, do not let anything discourage in your faith in Jesus.

 

“Too often, discouragement, depression, and disappointment grabs a hold of us with what seems like a death grip. This seems to happen even more after we commit to a consistent and deeper walk with the Lord.” - Troy Dewey

 

God's Word: "Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." - Romans 8:17-18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

Devotional - The Approachable God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 11, 2015
Devotional - The Approachable God

"In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." - Ephesians 3:12

 

One of the most inaccessible places on earth is Alert, Canada. Located just 508 miles from the North Pole, the village of Alert is on the tip of Nunavut territory of Canada. It is considered to be the northernmost inhabited place on the earth. Only two months of the year, July and August, have an average temperature above freezing. Snow can occur every month of the year.

Alert takes its name from HMS Alert, which wintered 6 miles east of the present station, off what is now Cape Sheridan, in 1875–1876.

Extremely cold and receiving very little sunlight for most parts of the year, the nearest place to the village of Alert is located about 1200 miles away. However, Alert is not totally inaccessible. It does have a military airport that helps in receiving external supplies from the Canadian mainland.

 

The Lord is not far away, in a remote, inaccessible land. He is omnipresent and approachable, desiring all to come into a relationship with Him. Today in prayer, give thanks Jesus that He we can approach Him in confidence knowing that He hears our prayers.

 

"On the ground of our own goodness we cannot expect to have our prayers answered. But Jesus is worthy, and for His sake we may have our prayers answered. But if we trust in Christ, if we hide in Him, if we put Him forward and ourselves in the background, depend on Him and plead His name, we may expect to have our prayers answered." - George Muller

 

God's Word: "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." - Hebrews 4:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

Devotional - Our Citizenship In Heaven
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 8, 2015
Devotional - Our Citizenship In Heaven

"Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone." - Ephesians 2:19-20

 

In 2013, Anna Haight of Country Meadows, Pennsylvania, went with a group on a bus trip to Atlantic City, New Jersey. A casino was offering $25 of free slots play to those on the trip.

Haight needed photo identification to get in on the deal. She didn’t have an ID so she applied to get one. It arrived in time for the trip, but the application also triggered an investigation by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Haight had arrived in the United States in 1920 from Italy as a 4-month-old. She received citizenship by way of her father receiving citizenship in 1926. But on that particular day in 2013, she couldn’t prove her status. Passports she previously held had long expired. Other documents were lost.

It took an attorney, a microfilm machine and a number of federal officials to get everything sorted out. The process took months, but in November 2013, the 93-year-old Haight no longer had to worry about proving what she’s known to be a fact for more than eight decades, that she was an American citizen.

 

As Christians, we are citizens in God’s family. It is perfect freedom that will last throughout all of eternity. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He has adopted you into His family and given you a new home in Heaven.

 

"Socrates, being asked what countryman he was, answered 'I am a citizen of the whole world.' But ask a Christian what countryman he is, and he will answer, 'A citizen of heaven.'" - William Secker

 

God's Word: "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ" - Philippians 3:20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

Devotional - Our Peace
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 7, 2015
Devotional - Our Peace

"For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility" - Ephesians 2:14

 

On January 30, 1973, Patrice Tamao, a French yoga instructor living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, allowed himself to be nailed to a cross “as a sacrifice for world peace and understanding among men.” The demonstration took place outside the Jaragua Hotel. In front of a live crowd, as well as thousands watching on television, three 6-inch stainless- steel nails were driven through his hands and feet. His cross was in the shape of a “T” for Taoism. Women fainted and men jeered at the sight.

Tamao had planned to remain on the cross for 48 hours, but after only 20 hours he had to cut short his voluntary crucifixion because of an infection in his right foot. The newspaper article had as its heading, “Crucifixion-for-peace falls short.”

 

Only Christ’s Cross can reconcile us to our Heavenly Father and bring peace. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that He is our peace.

 

“Christ alone can bring lasting peace - peace with God - peace among men and nations - and peace within our hearts.” - Billy Graham

 

God's Word: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." - John 14:27

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

Devotional - The Grace Of God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 6, 2015
Devotional - The Grace Of God

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9

 

Evangelist D.L. Moody would often use the following story on grace: “There is a story told of Alexander the Great. A general in his army was a great favorite with him, and he told him to draw anything from his treasury that he wanted. Well, he presented a bill to the treasurer, and the treasurer wouldn't honor it. It was for such an enormous amount that the treasurer was astonished. The General went rushing to the Emperor and told him, and he called the treasurer and said, ‘Didn't I tell you to honor the draft of the General.’ ‘But,’ replied the treasurer, ‘do you understand its amount?’ ‘Never mind what it is,’ replied the Emperor, ‘he honors me and my kingdom by making a great draft.’ And so we honor God by asking for grace in abundance. I tell you, my friends, it is a pity there are so many half-starved, mean Christians around when God says, ‘Come and get all you want.’”

 

Our God loves us and it is by His abundant grace we are saved. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His grace.

 

"Saving grace makes a man as willing to leave his lusts as a slave is willing to leave his galley, or a prisoner his dungeon, or a thief his bolts, or a beggar his rags." - Thomas Brooks

 

God's Word: "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved." - Ephesians 2:4-5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

Devotional - No One Is Like Him
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 5, 2015
Devotional - No One Is Like Him

"And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way." - Ephesians 1:22-23

 

Jesus can be found in every book of the Old Testament. In Genesis, He is the “seed of a woman” and in Exodus, He is the “Passover Lamb.” In Leviticus He is the “High Priest.” In Numbers He is “The Cloud and The Fire.” In Deuteronomy, He is “The Prophet Like Moses.” In Joshua, He is the “Captain of Our Salvation.” In Judges, He is “The Judge And Lawgiver.” In Ruth, He is our “Kinsman Redeemer.” In the books of Samuel, He is the “Prophet of the Lord.” In the books of Kings, He is the “Reigning King.” In Chronicles, He is the “Wisdom of Solomon.” In Ezra, He is the “Faithful Scribe.” In Nehemiah, He is the “Builder.” In Esther, He is the unseen “Protector.” In Job, He is our “Dayspring From on High.” In Psalms, He is our “Shepherd.” In Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, He is “God’s Wisdom.” In the Song of Solomon, He is the “Lover and Bridegroom.” In Isaiah, He is the “Suffering Servant.” In Jeremiah and Lamentations, He is the “Weeping Prophet.” In Ezekiel, He is the “Son of Man.” In Daniel, He is the “Son of Man coming in the clouds of Heaven.” In Hosea, He is the “Bridegroom.” In Joel, He is the “Baptizer With The Holy Spirit.” In Amos, He is the “Burden Bearer.” In Obadiah, He is our “Mighty Savior.” In Jonah, He is the “Forgiving God.” In Micah, He is the “Messenger With Beautiful Feet.” In Nahum, He is the “Avenger of God's Elect.” In Habakkuk, He is the “Great Evangelist.” In Zephaniah, He is the “Restorer of the Remnant.” In Haggai, He is the “Cleansing Fountain.” In Zechariah, He is the “Pierced Son.” And in Malachi, He is the “Son of Righteousness.”

 

Jesus stands alone; no one is like Him. Today in prayer, give thanks to Christ that He is Lord of all.

 

"If ever man was God or God man, Jesus Christ was both." - Lord Byron

 

God's Word: "And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him" - Colossians 1:18-19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

Devotional - Praying For Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 4, 2015
Devotional - Praying For Others

"For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers." - Ephesians 1:15

 

In his book “Stories for the Journey”, William White tells of a European seminary professor Hans and his wife Enid. During WWII they escaped to America, where Hans began teaching in a seminary. Students loved this Bible teacher, and they enjoyed observing the tender love that Hans and Enid displayed as the couple often walked hand in hand around campus.

Enid's unexpected death sent Hans into a pit of sorrow. The seminary president and 3 other friends began visiting Hans, but he remained lonely and depressed. "I am no longer able to pray to God," Hans confided to them, "In fact, I am not certain I believe in God anymore."

After an awkward moment of silence, the seminary president responded, "Then we will believe for you. We will pray for you."

In the following weeks the 4 men met daily to pray with Hans, asking God to help Hans experience God's presence and healing. Months later, as the 4 men gathered again in Hans's living room, Hans greeted them with a smile. "It is no longer necessary for you to pray for me," he said. "Instead, I would like you to pray with me."

 

Prayer makes a difference because our Heavenly Father answers prayer. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for the privilege of prayer and pray for the needs of others.

 

“Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons; but they are helpless against our prayers.” – J. Sidlow Baxter

 

God's Word: "After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before." - Job 42:10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

Devotional -Forgiveness Of Sins
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 1, 2015
Devotional -Forgiveness Of Sins

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace" - Ephesians 1:7

 

On June 27, 1985, Fort Calata left his home in the rural town of Cradock, South Africa. He never returned home. His wife Nomonde feared for her antiapartheid activist husband’s safety. Her fears were answered two days later when his remains were found in a burned out car.

After the fall of apartheid, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established in 1995.

The goal was for those who had committed atrocities in the past to come forward and tell the truth—both blacks and whites. But it didn't end there. After confessing the truth, the goal was to bring reconciliation and forgiveness—to break the cycle of hate so the entire country could move forward.

Nomonde and her daughter Dorothy were two people who came forward at the Commission. Dorothy was a young woman who took the witness stand and began to cry. She was not crying out because she wanted vengeance or justice. Instead she said to the commission, "We want to forgive, but we don't know whom to forgive."

Eventually members of the police confessed to the crime. Rather than continue the endless cycle of hatred, Nomonde and Dorothy forgave the men who tortured and killed Fort—because that's what Christ's people do.

 

God has forgiveness us for the death of His Son to all who place their faith in Him. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His forgiveness of your sins and seek to forgive others for the wrongs they have done to you.

 

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

 

God's Word: "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you." - Matthew 6:14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS 

Devotional - He Adopted Us
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 30, 2015
Devotional - He Adopted Us

"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will" - Ephesians 1:4-5

 

John Hancock was born on January 23, 1737, in Braintree, Massachusetts, to Mary Hawke and the senior John Hancock, who was a clergyman. The elder Hancock died when John was a child, and young John was sent to live with Lydia and Thomas Hancock, his aunt and uncle. The couple had no children and decided to adopt the boy.

Thomas was a wealthy merchant who owned a highly successful shipping business. John went on to attend Harvard College, his father's alma mater, graduating in 1754 and subsequently working with his uncle. When his uncle's health was failing and upon Thomas's death in 1764, John inherited the family business and estate.

During the years just prior to the American Revolution, John’s business began to suffer because of embargos and taxes.

When the Continental Congress drafted the American Declaration of Independence, John was the first signer and his signature was the largest on the document.

He went on to become governor of Massachusetts and helped shape the U.S. Constitution. He went from orphan to one of America’s founding fathers because a loving uncle and aunt opened their hearts to him.

 

In a similar way, God has opened His heart to adopt us into His family. Today in prayer, praise your Heavenly Father for His love and making you a son or daughter through Jesus Christ.

 

"The moment we were born again, we were placed in an adoptive state as heirs, as sons of God." - Jon Courson

 

God's Word: "Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies." - Romans 8:23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS

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