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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions In Hebrews
Devotional - Remember Those In Prison
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 30, 2016
Devotional - Remember Those In Prison

“Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” – Hebrews 13:3

 

In December 2015, a Czech man named Petr Jasek was imprisoned in Sudan for filming the persecution of Christians in the country.

On October 18, 2016, the 52-year-old Petr was accused of crimes that carry the death penalty. The prosecution accused Petr of tarnishing Sudan’s reputation through his reports that they claim are critical of the Government’s military assault on suspected rebel targets in South Kordofan.

Petr Jasek's video is being used as a major piece of evidence against him. In the video, a man is seen describing how he got his burn wounds. While Petr said the Christian man was violently attacked by Muslims, the man has recanted of such an incident. All Czech diplomatic efforts to free Petr have failed. Please remember Petr's imprisonment in your prayers.

 

Throughout the world, there are still men and women being imprisoned for their faith in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, pray for those in prison and ask the Lord to comfort them and free them from their imprisonment.

 

“Those that are themselves at liberty must sympathize with those that are in bonds and adversity, as if they were bound with them in the same chain: they must fell the sufferings of their brethren.” – Matthew Henry

 

God’s Word: “I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'” – Matthew 25:36

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Persevere
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 27, 2016
Devotional - Persevere

“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.” – Hebrews 12:1

 

In February 2012 Cory Weissman led out the men’s basketball team of Gettysburg College for their last game of the season against Washington College. Four years earlier Cory had suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on one side. Four years of rehab and he was able to walk with a limp, but was still not able to play competitively. But before his stroke he had been on the varsity team and the Gettysburg coach wanted to give him a few seconds on court as a senior. So Cory was nominated captain and led out the starting five for what was both his first and last game for Gettysburg, for he was now due to graduate.

Knowing the perseverance of Cory and the struggle it was just to be there, the crowd and the players from both teams greeted him with wild applause. The Gettysburg coach gave him a few minutes on court before benching him.

With one minute to go Gettysburg was well ahead and the coach sent Cory back out on court. The Washington coach called time out and instructed his players to foul Cory. For those who don’t know basketball this was a very generous act, for it meant Cory would be given two shots at the basket.

Cory took his place at the free throw line, felt the weight of the ball in his hands, lifted his arms and shot. The ball missed badly. But he had a second and final free throw shot left. Again he felt the weight of the ball in his hands, lifted the ball and shot. This time the ball flew straight through the hoop, and the crowd broke out in thunderous applause.

The assistant vice president for athletics at Gettysburg, David Wright, later wrote to Washington College: “Your coach, Rob Nugent, along with his … staff and student-athletes, displayed a measure of compassion that I have never witnessed in over 30 years of involvement in intercollegiate athletics.”

 

The Lord has called us to follow Him. Persevere in your calling. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His perseverance to the Cross and pray for His strength to continue following Him through all difficulties.

 

“Our motto must continue to be perseverance. And ultimately I trust the Almighty will crown our efforts with success.” – William Wilberforce

 

God’s Word: “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” – Hebrews 10:36

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Faith Is Seeing The Unseen
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 26, 2016
Devotional - Faith Is Seeing The Unseen

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.” – Hebrews 11:13

 

Jennifer Rothschild grew up in the church; her father was a pastor. She loved everything about church. At 9 ½ years old, she made her own personal commitment to Christ. She took her commitment seriously. Her parents were her greatest examples and modeled faith to her.

Then at the young age of fifteen, she was diagnosed with a rare, degenerative eye disease that would eventually steal her sight. It was more than a turning point for the Miami, Florida native. Her teenage dreams of becoming a commercial artist and cartoonist faded. But as her eyesight dimmed, her faith in Jesus grew. Today Jennifer is a Christian speaker and author.

She said the following about faith: "God has given me the opportunity to walk by faith because I cannot walk by sight. I have entered the classroom of darkness where I am learning to depend on God; learning how God's Word can sustain me when I can't see spiritually, emotionally, physically; learning to have spiritual stamina. If I have a platform to speak, it is only because of the goodness of God."

 

Though you may not see what God is doing, have faith in Him that He will work in you. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His faithfulness and place your faith in Christ.

 

“Faith is nothing but believing what God promises or says.” – Martin Luther

 

God’s Word: “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.” – Hebrews 11:39

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Meet Together
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 25, 2016
Devotional - Meet Together

“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

 

Charles Moore wrote about a classmate of his at Cal Poly. Alan was Jewish by birth, but skeptical of anything religious. “Alan believed that Christianity was unable to pass the theological requirements of science. He therefore pled agnostic. There simply wasn’t enough evidence in his mind to warrant belief in God. As a fledgling freshman, I along with several others, tried to show him there was ample evidence in Christianity’s truth. There were not only facts of fulfilled prophecy and the reliability of the New Testament documents, but also the testimony of creation. Wasn’t that sufficient? Not for Alan…

Alan was unusually happy to discuss religious subjects, which always gave us Christians some hope. But even more intriguing was how he liked to hang out with us. Alan didn’t have many friends. He was rather unattractive, mush too serious and totally dependent on others for any kind of transportation. But we tried to reach out to him the best we could. Alan knew he could come anytime with us to the beach or on our recurrent midnight runs to Taco Bell. We tried to include Alan in everything we did. One evening, something happened. A bunch of friends got together to enjoy the sunset and a roaring bonfire. By the time the evening was over, Alan had made a commitment to follow Jesus and no one even. The next day, he came to tell me what happened. I asked him what made him decide. “While everyone was sitting around the fire, I realized that whenever I am around you Christians, I am happy. Even when we disagree with each other, I find myself liking to be with Christians.” “But Alan,” I said, “I thought you were never going to become a believer unless there is first enough evidence.” “Yes Chuck,” he replied, “I still require it. But that’s precisely why I now believe. It’s how you all love each other that strikes me the most. I never considered that evidence before. A good scientist considers all the facts. I simply haven’t found the love you Christians have for each other anywhere else. That’s enough evidence for me that Jesus is Lord.”

 

Do not let anything separate you from the love of Christ and meeting together with other believers. Today in prayer, pray for your church and pastor. If you don’t have a local church, ask the Lord to lead you to a body of believers.

 

“When the world asks, ‘What is God like?’ we should be able to say, ‘Look at the church.’ As the body of Christ, we are to be like Jesus so that we too reveal God to the world.” – William R.L. Haley

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Our Unswerving Hope
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 24, 2016
Devotional - Our Unswerving Hope

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” – Hebrews 10:23

 

Christian author Halford E. Luccock, in his book “Unfinished Business,” writes about hope.

In July 1949, Flagstaff, Maine was to be flooded, as part of a large lake for which a dam was being built. In the months before it was to be flooded, all improvements and repairs in the whole town were stopped. What was the use of painting a house if it were to be covered with water in six months? Why repair anything when the whole village was to be wiped out? So, week-by-week, the whole town became more and more bedraggled, more gone to seed, more woebegone. Then Luccock added by way of explanation:

"Where there is no faith in the future, there is no power in the present."

 

In Jesus Christ we have an eternal hope. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that He is our Hope.  

 

“One day we will meet beside the river and our Lord will dry every tear. For now, we must live in the joy of that promise and recall that for every generation life is hard, but God is faithful.” – Bodie Thoene

 

God’s Word: “But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-- if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” – Colossians 1:22-23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Destined To Die Once
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 23, 2016
Devotional - Destined To Die Once

“Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” – Hebrews 9:27

 

In the early 1970s, the American Statistical Association found that terminally ill male Jewish patients were able to postpone death within the 30 days preceding Passover and Chinese-American women have been found to put off death before festivities of the Harvest Moon.

It was widely thought that if a large event were coming, patients could hold off death.

Then in 2004, Dr. Donn Young, a biostatistician at Ohio State University's cancer center, showed that theory was a myth.

Dr. Young looked at more than 30,000 Ohio death certificates for people who died of cancer from 1989 to 2000 and analyzed how many deaths occurred before and after three dates - Christmas, Thanksgiving and the person's birthday.

"If there was an effect, you'd see a dip before ... and an increase after," Young said. But there was no dip and no significant difference in the proportion of cancer patients dying before an event and those dying after.

Dr. Young, meanwhile, says he's aware of the debate surrounding his study. "People have told me, `Oh, Donn, this is like the ultimate Grinch paper. You're telling us people are dying on Christmas Day.'

"But what people have to understand is that there are important messages here: One is, if you have a loved one who is dying ... and if a major event is approaching, celebrate it now. Don't wait."

 

We are all destined to die and appear before Jesus. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that after death we will see our Savior’s face and live with Him forever.

 

“He whose head is in heaven need not fear to put his foot in the grave.” – Matthew Henry

 

God’s Word: “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” – 1 Corinthians 15:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - The New Covenant
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 20, 2016
Devotional - The New Covenant

“By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.” – Hebrews 8:13

 

The American Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States, on November 15, 1777. However, ratification of the Articles of Confederation by all thirteen states did not occur until March 1, 1781.

The Articles created a loose confederation of sovereign states and a weak central government, leaving most of the power with the state governments.

An abundance of weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation soon surfaced.

The national government could not force the states to obey its laws. It did not have the power to tax. It did not have the power to enforce laws. There was no national army or navy, no national postal system, no federal courts, nor a national currency.

The need for a stronger Federal government soon became apparent and eventually led to the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

The present United States Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation on March 4, 1789.

Today the original Articles of Confederation resides in the National Achieves. The obsolete document’s ink has badly faded through the years.

 

Old, fragile covenants have disappeared and are replaced by the “new” living and eternal covenant we have in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that the old covenant has faded and we have a vibrant new life found in Jesus.

 

“It is a new heart-righteousness which the prophets foresaw as one of the blessings of the Messianic age. ‘I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts.’ God promised to Jeremiah. How would he do it? He told Ezekiel ‘I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes.’” – John Stott

 

God’s Word: “In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’” – 1 Corinthians 11:25

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Our Superior Mediator
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 19, 2016
Devotional - Our Superior Mediator

“But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.” – Hebrews 8:6

 

In 1957, James Donovan was appointed to defend the Soviet spy Rudolf Abel, after many other lawyers refused. At trial, Abel was convicted, but James was successful in persuading the court not to impose a death sentence.

In 1962, James was selected as the lead mediator tasked with negotiating with Soviet and East German negotiators to free captured American pilot Francis Gary Powers. James successfully negotiated for the exchange of Powers, along with American student Frederic Pryor, for the still-imprisoned Abel, whom he had defended five years earlier.

Following the success with Powers, James was contacted by Cuban exile Pérez Cisneros in June 1962. Cisneros asked him to support the negotiations to free the 1,113 prisoners of the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion.

A few months later, he traveled to Cuba for the first time. Cuba–United States relations were extremely tense after the invasion attempt.

On December 21, 1962, Castro and James signed an agreement to exchange all 1,113 prisoners for $53 million in food and medicine, sourced from private donations. By the end of the negotiations, James had mediated the release of 9,703 men, women and children from Cuban detention.

 

Jesus Christ is the superior mediator of all time. He was able to successfully mediate the difference between sinful man and Holy God by giving His life as a Holy Sacrifice. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He is our mediator.

 

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

 

God’s Word: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” – 1 Timothy 2:5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - We Have A Permanent Pastor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 18, 2016
Devotional - We Have A Permanent Pastor

“Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.” – Hebrews 7:23-24

 

In 1957, Noah Smith was teaching Sunday school when his pastor said he should be in ministry.  Noah remembers: “I said, ‘What do you mean go into ministry? I’m 49 years old.’ I said, ‘God would have called me when I was young.’ And he said, ‘He did, but you didn’t hear him.’ ”

Noah was ordained in 1960 and served at his first church in Minnesota through 1986. He also led an AME congregation in Duluth and served as pastor at St. James AME Church in Minneapolis. In 1998, Noah went on to Wayman AME Church in Minneapolis, a community of about 500 members. Noah stayed at Wayman until he died at the age of 107 in September 2015.

The last time Noah attended his church on September 6 he suffered a fall and hurt himself, but never left for the hospital until he was allowed to read Scripture to his congregation.

"He volunteered to read the Scripture for the service despite the fact that he wasn't feeling really well. And that to me was his lasting memory, because he could have declined that. But that's how dedicated he was to the Scripture, his pastor and his mission, that he chose to speak," said Charles Hallman, a steward at Wayman. Noah died in a nursing home a few days later.

"We are still in a state of disbelief,” said Charles. “To be honest, because it was hard to not see him in church Sunday. 'Cause he's always been there. It was hard not seeing him in Bible study last night because he's always been there. Y'know, despite the fact that he was 107 years old, we always thought he could live forever."

 

We have a permanent Priest, Pastor and Friend in Jesus Christ. His ministry is eternal. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He has a permanent priesthood.

 

“There can be no vacancy in this (Christ’s) priesthood, no hour nor moment in which the people are without a priest to negotiate their spiritual concerns in heaven. Such a vacancy might be very dangerous and prejudicial to them; but this is their safety and happiness, that this ever-living high priest is able to save to the utmost—in all times, in all cases, in every juncture—all who come to God by him” – Matthew Henry

 

God’s Word: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - We Have An Anchor That Holds
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 17, 2016
Devotional - We Have An Anchor That Holds

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain” – Hebrews 6:19

 

The USS Tarawa was one of the largest amphibious assault ships ever built. It was capable of landing elements of a Marine Corps battalion landing team and their supporting equipment by landing craft, helicopters, or a combination of both.

On 17 January 2001 the Tarawa was on deployment and was about to anchor in shallow water. Two sailors were on the braking mechanism lowering the port anchor. Suddenly, the port anchor and chain began to run away and the windlass brake failed. In a fury the anchor and 20 tons of anchor chain were lost and laid to the ocean floor.

Abruptly, the safety of the ship was endangered because it lacked an anchor. It was prey for any current that would drive it toward shipwreck.

 

Jesus Christ is an anchor that holds us when the most violent of storms in life hit us. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that you can put all your hope in Him and Christ is an anchor that can hold.

 

“The anchor holds, Though the ship is battered, The anchor holds, Though the sails are torn, I have fallen on my knees, As I faced the raging seas, The anchor holds, In spite of the storm” – Ray Boltz

 

God’s Word: “For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.” – 1 Thessalonians 3:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - The Secret For Waiting For God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 16, 2016
Devotional - The Secret For Waiting For God

“And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.” – Hebrews 6:15

 

G. Campbell Morgan was a British evangelist, preacher and a leading Bible scholar. He wrote the following about the “Secret to Waiting on God:”

“In the hour of darkness and difficulty the true attitude of those who believe in God is that of waiting on Him. The only strength sufficient to enable men to wait for God is that of love to Him. . . .

Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means first activity under command; second, readiness for any new command that may come; third, the ability to do nothing until the command is given.

The Hebrew word translated "waiting" . . . has affinity with a word that means "to entrench." God works for him that entrenches himself in Him. The idea of waiting for God here is that of digging ourselves in to God.

Waiting for God, then, is the adjustment of our lives to the truth concerning Him which we know. . . . God is the one unchanging fact from everlasting to everlasting. Waiting for God means putting this life, of which I am so uncertain in a thousand varied ways, into right relationship with Him of whom I am absolutely and everlastingly certain. Waiting for God means that I adjust my life to Him rather than to circumstances, and that I set my hope on Him rather than on the wit and the cleverness of men. Waiting for God means that definite personal activity which is busily occupied in adjusting the whole fact and circumstances of life to the unchangeable and unalterable fact of God.”

 

The Lord desires that we develop the characteristics of patience and fortitude in our life. Today in prayer, confess any impatience you may have and patiently wait on Jesus.

 

“There is no patience equal to the patience of God.” – Oswald Chambers

 

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 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Never Too Old To Begin Teaching
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 13, 2016
Devotional - Never Too Old To Begin Teaching

“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!” – Hebrews 5:12

 

On May 14, 2007, 95-year old Nola Ochs became a Guinness World Record holder as the world's oldest college graduate when she received her diploma at Fort Hays State University (FHSU) in Hays, Kansas. She earned a general studies degree with an emphasis in history, graduating alongside her granddaughter, Alexandra Ochs, who was 21 years old at the time.

After taking time to help with the family wheat harvest, Nola started pursuing her master’s degree in liberal studies. She received her Master's Degree on May 15, 2010, making her the oldest recipient of a master's degree at age 98. According to an August 11, 2006 press release from FHSU, Ochs said: “I don't keep track of my age, but I can tell you I was born in November of 1911.” She also commented, “I've led a long, interesting life. We went through the dust storms. We had some difficult times in our marriage, financially. But it's been the Lord's will that I've lived this long life, and I thank Him kindly for it.” As of her 100th birthday in November 2011 she was an M.A. student at and also giving back by being a graduate teaching assistant.

 

The Lord desires us not only to follow Him, but also to teach others. Are you teaching others how to grow deeper with Christ? Today in prayer, thank the Lord that we are never too old to begin teaching others about the love of Jesus Christ.

 

“I touch the future. I teach.” – Christina McAuliffe

 

God’s Word: “Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God” – Hebrews 6:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Doing God's Will
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 12, 2016
Devotional - Doing God's Will

“During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered” – Hebrews 5:7-8

 

Christian Writer and newspaper columnist Rachel Balducci shared a personal story of obedience. “When I was fifteen and learning how to drive, my dad gave me countless opportunities to practice this skill. Being the oldest of eight children, I didn’t learn on a typical small vehicle, but instead tooled around in a fifteen-passenger van.

One evening, I was driving home from the grocery store; my dad was in the passenger seat and one of my brothers was buckled in behind me. We were climbing a hill in our neighborhood, heading towards an intersecting street that had a stop sign, giving us the right-of-way.

Just as we approached the intersection, my dad yelled.

“Stop,” he shouted, “stop the car!” I didn’t have time to ask or look – I threw my foot on the brake as hard and fast as I could. Immediately, a car flew in front of us with such speed that it seemed to be flying in air.

The driver never even slowed down. That car came through the intersection so fast that if my dad hadn’t seen it, our van would have been crushed. I remember sitting for a split second, shaking badly, before I could put my foot back on the gas to pull down the street and into our driveway. We walked inside and I fell crying into my mom’s arms.

What I realized, what my dad told me several times after, was that my quick obedience saved our lives. That thought terrified me. If I had flinched, had taken even one second to ask my dad why I needed to stop when we didn’t have the stop sign, things would have turned out different that night.”

 

Our Heavenly Father desires us to be obedient to Him for our own protection. Today in prayer, confess any sin of disobedience and seek to follow Christ in all that you do.

 

“Our gratitude to God can be expressed only in loving, humble obedience to his will.” – Batsell Barrett Baxter

 

God’s Word: “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!” – Philippians 2:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Being Tempted
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 11, 2016
Devotional - Being Tempted

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.” – Hebrews 4:15

 

On June 29, 2016, German tourist Oliver Park had reached the fabled city of Machu Picchu. The 51-year old tourist was so excited to reach the site that he wanted a special photo.

He decided he wanted a picture of himself jumping in the air with Machu Picchu in the background. Tempted by the breathtaking view, Park bypassed a security cordon and ventured into an off-limits area.

“He asked a man who was there to take a photo of him,” said Guillermo Mestas, a Peruvian tourist. “The man came over to take the photo and in the moment he was handing him the camera, he lost his balance and fell.”

Park fell 150 feet to his death.

The German’s death was the latest in a long string of accidents suffered by tourists as they posed for photographs in scenic locations.

 

In Christ we can have victory over every temptation. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that in this life, we can always face temptation with Jesus and in His power we can overcome it.

 

“Temptation is not meant to make us fail; it is meant to confront us with a situation out of which we emerge stronger than we are.” – William Barclay

 

God’s Word: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - The Living And Active Word
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 10, 2016
Devotional - The Living And Active Word

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12

 

In 2003, Groum Pale was a nine year old, half-starved street kid in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Groum and his sisters found themselves homeless and alone when their parents died of HIV and AIDS and spent years on the streets, surviving on scraps of food they found in rubbish bins. They were often ill and in a constant state of anxiety, not knowing what the next day would bring.

Then Hannah’s Orphanage – a Christian-run home for street kids – rescued them. The orphanage workers restored them to health, gave them a place to call home and shared God’s love with them. Groum said it took a while for him to trust this kindness.

Within a year he was unrecognizable from the street kid he had been. He was excelling at school and had developed a strong faith in Jesus – thanks to listening to Bible stories on the Faith Comes By Hearing Proclaimer devices provided to the orphanage by the Bible Society of Ethiopia.

Today, Groum can be found helping street kids and the younger children at the orphanage. He reads out loud to them from the Bible.

He said: “This has all happened not because of my own potential but because I have Christ. If you have Christ, you have everything, even if you don’t have anything else. He is everything to me.”

 

The words of the Bible can change our lives. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His Word and pray that His Word will change you to be more like Him.

 

“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens through the years.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” – 1 Peter 1:23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Encourage One Another Daily
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 9, 2016
Devotional - Encourage One Another Daily

“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

 

In 1896, Henry Ford attended a company event where the great inventor Thomas Edison was the guest of honor. Henry was introduced to Edison as "the man trying to make a car that runs on gasoline."

Edison asked young Henry a host of questions and when the talk was over, Edison excitedly banged his fist down on the table and said, "Young man, that's the thing! You have it! Your car is self contained and carries its own power plant."

Years later, Ford, reflecting on their first meeting, said in a newspaper interview, "That bang on the table was worth worlds to me. No man up to then had given me any encouragement. I had hoped that I was headed right. Sometimes I knew that I was, sometimes I only wondered, but here, all at once and out of a clear sky, the greatest inventive genius in the world had given me complete approval. The man who knew most about electricity in the world had said that for the purpose, my gas motor was better than any electric motor could be."

 

As Christians, we need to always encourage others to grow in the love of Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for the encouragement you have received in your life and seek to be an encouragement to others.

 

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

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Fix Your Thoughts
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 6, 2016
Devotional - Fix Your Thoughts

“Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.” – Hebrews 3:1

 

In the spring of 2013, Jacob Furedi decided to hike alone through the mountains surrounding Gimmelwald, Switzerland.

After hiking for a while, the Hungarian man became disoriented and lost. Jacob also managed to sprain his ankle and walking became painful.

It was at his lowest moment that he spotted a black and white house cat.  

"I was checking my map to see how I can get back to the hostel, and the only official way down was through a trail that was closed. And that's how I met that handsome cat" Jacob exclaimed.

“[The cat] was just wandering around, [then] found me while I was resting from a hike,” he said.

“Then she was walking and kept looking at me to follow [and] led me straight to the path that would take me back down to the valley.”

The entire trip back to Gimmelwald, Jacob kept his eyes fixed on the cat, asking the cat “Alright show me the road” and then following it on the right path.

 

In this life we can get lost very quickly. We need to constantly fix our eyes upon Jesus to show us His path. Today in prayer, fix your thoughts upon Jesus and seek to follow Him every step of your life.

 

“God’s purpose for my life is to increasingly grow in my personal knowledge of God as I follow Him in a life of faith. And then to make Him known to others.” – Anne Graham Lotz

 

God’s Word: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - We Live Because Of Him
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 5, 2016
Devotional - We Live Because Of Him

"For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” – Hebrews 2:17-18

 

On the night of November 13, 2015, Paris was attacked in six places by terrorists. It began with suicide bombers detonating at a soccer match. Several mass shootings and a suicide bombing, at cafés and restaurants followed it. Gunmen also carried out another mass shooting and took hostages at a concert in the Bataclan theatre, leading to a standoff with police. The attackers were shot or blew themselves up when police raided the theatre.

The attackers killed 130 people, including 89 at the Bataclan theatre.

Yannick Minvielle was one of those killed at the Bataclan theatre.

Described as a hero father-of-one, he was shot dead when he jumped in front of his girlfriend as one of the Bataclan terrorists prepared to shoot her.

A friend of the couple, Maud Lavissiere said through tears: "He was trying to protect her, he stood in front of her and then all of a sudden he was dead. A bullet went straight through his head.

"His girlfriend is in a bad way. She's traumatized. She lives because of him.”

 

Before His birth, the Lord had a rescue plan. He would come to earth and die for our sins. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for His love and thank Him for His death on the Cross for you.

 

“If the death of Christ on the cross is the true meaning of the Incarnation, then there is no gospel without the cross. Christmas by itself is no gospel. The life of Christ is no gospel. Even the resurrection, important as it is in the total scheme of things, is no gospel by itself. For the good news is not just that God became man, nor that God has spoken to reveal a proper way of life for us, or even that death, the great enemy, is conquered. Rather, the good news is that sin has been dealt with (of which the resurrection is a proof); that Jesus has suffered its penalty for us as our representative, so that we might never have to suffer it; and that therefore all who believe in him can look forward to heaven.” - James Montgomery Boice

 

God’s Word: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Far Greater
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 4, 2016
Devotional - Far Greater

“You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet." In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him.” – Hebrews 2:7-8

 

In 1556, at the age of 13, Akbar I, literally meaning “the great”, became emperor of the Mughal Dynasty in India. A strong personality and a successful general, Akbar gradually enlarged the Mughal Empire to include nearly all of the Indian Subcontinent north of the Godavari river. His power and influence, however, extended over the entire country because of Mughal military, political, cultural, and economic dominance. To unify the vast Mughal state, Akbar established a centralized system of administration throughout his empire and adopted a policy of conciliating conquered rulers through marriage and diplomacy. To preserve peace and order in a religiously and culturally diverse empire, he adopted policies that won him the support of his non-Muslim subjects. Disdaining tribal bonds and Islamic state identity, Akbar strove to unite far-flung lands of his realm through loyalty to himself as an emperor who had near-divine status.

Akbar's reign significantly influenced the course of Indian history. During his rule, the Mughal Empire tripled in size and wealth. He created a powerful military system and instituted effective political and social reforms.

However, only 76 years after his death, Akbar’s tomb was robbed and desecrated, leaving little reminder of one of history’s most wealthiest and powerful leaders.

 

Far greater than everyman who ever lived, stands Jesus Christ who is the true “King of Kings.” He eternally reigns over all. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He is good and He is eternal and He is Lord of all.

 

“You should point to the whole man Jesus and say, ‘That is God.’” – Martin Luther

 

God’s Word: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!” – Philippians 2:6-8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Drift Can Be Fatal
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 3, 2016
Devotional - Drift Can Be Fatal

“We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” – Hebrews 2:1

 

On August 2, 2014, two men were killed when their plane hit a tree and crashed onto the lawn of a home in Saratoga County, New York. Ciprian M. Ivascu, 33, was piloting the plane and failed to control the direction of his aircraft. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that Ivascu’s plane “climbed at a much shallower angle than anticipated” and drifted left of the runway. After drifting off course, the plane struck the tree, rolled and hit the ground nose-down.

The owner of the home where Ivascu crashed, Nancy Rouse, witnessed the crash and said the plane’s engine sounded normal and the plane was level until it hit the tree.

There was no evidence of any mechanical malfunctions within the plane that could have led to the crash, the NTSB report said.

The Cessna Ivascu was fyling has a left-turning tendency and a pilot must apply enough right rudder pressure to keep the plane on a straight takeoff path, the NTSB report said.

“It is likely that the pilot did not apply enough right rudder to counteract the left-turning tendency of the airplane during climb,” the NTSB report concluded.

 

Drift can fatal. Today in prayer, confess to Jesus any distractions to your walk with the Lord. Seek to follow Him in all that you do.

 

“The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.” – Richard Moss  

 

God’s Word: “Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the LORD.” – Psalm 107:43

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS            

Devotional - Ministering Angels
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 2, 2016
Devotional - Ministering Angels

“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” – Hebrews 1:14

 

Marcus Stanley is a talented pianist, playing for some of the biggest names in the music industry.

His career almost came to a tragic end when he was shot eight times at close range.

"I was not focused on the people," he explained. "I was not focused on the message. I was not focused on Christ. I was really focused on just making it -- being a musician, being a popular musician, and playing for a great artist.”

Enjoying success, Marcus lived extravagantly, traveling the country with well-known musicians.

All of that changed the night of April 2, 2004. Late on that night, he was walking to a store. He had forgotten his wallet and went back to his room. As he was retracing his steps, a guy on the corner pulled a gun on him and started shooting.

"When I first saw the flash I didn't know I got shot," Marcus said. "I just remember hitting the ground and then when he stood over top of me that's when I saw an angel get in front of me. And I remember it because I didn't have time to think about that. It was an instantaneous thing."

Marcus continued.

"It was probably -- I mean I'm 6 foot 7 -- and the angel was probably like 7-foot something," he said. "It was just a transparent figure. I couldn't tell if it was a male or female. I didn't see wings or anything like that. I saw it was clear, transparent and it was in front of me."

"I knew it was an angel just because the protection," he continued. "It got into a position like this [arms crossed] in front of me and I remember seeing that."

Still barely alive, he managed to dial 911. By the time paramedics arrived, they offered little hope he would survive. At the hospital, Marcus went immediately into surgery where he recalled seeing a familiar face.

"Saw a lot of doctors and nurses kind of standing and I remember looking as I'm getting ready for surgery, I remember looking and seeing the same angel that was on the street and the angel was just kind of like arms crossed... It didn't do anything or say anything. It was kind of like nodding its head," he said.

Marcus recovered from his wounds and today he travels the world to share his story.

"It's not really about the music," he explained. "It's more about what God's done in my life and I aim to make him famous at everything I do and to show his glory."

 

Angels are ministering spirits sent to serve us and protect us. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He has sent His angels to protect us.

 

“Could the veil be lifted, we would see that angels of God are around us to preserve us from unseen dangers. Thousands of times has their care been especially manifested for us in our warfare with the agencies of Satan.” - Ellen G. White

 

God’s Word: “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” – Psalm 91:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

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