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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions In Job
Devotional - The Proud Will Be Made Low
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Mar 30, 2014
Devotional - The Proud Will Be Made Low

“Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at every proud man and bring him low, look at every proud man and humble him, crush the wicked where they stand.” – Job 40:12

 

James Anthony Traficant, Jr. was a former Democratic politician and member of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio. He was expelled after being convicted of taking bribes, filing false tax returns, racketeering, and forcing his aides to perform chores at his farm in Ohio and houseboat in Washington, D.C. 

During his federal trial, although he's not a lawyer, Traficant defended himself but he did not testify. His self-defense led to frequent clashes with the judge over what questions might be asked and how.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and released on September 2, 2009, after serving a seven-year sentence.

Traficant was a proud and arrogant politician before his imprisonment. His incarceration did not change his attitude.

Upon his release, he said he was "proud of being an ex-con" and may try to return to Congress.

 

One sin the Lord hates is pride. He desires humility in us as we look to Him for our source of strength. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is all powerful and it is through the blood of Jesus we are saved by His grace.

 

“Pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes.” – John Ruskin

 

God’s Word: “They will spread out their hands in it, as a swimmer spreads out his hands to swim. God will bring down their pride despite the cleverness of their hands.” – Isaiah 25:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - His Eyes Are Upon Us
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Mar 27, 2014
Devotional - His Eyes Are Upon Us

“His eyes are on the ways of men; he sees their every step.” – Job 34:21

 

The 2014 Sochi Olympic Games faced the gravest threat of terrorism of any Games in recent history. To prevent any outbreaks of violence, the Russian government installed one of the most pervasive and expensive surveillance systems. The resort town's "ring of steel," as Russian officials have described it, consisted of drones, soldiers, surveillance blimps, metal detectors, thousands of cameras, and other high-tech equipment, such as VibraImage, a scanning system that analyzes muscle vibrations in the neck and head to "detect someone who appears unremarkable but whose agitated mental state signals an imminent threat," the New York Times reported. Additionally, the registration process for the mandatory Olympics spectator badge is, in effect, a background check for every visitor.

The Russians claimed to have "total surveillance" at the Olympics. One of the most shocking revelations was surveillance cameras were installed in hotel showers.

This led the U.S. State Department to warn Americans travelling to Sochi that they should have "no expectation of privacy" at the Olympics.

 

No matter where you go, nothing thing escapes the notice of the Lord. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that His eyes are upon you and live your life in obedience to His Word.

 

“Life is a tapestry:  We are the warp; angels, the weft; God, the weaver.  Only the Weaver sees the whole design.” – Eileen Elias Freeman

 

God’s Word: “The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.” – Proverbs 15:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - From The Pit
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Mar 26, 2014
Devotional - From The Pit

“He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light.” – Job 33:28

 

In 1969 Olga Breeskin's musical talent and stunning looks launched her into stardom.  She went from living in poverty to becoming one of the biggest superstars in Mexico. 

In 1976 Olga left her weekly television show to star in her own nightly act in Mexico City. She had money and fame, but things were not right with her. "I had everything I was dreaming but I had emptiness in my heart.  Why am I so sad?  There is no reason.  So I was trying to fill the hole in my heart. I fell into the alcohol. I was a drug addict and an alcoholic.  People didn't notice that I was drunk, not every show in TV, but very, very often."

In 1998, Olga was offered her own show on the Las Vegas strip.  But within a year she was fired and she could not find a job.                     

In 2005, Olga lost her homes to foreclosures and she pawned all of her valuables.

"When I lost my last home I went rent out in a one room I Las Vegas. I was so embarrassed for the diva of the violin who came in 1998 with a mansion, with money, with a fortune, to live in this room. I didn't have any savings, any proposals, I didn't have contracts, I didn't have any hope. So in other words I had nothing.

In 2007 Olga received a call from a friend the day before she planned to commit suicide.

She said, "Sister, somebody loves you very much".

And I said, "I don't think so". 

She said "Yes.  I know you are broke but I already sent you money through Western Union.  So pick up that money and come to San Diego for a Christian retreat."  So the day after instead of being in the cemetery.  I was in Jesus arms.

Olga accepted Jesus Christ to be her Savoir.

"I fell in love with Jesus Christ. And I changed my life.  He gave me the hope that, not everything was lost.  No, it's the beginning of a new life."

Olga now plays Christian concerts across the nation.

"I only live to worship Jesus Christ.  That's all I want.  That's all my hope that's all my happiness. That whole that was in my heart is now the house, the home of Jesus Christ. He lives here."

 

The Lord is in the practice of redeeming souls lost in sin and giving them eternal life. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He found you lost in your sin, that He redeemed you through His precious death on the Cross, and granted you eternal life in Him.

 

“Redemption never comes by our own efforts. Spiritually, redemption cannot happen without a Redeemer. This word is precious because it reminds followers of Jesus that relationship with Him has been purchased at great cost.” – Bob Snider

 

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’” – Galatians 3:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - Helping Orphans
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Mar 25, 2014
Devotional - Helping Orphans

“because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him. The man who was dying blessed me; I made the widow's heart sing.” – Job 29:11-12

 

In 1990, at age 76, Lois Prater, a widow from Seattle, did a short term mission trip in the Philippines. While on the trip, a poorly dressed man came up to her after a church service and offered to sell his baby to her for $40.

"That impacted my soul so deeply I knew I had to do something," she said.

So, she returned to the United States and sold her home for $65,000. She sold everything she had, determined to build an orphanage. Though she never had worked in an orphanage, she knew the Lord was calling her to a new work.

Lois admitted selling her home wasn't easy.

"I struggled, but I knew that what I was trying to do was something much more important than hanging onto my faded couch," she said.

In 1991, Lois, with her own money, bought 12 acres of land covered with mango and coconut trees near Orion, a small town in the Philippines. Three years later, the doors would open to King's Garden Children's Home, a 2,000-square-foot, white stucco building, giving orphaned children from infants to teens new hope. Over the years, King's Garden tripled in size and launched a school. An average of about 60 children lived at the orphanage.

Lois ministered there for 13 years until she was 90 years old, when she turned over the operations to a capable director.

"All along, I've just trusted in God, and He's answered my prayers," said Lois. "I did what I could do, and God did the rest."

 

Have a heart for orphans and do something to love them. Today in prayer, ask the Lord how you can help some of the orphans in this world.

 

“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has the eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” - Augustine

 

God’s Word: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” – James 1:27

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - The Beginning Of Wisdom
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Mar 24, 2014
Devotional - The Beginning Of Wisdom

"And he said to man, 'The fear of the Lord--that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.'” – Job 28:28

 

Michael Vijaykumar was hated and feared in India. He was a ruthless political dictator who ascended to power through bribery, intimidation and murder.  Michael's parents were Christians, but he rejected their faith early in life.

"As a child I thought Jesus was a low-caste God, and He didn't have the strength," said Michael. "That's why He died on the cross."

"I wanted to become a minister in the government. I wanted to rule the people. That was my ambition in life. So I entered into politics and became a very cruel factionalist."

But his wife Pushba, who was a Christian, continued to believe her husband would change.

By 1993, the local police constable had a vendetta against Michael, so he fled the area and settled in Chennai. For the first time, he examined his life.

Michael remembers: "In Chennai, I was sitting, under a tree on that day and I remember I just cried out in a helpless situation, thinking, 'What has happened to me? What is my life?' I started crying."

Also in Chennai, for the first time in his life, he saw how true Christians lived.

"They were not troubled like I was. So when I observed their life, I thought that something was very good in them" he said.

One Sunday morning, Pushba took her husband to the elders of the laymen's evangelical fellowship in Chennai and asked them to pray for him and he gave his life to Jesus.

Soon after that, Michael started traveling the world to share his story.

"I started praying much and started witnessing to people, and many people started accepting the Lord Jesus Christ. I once asked the Lord, 'I have grieved You so much. How can I make You happy?' And God said, 'Through you, if one sinner is converted, that will make Me happy.' That is my mission in life. That is my aim: to make God happy."

 

Fearing God turns to loving Christ as we yield our hearts to Jesus. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for giving you wisdom, as you love Him with your whole heart.

 

“The truly wise are those whose souls are in Christ.” – Ambrose

 

God’s Word: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” – Proverbs 9:10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - Don't Be Bitter
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Mar 23, 2014
Devotional - Don't Be Bitter

“As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty, who has made me taste bitterness of soul, as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit.” – Job 27:2-4

 

In 1932, comic book artists Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel created the Superman character. For six long years during the Great Depression the two tried to market their comic book hero, but no one was interested. Then in 1938, editor Vin Sullivan chose it as the cover feature for National's Action Comics. The following year, Siegel & Shuster initiated the syndicated Superman comic strip.

As part of the deal which saw Superman published in National Action Comics, Siegel and Shuster sold the rights to the company in return for $130 and a contract to supply the publisher with material for ten years.

In 1946, near the end of their 10-year contract, the two artists sued over rights to the characters. They ultimately accepted $94,000 to stop pursuing the claim after a court ruled that National Action Comics had validly purchased the rights to Superman when it bought the first Superman story. But after this bitter legal wrangling, National cropped Shuster and Siegel's byline. Soon after, Shuster began going blind and dropped out of drawing comics. But his bitterness remained unabated. In 1975 he sued and was awarded an annual stipend of $35,000. Shuster died in 1992 of congestive heart failure and hypertension, nearly blind and very bitter.

 

Whatever bitterness you have tasted, do not let it consume you. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that in Christ, you are a victor over all sin and death and pray that bitterness does not take a hold of you.

 

“Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” – Ron McManus

 

God’s Word: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” – Ephesians 4:31

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - The Lord Helps The Powerless
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Mar 20, 2014
Devotional - The Lord Helps The Powerless

“How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved the arm that is feeble!” – Job 26:2

 

In January 2004, police were shocked by what they found inside a house in the small town of Durham, Ontario, Canada. The police responded to complaints from relatives. And when they entered the ramshackle house, they discovered two teenage boys-ages 14 and 15-locked in cages. Their biological aunt had adopted the teens when they were 1 and 2 years old. For over a decade, the boys suffered abuse at the hands of their adoptive parents. Ontario officials learned that the boys did attend school during the day, but they were sent to their cages at night. On weekends and holidays, they often were allowed downstairs for a bowl of cereal in the morning, and then sent back to their cages wearing diapers, where they would spend the rest of the day. The adoptive mother was described to the court as "a domineering, controlling woman whose husband was an illiterate and dyslexic handyman, who beat the powerless boys on her command." It was Detective Kate Lang and Constable Tim Maw who released the boys from their makeshift cages. They told the boys that they would never be locked in those cages again. And the teens responded with one word: "Really?"

 

Our God sees our tears, hears our sobs and draws close to the powerless. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He is a God of compassion.

 

“The dew of compassion is a tear.” – Lord Byron

 

God’s Word: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” – Romans 5:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - Awe Belongs To The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Mar 19, 2014
Devotional - Awe Belongs To The Lord

“Dominion and awe belong to God; he establishes order in the heights of heaven.” – Job 25:2

 

On April 12, 1961, Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space. In a 108-minute flight he reached a height of 203 miles above Earth and orbited it once. When looking out the window, he exclaimed: "The Earth is blue [...] How wonderful. It is amazing." 

Once back on the ground, he was given a hero's welcome. The Soviets gave him a six hour long parade on Red Square before embarking on a trip around the world to talk about the wonders of space travel. Speaking about what the earth looked like from space, he said "What beauty. I saw clouds and their light shadows on the distant dear earth... I enjoyed the rich color spectrum of the earth. It is surrounded by a light blue halo that gradually darkens, becoming turquoise, dark blue, violet, and finally coal black."

God is the Creator of all and His creation is awesome and beautiful. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His Creation.

 

“This is the creator; by his love, our Father; by his power, our Lord; by his wisdom; our maker and designer.” – Irenaeus

 

God’s Word: “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” – Hebrews 11:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - God Is Lord Of All
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Mar 18, 2014
Devotional - God Is Lord Of All

“But God drags away the mighty by his power; though they become established, they have no assurance of life.” – Job 24:22

 

In 1483, King Edward IV of England died, and his successor was his 12-year-old King Edward V.  Edward IV's brother Richard was named Lord Protector of the realm for Edward V until he could rule effectively.

However, Richard had Edward V and his younger brother killed. In July 1483, King Richard III was crowned King of England. He was from the House of York and a member of the Plantagenet Dynasty that began in twelfth century.

His reign was marked by two major rebellions. The first was led by Henry Stafford, Richard's cousin. The rebellion collapsed and Henry was executed. In August 1485, a second rebellion against Richard was led by Henry Tudor. Tudor landed in southern Wales with a small contingent of French troops, and then marched through his birthplace, Pembrokeshire, recruiting more soldiers. Henry's force engaged Richard's army and defeated it at the Battle of Bosworth Field in Leicestershire. Richard was struck down in this conflict, making him the last English king to die in battle.

With Richard III's death, it ended the more than 300-year-old Plantagenet Dynasty.

 

Christ alone is the eternal King. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He alone is all-powerful and at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow.

 

“The greatest single distinguishing feature of the omnipotence of God is that our imagination gets lost thinking about it.” – Blaise Pascal

 

God’s Word: “The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice.” – Psalm 97:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - God Tests Us
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Mar 17, 2014
Devotional - God Tests Us

“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” – Job 23:10

 

In 1995, English teacher Jerry Plecki was assigned as the coach/advisor of the Academic Decathlon team at Steinmetz High School in Chicago. A rival school had won the event for nine years running and was arrogant about their winning streak. Mr. Plecki and his student team were fed up with losing and being thought of as second-rate.

One of the students was able to acquire a stolen copy of the test that was to be used in the Illinois Academic Decathlon. Mr. Plecki helped his students use the test to cram for the competition. With advance knowledge of the questions, the Steinmetz team blew away other teams, but their score was so high (9,400 points more than they had scored in the regional playoff), that others became suspicious. The runner-up school asked for an investigation and the scandal was exposed.

Plecki was forced to leave teaching in humiliation, and he and his students became the object of national criticism and disdain. The high school was greatly embarrassed and the shame of that event colored people's view of the school to this day. Still, Mr. Plecki and some of the students continued to justify their behavior. In 2000, when an HBO movie called "Cheaters" portrayed the cheating scandal, Mr. Plecki said "there are no moral absolutes on this given topic," and some of the discredited students justified their actions on national media. Mr. Plecki, who blamed the "media" for turning the lives of his school kids upside down, said by way of justification that though his students were very "bright," they had no chance to win the competition honestly.

 

The Lord tests us and knows what needs to be refined in our lives to make us more like Him. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His testing, knowing that testing brings you closer to Jesus.

 

“We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them.” – Charles C. West

 

“For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver.” – Psalm 66:10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - He Judges Even The Highest
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Mar 16, 2014
Devotional - He Judges Even The Highest

“Can anyone teach knowledge to God, since he judges even the highest?” – Job 21:22

 

On January 14, 2005, at his investiture to the Alabama Supreme Court, Justice Tom Parker said the following:

“By what standard shall we govern ourselves? By what standard shall our courts interpret the Constitution? Who is the ultimate voice of authority? Is it the people? Is it the judges who wear black robes? Are they truly the ultimate voice of authority? Or is there a higher source from which even the legitimacy of constitutions ultimately derive their authority, and to whom the allegiance of every policy maker and judge is due?

Our Founding Fathers answered this question with resounding clarity when they boldly declared that ‘We are endowed by our CREATOR with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’

With these twenty-five simple words, that remarkable delegation of citizen patriots was able to declare with stunning precision what fewer and fewer modern jurists seem able to understand or communicate in their many thousands of pages of decisions rendered during the course of a lifetime.

Namely, this: The very God of Holy Scriptures, the CREATOR, is the source of law, life and liberty. It is to Him, not evolving standards or arbitrary pronouncements of judges, that the leaders of every nation owe their ultimate allegiance.”

 

Only God is just all of the time. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His wisdom in administering justice and mercy.

 

“I will govern my life and my thoughts as if the whole world were to see the one, and to read the other. For what does it signify to make anything a secret to neighbor, when to God, who is the Searcher of hearts, all our privacies are open?” – Seneca

 

God’s Word: “But it is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.” – Psalm 75:7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - He Has Covered Our Sin
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Mar 13, 2014
Devotional - He Has Covered Our Sin

“Surely then you will count my steps but not keep track of my sin. My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; you will cover over my sin.” – Job 14:16-17

 

Daniel Cummings was a cocaine addict. The 18-year-old kept his addiction from his parents. He stole a rifle from a friend and swapped it with a drug dealer. He was arrested for that crime. Because Daniel was a good student with no prior record, his family believed he would be sentenced to six months in prison, or maybe a boot camp, and then he could get on with his life.

But on April 7, 2004, the judge sentenced Daniel 10 years in prison with no parole-a mandatory state of Florida sentence imposed because the crime had involved a gun.

Daniel's father remembers: "I turned to the lawyer and said, 'What can we do now?'  He told me, 'There's nothing we can do.'"

But Daniel's father, named Danny, refused to accept that. "I knew the judge said the gun was his primary reason for the sentence," he said. "He said what's worse than sending a young man to prison for 10 years is telling a mother or a father that their family member just got shot by a drug dealer. So I thought, 'I have to get that gun back' " Though he had no assurance that finding the rifle would affect the sentence, his gut told him this was his one chance to save his son.

For eight months Danny tried to retrieve the stolen rifle. He went to many dangerous areas asking people about the rifle. Finally he was able to locate it. Miraculously, the judge was willing to rehear the case. Because the weapon had not been fired and had been retrieved safely, the judge ordered Daniel released immediately after he had served 13 months. "My father went through hell to get me out," said Daniel. "Words can't describe what he's done for me. He gave me my life back."

 

Our Heavenly Father has compensated for our sins through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for covering your sins and live today for Christ's glory.

 

“When Jesus bowed his head, And dying took our place, The veil was rent, a way was found To that pure home of grace.” – John Elias

 

God’s Word: “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit” – 1 Peter 3:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - Foolish Advice
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Mar 12, 2014
Devotional - Foolish Advice

“But I desire to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case with God. You, however, smear me with lies; you are worthless physicians, all of you! If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom.” – Job 13:3-5

 

In her book "Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry," freelance journalist points out some of the foolish advice expert personal financial planners have given.

One woman who receives scathing treatment is the best-selling financial adviser Suze Orman, whom Ms. Olen criticizes as offering "financial platitudes" and making huge amounts of money by telling others to be frugal. The author writes that "Orman's supposed wisdom often contradicts itself," and that her endorsements of a credit card company raise questions about the impartiality of her advice.  Orman also seems to change her "ways to save" by currently advertising luxury autos as a wise purchase. 

Ms. Olen criticizes many other financial gurus, saying they have provided unhelpful or confusing advice. These include Robert Kiyosaki, who in "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" referred to investments that "may have returns of 100 percent to infinity," and the television personality Jim Cramer, whom the author describes as "a sweating and howling man" and who once declared that the investment firm "Bear Stearns is not in trouble!" shortly before it collapsed and went out of business.

 

We need to avoid giving and listening to foolish advice. Today in prayer, look to the Lord in prayer and in your Bible for the wisdom needed to answer your questions.

 

“Do not open your heart to every man, but discuss your affairs with one who is wise and who fears God.”  – Thomas a Kempis

 

God’s Word: “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” – Psalm 1:1-2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - Desiring His Wisdom
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Mar 11, 2014
Devotional - Desiring His Wisdom

“To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.” – Job 12:13

 

In a message entitled "Get Wisdom," Pastor John Piper said the following: "Most of us don't aspire very high in our reading because we don't feel like there is any hope. But listen to this. Suppose you read about 250 words a minute and that you resolve to devote just 15 minutes a day to serious theological reading to deepen your grasp of biblical truth. In one year (365 days) you would read for 5,475 minutes. Multiply that times 250 words per minute and you get 1,368,750 words per year. Now most books have between 300 and 400 words per page. So if we take 350 words per page and divide that into 1,368,750 words per year, we get 3,910 pages per year. This means that at 250 words a minute, 15 minutes a day, you could read about 20 average sized books a year!

When I heard that, I went home, analyzed my day, and set aside the 15 minutes just before supper to read Jonathan Edwards' big book, Original Sin. And I did it in a couple of months. Then I turned to something else. I was absolutely elated: reading that I thought never could get done was now getting done in a 15 minute slot that would have been wasted anyway. Therefore, I encourage you, there is hope. Choose some classics that you've always wanted to read (St. Augustine's Confessions, or City of God; John Calvin's Institutes; Martin Luther's Commentary on Galatians, or Bondage of the Will; John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress; Jonathan Edwards' Religious Affections; etc.), and set aside 15 minutes, maybe just before you go to sleep, to read. You will not be the same person next year at this time. Your mind will be stretched, your heart enlarged, your zeal more fervent. Above all, you will have grown in wisdom."

 

We can never be too wise to not desire God’s wisdom in all that we do. Today in prayer, look to the Lord for His wisdom to respond in His way in every situation.

 

“He is truly wise who looks upon the earthly things as folly that he may gain Christ.” – Thomas `a Kempis

 

God’s Word: “For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” – Proverbs 2:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - Unable To Fathom God's Mysteries
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Mar 10, 2014
Devotional - Unable To Fathom God's Mysteries

“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” – Job 11:7

 

In March 2012, James Cameron, the director of movies "Titanic" and "Avatar", reached the deepest part of the ocean. He descended nearly 36,000 feet (11km) into the Mariana Trench - deeper than any solo mission in history. In this historic solo dive, Cameron spent just over three hours at 35,756 feet before he began his return to the surface in a specially designed submarine called Deepsea Challenger.

The dive was to include obtaining soil samples of the ocean's bottom, but a hydraulic arm failed at depth. Cameron was only able to obtain video of his dive.

Before the dive, he said: "We have to go because we don't know what's there. We have a general idea, we know that we're going to see very strange animals like arthropods and holothurians and other kinds of invertebrate, but science can't answer one very basic question. Are there fish? We don't know."

 

We cannot fathom the mysteries of this world, never mind the mysteries of God. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is Lord of all and He knows the answers to everything.

 

“For there is no other mystery of God, except Christ.” – Augustine

 

God’s Word: “Daniel replied, "No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you lay on your bed are these: "As you were lying there, O king, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen.” – Daniel 2:27-29

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - God's Love
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Mar 9, 2014
Devotional - God's Love

“You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.” – Job 10:12

 

Jessica Lutz was born in the United States and raised in Rockville, Maryland. At an early age she began playing hockey. She learned to skate and play at rinks around the Washington D.C. area, eventually earning a spot on the University of Connecticut team.

Jessica remembers: “During my freshman year playing for UConn, I struggled. I wasn't playing a lot; half of the games I didn't even dress for. I couldn’t find security in my sport, so I turned to God. Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” became a foundational truth for my life. I came to experience that no matter how I played on the ice, nothing can separate me from God’s love.”

In 2014 at the Sochi Olympics, Jessica, who is a citizen of both the United States and Switzerland, won a bronze medal playing on the Swiss women's hockey team.

 

The Lord deeply cares for us and watches over us. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is a loving Father.

 

“God loves each one of us as if there were only one of us to love.” - Augustine

 

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 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - The Swiftness Of Our Days
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Mar 6, 2014
Devotional - The Swiftness Of Our Days

“My days are swifter than a runner; they fly away without a glimpse of joy.” – Job 9:25

 

Seneca was a Spanish-born philosopher of Rome who lived in the first century A.D. In his essay entitled "On The Shortness Of Life," he wrote the following: “It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. Life is long enough and our allotted portion generous enough for our most ambitious projects if we invest it all carefully. But when it is squandered through luxury and indifference, and spent for no good end, we realize it has gone, under the pressure of the ultimate necessity, before we were aware it was going. So it is: the life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully. Kingly riches are dissipated in an instant if they fall into the hands of a bad master, but even moderate wealth increases with use in the hands of a careful steward; just so does our life provide ample scope if it is well managed.”

 

Life does seem to move quickly, but if we are good stewards of the time the Lord has given to us, we will have a full life that honors Him. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for the day and live it fully for Him.

 

“May you live all the days of your life.” – Jonathan Swift

 

God’s Word: “As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field” – Psalm 103:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - The Devotion Of Friends
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Mar 5, 2014
Devotional - The Devotion Of Friends

“A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” – Job 6:14

 

George Fox was an English Dissenter and a founder of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as the Quakers or Friends.

Fox complained to judges about extremely harsh decisions he considered morally wrong, as in his letter on the case of a woman due to be executed for theft. He campaigned against the requirement to pay tithes, which was a tax to fund absentee landlords.

He was arrested numerous times for speaking out on just causes.

In 1660, after his arrest in Lancaster, a Friend went to Oliver Cromwell, the leader of England, and offered himself, body for body for Fox. If Cromwell would accept the substitution, the friend would be imprisoned and Fox would be set free. Cromwell was so struck with the offer that he said to his council, "Which of you would do as much for me if I were in the same condition?" Although he could not accept Fox's friend's offer, because it was contrary to law, yet the power, he said, and truth of this generous offer "came mightily over him."

Cromwell met with Fox several times in next few years and each time was impressed with Fox's faith and the loyalty of his friends.

 

We all need life long, devoted friends who are there especially during our darkest days. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for your friends and let them know you appreciate their friendship.

 

“The more we love, the better we are, and the greater our friendships are, the dearer we are to God.” – Jeremy Taylor

 

God’s Word: “Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father, and do not go to your brother's house when disaster strikes you-- better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.” – Proverbs 27:10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - God's Discipline
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Mar 4, 2014
Devotional - God's Discipline

"Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” – Job 5:17

 

Pastor and author Dr. John F. MacArthur Jr. has written extensively on the topic of discipline. In his commentary on 1 Corinthians, he writes: “Discipline is not inconsistent with love. It is lack of discipline, in fact, that is inconsistent with love. The Lord disciplines His children because He loves them, and we will discipline our brothers and sisters in the Lord if we truly love Him and truly love them.”

The topic of discipline is sometimes controversial, but Dr. MacArthur makes a case for it in his book “Called To Lead.” He writes:

“Why is discipline important? Discipline teaches us to operate by principle rather than desire. Saying no to our impulses (even the ones that are not inherently sinful) puts us in control of our appetites rather than vice versa. It deposes our lust and permits truth, virtue, and integrity to rule our minds instead.”

 

Discipline is never pleasant, but discipline from God always brings blessings. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for any correction He has brought into your life.

 

“God has no pleasure in afflicting us, but He will not keep back even the most painful chastisement if He can but thereby guide His beloved child to come home and abide in the beloved Son.” – Andrew Murray

 

God’s Word: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - The Appropriate Response
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Mar 3, 2014
Devotional - The Appropriate Response

“and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.’” – Job 1:21

 

The Rev. Dr. John Rowan Claypool IV was well known and much loved as a minister, preacher, theologian, author, and teacher. In his book "Living and Growing Through Grief," he describes the death of his young daughter.

In 1970, he and his wife Ann lost their 8 year old daughter, Laura Lou, to leukemia. John later explained his loss by telling a story from his childhood.

During WWII John's family didn't own a washing machine, and since gas was rationed, they couldn't afford to drive to a laundry. Keeping their clothes clean became a challenge. John's neighbor went into the service and his wife moved in with her family. They offered to let John's family use their Bendix wringer washer while they were gone. They reasoned it would be better for it to be used than to sit rusting on the porch.

John helped with the family's laundry, and he said he developed a fondness for that old green Bendix. When the war ended his neighbors returned, and they reclaimed their washing machine. Over the course of the war, young John had actually forgotten the machine was loaned to them, so when the neighbors removed it, John was upset and angry that they would take his washing machine. His mother sat him down and said, "John, you must remember that the washing machine never belonged to us in the first place. That we ever got to use it at all was a gift. So, instead of being mad at it being taken away, let us use this as an occasion to be thankful that we ever had it at all."

John said years later he struggled with the death of eight-year-old Laura Lou, until he remembered that old green Bendix. He wrote: "When I remember that Laura Lou was a gift, pure and simple, something I neither earned nor deserved nor had a right to; and when I remember that the appropriate response to a gift, even when it is taken away, is gratitude, then I am better able to try and thank God that I was ever given her in the first place."

 

The Lord is the giver of all good things, and it is naturally difficult when someone or something is taken away from us. Today in prayer, if you are wrestling after a loss, praise the Lord that He is near you during difficult times.

 

“In almost everything that touches our everyday life on earth, God is pleased when we're pleased. He wills that we be as free as birds to soar and sing our maker's praise without anxiety.” – A.W. Tozer

 

God’s Word: “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Ephesians 5:20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

Devotional - It's Complete Surrender
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Mar 2, 2014
Devotional - It's Complete Surrender

“In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.” – Job 1:1

 

Eric Liddell is remembered as the missionary to China who won Olympic gold in the men’s 400-meter race at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. Known as the “Flying Scotsman,” Eric was depicted in the Oscar-winning 1981 film “Chariots of Fire.”

But in China, there is a monument to Eric Liddell that has nothing to do with running. On the grounds of the former Weihsien Internment Camp in Northern China, the monument remembers Eric’s kindness. It was there the Japanese imprisoned Eric during World War II.

Captured in 1943, he was a leader and organizer at the camp. Eric busied himself by helping the elderly, teaching at the camp school Bible classes, arranging games and by teaching science to the children, who referred to him as Uncle Eric.

One of his fellow internees, Norman Cliff, later wrote a book about his experiences in the camp. Cliff described Eric as "the finest Christian gentleman it has been my pleasure to meet. In all the time in the camp, I never heard him say a bad word about anybody". Langdon Gilkey, who also survived the camp said of Eric: "Often in an evening I would see him bent over a chessboard or a model boat, or directing some sort of square dance - absorbed, weary and interested, pouring all of himself into this effort to capture the imagination of these penned-up youths. He was overflowing with good humor and love for life, and with enthusiasm and charm. It is rare indeed that a person has the good fortune to meet a saint, but he came as close to it as anyone I have ever known."

Just 5 months before the end of the War, Eric died of a brain tumor. According to a fellow missionary, his last words were, "It's complete surrender", in reference to how he had given his life to the Lord.

 

Do you desire to be a man or woman who is blameless and upright? In all that you do, completely surrender to the Lord. Today in prayer, ask Jesus to take all of your life for His glory.

 

“I fear God, yet I am not afraid of Him.” - Thomas Browne

 

God’s Word: “This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.” – Genesis 6:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOB

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