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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions In Joshua, Judges, Ruth
Devotional - Show Kindness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 30, 2015
Devotional - Show Kindness

“"The LORD bless him!" Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. "He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead." She added, "That man is our close relative; he is one of our kinsman-redeemers."” – Ruth 2:20

 

In preparation for the 2012 London Olympic Games, two men were favored for the 200-meter breaststroke race. Daniel Gyurta of Hungary and Dale Oen of Norway. Then just months before the Olympics, Dale Oen suddenly died of a heart attack while training in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Daniel won the 200-meter breaststroke at the 2012 London Olympics, and broke a World Record in the process. After the race, Daniel had a special gold medal created. It had a portrait of Dale on one side and the London Tower on the other side. He then traveled to Norway and presented the medal to Dale’s family.  

Daniel Gyurta was recognized for his kindness and was the recipient of the 2013 International Fair Play prize, awarded at a meeting of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in respect of his medal tribute to Dale.

 

In all that we do, we need to be kind. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to make kindness a quality that you would never tire to give others.

 

"It is the history of our kindnesses that alone make the world tolerable. If it were not for that—for the effect of kind words, kind looks, kind letters, multiplying, spreading, making one happy through another, and bringing forth benefits, some thirty, some fifty, some a thousandfold—I should be tempted to think our life a practical jest in the worst possible spirit." – Robert Louis Stevenson

 

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 JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Fit In Their Own Eyes
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 27, 2015
Devotional - Fit In Their Own Eyes

“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” – Judges 21:25

 

In November 2012, Colorado voters passed Amendment 64 allowing adults aged 21 and older to grow a small amount of marijuana for personal use. Visitors and tourists in Colorado can use and purchase marijuana, but can not take it out of the state.

Since 1996, 23 states and Washington, DC have passed laws allowing marijuana to be used for a variety of medical conditions. It is important to recognize that these state marijuana laws do not change the fact that using marijuana continues to be an offense under Federal law.  Nor do these state laws change the criteria or process for the FDA approval of safe and effective medications.

To make matters more confusing, a lawsuit was filed by the states of Oklahoma and Nebraska that asks the U.S. Supreme Court to curtail Colorado’s new recreational marijuana law.  

Colorado countered arguing in a response to the lawsuit that Nebraska and Oklahoma were trying to reach across their borders and selectively invalidate state laws with which they disagree.

Additionally, 10 Colorado sheriffs have filed lawsuit, calling for an end to recreational marijuana sales, seeking to overturn Amendment 64′s protections for adult use and possession.

 

Sin and chaos rule our lives when Jesus is not on the throne of our heart. Today in prayer, thank Christ that He died for you and has given you a new perspective for living.

 

“The basis of all sin is selfishness.” – David O. McKay

 

God’s Word: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” – Judges 17:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - When Weaknesses Are Exposed
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 26, 2015
Devotional - When Weaknesses Are Exposed

“So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head," he said, "because I have been a Nazirite set apart to God since birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man." – Judges 16:17

 

On May 21, 2005, Andrew Golota fought Lamon Brewster for the WBO heavyweight boxing title in Chicago.  Golota, a strong fighter with a powerful punch, had 38 wins, 5 loses, and 31 knockouts. Golota was also taller than Brewster. In preparation for the fight, Brewster studied tape of Golota's boxing, looking for an opening. He noticed that the way Golota held his hands left him open for a left hook.

Within seconds after the first round began, Brewster found the opening and threw a left hook.  Golota went down to the mat and got up.  Brewster threw another left hook and Golota went down again.  He stood up and the fight resumed.  Brewster threw another left hook to the same opening, and Golota went down for the 3rd time, which counted as a knockout.  Lamon Brewster won the fight in the first round because he was the smarter fighter.  All he had to do pound on his opponent's weakness.

 

In a similar way, Satan knows are weaknesses and pounds away at them. But we can overcome temptations through the power and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to lead you away from temptations and to follow Him all the days of your life.

 

“Let us learn more about the power of temptation in order to avoid it.” – John Owen

 

God’s Word: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” – Matthew 6:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional- So He May Receive The Glory
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 25, 2015
Devotional- So He May Receive The Glory

“The LORD said to Gideon, "You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her” – Judges 7:2

 

On November 29, 1992, the New York Jets were playing the Kansas City Chiefs. Dennis Byrd was about to sack the quarterback when he collided with a teammate and his spinal cord was snapped. In a split-second, his football career ended. He was paralyzed from the neck down. Everything he had planned for his life came to a screeching halt.

The world watched and listened as Dennis Byrd told the media that Christ was his source of comfort in his time of tragedy. The doctors announced to the media that Dennis may never walk again, and it would be years before they would know. Dennis told the media that with God's help, he would walk again—soon.

On opening day of the 1993 football season, less than a year after the tragic collision, millions of television viewers watched Dennis Byrd walk out to the middle of the Meadowlands Stadium while 75,000 fans stood cheering in ovation. The miracle in Dennis Byrd's life was not that he broke his neck and walked again. The miracle is that the injury that destroyed his career didn't destroy his life.

In Dennis’ home the following poem hangs in the foyer:

“I have been through the fire and it has tempered me. It did not come as my friend, yet I am thankful. For its presence has strengthened my soul. Its embers have brightened my spirit. The memories have brought me closer to God. For this, I am forever thankful.”

 

It is in our weakness and our struggles that Jesus Christ receives glory. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that when we are weak, Jesus is strong and all the glory belongs to Christ.

 

“God’s glory is His reputation. To live for God’s glory means to live so that God’s reputation is enhanced (heightened in quantity and quality) and not diminished in any way.” – Charles Ryrie

 

God’s Word: “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, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - God's Call
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 24, 2015
Devotional - God's Call

“The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?"” – Judges 6:14

 

In the early days of his Christian life, Christian author Os Guinness believed that he had to prove his commitment to Christ by becoming a minister or missionary. So, urged on by his spiritual mentors, he worked for a well-known church, but he was miserable. God changed his heart and refined his calling through a random encounter at a gas station. Here's how Guinness described it in his book entitled “The Call”:

[In the days before self-service gas stations], I had just had my car filled up with gas and enjoyed a marvelously rich conversation with the pump attendant. As I turned on the key and the engine to [my car] roared to life, a thought suddenly hit me with the force of an avalanche: This man was the first person I had spoken to in a week who was not a church member. I was in danger of being drawn in a religious ghetto … . Ten minutes of conversation with a friendly gas pump attendant on a beautiful spring evening in [England], and I knew once and for all I was not cut out to [work full-time in a church].

Instead, as Guinness continued to pray and seek God's guidance, he discovered that God was calling him to work in the world so he could use his gifts and build relationships with people who didn't know Christ. After God released Guinness from what he was not supposed to do, Guinness found the freedom to pursue God's true calling for his life.

 

What is the Lord calling you to do? Today in prayer, look to Jesus to supply all of your needs and then follow Him with all of your heart.

 

“God doesn’t call people who are qualified. He calls people who are willing, and then He qualifies them.” – Richard Parker

 

God’s Word: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"” – Isaiah 6:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

 

Devotional - Sin Can Be Deadly
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 23, 2015
Devotional - Sin Can Be Deadly

“Once again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and because they did this evil the LORD gave Eglon king of Moab power over Israel.” - Judges 3:12

 

In New Brunswick, Canada, four-year-old Noah Barthe and his six-year-old brother Connor were found dead on August 5, 2013, after an African rock python strangled the two boys. The two boys were staying the night at a family friend’s apartment, which was in the same complex as an exotic pet store.

The snake had escaped its enclosure in the pet store because the owner of the store failed to secure the latch on its cage. The python was then able to slither up into the ventilation system, which soon collapsed under the weight of the reptile. This left the python loose in the living room, where it came across the two defenseless youths sleeping.

An investigation found that the pet store was an unlicensed zoo and pet store. Police charged the pet storeowner with criminal negligence in the death of the two boys.

 

Allowing sins to have freedom in your life can be deadly. Today in prayer, confess any sin in your life, repent from it and seek to grow closer to Jesus every day.

 

“It is a miserable thing to be a backslider. Of all unhappy things that can befall a man, I suppose ‘backsliding’ is the worst. A stranded ship, a broken-winged eagle, a garden overrun with weeds, a harp without strings, a church in ruins—all these are sad sights. But a backslider is a sadder sight still.” – John Charles Ryle

 

God’s Word: “But now that you know God--or rather are known by God--how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?” – Galatians 4:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

 

Devotional - Life Without God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 20, 2015
Devotional - Life Without God

“After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.” – Judges 2:10

 

One of the most disturbing facts about countries where many of their citizens are atheists is the suicide rate. It is the one indicator of societal health in which religious nations fare much better than secular nations. According to the 2003 World Health Organization's report on international male suicides rates (which compared 100 countries), of the top ten nations with the highest male suicide rates, all but one (Sri Lanka) are strongly irreligious nations with high levels of atheism. It is interesting to note, however, that of the top remaining nine nations leading the world in male suicide rates, all are former Soviet/Communist nations, such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Latvia. Of the bottom ten nations with the lowest male suicide rates, all are highly religious nations with statistically insignificant levels of organic atheism.

The study concluded that religious affiliation is associated with less suicidal behavior.

 

Life without God would be depressing. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He saved you and through Him you have peace and eternal life.

 

“They that deny a God, destroy man's nobility: for certainly man is of kin to the beast by his body; and if he be not kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature.” – Francis Bacon

 

God’s Word: “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.” – Galatians 4:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Our Protector
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 19, 2015
Devotional - Our Protector

“It was the LORD our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled.” – Joshua 24:17

 

In 1950, Lorrie Anderson and Doris Cox arrived in Peru as missionaries to the headhunting Shapra Indians. The women were able to lead the chief to the Lord in a short period of time and began teaching the tribe about Christ.

One day Lorrie was looking for a quiet place for her daily time of Bible reading and prayer, so she went down by the edge of the river. After reading the Bible, she took up her prayer list. Eyes closed, she did not see the deadly anaconda snake weaving through the water until it struck, burying its fangs into her flesh. It withdrew to strike, hitting her arm again and again as it held her, screaming, in its coils. It reared up for the deathblows. Then suddenly the giant snake, never known to release its prey, relaxed its grip and slithered off through the water. While Lorrie was being treated, a witch doctor from a nearby village burst into the hut and stared at her. She couldn't believe Lorrie had survived. She said her son-in-law, also a witch doctor, had chanted to the spirit of the anaconda that morning and sent it to kill the young missionary. "I'm certain," Lorrie said, "that except for the protection of God, it would have worked." 

 

The Lord protects and guides us through all of the events in our lives. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He protects you from all types of harm.

 

“The moment we begin to tread upon the thin ice of our own abilities, we have traveled beyond the realm of God’s promised protection and provision.” – Bart J. Leger

 

God’s Protection: “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” – Psalm 17:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Serve With Faithfulness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 18, 2015
Devotional - Serve With Faithfulness

“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:14

 

John Wesley was a British pastor who is credited with starting the Methodist Church. When he died there were 135,000 members of the Methodist Church and 541 itinerant preachers under the name "Methodist".

A lady once asked John Wesley that suppose he were to know that he would die at 12:00 midnight tomorrow, how would he spend the intervening time. His reply: “Why madam, just as I intend to spend it now. I would preach this evening at Gloucester, and again at five tomorrow morning; after that I would ride to Tewkesbury, preach in the afternoon, and meet the societies in the evening. I would then go to Rev. Martin’s house, who expects to entertain me, talk and pray with the family as usual, retire to my room at 10 o’clock, commend myself to my heavenly Father, lie down to rest, and wake up in Glory.”

 

Wherever the Lord has planted you, serve Him faithfully. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for the gifts and talents He has given you and seek to serve Him faithfully.

 

“As long as I see any thing to be done for God, life is worth having; but O how vain and unworthy it is to live for any lower end!” – David Brainerd

 

God’s Word: “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” – 1 Peter 4:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Let God Be Your God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 17, 2015
Devotional - Let God Be Your God

“If you violate the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the LORD's anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you." – Joshua 23:16

 

When Hindus worship their gods, the idols are made of stone, wood, ashtadhatu, brass, crystal, or mercury.

Stone idols are the most common and are used in houses and temples. They are polished soapstone made into likenesses of Hindu deities.

Wooden idols are rarely used for worshipping in temples and at home, they are mainly used as decorative pieces. These idols are made of sandalwood or rosewood.

Ashtadhatu is a very sacred alloy of eight metals namely, gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead, tin, iron and mercury. It has very high value in Hinduism. Ashtadhatu is widely used for making idols of Hindu gods and goddesses.

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc and is extensively used for crafting beautiful idols of Hindu gods and goddesses. Brass is a very durable material.

Crystal idols are transparent, lustrous and smooth stones. In Indian astrology, crystal is used as a substitute of diamond to appease the planet Venus.

Lastly, mercury is one of the most pure and auspicious of metals. It is known to have medicinal and astrological benefits.

Mercury idol worshipers are said to be full of glory, honor, fame, knowledge, wisdom and have a happy successful family life.

All of these idols are made from human hands, the materials are inert and were never alive, and these statues should never command our worship.

 

Don’t let any idolatry slip into your life. Let the living God be the God of your life. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He is worthy of our worship and confess and repent from any sin of idolatry.

 

“Idolatry is an attempt to use God for man’s purposes, rather than to give oneself to God’s service.” – C.F.D. Moule

 

God’s Word: “Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.” – 1 Corinthians 10:14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Love The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 16, 2015
Devotional - Love The Lord

“So be very careful to love the LORD your God.” – Joshua 23:11

 

Christian author Jill Briscoe relates the following story: “We have a young man in our church who is a doctor. He went to Ghana with Chuck Colson. While he was in Ghana, he went into the prisons and did some medical work there. He found a young Ghanian doctor who had a kidney problem. The American doctor brought the Ghanian doctor and his brother back to this country to Milwaukee. Here Christian doctors transplanted the kidney of one brother into the other brother, hoping that this would help. Actually it didn't, and the young doctor returned to Ghana no better, and his healthy brother was minus a kidney.

I tell you that story because I think any of us would do the same for our brother. Or if your child had leukemia, wouldn't you say, "Take my bone marrow." If you loved that person, then, surely, you would help. But how many people do you know who would say, "You need a heart? Take mine." Do you know anyone like that? I don't know any one like that. Or do I?

When God looked down at the human race and saw that only a transplant would do, Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity said, "Take my heart." And God did. On an operating table in the shape of a cross, God, the Great Physician, lifted out the heart and nature of Jesus Christ and offered them to the world.

He offered his heart because he knew that our heart would never love God. You can take it to church and sit it in the pew and give it a hymnbook and teach it how it should be a good little Christian heart. And it's still the same old wicked heart that you were born with. But when you, as the Bible says, "become a partaker of the divine nature," and receive Christ's heart, Christ's nature, Christ himself by his Holy Spirit, then all the valves are Open. You have the possibility of loving God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.”

 

Love Jesus with all of your heart. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His love for you and let Him know that you love Him.

 

“Let us make God the beginning and the end of our love, for he is the fountain from which all good things flow and into him alone they flow back. Let him therefore be the beginning of our love.” – Richard Rolle

 

God’s Word: “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'” – Mark 12:28-30

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Be Strong In Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 13, 2015
Devotional - Be Strong In Christ

“Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left.” – Joshua 23:6

 

Vibia Perpetua was a young woman of noble birth. She was twenty-two, a wife, a mother of a young son and a Christian. In the city of Carthage in North Africa on March 7 of the year 203 she was put to death for her religious convictions. She sang hymns as the crowd jeered and a lion, leopard and wild bull encircled her.

One of the beasts attacked, hurling her to the ground. She covered an exposed thigh with her bloody robe to preserve her modesty and groped in the dust for her hairpin so she could fix her disheveled hair.

And when a Roman executioner approached Perpetua with a sword, her last words before collapsing were aimed at her Christian companions: “Stand fast in the faith, and love you all one another and do not let our sufferings be a stumbling block to you.”

 

Be strong in Christ and do not be timid in following Him. Today in prayer, thank Christ for His wonderful love towards you and seek to follow Him in all that you do.

 

“It does not require great learning to be a Christian and to be convinced of the truth of the Bible. It requires only an honest heart and a willingness to obey God.” – Albert Barnes

 

God’s Word: “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” – 2 John 1:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional- God Gives Us Rest
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 12, 2015
Devotional- God Gives Us Rest

“Now that the LORD your God has given your brothers rest as he promised, return to your homes in the land that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side of the Jordan.” – Joshua 22:4

 

In 1964, the Iowa 80 Truckstop began serving truckers out of a small white enamel building in Walcott, Iowa.  Bill Moon, Iowa 80 founder, located the rest spot, at what is now Exit 284 along Interstate 80, for Standard Oil. In 1984, Standard Oil (now Amoco) decided to sell the facility.  Bill Moon purchased the facility and expanded the number of buildings and services.

“Bill just loved everything about trucks and trucking,” says Carolyn Moon.  “He loved to sit at the counter in the restaurant and talk to drivers about what would make their life easier if Iowa 80 had it.  He truly enjoyed the truck stop business and all of the people he encountered.”

Today, after 28 expansions and remodels, Iowa 80 is overseen by the second generation of the Moon Family and gives rest to more than 5,000 people each day. Amenities at the rest stop include the Iowa 80 Kitchen, a 300-seat restaurant; gift store, the Super Truck Showroom, a dentist, a barber shop, a chiropractor, a workout room, laundry facilities, a 60-seat movie theatre, a trucker’s TV lounge, a Verizon store kiosk, 24 private showers, a Food Court featuring Wendy’s, Dairy Queen, Orange Julius, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Caribou Coffee; a convenience store, a custom embroidery and vinyl shop, 10 gas islands, 16 diesel lanes, a fuel center, a 7-bay truck service center, a 3-bay Truckomat truck wash, a CAT Scale, a Dogomat Pet Wash, and the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum. It is the largest and most unique rest stop for travelers.

 

The Lord desires us to take breaks often and to rest in Him. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that His yoke is light and He gives rest to all who are weary and come to Him.

 

“The stops of a good man are ordered by the Lord as well as his steps.” – George Mueller

 

God’s Word: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

 

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DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - He Keeps His Promises
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 11, 2015
Devotional - He Keeps His Promises

“Not one of all the LORD's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” – Joshua 21:45

 

The oldest recorded treaty is the Egyptian–Hittite peace treaty. It was concluded between Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II and Hittite King Hattusili III. According to most Egyptologists it was ratified in or around 1259 BC. The treaty marking the official end of negotiations and Ramesses II's acceptance from Hittite diplomats of a silver tablet on which the terms were inscribed. The location where the treaty was signed is uncertain.

Its purpose was to establish and maintain peaceful relations between the parties. It was the first known diplomatic agreement from the Near East.

Sometimes called the Treaty of Kadesh, after the Battle of Kadesh fought some sixteen years earlier, the treaty itself did not bring about a peace; in fact an atmosphere of enmity between the Hittites and Egyptians lasted many years until a treaty of alliance was signed.

A copy of this treaty is prominently displayed on a wall in the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. It is the longest recorded kept promise one nation has had with another.

 

The Lord is faithful in all that He promises; His promises stand throughout eternity. Today in prayer, thank Christ that you can depend upon His promises and He is true to His Word.

 

“The message of promise is the beginning and end of everything that is included in the Bible. It undergirds every word, sometimes openly, sometimes subtly, but it is always there. God’s promises are the common thread that unites the Old and New Testament, the core that makes sixty-six books into one.” – Mark Tabb

 

God’s Word: “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” – Numbers 23:19

 

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DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Run To Our Refuge
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 10, 2015
Devotional - Run To Our Refuge

“Then the LORD said to Joshua: ‘Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood.’” – Joshua 20:1-3

 

The term “sanctuary city” was first initiated in 1979 in Los Angeles, to prevent police from inquiring about the immigration status of arrestees. The internal policy, "Special Order 40," states: "Officers shall not initiate police action with the objective of discovering the alien status of a person. Officers shall not arrest nor book persons for violation of title 8, section 1325 of the United States Immigration code (Illegal Entry)." More than 30 American cities including Washington, D.C.; New York City; Philadelphia, and San Francisco have followed Los Angeles’ lead.

The Common Council of the city of Madison, Wisconsin enacted an ordinance on 5 March 1985 forbidding city employees, ostensibly including city police, to even co-operate with U.S. immigration officials.

The term “sanctuary city” generally applies to cities that do not allow municipal funds or resources to be used to enforce federal immigration laws, usually by not allowing police or municipal employees to inquire about an individual's immigration status. The designation has no legal meaning.

 

In Jesus Christ, we have permanent refuge where we can be purified from all sin. Today in prayer, thank Christ that He is your refuge in this turbulent world.

 

“Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee; Leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me. All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring; Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.” – Charles Wesley

 

God’s Word: “Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” – Psalm 2:11-12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Line Six, Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 9, 2015
Devotional - Line Six, Lord

“So on that day Moses swore to me, 'The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.'” – Joshua 14:9

 

At Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Tomb was established in 1921 and the unknown soldiers laid to rest at the Tomb represent all missing and unknown service members who made the ultimate sacrifice.

There are guards around the Tomb continuously that are handpicked and rigorously trained. Tomb Guards describe their service as a privilege and an honor, and are undeniably proud of their service. They are part of an unbroken chain of soldiers dating back to 1926.

There is a tradition among the guards who serve at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Whenever they salute a commissioned officer they say in a loud voice. “Line six, sir!” That is a reference to line six of the Sentinel’s Creed. In 99 words this creed captures what it means to be a guard at the Tomb. It states, “My dedication to this sacred duty is total and whole-hearted.

In the responsibility bestowed on me never will I falter. And with dignity and perseverance my standard will remain perfection. Through the years of diligence and praise and the discomfort of the elements, I will walk my tour in humble reverence to the best of my ability. It is he who commands the respect I protect, his bravery that made us so proud. Surrounded by well meaning crowds by day, alone in the thoughtful peace of night, this soldier will in honored glory rest under my eternal vigilance.”

 

Following the Lord wholeheartedly means commitment, there is no turning back. Today in prayer, thank Christ that He went to the Cross with commitment and choose to follow Him with your whole heart.

 

“Christ is not valued at all unless He is valued above all.” – Augustine

 

God’s Word: “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.” – Romans 6:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Avoid Covetousness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 6, 2015
Devotional - Avoid Covetousness

“When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath." – Joshua 7:21

 

Creflo Augustus Dollar, Jr. is an American televangelist, pastor, and the founder of the non-denominational World Changers Church International based in Fulton County, Georgia, Creflo Dollar Ministerial Association (formerly called International Covenant Ministries), Creflo Dollar Ministries, and Arrow Records.

Dollar is known for his controversial teachings regarding prosperity theology, or the gospel of wealth. He has long been criticized for living a lavish lifestyle; he owns two Rolls-Royces, a private jet, and real estate such as a million-dollar home in Atlanta, a $2.5 million home in Demarest, New Jersey, and a $2.5 million home in Manhattan, which he sold for $3.75 million in 2012.

In March 2015, Dollar appealed in a video to "friends from around the world," soliciting donations to replace his current 1984 Gulfstream G-1159A.

He has refused to disclose his salary. Creflo Dollar Ministries received a grade of "F" (failing) for financial transparency by the organization Ministry Watch.

 

Greed and covetousness puts things above our love for the Lord. Today in prayer, confess any sin of covetousness and seek Jesus with all of your heart.

 

“Covetousness is perhaps the most serious sin in the West today, and no covetous person will inherit the kingdom of God.” – Ron Sider

 

God’s Word: “Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." – Luke 12:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - God's Commandments Protect And Provide
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 5, 2015
Devotional - God's Commandments Protect And Provide

“Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.” – Joshua 7:11-12

 

In January 1863, the British sailing ship HMS Orpheus set sail for the west coast of New Zealand. It had a crew of 259 men. The ship made her approach to Manukau Harbor on 7 February.  Near Whatipu beach there was a series of dangerous sand bars. The weather was clear and sunny. Although the bars had been charted twice, in 1836 and 1856, a revised pilotage guide from 1861 was available that indicated that the middle sand bar had moved northwards and grown considerably in the intervening time.

The sailing master William Strong originally used the updated instructions for entering the harbor, but he was over-ruled by the commodore and the ship proceeded according to the 1856 chart.

As the ship approached the submerged bar, a navigational signal from nearby Paratutae Island was received instructing her to turn north to avoid a grounding. Soon after, Quartermaster Frederick Butler (a convicted deserter, and one of only two men on board to have previously entered Manukau Harbour) alerted the senior officers to the improper course they were taking. Despite finally attempting to correct their course, a few minutes later, at approximately 1:30 in the afternoon, Orpheus hit the bar in an approximate position. The resulting shipwreck claimed 189 men’s lives because the commodore ignored the warnings.  

 

The Lord warns us to protect us. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His Commandments and seek to follow Him in all that you do.

"The law is not over us, to condemn us, but under our feet, to be a guide for our path. In saying that, it is the moral law, as reflected in the Ten Commandments, to which I refer, which we have the pleasure of obeying to the glory of God and out of gratitude for our salvation." – Richard D. Phillips

 

God’s Word: “For in my inner being I delight in God's law” – Romans 7:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Give God Time
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 4, 2015
Devotional - Give God Time

“"Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, "What message does my Lord have for his servant?"” – Joshua 5:14

 

Frank W. Boreham was a British pastor and Christian author. He spent a majority of his life in New Zealand. He wrote some 3,000 editorials that appeared in the Hobart Mercury every week for 47 years between 1912-1959. He was also the author of 46 books.  

Writing about God’s sure guidance, Frank recounted a time when a minister visited the Boreham home in New Zealand.  Being young and inexperienced, Frank sought the counsel of his guest. He said that one morning they were sitting on the veranda, looking out over the golden plains to the purple sunlit mountains. Frank asked the minister, "Can a man be sure that in the hour of perplexity he will be rightly led by God? Can he feel secure against making a false step?"

"I am certain of it," exclaimed the minister, "if he will but give God time! As long as you live, remember that. Give God time!"

 

Every day we need to seek the Lord and ask Him: “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” Today in prayer, seek to do the will of Christ and let others see Christ at work in you.

 

“It is a vain thought to flee from the work that God appoints us, instead of seeking it in loving obedience.” – George Eliot

 

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” – James 1:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Be Courageous
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 3, 2015
Devotional - Be Courageous

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

 

Tofik trained to become an imam for 24 years at an Islamic madrasa school in Ethiopia.

He said he was taught that Christians are bad people, and that he and the other students were encouraged to steal from and kill non-Muslims. “We beat them, attacked the church and burnt their Bibles,” said Tofik.

“There was an incident in 2002 where I had a vision from the Lord early in the morning around 3 a.m.,” he said. “In the vision I saw Jesus very clearly telling me to follow him.”

 “My wife asked me what happened in my dream, because I woke up very startled, and when I explained it to her she was scared and said, ‘We are going to be infidels, so we need to pray.’”

Soon the village heard of Toflik’s faith in Christ.  “They reacted by coming to my home saying, ‘this brother is dead.’ In our culture, when someone dies their property is shared. So they destroyed my house, setting it on fire, and they took my cattle, and the remainder of my property,” he said. “They then falsely accused me of burning another house, so I was jailed and taken to court. It was only in the court process that the witnesses proved their dishonesty by having contradicting testimonies.”

After being released from jail, Tofik inspired more than 200 people to faith in Jesus.

“The Bible became my weapon. I travelled many places to preach and teach about the Christian faith… I planted a church right in the compound where I live and many people decided to follow Christ - and as a result local villagers were upset. So again, they attacked me physically and burned my house.”

The beating was so brutal the attackers thought they had killed Tofik.

But Tofik survived and he continues to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

 

Troubles will come to all of us, but we have a God who will give us the strength to bear up if we trust in Him. Today in prayer, give Jesus your worries, anxieties and fears and trust in Him to be with you.

 

"The way to grow strong in Christ is to become weak in yourself.” – Charles H. Spurgeon 

 

God’s Word: “But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Be A Bible Student
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 2, 2015
Devotional - Be A Bible Student

“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” – Joshua 1:8

 

The origins of Vacation Bible School can be traced back to Hopedale, Illinois in May 1894. Sunday school teacher Martha J. "Mattie" Pritchard Miles, wife of the Methodist minister the Reverend D. T. Miles, taught the first classes. Mattie was a public school teacher and she felt there were limited time constraints in teaching the Bible to children. So, she started a daily Bible school to teach children during the summer. The first Bible school enrolled 37 students and it lasted four weeks. The students learned and memorized Bible verses. A local school was used for classes, while an adjoining park was used for recess.

The twenty-four year old Mattie had a heart to reach all children for Christ. She said that the Vacation Bible School “was for all children of whatever church, or no church at all.” Since that first meeting, Vacation Bible Schools have been duplicated in every Christian denomination in the United States and worldwide.

 

We need to be students of the Word of God, no matter what age. Today in prayer, read through your favorite Bible verses and ask the Lord to help you commit them to memory.

 

“I am convinced that one of the greatest things we can do is to memorize Scripture.” – Billy Graham

 

God’s Word: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

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