Devotional.com - Free Christian Devotional
Devotional Archive
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions In Letters Of Peter
Devotional - Growing In God's Grace
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday May 30, 2018
Devotional - Growing In God's Grace

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” - 2 Peter 3:18

 

Author Timothy Paul Jones writes the following about grace:

“Our middle daughter had been previously adopted by another family. I [Timothy] am sure this couple had the best of intentions, but they never quite integrated the adopted child into their family of biological children. After a couple of rough years, they dissolved the adoption, and we ended up welcoming an eight-year-old girl into our home.

For one reason or another, whenever our daughter’s previous family vacationed at Disney World, they took their biological children with them, but they left their adopted daughter with a family friend. Usually — at least in the child’s mind — this happened because she did something wrong that precluded her presence on the trip.

And so, by the time we adopted our daughter, she had seen many pictures of Disney World and she had heard about the rides and the characters and the parades. But when it came to passing through the gates of the Magic Kingdom, she had always been the one left on the outside. Once I found out about this history, I made plans to take her to Disney World the next time a speaking engagement took our family to the southeastern United States.

I thought I had mastered the Disney World drill. I knew from previous experiences that the prospect of seeing cast members in freakishly oversized mouse and duck costumes somehow turns children into squirming bundles of emotional instability. What I didn’t expect was that the prospect of visiting this dream world would produce a stream of downright devilish behavior in our newest daughter. In the month leading up to our trip to the Magic Kingdom, she stole food when a simple request would have gained her a snack. She lied when it would have been easier to tell the truth. She whispered insults that were carefully crafted to hurt her older sister as deeply as possible — and, as the days on the calendar moved closer to the trip, her mutinies multiplied.

A couple of days before our family headed to Florida, I pulled our daughter into my lap to talk through her latest escapade. “I know what you’re going to do,” she stated flatly. “You’re not going to take me to Disney World, are you?” The thought hadn’t actually crossed my mind, but her downward spiral suddenly started to make some sense. She knew she couldn’t earn her way into the Magic Kingdom — she had tried and failed that test several times before — so she was living in a way that placed her as far as possible from the most magical place on earth.

In retrospect, I’m embarrassed to admit that, in that moment, I was tempted to turn her fear to my own advantage. The easiest response would have been, “If you don’t start behaving better, you’re right, we won’t take you” — but, by God’s grace, I didn’t. Instead, I asked her, “Is this trip something we’re doing as a family?”

She nodded, brown eyes wide and tear-rimmed.

“Are you part of this family?”

She nodded again.

“Then you’re going with us. Sure, there may be some consequences to help you remember what’s right and what’s wrong — but you’re part of our family, and we’re not leaving you behind.”

I’d like to say that her behaviors grew better after that moment. They didn’t. Her choices pretty much spiraled out of control at every hotel and rest stop all the way to Lake Buena Vista. Still, we headed to Disney World on the day we had promised, and it was a typical Disney day. Overpriced tickets, overpriced meals, and lots of lines, mingled with just enough manufactured magic to consider maybe going again someday.

In our hotel room that evening, a very different child emerged. She was exhausted, pensive, and a little weepy at times, but her month-long facade of rebellion had faded. When bedtime rolled around, I prayed with her, held her, and asked, “So how was your first day at Disney World?”

She closed her eyes and snuggled down into her stuffed unicorn. After a few moments, she opened her eyes ever so slightly. “Daddy,” she said, “I finally got to go to Disney World. But it wasn’t because I was good; it’s because I’m yours.”

It wasn’t because I was good; it’s because I’m yours.

That’s the message of outrageous grace.”

 

It is by God’s grace that we are saved. Today in prayer, pray that you will grow in the grace of Jesus.

 

“What gives me the most hope every day is God's grace; knowing that his grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.” – Rick Warren

 

God's Word: “But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!”– Romans 5:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - Be Patient
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday May 29, 2018
Devotional - Be Patient

"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." - 2 Peter 3:9

 

No one has disrupted the automobile market more in the last 100 years than Elon Musk.

In 2006, Elon outlined Tesla’s automotive strategy. For the next ten years, Elon quietly stuck to the plan with patience and focus. He built luxury electric cars, but most people could not afford them. It was not until his planned Model 3 that a Tesla car was affordable to many.

Then in 2016, he announced a second move for Tesla. It was one that moved Tesla beyond the traditional car market, with a plan to reconfigure our cities, energy systems, and our impact on the environment.

Of himself, Elon Musk said, “I slave not over deadlines but solely for these challenges I set for myself.”

On the subject of patience, Elon said: “Patience is a virtue, and I'm learning patience. It's a tough lesson.”

 

In this life we need to be patient. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His patience toward you and ask Him that you may be patient in all things.

 

"Be patient enough to live one day at a time as Jesus taught us, letting yesterday go and leaving tomorrow till it arrives." – John F. Newton

 

God's Word: "A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly." - Proverbs 14:29

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - Wholesome Thinking
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday May 28, 2018
Devotional - Wholesome Thinking

“Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.” – 2 Peter 3:1

 

Peter Horrobin, in a devotional about “Wholesome Thinking” wrote the following:

“Everything we do in life – whether it be good or bad – always begins with a thought. Then as we think about it, we decide to do it and finally we involve our body in the action that began as a thought. Now, if our thinking is always wholesome, then it’s obvious that the actions that follow will also be wholesome. But if in our minds we dwell on the ungodly, the unwholesome, the crude, the selfish and the greedy, to quote but a few possibilities, then our consequential actions will also be a reflection of what we’ve been thinking. What a contrast between the two sets of actions!

Peter’s advice holds good for us now. No wonder Paul encouraged us to take every thought captive, for if we control our thinking then our ways will truly be guided by the Lord into the ways of righteousness and the ways of blessing.”

 

So how do we stimulate wholesome thoughts? The Apostle Peter gives us the answer that He wrote two letters to stimulate us. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His Word. Spend some extra time reading it, memorizing it and meditating on its great promises.

 

“Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bear bad fruit.” – James Lane Allen

 

God’s Word: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

 

 

Devotional - Getting Lost
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday May 27, 2018
Devotional - Getting Lost

“They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness.” – 2 Peter 2:15

 

On 17 November 2012, fisherman Salvador Alvarenga set out from the fishing village of Costa Azul, Mexico. He was accompanied by Ezequiel Córdoba, a local resident of Costa Azul.  Alvarenga, an experienced sailor and fisherman, was intent on a 30-hour shift of deep-sea fishing during which he hoped to catch sharks, marlins, and sailfish, but his usual fishing mate was unable to join him. He arranged instead to bring along the inexperienced Córdoba, with whom he had never worked or even spoken.

Shortly after embarking, their boat, a 7-meter (24-foot) topless fiberglass skiff equipped with a single outboard motor and a refrigerator-sized icebox for storing fish, was blown off course by a storm that lasted five days, during which the motor and most of the portable electronics were damaged. Though they had caught nearly 1,100 pounds of fresh fish, the pair was forced to dump it overboard to make the boat maneuverable in the bad weather. Alvarenga managed to call his boss on a two-way radio and ask for help before the radio's battery died. Having neither sails nor oars, no anchor, no running lights, and no other way to contact shore, the boat began to drift aimlessly, lost on the open ocean.

After four months at sea, Córdoba lost hope and died. Alvarenga clung to life as the boat drifted at sea.

Then on 30 January 2014, he spotted a tiny, desolate islet, which turned out to be a remote corner of the Marshall Islands. Alvarenga abandoned his boat and swam to shore, where he stumbled upon a beach house owned by a local couple. Alvarenga's had been lost at sea for 438 days.

 

By nature, man gets himself lost. But when we are lost, we are lost from the grace and love of God. Today in prayer, thank Christ that by His grace we are found; found in His love and mercy.

 

“There is no one so far lost that Jesus cannot find him and cannot save him.” – Andrew Murray

 

God’s Word: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” – Luke 19:10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - No End To False Prophets
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday May 24, 2018
Devotional - No End To False Prophets

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves.”- 2 Peter 2:1

 

Charles Piazzi Smyth was an English astronomer who was Astronomer Royal for Scotland from 1846 to 1888. He made several contributions to the field of astronomy, but is remembered for his pyramidological and metrological studies of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

In 1864, he wrote a book entitled "Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid." It was responsible for spreading the belief in pyramidology throughout the world. This is the belief that secrets are hidden in the dimensions of the great pyramids. In his theory, Smyth claimed that the pyramid inch was a God-given measure handed down through the centuries from the time of Shem (Noah's Son), and that the architects of the pyramid could only have been directed by the hand of God. 

Smyth went on to propose dates for the Second Coming, first 1882 then many dates between 1892 and 1911 - all were failed predictions.

 

There is no end of the number of false prophets who try to steer us away from the Lord. Today in prayer, spend some extra time in the Gospels listening to the Jesus.

 

“False teachers invite people to come to the Master's table because of what's on it, not because they love the Master.” – Hank Hanegraaff

 

God's Word: "For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord." - Jude 4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - Your Goodness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday May 24, 2018
Devotional - Your Goodness

"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge" - 2 Peter 1:5

 

Rose Hawthorne Lathrop was a writer, but she sought greater purpose in her life. She began spending time with the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts. She was inspired by their motto, "I am for God and for the poor." She was further moved by the death of Emma Lazarus, whom she befriended in 1881. After Lazarus's death from cancer at age 38, Rose recalled that Emma was at least comfortable, unlike others who were poor. She wrote later, "Though I grieved deeply for her, I would not pity her, for she never knew unaided suffering, but every amelioration." Another story that motivated Rose to work with incurable impoverished people, was a young seamstress who was too poor to afford medical treatment and instead had herself admitted to an institution for the insane on Blackwell's Island.

In the summer of 1896, Rose trained as a nurse at the then - New York Cancer Hospital, the first institution in the United States to provide training in treating cancer while general hospitals in the city did not admit patients with cancer.

Later that year, she founded a charitable organization named after Saint Rose of Lima, Sister Rose's Free Home, to care for impoverished cancer patients.

Rose became a Roman Catholic sister and founded the order the Servants of Relief for Incurable Cancer. She became its first Mother Superior, with the name Mother Mary Alphonsa.

Years after her death, she was given the title "Servant of God" in the Catholic Church.

 

Doing good never goes out of style. Today in prayer, add goodness to your faith and bring glory to the Lord in all that you do.

 

“Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.” – John Wesley

 

God's Word: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." - Romans 12:21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - Paying Attention
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday May 23, 2018
Devotional - Paying Attention

"And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts." - 2 Peter 1:19

 

One of the dangers of being a train engineer is boredom and falling asleep. During the first century of train locomotion, countless deaths occurred because the engineer failed to pay attention and he fell asleep.

During the 1960’s, various “vigilance control systems” were developed to increase train safety by checking the train driver’s watchfulness at all times. When the engineer experienced a loss of consciousness, death or any physical issues preventing him to react, the train is automatically stopped.

In practice, the vigilance control system comes into action after a period of inactivity. If the engineer has not moved any controls for a certain amount of time then a light comes on. If the engineer does not move the controls or fails to respond within the allowed time frame, an audio alarm goes off. Finally, if still no action is detected from the engineer within a certain time, the vigilance control system will automatically trigger the train’s emergency braking to stop the train.

 

We need to pay attention to God’s Word and be students of the Bible. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to slow you down so you can pay attention to His teaching.

 

"The Word of God will stand a thousand readings; and he who has gone over it most frequently is the surest of finding new wonders there." - James Hamilton

 

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 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - Suffering Refines Our Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday May 21, 2018
Devotional - Suffering Refines Our Faith

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” – 1 Peter 5:10

 

Pastor Josef Tson was arrested and imprisoned several times in Romania during the 1970s and charged with being a Christian minister. Each time he underwent several weeks of intense interrogation, beatings and mind games before finally being exiled from the country in 1981.

It was in this climate that he began to understand the "theology of martyrdom," which later became the subject of his book, “Suffering, Martyrdom and Rewards in Heaven.” From a practical standpoint, Tson said his imprisonment helped him form a clearer view of the biblical response to persecution.

“When the secret police officer threatened to kill me, to shoot me, I smiled and I said, 'Sir, don't you understand that when you kill me you send me to glory? You cannot threaten me with glory.’ The more suffering, the more troubles, the greater the glory. So, why say, 'Stop this trouble’? Because the more [suffering], the greater the glory up there.”

During one particularly harrowing session of interrogation, Tson told his inquisitors that spilling his blood would only serve to water the growth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Part of the theology of suffering, he learned, was that tribulation is never an accident but is part of God’s sovereign plan for building His church.

“I told the interrogator, ‘You should know your supreme weapon is killing. My supreme weapon is dying,’” Tson said.

“‘Now here is how it works, sir: You know that my sermons are on tape all over the country. When you shoot me or crush me, whichever way you choose, [you] only sprinkle my sermons with my blood. Everybody who has a tape of one of my sermons will pick it up and say, ‘I had better listen again. This man died for what he preached.’ Sir, my sermons will speak 10 times louder after you kill me and because you kill me. In fact, I will conquer this country for God because you killed me. Go on and do it.’

“Dying for the Lord is not an accident. It’s not a tragedy. It’s part of the job. It’s part of the ministry. And it’s the greatest way of preaching.”

Tson has been president of the Romanian Missionary Society since 1982 and is pastor of the Baptist Church in Brasov, Romania.

 

Suffering is never pleasant, but it refines us and draws us closer to Christ. Today in prayer, pray for those who are suffering that their faith in Jesus may increase.

 

"Suffering can never ultimately be meaningless, because God himself has shared it." - Philip Yancey

 

God’s Word: “Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” – Romans 8:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - Give Him Your Worries
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday May 20, 2018
Devotional - Give Him Your Worries

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

 

Celebrity chef Paula Deen, known as the “Queen of Southern Cooking,” developed an anxiety disorder at age 23. Both of her parents died that year and she developed an intense fear of dying. It led to an acute condition of agoraphobia. Agoraphobia occurs when a person feels that situations are dangerous, or sometimes highly uncomfortable. Paula began to have panic attacks from her own fear of death, and she would often not leave her own home for weeks at a time.

"I would have panic attacks and my arms would go numb and you feel like you're having a heart attack," she said. "And I kept a brown bag next to me at all times so I could quickly breathe in it. It's just a fear that would come over you like no other."

Paula said prayer has helped her work through her battle with anxiety.

 

The Lord desires us to place all our worries on Him and to look to Jesus for your peace. Today in prayer, give the Lord all of your worries and anxieties and accept Christ’s peace.

 

"In all trouble you should seek God. You should not set him over against your troubles, but within them. God can only relieve your troubles if you in your anxiety cling to him. Trouble should not really be thought of as this thing or that in particular, for our whole life on earth involves trouble; and through the troubles of our earthly pilgrimage we find God." - Augustine

 

God’s Word: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - With Humility
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday May 17, 2018
Devotional - With Humility

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

 

Actor Gregory Peck was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor five times, four of which came in his first five years of film acting. He won the coveted award on his fifth nomination, playing Atticus Finch, a Depression-era lawyer and widowed father, in a film adaptation of the Harper Lee novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”. 

One day Peck was standing in line with a friend, waiting for a table in a crowded Los Angeles restaurant. They had been waiting for some time; the diners seemed to be taking their time eating, and new tables weren’t opening up very fast. They weren’t even that close to the front of the line. Peck’s friend became impatient, and he said to Gregory, “Why don’t you tell the maitre d’ who you are?”

Gregory responded with great wisdom and humility. “If you have to tell them who you are, then you aren’t anybody.”

 

The Lord loves a humble person. Today in prayer, ask Jesus to give you a spirit of humility.

 

“The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is.”  - Philipp Brooks

 

God’s Word: “He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.” – Proverbs 3:34

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - Don't Be Surprised
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday May 16, 2018
Devotional - Don't Be Surprised

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” – 1 Peter 4:12-13

 

On 13 January 2018, an Egyptian Christian man named Bassem was on his way home from work, with his brother Osama, and neighbor Mohamed. Armed men stopped them and checked their wrists. Many Egyptian Coptic Christians have a Coptic cross tattooed on their wrist as a permanent reminder, and public declaration, of their faith. 

When they saw Bassem’s cross tattoo they asked if he was a Christian. 

“Yes, I am a Christian,” he answered. 

The men asked Mohamed to show them his wrist as well. He had no tattoo and was allowed to leave. Osama had a cross, but it was further up on his forearm and  was hidden beneath his sleeve.

The armed men fired shots at Osama’s feet and told him to leave. Then they executed Bassem.

This attack was part of a string of killings in Egypt where Christians have been targeted by Islamic extremists.

A friend of Bassem said: “Bassem was a very good man. He didn’t renounce the faith and didn’t deny his Lord Jesus Christ. He didn't fear death. Actually, he didn't die but has won the real life in Heaven, enjoying being with Jesus. We pray that God will comfort us [and] thank God for saving the life of Osama, to care for his five children and his parents."

 

The pain and suffering of this world should not come as a surprise. But know that we will be overcome by the joy of seeing Jesus in Heaven. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that our suffering is temporary and Jesus has overcome the world to give us eternity with Him.

 

"We are always in the forge, or on the anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things." - Henry Ward Beecher

 

God’s Word: “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” – Romans 5:3-5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - Remember To Pray
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday May 15, 2018
Devotional - Remember To Pray

“The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.” – 1 Peter 4:7

 

In her book “Breaking the Power”, author Liberty Savard wrote that she was pretty rough in her youth, but when she became a Christian, God transformed her and gave her a ministry. So she was excited to give her parents a 50th anniversary party, because it would be an opportunity to show old friends and family how she had become “an amazing woman of God.” She prayed that this day would reveal to everyone in her family how God can change a life. Although she lived over an hour away from the party venue, she got ready in plenty of time. One last spray to her hair to set it, and she would be off … except that she grabbed bug spray from under her sink instead of hairspray. Quickly she showered again, but now there was no time to do her hair. She hopped in her car, and it wasn’t long before she realized it was overheating. She turned off the air conditioning but still, something was wrong. She had to keep adding transmission fluid every few miles. She got to the party a tiny bit late—frizzy hair, oily hands, red face. She would just take a few moments to freshen up. However, there was a problem! In the heat her large jar of face cream had exploded and everything in her overnight bag, including makeup and hairbrush and hair spray, was covered in white goop. Her only option was to just go out and enjoy the party. There was nothing else she could do. She determined to have a great time and laugh anyway! Later she told God she had covered the day with prayer, and it felt like it all had gone terribly wrong. She had wanted to make such a good impression. She felt like God said, “Most of your family and friends remember how angry you used to be. They may never hear your testimony, but they saw living proof today of My power to change a life by the way that you handled this situation with humor and grace. I answered your prayers. Well done, daughter.”

 

In all things and at all times, we need to pray. Today in prayer, invest some extra time in prayer to build your relationship with Jesus.

 

"As we are involved in unceasing thinking, so we are called to unceasing prayer." - Henri Nouwen

 

God’s Word: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” – Ephesians 6:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - A Clear Conscience
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday May 14, 2018
Devotional - A Clear Conscience

“keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” – 1 Peter 3:16

 

In 1982, a copy of “Bid Time Return”, by Richard Matheson, was taken from the Great Falls (Montana) Public Library. No one noticed. There were no computerized inventories in those days.

But one person did notice, the thief. It is not clear why he didn't simply borrow the book or buy a copy. It was not a valuable book, and the thief did not steal it for the money. He wanted to read it, and read it he did.

In 2017, in a letter returning the book 35 years later, he said he read it 25 times. Clearly, the man loved this book, so much so that after wear from being read so much, he had the book restored. At some point, he even met author Richard Matheson and had him sign it. It seems as if his conscience could not have been much of an issue for those many years, but in time it caught up with him.

He decided to send the book back to the Great Falls Library, rebinding and author signature included. He also sent the library a check for $200, asking "for a chance at redemption."

He included a note explaining, "This is not my book, it belongs in the Great Falls Public Library — wrongfully taken, yes, but if you can, kindly take into consideration it has been loved and cared for all these years and know I am sorry for taking it." The library chose not to reveal his identity.

 

The Lord desires us redeem all men and for them to have a clear conscience. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He is God and seek to keep a clear conscience before Him.

 

"A good conscience is the palace of Christ; the temple of the Holy Ghost; the paradise of delight; the standing Sabbath of the saints." - Augustine

 

God’s Word: “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” – Hebrews 10:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - Be Prepared
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday May 13, 2018
Devotional - Be Prepared

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” – 1 Peter 3:15

 

In 1907, Robert Baden-Powell, an English soldier who would later found the Boy Scouts, first coined the Scout motto: “Be Prepared”. He published it in “Scouting for Boys” in 1908.

In Scouting for Boys, Baden-Powell wrote that to Be Prepared means “you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your duty.”

He wanted young people equipped to react quickly to an emergency. World War I loomed, and soon the Boy Scouts — not a military organization but a service-minded one — would be called upon to play their part.

Scouts also played a key part in World War II. “Their keen eyes were added to the watchers along the coasts,” Winston Churchill wrote in an article published in Scouting magazine in 1955. “In the air raids we saw the spectacle of children of 12 and 14 performing with perfect coolness and composure the useful function assigned to them in the streets and public offices.”

 

We need to do our part in the kingdom of God and be prepared to share our hope and faith in Jesus Christ with others. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for the opportunities to share your faith. Ask Him how you can be prepared to share the Gospel with others.

 

"Jesus Christ didn't commit the gospel to an advertising agency; He commissioned disciples. And He didn't command them to put up signs and pass out tracts; He said that they would be his witnesses." - Joseph Bayly

 

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” – Colossians 4:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

 

Devotional - Bless Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday May 10, 2018
Devotional - Bless Others

“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” – 1 Peter 3:9

 

Mary Ann Bird was a freelance writer who wrote a column for the Foxboro (Massachusetts) Reporter. She wrote the following article on blessing others:

“I grew up knowing I was different. I hated it. I was born with a cleft palate. When I started school, my classmates made it clear how I looked to others. Little girl, misshapen lip, crooked nose, lopsided teeth, garbled speech. When schoolmates asked, 'What happened to your lip?' I'd tell them I'd fallen and cut it on a piece of glass. Somehow it seemed more acceptable to have suffered an accident than been born different. I was convinced nobody outside my family could love me.

Then there was a teacher in the second grade we adored, Mrs. Leonard. Annually we had a hearing test. Mrs. Leonard gave the test to everybody in the class. Finally, it was my turn. I knew from past years as we stood against the door and covered one ear, the teacher sitting at her desk would whisper, and we'd have to repeat it back, something like, 'The sky is blue' or 'Do you have new shoes?' I waited there for the words. God must have put in her mouth those seven words that changed my life. Mrs. Leonard said in a whisper, 'I wish you were my little girl.'”

 

The Lord blesses us for a purpose and asks us to bless others for His glory. Today in prayer, ask Jesus how you can bless others so they may experience His loving grace.

 

"Love when you expect no love in return. Do good without expecting thanks. Lend when you do not hope for a return. This will make us act like the sons and daughters of the Most High." - Henrietta Mears

 

God’s Word: “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us” – Psalm 67:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - Live As Free Men
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday May 9, 2018
Devotional - Live As Free Men

“Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.” – 1 Peter 2:16

 

In November 2012, Kenneth Bae an American Christian missionary, was arrested in North Korea. His North Korean captors interrogated him up to 15 hours a day for the first four weeks of his incarceration and yelled with impatience until he wrote a confession to their liking. Later they allowed Kenneth to read his Bible and permitted him to pray.

His chief prosecutor told him he was “the most dangerous American criminal apprehended in the 60 years since the Korean War.”

He received a 15-year sentence of hard labor in North Korea’s penal system, where he toiled on a soybean farm and lost more than 30 pounds. He had 30 guards assigned to watch him.

"Along the way, I found my way adjusting to life in the North Korean prison, just depending on God," Kenneth said.

Then almost two years to the day, in November 2014, he was freed and returned to the United States.

"One thing I want people to take away from reading the book is God's faithfulness," he said. "After I was released, I was reminded that God has not forgotten the people of North Korea.”

 

As freed men and women from sin, we should seek to serve the Lord. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that you are free in Him and serve Him with a glad heart.

 

“But what is freedom? Rightly understood, A universal license to be good.” – Hartley Coleridge

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - Do Good
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday May 8, 2018
Devotional - Do Good

“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” – 1 Peter 2:12

 

In 1868, a Methodist minister named Thomas Bowman Stephenson was moved by the fate of street children in London. He renovated a stable and established the first "Children's Home." Within a few years, the ministry grew and the Children’s Homes were divided into small family units run by a "house mother" and "house father." Children were also educated and apprenticed at different professions.

Today, the “Children’s Home” has become the nonprofit “Action for Children.” It is still committed to helping the United Kingdom’s vulnerable and neglected children. With over 650 projects and services, the charity works with over 300,000 children, young people, and their families. It helps and supports people in areas as diverse as disability respite therapy, foster care, adoption and child neglect.

 

The Lord wants you to do good so your life may shine for His glory. Today in prayer, ask Jesus what good works you can do to bring Christ glory.

 

“Do what good you can, and do it solely for God’s glory, as free from it yourself as though you did not exist.” – Meister Eckhart

 

God’s Word: “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - A Chosen People
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday May 7, 2018
Devotional - A Chosen People

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” – 1 Peter 2:9

 

In a sermon entitled “Why God Chooses Splendid Sinners and Lovable Losers,” Pastor Ray Pritchard details how God chooses people:

“Our real problem is the vast difference between our view and God’s view.

We look at the outward. God looks at the inward. We value popularity. God values character. We look at intelligence. God looks at the heart. We honor those with money. God honors those with integrity. We talk about what we own. God talks about what we give away. We boast about whom we know. God notices whom we serve. We list our accomplishments. God looks for a contrite heart. We value education. God values wisdom. We love size. God notices quality. We live for fame. God searches for humility. Our view is shallow. God’s view is deep. Our view is temporary. God’s view is eternal.”

 

The Lord has chosen all of us who are imperfect to love and serve Him. Today in prayer, give praise to the Lord who has chosen you to be a child of God.

 

“God does not always choose great people to accomplish what He wishes, but He chooses a person who is wholly yielded to Him.” – Henrietta Mears

 

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 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - Crave The Word
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday May 6, 2018
Devotional - Crave The Word

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” – 1 Peter 2:2

 

One of the reasons Martin Luther came to his great discovery in the Bible of justification by faith alone was that in his early years in the Augustinian monastery he was influenced to love Scripture by Johann Staupitz. Luther devoured the Bible in a day when people earned doctorates in theology without even reading the Bible. Luther said that his fellow professor, Andreas Karlstadt, did not even own a Bible when he earned his doctor of theology degree, nor did he own one until many years later. Luther knew so much of the Bible from memory that when the Lord opened his eyes to see the truth of justification in Romans 1:17, he said, “Thereupon I ran through the Scriptures from memory,” in order to confirm what he had discovered.

 

All of us need to depend on God’s Word and to put the Word of God in loving action. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for the Bible and spend some extra time today reading your Bible.

 

"Like Joseph storing up grain during the years of plenty to be used during the years of famine that lay ahead, may we store up the truths of God's Word in our hearts as much as possible, so that we are prepared for whatever suffering we are called upon to endure." - Billy Graham

 

God’s Word: “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” – Psalm 119:103

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - Love Deeply
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday May 3, 2018
Devotional - Love Deeply

“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” – 1 Peter 1:22

 

In 2015, Richard Terry, age 68 from Franklin, Tennessee was diagnosed with stage four chronic kidney disease. A nurse of 40 years, he knew that going on the transplant list could be a gamble - some people wait 10 years for a new organ - but he gave it a shot.

To speed up the process, Richard posted on Facebook asking friends and family to get tested to see if any of them were a donor match. Of the three people who matched, his Pastor, Mitch Davis, was the right fit.

"I was very quick on my decision," Pastor Mitch recalled. "I tested, and then the rest unfolded. In my mind, I am thinking, 'I am healthy,' and I was like, 'Let’s make it work.'"

Pastor Mitch has preached at Franklin Church of Christ for seven years. He said that loving his congregants like family is nothing new to him. "If it had been a complete stranger, I would have said yes," he said. "That’s the way my mind works."

On October 19, 2017, Richard successfully received Pastor Mitch’s kidney. Both men have fully recovered.

"It's very emotional because I will carry a part of Mitch with me the rest of my life," said Richard. "To have someone you’ve only known six or seven years who is a part of your church do this for you is the most selfless thing."

He concluded: “Every time we go to church, I see the man who loved me enough to put his life in jeopardy to help me."

 

Jesus loves us deeply; He laid down His life so we may have salvation through Him. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His love for you and deeply love others.

 

"I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no more hurt, but only more love." - Mother Teresa.

 

God’s Word: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” – John 13:34

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - Choose Self-Control
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday May 2, 2018
Devotional - Choose Self-Control

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” – 1 Peter 1:13

 

In a short article entitled “Fruits Of The Spirit”, Christian author Max Lucado writes:

“It's quiet. It's early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming.

In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of the solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met.

For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day's demands. It is now that I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I'm free to choose. And so I choose.”

Max then goes through each of the Fruits of the Spirit, and wrote the following about self-control:

“I choose self-control... I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control.”

 

In all that we do, we need to be self-controlled. Today in prayer, look to the Lord and desire to control your self during the most difficult of times.

 

"God has equipped you to handle difficult things. In fact, He has already planted the seeds of discipline and self-control inside you. You just have to water those seeds with His Word to make them grow!” – Joyce Meyer

 

God’s Word: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - Trials Strengthen Our Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday May 1, 2018
Devotional - Trials Strengthen Our Faith

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” – 1 Peter 1:6

 

Marian Benedict Manwell was born to a pastor and his wife in Michigan. When she was 8 months old, her brain was damaged permanently by a broken spring of the jumper she was playing. The spring penetrated her head and left her crippled for life. Other kids taunted Marian and mocked her deformity. When Marian was ten, her mother died of cancer. Despite—or more likely because of—these trials, Marian developed a deep faith in Christ.

She eventually married Clinton Manwell, a wonderful Christian husband, and was blessed with eight children, all of whom grew up serving the Lord.

When she described herself, she never used words of bitterness or self-pity. Rather, she said: “Long before this time, I had given my heart to the Lord.”

 

We will all face various trials in our lives, but the purpose is to refine us and make us more like Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, give thanks for the trials in your life. Look to Jesus, the hope of our faith to endure them.

 

"God sometimes snuffs out our brightest candle so that we may look up to His eternal stars." - Vance Havner

 

God’s Word: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” – James 1:2-3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Devotional - Finding God's Treasure
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Apr 30, 2018
Devotional - Finding God's Treasure

“who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” – 1 Peter 1:2

 

In 1982, Byron Preiss, was inspired to write a treasure hunt book entitled “The Secret”.

For his book, Preiss commissioned a young artist named John Jude Palencar to create a dozen paintings. Each painting was paired with a poem written by Preiss. Used together, they pointed an armchair sleuth to a specific location. There, three feet underground, one could find a buried ceramic box that was planted there by Preiss. Inside the box was a ceramic key. And each key could be turned into the publisher, who would hand over a gem worth around $1,000.

Unfortunately, the clues proved harder to solve than Preiss imagined. There was no way to cheat, either, as metal detectors would never pick up the ceramic box or keys.

In 1984, three kids followed the instructions exactly and unearthed a key in Chicago. Then, nothing much happened until 2004, when a pair of lawyers obeyed the clues and found one in Cleveland.

Preiss, alone, buried the keys. He never told anyone else the precise locations. And the secrets died with him in a tragic car accident, in 2005. The gems, too, were said to have been lost.

 

Finding God’s grace and peace is not a secret treasure hunt. They can be found in following Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, confess any sin in your life to Jesus and eagerly obey Him in all that you do.

 

"Only he who believes is obedient. Only he who is obedient, believes." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

God’s Word: “Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 7:21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER

Bible Top 1000
Copyright © 2018 Devotional.com     |     Designed by Millennial Solutions     |     Privacy Policy & Terms of Use




 
*
Loading
Loading ...