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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions In Luke
Devotional - Look Up!
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 30, 2015
Devotional - Look Up!

“‘He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'’ Then they remembered his words.” – Luke 24:6-8

 

The Reverend Joseph S. Flacks was a Jewish-Christian evangelist and Bible teacher who lived in St. Louis, Missouri during the early 1900’s. He passed into glory on August 14, 1940. Knowing that he was dying, he wrote a post card message to his friends and mailed them on the very day of his death.  The following is his postcard message to friends:

“TRIUMPHANT THROUGH GRACE

This is to announce: I moved out of the old mud house (II Cor. 5:1) ; arrived in Glory-land instantly, in charge of the angelic escort (Luke 16:22); absent from the body, at home with the Lord (II Cor. 5:6).

I find, as foretold (Psa. 16:11), "in thy presence fullness of joy ... pleasures for evermore!"

Will look for You on the way up at the redemption of the body (Rom. 8:23). Till then look up. - J. S. FLACKS”

 

For those who trust in Christ, we have the assurance that we will have a new life because of Christ’s resurrection. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that we have eternal life in Him.

 

“The seed dies into a new life and so does man.” – George McDonald

 

God’s Word: “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” – 1 Corinthians 15:42-44

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

Devotional - With Jesus
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 29, 2015
Devotional - With Jesus

“Jesus answered him, ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.’” – Luke 23:43

 

Roy Rogers was born Leonard Franklin Slye on November 5, 1911. He was an American singer and cowboy actor who was one of the most popular Western stars of his era. Known as the "King of the Cowboys", he appeared in over 100 films and numerous radio and television episodes of “The Roy Rogers Show”. He came to Christ when he was 36 years old and shared his faith until he went to be with the Lord on July 6, 1998. On his tombstone in Apple Valley, California is written “The Cowboy’s Prayer” which communicates his faith that he would be with Jesus. The following is “The Cowboy’s Prayer”:

“Oh Lord, I reckon I'm not much just by myself.

I fail to do a lot of things I ought to do.

But Lord, when trails are steep and passes high,

Help me to ride it straight the whole way through.

And when in the falling dusk I get the final call,

I do not care how many flowers they send--

Above all else the happiest trail would be

For You to say to me, ‘Let's ride, My friend.’ Amen.”

 

When we have faith in Christ, we have the assurance that as we pass through death, we will have everlasting life in Him. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He freely gives eternal life to all that trust in Him.

 

“It is not darkness you are going to, for God is Light. It is not lonely, for Christ is with you. It is not unknown country, for Christ is there.” – Charles Kingsley

 

God’s Word: “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 15:56-57

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

Devotional - In Remembrance Of Him
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 28, 2015
Devotional - In Remembrance Of Him

“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’” – Luke 22:19

 

In February 1930, Aatami Kuortti, a Lutheran pastor in Russia, was sentenced to ten years of hard labor in a concentration camp because of his refusal to become a spy for the communist government. A very large proportion of the prisoners were Christians, whose only offense was their Christian faith. One of the Finnish believers named Kajada received a package from home, a little bread and a few apples. The first thing he thought of was that it would be possible now to celebrate the Lord's Supper. He proposed this to Pastor Kuortti. The pastor thought it impossible. "The guards would certainly interfere." "But it is all arranged," said Kajada. "I have already crushed the apple juice in a mug and the crusts will serve as communion bread. We can have the holy ordinance in the corner where my brother and I have our place, and the Russians if they see us will think we are drinking tea."

Pastor Kuortti remembers: "I gladly fell in with the proposal of the brethren. After repetition of Scripture, I blessed the bread and the mug of apple juice, and we ate the Lord's Holy Communion. The altar was but a dirty plank, and the pastor, as well as his flock, was in rags, yet we realized the presence of Christ."

 

The Lord has given us a powerfully simple way to remember His broken body and shed blood. It is with bread and wine. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for the Lord’s Supper and remember His sacrifice for you.

 

“The link between the cross and the crown is the Table of the Lord. Do not forget, when you sit down at the Communion, that the bread and the cup point back to Christ’s accomplished work, and forward to your accomplished salvation.” – A.T. Pierson

 

God’s Word: “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take it; this is my body.’” – Mark 14:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

Devotional - God Is The Owner
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Dec 27, 2015
Devotional - God Is The Owner

“As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘I tell you the truth,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’” – Luke 21:1-4

 

Pastor Brian Kluth is one of the world's leading Christian speakers and writers on generosity, God's provisions, and legacy living.  He describes an incident that occurred on one of his trips: “A number of years ago, I was teaching a seminar on what the Bible teaches about finances to Christians in Eastern Europe. After the seminar, one of the people came and told me how much the teaching helped everyone. He said during the 70 years communism was in their country, people were told the Communist government owned everything and the government would provide for everyone. He went on to say that communism fell, and people came from America and said that capitalism was the way to go--where people own everything and they have to provide for themselves. He then said, today I learned the best news of all. God is the owner of everything and He is our provider. He learned people must be faithful and generous with whatever God gives them.”

 

Though Christmas Day has passed, it is never too late to give to those in need. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to give you wisdom and a generous heart to give to others in need.

 

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

 

God’s Word: “And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.” – 2 Corinthians 8:1-2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

Devotional - Our Christmas Gift From God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 24, 2015
Devotional - Our Christmas Gift From God

"Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 'Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.'" - Luke 2:28-32

 

It was 1944 in the small Luxembourg town of Wiltz. The war had taken a heavy toll as Wiltz had been a center of Nazi resistance and suffered brutal reprisals. People were shot in the town square and men were forced into the German army or sent to concentration camps. The German occupation lasted four years before the Germans pulled out in September 1944. After the town's liberation Allied soldiers rotated through Wiltz for R&R .

A few days before Thanksgiving Corporal Harry Stutz told his buddy, Corporal Richard Brookins, "I think we should give this town a Christmas party, A St. Nicholas Day. For hundreds of years here in Wiltz, they had a celebration on the fifth of December, the eve of St. Nicholas Day. A man dressed as St. Nick paraded through the town and gave candy to the kids. Kids here haven't celebrated St. Nicholas Day for nearly five years because of the war. Some of them have never seen St. Nick at all."

Harry talked to the local priest, Father Wolffe, who invited all the townspeople. Richard played St. Nicholas and had a bag of candy to give out. Two little girls, dressed in white with angel wings, were St. Nicholas' angel helpers. St. Nicholas sat with his angels in the back of a jeep, ready to go to the town square. Father Wolffe made the sign of the cross over them, giving a blessing, "May God and the spirit of Saint Nicolas be with you."

A soldier played the guitar while children sang and danced. When they saw Saint Nicolas, everyone cheered.

After the last child was with Saint Nicholas, the Mother Superior of the local convent thanked Richard saying, "The children are very happy. They will remember, as will we."

 

We need to remember that God sent His son to a war torn world, in desperate need of His love. Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died and was resurrected as a payment for our sins. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His gift of salvation in Him.

 

"Love came down at Christmas, love all lovely, love divine;

love was born at Christmas-- Star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead, love incarnate, love divine;

worship we our Jesus-- what should be our sacred sign?

Love shall be our token love be yours and love be mine;

love to God and neighbor love for prayer and gift and sign." - Christina Rossetti,

 

God's Word: "And all mankind will see God's salvation." - Luke 3:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS FOR CHRISTMAS

Devotional - Glory To God In The Highest
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 23, 2015
Devotional - Glory To God In The Highest

"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'" - Luke 2:13-14

 

In April of 1737, at age 52, composer George Handel suffered from a stroke that paralyzed his right arm. He also suffered blurred vision. He fell out of favor with his royal patrons, lost a fortune in the opera business and by 1740 he was depressed and in debt.

Shortly after these calamities in Handel’s life, he came across a libretto composed by Charles Jennens. Composed entirely of Scripture portions, mainly from the Old Testament, Handel was deeply affected when he read this libretto. 

The libretto became Handel’s inspiration to write “Messiah.”

In three short weeks during the summer of 1741, he composed the most famous of all Christian musical works. One day during that creative period, when he got to the Hallelujah chorus, Handel’s assistant found him in tears saying: “I did think I saw heaven open, and saw the very face of God.” 

 

For almost two thousand years man has been echoing the praise song of the angels. "Glory to God in the Highest" and “Hallelujah.” Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He willingly left His Heavenly home for you.

 

“King of kings and Lord of lords, King of kings and Lord of lords

And He shall reign forever and ever, Forever and ever

Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah.” – George Handel

 

God's Word: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” - Isaiah 9:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

 

Devotional - Use Your Spiritual Gifts
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 22, 2015
Devotional - Use Your Spiritual Gifts

“"The first one came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned ten more.' "'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.'” – Luke 19:16-17

 

The world’s great violinist was the Italian musician Nicolo Paganini. He was a child prodigy and by seventeen he was performing before heads of state in Europe.

Before he died, he willed his marvelous violin to Genoa -- the city of his birth -- but only on condition that the instrument was never to be played again. It was placed in a glass display case for all to see.

That was precisely the wrong thing to do for the long term care of that violin. The peculiar wood used in the instrument is preserved as long as it is used and handled. But when abandoned, the violin began to decay.

The exquisite, mellow-toned violin became worm-eaten in its beautiful case, a valueless relic. The moldering instrument is a reminder that we need to use our spiritual gifts to serve others or our life loses its meaning.

 

The Lord gives us gifts so that we may use them for His glory. Today in prayer, praise Christ for the gifts He has given you and seek to use them for Christ’s glory.

 

“Each of us, as members of the Body of Christ, has been given at least one spiritual gift.” – Bruce Kemper

 

God’s Word: “"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” – Luke 16:10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

Devotional - Be Persistent In Prayer
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 21, 2015
Devotional - Be Persistent In Prayer

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” – Luke 18:1

 

In 1830, James Taylor a British pharmacist and Methodist lay preacher became burdened for the spiritual condition of China. James and his wife were childless, but he asked the Lord that if He ever gave him a son, he might be privileged to labor as a missionary there.

Two years later, the Lord did give the couple a son, but as a young man he turned away from God. James continued to pray for his son through all of his rebellion. It wasn’t until he was fifteen years old, after reading an evangelistic tract pamphlet entitled "Poor Richard," that James Hudson Taylor professed his faith in Christ. Shortly after Hudson Taylor committed himself to going to China as a missionary.

In 1853, Hudson arrived in China as a missionary. He would spend 51 years in China. He went on to found the China Inland Mission (CIM). CIM was responsible for bringing over 800 missionaries to the country that began 125 schools and directly resulted in 18,000 Christian conversions in all eighteen Chinese provinces. This all resulted because of his father’s persistent prayers for his son.

 

The Lord desires that we have passion and persistence in our prayers. Today in prayer, thank Christ that He is faithful to answer and seek to be persistent in seeking His will.

 

“The paradox of prayer is that it asks for a serious effort while it can only be received as a gift. We cannot plan, organize or manipulate God; but without a careful discipline, we cannot receive him either.” - Henri J.M. Nouwen

 

God’s Word: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans 12:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

Devotional - The Need To Forgive
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Dec 20, 2015
Devotional - The Need To Forgive

"If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him." - Luke 17:4

 

On the afternoon of July 12, 1986, NYPD officer Steven McDonald was on patrol in Central Park. He came upon a cluster of suspicious-looking teens. One of them drew a gun and shot him.

Steven’s life hung in the balance. For the next 18 months, he was in the hospital. He recalls the work of the hospital staff: “They did the impossible: they saved me, but my wounds were devastating. The bullet that struck my throat had hit my spine, and I couldn’t move my arms or legs, or breathe without a ventilator. In less than a second, I had gone from being an active police officer to an incapable crime victim. I was paralyzed from the neck down.”

Six months after being shot, Steven became a father for the first time. “We named him Conor,” he said. “To me, Conor’s birth was like a message from God that I should live, and live differently. And it was clear to me that I had to respond to that message. I prayed that I would be changed, that the person I was would be replaced by something new.

That prayer was answered with a desire to forgive the young man who shot me. I wanted to free myself of all the negative, destructive emotions that his act of violence had unleashed in me: anger, bitterness, hatred, and other feelings. I needed to free myself of those emotions so that I could love my wife and our child and those around us.”

Today Steven travels the country telling others the power of forgiveness.

 

The Lord calls upon us to forgive others just as we have been forgiven by Him. Today in prayer, thank Christ that you have been freed from your sins and then forgive others in the same way.

 

"They who forgive most will be most forgiven." - Philip J. Bailey

 

God's Word: "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." - Colossians 3:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

Devotional - Minister To The Poor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 17, 2015
Devotional - Minister To The Poor

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores.” – Luke 16:19-20

 

In 2005, Pastor Richard Joyner had a realization. He had presided over too many funerals at a church of just 300 members. In one year alone, 30 congregants younger than 32 years old had died.

“We had at least 20 funerals per year, and a lot of the deaths were health-related — poor diets, no exercise,” said Pastor Richard of the Conetoe Baptist Church in rural North Carolina. “It just started to feel unconscionable that you would see someone 100 pounds overweight on Sunday and not say anything about it. Then they’d die of a heart attack.”

A health assessment of the congregants backed up this insight. Some 65 percent of congregants were obese, and the same percentage unemployed. Most were uninsured and lived in poverty. He started a community garden at the Missionary Baptist Church where he preached in Conetoe. It multiplied to 20 plots of land around the community, including a 25-acre farm run by his nonprofit Conetoe Family Life Center.

Pastor Richard started teaching children in the congregation to plant and raise crops so they might grow up with an appreciation for better nutrition. Now, 80 kids work the gardens, and, every year, they harvest 50,000 pounds of fresh produce. Additionally, his congregation keeps its own beehives to pollinate crops.

Since 2007, his project has helped families in the poverty-stricken town cut food bills in half.

One member of his church says she has stopped taking 27 medications a day because of these healthy lifestyle changes.

Community health as a whole has improved, emergency room visits are down, and Pastor Joyner has a lot fewer funerals to preside over.

 

No matter where you live, you can minister to the poor. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to make you sensitive to those in need and minister to them.

 

“The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them.” – George Bernard Shaw

 

God’s Word: “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” – 1 John 3:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

Devotional - Finding Lost Treasure
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 16, 2015
Devotional - Finding Lost Treasure

“And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.'  In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” – Luke 15:9-10

 

On September 9, 2015, dry vegetation caught fire from electrical infrastructure near San Andreas, California. For the next three weeks, the “Butte Fire” as it came to be known, burned out of control and killed 3 people, leveled 475 homes and destroyed 70,000 acres.

One homeowner fortunate to escape the fire was John DeAngelis. Because of the quick evacuation, he and his family were forced to leave many valuables in their home, including an heirloom ring from the 1940s.

John thought the ring was lost forever. As a team of Samaritan’s Purse volunteers helped him sift through the ashes, they found the ring and the entire team rejoiced!

Despite losing their home, the DeAngelises still see God at work. “We have our faith, and we’re relying on God,” John said. “And we’re living by Jeremiah 29:11.” That verse says: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope”.

 

When someone comes to Christ in faith, it is a miracle. Today in prayer, rejoice in the Lord that He actively seeks and has found millions who trust in Him.

 

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

 

God’s Word: “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” – Luke 15:7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

 

Devotional - The Ministry Of Hospitality
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 15, 2015
Devotional - The Ministry Of Hospitality

“Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."” – Luke 14:12-14

 

In his book “Outlive Your Life,” Max Lucado writes:

“Not everyone can serve in a foreign land, lead a relief effort, or volunteer at the downtown soup kitchen. But who can't be hospitable? Do you have a front door? A table? Chairs? Bread and meat for sandwiches? Congratulations! You just qualified to serve in the most ancient of ministries: hospitality.

Something holy happens around a dinner table that will never happen in a sanctuary. In a church auditorium you see the backs of heads. Around the table you see the expressions on faces. In the auditorium one person speaks; around the table everyone has a voice. Church services are on the clock. Around the table there is time to talk.

Hospitality opens the door to uncommon community. It's no accident that hospitality and hospital come from the same Latin word, for they both lead to the same result: healing. When you open your door to someone, you are sending this message: ‘You matter to me and to God.’ You may think you are saying, ‘Come over for a visit.’ But what your guest hears is, ‘I'm worth the effort.’”

 

Giving hospitality to strangers means getting out of our comfort zone and showing the love of Jesus Christ to others. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for the gifts He has given you and seek to give hospitality to others.

 

“We all depend on God’s grace and provision; we are all guests of a gracious and generous host. As we welcome others to our tables and into our lives, we remember, represent, and anticipate God’s hospitality.” – Christine D. Pohl

 

God’s Word: “Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” – Romans 12:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

 

Devotional - In Christ Alone
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 14, 2015
Devotional - In Christ Alone

“I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” – Luke 13:5

 

In June 1943, an American TBF Avenger aircraft was shot down in the Pacific. After two and a half days at sea onboard a raft, Stanley W. Tefft, Edward Peck and Jeff Scott were able to safely reach one of the Solomon Islands. Four other American airmen were also on the island. For the next 87 days, the natives hid the seven men on the Japanese occupied island until they were safely returned to American lines.

Why were the natives, whose ancestors were headhunters, so friendly? Years earlier, an Australian missionary had come to the island and led many of them to Christ. One of the young men, John Havea, had gone to missionary school, learned to speak English, and had the only Bible on the island.

The faith of the islanders had a profound effect on the seven American airman and the Americans gave their lives to Christ. Upon his return, Stanley said, "Every night the natives would gather round us, and we took turns reading the Bible. They sang songs which we knew. You can tell the world that I am now a devout Christian."

 

In Christ alone there is salvation. Today in prayer, repent of any sin in your life and seek to follow Jesus in all that you do.

 

“Repentance is not a popular word these days, but I believe that any of us recognize it when it strikes us in the gut. Repentance is coming to our senses, seeing, suddenly, what we've done that we might not have done, or recognizing ... that the problem is not in what we do but in what we become.” – Kathleen Norris

 

God’s Word: “From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.’” – Matthew 4:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

Devotional - Be Calm
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Dec 13, 2015
Devotional - Be Calm

“Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.” – Luke 12:22

 

It was January 27, 1945 and Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds had a gun to his head.

The commandant of the Stalag IXA POW Camp near Ziegenhain, Germany ordered Roddie, of the 422nd Infantry Regiment, to turn over the Jewish-American soldiers under his command. Roddie, who was a Christian, and his men – Jews and non-Jews alike – stood together in formation.

"We are not doing that, we are all falling out," replied Roddie.

"They cannot all be Jews," the German Officer said, looking over the more than 1,000 POWs.

"We are all Jews," Roddie responded.

"I will shoot you," the commandant warned.

Roddie then coolly warned: “According to the Geneva Convention, we only have to give our name, rank and serial number. If you shoot me, you will have to shoot all of us, and after the war you will be tried for war crimes.”

The commandant backed down.

More than 70 years later Paul Stern, a Jewish-American soldier who was in that formation, recalled: “He was very calm, even with a gun to his head. It’s amazing even to this day.”

 

The Lord is in control of everything; there is no need to worry. Today in prayer, give your anxieties and worries to Him and relax in Christ’s peace.

 

"Oh, how great peace and quietness would he possess who should cut off all vain anxiety and place all of his confidence in God." – Thomas `a Kempis

 

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 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

Devotional - Forgive Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 10, 2015
Devotional - Forgive Others

“Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.” – Luke 11:4

 

Rachelle Friedman shares her story: “It was weeks before my wedding in 2010, and my four bridesmaids threw me the best bachelorette party I could ever dream of, filled with dancing, dinner and fun. To cap off the perfect night, we decided to take a moonlight swim. In a playful gesture, a close friend pushed me into the pool. I broke my neck upon impact, became paralyzed from the chest down and would never walk again. That night, the five of us all shared an unspoken agreement to never reveal the name of the person who had pushed me.”

Despite the life-changing injury, Rachel went on with her marriage and has said she never harbored resentment toward her friend about the freak accident. “There is no use in being down in the dumps and depressed. It’s not going to get you anywhere,” she said.

 

Christ is the model of forgiveness. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to give you the love to forgive others as He has forgiven you.  

 

“If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.” – Mother Teresa

 

God’s Word: “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” – Mark 11:25

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

Devotional - Love Your Neighbor As Yourself
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 9, 2015
Devotional - Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

“He answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'” – Luke 10:27

 

In 2007, Jeremie Wentworth was lying in his bed in the rural town of Belchertown, Massachusetts. A thunderstorm had just blown into town and then he heard the distinct sound of a smoke detector.

He jumped out of bed, grabbed a cordless phone and a flashlight, and headed down the hillside toward the noise. That’s when he saw the black smoke coming from his neighbor 80-year old Donald Lubeck’s home.

He dialed 911, then called out, “Is anyone there?” as he approached the house. Jeremie knew that Don lived in the house, and the two men were friendly.

Then Jeremie heard, “Help me! I’m trapped!”

On the phone, the 911 dispatcher warned Jeremie not to enter the house. “But there was no way I was going to listen to Don scream and die in that fire,” he says. “I told the dispatcher, ‘I’m sorry, but I’m going in.’”

After going inside the house twice and being repelled by the flames, Jeremie circled around back. He caught a glimpse of Don on the second-floor balcony. But there was no way to get to him. “I shined the flashlight into the woods next to an old shed and noticed a ladder,” said Jeremie. He dragged it over to the balcony and pulled Don down just as the second floor of the house collapsed.

Don still chokes up when he tells the story. “I was alone,” he said. “Then I heard the most beautiful sound in my life. It was Jeremie.”

 

We need to love our neighbors just as Jesus would. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to give you eyes to see those in need and wisdom on how to help them.

 

“Man may dismiss compassion from his heart, but God never will.” – William Cowper

 

God’s Word: “And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'” - Matthew 22:39

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

 

Devotional - Nurture Your Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 8, 2015
Devotional - Nurture Your Faith

“"O unbelieving and perverse generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here."” – Luke 9:41

 

Actor Gabriel Byrne was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1951. He was raised a strict Catholic and trained for five years to become a priest before he realized that he had no vocation. It was during his childhood, that a priest sexually abused him and Gabriel began to have doubts about his faith. After leaving his training as a priest, Gabriel had many jobs, including archaeologist, cook, and Spanish and History schoolteacher. He finally made his way into acting.

Though Gabriel is involved in various charities, in addition to being a human rights activist, he describes himself as an agnostic or perhaps even an atheist. "When the sun is shining I don't believe in God," Gabriel said. "When I get on a plane I think there might be one."

 

When questions or life circumstances arise, draw near to Jesus in faith. Today in prayer, thank Christ that He is our Rock and in Him we can place our entire faith.

 

“None but the Lord himself can afford us any help from the awful workings of unbelief, doubtings, carnal fears, murmurings. Thank God one day we will be done forever with ‘unbelief’” – Arthur W. Pink

 

God’s Word: “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Timothy 1:13-14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

Devotional - Place Your Faith In Him
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 7, 2015
Devotional - Place Your Faith In Him

“The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!" He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. "Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."” – Luke 8:24-25

 

As a prosecutor for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, attorney Travis White was familiar with asking probing questions and trying to ascertain the truth. However, he wasn't prepared for "a very provocative question" from Chris Smith, teaching pastor at Yukon Church in Yukon, Oklahoma.

Pastor Chris had come by Travis' home after the attorney attended Yukon Church the previous Sunday. At the end of the visit, Pastor Chris asked Travis about his relationship with the Lord.

"If you were to die tonight," the pastor asked, "do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt you would go to heaven?"

Even though Travis answered that question in the affirmative, in reality, he had no such assurance about heaven.

"As a prosecutor, I deal with burden of proof, so having to prove beyond a reasonable doubt really struck a chord with me," Travis said. "From that point on, I began to have an ulcer-like experience, which can only be explained by the Holy Spirit bringing conviction on someone."

Travis did ask Christ into his life and his new found faith brought change in his life -- "a real change in my compassion for people and how I dealt with life's challenges in general. I had a great desire to know more. I wanted to understand as much as I could possibly understand about the Word of God."

Today Travis teaches a Bible study class at Yukon Church and seeks to encourage others to have faith in Jesus.

 

No matter where you find yourself in life, the Lord can be trusted and is worthy of your faith in Him. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that in Him you can place your faith.

 

“Faith is to believe what we cannot see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.” - Augustine

 

God’s Word: “"'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."” – Mark 9:23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

Devotional - Forgive Much
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Dec 6, 2015
Devotional - Forgive Much

“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” – Luke 7:47

 

On January 13, 1978, Hubert Humphrey, a former Vice-President of the United States, died after a long bout with cancer. His body was flown to Washington D.C. and lay in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol. Hundreds of world leaders from across the world attended his funeral. All were welcome, but one – former President Richard Nixon, who had four years previously dragged himself and America through the humiliation and shame of Watergate. In his last few days on earth, Hubert Humphrey was characteristically upbeat and he telephoned Nixon inviting him to his funeral as an act of forgiveness.

But on the day of the funeral, all eyes turned away and conversations ran dry around Nixon, he could feel the ostracism being ladled on him.

Then Jimmy Carter, the serving U.S. President, walked into the room. Carter was from a different political party to Nixon and well known for his honesty and integrity. As he moved to his seat President Carter noticed Richard Nixon standing all alone. Carter immediately changed course, walked over to Richard Nixon, held out his hand, and smiling genuinely and broadly embraced Nixon and said: “Welcome home, Mr. President! Welcome home!”

The incident was reported by Newsweek magazine, which wrote: “If there was a turning point in Nixon’s long ordeal in the wilderness, it was that moment and that gesture of love and compassion.”

 

One of the most powerful ways to show God’s love is forgiveness. Today in prayer, forgive those who have wronged you, just as Christ as forgiven you.

 

“We have a free, full, final, forever forgiveness in the atoning work of Christ.” – J. Sidlow Baxter

 

God’s Word: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:14-15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

Devotional - Remember Those Who Are Poor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 3, 2015
Devotional - Remember Those Who Are Poor

"Looking at his disciples, he said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God." - Luke 6:20

 

In April 2013, an apparent homeless man in Austin, Texas, garnered national attention. Known as “James of Austin” he sat cross-legged in front of a store for several days and held a cardboard sign that read: "which religion cares the most about the homeless."

At James' feet sat eight bowls and one hat. The label of a religion, which included Muslim, Atheist, Hindu, Jewish, Spiritual, Buddhist, Agnostic, Pagan, and Christian, accompanied every bowl and the hat.

Depending on the day, there were two distinct groups that gave the most. On some days it was the Atheists, and on other days it was Christians.

When asked why atheists were sometimes giving more, one person said: “Atheist[s] seem very competitive.”

James of Austin agreed that it wasn’t charity that motivated the Atheists giving. “For them,” James said, “it's all about the competition.”

 

During this holiday season, remember the poor. Today in prayer, thank Christ that the poor in spirit are blessed by Him, and ask the Lord how you can help the poor.

 

"Poverty is no sin." - George Herbert

 

God's Word: "Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?" - James 2:5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

Devotional- Following Jesus
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 2, 2015
Devotional- Following Jesus

"After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him and Levi got up, left everything and followed him." - Luke 5:27-28

 

In December 2001, Sheikh Ahmad al Qataani, a leading Saudi cleric, appeared on a live interview on Aljazeera satellite television to confirm that Muslims were turning to Jesus in large numbers, particularly in Africa. He said:

“Islam used to represent, as you previously mentioned, Africa’s main religion and there were 30 African languages that used to be written in Arabic script. The number of Muslims in Africa has diminished to 316 million, half of whom are Arabs in North Africa. So in the section of Africa that we are talking about, the non Arab section, the number of Muslims does not exceed 150 million people. When we realize that the entire population of Africa is one billion people, we see that the number of Muslims has diminished greatly from what it was in the beginning of the last century. On the other hand, the number of Catholics has increased from one million in 1902 to 329 million 882 thousand (329,882,000). Let us round off that number to 330 million in the year 2000.

As to how that happened, well
.there are now 1.5 million churches whose congregations account for 46 million people. In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity. Everyday, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity. These numbers are very large indeed.”

 

Jesus is calling many people from all over the world to follow Him. Today in prayer, pray for those who do not know Christ that they may know that He is Lord and follow Him.

 

"Following Christ has nothing to do with success as the world sees it. It has to do with love." - Madeleine L'Engle

 

God's Word: "'Come, follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will make you fishers of men.' At once they left their nets and followed him." - Matthew 4:19-20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

Devotional - Beware Of Temptation
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 1, 2015
Devotional - Beware Of Temptation

"When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time." - Luke 4:13

 

Pastor Craig Brian Larson wrote the following: “I was at a party over lunch with a dozen of my fellow workers. It was a warm, Chicago day in early September, and we had the windows open wide. Soon a bee found its way in, and after buzzing near me it landed on some food on the table. One of my colleagues a few chairs away took hold of an empty bottle of sparkling grape juice and put the mouth of the bottle near the bee. When she did that, I expected the bee to be startled and fly away for its own safety, as a butterfly might do. Instead, without a moment's hesitation, the bee flew to the mouth of the bottle as if it had done this a hundred times before and climbed inside the narrow opening. Immediately my colleague put the cap on the bottle and screwed it shut. The bee spent the rest of our party drinking at the bottom of the bottle. As far as I know, the bee was never released.

What was my colleague's purpose in luring the bee into the bottle? Was she concerned about the bee, wanting it to enjoy our hospitality and have plenty to drink? No, she dislikes bees. Her purpose was capture and control. The bee had flown into a trap.

When Satan incites us to indulge in the pleasures of the world in a manner that oversteps God's commands, what is his purpose? Is he concerned that we might miss out on the good things of God? No, he despises humans. His purpose is capture and control. We must never forget that when we follow him, we walk into a trap.”

 

We often get lackadaisical toward temptation, but it is always waiting to strike in our weakest moments. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to make you aware of any temptations or “pet sins” and have Him lead you away from all temptation.

 

"When evil desire finds you armed with the fear of God and the determined to resist, it will flee far away from you.” – Hermas, the Shepherd

 

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 LUKE

Devotional - Being A Servant Of God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 30, 2015
Devotional - Being A Servant Of God

“‘I am the Lord's servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May it be to me as you have said.’ Then the angel left her.” – Luke 1:38

 

Richard Foster, in his book “Celebration of Discipline,” talks about various kinds of spiritual disciplines practiced by Christians through the ages, and how they can be meaningful practices for our spiritual lives in our own time.

He classifies the various spiritual disciplines into three groups--the “inward disciplines”, which would include meditation and prayer; the corporate disciplines, which include worship and celebration—and “outward disciplines” such as simplicity and solitude. Foster classifies service as an “outward discipline.”

He writes the following about service:

“Service that is duty-motivated breaths death. Service that flows out of our inward person is life, and joy and peace. The risen Christ beckons us to the ministry of the towel. Perhaps you would like to begin by experimenting with a prayer that a number of us have used. Begin the day by praying, “Lord Jesus, I would so appreciate it if You would bring me someone today whom I can serve.”

 

The Lord has called us to serve others. Today in prayer, ask Jesus how you can better serve others for Him.

 

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

 

God’s Word: “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:26-28

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2015, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN LUKE

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