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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions In Mark
Devotional - Go Into All Of The World
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 30, 2014
Devotional - Go Into All Of The World

“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.’” – Mark 16:15

 

Tim and Iris Loomans are missionaries in a remote part of Siberia. Tim is an American and Iris hails from Switzerland. In 1993, Tim was in college and he started to pray with some other guys in his InterVarsity chapter about the possibility of going to Russia. He and Iris fell and love and got married soon afterwards.

God was working in both our lives, drawing them to the most needy, the most persecuted and forgotten in Russia: the native people groups in Siberia. “Who will go and tell them?” “Here I am Lord, send me,” was Tim’s answer.

So for almost twenty years, they have lived in a modest house 3 kilometers from the booming oil city of Krasnoyarsk. They minister to the Chulym people group, where they translate the Bible into the Chulym language and share the Gospel. When asked why they do it, Iris replied: “God’s love constrains us to give up all and follow him.”

No matter where the Lord has you, He wants you to share His good news. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His Gospel and seek to share it with others.

 

"No man on earth is getting along 'pretty well' without Jesus Christ." - William Fraser McDowell

 

God’s Word: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - I Have Found God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 29, 2014
Devotional - I Have Found God

“And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!’” – Mark 15:39

 

William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody is one of the most iconic figures of the Wild West.

Buffalo Bill started working at the age of eleven after his father's death, and became a rider for the Pony Express at age 14. During the American Civil War, he served from 1863 to the end of the war in 1865. Later he served as a civilian scout to the US Army during the Indian Wars, receiving the Medal of Honor in 1872.

One of the most colorful figures of the American Old West, Buffalo Bill started performing in shows that displayed cowboy themes and episodes from the frontier and Indian Wars. He founded his Buffalo Bill's Wild West in 1883, taking his large company on tours throughout the United States and, beginning in 1887, in Great Britain and Europe.

However, in 1905 upon arrival in France, his personal problems were overwhelming. His reputation was damaged by the dismissal of his anticipated divorce; both his long-time partner and his third child had recently died; and he was left to take inventory of his lifestyle.  It was at this low point that Buffalo Bill wrote to his sister Julia, “It’s in my old age I have found God—and realize how easy it is to abandon sin and serve him. When one stops to think how little they have to give up — to serve God. It’s a wonder so many more don’t do it.”

At age 59, Buffalo Bill gave his life to Jesus Christ.

 

During this Christmas season give thanks that you have found God. Today in prayer, pray for those who have yet to find Jesus Christ.

 

“Take hold of Jesus as a man and you will discover He is God.” – Martin Luther

 

God’s Word: “When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God!’” – Matthew 27:54

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Remembering His Sacrifice
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Dec 28, 2014
Devotional - Remembering His Sacrifice

“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." Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them.” – Mark 14:22-24

 

On October 17, 2013 Erin Green gave birth to her first child – a healthy baby girl. But soon afterward, Erin developed a rare condition called disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) that kept blood from clotting normally. DIC has a high mortality rate and is difficult to control. Erin lost over three liters of my own blood and was in the OR for more than 3 intense hours while numerous physicians to stop the bleeding. She received 12 units of blood, 6 units of fresh frozen plasma, and 2 units of platelets before she finally became stable and the bleeding was controlled.

A few weeks after going home from the hospital Erin had the opportunity, along with my husband Todd and their daughter, to meet some employees from the Arkansas Blood Institute. “I was able to thank them and to let them see, first hand, the benefits and changed lives that resulted from the work that they do every day. It was a humbling experience to say the least,” said Erin.

 

The Lord’s Supper is a humbling remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice, where He poured out His blood for our sins. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for Communion with Him during the observance of the Lord’s Supper.

 

“This meal is for sinners only.” – David Watson

 

God’s Word: “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom." – Matthew 26:26-29

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Don't Worry What To Say
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 25, 2014
Devotional - Don't Worry What To Say

“Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” – Mark 13:11

 

In 235 AD, an elderly Christian named Julius stood before the Roman Emperor Maximus for being a Christian. The following are the last words of Julius before his death:

“He died for our sins that he might bestow on us eternal life, but he is God who endures for ever, and whoever confesses him shall have eternal life, and whoever denies him eternal punishment,” said Julius

The emperor replied: “I am sorry for you and I advise you to sacrifice and live with us.”

“If I live with you it is death to me, but if I die, I live,” asserted Julius

Maximus said: “You have chosen death rather than life.”

Julius replied: “I have chosen death for the moment and then life everlasting.”

The following sentence was then pronounced: "Julius, who refuses to obey the orders of the emperors, is to receive capital punishment."

Julius was then led out to his death. His last words were, "O Lord Jesus Christ, for whose name's sake I suffer thus, vouchsafe to set my spirit among thy saints."

He was then executed.

One day each of our lives will come to an end and we need not worry what to say in those last moments. We need to live each day as it were our last and bring glory to Jesus. Today in prayer, praise the Lord and follow Him all the days of your life.

 

“Love makes the whole difference between an execution and a martyrdom.” – Evelyn Underhill

 

God’s Word: “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” – Matthew 10:19-20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Glory To God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 24, 2014
Devotional - Glory To God

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” – Luke 2:14

 

Charles Follen was a German poet and patriot, who in 1824 moved to New York City.  In November 1825, he became an instructor in German at Harvard University. In 1828 he became an instructor of ethics and ecclesiastical history at Harvard Divinity School, having in the meantime been admitted as a candidate for the ministry.

Charles also gave demonstrations of the new discipline of gymnastics. In 1826, at the request of a group in Boston, he established and equipped the first gymnasium there and became its superintendent.

But what he is remembered today occurred in 1832. It was the first lighted Christmas tree in America.

Follen, remembering the German Christmases of his youth and wishing to recreate the magic and beauty of a decorated tree for his young son, went out into the woods near his home and cut down a small fir. The tree was set in a tub and its branches hung with small dolls, gilded eggshells, and paper cornucopias filled with candied fruit. The tree was illuminated with numerous candles.

Journalist Harriet Martineau described the unveiling of the tree at the Follens' Christmas party: "It really looked beautiful; the room seemed in a blaze, and the ornaments were so well hung on that no accident happened, except that one doll's petticoat caught fire. There was a sponge tied to the end of a stick to put out any supernumerary blaze, and no harm ensued. I mounted the steps behind the tree to see the effect of opening the doors. It was delightful. The children poured in, but in a moment every voice was hushed. Their faces were upturned to the blaze, all eyes wide open, all lips parted, all steps arrested."

 

Today on this Christmas Day, reflect on the Glory of God and may you enjoy peace on earth.

 

“Peace reigns where our Lord reigns.” – Julian of Norwich

 

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. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.” – Isaiah 9:6-7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTION FOR CHRISTMAS

Devotional - Loving Your Neighbor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 23, 2014
Devotional - Loving Your Neighbor

“To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” – Mark 12:33

 

Every year John Norris plays Santa Claus. The 70-year old bearded man looks a lot like jolly Saint Nick. But on the morning of 2 December 2014, he was able to deliver his neighbor a life-saving early Christmas gift.

Just after 7:30 a.m., a blaring fire alarm awakened him in his apartment building in Sterling, Illinois.

“It looked bad,” he recalled.  “I could see smoke up above.”

John immediately headed for his neighbor’s apartment.

“The distance between me and him was no more than 15 feet,” he said. “I couldn’t see him, but an outline, it was so thick.”

John found a dazed 89-year-old Bill Bell, who has lived in the apartment for some 20 years.

“I grabbed a hold of him and pulled him out,” John said. “There was no way I was going to leave him up there.”

 

We are to love our neighbor, just as Christ loves us. Today in prayer, ask the Lord how you can love your neighbor.

 

“He alone loves the Creator perfectly who manifests a pure love for his neighbor.” – Bede

 

God’s Word: “"Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, "'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'" – Matthew 19:19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - A Person Of Integrity
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 22, 2014
Devotional - A Person Of Integrity

“They came to him and said, "Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” – Mark 12:14

 

On June 16, 1858, Abraham Lincoln made the great speech of his famous senatorial campaign at Springfield, Illinois. The convention before which he spoke consisted of a thousand delegates together with the crowd that had gathered with them.

His speech was carefully prepared. Every sentence was guarded and emphatic. It has since become famous as "The Divided House" speech. Before entering the hall where it was to be delivered, he stepped into the office of his law- partner, Mr. Herndon, and, locking the door, so that their interview might be private, took his manuscript from his pocket, and read one of the opening sentences: "I believe this government cannot endure permanently, half slave and half free."

Mr. Herndon remarked that the sentiment was true, but suggested that it might not be good policy to utter it at that time.

Mr. Lincoln replied with great firmness: "No matter about the policy. It is true, and the nation is entitled to it. The proposition has been true for six thousand years, and I will deliver it as it is written."

 

Don’t be swayed by anyone, follow the Truth in all that you do. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is our model for integrity and seek to follow Him in all your ways.

 

"Real integrity stays in place whether the test is adversity or prosperity." - Charles Swindoll

 

God’s Word: “They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are.” – Matthew 22:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Forgive Always
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Dec 21, 2014
Devotional - Forgive Always

“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

 

Gary Ridgway is better known as the infamous Green River Killer. In 2003, he confessed to the murders of 48 women in California and Washington State. By his own confession, he may have murdered as many as 60 women. Ridgway especially despised prostitutes and targeted them for his killings.

At Ridgway’s 2003 sentencing, the families of the victims had the opportunity to speak out and address Ridgway directly. Understandably, many were angry and lashed out at Ridgway for the unimaginable grief he had put them through. As Ridgway stonily listened to the family members express their grief and anger, one person came up and said something unexpected. When the time came for Robert Rule, the father of teenage victim Linda Jane Rule, to speak, Ridgway finally showed a glimpse of remorse.

Rule’s words to Ridgway were: “Mr. Ridgway . . . there are people here that hate you. I’m not one of them. You’ve made it difficult to live up to what I believe, and that is what God says to do, and that’s to forgive. You are forgiven, sir.” These words brought Ridgway to tears.

 

No matter what life may throw your way, forgive others. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His forgiveness and forgive others as the Lord has forgiven you.

 

“The man who is truly forgiven and knows it, is a man who forgives.” – Martyn Lloyd-Jones

 

God’s Word: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” – Matthew 6:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Don't Let The Money Get In The Way
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 18, 2014
Devotional - Don't Let The Money Get In The Way

“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’” – Mark 10:21

 

Aurelio Baretto was the owner of Dogloo, a manufacturer of igloo-style doghouses. He quickly became a millionaire and vacationed in Hawaii for months on end, ate at the best restaurants and always wore designer clothes.

“Everything I had dreamed about, I got,” he says. “I remember as a little kid, like any boy, you want a Porsche Turbo. I remember getting in the car, paying cash for the car, and being able to drive away. I hadn’t even gotten home, and I thought, ‘Is this it? Where’s the bang? Where’s the buzz?’”

Aurelio discovered that having money wasn’t all it was cracked up to be but making it controlled him.

He soon fell into depression. But while he was donating computers to his children’s school, the principal began to ask him a few pointed questions.

“He shared the gospel, and I just broke down crying in his office. It was the first time in my life where I felt love, that somebody would die on a cross for my past sin, my present sin, and my future sin."

Aurelio asked the Lord to forgive him, and He did. “I accepted Him as my Lord and my Savior that day, and He washed me clean. So He was able to do something that I wasn’t able to do.”

Today, he has purpose. He runs a Christian retail chain called C28, where he boldly shares the hope of Jesus that was once missing from his life.

Don’t let money get in the way of your relationship with Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He wants a relationship with you and put all your hope in Christ.

 

“Nothing I am sure has such a tendency to quench the fire of religion as the possession of money.” – J.C. Ryle

 

God’s Word: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”– 1 Timothy 6:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Like A Little Child
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 17, 2014
Devotional - Like A Little Child

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” – Mark 10:15

 

Jeff Myers was one of the largest producers of online pornography in the country. “I had 1.3 million registered images a staggering number, and we had thousands and thousands of hours of video."

But after being arrested on drug charges, Jeff started to examine his life. While on bail, he drove to a Christian camp he attended as a boy. That night at camp they gave an altar call. Jeff was one of the first to come. He prayed and asked God to forgive his sins and give him a new start.

A friend of his who had become a pastor followed up Jeff. While in prison, Jeff immersed himself into the Bible.

He said the following about his life’s transformation. “My life was a disaster. I was a drug-addicted, alcoholic pornographer that ruined millions of lives. He’s taken my life and turned it around. He loves me in spite of my mess. I’m still growing and I’m still learning. Every day He’s chipping off a little chip of the mess I’d made.”

 

Faith in Jesus is starts by trusting in Him with a child like faith. No one is too old to start. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for your new life in Christ.

 

“I felt myself absolutely born again. The gates of paradise had been flung open and I had entered. There and then the whole of Scripture took on another look to me.” – Martin Luther

 

God’s Word: “In reply Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’” – John 3:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - All Things Are Possible
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 16, 2014
Devotional - All Things Are Possible

“‘If you can?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for him who believes.’” – Mark 9:23

 

On 15 September 2014, Tim Cassell of Saratoga, California took off in his Piper aircraft from San Jose, California. He was flying to his family resort in Death Valley, California. Just 20 minutes from his destination, disaster struck.

“Instantly I saw this flash of something take off the front of the airplane,” said Tim. “It started vibrating so violently. Metal around it started to buckle and shift and the plane felt like it was moving like this in the air.”

At 13,000 feet, the propeller on his plane had suddenly broken in half.

The 65-year old skilled pilot immediately looked to Jesus.

"As I'm fighting this aircraft down, wasn't a friendly aircraft at that point, thinking please Heavenly Father, let me survive this -- and I did," said Tim.

He crash-landed his single-engine plane into the Sequoia National Park.  

Tim suffered a series of injuries, including broken ribs and fractures in his face. He said he wrapped himself with blankets and an airplane cover to keep himself warm throughout the night.

The next morning rescuers spotted his aircraft and spotted him waving a red blanket.

Tim credits his faith, his pilot training, and his motivation for making it out alive.

“The first blessing was I walked out of the aircraft, hobbled out of the aircraft, and survived the first night.”

 

Nothing is impossible with Jesus. Today in prayer, place all your concerns, cares, and worries in His hands and believe in Him.

 

“I never have any difficulty believing in miracles, since I experienced the miracle of a change in my own heart.” – Augustine

 

God’s Word: “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” – Mark 11:23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Cling To The Rope
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 15, 2014
Devotional - Cling To The Rope

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” – Mark 8:34-35

 

In early summer 1942, six young German men and one young German woman formed the anti-Nazi resistance group the White Rose. They were all Christians and wrote anti-Nazi leaflets calling for passive resistance of the Nazis. They distributed the leaflets at the University of Munich and were subsequently arrested on 18 February 1943. They were executed five days later.

The woman, Sophie Scholl, was 21 years old. Yet, she remained defiant and true to her cause. Describing her faith, Sophie said: “I will cling to the rope God has thrown me in Jesus Christ, even when my numb hands can no longer feel it.”

On the day of her death, she uttered her last words: “How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause. Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?”

 

The Lord has a different path for each of us, but no matter what hardship you endure, He will be with you. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for your life in Christ and seek to follow Him in all that you do.

 

“Believer, Christ Jesus presents you with crosses, and they are no trivial gifts.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’” – Matthew 16:24

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Out Of Men's Hearts
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Dec 14, 2014
Devotional - Out Of Men's Hearts

“For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.” – Mark 7:21-22

 

In 2002, Rick Renzi became the U.S. Congressman representing Arizona's 1st congressional district. Soon after being sworn in the U.S. House of Representatives,

Renzi began introducing and voting in favor of bills that benefitted his father's defense company.

In 2008, Renzi was indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy, extortion, money laundering and wire fraud. He used his influence on a House Natural Resources Committee to orchestrate a land swap with the federal government that financially benefited himself and his associates. The 49-year-old lawmaker, who owned an insurance business, was also charged with embezzling more than $400,000 from insurance clients to fund his congressional campaign.

On June 12, 2013, Renzi was convicted on 17 counts in his corruption case that accused him of using his office for personal financial gain and looting a family insurance business to help pay for his 2002 campaign. On October 28, 2013, he was sentenced to three years in prison.

 

It is only through Jesus Christ that we can overcome the sinfulness of our own hearts. Today in prayer, give your heart to the Lord and seek to follow Him in all that you do.

 

“You must keep all earthly treasures out of your heart, and let Christ be your treasure, and let Him have your heart.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” – Matthew 15:19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Overcoming Unbelief
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 11, 2014
Devotional - Overcoming Unbelief

“And he was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village.” – Mark 6:6

 

Dennis Rainey, in his article “My Struggle with Unbelief,” wrote the following:

“My slippery spiritual descent was halted in the fall of 1968 through a number of people whom God brought across my path. Through those people, God loved me out of my spiraling unbelief.

One of those people was an evangelist named Tom Skinner. He helped stop my spiritual decline and nudged me upwards toward a true faith in God. May I share with you a quote he gave me?

‘I spent a long time trying to come to grips with my doubts, when suddenly I realized I had better come to grips with what I believe. I have since moved from the agony of questions that I cannot answer, to the reality of answers that I cannot escape . . . and it's a great relief.’

I began to see it was a waste of my life struggling over questions that can't be answered on this side of heaven's gate. It began to dawn upon me, "Why spend life questioning every minute detail of the Christian faith when there are so many obvious truths that can't be ignored."

So I began to focus on what I knew to be true—like the resurrection. If Christ is still in the tomb then Christianity has little more to offer me than other world religions. But it is an irrefutable fact of history – CHRIST IS RISEN!”

 

Everyone has some doubts, but it is far healthier to focus on what you believe and trust in these irrefutable facts. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to strengthen you in your faith in Him.

 

"Unbelief puts our circumstance between us and God, but faith puts God between us and our circumstances.” – F.B. Meyer

 

God’s Word: “Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’” – Mark 9:24

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Finding Jesus
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 10, 2014
Devotional - Finding Jesus

“When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’” – Mark 5:27-8 

 

Fatemeh Devanbeigi grew up in Iran as a Muslim, but she felt the god of the Koran to be too distant.

As a teenager, Fatemeh looked for answers in fortune telling and by reading coffee grounds.

“I remember every day, I would cry and cry, and ask God to show me Himself. I would look at the sun. Are you the sun?  Where am I supposed to look?”

But it wasn’t until Fatemeh moved to the United States when she twenty, where she met a friend from work who told her about Jesus.

“It was after he accepted the Lord Jesus that he found joy and peace, and those words just popped. I said, ‘Wow, this is good.’ I said, ‘Oh, I want that. I want the joy and peace.’”

So Fatemeh went to a Christian church, and that night, after years of searching, Fatemeh prayed to become a Christian.

Today, Fatemeh’s mother, brother, and two sisters are all Christians.

Fatemeh is a real estate broker, and studying to be a psychologist.  She’s also married and has two sons. She actively shares her faith in Christ with others.   

 

When we search with all of our hearts for the Lord, we will find Him. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He reveals Himself to all that seek Him.

 

"The turning point in our lives is when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is." - Patrick Morley

 

God’s Word: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - What The Lord Has Done
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 9, 2014
Devotional - What The Lord Has Done

“Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.” – Mark 5:19-20

 

Gary Thomas, in his book “Authentic Faith”, describes a friend of his named Mike. He met Mike when he went to college. Mike was a leader among students. He had everything: a contagious personality, athletic ability, good looks, and natural appeal. And everybody wanted to be around Mike. Everybody wanted to be Mike.

But a few years after college, Mike suffered a brain hemorrhage, and, as a result, he lost everything: his handsome appearance was gone, his voice was slurred, he couldn’t teach any more. Everything that others admired in Mike was now taken from him.

His treatment required months of grueling therapy, but eventually he was able to function again. The devastating effect on his body was paralleled by an equally powerful change in his spirit. He still attracted followers, but he was no longer focused on himself. He was focused on God. Gary Thomas says, "In college, when I was around Mike, I wanted to be like Mike. Now, after spending time with Mike, I want to be more like Jesus."

 

Consider your speech, Are you focusing on God? Today in prayer, ask the Lord to make you “Jesus Focused”, not self-focused, so others will want to be more like Jesus.  

 

"It is high tide to make known the glad tidings in these dark regions of sin and spiritual bondage." - Samuel Marsden

 

God’s Word: “The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, "Return home and tell how much God has done for you." So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” – Luke 8:38-39

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - The Good Soil
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 8, 2014
Devotional - The Good Soil

“Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop--thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” – Mark 4:20

 

In 1964, missionaries from the New Life Churches of New Zealand came to India. There was a revival that was sweeping New Zealand, and the church desired that the same love of Jesus Christ flow in India. They established the New Life Centre in Pune and NLFA in Mumbai. The movement went through difficult days in the early years until the Lord gave the church a vision in July 1980.

Pastor Shekhar Kallianpur, a former Hindu, leads the congregation. He is able to connect with Hindus who are seeking. He has a passion for India and a desire to see the persecution of Christians in Indian come to an end.

Shekhar believes that Christians are persecuted in India because the “poor” [in India] are accepting Jesus Christ into their hearts, and the “rich” are losing their slaves, and their authority. He also believes the persecution of Christians in India is due to a lack of wisdom in many Christians.

“God did not come to create religion, but to love the world and preach the Gospel. Christians lack wisdom when trying to convert. We need to respect each other’s differences and show the love of God. The power of love is so powerful,” said Shekhar.

Today, more than 70,000 people attend New Life Fellowship in Mumbai.

 

The Lord is looking for good soil to plant His seed so that He may grow and be glorified. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is using people who avail themselves to Him in order to bring glory to God.

 

"When I see with what little effort souls can be won, I tremble to think of the many opportunities I am missing. We must do what we can - the little things. God will save them." - Malla Moe

 

God’s Word: “Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” – Matthew 9:37-38

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - The Worries Of This Life
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Dec 7, 2014
Devotional - The Worries Of This Life

“but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” – Mark 4:19

 

In 1929, Joseph Stalin came to power in the Soviet Union. One would think that with absolute power Stalin would be fearless. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

His reign of 24 years was marked by purges, deportations, and executions. Stalin had such an incessant fear of 'enemies within', that he purged the Red Army of 80 percent of its most senior commanders.

His fears dictated his life. The infamous Russian premier was afraid to go to bed at night. He had seven different bedrooms. Each could be locked as tightly as a safe. In order to foil any would-be assassins, he slept in a different one each night. Five chauffeur-driven limousines transported him wherever he went, each with curtains closed so no one would know which contained Stalin. So deep-seated were his anxieties that he employed a servant whose sole task was to monitor and protect his tea bags.

 

Worry chokes our lives. Today in prayer, give any worries and anxiety to Him and receive His peace.

 

"There is no need for two to care, for God to care and the creature too." - Charles H. Spurgeon

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Doing His Will
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 4, 2014
Devotional - Doing His Will

“Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother.’” – Mark 3:34-35

 

On the morning of May 14, 2014, Shelly Porter was driving her 8-year old daughter Abby to school in southeast Kansas. Suddenly, Shelly had a medical emergency and passed out behind the wheel.

With her mother slumped over, Abby — a second-grader whose father sometimes lets her steer their tractor and lawn mower — leaned over and took the wheel. As Abby drove along on the four-lane highway, she executed a U-turn "because she was going home to her daddy."

Officer Jimmy Hamilton noticed the SUV going about 20 mph and weaving a bit between the two lanes, and suspected someone was driving under the influence. As he got closer he noticed the woman slumped over in the driver seat and saw Abby at the wheel. The vehicle was also closing in on an intersection.

Hamilton tried to get in front of Abby's car to slow her down, but she kept switching lanes to avoid bumping into his car. Hamilton got alongside her and told Abby to put the vehicle in park, but she didn't know how. He then told her she needed to bump into him to stop the car, but Abby said she didn't want to because she was afraid.

He convinced Abby bumping into his car was OK.

"I never saw her cry," Hamilton said. "It was just the expression on her face and the tone of her voice, you could tell she was scared. But she stayed with it."

Hamilton said he positioned his car in front of the SUV, "and she just steered right into my rear bumper, and I started applying slow pressure on my breaks until both vehicles stopped."

Emergency crews got Shelly to the hospital in time.

Both officer Hamilton and Abby were praised for their actions; the officer for giving specific instructions and Abby for following them in the most difficult of situations.

 

The Lord calls us his brother and sister if we follow His will. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His instructions and seek to follow them with all your heart.

 

"How many observe Christ's birthday!  How few, his precepts!  O! 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments." - Benjamin Franklin

 

God’s Word: “Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?” – Luke 6:46

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Made For Man
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 3, 2014
Devotional - Made For Man

“Then he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.’” – Mark 2:27-28

 

On Friday night 25 April 2014, as the Sabbath began, a month-old baby Palestinian girl started to choke. Her mother, who lived in the Palestinian village of Beitin near Ramallah, became frantic. The mother brought the baby to an Israeli Defense Force checkpoint and begged for help. Within a few minutes, Doctor Ben Tzanani and his team were at the scene. There was never a question about keeping or breaking the Sabbath. After examining and treating the little girl, the team saved the baby’s life.

Doctor Tzanani recounted: “The division head quarters received many phone calls from the villagers of Beitin, who expressed their gratitude. In medical issues there is no difference between Palestinians and Israelis. A month-old baby is a human being, and so we are obligated to save her life.”

 

God gave man the Sabbath to rest and to worship Him. The Lord did not make man for the Sabbath. Today in prayer, no matter what day of the week, do good and bring honor to Jesus.

 

"The Christian's Sabbath-rest is ceasing from his labors to become a fellow-laborer with God. This should, of course, extend to every day." - H.L. Ellison

 

God’s Word: “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” – Colossians 2:16-17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Like Our Heavenly Father
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 3, 2014
Devotional - Like Our Heavenly Father

“Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” – Mark 2:7

 

On September 12, 2014, Pennsylvania State Trooper Bryon Dickson II, age 38, agreed to take the shift of a fellow officer.  

About 10:30 PM, as Bryon was stepping out of the Blooming Grove (Pennsylvania) State Police Barracks, a rifle shot rang out and pierced the back of his bullet-proof vest. The first shot took Dickson down. He was struck immediately afterwards in the neck with a second shot and died.

After 48 days, Eric Frein was arrested or the murder of Officer Dickson.

Bryon’s parents, Darla and Bryon were shocked at their son’s death. But soon a calm that their son was with the Lord brought a peace to the couple.

Darla said it was the Holy Spirit that has given her peace. "I've spoken to many reporters, and each one of them have commented on the overwhelming peace they feel through me — giving me an opportunity to share Christ with each one of them."

But is forgiveness truly possible? Darla says yes. "For the young man who took my son's life, how can I not forgive him when God has forgiven me so much?" she asked. "God has shielded and comforted my heart. I don't have the hatred that other people may have. Can God save him [Frien]? Yes He can.”

 

We are most like our Heavenly Father than when we forgive others. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His forgiveness and bring glory to the Lord by forgiving others.

 

"Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness, or else forgiving another." - Jean Paul Richter

 

God’s Word: “The other guests began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’” – Luke 7:49

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - A Life Of Compassion
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 1, 2014
Devotional - A Life Of Compassion

“Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. ‘Be clean!’” – Mark 1:41

 

Two hundred years ago, in the early 19th Century, the holiday of Christmas in Great Britain had almost become extinct. The London Times newspaper did not mention Christmas once between 1790 and 1835.

Then in 1843, Charles Dickens wrote his book ‘A Christmas Carol.’ In 1843, unemployment and famine were widespread. Dickens wanted to challenge the powerful and the wealthy to act with generosity and with compassion.

So he used the character of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge to represent the powerful. But he showed that Scrooge was miserable and he needed to change.

At the end of the story, Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning with joy and love in his heart. He anonymously sends a prize turkey to the Cratchit home for Christmas dinner. The following day, he gives Cratchit a raise and becomes like "a second father" to Tiny Tim. A redeemed man, Scrooge now treats everyone with kindness, generosity, and compassion; he now embodies the spirit of Christmas.

Discussing his writing style, Charles Dickens himself stated: "I have always striven in my writings to express the veneration for the life and lessons of our Saviour."

 

We too need to express in our lives the lessons of Jesus. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is our example of compassion and be compassionate to others.

 

"I have long since ceased to pray, 'Lord Jesus, have compassion on a lost world!' I remember the day and the hour when I seemed to hear the Lord rebuking me for making such a prayer. He seemed to say to me, 'I have had compassion upon a lost world, and now it is for you to have compassion.'" - A.J. Gordon

 

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 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Leaving All
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 30, 2014
Devotional - Leaving All

“At once they left their nets and followed him.” – Mark 1:18

 

On the 8th of December 1934, John and Betty Stam, both in their 20s, were led out of a small Chinese town bound together. The missionary couple from the United States had been in China for less than three years. The communists took them to a small hill known as Eagle Hill, where John and Betty were executed. 

News of the deaths of John and Betty, as it traveled around the world, challenged hundreds of young people to commit their lives to foreign missions.  When John was graduating from Moody Bible Institute in 1932, he was chosen by his class to give a speech and said the following:

“Shall we beat a retreat and turn back from our high calling in Christ Jesus or dare we advance at God's command in the face of the impossible?  Let us remind ourselves that the Great Commission was never qualified by clauses calling for advance only if funds were plentiful and no hardship or self-denial was involved.  On the contrary, we are told to expect tribulation and even persecution, but with it victory in Christ.”

 

When the Lord calls us, we need to show up for duty and follow Him. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for all He is doing in your life and be faithful in the calling He has given to you.

 

"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important." - C. S. Lewis

 

God’s Word: “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” – Matthew 19:29

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

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