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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions In Philippians
Devotional - I Can Do All Things
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday May 30, 2017
Devotional - I Can Do All Things

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13

 

Eliza Agnew was born in 1807 in New York City.  She told her parents when she was eight years old that God wanted her to become a missionary.  She was saved at seventeen and searched for God's choice of a husband so that she might pursue missions with him.  No husband came and Eliza was reduced to the life of an "old maid."  She cared for her aged parents until they died in 1839.  Now 32 years old, considered past marrying age, Eliza applied to American Board of Missions and was accepted as the first single woman missionary to a foreign field.  She went to the island of Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka, and became matron of a boarding school for girls.  Eliza continued in this capacity for 40 consecutive years, never going back to America on furlough and never taking a vacation.  She became known as the "Mother of 1000 Daughters," though she never had any children of her own.  Over half of her schoolgirls made professions of faith and lived dedicated Christian lives.  Her health caused her to give up her position as matron of the school in 1879, but she stayed in Ceylon and ministered to her converts.  Eliza died at 76 years old with many of her "daughters" at her bedside. 

 

Through Jesus Christ, we can do all things. Today in prayer, look to the Lord for your confidence and trust in His power.

 

“All of nature depends on hidden resources. The great trees send their roots down into the earth to draw up water and minerals. Rivers have their sources in the snow-capped mountains. The most important part of a tree is the part you cannot see, the root system, and the most important part of the Christian's life is the part that only God sees. Unless we draw on the deep resources of God by faith, we fail against the pressures of life. Paul depended on the power of Christ at work in his life. "I can-through Christ!" was Paul's motto, and it can be our motto too.” - Warren Wiersbe

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN PHILIPPIANS

Devotional - Being Content
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday May 29, 2017
Devotional - Being Content

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” – Philippians 4:12

 

At the age of thirty-two, Doug McKnight of Fort Worth, Texas was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. For two years, he slumped in and out of depression as his symptoms accelerated.

“I attributed my disaster to God and could not understand why he was supposedly punishing me so harshly when I had been a relatively good man,” he wrote in a letter at the time. As Doug’s illness progressed, he and his wife, Pam, asked eight elders from the Richland Hills Church of Christ to lay hands on him and anoint him with oil. Touching his afflicted legs and arms, they asked God to heal him.

Physically, there was no change, and he was soon using a wheelchair. Later, the church held a 24-hour prayer circle made up of 100 people.

Doug did receive healing, but it was not physical. "I have come to realize that God is the source of whatever strength I have," he wrote before he died in 1998. "I am now at least heading toward, rather than away, from Him."

Friends in his congregation asked him to compile a list of requests so they could intercede for him.  His response included eighteen blessings for which to be grateful and six concerns for which to be prayerful.  His blessings outweighed his needs by three times.  Doug McKnight had learned to be content.

 

Our contentment can be found in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that no matter what circumstance you find yourself, you can be content in Jesus.

 

“You say, 'If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.' You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.” - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” – Hebrews 13:5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN PHILIPPIANS

Devotional - Put Into Practice
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday May 28, 2017
Devotional - Put Into Practice

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” - Philippians 4:9

 

Henry Martyn arrived in India as a missionary in April 1806. The twenty-five year old Englishman began to preach and occupy himself in the study of linguistics. He translated the whole of the New Testament into Urdu, Persian and Judaeo-Persic. He also translated the Psalms into Persian and the Book of Common Prayer into Urdu. From India, he set out for Bushire, Shiraz, Isfahan, and Tabriz.

Martyn was seized with fever, and, though the plague was raging at Tokat, he was forced to stop there, unable to continue. On 16 October 1812 he died. He was remembered for his courage, selflessness and his religious devotion.

What gave Henry the zeal to accomplish so much in six and a half years on the mission field?

Prior to arriving in India, Henry read the biography of David Brainerd, a missionary from Connecticut to the Stockbridge, Delaware and Susquehanna tribes of Indians.

Martyn’s biographer wrote of Henry that “perusing the life of David Brainerd, his soul was filled with a holy emulation of that extraordinary man; and after deep consideration and fervent prayer, he was at length fixed in a resolution to imitate his example.”

 

The Lord has given us godly examples that we may live out our lives for Him. Today in prayer, thank Christ for the godly people in your life and seek to live your life for Jesus.

 

“The teacher must demonstrate in action the truth which he expresses in words.” – William Barclay

 

God’s Word: “Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.” – Philippians 3:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN PHILIPPIANS

Devotional - Whatever Is Noble
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday May 25, 2017
Devotional - Whatever Is Noble

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8

 

In 2008, 9-year old CJ George of Hialeah, Florida began to complain of back pain. A series of tests were administered and results were not good.

CJ was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic lymphoma, a very serious, but treatable form of cancer. The family’s website became a journal of their walk through CJ’s battle with cancer.

As in any case where a child is sick, their story was heart wrenching. But, CJ was amazing. This little 9-year old boy became the encourager of the family. He had the rare gift of poetry. CJ’s mom posted several of his poems, and the grace and courage of this little boy was astounding. It was during his painful battle with cancer, that CJ wrote the following poem entitled: “There Was God.”

 

There was God….

God created the Universe.

Inside that universe was a solar system;

inside that solar system was a planet,

inside that planet was a continent,

inside that continent was a country;

inside that country was a state;

inside that state was a city;

inside that city was a county;

inside that county was house;

inside that house was a boy;

inside that boy was a heart;

inside that heart………

There was God. – by CJ George

 

Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable; think about such things. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to give you a heart to desire Him and Him alone in all that you do. 

 

“Use the noble gifts which God has given you!” -  Jane Welsh Carlyle

 

God’s Word: “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” – Colossians 3:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN PHILIPPIANS

Devotional - Do Not Be Anxious
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday May 24, 2017
Devotional - Do Not Be Anxious

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” – Philippians 4:6

 

Charles Darwin, the author of the “On the Origin of Species” and the author of the theory of the evolution of man, was a constant worrier. He fretted about his children, about his work, about his deadlines, about his reputation and, almost always, about what ailed him. Darwin, it could be argued, suffered from anxiety, one of the most common conditions on the planet.

He was a man of chronically bad health who struggled with a long list of afflictions, including heart palpitations, stomachaches and headaches. We know from his letters, his autobiography, his methodical health journal and the observations of family and friends that his trials and achievements were often paired with pain, immobilization and isolation. And yet doctors could find nothing intrinsically wrong with him.

Darwin’s increased worry corresponded to his growing skepticism of Christianity. He said “I never gave up Christianity until I was forty years of age.” The more he railed against God, the more anxiety he had in his life.

 

When worry enters our life, we need to draw near to our Heavenly Father and give our anxiety to Him. Today in prayer, give the Lord all of your worries and receive from Jesus His perfect peace.

 

“No man ever sank under the burden of the day. It is when tomorrow’s burden is added to the burden of today, that the weight is more than a man can bear.” – George Macdonald

 

God’s Word: “"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” – Matthew 6:25

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN Philippians

Devotional - Let Your Gentleness Be Evident
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday May 23, 2017
Devotional - Let Your Gentleness Be Evident

“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” – Philippians 4:5

 

During World War I, British fighter pilots made an amazing discovery, that thick layers of silk stopped low velocity shrapnel better than steel. So these aviation pioneers wound soft silk around their necks and heads, then wore leather horse riding helmets on top of the silk.

Scientists still aren’t sure just what it is that gives gentle silk its strength, but it’s true, that in certain situations soft, gentle, tender silk can prove far stronger than cold, hard steel.

In World War II, nylon was substituted for silk and used for aviators’ flak jackets.

Jesus showed us the same holds true for human character. Some people try to make themselves impenetrable to the people around them. Jesus showed us that gentleness, a heart that’s soft toward others, and tenderness are in fact qualities of great strength.

 

There is strength in gentleness when we are firmly rooted in Christ.  Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His example of gentleness and seek to be more like the Savior.

 

“Gentleness includes such enviable qualities as having strength under control, being calm and peaceful when surrounded by a heated atmosphere, emitting a soothing effect on those who may be angry or otherwise beside themselves, and possessing tact and gracious courtesy that causes others to retain their self-esteem and dignity.” – Charles Swindoll

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN Philippians

Devotional - Stand Firm In The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday May 22, 2017
Devotional - Stand Firm In The Lord

“Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!” – Philippians 4:1

 

During the third century, Roman Emperor Claudius II banned all marriages and engagements throughout the empire. He needed a strong army because he was heavily engaged in empire expansion. Claudius believed his men had too strong attachments to their wives and families and all Roman men should be willing to fight for his empire. A Christian priest named Valentinus (the Greek name for Valentine) stood firmly in his faith against Claudius. For a time, Valentinus secretly performed weddings for Roman Christians, in spite of the edict of Claudius.

Eventually Roman henchmen discovered his ‘crime against the state,’ and Valentinus was captured. He was sentenced to death in 269 AD and suffered a three-part sentence of beating, stoning and decapitation because of his stand for marriage, the authority of God over the State and Christian liberty.

 

No matter what life may throw at you, stand firm in Jesus. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that in this chaotic world, He is our solid ground!

 

“Faith expects from God what is beyond all expectation.” – Andrew Murray

 

God’s Word: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN Philippians

Devotional - Our Citizenship
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday May 21, 2017
Devotional - Our Citizenship

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” – Philippians 3:20

 

In 2013, Deepan Budlakoti, a man born in Ottawa, Canada, was notified by Canadian officials that he faced deportation to his parents’ native homeland of India.

His parents arrived in Canada in the mid-80s and worked for India’s High Commissioner as household staff. The Citizenship Act actually states that if the parents are foreign diplomats or work for their home country when their child is born, that child is not Canadian despite being born in Canada.

In 1992, Budlakoti's parents were granted permanent resident status. They applied for citizenship for themselves but not for their Deepan. Their application was accepted.

Officials in India stated that Deepan did not have Indian Citizenship because he was born in Canada.

For more than 4 years, Deepan has been declared “stateless” and must apply for citizenship in Canada, India, or any other country he chooses.

 

For all who know Jesus Christ, we have a citizenship, a home in Heaven. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that through His grace, we have a Heavenly home.

 

“Socrates, being asked what countryman he was answered, ‘I am a citizen of the whole world.’ But ask a Christian what countryman he is, and he will answer, ‘A citizen of heaven.’” – William Secker

 

God’s Word: “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household” – Ephesians 2:19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN Philippians

Devotional - Put What You Have Learned Into Practice
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday May 18, 2017
Devotional - Put What You Have Learned Into Practice

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:9

 

In April 2014, Chicago police officers Kevin Tate and Samantha Smith spotted a house on fire. Once they arrived on the scene, they spotted two boys screaming in the upstairs windows. The officers shouted instructions to break the windows and jump into their arms.

The two brothers, ages 8 and 15, were hesitant to jump from the second story window.

“I think the first one was the hardest,” Smith said. “I kind of like begged him — like, ‘C'mon, we're going to catch you, just come on. Come on and get out.'”

Finally the 8 year old committed: “Hey I'm coming” and jumped safely into the police officers’ arms.

"The older one was a little hesitant and we were like, 'Man, you got to let it go,' so he went and jumped."

Officer Smith suffered a minor injury catching one of the boys. She said it was a “blessing” that everyone made it out of the house alive.

“You can't train for that,” she said. “You hear voices and you hear people that need help, and you just have to do what you need to do.”

 

You can’t train for every instance in life, but you can put into practice what we have learned from the Lord. Today in prayer, take a leap of faith and follow Jesus in all that you do.  

 

“Some dear friends think the GOSPEL can only be accepted. But Jesus & Paul modeled how to live it, serve it & share it daily.” – Rick Warren

 

God’s Word: “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” – John 13:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN Philippians

Devotional - Be Persistent
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday May 17, 2017
Devotional - Be Persistent

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:14 

 

Before Hudson Taylor became a missionary to China, he was a physician in Hull England.

As a young doctor, he used to go around different homes and attend to the sick. In one of these houses, there was a very sick man who had no time for God. Dr. Taylor would come in and the man would be lying in his bed. Doctor Taylor would do the medical procedures such as putting various bandages on, washing him, attending to him and giving him medicine.

Then when he had finished the medical side of his work, Doctor Taylor would say to this man, "Now, my dear friend, I want to just say a few words to you about Jesus Christ. That He came into the world to save sinners and He will save you if you will believe in Him." And every time, this man would turn his face to the wall - he wouldn't listen. He set his face as though it was made of cement: hard, hard expression against the Gospel.  Doctor Taylor came regularly, week after week or month after month, and every time when he had done his medical work he would attend to this man and then he would say, "Now, just a little word about my Lord Jesus Christ who died for sinners." The man would turn his face away - he wouldn't listen.

One day when Doctor Taylor came, in his heart of hearts he said something that we all at times feel, he said to himself, "What's the use; a waste of breath?" On this particular day he gave him the medicine, tended to his body, put his instruments into his case without a word, lifted his bag and walked towards the door.

The man turned to him. He said, "Are you not going to say something to me?" The man was finally listening!

Doctor Taylor came running back with tears in his eyes. "Man", he said, "I must tell you, Christ came to save your soul."

 

Be persistent in following Jesus in all that you do. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that through His perseverance salvation has come to you. 

 

“All things are possible to him who believes, yet more to him who hopes, more still to him who loves, and most of all to him who practices and perseveres in these three virtues.” – Brother Lawrence

 

God’s Word: “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” – Hebrews 10:36

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN Philippians

Devotional - Godly Examples
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday May 16, 2017
Devotional - Godly Examples

“Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.” – Philippians 3:17

 

Malcolm Jones is an author and columnist who writes about books, music, and photography for The Daily Beast.

In article entitled “There’s Nothing Wrong—and a Lot That’s Right—About Copying Other Artists,” he explains that he didn’t learn much from all of his teachers urging him to express himself. Rather, as a six year old, he learned to draw as he copied others.

He wrote: “I learned to draw and paint on my own and I did it by copying. I started with Mickey Mouse, and I kept at it until my Mickey looked like the one in the cartoons and the comic books. Along the way, I got an education in shading, depth, perspective, and all the other basics of drawing. The real takeaway, though, was that not just anyone can be a great artist, but anyone can learn to draw. You just need a pencil and paper and a lot of time.”

 

We all need to have godly examples to copy so we can live godly lives. Today in prayer, praise Christ for the godly men and women in your life and strive to be more like Jesus.

 

“If doing a good act in public will excite others to do more good, then “Let your Light shine to all” Miss no opportunity to do good.” – John Wesley

 

God’s Word: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 11:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN Philippians

Devotional - Our Own Abilities
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday May 15, 2017
Devotional - Our Own Abilities

“though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more” – Philippians 3:4

 

Singer Mariah Carey was scheduled to perform on New Year’s Eve in New York Time Square on December 31, 2016. Because of conditions such as a crowd of thousands making noise and the cold temperatures, Mariah lacked confidence in her own abilities to perform. She later stated that it was “not practical” for a live performance, so she decided to use a recording of her music and to lip sync.

But faulty earpieces exposed Carey’s lip syncing onstage.

“I’m trying to be a good sport here,” a visibly frustrated Carey said as she stopped singing and tried to find her place, explaining to the crowd that her vocal track was missing and she couldn't hear through her earpiece. She opted to "let the audience sing."

Her follow-up performance of "We Belong Together" similarly ended with the singer pacing the stage and refusing to continue lip syncing, as certain pre-recorded bits of her signature high notes rang out. "It just doesn't get any better," she said as she closed her musical set. 

 

We cannot put our confidence in our own talents; we need to place our faith in the One who has given us our talents and abilities.  Today in prayer, confess any sin of pride. Give thanks to Jesus for all the talents and abilities He has given you. 

 

“Talent is God-given; be humble.” – John Wooden

 

God’s Word: “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh” – Philippians 3:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN Philippians

Devotional - Rejoice In The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday May 14, 2017
Devotional - Rejoice In The Lord

“Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.” – Philippians 3:1

 

Hermann Lange was a German Roman Catholic priest who preached against the Nazis during World War II. He was arrested and sentenced to be executed in November 1943. In his cell on the night before he was to be killed, Hermann wrote a note to his parents. He said two feelings occupied his mind: “I am, first, in a joyous mood, and second filled with great anticipation.”

Then he made this beautiful affirmation: “In Christ I have put my faith, and precisely today have faith in Him more firmly than ever.”

Finally he urged his parents to read the New Testament for comfort: “Look where you will, everywhere you will find jubilation over the grace that makes us children of God. What can befall a child of God? Of what should I be afraid? On the contrary, rejoice!”

 

Do not let any troubles come between you and your joy of the Lord. Today in praise, rejoice in Jesus that He has given you eternal life.

 

“One filled with joy preaches without preaching.” – Mother Teresa

 

God’s Word: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” – Philippians 4:4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN Philippians

Devotional - Be Selfless
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday May 11, 2017
Devotional - Be Selfless

“For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 2:21

 

In June 2012, Meghan Vogel was running in a state track meet in Columbus, Ohio. She won the 1,600-meter race, but the teen track star received more attention for her extraordinary act of kindness toward another competitor in a later race.

Meghan, a high school junior, was near the finish of the 3200-meter race and could see that the only other runner who hadn't finished yet was faltering. And then competitor Arden McMath, a runner Meghan had never met before, fell to the track just 20 yards from the finish line.

Meghan soon came to her aid, carrying the fallen runner to the end of the track, where she guided her across the finish line — ahead of herself.

The teens finished in 14th and 15th place, but the crowd — touched by the scene — gave the pair a standing ovation.

“I just couldn’t believe she’d done that for me,” Arden exclaimed.

 

The Lord calls us to look beyond our own interests and to look to the interests of God and others. Today in prayer, confess any sin of selfishness and seek to be selfless in all that you do.  

 

“There is no smaller package than a person all wrapped up in himself.” – Peter C. Moore

 

God’s Word: “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” – 1 Corinthians 10:24

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN Philippians

Devotional - No Complaining
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday May 10, 2017
Devotional - No Complaining

“Do everything without complaining or arguing” – Philippians 2:14

 

Vacation is supposed to be time when you get away from all the stress, frustrations, and everyday problems. But for some people, it is a time to just complain about other things they encounter. The following are real complaints made by people who were on vacation:

One person grumbled: “The ice in my glass melted too quickly.”

One confused person wrote: “The brochure didn’t say from what cardinal point the sun rises in Spain.”

One person criticized to a hotel staff: “I only got 2 toilet paper rolls per day.”

One Australian visitor wrote: "Why are there no kangaroos hopping around Sydney city? I'm most disappointed."

One mixed up person complained: “I'm sure I've stayed in this hotel room in a previous life. I cannot stay here again.”

Finally, one person grumbled: “There was no sign telling you that you shouldn’t get on the hot air balloon ride if you’re afraid of heights.”

 

As Christians, we need to curb our complaining and take everything to the Lord in prayer. Today in prayer, confess any sin of complaining and change your complaint into a prayer for help to the Lord.

“Murmuring is wasted breath, and fretting is wasted time.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!” – James 5:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN PHILIPPIANS

Devotional - Being A Servant
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday May 9, 2017
Devotional - Being A Servant

“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” – Philippians 2:6-7

 

In April 2017, Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois, presented its annual Servant Leadership Award. It was awarded to the student who has demonstrated — through a variety of service opportunities — the qualities of a servant’s heart.

Jeslyn Roat, a junior majoring in social work major, was one of this year’s winners. She has served as a reading volunteer for a local elementary school, a children’s church volunteer, a mentor to junior high students, a volunteer at a pregnancy resource center — to name just a few of her many service activities. She has also had the privilege of being part of three mission trip experiences. After graduation, she plans to pursue graduate school or go directly into a social work career. “My motivation to serve is rooted in the belief that I have been called by Christ to serve others,” Jeslyn said. “I believe God has wired me for my future vocation as a full-time social worker. I’m ready to help anyone He places in my path. I want to lead as a servant and by following Christ’s example.”

 

Jesus calls each of us to serve others. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His example of being a servant and give Him thanks for the multiple opportunities we have to serve others.

 

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have too much . . . it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

 

God’s Word: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:45

 

Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN Philippians

Devotional - Be Encouraged
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday May 7, 2017
Devotional - Be Encouraged

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” – Philippians 2:1-2

 

David Livingstone was a Scottish missionary and one of the greatest European explorers of Africa. His travels encouraged others to be missionaries and opened up the interior of the African continent. 

On 5 January 1857, Dr. Livingstone received an honorary doctorate from Glasgow University. As he rose to speak, he was gaunt and haggard as a result of the hardships he had gone through in tropical Africa. He left arm, crushed by a lion, hung helplessly at his side as he announced his resolve to return to Africa without misgiving and with great gladness. He added the following words of encouragement: “Would you like me to tell you what supported me through all the years of exile among a people whose language I could not understand, and whose attitude toward me was often uncertain and often hostile? It was this: ‘Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.’ On these words I staked everything, and they never failed!”

 

In Jesus Christ, we have all the encouragement we need in His Word. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that no matter what situation we find ourselves, we have His Word that can encourage us.

 

“This ministry of consolation and encouragement is not to be regarded as inferior and of secondary importance. Did we but discern it, we are daily surrounded by lonely, aching and sometimes broken hearts.” – J. Oswald Sanders

 

God’s Word: “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ” – Colossians 2:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN Philippians

Devotional - In A Worthy Manner
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday May 4, 2017
Devotional - In A Worthy Manner

“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel” – Philippians 1:27

 

At one time P.T. Barnum, head of the great Barnum & Bailey Circus, invited Pastor Charles Haddon Spurgeon of London to speak in the large tent at his traveling circus. He made every concession to make the offer attractive to Spurgeon. Barnum would provide the musical talent, unless Spurgeon wished to provide his own. He would provide any equipment or manpower Spurgeon desired. Spurgeon could speak as long or as short as he wished. There was only one basic stipulation! Barnum Circus Association would take the gate receipts and pay Spurgeon one thousand dollars per lecture.

This was a generous offer in Spurgeon’s day. Many would doubtless have said, “What a wonderful opportunity to reach people with the Gospel!” But not Spurgeon.

Knowing it would be wrong to join hands with the world, he replied:

Dear Mr. Barnum:

Thank you for your kind invitation to lecture in your circus tents in America. You will find my answer in Acts 13:10.

Very sincerely yours,

Charles H. Spurgeon

If Mr. Barnum looked up Acts 13:10, he found these words: “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?”

 

As Christians, we represent Jesus Christ here on earth. Our lives should have integrity. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His supreme example of a life lived well and seek to be a person of integrity.

 

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

 

God’s Word: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” – Ephesians 4:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN Philippians

Devotional - Living For The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday May 3, 2017
Devotional - Living For The Lord

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” – Philippians 1:21

 

William Carey is known as the “father of modern missions”. Early in his life, it looked like his son Felix would follow in his father’s footsteps.

In 1807, at age 21, Felix Carey was sent as a missionary to Rangoon [Burma], but mission life proved costly. His wife died within a year, and seven years later, he lost his second wife and his children in a boating accident.

Having noticed Felix Carey’s linguistic and medical gifts (he had introduced smallpox vaccination to Burma), the king of Burma offered Felix an ambassadorship to the governor-general in Calcutta, India. The weary Felix accepted, resigning from mission activities in 1814. His disappointed father commented: “Felix is shriveled from a missionary into an ambassador.”

Felix lived in fine ambassadorial style in Calcutta but soon he was overspending and drinking heavily. He was recalled to Burma in disgrace. Felix then disappeared where he wandered for three years.

Thankfully, missionary William Ward persuaded him to return to the mission field. For the last few years of his life, Felix worked on the mission newspapers, contributed major translation work, and wrote a treatise in Bengali on anatomy and physiology.

In 1822, cholera struck Felix down at age 37.

 

Life is short, so we need to desire to want to live for Jesus. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for all that He is and seek to live your life for Christ.

 

“Death to the Christian is the funeral of all his sorrows and evils, and the resurrection of all his joys.” - John H. Aughey

 

God’s Word: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN Philippians

Devotional - Avoid Selfish Ambition
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday May 2, 2017
Devotional - Avoid Selfish Ambition

"The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.” – Philippians 1:17

 

Jim Bakker is a televangelist and former Assemblies of God minister who was indicted and convicted in 1988 on eight counts of mail fraud, 15 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy.

In his autobiography “I Was Wrong,” Jim confesses the sins of his life. He wrote that he was absolutely called by God to establish Christian television and even to establish a Christian retreat center. But it was his selfish ambition, rather than the Lord’s calling, that drove him to build Heritage USA, “a state of the art Christian Disneyland.”

Looking back at all of this Jim wrote that while he sincerely thought he was doing it work for God he was wrong to get sucked into the project like he did. God even sent people to reprove Jim for is in satiable obsession to build Heritage USA. Yet Jim wouldn't listen and only resented their corrective words.

 

Pride and selfish ambition can lead to sin and lawlessness. Today in prayer, confess any sin of ambition and seek to follow Jesus.

 

“The best ambition is: Who shall be servant of all.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN Philippians

Devotional - Joy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday May 1, 2017
Devotional - Joy

"In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy” – Philippians 1:4

 

Dr. Paul Brand is a brilliant medical doctor who did pioneering work in the treatment of leprosy.

Paul grew up in India, where his parents were Christian missionaries. At the age of nine he was sent to boarding school in England. In 1928, while a 14-year-old student, he received a telegram informing him that his beloved father had died of Blackwater fever. It is a painful disease caused by malaria where red blood cells burst in the bloodstream.

Paul cherished fond memories of his father, a man who had a great love for God, people and a great love for the natural world around him.

A short time after he received the telegram of the news of his father’s death Paul received a letter from his father. It had been posted prior to his father’s death but took some time to reach Brand as it came by ship. It’s words impacted deeply upon the young son. Though Paul’s father was in deep pain, he described the hills around their home and then finished with these words: “God means us to delight in his world. It isn’t necessary to know botany or zoology or biology in order to enjoy the manifold life of nature. Just observe. And remember. And compare. And be always looking to God with thankfulness and worship for having placed you in such a delightful corner of the universe as the planet Earth.”

 

Jesus came to bring us life and joy. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that anywhere and at any time, we can have the joy of Jesus.

 

“I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy, Down in my heart, Down in my heart, Down in my heart.

I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy, Down in my heart, Down in my heart to stay.

And I'm so happy, So very happy, I've got the love of Jesus in my heart.

And I'm so happy, So very happy, I've got the love of Jesus in my heart” – George Willis Cooke

 

God’s Word: “Be joyful always” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN Philippians

Devotional - God's Grace
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Apr 30, 2017
Devotional - God's Grace

“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:2

 

On March 22, 2006, Steven Stone, a state trooper in Tyler, Texas, stopped a pickup truck for speeding. He saw an open bottle of alcohol and asked the two occupants if they had any weapons.

The driver said he had a pocketknife and officer Stone confiscated it from him. The trooper then discovers marijuana. “At that point, I was going to place him under arrest,” said officer Stone.  “As I'm putting the handcuffs on him, I notice a pistol magazine in his pocket, and the passenger steps out, and things got real bad from there."

In all, officer Stone was hit two-to-six times, and then he rolled down an embankment. When he was asked how he managed to survive, officer Stone responded, "I wish I could tell you, sir. It's by the grace of God that I'm here and have the ability to talk to you. After that first shot, my vision goes black. I didn't know I had fallen or was rolling down the embankment or anything. I didn't get my vision back 'till I was already down in the embankment, and I -- at that time, I was looking up at them firing down on me."

The two men stopped firing when they ran out of ammunition. They were arrested, tried and imprisoned. Officer Stone recovered from his injuries and returned to duty.

 

Sometimes dramatically, at other times subtly, the Lord gives us grace.  Today in prayer, praise Jesus for His loving grace and share that grace with others.

 

“Grace is the free, undeserved goodness and favor of God to mankind.” – Matthew Henry

 

God’s Word: “To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Romans 1:7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN Philippians

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