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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions In The Minor Prophets
Devotional - Remember The Law
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 29, 2016
Devotional - Remember The Law

“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.” – Malachi 4:4

 

Dennis Prager, author of “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code,” has given ten things you didn't know about the Ten Commandments:

1      Jews and Christians number the commandments differently. The reason is that “Ten Commandments” in the original Hebrew literally reads “Ten Statements.” Therefore, Jews count the first statement, which is “I am the Lord your God who took you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” as the first commandment.

2      Without God, the Ten Commandments, and morality in general, is just a list of arbitrary rules. Unless there is a Higher Authority (God) behind the Ten Commandments, all right and wrong are just personal opinion and belief, subject to change.

3      The Second Commandment (according to the Jewish tradition), “You shall have no other gods before me,” does not simply refer to stone idols of Moses’ day. “Other gods” are anything that we “worship” more than God—money, power, love, education, a nation, or art.

4      The Third Commandment, “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain,” is often interpreted as saying something like “Oh my God!” However, the Hebraic translation literally reads, “Thou shalt not carry the Lord’s name in vain,” meaning do not commit evil in God’s name.

5      The Third Commandment is also the only commandment which, when violated, God never forgives.

6      Western Civilization—which developed universal human rights, created women's equality, ended slavery, and created democracy—would not have been developed without the Ten Commandments.

7      The Fourth Commandment, "Remember the Sabbath Day," uplifts mankind more than any other commandment. For most of history, life consisted overwhelmingly of work, and human beings were essentially beasts of burden. This commandment changed that by insisting that people stop working one day out of seven to rest, strengthen relationships, and enjoy life.

8      In our culture, the Fifth Commandment, “Honor your father and mother,” is not widely emphasized. Many parents object to “honoring” since it implies an authority figure, an idea that is often rejected. Instead, they want to be loved, not honored, by their children. This threatens the family structure and makes children believe they are their own boss, a dangerous misconception that will harm them in their workplace, marriage, and worldview.

9      Truth, and following the Ninth Commandment, "Thou shalt not bear false witness," is the most important value in society. Goodness and compassion may be the most important values in the personal realm, but the societal realm, truth is more important. Virtually all great societal evils, such as African slavery, Nazism, and Communism, have been based on lies.

10    The Ten Commandments are not a list of rules. The commandments prove that God wants mankind to be free: "I am the Lord your God who took you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." Following the commandments actually frees us from the terrible consequences of sin, making our lives better.

 

The Lord desires us to remember and follow His laws. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His laws and remember them throughout the day.

 

“The propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” – George Washington

 

God’s Word: “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.” – Psalm 119:97

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Give Gladly
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 28, 2016
Devotional - Give Gladly

“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. ‘But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' ‘In tithes and offerings.’” – Malachi 3:8

 

Matthias William Baldwin was born into a family of wealth in New Jersey. Following his father's death in 1799, executors of the Baldwin estate proved to be inept, and his widow and children were left in difficult financial circumstances owing to their poor stewardship.

Matthias became a skilled mechanical engineer. In 1832 he built "Old Ironsides," Pennsylvania's first locomotive, and went on to establish what became the Baldwin Locomotive Works, the largest such company in the world. His engines could carry more steam pressure than any others then available.

But before he made a fortune, Matthias became a Christian. He learned that tithing to his church was a responsibility. As his wealth grew, Matthias continued to give generously to several Christian organizations. 

“I feel more thankful for the disposition to give largely, than for the ability to give largely,” he often said; “for I know that immense wealth can be acquired a great deal easier than the heart to use it well. My money without a new heart would have been a curse to me.”

 

The Lord desires us to be good stewards of money and to have a heart to give to His work. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to give you wisdom and joy in your giving.

 

“As the purse is emptied, the heart is filled.” – Victor Hugo

 

God’s Word: “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Don't Be Stubborn
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 27, 2016
Devotional - Don't Be Stubborn

“But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears. They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry.” – Zechariah 7:11-12

 

British resident William Mathias was stubborn against the march of progress, especially when it marched acros s the footpath leading from his house to a nearby village.

In the mid-19th century, he built a wall, preventing his neighbors from walking their horses, carts and carriages across the path. It was repeatedly knocked down, and then rebuilt by Mathias, until he finally erected an archway and iron gate. A postman was ordered to crash the gate. William fought back. After digging a deep trench across the Victoria Square entrance, he soon gained the nickname "General Mathias".

He even physically intimidated a woman with a baby carriage.

By the time he died in 1873, at age 92, Mathias had been jailed and bankrupted for his cause, but his gate remained in place. Pretty soon after his death, the gate was removed.

 

Are you stubborn to the point of being foolish? Today in prayer, confess any stubbornness in your heart to the Lord and seek to follow Jesus in all that you do.

 

“I always believed in God and Christ, but I was in rebellion - trying to make my relationship with God fit into my life instead of making my life fit in with him. I was stubborn.” – Scott Stapp

 

God’s Word: “But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward.” – Jeremiah 7:24

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Show Compassion
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 26, 2016
Devotional - Show Compassion

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.’” – Zechariah 7:9

 

Before finding success in the fried chicken business in his 1960s, “Colonel” Harland Sanders had a varied résumé. As a young man, he toiled as a farmhand and streetcar conductor before working for railroad companies across the South. Aspiring to be the next Clarence Darrow, Sanders studied law by correspondence and practiced in justice-of-the-peace courts in Arkansas until a courtroom brawl with a client derailed his legal career. He operated a steamboat ferry that crossed the Ohio River between Kentucky and Indiana, and he sold life insurance and automobile tires. During his time in Corbin, Sanders even delivered babies. “There was nobody else to do it,” Sanders recounted in his autobiography. “The husbands couldn’t afford a doctor when their wives were pregnant.”

Harland showed his compassion once while on an airplane. An infant was screaming and would not stop even though the mother and flight attendants tried every trick they could think of. Finally the Colonel asked if he could hold the baby. He gently rocked it to sleep. Later a passenger said, “We all appreciate what you did for us.”

Harland replied, “I didn’t do it for us, I did it for the baby.”

 

The Lord puts us in situations every day where we are to be compassionate to others and to demonstrate the love of God. Today in prayer, ask the Lord how you can be more compassionate to others.

 

“Do you wish to receive mercy? Show mercy to your neighbor?” – John Chrysostom

 

God’s Word: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” – Matthew 23:23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - By His Spirit
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 25, 2016
Devotional - By His Spirit

“So he said to me, ‘This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.’” – Zechariah 4:6

 

Pastor Bill Crowder gives the following illustration of the need to be Spirit led: “The first winter that my wife Marlene and I were married was marked by severe blizzards. I can vividly remember one Sunday when we awoke to find that the electricity had been knocked out by an ice storm. Huddled around a battery-powered radio for news on that frigid Sunday, we heard a most unusual announcement. The announcer, before giving the list of church services canceled due to the ice storm, said, ‘The following churches will be closed due to lack of power.’ What an interesting comment! I knew what he meant, but I was struck by what he said. The idea of churches closing due to lack of power conjures up some spiritual parallels that directly tie into Jesus’ promise of the Spirit.”

 

The Spirit of our Lord is living and active in our world. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord for His Holy Spirit and seek to walk in the Spirit in all that you do.

 

“Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;

Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;

Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art,

And make me love Thee as I ought to love.” – George Croly

 

God’s Word: “For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 1:5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS 

Devotional - Be A Good Steward
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 22, 2016
Devotional - Be A Good Steward

“You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” – Haggai 1:6

 

In 2003, Callie Rogers was only 16 and earning £3.60 ($5.50) an hour when she won a National Lottery jackpot worth £1,875,000 (roughly $2,846,812). At the time, she vowed to behave responsibly.

“I will not go wild and spend loads,” she said. “I’m going to take some advice and see an accountant. Hopefully I will make us all comfortable. I want to help my family, but I won’t change. I just want a normal home; nothing posh. I just want a normal car as well.”

But as teenagers often do, Rogers quickly changed her mind and began spending her windfall. By 2011, Rogers, a single mother of two children, had undergone two breast implant surgeries and attempted suicide four times. She also revealed she had spent £250,000 (about $380,000) on cocaine.

In 2013, nearly all the money was gone, but she said she is much happier.

 

The Lord wants us to be a good steward of all that He has entrusted to us. Today in prayer, seek the Lord in His Word and develop the discipline and wisdom the Lord wants you to have in being a good steward.

 

“I place no value on anything I have or may possess, except in relation to the kingdom of God. If anything will advance the interests of the kingdom, it shall be given away or kept, only as by giving or keeping it I shall most promote the glory of Him to whom I owe all my hopes in time or eternity.” – David Livingstone

 

God’s Word: “When anyone came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten. When anyone went to a wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were only twenty.” – Haggai 2:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - The Arrogant
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 21, 2016
Devotional - The Arrogant

“Her prophets are arrogant; they are treacherous men. Her priests profane the sanctuary and do violence to the law.” – Zephaniah 3:4

 

United Airlines Flight 173 was a scheduled flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, New York to Portland International Airport in Portland, Oregon, with a scheduled stop in Denver, Colorado. On December 28, 1978, the aircraft flying this route when it ran out of fuel and crashed in a suburban Portland neighborhood, killing 10 onboard.

The subsequent investigation found that aircraft circled near the airport for an hour as the crew tried in vain to sort out a landing gear problem. Although gently warned of the rapidly diminishing fuel supply by the flight engineer on board, the captain--later described by one investigator as "an arrogant S.O.B."--waited too long to begin his final approach.  

In response, United revamped its cockpit training procedures around the then-new concept of Cockpit Resource Management (CRM). Abandoning the traditional "the captain is god" airline hierarchy, CRM emphasized teamwork and communication among the crew, and has since become the industry standard.

"It's really paid off," says United captain Al Haynes, who in 1989 remarkably managed to crash-land a crippled DC-10 at Sioux City, Iowa, by varying engine thrust. "Without [CRM training], it's a cinch we wouldn't have made it."

 

Arrogance is a sin. Today in prayer, confess any arrogance in your life and seek to walk humbly with Jesus.

 

“The first barrier to meekness arises whenever we claim as our own what is really a gift of God. To live in meekness, we must try to remember that all we are, have, and can do is a gift. It is an act of arrogance to place ourselves at the center of being and doing. Only God belongs there.” – Susan Annette Muto

 

God’s Word: “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” – Proverbs 8:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Be Humble
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 20, 2016
Devotional - Be Humble

“Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the LORD's anger.” – Zephaniah 2:3

 

Samuel Logan Brengle was recognized as an excellent preacher and was recommended to become the pastor of a large city church. His leaders even saw in him the potential to be a bishop one day. As a result Brengle decided to enroll at the Boston Theological Seminary.

It was around this time that the Salvation Army was established in Boston. Brengle was attracted to it and in due course he resigned from the Methodist Church and offered his services to the Salvation Army. This meant that he had to go through a training period to learn the nuts and bolts of Army ministry. This is when he wondered whether he had made a mistake!

His first assigned duty was not to preach to a large crowd, but to clean and polish the boots of his fellow officers in training! He found himself in a little room with eighteen pairs of muddy shoes, a can of shoe polish and… the temptation to quit… To him this was an obvious waste of his time and talent. He had proved himself to be a brilliant speaker; a preacher with a very promising future. He asked himself: “Is this the best they can do for me in the Salvation Army? Did I make a mistake?”

Then in his imagination, he saw a picture: Jesus was washing his disciples’ feet! In his journal he wrote: “I could see my Lord – who had come from the bosom of the everlasting father and the glories of heaven and the adoration of its hosts – bending over the feet of uncouth, unlearned fishermen, washing them, humbling Himself, taking the form of a servant. I immediately fell on my knees and prayed: “Lord, you washed their feet; I will polish their boots.”

 

Are you humble person, or do you wrestle with pride? Today in prayer, seek the Lord with all of your heart and seek to be humble in all that you do.

 

“He who knows himself best esteems himself least.” – H.G. Brown

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - The Sovereign Lord Is My Strength
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 19, 2016
Devotional - The Sovereign Lord Is My Strength

“The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” – Habakkuk 3:19

 

Gabrielle Fitch is a New York fashion model. But in 2014, at age 21, Gabrielle stood 5 foot 11 inches and weighed only 70 pounds. She said she was "so weak that [she] couldn't hold an eating utensil for more than two minutes."

Gabrielle was told, "No one can help you and you are going to die. There is nothing we can do to save you because you are 70 pounds.”

"At first I was in denial, and when I realized that I was anorexic I really wasn't sure how to turn it around," she said, who spent three months in rehab.

"I have a very strong support team, and an accountability team, and above all, God," the Gabrielle continued. "I ask God every day to give me strength. I had to create new habits and break old ones and break an addiction. Those main three things; support, accountability, and God. And also family. They help me along the path to get well."

 

In this life, we cannot rely on our own strength; it will fail us. Today in prayer, pray that the Lord will be your strength in all that you do.

 

“We can never obey God in our own strength, but we can always trust Him to provide the strength we need. If we trust ourselves, we will faint and fall; but if we wait on the Lord by faith, we will receive strength for the journey.” – Warren Wiersbe

 

God’s Word: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” – Psalm 46:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Renewal Of Our Hearts
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 18, 2016
Devotional - Renewal Of Our Hearts

“Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” – Habakkuk 3:2

 

Dr. Michael Levin is a biologist at Tufts University. One of the goals of the Levin Lab is looking at regeneration. They use frogs and flatworms, and sometimes zebra fish to examine how God can regenerate tissue.

He said the following about regeneration: “Fundamentally, broad control of regeneration is the solution to most problems in biomedicine. Moreover, it will have an immense impact on the economics of societies. We face the unavoidable spiral of treatments needed to prolong the last years of life becoming increasingly more expensive. As each new advance patches up the sinking ship of the ageing body, it makes it that much more expensive for the next advance to keep the person alive. Regeneration could break this cycle by inducing regrowth of healthy organs throughout the lifespan.”

 

The most important regeneration and renewal we need is the renewal of our hearts for the Lord. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for your regenerated life in Jesus. Ask the Lord to renew that desire to love and follow Him.

 

“We've lost sight of the fact that some things are always right and some things are always wrong. We've lost our reference point. We don't have any moral philosophy to undergird our way of life in this country, and our way of life is in serious jeopardy and serious danger unless something happens. And that something must be a spiritual revival.” – Billy Graham

 

God’s Word: “Restore us, O God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.” – Psalm 80:7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Divine Appointments
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 15, 2016
Devotional - Divine Appointments

“See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright-- but the righteous will live by his faith” – Habakkuk 2:4

 

More than 7 trillion gallons of water fell in Louisiana and Mississippi over eight days in August 2016. Thirteen people lost their lives and there is an estimated $110 million in agricultural losses along with 40,000 homes damaged.

Wayne Barber and his wife Ann are disaster relief chaplains with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. They answered the call to minister to the many hurting lives in Louisiana.  

The couple has experienced divine guidance as they drove through affected neighborhoods.

“God turned us around,” Wayne recounted of a day he sensed the Lord telling him to “go back” and stop at a home they had passed.

A man in his 30s strode out as they pulled in the driveway.

“I saw y'all drive by, and I saw y'all turn around,” the man said. “I knew you were coming back to talk to me!”

Wayne did talk to the man, who prayed to receive Christ. The man's mother, a Christian who had long prayed for her son to come to faith, walked over from next door as more evidence of God's hand in the encounter.

“Every day before we go out, we pray for divine appointments,” Wayne said.

 

We grow in righteousness when we live by faith in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, ask the Lord how you can trust Him more.

 

 “The essence of faith is being satisfied with all God is for us in Jesus.” – John Piper

 

God’s Word: “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’” – Romans 1:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Our Refuge
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 14, 2016
Devotional - Our Refuge

“The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him” – Nahum 1:7

 

In 2013, it was learned that Syrian refugees were seeking shelter from government bombing by living in caves and ancient Roman tombs. Across northern Syria, rebels, soldiers, and civilians began making use of the country's wealth of ancient and medieval antiquities to protect themselves from Syria's two-year-old war.

It is estimated that more than 100 people have sought refuge in the caves in Idlib Province in northwest Syria.

"I swear to God, if you see this, it breaks your heart, because it moves you back to tens of thousands of years ago," said Hossan Hamadah, a Syrian-American aid worker. "People actually were taking mud to block the holes where the snakes come out.” Hossan continued: “And they said, 'We can't sleep at night because we can hear (the snakes) digging out.' Those are the unlucky ones."

 

In difficult times, we can come to Our Heavenly Father and He will provide refuge. Today in prayer, thank Christ that in Him we can find refuge in times of trouble.

 

“When we stray from His presence, He longs for you to come back. He weeps that you are missing out on His love, protection and provision. He throws His arms open, runs toward you, gathers you up, and welcomes you home.” – Charles Stanley

 

God’s Word: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” – John 14:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

 

Devotional - Love Mercy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 13, 2016
Devotional - Love Mercy

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8

 

In 2012, all Roy Auvil wanted was a gun permit. The 74-year-old retired truck driver from Illinois said he was surprised he was a felon until he went to renew his Illinois state firearms permit.

His application was rejected because of a 1964 conviction in South Carolina for operating an unregistered distilling apparatus without posting the required sign. In layman's terms: “bootlegging.” The FBI caught Roy making whiskey in the woods.

The judge gave him a choice: join a chain gang, or leave the Carolinas. Roy chose the latter, hitchhiked his way home to Illinois, and was released from probation three years later. Roy was a law-abiding citizen from that moment. He started a family, got a truck-driving job, voted, served on jury duty and bought firearms — all without realizing, he says, that he was a convicted felon.

Then in December 2014, he was given an Executive Grant of Clemency by President Obama. This Presidential Pardon mercifully wiped out any record of Roy’s felony conviction. Roy now proudly displays his framed Presidential Pardon to all.

 

We need to appreciate the Lord’s mercies toward us and extend mercy to others. Today in prayer, praise Lord for His mercy and follow His example.

 

“The essence of justice is mercy.” – Edwin Hubbel Chapin

 

God’s Word: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” – Matthew 23:23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - God's Plan
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 12, 2016
Devotional - God's Plan

“But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD; they do not understand his plan, he who gathers them like sheaves to the threshing floor.” – Micah 4:12

 

In November 1881, veteran missionary to China Hudson Taylor addressed a conference of Christian leaders. He reminded the audience that there are several different ways of working for God. He said: “One is to make the best plans we can and carry them out to the best of our ability. This may be better than working without a plan, but it is by no means the best way of serving our Master. Or, having carefully laid our plans and determined to carry them through, we may ask God to help us and to prosper us in connection with them. Yet another way of working is to begin with God: to ask His plans, and to offer ourselves to Him to carry out His purposes.”

Hudson expounded upon the excellence of this last way: “Going about it in this way, we leave the responsibility with the Great Designer, and find His service one of sweet restfulness. We have no responsibility save to follow as we are led, and we serve One who is able both to design and execute, and whose work never fails.”

 

The Lord’s plans for us are much greater than our own. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that God has a plan for your life and seek to do His will in all that you do.

 

“Since God is the highest good, He would not allow any evil to exist in his works unless his omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil.” – Augustine

 

God’s Word: “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.” – Isaiah 55:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Trust And Obey
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 11, 2016
Devotional - Trust And Obey

“Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.’ Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city--a visit required three days.” – Jonah 3:1-3

 

In 1887, just following an evangelistic meeting held by Dwight L. Moody in Brockton, Massachusetts, a nervous young man stood to share his story in an after-service testimony meeting. As he was speaking, it became clear to many that he knew little about the Bible or Christian doctrine. His closing lines, however, spoke volumes to seasoned and new believers alike: “I'm not quite sure. But I'm going to trust, and I'm going to obey.”

Daniel Towner was so struck by the power of those simple words that he quickly jotted them down.

Daniel then mailed the quote and a brief description of its context to his friend John Sammis, who quickly wrote the four-line refrain to "Trust and Obey." John later added the five verses. He mailed the package back to Daniel, who came up with the tune.

“Trust and Obey” quickly became a favorite within the church and it remains popular with hymn singers today.

 

The Lord asks us to faithfully follow Him. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His gospel and be glad to share the Good News of Christ with others.

 

“When we walk with the Lord

In the light of his Word,

What a glory he sheds on our way,

While we do his good will

He abides with us still,

And with all who will trust and obey.” – John Sammis

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - In My Distress
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 8, 2016
Devotional - In My Distress

“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. He said: "In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry.” – Jonah 2:1-2

 

Christian singer and songwriter Matthew West was inspired by the testimony of a woman named Kathy to write the song “Mended.”

Matthew said: “Kathy has had an unbelievably wounded story. She just didn’t know if God can really redeem her. I found out these friends of mine had played her some of my music. In particular a song on my first story album called ‘The Healing Has Begun.’ When they played her the song, she began crying. And she said: ‘How, how did he know my story?’

And so I was so moved by her, I had to go on to another concert, but I asked is there a way I can meet this woman. Well they drove me to her apartment that they had put her in. We sat together and I brought my guitar and I sang songs for her. She sat there and started crying. And I started crying too and as I finished singing, she said something to me. She said: ‘You know, for many years of my life, I was physically unable to cry. And now when I cry, I see that as a sign that God has healed me.’”

 

Distress is good when it drives us to a closer walk with Jesus. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that in our distress, our faith in Christ can grow.

 

“You see worthless, I see priceless

You see pain, but I see a purpose

You see unworthy, undeserving

But I see you through eyes of mercy” – Matthew West

 

God’s Word:  “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.” – Psalm 18:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Foolish Pride
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Sep 7, 2016
Devotional - Foolish Pride

“Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down," declares the LORD. – Obadiah 1:4

 

When the Cornerstone Bank in Waco, Nebraska, was robbed of some $6,000 in November of 2012, the bank employees were able to give the police a fairly good description of the teenage girl who pulled off the crime and the car in which she escaped. As it turned out, the investigators didn’t really need those descriptions, because the thief recorded a YouTube video titled “Chick bank robber” boasting of her criminal prowess.

Fanning out the cash in front of the camera, 19-year-old Hannah Sabata proudly held up a sign that read, “I just stole a car and robbed a bank. Now I’m rich, I can pay off my college financial aid, and tomorrow I’m going for a shopping spree.” Later she held up another sign which said, “I told my mom today was the best day of my life... she just thinks I met a new boy.” Hannah’s brief criminal career ended later that week when police took her into custody.

 

Foolish pride will bring about our fall. Today in prayer, confess any sin of pride in your life and humble yourself before the Lord.

 

“A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” – C.S. Lewis

 

God’s Word: “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” – Proverbs 11:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Woe To The Complacent
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Sep 6, 2016
Devotional - Woe To The Complacent

“Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation, to whom the people of Israel come!” – Amos 6:1

 

The University of Alabama football team has won four national championships in the last seven years, with no sign of a real decline.

And in 2016, Alabama is also a favorite to become the national champion.

Which is why Alabama Coach Nick Saban is concerned. He’s well aware of what is required to reach the pinnacle — and to remain there.

“People think success is a continuum,” he said. “Success is momentary. And to be really successful you have to have consistency in performance, so you have to do it over the long term.”

Alabama’s biggest obstacle might not be any team it faces. Its toughest opponent might be complacency.

“The challenge is always when you have success, people tend to forget what made them successful, right?” Saban said. “And complacency creates a blatant disregard for doing the right things or continuing to do the things that you’ve always done to help you be successful. So consequently you’re not at the top of your game when that happens.”

 

We need to examine our lives and rid ourselves of any spiritual complacency. Today in prayer, ask the Lord that “Thy will be done, not my will” and follow Jesus in all that you do.

 

“I hate to see complacency prevail in our lives when it's so directly contrary to the teaching of Christ.” – Jimmy Carter

 

God’s Word: “For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them” – Proverbs 1:32

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Helping The Poor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 5, 2016
Devotional - Helping The Poor

“This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Israel, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. They sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals. They trample on the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed. Father and son use the same girl and so profane my holy name.” – Amos 2:6-7

 

In 1848, Vermont born George Bowen sailed to India to become a missionary.

A 32-year old single man, George turned away from wealth and fame, and even gave up his mission support. He chose to live among the very poorest in Bombay. He dressed as the Indians did, and embraced poverty, living in a humble dwelling and subsisting sometimes only on bread and water. He preached on the streets in sweltering weather, distributing gospel literature and wept over the lost for 40 years.

He wrote in his journal: “I want to have Jesus the missionary in my mind’s eye continually.  By the grace of God I may at length learn to love.  Love overcometh everything.  It will be a blessed day when I feel at home in these streets, and can linger in them without any desire save to continue preaching the Word.”

 

The poor are always on the Lord’s heart. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He has blessed you with many material blessings. Ask Jesus how you can give to those in need.

 

“The cry of the poor must either be heard by us, or it will ascend up against us into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.” – F.D. Maurice

 

God’s Word: “All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.” – Galatians 2:10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - God's First Love
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Sep 4, 2016
Devotional - God's First Love

“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.” – Joel 2:13

 

In September 1945, in POW camp 22 in Scotland, German POWs were confronted with pictures of Belsen and Auschwitz. They were pinned up in one of the huts, without comment. Soon the truth leaked out about the Holocaust and the Germans felt disgust and shame.

One of those young German soldiers was Juergen Moltmann. He remembers that in the midst of despair that God found him. A visiting chaplain gave him a Bible and, with little else to do, he began reading it. In the lament Psalms he heard resonant voices, the agony of people who felt God had abandoned them. In the story of Christ crucified he encountered a God who knew what it was to experience suffering, abandonment, and shame. Feeling utterly forsaken himself, Juergen found a friend in the One who cried: “my God my God why have you forsaken me”.

Juergen would go on to become one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century. Years later, with the message of the loving, crucified God still indelibly printed on his heart, he penned these beautiful words.

“But the ultimate reason for our hope is not to be found at all in what we want, wish for and wait for; the ultimate reason is that we are wanted and wished for and waited for. What is it that awaits us? Does anything await us at all, or are we alone? Whenever we base our hope on trust in the divine mystery, we feel deep down in our hearts: there is someone who is waiting for you, who is hoping for you, who believes in you. We are waited for as the prodigal son in the parable is waited for by his father. We are accepted and received, as a mother takes her children into her arms and comforts them. God is our last hope because we are God’s first love.”

 

The love of God can find us in any situation and turn failure into glory to God. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His love and rejoice that Jesus is compassionate towards you.

 

"The dying Jesus is the evidence of God's anger toward sin; but the living Jesus is the proof of God's love and forgiveness." - Lorenz Eifert

 

God’s Word: “"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” – John 3:16-17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Returning To The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 1, 2016
Devotional - Returning To The Lord

“Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: ‘Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.’” – Hosea 14:1-2

 

As a teenager, Steve Lee got involved in Asian gangs in Glendale, California. He became a crystal meth addict for the next five years. His grandmother, who was a strong Buddhist believer, had a friend who was a Zen master in South Korea. Steve traveled to Seoul Korea to become a Buddhist monk. But he was arrested for stealing $15,000 in cash from the temple on Buddha’s birthday. After serving a one-year prison sentence, he was deported back to the U.S.

He continued to backslide into a life of addiction until he enrolled in the Christian rehab ministry U-Turn For Christ. It was there that Steve repented of his sins and gave his life to Jesus.

He said: “I have committed my life to U-Turn For Christ as my forever family, because here is where I found Jesus Christ in my heart, and I found my new identity as a true Christian. Thank You Jesus for changing my old life to new.”

 

The Lord desires us to repent, to turn away from our sins, and to return to Him. Today in prayer, repent of any sin in your life and return to our Loving Father in Heaven. 

 

“A Christian is not one who never goes wrong, but one who is enabled to repent and begin over again after each stumble—because of the inner working of Christ.” – C.S. Lewis

 

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 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

Devotional - Thirst For Righteousness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 31, 2016
Devotional - Thirst For Righteousness

“Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.” – Hosea 10:12

 

In a classic paper entitled “Desert Thirst as Disease,” published in the Interstate Medical Journal 13, 1906, researcher W.J. McGee chronicles the dehydration of Pablo Valencia. For six days in August, Pablo wandered the Sonora Desert without food or water before he was found. His body had wasted away.

“Pablo was stark naked;” said McGee, “his formerly full-muscled legs and arms were shrunken and scrawny; his ribs ridged out like those of a starveling horse; his habitually plethoric [full] abdomen was drawn in almost against his vertebral column; his lips had disappeared as if amputated, leaving low edges of blackened tissue.”

Under the careful nurturing of McGee, who administered a series of home remedies, Pablo recovered. “...in a week he was well and cheerful,” said McGee, “weighing 135 pounds or more—though his stiff and bristly hair, which had hardly a streak of gray a fortnight before, had lost half its mass and turned iron gray.”

 

Just as our body thirsts for water to keep it healthy, our soul thirsts for God’s righteousness. Today in prayer, desire Christ in all you do and thirst for His righteousness.

 

"My only hope is that I shall be clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ." - M. Lloyd-Jones

 

God’s Word: “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place” – Ephesians 6:14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN THE MINOR PROPHETS

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