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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions In Thessalonians
Devotional - Don't Be A Busybody
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 28, 2016
Devotional - Don't Be A Busybody

“We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:11

 

Sheilah Graham Westbrook left England for America in 1933 where she landed a job as a staff reporter for The Mirror and The Journal. In 1935 she was recruited to write a gossip column for North American Newspaper Alliance’s syndicates. Soon Sheilah had reached the same level of power of Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper. The three gossip columnists were nicknamed “the unholy trio.” Sheilah could make or break a career and her column appeared in 178 newspapers.

In 1964, she wrote of herself “Sitting at my typewriter, banging out the items, I sometimes laugh as I stir my witch's brew, putting in the onions and the herbs to give indigestion to people I don't like or to those I think have slighted me, the great me. And it's true that I sometimes mistake my typewriter for my teeth, because the more I bite the more my column will be read.”

Married and divorced three times, Sheilah was also the mistress of author F. Scott Fitzgerald. She is remembered for her acerbic quote: “No one has a closest friend in Hollywood.”

 

Gossip is a sin that breaks relationships. Today in prayer, confess any sin of being a busybody and seek to have God honoring relationships.

 

“Busy souls have no time to be busybodies.” – Austin O’Malley

 

God’s Word: “Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.” – 1 Timothy 5:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Be Faithful And Keep The Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 27, 2016
Devotional - Be Faithful And Keep The Faith

“So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:15

 

Pastor Charles Spurgeon told this story of his grandfather James and his faith in God. “He had a large family and a very small income, but he loved his Lord, and he would not have given up his preaching of the gospel for anything.” One day the cow on which the family relied for milk for the children suddenly died. James Spurgeon’s wife was greatly distressed, but James trusted in the Lord and said, “God said He would provide, and I believe He could send us fifty cows if He pleased.”

On that same day, a group met in London—a group James Spurgeon did not know—that wanted to help meet the needs of poor pastors. They raised a large sum of money, and began sending it to different pastors in need to help their families. When they reached the end of the list, there were still five pounds left. One man suggested sending it to James Spurgeon. Another said, “No, let’s not send just five pounds. Let me add five more to go with it.” Others joined in, and the day after his cow died, James Spurgeon received twenty pounds in the mail! The family was never in need from that day forward.

 

The Lord has a plan for you. Be faithful, stand firm and keep following Jesus. Today in prayer, ask the Lord that you may be faithful in following Him in all your ways and in all of your days.

 

“The faithful person lives constantly with God.” – Clement of Alexandria

 

God’s Word: “To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless” – Psalm 18:25

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

 

Devotional - Beware Of Counterfeits
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 26, 2016
Devotional - Beware Of Counterfeits

“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie” – 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11

 

In August 2015, a Chinese woman named Cai, noticed that her rice wasn’t quite right. Instead of rice, Cai had “fake rice,” which was tiny pieces of rolled up paper.  It turns out counterfeit rice is a growing crime in China. China’s fake rice is also called plastic rice. It’s made from potatoes, sweet potatoes, and synthetic resin molded into the shape of real rice. The faux rice is commonly sold in Chinese markets, especially in Taiyuan in Shaanxi Province. The faux rice remains as hard as stone even after it was cooked and did not digest easily. It’s also pretty dangerous, since consuming three bowls of it is equal to consuming one plastic bag.

Aside from producing artificial rice, dishonest Chinese rice sellers also add flavors to ordinary rice and sell them to the unsuspecting public as “Wuchang rice,” which is more costly and generally considered one of the better brands of rice sold in Chinese markets. Farmers annually produce only 800,000 tons of Wuchang rice, while about 10 million tons are sold. In other words, more than 9 million tons are counterfeit.

 

When evil comes, it will be disguised as good. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to give you discernment in all that you do.

 

“You may imitate, but never counterfeit.” – Honore de Balzac  

 

God’s Word: “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” – Matthew 24:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Constantly Pray
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 25, 2016
Devotional - Constantly Pray

“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.” – 2 Thessalonians 1:11

 

Edward Payson served the Second Church of Portland, Maine from 1807 to his death in 1827 at the age of 44. During Pastor Payson's 20-year ministry the power of God was on display. It was during New England's Second Great Awakening and hundreds of men, women and youth in Portland came to saving faith in Jesus Christ under Payson's ministry. 

What was the secret to Pastor Payson’s ministry? Prayer. He was nicknamed “Praying Payson.”

At times he would spend 12 hours a day in Bible study and prayer.

Christian author E.M. Bounds wrote of Pastor Payson: “He prayed without ceasing and felt safe nowhere but at the throne of grace. He may be said to have studied theology on his knees. Much of his time he spent literally prostrated with his Bible open before him pleading the promise; "I will send the comforter and when He, The Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all truth." Payson's advice to his fellow ministers was, "prayer is the first thing, the second thing and the third thing necessary to a minister. Pray then my dear brother, pray, pray." It has been well said that the secret of Edward Payson's ministry was that he prayed much in secret. The scars on his bedroom floor testify to this fact. Next to Payson's bed where deep grooves in the hardwood floor were his knees had pressed repeatedly in times of travail.”

 

The Lord honors those who look to Him constantly in prayer. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He answers prayer. Seek him diligently in all that you do.

 

“Do not forget prayer. Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it, which will give you fresh courage.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

 

God’s Word: “We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Persevere In Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 24, 2016
Devotional - Persevere In Christ

“Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.” – 2 Thessalonians 1:4

 

On December 9, 2015, Chinese government personnel took Li Guozhi, a pastor at Huoshi Church into police custody. On January 22, Pastor Li’s relatives received a notice that he had been formally arrested on the false charges of “divulging state secrets.” For nine months he has been imprisoned. During this time he has been tortured in numerous ways to exhort a confession. But oddly, Pastor Li is thankful to the Lord for the “rest.”

“This is a good place to rest, where I am cut off from the rest of the world and brought closer to God,” he wrote of his jail cell. “I can no longer hear the clamorous noise, but can better listen to the Lord’s voice.”

“Genuine rest has nothing to do with the environment. No matter if the waves are quiet or the sea roars, our hearts rest in [God], just as a weaned child sleeps in its mother’s arms. I want to thank God for using this special method to give this special gift to our household. Let us accept and enjoy it with a thankful heart.”

 

There are many areas of the world where Christians are persecuted for their faith in Christ. Today in prayer, pray for those who face persecution and that they may persevere in Christ.

 

“Persecution for righteousness’ sake is what every child of God must expect.” – Charles Simeon

 

God’s Word: “because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:3-4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Be Joyful Always
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 21, 2016
Devotional - Be Joyful Always

“Be joyful always” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16

 

Anne Steele was born in Broughton, England where her father, who was a fairly well off timber merchant, preached at the Particular Baptist church for 60 years.

Her mother died when she was 3 years old, and by age 14 Anne was bothered by chronic recurring malaria that took a progressive toll on her health.

At age 19, she was thrown from a horse and became an invalid, but makes no mention of this in her diary.

When she was 21, she was engaged to Robert Elcomb, but that the day before the wedding he was drowned while bathing in a river.

For much of the rest of her, Anne wrote Christian poems and hymns. Still in spite of all of this, Anne’s disposition was described as “cheerful and helpful” and her life as one of “unaffected humility, warm benevolence, sincere friendship, and genuine devotion.”

 

No matter what circumstance we find ourselves, we can find Jesus. And in Jesus, we can find joy. Today in prayer, seek the Lord in all that you do and He will give you joy.

 

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

 

God’s Word: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds” – James 1:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Don't Be Idle
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 20, 2016
Devotional - Don't Be Idle

“And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:14

 

Knute Rockne was one of college footballs’ greatest coaches and made Notre Dame a football powerhouse. During his tenure, a sports columnist in the South Bend newspaper earned the reputation of being the meanest and cruelest writer in the country. This anonymous writer wrote about the teams’ weaknesses, pointed out the mistakes of individual players and told them they were lazy, they broke training and didn’t discipline themselves. The angry players came and complained to Rockne who listened with sympathy but said he could not stop the writer. He advised that the only way the players could stop it was to go out and play so well they proved him wrong.

Later it became known that the writer of the column was Knute Rockne himself. He knew their weaknesses and used the paper as a device to develop a better team.

The Lord warns us not to be idle, but to be diligent to do His work. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for the work He has given you and seek to do it with all your heart.

 

“Even if you're on the right road, you'll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

 

God’s Word: “If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks.” – Ecclesiastes 10:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Be Self-Controlled
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 19, 2016
Devotional - Be Self-Controlled

“But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:8

 

It the early 1960s at Stanford University’s Bing Nursery School, Dr. Walter Mischel and his graduate students gave children the choice between one reward (like a marshmallow, pretzel, or mint) they could eat immediately, and a larger reward (two marshmallows) for which they would have to wait alone, for up to 20 minutes.

There were thousands of children who sat at a table, their faces contorted in concentration, staring down a marshmallow, learning self-control. Over the last 50 years, the “Marshmallow Test” has become synonymous with temptation, willpower, and grit.

Years later, Dr. Mischel and his team followed up with the Bing preschoolers and found that children who had waited for the second marshmallow generally fared better in life. For example, studies showed that a child’s ability to delay eating the first treat predicted higher SAT scores and a lower body mass index (BMI) 30 years after their initial Marshmallow Test. Researchers discovered that parents of “high delayers” even reported that they were more competent than “instant gratifiers”—without ever knowing whether their child had gobbled the first marshmallow.

 

We need to be self-controlled in all of areas of our Christian walk. Today in prayer, as you face choices and challenges this day, ask the Lord to give you strength to be self-controlled.  

 

“Control your appetites before they control you.” – John Climacus

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Our Only Hope
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 18, 2016
Devotional - Our Only Hope

“Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:13

 

In his fourth novel entitled “Cat's Cradle,” author Kurt Vonnegut explores issues of science, technology, and religion. In the book, he satirizes the nuclear arms race and man made religions.

In the book, he describes a created religion called Bokononism. The holy scripture of Bokononism was the ever-growing "Books of Bokonon", written by Bokonon -- a British Episcopalian Black man from the island of Tobago. The books were written as a way to distract the people from their pitiful lives. What is sacred to Bokononists? Not God; just one thing: man.

In Cat’s Cradle, focus shines on the 14th Book of Bokonon. It is called "What Can a Thoughtful Man Hope for Mankind on Earth, Given the Experience of the Past Million Years?"

John, the chief character, is anxious to read the book. But when he does, he finds that it doesn't take long to read. The whole book consists of one word: "Nothing."

 

Only in Jesus Christ can we find true hope. Today in prayer, praise Christ that when we place our trust in Him, we receive eternal life.

 

“Do not look to your hope, but to Christ, the source of your hope.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” – Romans 15:4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Lead A Quiet Life
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 17, 2016
Devotional - Lead A Quiet Life

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

 

George Fox was an English Dissenter and a founder of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as the Quakers or Friends. He had a heart for the Lord at a young age and wrote: "When I came to eleven years of age, I knew pureness and righteousness; for while I was a child, I was taught how to walk to be kept pure. The Lord taught me to be faithful, in all things, and to act faithfully two ways: inwardly to God, and outwardly to man."

He opposed the coldness and corruption of the church of his day, and rejected the trappings of formal religion. He advocated inward transformation and saw value in living a quiet life.

He used to say: “Carry some quiet around inside thee. Be still and cool in thy own mind and spirit, from thy own thoughts, and then thou will feel the principle of God to turn thy mind to the Lord from where cometh life; whereby thou may receive the strength and power to calm all storms and tempests.”

 

We should seek to serve the Lord quietly and the Lord will be honored. Today in prayer, give thanks to Jesus that when we quietly serve Him with all of your heart, He is honored.

 

“O God, make us children of quietness, and heirs of peace.” – Clement of Rome

 

God’s Word: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Be Holy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 14, 2016
Devotional - Be Holy

“For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:7

 

In a sermon entitled “How to Live a Holy Life,” Pastor Charles Ebert Orr said:

“What, in its true sense, is a holy life? It is the life of Jesus. His whole manner of life was truly holy. His life is the ideal life. If we would live holy — we must live as he lived. The artist has his ideal before him, and with touches of the brush here and there upon his canvas — he forms an exact image of the ideal. The life of Jesus is what we are to imitate. He sets the example of holy living, and calls us to the same holy life. "But just as he who called you is holy — so be holy in all you do!" 1 Peter 1:15. As Christians we are God's offspring, and as such are like him.

Holiness in the life of Jesus, is found not only in the great miracles that he performed — but also in the lesser happenings of his life. The restoring of life to the dead is no more beautifully holy, than the laying of his hands upon the heads of children and blessing them. His memorable Sermon on the Mount no more portrays the loveliness of his character, than does his conversation with the woman by the wayside well.

It is the little things in every-day life, if attended to and kept in the meekness and the solemnity of the Spirit of Christ — that make life truly beautiful and holy.”

The Lord calls us to be like Him and to be Holy. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that we are called to be holy and listen to Jesus to live a pure and holy life.

 

“Holiness does not consist in mystic speculations, enthusiastic fervours, or uncommanded austerities; it consists in thinking as God thinks, and willing as God wills.”  – John Brown

 

God’s Word: “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” – 1 Peter 1:15-16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Avoid Sexual Immorality
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 13, 2016
Devotional - Avoid Sexual Immorality

“It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality” – 1 Thessalonians 4:3

 

Sunday Adelaja is the founder and senior pastor of one of Europe's largest churches, “The Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations Church” in Kiev, Ukraine. The church has more than 25,000 members and 700 daughter churches in over 45 countries.

But in late 2015, word got out that Pastor Sunday had multiple sexual affairs with members of his church. Months later, he acknowledged the sin. 

Apostle Ulysses Tuff of “The Way The Truth and The Life Christian Center” in Decatur, Georgia, who was reportedly providing spiritual care for Adelaja and his church for several years, announced the influential preacher's defrocking and removal from all forms of ministry "until restoration."

Now Pastor Sunday’s church is struggling with how to discipline and restore the man that started their movement despite defrocking him.

Anatoly Belonozhko, resigned as a church elder, resigned because he does not believe Pastor Sunday wants to be helped.

Elder Analtoly said: "We, as a church elder, began to create new projects and exercises to heal and restore the church, a new structure, and of course, help to our pastor. But Pastor Sunday in writing categorically rejected our help … humiliating us and saying that we have no power to tell him what to do and how to do it and that he knows how and what to do."

 

Sexual immorality ruins lives and it is sin. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His warning on sexual immorality, confess any sin of sexual immorality in your life and pray that you will not fall into any temptation.

 

“Within marriage, sex is beautiful, fulfilling, creative. Outside of marriage, it is ugly, destructive, and damning.” – John MacArthur

 

God’s Word: “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Loving Your Neighbor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 12, 2016
Devotional - Loving Your Neighbor

“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 3:12

 

Magician Penn Jillette is an atheist, but he recorded a video journal a few years ago telling the story about a man who waited to speak to him after one of their shows. Penn said the man was a successful businessman and was "very sane and sincere" and looked him right in his eyes. The man was very complimentary of the show, and then he did a strange thing. He gave Penn a Gideon's New Testament and inside the cover wrote a personal note and left phone numbers and an email if Penn wanted to talk to him about the message of the New Testament. Penn said nobody had ever done that to him before. On the video he says, "If you believe that there's a heaven and a hell; and people could be going to hell; or not getting eternal life or whatever, and you think it's not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward; and atheists who think people shouldn't proselytize...just leave me alone, keep your religion to yourself. How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize them? How much do you have to hate someone to believe that everlasting life is possible, and not tell him or her that? I mean if I believed, without a shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you and you didn't believe it? And that truck was bearing down on you? There's a certain point where I tackle you. And this is MORE important than that."

 

We need to bring the love of Christ to the world, even if it is uncomfortable for us. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that you can share the good news of the Gospel with those who He has placed in your life.

 

“Our Lord does not care so much for the importance of our works as for the love with which they are done.” – Teresa of Avila

 

God’s Word: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” – John 15:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Be On Guard Against Temptation
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 11, 2016
Devotional - Be On Guard Against Temptation

“For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless.” – 1 Thessalonians 3:5

 

Frank Erb describes himself as the "pastor to California's leaders," ministering to a small flock that includes some of the most powerful men and women in California.

Frank has been a fixture at the statehouse in Sacramento for years, holding weekly Bible study sessions that he hopes will deliver legislators from temptation.

He recalled one former legislator who was trying to beat a drug addiction.

“We prayed with him about it. There were a half-dozen legislators of both parties.” Specifics of the legislator’s problem never left the room.

California State Senator Jim Nielsen, a regular at Frank's weekly session, said the stress comes from what he calls the "splendid loneliness of leadership."

"Some people deal with it by drinking," the senator said. "Some deal with it by carousing. But some of us deal with it by turning to our faith."

Frank summarized temptation in politics, saying: "The biggest pitfall is that politics is a profession that is all-consuming. It's easy to make that the center of their life and to lose touch with the things that matter most, which I believe are God first and their family second. Unfortunately, many people sacrifice their connection to God and their family on the altar of political success."

 

We are all tempted in different areas of our lives. But the Lord is faithful and we can resist temptation through the power of Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, confess any weaknesses to temptation to the Lord.  Ask the Lord to keep you far from temptation. 

 

“Believe that as sure you are in the way of God you must meet with temptations.” – John Bunyan

 

God’s Word: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” – Matthew 6:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Be An Encourager
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 10, 2016
Devotional - Be An Encourager

“So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God's fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith” – 1 Thessalonians 3:1-2

 

It was on March 23, 1945, during one of the last major offensives of WWII, the Allied invasion of Germany. General Dwight Eisenhower expected the German troops to put up a fierce battle at the invasion in the northern Ruhr area. Just prior to the battle, the General was walking near the Rhine River and fell into step beside a young infantryman. The young GI seemed depressed, and Ike asked, "How are you feeling, son?" "General, I'm awful nervous. -- I don't feel so good."

General Eisenhower encouraged the young man saying, "Well, you and I are a good pair then, because I'm nervous too. Maybe if we just walk along together to the river we'll be good for each other."

To General Eisenhower's surprise, the crossing of the Rhine River north of the Ruhr was not met with fierce resistance, and the war with Germany was over in a matter of weeks.

 

We all need encouragement to grow in the love of Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for the encouragement you have received and seek to encourage others in following the Lord.

 

“Most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragement - and we will make the goal.” – Robert Collier  

God’s Word: “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:25

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Our Glory And Crown
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 7, 2016
Devotional - Our Glory And Crown

“For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

 

G. Campbell Morgan was a pastor in London who went through a painful illness, and became quite depressed. He went to see his friend, Joseph Parker at the famous "City Temple" to get some advice.

“I do not know at all why God has laid me aside,” said Campbell. “I am not complaining, but some men come back from sickness and speak of the vision they have had, of the new revelation of God they have had. I do not feel that I have gained anything.”

Dr. Parker replied: “Never mind whether you know or not; your people will find out. There will be a new tone in the preaching.”

Campbell reflected: “And I felt that day that God had answered my questionings in that little vestry behind the City Temple. It was worthwhile to have suffered if there should come into my Me any tone that should speak for the comfort of suffering hearts.”

 

Our joy is leading people to Jesus Christ, to comfort and encourage them, and to see them mature in the Lord. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for all the people who have helped you in your Christian life and seek to help others in their walk with the Lord.

 

“A great part of heaven’s bliss for the redeemed will be the joyful presence of those whom they have been used to reach.” – John MacArthur, Jr.

 

God’s Word: “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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Live Lives Worthy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 6, 2016
Devotional - Live Lives Worthy

“For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12

 

In 1889, Canadian missionary Dr. William James Wanless arrived in India. He selected the rustic town of Miraj for the mission hospital. The mission was started as a one-room dispensary in a very small rented place at a busy bazaar. His wife Mary, a trained nurse, assisted him. His excellent reputation grew and the government provided him with land for a hospital.  Soon after, a School of Nursing was founded in 1897.

Ten years later, Dr. Wanless established the Miraj Christian Medical School to train doctors.

He then established a Tuberculosis Sanatorium in 1920. At the time of his retirement in 1928, money was raised by citizens and his friends to erect a new building called the Wanless Tuberculosis Sanatorium. Today it is known as Wanless Chest Hospital. It is one of the premier institutions in India. The hospital’s “aims and objectives include provision of medical services on a charitable basis in the name and spirit of Jesus Christ.”

 

Live your life worthy of Jesus Christ. When you do, the Lord will bless you with greater opportunities. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for the wonderful news of the Gospel and be encouraged to let Jesus shine through in all that you do.

 

“There is nothing better than the encouragement of a good friend.” – Katharine Butler Hathaway

 

God’s Word: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Be A Great Guest
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 5, 2016
Devotional - Be A Great Guest

“Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:9

 

Etiquette expert Lizzie Post, who is the great-great-granddaughter of etiquette author Emily Post, has five rules for houseguests:

1. Be very clear about how long you’re staying for.
 Lizzie advises to be careful that you never to overstay your welcome. “Fish and houseguests stink after three days,” she said.

2. Play by the house rules.
 After you’ve arrived, remember to ask your host about the house rules—what time people tend to go to bed, if you need to know anything about their pets, whether you should take your shoes off in the house. While your host will likely tell you to make yourself at home, take that with a grain of salt.

3. Help out where you can.
 Offer to cook dinner or pay for groceries, do the dishes, and take out the trash. These are the little things your host will absolutely notice—and appreciate. At the end of your stay, be sure to triple-check the bedroom and bathroom for your belongings, and always strip the bed

A general rule of thumb: it should look like you were never there when you leave. “The best houseguests leave no trail,” she said.

4. Don’t be that needy person.
 Don’t expect your host to entertain you for your entire visit. If you’re staying for more than three days, call other friends who live in the area or do some exploring on your own. Again, you aren’t staying in a hotel, and your host shouldn’t be expected to be the concierge.

5. Say thank you (multiple times).
 Lizzie advises that a gift of some kind is 100 percent mandatory if you’re staying overnight in someone else’s home.

When in doubt, go with tasteful flowers. “Personally, I think a beautiful vase with some flowers in it is a great way to go,” she says. Not only should you bring a gift, but remember to thank your host multiple times. Three times is the rule: When you arrive, when you’re ready to leave, and once more after you’ve left with a thank you note.

 

When we are guests, we must be ever mindful not too be a burden to others. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for those who have the gift of hospitality and seek to be a good guest when visiting them.

 

“The good guest is almost invisible, enjoying him or herself, communing with fellow guests, and, most of all, enjoying the generous hospitality of the hosts” – Emily Post  

God’s Word: “For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:7-8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Not Trying To Please Men
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 4, 2016
Devotional - Not Trying To Please Men

“On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed--God is our witness.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:4-5

 

In April 2005, a high-speed train derailed and hurtled into a nine-story apartment building just outside Osaka, Japan.

The train was running 90 seconds late and the 23-year old train driver was trying to make up for lost time when the train left the tracks on a curve. The accident was the worst train incident in 40 years in Japan, leaving 91 people dead.

"Japanese believe that if they board a train, they'll arrive on time," said Yasuyuki Sawada, a 49-year-old railway worker, who had come to look at the crash site. "There is no flexibility in our society; people are not flexible, either."

The pressure to stay on schedule is so great, conductors apologize profusely even over a one-minute delay. In the United States and Europe, "late" often means a delay of six minutes or more.

 

The Lord desires that we please Him, not the desires of men. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that we should live our lives so that we speak as men and women approved by God.

 

“Whether men be pleased or displeased, or how they judge you, or what they call you, will seem a small matter to you as their own interest, in comparison to God’s judgment. You live not on them. You can bear their displeasure, censures, and reproaches, if God be but pleased.” – Richard Baxter

 

God’s Word: “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Let Your Faith Be Known
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 3, 2016
Devotional - Let Your Faith Be Known

“The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia--your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it” – 1 Thessalonians 1:8

 

In the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, David Neville gave it his all and dove at the finish line, securing the bronze medal in the men's 400-meter final by just 4 hundredths of a second.

After the race, David told news reporters he wanted to give all the glory to God. He later said: “When I run track, everything I do is to the glory of God because I want to honor him and bless him with the gift he has given me. The gift he's given me is to run track and field, so when I'm on a "stage" like the Olympics and there are so many people watching, I need to make sure God is recognized. I want to let people know that in a sense it's not me who's running this race, but it's God. I want to glorify him with my efforts.”

 

Trust in the Lord in all you do, and let others know where your trust lies. Today in prayer, place your faith in Jesus knowing that you are in the best of hands.

 

“Everyone knows how to have faith.  We do it all the time in countless ways.  When I get in a car and turn the ignition key I have faith that my car will start.  When I pick up a ball point pen and press it down on a sheet of paper, I'm exercising faith in the ability of that pen to write.  When I sit down to eat and put my wife's cooking into my mouth I am exercising faith that my wife hasn't poisoned the food.  Day by day, in countless ways we exercise faith in the people or things around us.  Likewise, when Jesus asks us to have faith in him he is only asking us to do what is natural for us to do.” – Bill Gordon

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Imitating Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jun 30, 2016
Devotional - Imitating Christ

“You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:6

 

In November 2015, just prior to the British singer Adele’s new album release, the British Broadcasting Company decided to have an Adele impersonator contest. But there was a twist; along with six impersonators, Adele herself was a contestant. Donning a fake nose and some expertly applied makeup, the singer –under the guise of Adele impersonator “Jenny” – decided to crash the contest. She even changed the cadence of her speaking voice and the way in which she walked in order to properly sell the façade. Whilst mingling backstage, Jenny and the others began discussing all things Adele: when her new album would be released, and which of the other impersonators Adele would like. As the last to perform, "Jenny" began to show signs of extreme nervousness on stage. It wasn’t until she began to sing that it became obvious who she really was and the other impersonators rejoiced at the opportunity to meet their favorite singer.

 

How much better it is to imitate Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for the example mature Christians have shown you and seek to be more like Jesus Christ in all that you do.

 

“Imitate Christ, who is supremely perfect and supremely holy, and you will never ere.” – John of the Cross

 

God’s Word: “Therefore I urge you to imitate me.” – 1 Corinthians 4:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2016, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

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