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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions in 1 & 2 Thessalonians
Devotional - Do Not Be A Burden
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 29, 2013
Devotional - Do Not Be A Burden

“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. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:8-9

 

They are known as the "Shameless" family. In Great Britain, the McFaddens "boast" of three generations of adults who are not working.

All ten members of the family live in public housing and collect benefits amounting to around $48,000 a year.

Grandmother Sue McFadden, age 54, is the matriarch of the family. She said: "Our neighbours are so snobby - they call us the "Shameless" family and say that we ought to go out to work. But how can we work when we have all these children to look after?”

Jessica McFadden is in her late teens. She left school without any qualifications and has been claiming benefits since. She said: "It's fine that my mum and dad don't work. I'm not ashamed or anything. But I suppose if they did both have jobs then I'd have grown up seeing them going to work and earning money and realized how you go about getting work and holding down a job. That would have made me more likely to leave school and want to get a job straight away. But they've both managed OK on benefits.

Because my gran, Jean, didn't work either then I suppose it's just normal in our family not to have jobs.

I don't like the idea of having to be bossed around at work and I don't want to go to college or anything because I like to stay in bed in the morning. In the meantime, it's my right to claim benefits. One day I'd like a council flat (public housing).”

 

The Lord never desires that we should never be a burden to others. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for the work He has given you and be diligent in all that you do.

 

“No one is useless in the world who lightens the burden of it for anyone else.” – Charles Dickens

 

God’s Word: “And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so.” – 2 Corinthians 11:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Stand Firm In Your Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 28, 2013
Devotional - Stand Firm In Your 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

 

Hiacoomes was a Wampanoag American Indian from the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts who lived during the seventeenth century. In 1643, he met missionary Thomas Mayhew Jr. and Hiacoomes gave his life to Christ.

As he tried to share his faith with others, he became an object of scorn.

They would deride him calling him “an English man.”

Three years later, a plague broke out among the Wampanoag. Half of the tribe died, but Hiacoomes and his family were unaffected.

The chief came to Hiacoomes and asked him about his faith. After hearing the Gospel, the chief declared: “I will throw away all my gods too, and serve that one God with you.”

From this point on, Hiacoomes began preaching more openly. Several of the tribe’s medicine men came to Lord. By 1660, nearly all the island's Wampanoag community had formally become Christian.

In 1670, the first formal Indian church was built and Hiacoomes was ordained as a minister. He died in 1690, but several members of his family and descendants would also becoming leading Christian Indians on the island.

 

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 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Be Aware Of The Counterfeit
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 25, 2013
Devotional - Be Aware Of The Counterfeit

“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 March 2013, Bishop Basilius entered the Vatican and planned to go into a meeting of cardinals who would pick the next pope. He was stopped by the Swiss Guard and expelled from Vatican City as a fraud. Ralph Napierski, a German man, was posing as the fictitious bishop. He had showed up with an entourage of fake assistants and posed for photographs with an actual cardinal. But there were wardrobe giveaways: His short cassock, black fedora in lieu of skull cap, and an ordinary purple-pink scarf instead of a sash. He was also wearing tennis shoes.  Napierski's stunt made headlines around the world. But the Catholic Church in Germany was anything but amused. Matthias Kopp, spokesman for the German Bishops' Conference, said: "We know about Mr. Napierski. He claims to be a Catholic bishop. We contradict that. He's not listed in the Pontifical Yearbook, in which all legitimate Catholic bishops are registered."

 

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 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Constantly Pray
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 24, 2013
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

 

In 1982, the Today television show in New York City scheduled an interview with Reverend Billy Graham. When he arrived at the studio, one of the program's producers informed Dr. Graham's assistant that a private room had been set aside for the reverend for prayer before the broadcast. The assistant thanked the producer for the thoughtful gesture, but told him that Dr. Graham would not need the room. The producer was a bit shocked that a world-famous Christian leader would not wish to pray before being interviewed on live national television. Dr. Graham's assistant responded, "Mr. Graham started praying when he got up this morning, he prayed while eating breakfast, he prayed on the way over in the car, and he'll probably be praying all the way through the interview."

 

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 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Persevere In Your Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 23, 2013
Devotional - Persevere In Your Faith

“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

 

Zhu Jinfeng is a 60 year old Christian woman who lives in Xinjiang, China. She had decided to open her house up as a Christian "house church." One day in June 2013, local police suddenly stormed into her home during a bible study session she was conducting with her elderly neighbors. The group was dismissed on site. Zhu was briefly detained, charged with conducting "illegal" Christian activity, and fined. Zhu, while still shaken by the raid, decided to not give up her fight for her freedom to worship in her own home. She decided to appeal her case by filing an application for "administrative reconsideration," a legal action pursued by Chinese citizens when they feel their rights are infringed upon. "Christianity is not a cult, and we are not criminals," she said. "We do pray for our country, too, in our gatherings." "I am lost and desperate now," she sobbed in frustration, but she vowed to persevere in her faith in Christ.

 

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 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Be Joyful
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 22, 2013
Devotional - Be Joyful

“Be joyful always” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16

 

Jason Abbott has a different routine. He is disabled and does not work because of a pinched nerve his neck. But he finds joy every day on a special walk that he makes in Pensacola, Florida carrying a bouquet of flowers and listening to his music.  During this daily trip of close to 20 miles, the 28-year old stops at a florist in Gulf Breeze to buy roses or carnations. He prays for God to guide him to someone's home that needs to be blessed and then leaves flowers on their doorsteps, hoping it will brighten their day. "I just do it for the Lord," said Jason, who finds great joy in his charity. "What I do is based on my walk with the Lord. I'm not trying to get credit for it. I'm just trying to have a better life. The Lord has bettered my life, so I want to return that grace to other people. Trying to be a Christian is difficult, but it brings great joy and peace to my heart. Without Jesus in my life, I wouldn't be able to do anything."

 

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 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Idle No More
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 21, 2013
Devotional - Idle No More

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

 

In October 2012, Jessica Gordon created a Facebook page titled "Idle No More." She began to communicate with three other women educators and students in Saskatchewan about Canadian legislation that limited the Canada's Indian Act and eroded treaty and indigenous rights of Native Canadians.

Within a few weeks, an organization sprung up with 45,000 members. “Idle No More” held a National Day of Action in locations across the country. Protest rallies and marches energized a previously stagnate citizenry.  

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a collaborative of Native Canadian tribes. AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo has publicly expressed support for “Idle No More.”

"Through the 'Idle No More' movement, we have seen a tremendous outpouring of energy, pride and determination by our peoples in recent weeks," said Atleo. "This level of citizen and community engagement is absolutely essential to achieve the change we all want," he added.

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 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Be Self Controlled
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 18, 2013
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

 

Dr. Martin Seligman and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania surveyed two million people and asked them to rank order their strengths in 24 different skills. The skill that ended up at the bottom of the list was self-control. Previous studies have shown that greater ability to delay gratification measured at age 4 predicted higher academic and social functioning more than a decade later. Self-control is an effort that's intended to help achieve a goal. Failing to control yourself is just that-a failure. Students with self control do better academically than students with slightly higher IQs and lower self control. Dr. Seligman concludes: "We believe that many of America's children have trouble making choices that require them to sacrifice short-term pleasure for long-term gain, and that programs that build self-discipline may be the royal road to building academic achievement."

 

We need to look to Christ and follow Him and then we will be self-controlled. Today in prayer, as you face choices and challenges this day, ask “What would Jesus do?” and follow Him.

 

“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 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - We Have A Hope
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 17, 2013
Devotional - We Have A 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 May 2013, a devastating tornado ripped through Oklahoma killing 23 people. Two of the victims were Megan Futrell and her son Case. She died trying to protect her 4-month-old son. She was 29 years old and a junior high school teacher. She took shelter at a 7-Eleven, but it offered no protection. She was found clutching the child, both of them dead from blunt-force trauma to the head. Her minister, Pastor D.A. Bennett eulogized her saying: "I want people to remember this woman for the love she had for her child.  I think that this was a mother who wanted to do everything possible to protect her child.... It was hard to protect anyone on that day." He continued: "As people of faith, we do not grieve without hope. We're going to walk together through this. It is not something you can walk through alone."

 

In Christ, we have assurance that our hope is in heaven. 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 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Living A Quiet Life
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 16, 2013
Devotional - Living 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

 

Few people may have heard of Michael Moye. He is the quiet, principal owner of the Moye Sports Associates firm. The Georgia Tech alumnus and Emory University Law School graduate specialized in tax law before moving to the sports agent business. He met his first client, former Minnesota Twins shortstop Greg Gagne, at a conference for Christian athletes in 1986, and spent several years working for a big firm in Florida before striking out on his own in 1993. Over the years, Mike and partners Scott Sanderson and Bill Rose have developed a niche in baseball circles for their emphasis on family and their appeal to players with strong faiths. But he said the perception that his firm caters exclusively to Christian athletes is inaccurate. He also takes issue with the notion that a devout Christian, such as himself, is out of his element in the down-and-dirty sports agent world. "Early in my career I heard people say, 'You're too nice to be a sports agent,' and it would really get under my skin," Mike said. "There's this incorrect belief that if you have strong faith, you're going to be weak or ineffective at earthly things. I think nothing could be further from the truth." One of his clients is baseball star Todd Helton. Todd said of Mike: "He gets stuff done and he gets what you want, but people on both sides feel like they got a good deal in the end.  You end up right where you want to be as his client. Mike has a way about him where he doesn't ruffle a lot of feathers along the way."

 

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 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Love One Another
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 15, 2013
Devotional - Love One Another

“Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:9

 

In his book “Mere Christianity,” Christian author C.S. Lewis said the following about loving others:

“It would be quite wrong to think that the way to become ‘loving’ is to sit trying to manufacture affectionate feelings. Some people are ‘cold’ by temperament; that may be misfortunate for them, but it is no more of a sin than having a bad digestion is sin; and it does not cut them off from the chance, or excuse them from the duty, of learning  ‘love.’ The rule for us all is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor, act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we learn one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love them. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking them less.”

 

It is often not easy to love others, but we must remember that Christ loved us while we were yet sinners. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to give you His heart of love and love others as He loves you.

 

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

 

God’s Word: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” – John 13:34

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Be Holy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 14, 2013
Devotional - Be Holy

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

 

Dr. James Hamilton is the Associate Professor of Biblical Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He tells of the following story:

“Before refrigerators, people used icehouses to preserve their food. Icehouses had thick walls, no windows, and a tightly fitted door. In winter, when streams and lakes were frozen, large blocks of ice were cut, hauled to the icehouses, and covered with sawdust. Often the ice would last well into the summer. One man lost a valuable watch while working in an icehouse. He searched diligently for it, carefully raking through the sawdust, but didn’t find it. His fellow workers also looked, but their efforts, too, proved futile. A small boy who heard about the fruitless search slipped into the icehouse during the noon hour and soon emerged with the watch. Amazed, the men asked him how he found it. "I closed the door," the boy replied, "lay down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking." Often the question is not whether God is speaking, but whether we are being still enough, and quiet enough, to hear.”

The Lord is speaking to us and He desires for us to be quiet enough to hear Him. 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

 

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DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Avoid Sexual Immorality
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 11, 2013
Devotional - Avoid Sexual Immorality

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

 

In May 2013, Lead Pastor David Loveless of Discovery Church in Orlando, Florida resigned after admitting to having an affair. Loveless founded the 4,000-member church in south Orlando 17 years ago. A statement from the church read: "While David indicates that the relationship [with another woman] was ended approximately three years ago, we were only made aware of it when he informed us in recent days. David offered his resignation and the elders prayerfully and unanimously accepted it." Loveless, 58, and his wife, Caron, have been married 33 years. They have three sons and three grandchildren. David Swanson, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Orlando, a neighboring church, summed up many people's feelings: "I have an overwhelming feeling of sadness. It's sad for that church, sad for David and his family, and sad for what it means to the larger Christian church. It harms the view people have of Christians and Christian leaders."

 

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 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Loving Your Neighbor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 10, 2013
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

 

On May 6, 2013, Charles Ramsey returned from purchasing a sandwich at a nearby McDonald's restaurant and was enjoying it in his living room in Cleveland. He suddenly heard "this girl scream like a car had hit a kid." The chilling sound made him stop eating and look outside. He and another neighbor from across the street ran to the house, which Ramsey thought was empty since he saw his neighbor, Ariel Castro, leave earlier that day. It was there that they discovered Amanda Berry, age 27, who pleaded with them for help. "'I'm stuck in here, help get me out,'" he said the captive woman screamed. After struggling to open the door, he kicked the door open enough so Berry could crawl out with her young daughter fathered by her captor. Even though he was still in shock himself, he helped her call 911 and waited with her until the police arrived. Charles' actions also freed the two other women, Gina DeJesus, age 23, and Michelle Knight, age 32, who were also being held against their will by Castro for more than a decade. When the media proclaimed him a hero, Charles humbly replied: "No, no, no. Bro, I'm a Christian, an American." Some media commentators began calling him a Good Samaritan. When asked if the FBI had contacted him about a reward, Ramsey's response was: "I tell you what you do, give (the reward) to them (the three freed women)."

 

We need to bring the love of Christ to the world. Often that begins in our own hometown. 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 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Avoid Temptation
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 9, 2013
Devotional - Avoid 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

 

In June 2013, a newly released study found that some anti-cigarette messages in public service announcements (PSAs) have an unintended result: They tempt viewers' desire to smoke. The findings were published in the medical journal Media Psychology. Certain "scenes portraying smoking objects or behaviors can be helpful by making antismoking PSAs more relevant and engaging the target audience," wrote the study's authors, Sungkyoung Lee, Ph.D., and Joseph N. Cappella, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania. "However, inclusion of such images can [sometimes] distract viewers from processing audio and non-cue visuals, which are often the most important content audiences need to take away." The key, the authors wrote, is whether the anti-smoking message is powerful enough to capture the viewer's attention. In such cases, the images of smokers will reinforce the notion that cigarettes are harmful. But when the anti-smoking message is "weak," these images can have the opposite effect and tempt the viewer. Or, as Adweek phrased it, the wrong kind of anti-drug ad will "make you want to take drugs."

 

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

 

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DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Be An Encourager
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 8, 2013
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

 

Sir Walter Scott was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet. He was extremely popular throughout much of the world in the 19th century. His historical novels include "Ivanhoe" and "Rob Roy" and remain in print today. However, when he was a boy, he was considered a great dullard. He was introverted and slow witted.  One evening when he was fifteen, he chanced to be in a home where famous literary guests were being entertained. The great poet Robert Burns noticed a print illustrating the poem "The Justice of the Peace" and asked the gathering who had written the poem. None of the great people present knew. Then Walter slipped up next to Burns and told him it was by John Langhorne. Walter then proceeded to quote rest of the poem. Burns was surprised and delighted. Laying his hand on the youth's head, he exclaimed, "I, Burns, proclaim that you will be a great man yet in Scotland some day!" That encouragement changed Walter and it inspired him to become a great writer.

 

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

 

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DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Our Joy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 7, 2013
Devotional - Our Joy

“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

 

In August 2010, 16 members of the Mengen people in Papua New Guinea were baptized after testifying of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Among those baptized were six married couples demonstrating their faith in Christ by stepping into the jungle pool the missionaries used to baptize the group. "What joy it has been to see both husbands and wives take this step of faith together," wrote missionary Rebecca Preheim. Some of the believers have had death threats from unbelievers, especially from the shaman in the neighboring village. Yet the believers chose to publicly declare their faith. Many unsaved friends and family members gathered at the small pond in the jungle to watch the service. The first believer to step into the water was a young man named Edward who had previously been a troublemaker and created problems for the missionaries. "In the past, I was not a good person. Everyone in the village knew that I was a person who stole and drank and fought," said Edward. But when I placed my trust in Christ’s death, He completely changed me and for that reason, I want to follow Jesus’ Talk and become baptized." After missionaries baptized the first several believers, they turned over the task to four Mengen men. Joe, an older man in the village said to the crowd, "All of us here are gathered today for one reason and that is Jesus’ death alone. And we are gathered together with joy that comes from Jesus."

 

Our joy is leading people to Jesus Christ 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 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Living Lives Worthy Of God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 4, 2013
Devotional - Living Lives Worthy Of God

 “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 1995, Rocky and Joske Malloy moved from the US to Bolivia to be nondenominational missionaries.  In 1999, they launched a pilot program to teach the Word of God to children in public schools. There were three schools with a total of just 44 students. The results were so powerful that schools started lining up to participate in the program. The Molloys published a complete set of textbooks (grades K-12) based on Biblical principles and values including the plan of salvation. Over 250,000 children in schools were soon using this program, now known as Mission Generation.

In 2004 the Bolivian Government issued an executive order giving Mission Generation access to every school in the country, which followed an earlier resolution by the Bolivian Senate, licensing Mission Generation to produce curriculum, train teachers and parent groups. The resolution also gave Mission Generation the authority to call any participating school to assemble.

With numerous government contracts, endorsements from the Catholic Church, an excellent track record of transformed lives and improved education Mission Generation has extended the program to Chile and Paraguay. Their success has spurred other Latin America and Caribbean countries to invite Mission Generation to come to their schools.

 

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 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Be A Good Guest
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 3, 2013
Devotional - Be A Good 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

 

Salvador Dali is remembered by most as a Spanish surrealist painter of the twentieth century. But to the staff of the elite Le Meurice hotel in Paris, Dali was a troublesome guest. Dali spent about a month of each year over 30 years in the old Royal Suite, one of the most exclusive rooms in the hotel. The painter, who died in 1989 at the age of 84, often brought two pet ocelots along to the pricey landmark, and the wildcats' tendency to use the walls and floors of the Suite Royal as a scratching post left the room in tatters. That's not all: He once demanded a horse be delivered to his room, and on another occasion ordered up a herd of sheep. Upon their arrival (yes, the hotel was that accommodating), Dali shot at the little lambs with a gun containing blanks. He also had the hotel staff catch flies for him in the Tuileries garden, paying them per fly. Dali knew he was a difficult guest, but he tried to make up for it by tipping his favorite staff each Christmas with autographed lithographs of his work, some of which could now be worth up to $12,000.

 

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 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Not Trying To Please Men
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 2, 2013
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

 

On September 27, 1903, while en route from Monroe, Virginia to Spencer, North Carolina, one of the most infamous train wrecks occurred near Danville, Virginia. The wreck of the Old 97 occurred when the engineer, 33 year-old Joseph A. ("Steve") Broady was at the controls of engine. On the day of the accident, Old 97 was behind schedule when it left Washington, DC and was one hour late when it arrived in Monroe, Virginia. At Monroe, Broady was instructed to get the train to Spencer, 166 miles distant, on time. The scheduled running time from Monroe to Spencer was four hours, fifteen minutes, an average speed of approximately 39 mph. In order to make up the one hour delay, the train's average speed would have to be at least 51 mph. The route between Monroe and Spencer was rolling terrain and there were numerous danger points due to the combination of grades and tight radius curves. Signs were posted to warn engineers to watch their speed. However, in his quest to stay on time and please his boss, engineer Broady rapidly descended a heavy grade that ended at the 45-foot high Stillhouse Trestle.  He was unable to sufficiently reduce speed as he approached the curve leading into the trestle, causing the entire train to derail and plunge into the ravine below.  Eleven people were killed, including Broady, in the horrific train wreck.

 

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 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Let Your Faith Be Known
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 1, 2013
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

 

On June 23, 2013, high wire artist and acrobat Nik Wallenda walked the one quarter of a mile across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope. More than 13 million people watched the televised event. In 2012, Nik became the first man in history to walk 1,800 feet on a tightrope across the roaring Niagara Falls from the U.S. to the Canadian side of the falls. Nik is a Christian and he is eager to share Christ with others. While on the wire crossing the Grand Canyon, Nik's mic picked up what he was saying. "Praise God" and "Praise you, Jesus" were among the phrases uttered. At one point, Nik thanked God for calming the wind. In an interview, Nik said the following: "My faith plays a role in my performance because it rolls out of my life. It is my life. My life is based on my faith. I guess the biggest role that it plays is that if I do fall and die I know where I'm going."

 

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 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

Devotional - Imitate Jesus
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jun 30, 2013
Devotional - Imitate Jesus

“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 January 2013, Gordon Elvis was named the best Elvis Presley impersonator in Europe at an annual championship held each year to coincide with the birthday of the "King of Rock 'n' Roll". The 28-year old man from Malta legally changed his name to Gordon Elvis in honor of Presley. For his European award he won a cash prize, a holiday to Memphis and a jumpsuit made by the creators of Presley's outfits. The event organizer Michael King said: "He did a fantastic Vegas set and he had everything going on. It was just like being in Vegas. Gordon is a worthy winner, and can look forward to this year as European champion.”

There are an estimated 80,000 Elvis Presley imitators throughout the world.

In 2012, Gordon beat 250 other entrants to the world champion Elvis Presley tribute artist title at a convention in Memphis, Tennessee.

Gordon said: “My mum and dad are big Elvis fans, so I grew up listening to him. It feels great to be best in Europe as well as the world.”

 

How much better it is to imitate Jesus Christ and mature Christians so we can grow in our faith. 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 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 1 & 2 THESSALONIANS

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