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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions in 2 Corinthians
Devotional - Build Up Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Feb 28, 2013
Devotional - Build Up Others

“This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority--the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.” – 2 Corinthians 13:10

 

In northeastern India, one of the districts is a region known as the "Village of Tigers". When husbands and fathers from this village go into the forest, it's not unusual for tigers "'to jump upon the men and kill them," said Sister Hannah of Gospel for Asia. Thousands of widows are left behind as a result. With small children to care for and little-to-no job skills, the women become desperate. Some even consider suicide. Gospel for Asia ministers to these women. "They will go to that woman, they will share the love of Christ, they will encourage them," Sister Hannah explained. "Moreover, they just stand with them, ask them, 'How [are you] doing? How are things?'" Women missionaries and Sisters of Compassion also help widows in this area find tuition for their children, as well as distribute blankets and daily necessities like clothing. With each action, believers get another opportunity to share the hope of Christ. More than 2,000 widows have been helped and over 500 of them attend church.  As widows see Jesus' love, they give their lives to Him. "These widows [are] more encouraged, and now they're attending our worship services," said Sister Hannah.

 

The Lord desires us to build up and encourage others in Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for the hope you have in Him. Seek to build up, and not to tear down others in Jesus Christ.

 

“When God calls a man to be a prophet, an apostle, an evangelist, or a pastor, he is pleased to give that man gifts, ability and certain authority. This power is not for the destruction, oppression, nor discomfort of the flock, but for their edification, to promote their faith, holiness, comfort and eternal salvation.” – Henry T. Mahan

 

God’s Word: “For even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than pulling you down, I will not be ashamed of it.” – 2 Corinthians 10:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

 

Devotional - The Danger Of Jealousy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Feb 26, 2013
Devotional - The Danger Of Jealousy

“For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.” – 2 Corinthians 12:20

 

Patrick Devine was a sheep farmer who lived in Claudy, County Londonderry, Ireland. He was one of the wealthiest sheep famers in Northern Ireland. Patrick was a straightforward type of person that would tell you like it was. He wasn't afraid to speak his mind. But nothing could foretell what was to happen. On 13 September 2004, Patrick was brutally shot nine times at his farm.  Relatives found his body near a window where he had been eating his dinner. Belfast police soon looked at the possibility that professional jealously had led to a group of farmers paying for a gunman to kill him. Detective Chief Inspector Gary Crawford said the investigation indicated Mr Devine was shot because of his success and wealth. "A lot of members of the farming community have condemned what took place, but a small number were involved and conspired together to get rid of him," he said. "Patrick was a wealthy man who had built up his wealth through hard work over many years. I believe that people were jealous of him and there were other petty squabbles."

 

Jealousy is a sin and it inflames other sins. Today in prayer, confess any jealous thoughts to the Lord and seek to be thankful for all that is in your life.

 

“O! Beware, my lord of jealousy; It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.” – William Shakespeare

 

God’s Word: “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” – Galatians 5:19-21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

 

Devotional - Enduring Persecution
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Feb 25, 2013
Devotional - Enduring Persecution

“That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:10

 

In a February 15, 2013 letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, US Congressman Frank Wolf wrote on behalf of imprisoned Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng. Mr. Wolf wrote: "I urge you, in your new position, to publicly and privately raise the case of Gao Zhisheng - a man who has suffered greatly at the hands of his own government solely for proclaiming his Christian faith and defending the persecuted. I would also encourage you to meet with Gao's wife, Geng He, who now resides in the U.S., to hear first-hand the suffering that her husband and family have endured over several years." Mr. Wolf added: "It is painfully clear that our current approach to China is not working. Quiet diplomacy, whereby grave human rights and religious freedom abuses are reportedly discussed in private meetings but rarely, if ever, raised publicly, has not yielded results and has in fact emboldened the oppressors."

 

Many Christians in the world are enduring persecution for their faith in Christ. Today in prayer, pray for those who are persecuted that they may be strengthened in their faith as they endure hardship and that their persecution may soon end. 

 

“The servant of Christ must never be surprised if he has to drink of the same cup with his Lord.” – J.C. Ryle

 

God’s Word: “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” – Romans 5:3-5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

 

Devotional - Not In My Strength
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Feb 24, 2013
Devotional - Not In My Strength

“If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 11:30

 

As a teenager, Angelo Siciliano was a 97-pound. He was also a Christian and he asked the Lord to give him strength. He experimented with different exercises and developed his own fitness routine, and when he emerged on the beach after months of training, his friends were astonished at his transformation. He took the name Charles Atlas and became a body builder.

While observing how strong a lion was at the Bronx Zoo, he realized “He’s been pitting one muscle against each other!”

Charles went home, deciding to try something different—“working out” like the lion did. He discarded his weights and developed a new exercise program for himself—this one based on isometric exercises.  Pushing one arm against the other, push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and leg lifts.

For more than 50 years, Charles brought physical fitness movement to the masses. But he never was boastful, except in giving thanks to the Lord for all of his blessings.

Charles went home to be with the Lord in 1972. He spent the last two years of his life out of the spotlight reading his Bible and running on the beach.

 

All of us need to acknowledge that we are weak and Jesus is strong. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is strong enough to overcome every obstacle.

 

“We live in a world full of people struggling to be, or at least to appear strong, in order not to be weak; and we follow the gospel which says that when I am weak, then I am strong. And this gospel is the only thing that brings healing.” – N.T. Wright

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

Devotional - Do Not Compare
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Feb 21, 2013
Devotional - Do Not Compare

“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” – 2 Corinthians 10:12

 

Tegla Chepkite Loroupe is a former Kenyan long-distance runner. She is a marvel because she holds the world records for 20, 25 and 30 kilometer races and she previously held the world marathon record. She is the three-time World Half-Marathon champion. Tegla was also the first woman from Africa to win the New York City Marathon, which she has won twice. She has won marathons in London, Boston, Rotterdam, Hong Kong, Berlin, Rome, and many of other cities. Consider this, Tegla is only 5 feet tall and weighs 90 pounds. It would be easy for her to compare herself negatively with other women runners who are taller and stronger. But she gave the glory to God when she said: "I'm so tiny. [But] I believe that God is always with me. He's giving me a lot of strength. The other people also train like I do. They have two legs like me, but Somebody's already uplifting me."

 

The Lord has created each of us in a unique manner. We need to be humble in the descriptions of ourselves and not compare ourselves with others. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that that He has uniquely created you to bring glory to Himself and no comparison to others is needed.

 

“Is it possible your pragmatical worship should not know that the comparisons made between wit and wit, courage and courage, beauty and beauty, birth and birth, are always odious and ill taken?” – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

 

God’s Word: “Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else” – Galatians 6:4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

 

Devotional - Giving With Thanks
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Feb 20, 2013
Devotional - Giving With Thanks

“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.” – 2 Corinthians 9:12

 

Anthony Rossi came to the United States from Italy in the 1920’s as a young teenager, with nothing but the clothes on his back. A Christian couple befriended him and through their love he came to know Christ as his Savior and Lord. One Sunday in church, he prayed: "Lord, if you give me an idea for a business, I will be faithful to give a portion of everything I make back to Your work."

That very morning, the idea of "Fresh squeezed orange juice" popped into his head – in time he would be the founder of the "Tropicana Co."

Anthony was so grateful for God’s faithfulness that he tithed 50% of his income for more than 60 years! He built Bradenton Missionary Village, a retirement community for Christian missionaries. He also founded the Bible Alliance, which records and distributes tape cassettes of the Bible and sermons to blind people and prison inmates. Anthony also gratefully gave truckloads of free orange juice to Christian colleges throughout the country!    

 

The Lord has created us with giving hearts to help others. Today in prayer, consider how you can help others, and by doing so, give thanks to God.

 

“Nothing is really ours until we share it.” – C.S. Lewis

 

God’s Word: “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” – 1 John 3:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

 

Devotional - Excel In Your Giving
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Feb 19, 2013
Devotional - Excel In Your Giving

“But just as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us--see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” – 2 Corinthians 8:7

 

In 1991, Scott Lewis, owner of Scott Machinery in Rancho Cordova, California, attended a conference where Bill Bright challenged people to give one million dollars to help fulfill the Great Commission. This amount was laughable to Scott-far beyond anything he could imagine, since his machinery business was generating an income of under $50,000 a year. Bill asked, "How much did you give last year?" Scott felt pretty good about his answer: "We gave $17,000, about 35 percent of our income." Without blinking an eye, Bill responded, "Over the next year, why don't you make a goal of giving $50,000?" Scott thought Bill hadn't understood. Fifty thousand dollars was more than he'd made all year! But Scott and his wife decided to trust God with Bill's challenge, asking him to do the impossible. God provided in amazing ways; with a miraculous December 31 provision, the Lewises were able to give the $50,000. The next year they set a goal of giving $100,000. Again, God provided. In 2001, ten years from the time he began to excel in his giving, Scott passed the one million dollar giving mark. The best part is he continues to excel.

 

No one excels more in giving than the Lord. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for all that he has blessed you with and seek to excel in giving to the Lord.

 

“What I gave, I have; what I spent, I had; what I left, I lost —by not giving it.” – Christopher Chapman

 

God’s Word: “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed.” – Psalm 37:25-26

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

 

Devotional - Repenting From Sin
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Feb 18, 2013
Devotional - Repenting From Sin

"yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us." - 2 Corinthians 7:9

 

One Sunday afternoon in 1929, when Clyde Thompson was 17 years old, he met some men in the woods while hunting, got into an argument, and Clyde killed both men. At the age of 17, he was the youngest man in Texas history to be sentenced to death in the electric chair. Two years later, he became the youngest man on death row at Huntsville Penitentiary.

As the years passed, his own prison mates tagged Clyde the meanest man in the State of Texas. Though he was the son of a Bible salesman, Clyde had become a bitter man. After being in the isolation for 2 or 3 months, Clyde asked a guard to bring him a Bible. He knew they wouldn't give him anything else to read, but he was bored. He decided he would try to prove the Bible wasn't from God because it was full of contradictions. But the more he studied it, the more he became convinced it was God's truth. He came to realize that Christianity was man's only hope and he repented in tears on his knees day and night for months. Clyde kept reading the Bible and asking God if He could forgive a wretch like him.

He took a two-year Bible course from Lee College in Tennessee. After serving 28 years, Clyde was released from prison. He went straight to the Lubbock County Jail, one of the largest county jails in Texas and he began a chaplaincy program there helping inmates come to know Jesus.

 

The Lord wants us to repent of our sins and to draw close to Him. Today in prayer, confess and repent of any sin in your life and follow Christ in all that you do.

 

"Repentance is not the work of man, as the prophet Jeremiah said. 'Make me repent my Lord and I shall repent." - John Chrysostom

 

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 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

 

Devotional - His Rich Love For Us
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Feb 17, 2013
Devotional - His Rich Love For Us

“sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything” – 2 Corinthians 6:10

 

In November 1937, Danny Thomas was living in Detroit. The future television and film actor and producer had lost his life savings of $600 at a time when he was out of work. He and his wife, Rosie, had a baby on the way, and they needed money. Danny worked at part-time jobs so Rosie could buy groceries. He also borrowed money from friends. It was a tough time in his life.  A week before the baby was born; Danny had just seven dollars and eighty-five cents to his name. What would he do? "My despair led me to my first exposure to the powers of faith," Danny would later recall.  On Sunday morning Danny went to church. When the offering plate was passed he put in his "usual one dollar." But something unexpected happened that day. A special missions offering was taken and Danny felt he had to give something. "I got carried away," Danny said, "and ended up giving my seven dollars."  He had given away all his money that Sunday. What in the world had he done? He walked up to the altar rail, got on his knees and prayed aloud. "Look, I’ve given my last seven bucks," he prayed. "I need it back tenfold because I’ve got a kid on the way, and I have to pay the hospital bill." He went home with a mere eighty-five cents in his pocket--all the money he had in the world. 

"You won’t believe this," Danny Thomas later wrote, "but the next morning the phone rang in the rooming house hall." It was a job offer. He was offered a part in a commercial. The job wasn’t much but the pay was good--seventy-five dollars. "I literally dropped the telephone receiver," Danny remembered. "First I whooped with joy; then an eerie feeling came over me." He remembered what he had prayed at church the day before. "The seventy-five dollar fee," he said, "unheard of for me at that time was almost exactly ten times the amount of money I had donated to the church."

 

We are made rich when we love Jesus and follow Him. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that His love for us has made us rich.

 

“Oh, how holy and how rich is the poverty brought on by giving alms!”– Francis de Sales

 

God’s Word: “Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?” – James 2:5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

 

Devotional - Now Is The Time For Salvation
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Feb 14, 2013
Devotional - Now Is The Time For Salvation

“For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.” – 2 Corinthians 6:2

 

James Baxter was born on January 25, 1925 in Santa Paula, California. He was raised in Santa Monica, California and became a Christian when he was 12 years old. But it was during the Korea War when James became serious about his faith. He was fighting in Seoul when he was hit by a bullet. James remembers: "I made it behind a burning police sub-station in the middle of the street. My corpsman, Chico, dressed my wounds and as sniper bullets crashed into the street beside us, he laid on top of me - covering me with his own body - and yelled in my ear, "You've had enough!" Other riflemen nailed the snipers and as Chico left me to help other Marines lying wounded in the street, he was hit by two bullets that blew the shinbone out of his leg. I never saw Chico again." James was transferred to the Yokosuka (Japan) Naval Hospital. For three months he proclaimed his loyalty and gratitude to Chico. He recalled: "One night, the Lord came to me. I saw the blood running down His forehead, into His eyes, and down over His cheeks. I looked into His blood-filled eyes. He spread out His bloody hands and said, "I did this for you." I was willing to be loyal to Chico - but had not been willing to be loyal to the Lord. The Lord said, "Come and follow me. I will make you a man. Put away childish things." I knew what he meant. I said, "Yes Sir."" From that moment on, James followed the Lord for the remaining 62 years of his life.

 

Now is always a great time to ask Christ into your life. Today in prayer, pray for your friends and family who do not yet know Jesus Christ and be bold and loving as you share the Gospel with them.

 

“God does not violate the human will when he saves men. They are not converted against their will, but their will itself is converted.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “This is what the LORD says: "In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances” – Isaiah 49:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

 

Devotional - A New Creation
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Feb 14, 2013
Devotional - A New Creation

Bible Study on the Book of 2 Corinthians

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Continue on below and begin with the most recent installment to the 2 Corinthians devotional.

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“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Ken Birks grew up in Washington State and went to Viet Nam in 1970. He started to use drugs heavily and once he was discharged from the Army, he hitchhiked through the US and Canada. He searched for meaning in his life while reading Edgar Caycee and the teachings of Don Juan. It wasn't until one Sunday morning in March of 1974 that He came to Christ. His brother and his sister-in-law had started going to the same church that he was raised. Here is his testimony: "On this particular Sunday, they were going to have their little girl dedicated to the Lord, whom I was very fond of, and everyone wanted me to go with them. How could I refuse! I had actually desired to go to church, but was too proud to admit it. As it turned out, I did go to church that Sunday and have never been the same since! At the end of the service the pastor gave an altar call and before I realized what I was doing, I found myself going forward in response to the prodding of the Holy Spirit. I was totally under the power and influence of the Holy Spirit. It seemed as though I had no resistance whatsoever. I totally surrendered my life to the Lord Jesus Christ on that Sunday morning in March of 1974 and I have been walking with the Lord consistently ever since." Today, Ken is an ordained Pastor/Teacher and is one of the staff pastors at The Rock of Roseville in Roseville, California.

 

Jesus Christ can change lives into His image. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that in His hands we can become new creatures and our lives can bring Him glory.    

 

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

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

 

Devotional - Our Day In Court
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Feb 12, 2013
Devotional - Our Day In Court

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” – 2 Corinthians 5:10

 

On October 13, 2005, a raid by a large group of militants occurred in the city of Nalchik in Southern Russia. The result was 142 people died during the rampage. In the city, the government built a steel-roofed building the size of a small aircraft hangar. The building was constructed for a single purpose: the trial of 58 suspects - the largest number of defendants for a single legal proceeding in modern Russian history -- accused of joining the guerrilla raid.  The trial began in March 2009 and dragged on for more than 2 years. There were three judges presiding over the trial. There are no spectators in the court room. There were six prosecutors bringing charges against the defendants. There were about 30 defense lawyers representing the accused. Behind the lawyers there were six cages holding those on trial. During the proceedings, the defendants made occasional statements into microphones in front of their cages. Many of the accused did not deny they were involved in the 2005 events. But they disputed the details and argued that their crimes were driven by the actions of others.

 

The Lord promises that everyone will appear in His court and stand before Him one day. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that when you stand before Him your defense is that He paid the price for your sins on the Cross.

 

“The Christian making God's statutes his song, is a pilgrim to the judgment; the sinner treading upon the mercy of Jesus, and trampling upon His blood, is hastening to the judgment. ‘We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ.’” – Richard Fuller

 

God’s Word: “You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written: 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'” – Romans 14:10-11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

 

Devotional - Our Hearts Are Not Blind
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Feb 11, 2013
Devotional - Our Hearts Are Not Blind

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

 

Andrea Bocelli was born in 1958 in Lajatico, Italy. He went completely blind at age 12, when a blow to his head during a soccer game further complicated his congenital glaucoma. He studied law at the University of Pisa, spent a year working as a lawyer, then decided to try a singing career, financing himself by playing piano in bars. A talent scout happened to hear his angelic voice at a party he attended and signed him to a recording deal. Andrea has worked with the famous Luciano Pavarotti and Sarah Brightman, and has sung for the Pope. His velvety voice and inspiring personality have won him fans worldwide. He became a believer while reading the works of Leo Tolstoy that life was not the result of pure chance but had a meaning and purpose. He said the following about faith in Christ: "In my opinion, the only way forward in this world is with faith, which not only explains the reason for life but also fills it with joy and hope. Faith transforms what would be a tragedy into a marvelous story with a happy ending. If all of this is reflected in my singing, how happy that would make me."

 

Though we cannot yet see our Heavenly Father, we can hear and follow His Word. Today in prayer, set your heart’s focus on Jesus and follow His Word.

 

“It gives me a deep comforting sense that ‘things seen are temporal and things unseen are eternal.’” – Helen Keller

 

God’s Word: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

 

Devotional - His Life May Be Revealed
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Feb 10, 2013
Devotional - His Life May Be Revealed

"For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body." - 2 Corinthians 4:11

 

Betsey Stockton was born as a slave in 1798. Her parents were the property of Elizabeth (Stockton) Green, the daughter of a wealthy landowner in Princeton, New Jersey.

Betsey became a Christian during a revival that hit Princeton in 1816. She was accepted for membership in the First Presbyterian Church and was baptized.

In 1817, Betsey was emancipated, but she continued to work in the Green home as a paid servant. She was allowed to use the family's extensive library and was personally mentored by Ashbel Green, who later became the president of Princeton University.

One of her dreams was to journey abroad as a missionary. A second was to have a school for black children.

In 1821, the Rev. Charles S. Stewart, an associate of Ashbel Green's, planned a missions trip to the Sandwich Islands, now known as the Hawaiian Islands. Betsey was asked to join him, and she became the one of the first American single women to go on a foreign mission.

Betsey set up a school for the islanders, to whom she taught English, Latin, history and algebra. Within two years there were more than 8,000 students attending 200 island schools.

After 2-1/2 years, problems with Mrs. Stewart's health forced the family to return home. But Betsey's work continued through the efforts of others.

Following Mrs. Stewart's death in 1830, education became the focus of Betsey's life. For three decades, she worked as a teacher in Princeton, New Jersey, where she established the Witherspoon Street Colored School.

 

The Lord wants us to live fully in Him so He may be glorified in us. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He loves you and that He can be gloried in your life.

 

"When we are abandoned by the things we value, when we discover that no matter how much we have gathered we do not have enough, when we realize that even in the currency we value we are very poor, we are ready to start talking to God. Not before. Faith means betting our lives on the grace of God." - M. Craig Barnes

 

God's Word: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." - Romans 8:35-37

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

 

Devotional - When Life Presses In
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Feb 7, 2013
Devotional - When Life Presses In

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” – 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

 

Kidane had only been a Christian for two days when he was arrested at a church service in Eritrea. Along with the rest of the congregation he was taken to prison, where he lived in a tiny cell with one other person for six months. The cell was just seven by five feet, and was very dirty and hot.  He could only sleep from 4am-10am - when prison walls got a little colder. He couldn't go outside, and was only given bread and soup to eat. But after that things got much worse. He was moved to a metal shipping container with 22-25 other people. In the daytime the container was boiling hot - the windows were only small.  At night, once the door was shut there was no oxygen.  Kidane lived like this for eight months. In May 2010, Kidane was asked to sign a letter by the government to renounce his faith. Kidane refused. When in prison, his mother came to prison to plead with him to sign the government document. When he agreed, it was the hardest moment of his life, because he knew he was rejecting Jesus Christ. After two days, he changed his mind and peace returned to him. Kidane was asked, "Do you prefer your container to signing this document?" He replied, "I want to stay here with the peace of the Lord rather than go out without His peace". After enduring years of hard labor, Kidane escaped with four others. He is now a refugee, but he gladly proclaims: "In this hard time, God protected and provided for us."

 

When life presses in, look to Jesus. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that in every situation, He is faithful to lead us toward Himself.

 

“More persecution—more growing!” – Samuel Lamb

 

God’s Word: “Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.” – John 15:20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

 

Devotional - His Likeness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Feb 7, 2013
Devotional - His Likeness

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” – 2 Corinthians 3:18

 

On August 22, 1485, King Richard III of England died during the Battle of Bosworth Field. His body was reportedly buried by the Franciscan monks of Grey Friars in Leicester.

On August 24, 2012, the University of Leicester and Leicester City Council, in association with the Richard III Society, announced that they had joined forces to begin a search for the remains of King Richard. Led by University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS), experts set out to locate the lost site of the former Greyfriars Church. They found his remains underneath a modern parking lot.

ULAS commissioned Caroline Wilkinson, professor of craniofacial identification at the University of Dundee, to make a life-sized plastic likeness of Richard. Using an approach similar to the one used for facial reconstructions to help identify the victims of cold murder cases, Dr. Wilkinson a scientific approach to determine the king’s facial features from the skull. She then created a model using 3D printing technology.

The model was painted and completed by Janice Aitken, a lecturer at the University of Dundee's Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, who said she drew on her experience in portrait painting.

On February 5, 2013, the likeness was unveiled. "The experience was breathtaking — one of the most overwhelming moments of my life” said Phillipa Langley, who led the team.” I wasn't alone in finding this an approachable, kindly face, almost inviting conversation.”

 

There is no photo or reliable portrait of Jesus Christ. The only Jesus many people will ever see is your transformed life in Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that you are being transformed into His likeness and let others see the glory of our Lord.

 

“We are called to be ‘stewards of the mysteries of God.’ . . . And the great mystery is ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.’ . . . And that glory is the glory of God.”  – John Piper

 

God’s Word: “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one” – John 17:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

 

Devotional - Freedom In Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Feb 5, 2013
Devotional - Freedom In Christ

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17

 

The Reverend Eric Foley, CEO of Seoul USA, said he was surprised when he first asked members of the North Korean underground church how Americans could pray for them. "They answered, 'You pray for us? We pray for you!' When I asked why, they responded, 'Because Western Christians often put so much faith in their prosperity and political freedoms that they don't know what it's like to have to depend completely on God. And because of that, they often do not get to know him in all the ways He invites us to.'" Eric is the author of the book, "These Are the Generations", a rare, first-person account of generational imprisonment and Christian faithfulness of one North Korean family. The story begins with the experience of the family patriarch in World War II and continues through the imprisonment and escape of his grandson, one of the book's co-authors. North Korean authorities captured and imprisoned the grandson, Mr. Bae because he believed in God and he evangelized a friend. Bae said being a Christian in prison is far from a pitiable situation and he talked about freedom in Christ: "It's like seminary," he said. "I prayed for others daily. My faith grew by leaps and bounds even as my body decayed."

 

Freedom is only found in Jesus Christ and doing His will. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that in Him we have freedom.

 

“Man is really free only in God, the source of his freedom.” – Sherwood Eddy

 

God’s Word: “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” – John 8:31-32

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

 

Devotional - The Way Of Forgiveness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Feb 4, 2013
Devotional - The Way Of Forgiveness

“Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.” – 2 Corinthians 2:7

 

At 6 a.m. on Sunday January 13, 2013, Pastor Dennis Noble received a call from the janitor at his church. There was a break-in at Lake City Assembly of God Church in Medical Lake, Washington. When Pastor Dennis saw the damage, it was mind numbing. It was clearly evident the break-in was designed to inflict as much damage as possible on the church. Doors were kicked in, windows were smashed, computers were destroyed - but as the tour of the facilities continued, it was discovered very little had actually been taken. However, there was $100,000 in property damage and graffiti.

Pastor Dennis made the call to cancel services for the day.

The next day, he had to fly to a church conference. On Tuesday, as he waited at an airport for his return flight, Pastor Dennis was frustrated that his flight was delayed. "I was sitting there, angry and upset, thinking all these negative thoughts when all of a sudden God starts talking to me. He tells me, 'Until you change your attitude, until you repent and forgive, you're not going home - you'll sit here all night.'"

Convicted of his sin, he repented and forgave the offender. He was on the 6 p.m. flight home.

When Pastor Dennis got home, the young man who did the damage had been apprehended. He was high on drugs when he did the damage, and the church pledged they would help him get into a Teen Challenge program.

Pastor Dennis said that God used a senseless and destructive crime to teach about the power of forgiveness and to build His Church.

 

Forgiveness is a difficult act of love, but it demonstrates God’s love for us. Today in prayer, let the Lord know you have forgiven those who have hurt you and then let them know that you forgive them.

 

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Boese

 

God’s Word: “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – Colossians 3:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

 

Devotional - A Clear Conscience
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Feb 3, 2013
Devotional - A Clear Conscience

"Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God's grace." - 2 Corinthians 1:12

 

When Sargent Ray Baarz of the Midvale, Utah, police department opened his wallet, he noticed his driver’s license had expired. The Utah drivers’ regulations states: “It's your responsibility to keep your license current. Otherwise, getting caught by the police while driving with an expired license will result in hefty fines.”

Embarrassed at having caught himself red-handed, Ray had no alternative. He calmly and deliberately pulled out his ticket book and wrote himself a citation. Then he took the ticket to the city judge who fined him five dollars. Remorsefully, Ray paid the fine.

After the incident, Ray reflected: "How could I give a ticket to anyone else for an expired license in the future if I didn’t cite myself?"

 

The Lord has given us a conscience to awaken us to sin. Today in prayer, confess any sin to Jesus and seek to keep a clear conscience before Christ and others.

 

"Conscience tells us that we ought to do right, but it does not tell us what right is--that we are taught by God’s word.” – H.C. Trumbull

 

God's Word: "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." - 1 Peter 3:15-16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

 

Devotional - The God Of All Comfort
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jan 31, 2013
Devotional - The God Of All Comfort

Bible Study on the Book of 2 Corinthians

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“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

 

At the beginning of World War II, Dr. Richard F. Brown, a Canadian medical missionary, was stationed at the mission hospital in Kweiteh, Honan, China. When the Japanese overran the hospital, he started traveling through the provinces of Shensi and Shansi. The doctor traveled thousands of miles on foot to minister to all who needed him. He attended to all sorts and conditions from the foremost leaders of Communist China to humble peasants, soldiers, and civilians - Chinese and Japanese without distinction. At times he has walked thirty miles a day, working along the road from dawn to dusk. In one district alone, within a radius of three miles, were 1,400 sick and wounded. He was the only doctor and there weren't any supplies. "It was trying to be awakened every morning by the sick and wounded pulling at your bedclothes," he said. "but you get used to it." Chinese Communist General Chub Teh expressed his gratitude to Dr. Brown for the comfort he and other medical missionaries had rendered China.

 

At any time, we can look to Jesus Christ and receive comfort in Him. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Christ, that He is Lord of all, and seek comfort in Him so you may comfort others in Christ.

 

“It will greatly comfort you if you can see God’s hand in both your losses and your crosses.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus” – 2 Corinthians 7:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN 2 CORINTHIANS

 

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