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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy
Devotional - Be Strong And Courageous
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jun 27, 2013
Devotional - Be Strong And Courageous

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6


Firuz is from Tajikistan. There are seven million people that live in Tajikistan and only 1,000 are Christian. In early 2009 Tajikistan enacted a new law on religious practice which essentially limits worship to state-sanctioned forms. The new law imposes censorship on religious literature and restricts performing rituals to state-approved venues. It makes it harder for new religious communities to get registration. This law has been used to ban the Christian churches and aid groups.  In 2013, Firuz gave the Christian Broadcasting Network News exclusive access to a home video of his secret house church that he had smuggled out of the country. The meetings are small and typically held in a believer's home. "The people in this video know exactly what's at stake," Firuz said. "Our parents taught us from childhood that one day we may have to sacrifice our lives." "Each life counts," Firuz said. "God says, 'Be thankful every day, rejoice in every soul that comes into heaven.' That's what keeps us going: one life at a time."


No matter what situation you find yourself, be strong in the Lord. Today in prayer, praise Jesus Christ that when our faith is tested, we can be strong in Him.


“Courage is not measured by the fear you never feel, but by the fear you manage to overcome.” – John Eddison


God’s Word: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - Be A Faithful Giver
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jun 25, 2013
Devotional - Be A Faithful Giver

“Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you.” – Deuteronomy 16:17


In May 2013, the report "20 Truths about Tithers" was released. Researchers compared tithers to non-tithers using nine financial health indicators, and found that tithers were better off in every category. Among tithers, for example, 80 percent have no unpaid credit card bills, 74 percent don't owe anything on their cars, 48 percent own their home and 28 percent are debt free. There are an estimated 10 million Christians in the U.S. who tithe more than $50 billion annually, according to the report. The report encompasses survey responses from 4,413 tithers from all 50 states and a variety of different churches and income levels. "The Scripture tells us to give from what we have," said Brian Kluth, founder of the study and the nonprofit Maximum Generosity. "That is a biblical mandate. There are some seasons of our lives we have less than others, and so when you experience a downturn financially you don't stop giving, you give a proportion of what you have...I always like to say, you don't give to get, you give because you've received something already. You give because you've already gotten something from God."


The Lord is faithful in giving to us, but are we faithful in giving to the Lord’s work? Today in prayer, praise the Lord for all that He has given you and seek to be a cheerful giver to His work.


“God loves a cheerful giver. He who gives cheerfully, gives better. The best way to show our gratitude to God and to our neighbor is to accept their gifts with joy.  Joy is a net of love in which souls can be caught. We impatiently await God's paradise, but we have in our hands the power to be in paradise right here and now.  Being happy with God means this:  to love as He loves, to help as He helps, to give as He gives, to serve as He serves.” – Mother Teresa


God’s Word: “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6-7


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - Love The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jun 24, 2013
Devotional - Love The Lord

“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” – Deuteronomy 6:5


Francis Xavier, was born on April 7, 1506 in Xavier, Kingdom of Navarre (now part of Spain). He became a monk and was one of first Jesuit priests. He wrote the following about his love for God:

"My God, I love Thee; not because

I hope for heaven thereby,

Nor yet because who love Thee not

Are lost eternally.

Thou, O my Jesus, Thou didst me

Upon the cross embrace;

For me didst bear the nails, and spear,

And manifold disgrace,

And griefs and torments numberless,

And sweat of agony;

Yea, death itself; and all for me

Who was thine enemy.

Then why, O blessed Jesus Christ,

Should I not love Thee well?

Not for the sake of winning heaven,

Nor of escaping hell;

Not from the hope of gaining aught,

Not seeking a reward;

But as Thyself hast loved me,

O ever-loving Lord.

So would I love Thee, dearest Lord,

And in Thy praise will sing;

Solely because Thou art my God,

And my most loving King."


We are to love the Lord with all of our heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Today in prayer, praise the Lord and love Him with all of your heart.


“I love you, Lord And I lift my voice To worship You Oh, my soul rejoice! Take joy my King In what You hear Let it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear.” – Laurie Klein


God’s Word: “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” – Matthew 22:37


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Devotional - Do Not Forget God's Laws
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jun 23, 2013
Devotional - Do Not Forget God's Laws

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” – Deuteronomy 4:9


In January 2013, Roy Moore was sworn in as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. He had previously held that position and was known as the “Ten Commandments Judge,” because in 2002 he had installed a two-ton granite monument of the Ten Commandments in the court building’s rotunda. The monument was removed the following year and Judge Moore was removed from the bench because of his outspoken beliefs.

After being sworn in, he gave a speech to a packed room about the origin of law

“We’ve got to remember that most of what we do in court comes from some Scripture or is backed by Scripture,” Judge Moore told the overflow audience, some of who watched from another room on closed circuit television.

He then explained that God created the court system, and that the basis for law is outlined in the Book of Deuteronomy. He quoted from Founding Fathers James Madison and George Washington as well, and talked about the importance of acknowledging God, just as he did in 2003 when he was removed from the bench.

“It was right then to acknowledge God,” Judge Moore said. “And it will continue to be so.”


The Lord desires us to remember His words and to live them out in our lives. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His Word and seek to remember and apply all of His Word.


“The tumult and the shouting dies, The captains and the kings depart; Still stands thine ancient sacrifice, A humble and a contrite heart. Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet Lest we forget,--lest we forget.” – Rudyard Kipling


God’s Word: “Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.” – Psalm 78:7


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - Patience Is A Great Attainment
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jun 20, 2013
Devotional - Patience Is A Great Attainment

"They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way” – Numbers 21:4


In his sermon "The Pearl of Patience," Charles Spurgeon preaches from James 5. He surmises the following about the need for patience: "Isn't it true that in our lives today we have a great need of patience? Most of us are deficient in this excellent grace, and because of it we have missed most privileges, and have wasted many opportunities in which we might have honored God, might have been an outstanding example of Christianity, and might have greatly benefited our own souls. Affliction has been the fire which would have removed our imperfections, but impatience has robbed us of its purification. Impatience is unprofitable, dishonorable, and damaging; it has never brought us reward or any good, and never will. I suppose the reason we are exhorted three times to gain patience is because we will greatly need it in the future. Between here and heaven we have no guarantee that the road will be easy, or that the sea will be smooth sailing. We have no promise that we will be kept, like flowers in a greenhouse, safe from the breath of frost, or that we will be veiled from the heat of the sun. The voice of wisdom says, "Be patient, be patient, be patient; be ready for the trials that will come." I suppose also, that we are exhorted over and over again to be patient, because it is so great an attainment."


Patience is a great attainment. Today in prayer, give any impatience you may have to Christ and know that through patience He is making you more like Him.


“It is in attempting to reach the top at a single leap that so much misery is caused in the world.” – John Bradley


God’s Word: “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” – Ecclesiastes 7:8


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Devotional - Do Not Be Afraid
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jun 19, 2013
Devotional - Do Not Be Afraid

“Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” – Numbers 14:9


In April 2013, the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas released an interesting video. It was from their gorilla enclosure. It shows Barney, an 18-year old, 300 pound male gorilla, ambling in his territory. Then at the bottom of the screen appears a male Canadian goose that had wandered into the enclosure. The two stare at each other for a couple of moments.  Then the goose begins to charge the gorilla! With wings spread and honking that the gorilla has invaded its territory, the goose shows no fear of the larger animal. The startled gorilla retreated. The more aggressive the goose became by charging, honking and flapping its wings, the faster the fearful gorilla backpedaled. A second goose, observing the scene, joins its companion in fending away the gorilla. "The geese being aggressive was not a shock because when they're nesting they can be pretty aggressive and, quite frankly, cranky," said a zoo spokeswoman. "But the gorilla reacting that way was quite a shock."


The Lord asks us to trust in Him and not to be afraid. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that when we put our trust in Christ, we do not have to be afraid of anything.


“Jesus came treading the waves; and so he puts all the swelling tumults of life under his feet. Christians – why afraid?” – Augustine


God’s Word: “say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.’” – Isaiah 35:4


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Devotional - Making Restitution
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jun 18, 2013
Devotional - Making Restitution

“and must confess the sin he has committed. He must make full restitution for his wrong, add one fifth to it and give it all to the person he has wronged.” – Numbers 5:7


John Goodfellow, a field director for the Christian organization Youth With A Mission, shares a bit of his testimony. As a youth he got involved in gangs and supplemented his income with thefts, muggings and insurance frauds. He searched in "bottles, brawls and beds for some meaning in life." Eventually he ended up in a place run by Christians in Amsterdam. He told how one night, "I knelt down beside my bunk and prayed for forgiveness. I asked Jesus to come into my life and to give me a fresh start. I confessed every wrong that I could remember. It took a long time." After several weeks of learning more about the Bible and what it means to live as a Christian, John knew he had to go back to England. "I had returned to England...where I was on the run from the police, and I admitted my part in a serious fraud...I was taking seriously the Bible's instruction to put right the past. I made a long list of all the folks whom I had cheated, robbed and hurt, and visited them one by one to admit my guilt, ask their forgiveness and see if I could pay them back...Unexpectedly receiving a suspended prison sentence, I went back to work on construction sites, pouring my money into paying off all my debts." God honored his faithfulness and has since given him a very fruitful and busy ministry. He declared, "What a marvelous future we have with God, who can love sinners like me back to wholeness."


Restitution is an act that helps restore a broken relationship. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He gave Himself as restitution for sin and if you have hurt another person, seek to give restitution to them. 


“Many people today think that repentance means shedding a few tears and then going merrily on their way. It is much more than that. It is making things right by making restitution to the individual that has been injured.” – J. Vernon McGee


God’s Word: “or whatever it was he swore falsely about. He must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day he presents his guilt offering.” – Leviticus 6:5


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Devotional - Follow God's Laws
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jun 17, 2013
Devotional - Follow God's Laws

“Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will live safely in the land.” - Leviticus 25:18


A.J. Jacobs is a secular Jewish author who has written "The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible."  A.J. knew little about the Bible before he started his experimental year. His primary reason for literally following the Bible was to write the book. A.J. shares some of his experiences: "As with most Biblical journeys, my year has taken me on detours I could never have predicted. I didn't expect to herd sheep in Israel. Or fondle a pigeon egg. Or find solace in prayer. Or hear Amish jokes from the Amish. I didn't expect to confront just how absurdly flawed I am. I didn't expect to discover such strangeness in the Bible. And I didn't expect to, as the Psalmist says, Take refuge in the Bible and rejoice in it." He summarizes his undertaking: "The whole bible is the working out of the relationship between God and man. God is not a dictator barking out orders and demanding silent obedience. Were it so, there would be no relationship at all. No real relationship goes just one way. There are always two active parties. We must have reverence and awe for God, and honor for the chain of tradition."


The Lord gives us laws so that we may live safely and draw closer to Him. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His decrees and laws and seek to follow Him in all that you do.


“The law is the light and the commandment the lantern.” – William Austin


God’s Word: “Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them.” – Psalm 119:129


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Devotional - Honest Measures
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jun 16, 2013
Devotional - Honest Measures

“Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity.” – Leviticus 19:35


In September 2009, Fairley Cisco, of St. Mary’s, Georgia, was indicted with four of his employees, on charges of fraud. Cisco was the owner of 3 gasoline stations along Interstate 95. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), along with other law enforcement agencies, charged Cisco with a variety of crimes including conspiracy to miscalibrate the unleaded and diesel pumps at the Cisco Stations to deliver less fuel than customers believed they were purchasing.

Law enforcement officials have said the stations’ pumps were rigged to short customers a quart for every five gallons purchased. It is estimated customers were cheated out of $7 million in 2005 and 2006 alone. It is estimated that this crime began in 2000 and lasted nine years.

In April 2010, a month before he was to stand trial, Cisco died of a heart attack at his home at age 67.

The four of co-defendants pled guilty and received prison sentences.


Dishonest measures are a crime and a sin. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He honors us when we use honest measures and deal honestly with others.


“The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return. It's the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.” – Arthur C. Clarke


God’s Word: “Do not have two differing weights in your bag--one heavy, one light. Do not have two differing measures in your house--one large, one small. You must have accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. For the LORD your God detests anyone who does these things, anyone who deals dishonestly.” – Deuteronomy 25:13-16


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Devotional - Do Not Lie
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jun 13, 2013
Devotional - Do Not Lie

“‘Do not steal.’ ‘Do not lie.’ ‘Do not deceive one another.’” – Leviticus 19:11


In May 2011, after Osama bin Laden was killed, The Patriot-News, a Pennsylvania newspaper, reached out to find former Navy SEALs to tell their readers about life in that elite fighting force. Reporter Dan Miller, an Army veteran himself, was told that Pastor Jim Moats of the Christian Bible Fellowship Church in Newville, Pennsylvania was a former SEAL.

The 59-year old pastor told of his SEAL Team experiences in Vietnam. The problem was Moats never served in Vietnam nor was he ever in the SEALs.

Don Shipley, a retired SEAL who has access to the database containing the names of all SEALs, read the story and revealed to The Patriot-News that the pastor was never part of the team and had never served in Vietnam., another claim by Moats.

Shipley called Moats and confronted him on the issue, and shortly after, Moats came clean, explaining that he had served in the Navy, but not in Vietnam, as he had previously stated. Moats said he did it to boost his ego.

“I bring a shame and a reproach upon the name of Christ,” said Moats. “I bring a shame and a reproach upon my church, and I bring a shame and a reproach upon my family.”


Lying and deception go hand-in-hand with other sins. Today in prayer, confess any sin of lying and seek to be open and honest in your relationships.


“No man was ever so much deceived by another as by himself.” – Fulke Greville


God’s Word: “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” – Ephesians 4:25


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Devotional - Being Faithful
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jun 12, 2013
Devotional - Being Faithful

“Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, "Do not let your hair become unkempt, and do not tear your clothes, or you will die and the LORD will be angry with the whole community. But your relatives, all the house of Israel, may mourn for those the LORD has destroyed by fire. Do not leave the entrance to the Tent of Meeting or you will die, because the LORD's anointing oil is on you." So they did as Moses said.” – Leviticus 10:6-7


In 1974, Richard Twiss, a Native American, found himself in Hawaii where he was searching for truth. "I was a beach bum, did drugs, partied, slept on the beach, chased girls, lived off of food stamps, and started over the next day," he said. One day while hitchhiking, two evangelicals picked him up and began sharing the gospel. Richard didn't want anything to do with their "white man's religion", and said, "I swore at them and told them to let me out." Not long after that, during a drug overdose, the words of those two Christians came back. "I screamed out, 'Jesus if you are real, would you forgive me, would you come into my life?'" Richard said he had a peace that he had never known before come over him. He was never the same again as his life was transformed. Richard went to seminary and became a senior pastor of the New Discovery Community Church. He became involved in Native American missions and wanted to see other Native Americans come to Jesus Christ. On February 9, 2013, Dr. Richard Twiss, Lakota succumbed to a major heart attack while on a ministry trip to Washington, D.C. His friend Paul Pastor said: "Central to Richard's life and ministry was the drive to walk in the path of Jesus as a proud and faithful Native man."


The Lord desires us to be faithful and to walk with Him all of our lives. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He is able to comfort and strengthen us during our grief so that we may comfort others.


“Too many Christians have a commitment of convenience. They'll stay faithful as long as it's safe and doesn't involve risk, rejection, or criticism. Instead of standing alone in the face of challenge or temptation, they check to see which way their friends are going.” - Charles Stanley


God’s Word: “I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”– Luke 18:8


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Devotional - Feeling Guilt
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jun 11, 2013
Devotional - Feeling Guilt

“These are the regulations for the guilt offering, which is most holy” – Leviticus 7:1


A Salem, Ohio man mailed in a $1.00 to the U.S. Government with the following anonymous note, "When I was a boy, I put a few pennies on the railroad track and then flattened them. I also used a dime or a quarter in a silver-coating experiment in High School. "I understand there is a law against defacing our money. I have not seen it but I desire to be a [law-abiding citizen.]" His money was placed in a "Conscience Fund" begun in 1811, which receives an average of $45,000 each year and has taken in a total of more than $3,500,000. Another note sent to the government was sent in by an ex-soldier who was moved by guilt back in 1974 that read, "I'm sending $10 for blankets I stole in World War II. My mind could not rest. Sorry I'm late. I want to be ready to meet God."

Guilt is the realization of sin. But thank be to Christ that He loves us and forgives us when we confess our sin and desire reconciled to Him. Today in prayer, praise Christ that He has paid the price for all of our sins and removed our guilt and shame.   


“Guilt is the very nerve of sorrow.” – Horace Bushnell


God’s Word: “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” – Hebrews 10:22


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Devotional - He Will Give Us Rest
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jun 10, 2013
Devotional - He Will Give Us Rest

“The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’” – Exodus 33:14


Arthur Winston was born in Oklahoma in 1906. In 1918 his family moved west to California because of dust storms ruining their crops. He graduated from LA's Jefferson High School in 1922. He then began working for the Los Angeles Railway for four years before quitting because a black man could not drive a bus. However, he returned to work in January 1934 for the Los Angeles Railway. In 1996, President Bill Clinton awarded him with an "Employee of the Century" citation for his work ethic and dedication. He is the most reliable worker that the United States Department of Labor has ever chronicled. He worked for 72 years continuously without ever being late, and only took a single day off work (in 1988 for the funeral of his wife Frances). Arthur went on to work until he was 100 years old and finally retired on his 100th birthday on March 22, 2006. "I'm going to keep active. I can't afford to just sit down. I wouldn't do that," Arthur said. "I don't drink and I don't smoke, so I feel alright." But Arthur died less than a month later of heart failure.


The Lord gives us work, strength, and rest. Today in prayer, rest in Jesus, knowing He will be with you and provide for you throughout all eternity.


“The real enemies of our life are the "oughts" and the "ifs." They pull us backward into the unalterable past and forward into the unpredictable future. But real life takes place in the here and the now. God is a God of the present. God is always in the moment, be that moment hard or easy, joyful or painful.” – Henri J. Nouwen


God’s Word: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” – Isaiah 43:2


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Devotional - The Sin of Bribery
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jun 9, 2013
Devotional - The Sin of Bribery

“Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the righteous.” – Exodus 23:8


On October 14, 2011, Charlie Golden of Detroit, Michigan met with a City contractor whose contracts Golden supervised. The 58-year assistant buildings superintendent then accepted a $10,000 bribe payment which Golden intended to use to pay for the installation of a range hood and fan at his privately-owned church.

He was arrested and faced federal charges of bribery. United States Attorney Barbara McQuade said, "Stealing money from Detroit taxpayers is not acceptable. Our citizens deserve to have tax dollars spent on city services, not on the preferred charities of public officials."

Though Golden could have been sentenced to 18 months in prison, the judge sentenced him to two years probation, pay a $3,000 fine and perform 200 hours of community service.

"I would like to say I am sorry for the decisions I made," Golden said before being sentenced by the judge. "It was a deviation from what I believe and what I have been doing for the last 30 to 40 years. I ask my family and God for forgiveness for letting down the city and all of those that put trust in me.

"It wasn't my character," he added. "I am sorry and I hope that you will have mercy on me."


Bribery is a sin that wounds our witness to others. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to keep the temptation of bribery far from you.


“Though the bribe be small, yet the fault is great.” – Lord Edward Coke


God’s Word: “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.” – Deuteronomy 10:17


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Devotional - Caring For Orphans
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jun 6, 2013
Devotional - Caring For Orphans

“Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan.” – Exodus 22:22


Jedd Medefind was the head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and a Special Assistant to President George W. Bush. After leaving the White House position, Jedd became the President of the Christian Alliance for Orphans, for a coalition of more than seventy-five adoption, foster-care and orphan-care ministries. Jedd and his wife Rachel have also adopted their daughter Eden from Ethiopia. Jedd shared how he has developed such a heart for orphans: "More than any other issues that I dealt with in the White House, the plight of the orphan and God's deep compassion for the fatherless really stirs my soul.  So both through that work and through my own adoption process, I have been moved from awareness of the need to deep sorrow over that need and great passion to engage it.  Right out of college, I spent quite a bit of time in the developing world, in places like Central America, Africa, and India.  Coming face to face with the needs of orphans left me convinced that this pain is something that hurts God very much.  And if we are going to be His hands and feet on earth, then we need to care about it as well."


The Lord desires us to open up our hearts to orphans and widows. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for adopting you into His family and ask Him how you can better provide for orphans and widows.


“Followers of Jesus Christ care about widows and orphans and they understand that it is a litmus test. It is not an option.” – Kay Warren


God’s Word: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” – James 1:27


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Devotional - Consider Your Words
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jun 5, 2013
Devotional - Consider Your Words

“"You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” – Exodus 20:7


Pastor and author John Piper writes the following about taking the Lord's name in vain: "The idea of vanity (and I think the Hebrew carries this connotation) is "don't empty the name." So it doesn't just refer to a certain tone of voice or a certain use of the word. It's dealing with God and speaking of God in a way that empties him of his significance. This includes both throw-away words-like "God!" or "Jesus!"-as well as speaking about him in trifling and flippant ways. Not just swear ways but cheap ways, low and insignificant ways that just treat him like a commodity. And when you hear them you sense that there is no weight to that sentence, no corresponding emotion to that statement. It seems to have just been gutted. God, Christ, the cross, the things he is and the things he did are great, and they're weighty. And there's a certain corresponding demeanor of worship that should be there. So I think taking the Lord's name in vain is more than "O my God!" or "Jesus Christ!" It is that plus more. The positive way to look at it is to revere God, love God, delight in God, know God, fill up God with all that he is. And then out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak. I think it is far better to take the commandments and not focus so much on the negative-that is "don't lie, don't commit adultery, don't steal, don't kill"-but rather focus on where those come from, and put the emphasis there. And here, "don't take his name in vain" would mean that you take his name in vain because he is empty to you. Your mind doesn't feel the weight and fullness of his glory. So that's the key: vain is empty. Don't empty God of his weight and his glory. Fill it up rather than emptying it."


We need to love the Lord and say His name with respect. Today in prayer, thank Christ that His name is Wonderful and we have the privilege to call Jesus Christ our Lord and friend.


“The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it.” – George Washington


God’s Word: “Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.” – Leviticus 19:12


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - His Blood Brings Life
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jun 4, 2013
Devotional - His Blood Brings Life

“The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.” – Exodus 12:13


James Harrison was born in 1936 in Australia. At the age of 13, he underwent a major chest surgery to extract a lung with metastasized pneumonia, and he required 12 liters of blood. After surgery, he was in the hospital for three months. Realizing the blood had saved his life, he made a pledge to start donating blood as soon as he turned eighteen. In 1954, James started donating and after the first few donations it was discovered that his blood plasma contained an abnormally strong and persistent antibody called Rho(D) Immune Globulin (IG). Rho(D) IG is given to newborns who have Rhesus disease, a condition where antibodies in a pregnant woman's blood destroy her baby's blood cells. James blood is so unique and important that his life was insured for one million dollars after this discovery. James has now donated more than 1000 times, averaging a donation every three weeks for 59 years. His donations were estimated to have helped to save over 2.4 million babies with pregnant women being treated with his antibodies, including his own daughter Tracey. 


Jesus Christ’s blood has saved us and given us eternal life. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His sacrifice and giving you fellowship with God.


“The Cross is seen as the saving act of Christ, but even more than this, it is seen as the final place of reconciliation between God and humanity.” – Calvin Miller


God’s Word: “God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-- he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” – Romans 3:25-26


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - Be Free To Worship
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jun 3, 2013
Devotional - Be Free To Worship

“Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and say to him, 'This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me.’” – Exodus 8:1


On April 14, 2011, Siagh Krimo, an Algerian convert from Islam to Christianity was arrested for sharing his faith with his neighbor. The judge sentenced him to five years in prison.  Though Algeria is an Islamic state, it does allow freedom of religion in its constitution. Human right activists, journalists, concerned Muslims and Christians assembled outside the Ministry of Justice in Algiers demanding that Siagh's prison sentence be overturned. Siagh's trial followed a series of convictions in recent years targeting Algerian Christians for proselytizing or for failing publically to observe the practices of Islam, such as fasting during Ramadan. "People decided to show solidarity with their fellow citizen who had chosen a religion that suited him," said Kaddour Chouicha, a representative of the National Coordination for Change and Democracy. "The Algerian constitution allows freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, and freedom of thought. The judge exceeded his powers by ruling in accordance to his ideology over his regard for the law."


Freedom to worship the Lord does not exist in many areas of the world. Today in prayer, pray for those who face persecution for desiring to worship Jesus.


“No peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness. To pray for peace is to pray for justice, for a right-ordering of relations within and among nations and peoples. It is to pray for freedom, especially for the religious freedom that is a basic human and civil right of every individual. To pray for peace is to seek God's forgiveness, and to implore the courage to forgive those who have trespassed against us.” – John Paul II


God’s Word: “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go to Pharaoh and say to him, 'This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may worship me.’’” – Exodus 9:1


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - God Will Help Us
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jun 2, 2013
Devotional - God Will Help Us

“The LORD said to him, ‘Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.’” – Exodus 4:11-12


Watchman Nee was a Christian leader in China in the early 20th century. He tells the story of his stay in a Chinese accommodation with twenty other Christians. The bathing areas were inadequate in the home where they were lodging, so they went for a daily dip in the river. On one occasion, one of the men got a cramp in his leg and began sinking fast. Watchman motioned to one of the other men, who was an excellent swimmer, about the drowning man. To his astonishment, however, the man did not move. He just stood there and watched the drowning man. Watchman was agitated, but the swimmer was calm and collected. Meanwhile, the voice of the drowning man grew fainter and more desperate. Watchman hated the swimmer who just stood and watched on the shore when he could have jumped into the river and rescued the drowning man. As the drowning man went under for what looked like the last time, the swimmer was there in a moment, and both were soon safely on shore. After the rescue, Watchman chewed out the swimmer, accusing him of loving his life too much and being selfish. The response of the swimmer revealed, however, he knew what he was doing. He told Watchman that if he had gone too soon, the drowning man would have put a death grip on him and they would have both drowned in the river, and he was right. He told Watchman that a drowning man cannot be saved until he is utterly exhausted and ceases to make the slightest effort to save himself. Such is the case us. The Lord can step in and help us only when we stop struggling on our own and yield to Him.


Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that He helps us when we yield our will to Him.


“When we can't piece together the puzzle of our own lives, remember the best view of a puzzle is from above.  Let Him help put you together.” – Terri Guillemets


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


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   


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