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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions in Ezekiel and Daniel
Devotional - To Know God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Apr 29, 2013
Devotional - To Know God

“With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him.” – Daniel 11:32

 

Steve Brown is a Christian talk-show host, author of numerous books, seminary professor, and speaker. One morning, after being the guest preacher at a church, a lady came up to him after the Sunday service. "I wanted to meet you because I have listened to your sermons on the radio and they have turned my life around" she said. "I didn't know the Lord, and my whole life has been changed because of your messages. I just wanted to meet you." The woman then said she wanted to introduce her friend to Steve.  She turned back from her friend and said to Steve, "I'm sorry, what was your name again?" She had forgotten Steve's name! Many people might think, "If those sermons had changed her life how could she had forgotten who gave them?" The point is of course that she hadn't forgotten where they had come from. And Steve Brown said, "I was thrilled! She was simply remembering the message and not the human messenger. It was the Word of God that was being honored!" Through Steve's preaching, she had gained a greater knowledge of the Lord, though she couldn't remember his name. 

 

Growing in our knowledge of Christ draws us closer to the Savior. Today in prayer, thank Christ that He is an approachable God and One who we can know better.

 

“Let us give our thoughts completely to knowing God. The more one knows him, the more one wants to know him, and since love is measured commonly by knowledge, then, the deeper and more extensive knowledge shall be, so love will be the greater, and, if love is great, we shall love him equally in suffering and consolation.” – Brother Lawrence

 

God’s Word: “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ” – Philippians 3:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

 

Devotional - Be Strong In Jesus
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Apr 28, 2013
Devotional - Be Strong In Jesus

“‘Do not be afraid, O man highly esteemed,’ he said. ‘Peace! Be strong now; be strong.’ When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, ‘Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.’” – Daniel 10:19

 

Saeed Abedini is an Iranian American Christian pastor. Saeed was a Muslim who came to the Lord in 2000. He helped establish about 100 house churches in 30 Iranian cities with more than 2,000 members.

In July 2012, Pastor Abedini was imprisoned for his faith in the brutal Evin prison and is often tortured.  

In a letter smuggled out of the prison, Pastor Saeed writes that he cannot even recognize himself after all the beatings and torture he has endured: “My hair was shaven, under my eyes were swollen three times what they should have been, my face was swollen, and my beard had grown.”

Prison medical staff refuses to treat him because he is an “unclean” Christian.

Even through all the persecution, Pastor Saeed remains resilient in his faith.  He writes of the importance of forgiveness, even to the point of forgiving the interrogators who beat him and the doctors who refused to treat him.  He says that we must all forgive, “So that we don’t become like the person we despised and who persecuted and tortured us.”

He told of the power he has witnessed through forgiveness when after telling one of his persecutors to his face that he forgave him, the interrogator came to “respect” him.  “Love is as strong as death,” Pastor Saeed explained.  He concluded, “The Joy of the Lord is my strength.”

 

No matter what trial you face today, the Lord can strengthen you. Today in prayer, let the joy of Jesus Christ be your strength. 

 

“It is better to be alone with God. His friendship will not fail me nor His counsel nor His love. In His strength I will dare and dare and dare until I die.” – Joan of Arc

 

God’s Word: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - His Great Mercy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Friday Apr 26, 2013
Devotional - His Great Mercy

“Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.” – Daniel 9:18

 

Joseph J. Pfister wrote the following about God's mercy in his book "The Comeback." "I sat in my car in front of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Rain was coming down, the wind was blowing, and I was sick of my life. I had just driven from a three-day gambling binge in Atlantic City where I lost more than $5,000 and maxed out my credit cards trying to recoup my losses that now had surpassed $300,000 in more than five years. I was an addict. My past flashed before me while I got up enough nerve to climb the bridge's walkway and jump the 500 feet into the Delaware River. I once was, I thought, a decent sort, until my marriage broke up and I began womanizing, drinking, and betting on anything, anywhere. I took a swig of the highball I had carried out of the Resorts Hotel and Casino, opened the door and walked toward the bridge. A state trooper came by at that moment and yelled, 'Car trouble? I said, 'No, sir, just getting some air.' I climbed back in my blue Sprint and drove over the bridge into Delaware and to my condominium where I spent a lot of lonely hours contemplating all my failures. It was 4 a.m. on a Sunday more than 11 years ago, and I drank some more booze to help me sleep. About 3 p.m., the phone rang. It was Jim, an old friend who always wanted me to go to church with him. He would say the same thing, 'I prayed for you this morning, Joe.' He invited me to go with him that night to hear a guest speaker. I consented, figuring he would treat me to a hamburger after church." Jim went to the church service and became a Christian. He concludes: "From that day I began to walk in Christ's path. The day before I almost took my life. If my friend hadn't called, if I wasn't hungry, if the visiting pastor had not grabbed my interest.I might be dead today."

 

Our Lord is a Great God who is merciful and mighty. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His great mercy.

 

“Jesus Christ is the incarnation of Divine Mercy.” – John Paul II

 

God’s Word: “For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath.” – Deuteronomy 4:31

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Coming To The End
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Apr 24, 2013
Devotional - Coming To The End

“He said: "I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end.” – Daniel 8:19

 

In October 1958 in Charlotte, North Carolina, Billy Graham preached the following about the end of the world: "Yes, the Bible teaches that there is coming a climactic point in history. The end of the world system as we know it is definitely on the horizon. How long will it be? I do not know. When it will be I do not pretend to know. It may be a thousand years; it may be two thousand years. I do not know. I only know that this book is filled with predictions of the end of the world. This book is filled with hope that Christ will come back again. Jesus said, "As it was in the days of [Noah], so shall it [also be] in the days [of the coming] of the Son of man" [Luke 17:26]. We are told in Scripture that the world was destroyed before, and that conditions prevailing at that time were to prevail again toward the climactic point in history. In other words, history will repeat itself."

 

Time will eventually end and an eternity with the Lord will arrive. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is coming and we will spend eternity with Him.

 

"Only God knows the future, and; some day the world as we know it will come to an end. In that day, Christ will return to earth to overcome all evil and establish His kingdom of perfect peace and justice." - Billy Graham

 

God’s Word: “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” – Habakkuk 2:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional -Authority Without End
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Apr 24, 2013
Devotional -Authority Without End

“He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” – Daniel 7:14

 

On 1 January 2007, Ban Ki-moon became the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations. On 21 June 2011, he was unanimously re-elected by the General Assembly and will continue to serve until 31 December 2016. Born in South Korea, he received a bachelor's degree in international relations from Seoul National University in 1970. In 1985, he earned a master's degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. At the time of his election as Secretary-General, Mr. Ban was his country's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He has 37 years of service with the Ministry. The UN Charter is not specific about the Secretariat's powers. However it is clear that the Secretariat, and the Secretary-General, are vital parts to the UN. The role of the Secretariat varies with the agenda of the UN. Sometimes he is required to act as a mediator and other times he is to oversee different peacekeeping operations. The only authority he may have is moral authority to act in the best interest of all men.

 

Jesus Christ has been given all authority throughout eternity. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that His dominion is an everlasting dominion.

 

“But the coming kingdom is altogether different. It will never be destroyed. It will not be succeeded by another, but will endure for ever. Its universality in space is thus paralleled by its universality in time and as such reflects the very nature of God himself.” – D.S. Russell

 

God’s Word: “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church” – Ephesians 1:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - The Enduring Kingdom
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Apr 22, 2013
Devotional - The Enduring Kingdom

“‘I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.’ For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.” – Daniel 6:26

 

The Maya civilization extended throughout the present-day southern Mexican states to the present-day nations of Guatemala, Belize, western Honduras and northern El Salvador. The first clearly Maya settlements were established around 1800 BC. The Mayan civilization peaked approximately 600 AD. They excelled at agriculture, pottery, hieroglyph writing, calendar making and mathematics, and left behind an astonishing amount of impressive architecture and symbolic artwork. The Kings' courts included palaces, pyramids, temples and ball courts, and great plazas, open areas where festivals and other public events were held. Kings were hereditary positions, and upon their death, the kings were sometimes considered gods. Sometime around 900 AD, the Mayan empire began to decline. By 1697, the last of the Mayan city-states were conquered by the Spanish. Today, the jungles of Central America have reclaimed much of the Mayan cities and their rulers’ names have been forgotten.

 

Unlike earthly kingdoms, Christ’s Kingdom is eternal. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that His reign endures forever.

 

“Live close to God, and so all things will appear to you little in comparison with eternal realities.” – Robert Murray McCheyne

 

God’s Word: “He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” – Daniel 7:14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Be Humble
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Apr 21, 2013
Devotional - Be Humble

“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.” – Daniel 4:37

 

David Boone was homeless for part of his high school career; his family torn apart he said, by a neighborhood gang that resented his refusal to join.

“I guess their mentality was, ‘You’re either with us, or you’re against us,’ ” he said. “Eventually, it resulted in them vandalizing my home, making it unlivable.”

Sometimes he slept on a park bench, sometimes he slept nowhere at all, but through it all, he studied science, technology, engineering and math at MC2STEM, one of Cleveland’s New and Innovative Schools from where he will graduate with a full ride to Harvard University in the fall of 2013.

When 18-year-old David received the news that he had been accepted at Harvard with a full scholarship, he called his mother, who was in the middle of her Bible class.  She jumped up and down and cried tears of joy.

"We've been through a lot as a family," she said. "He's so focused, so driven and so humble."

 

The Lord can raise up those who have been humbled. Today in prayer, confess any sin of pride and seek to walk humbly with Christ.

 

“If you plan to build a tall house of virtues, you must first lay deep foundations of humility.” - Augustine

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Tested Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Apr 18, 2013
Devotional - Tested Faith

"Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." - Daniel 3:16-18

 

Shu-Ming is a Chinese Christian and tells her story: "During the 1960s, the police were brutal. One day they came to my door. Shoving me aside, they ransacked my home. They tore apart books, photos, many precious keepsakes. They were looking for one thing-Bibles. Underneath my stove, they found one. They could have killed me right then, but instead they just laughed. 'Give up that silly book,' they said." "When I refused, they took me outside to a large open area of the city. In front of a crowd, they tore off my dress, leaving me naked. I clutched the Bible to my breast and bowed my head. The soldiers thought I was ashamed, but I was really praying." "It was the most excruciating pain I have ever felt." "For three hours the soldiers laughed and spit on me. They stomped on my back, leaving me face-down in the dirt. As I groaned with pain, one of them began to beat my hands with a lead pipe. It was the most excruciating pain I have ever felt. They hit me again and again until my hands had no feeling. The Bible fell from my hands into the dirt. That was the last time I held a Bible." Thirty-five years later Shu-Ming's hands are still deformed, but she is finally able to hold a Bible again. On a busy street in the middle of Shanghai, a Christian man puts several Bibles into her arms, provided by the gifts and prayers of our partners in the States. Unable to speak her gratitude, tears stream down Shu-Ming's face. She smiles and bows and disappears into the swarming sea of people, clutching God's Word as tightly as she did those 35 years ago.

 

In this life, our faith in Christ will be tested. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He can strengthen us through any persecution and pray for those who are currently facing extreme trials.

 

"Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering. The love of God did not protect His own Son. He will not necessarily protect us - not from anything that makes us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process." - Elisabeth Elliot

 

God's Word: "Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings" - Psalm 17:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - God's Power
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Apr 17, 2013
Devotional - God's Power

“and said: "Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.” – Daniel 2:20

 

In October 2012, Super storm Sandy struck the East Coast of the United States. Its storm surge hit New York City on October 29, flooding streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city.  Damage in the US was estimated at over $71 billion . In the wake of this horrific natural event, the Rev. James Martin said: "Natural disasters are difficult to understand. For even the most devout person who may be faced with a catastrophic loss, it can really shake them. It's one thing to read about this in a theology book. It's another to have your house swept away." "I always tell people, 'Sadness over suffering is natural and human. It's nothing to be ashamed of,'" said Martin. "Part of the process is allowing yourself to go through these emotions. For the Christian, we have a God who became human and understands our suffering. Jesus was crucified, he understands what it means to suffer and live a human life." Martin said he thought about the Biblical story of the Storm at Sea, where Jesus is crossing the Sea of Galilee with his disciples as a strong storm begins lashing the boat, threatening to sink it. Jesus, tired from teaching, falls asleep, and the disciples try to wake him up to help them. "He wakes and stills the storm, which everyone wishes he would do today," Martin said. "The point is, Jesus was right there with them on the boat. We can sometimes in retrospect look back and see how when God was with us through the support of friends and family. The deepest part of ourselves, our soul, is where God is close to us, giving us courage, hope and faith."

 

No matter what life might throw our way, God is more powerful. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His awesome power and ask that His grace and power would work through you this day.

 

“The greatest single distinguishing feature of the omnipotence of God is that our imagination gets lost thinking about it.” – Blaise Pascal

 

God’s Word: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Known In Many Nations
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Apr 17, 2013
Devotional - Known In Many Nations

“And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.'” – Ezekiel 38:23

 

n 1848, John Geddie began the missionary work in the New Hebrides Islands in the South Pacific. Just weeks after arriving, he wrote in his journal: "In the darkness, degradation, pollution and misery that surrounds me, I will look forward in the vision of faith to the time when some of these poor islanders will unite in the triumphant song of ransomed souls, 'Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.'" Though the islanders were cannibals and practiced sorcery, it did not deter John. He learned their dialect and began a school. He began preaching and slowly the people turned their hearts toward Jesus. After 24 years on the mission field in the South Pacific, John Geddie went home to be with the Lord. His headstone reads: "In memory of John Geddie, D.D., born in Scotland, 1815, minister in Prince Edward Island seven years, Missionary sent from Nova Scotia to Aneiteum for twenty-four years. When he landed in 1848, there were no Christians here, and when he left in 1872 there were no heathen."

 

The Lord continually shows His greatness and holiness. Around the world, people are turning to Jesus Christ knowing that in His righteousness we can have salvation. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He is righteous and praise Him for His holiness.

 

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” – Edward Mote

 

God’s Word: “For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face.” – Psalm 11:7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - His Promises Are True
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Apr 16, 2013
Devotional - His Promises Are True

“Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.'" - Ezekiel 37:11-14

 

In February 2010, while speaking on the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz in Poland, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu proclaimed the fulfillment of the prophet Ezekiel's vision of the valley of dry bones. "The Jewish people rose from ashes and destruction, from a terrible pain that can never be healed," the Prime Minister said at the ceremony.  "Armed with the Jewish spirit, the justice of man, and the vision of the prophets, we sprouted new branches and grew deep roots. Dry bones became covered with flesh, a spirit filled them, and they lived and stood on their own feet, as Ezekiel prophesized: "Then He said to me, 'Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, 'Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!' Therefore prophesy and say to them, thus says the Lord God, 'Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves." Netanyahu often quotes scripture in his speeches. From his youth, he has been a student of the Tenach, the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament, which records the history of Israel and its people. Experts say archaeological excavations in Jerusalem and throughout the country continually verify the authenticity of the Bible, which all Israeli children study as part of their school curriculum.

 

We need to remember the promises of God. Even during the darkest hours of human history, the Lord has given us a promise of hope. That hope is in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that His prophesies and promises are true and you can trust in Him.

 

“Jesus is the yes to every promise of God.” – William Barclay

 

God’s Word: “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Our Good Shepherd
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Apr 14, 2013
Devotional - Our Good Shepherd

“As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.” – Ezekiel 34:12

 

The Sde Bar Farm is a youth rehabilitation settlement in the south of the West Bank of Israel. Located at the foot of the Herodium and near the settlement of Nokdim, at-risk teens work in agriculture and study with the aim of getting their high school certificate and to gain a sense of self-worth.

The US and European Christian evangelical organizations as Christian Friends of Israeli Communities (CFOIC) and the Dutch foundation Christians for Israel International fund the youth farm.

In December 2012, armed men from the PA Authority regions had broken into the Sde Bar youth farm and stole some of the sheep. Levi Zohar told Arutz Sheva news that infiltrators had cut through the fences of the youth farm. The sheep were discovered in a cave about 15 kilometers away guarded by two armed men. The shepherds from the youth farm fearlessly chased the armed men away with rocks and retrieved their sheep.

 

The Lord is the Good Shepherd and willingly rescues us from every peril. Today in prayer, give glory to the Lord that He is our Shepherd and our Rescuer.

 

“The Bible is one big story of God moving again and again to save us from ourselves.” – Sam O'Neal

 

God’s Word: “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” – 2 Timothy 4:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Warn Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Friday Apr 12, 2013
Devotional - Warn Others

"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me." - Ezekiel 33:7

 

Ida Lewis was born in Newport, Rhode Island in 1842. She was the daughter of Captain Hosea Lewis, who was appointed lighthouse keeper of the Lime Rock Light in Newport in 1854. In time, Ida learned to keep the light at the lighthouse by filling the lamp with oil at sundown and again at midnight, trimming the wick, polishing the carbon off the reflectors, and extinguishing the light at dawn. Lime Rock was completely surrounded by water; the only way to reach the mainland was by boat. In time, Ida became the lighthouse keeper. Ida is remembered as a champion at rescuing others. She was known as the strongest woman swimmer in all of Rhode Island during her day. She is credited with saving 18 people during her time as light keeper. But Ida’s was also a model of consistency. For 39 years, she prepared the lighthouse light to warn others of potential danger.

 

When we hear a warning from the Lord, we need to heed it. He gives warnings to protect us and to provide for us. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to give you a ready ear and a sensitive heart to hear His warnings and to follow them. And if you see others heading for trouble, be sensitive to the Lord and warn them. 

 

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

 

God's Word: "Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain." - Psalm 119:33-36

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

 

Devotional - Let Him Lead
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Apr 10, 2013
Devotional - Let Him Lead

"So I spoke to the people in the morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did as I had been commanded." - Ezekiel 24:18

 

On July 28, 1982, singer Keith Green and 11 others died when the Cessna 414 leased by his ministry "Last Days Ministries (LDM)" crashed after takeoff in Texas. Keith and two of his children, three-year-old Josiah and two-year-old Bethany, were onboard the plane. Keith's wife Melody was at home with one year old Rebekah and six weeks pregnant with their fourth child, Rachel, who was born in March 1983. Melody remembers: "The rug was yanked out from under my whole world that day.  Without the Lord and the support of my friends and the LDM community I never would have made it." The Lord used Melody in a variety of ways since Keith's passing. In 1985 Melody became a forerunner in the tiny but budding Pro Life Movement. She said: "The Lord told me to move abortion up to the front burner." Melody also established the Good Neighbor Mercy Fund, enabling LDM to raise donations for disaster victims, the sick, and the needy. Reflectively, Melody has said: "Today I have more faith in God's goodness and ability to provide than ever before. Even when terrible things happen He can turn those things towards our good...  but only if we have the patience to wait while we are hurting."

 

The Lord leads us throughout our life, through the joy and sunlight and in the sorrows and darkness. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that He is our Rock and we can ask Him to continually lead us throughout eternity.

 

"How sweet the sound of Jesus sounds in a believer's ear. It soothes his sorrow, heals his wounds, and drives away his fears." - John Newton

 

God's Word: "Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart." - Ecclesiastes 7:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Need To Repent
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Apr 10, 2013
Devotional - Need To Repent

“Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?'” – Ezekiel 33:11

 

John Wesley preached the following about repentance and faith: “Thus it is, that in the children of God, repentance and faith exactly answer each other. By repentance we feel the sin remaining in our hearts, and cleaving to our words and actions: by faith, we receive the power of God in Christ, purifying our hearts, and cleansing our hands. By repentance, we are still sensible that we deserve punishment for all our tempers, and words, and actions: by faith, we are conscious that our Advocate with the Father is continually pleading for us, and thereby continually turning aside all condemnation and punishment from us. By repentance we have an abiding conviction that there is no help in us: by faith we receive not only mercy, "but grace to help in" every "time of need. Repentance disclaims the very possibility of any other help; faith accepts all the help we stand in need of, from him that hath all power in heaven and earth. Repentance says, "Without him I can do nothing:" Faith says, "I can do all things through Christ strengthening me." Through him I can not only overcome, but expel, all the enemies of my soul. Through him I can "love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength;" yea, and ‘walk in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of my life.’”

 

The Lord calls upon us to repent of our sin and to turn to Him and walk by faith. Today in prayer, with brokenness, repent of any sin in your life and turn to Jesus in faith.

 

“With the words “turn, turn,” the Holy Spirit is calling to you saying, “I want you back! Jesus died for you too, and I have forgiven your sins.” – Joel Pankow

 

God’s Word: “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:3-4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Following Jesus
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Apr 8, 2013
Devotional - Following Jesus

“I am the Lord your God; follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” – Ezekiel 20:19

 

In June 1835, missionaries Titus and Fidelia Coan arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was 34 years old, a graduate of Auburn Theological Seminary, and had a brief stint as a missionary in Patagonia. They sailed to Hilo, Hawaii in July, where they stayed most of the rest of their lives. He learned the Hawaiian Language and helped educate the natives. The couple was also passionate about their love for Christ. It was recorded that Titus "preached three, four, five times a day, and had much personal conversations with the natives on things pertaining to the Kingdom of God." In the two year period 1837-38, so many converts were added to Titus's church that it became the biggest single congregation in the world. By 1870 the church had 13,000 members. No one was admitted to membership until he or she proved over a period of several months that their repentance was sincere.

 

When we follow Jesus, we will be blessed. Today in prayer, praise Christ for His laws and decrees and seek to follow Him in all that you do.

 

“God’s law serves us in three ways: it teaches about sin, it instructs about civil justice, and it describes a righteous life in response to God’s grace.” – Calvin Van Reken

 

God’s Word: “But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.” – James 1:25

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - A New Heart And Spirit
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Apr 7, 2013
Devotional - A New Heart And Spirit

“Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel?” – Ezekiel 18:31

 

As a 16-year old, Mike Benson was sent to prison. “A friend of mine and I were high on cocaine and drinking vodka all day long,” he said. “And we decided that we were going to rob a bank. Right in broad daylight, we went into the bank, held up the tellers and took the money. We ran and got away.”

But the FBI caught him and he was sentenced as an adult and given five years in the Michigan Department of Corrections.

“When that door shut and the key turned, it was one of the lowest points of my life. Finally, I did get parole. It was a happy day. I had all these good intentions. I had all these good desires. I was going to get a good job. I went to college.  I did everything I could to set myself up for success when I was released from prison.”

But Mike again turned to a life of crime. Mike was arrested for three auto theft charges, kidnapping, parole violation and armed robbery. While in prison, he recalls: “I started to remember some words that a guy spoke to me back when I was doing my first five years. He said, ‘Mike, Jesus died for your sins, and God has a plan for your life and can redeem any area of your life.’ I started to yell out to Him, ‘If You’re so good, if You’ve got this great plan for my life, then how come my life is so messed up?’

“It was the first time I have ever heard God’s voice, and He said, ‘Call on Me, son. Call on Me.’ I got on my hands and knees in the jail, put my arms out and I reached out to God. I said, ‘God, I’ve ruined this life, and there is nothing I can do about it. So I’m just giving it to You. Take it. It’s Yours to do whatever You want.’

“When I got off the floor, nothing changed on the outside. Still facing all that time in prison. Still looking at never seeing freedom or my family again, but this time, something had changed on the inside and something was different. For the first time in my life, I really knew what life was and I really knew what it meant to be free.”

Mike got involved in prison worship services and Bible studies. He was eventually freed from prison in 2002. Today, Mike is President and Team Captain of THE CONQUERORS International Strength Team, a group which shows feats of strength and shares their testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

Jesus came to give us a new heart and spirit. Today in prayer, thank our Heavenly Father for new life in Christ.

 

“You will never be happy till you are converted.” – J.C. Ryle

 

God’s Word: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” – Ezekiel 36:26

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Lose The Arrogance
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Friday Apr 5, 2013
Devotional - Lose The Arrogance

“'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom : She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” – Ezekiel 16:49

 

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. He remains as one of the most famous and influential of all composers. Beethoven was a Christian and most of his work was penned for worship. His best known compositions include 9 symphonies, 5 concertos for piano, 32 piano sonatas, and 16 string quartets. He also composed other chamber music, choral works and songs.

From the time he was a young man, he displayed a strong personality. At times, he was quite difficult to work with and never was characterized as having a polite nature.

Beethoven, who believed that he was communing with God while composing, spared no expense in time and effort to attain perfection. A violinist once complained about an unusually awkward passage in one of his compositions. "When I composed that, I was conscious of being inspired by God Almighty," Beethoven arrogantly replied. "Do you think I can consider your puny little fiddle when He speaks to me?"

The Lord desires us to be humble, not arrogant and prideful. Today in prayer, confess any sin of pride and arrogance and humbly seek the Lord with all of your heart.

 

"We have become an arrogant people, and we must understand our un-deservedness, and that without Him we can do nothing.  Holy Spirit, bring us to a point of absolute repentance and confession and revival.” – Frank Page

 

God’s Word: “The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong.” – Psalm 5:5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Where True Prophesy Resides
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Apr 3, 2013
Devotional - Where True Prophesy Resides

"Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: 'Hear the word of the LORD!” – Ezekiel 13:2

 

How prevalent are false predictions? Here is a short list of those who wrongly predicted the end of the world in 1999:

Jack Van Impe, who calls himself The Walking Bible, predicted that doomsday will happen this year, though the faithful were already raptured in 1992. He offers a video to help prepare for the coming disasters that include World War III.

The Taiwanese, God's Salvation Church group revise their date-setting and said that nuclear war will devastate the planet, and that the already identified Jesus of the East (a nine year old boy) must meet up with the Jesus of the West. This latter "Jesus" must have been born in 1969 in Vancouver, Canada, and look like Abraham Lincoln.

Jeane Dixon said an Asian Antichrist will be taking power to usher in the End.

Charles Berlitz wrote Doomsday 1999 in 1981, based on legends and visions and UFO's.

George Curle, an evangelist, predicts that Antichrist will appear this year and Christ will return.

Nelly Hurtado, who claimed direct communication with the Virgin Mary, said that she has been told about the coming of a deadly comet, World War III, and an amazing miracle--all to happen between now and 2000.

 

The only place to find true prophetic Word is in the Bible. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His Word is always true.

 

“It behoves Christians to keep close to the word of God, and in every thing to seek the teaching of the Holy Spirit.” – Matthew Henry

 

God’s Word: “Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. They say, "The LORD declares," when the LORD has not sent them; yet they expect their words to be fulfilled.” – Ezekiel 13:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Heed His Warnings
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Apr 2, 2013
Devotional - Heed His Warnings

“But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself.” – Ezekiel 3:21

 

On October 14, 2004, pilot Jesse Rhodes and co-pilot Peter Cesarz were flying a passengerless, 50-seat Bombardier CRJ-200 from Little Rock, Arkansas to Minneapolis-Saint Paul when they decided to join the “410 Club.”

The “410 Club” is an off-the-record group of pilots who have pushed CRJ aircraft to their 41,000-feet limit. Exceeding speed recommendations and performing various “unconventional” maneuvers on their way up, the pilots induced a stall warning, but ignored it. They overworked both of the airplane’s engines. The duo also miscalculated their autopilot setting, and fun and laughter soon turned to panic as both engines failed.

Even then, if the pilots had let air traffic control know the severity of their situation, they might have been able to glide to one of several nearby airports. Instead, the plane crash-landed two and half miles from Jefferson City Memorial Airport, killing both men. “It’s beyond belief that a professional air crew would act in that manner,” remarked a former Pinnacle training manager.

 

Throughout the Bible, the Lord gives us warnings on how to live a holy life. Are you heeding His warnings? Today in prayer, confess any sin in your life and seek to follow the Lord as you read His Word.

 

“The Bible give us a list of human stories on both sides of the ledger. On list of human stories is used examples -- do what these people did. Another list of human stories is used as warnings -- don't do what these people did. So if your story ever gets in one of these books, make sure they use it as an example, not a warning.” – Jim Rohn

 

God’s Word: “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.” – 1 Corinthians 10:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

 

Devotional - When You Must
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Apr 1, 2013
Devotional - When You Must

“You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.” – Ezekiel 2:7

 

Pastor Steven Furtick leads Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. The church has more than 10,000 members. In a message he preached at the Hillsong Conference in Sydney, Australia in July 2012, he encouraged people not to "feel ready" before obeying the Lord. "I've never been ready. I wasn't ready when we started the church. I didn't feel ready when the church started to grow, thousands of people were coming to Christ, but the church got bigger than the town I grew up in. I wasn't ready for that." Pastor Steve said he believes God isn't concerned about one's readiness. "Since God doesn't need you to feel ready - news flash - He just wants you to obey and follow Him. God doesn't need you to feel ready for what He's calling you to do," he explained. "I know you got that one sin you can't get over. You'll be ready when you conquer that. No. I know you got that debt that you're going to pay down that will take you about four years, then you will be ready for generosity. You'll be able to speak into someone else's life when you know more of the Bible. You'll be ready to make a difference in your community when your church has more resources, more instruments, and more musicians. and [then] you'll be ready," he said. "But God doesn't call me to feel ready. He calls me to follow Him. Step out. Have faith. Move forward."

 

We often hesitate when the Lord says ‘Go!’. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His love and direction. When the Lord says move forward, be obedient and follow Him.

 

“You have to have courage to be obedient to God.” – Charles Stanley

 

God’s Word: “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” – 2 John 1:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - The First Easter
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Mar 31, 2013
Devotional - The First Easter

“In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee”

 

In the small community of Groom, Texas, just outside Amarillo, stands a 190-foot cross. It can be seen twenty-miles away and it took more than 100 welders to erect in 1995. On the same property, surrounding the base of the cross, are life-sized metal statues. Arranged in a ring, it is the re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross. There is also a life-size re-creation of the Last Supper of Christ. Constructed on donated land, builder Steve Thomas put together the entire project.

One of the most inspiring places is the empty tomb. Unlike the stations of the Cross, there is no likeness of Jesus. There is however a likeness of an angel atop the rocky sepulchre. It is a reminder of the truth that “He is Risen” just as He said He would.

 

Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. All who come to Him have eternal life. Today in prayer, rejoice that in Christ you have eternal life!

 

“Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer;

Death is strong, but Life is stronger;

Stronger than the dark, the light;

Stronger than the wrong, the right...” – Phillips Brooks

 

God’s Word: “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” – Matthew 28:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTION FOR EASTER

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