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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions in Hebrews
Devotional - The Eternal Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 30, 2013
Devotional - The Eternal Christ

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8

 

In 2007, a team from Bangor University in Wales was dredging the waters north of Iceland as part of routine research when they recovered a special clam. It was from the species Arctica islandica, commonly known as the ocean quahog. It was hauled up from waters 250 feet deep.

This clam that lived on the seabed in the frigid waters off Iceland's north coast has been hailed as the longest-lived animal ever discovered.

The clam was alive when it was brought to the surface, but at that point, the researchers had no idea how old it was. The clam died soon after reaching the surface. It was only after cutting through the shell and counting annual growth rings under a microscope did they date the mollusk to between 405 to 410 years old.

For centuries, the clam was burrowed down into the sea bed where it filtered and fed on a constant rain of nutrient-rich phytoplankton.

"It's a mind-boggling amount of time to be sat there doing that," said Dr Al Wanamaker, a postdoctoral scientist on the university's Arctica team.

Though are some animals are remarkably old, they are not eternal. Jesus Christ lives before, during and well after these old trees. Today in prayer, praise Christ Lord that He is our eternal Lord!

 

“The Savior is the Fountain of Life; the Gospel is a Message of Life; the Volume that John saw opened in heaven was the Book of Life. There is infinite comfort in that.” - Arthur Penrhyn Stanley

 

God’s Word: “You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.” – Hebrews 1:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Remember Those Who Are Imprisoned
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 29, 2013
Devotional - Remember Those Who Are Imprisoned

“Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” – Hebrews 13:3

 

On October 6, 2013, a court in the Iranian city of Rasht sentenced four members of the Church of Iran denomination to 80 lashes each for drinking wine during a communion service.

The verdict charged Behzad Taalipasand, Mehdi Reza Omidi (Youhan), Mehdi Dadkhah (Danial) and Both Amir Hatemi (Youhanna) with drinking alcohol.

Behzad Taalipasand and Mehdi Reza Omidi (Youhan) were detained on 31 December 2012 during a crackdown on house churches by the Iranian government.

Mervyn Thomas, Chief Executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), said, "The sentences handed down to these members of the Church of Iran effectively criminalize the Christian sacrament of sharing in the Lord's Supper and constitute an unacceptable infringement on the right to practice faith freely and peaceably."

The UN has reported that in Iran "More than 300 Christians have been arrested since 2010, and dozens of church leaders and active community members have reportedly been convicted of national security crimes in connection with church activities, such as organizing prayer groups, proselytizing and attending Christian seminars abroad. "

 

Throughout the world, there are still men and women being imprisoned for their faith in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, pray for those in Laos and ask the Lord to comfort them and free them from their prison.

 

“Those that are themselves at liberty must sympathize with those that are in bonds and adversity, as if they were bound with them in the same chain: they must fell the sufferings of their brethren.” – Matthew Henry

 

God’s Word: “I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'” – Matthew 25:36

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - The Fruit Of Discipline
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 28, 2013
Devotional - The Fruit Of Discipline

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:11

 

On September 8, 1955, the press around the world reported in shock the overnight arrest of Bishop Ignatius Kung along with more than 200 priests and Church leaders in Shanghai. Months after his arrest, Bishop Kung was taken out to a mob "struggle session" in the old Dog Racing stadium in Shanghai. Thousands were ordered to attend and to hear the Bishop's public confession of his "crimes." With his hands tied behind his back, wearing a Chinese pajama suit, the 5-foot tall bishop was pushed forward to the microphone to confess. To the shock of the security police, they heard a righteous loud cry of "Long live Christ the King, Long live the Pope" from the Bishop. The crowd responded immediately, "Long live Christ the King, Long live Bishop Kung". Bishop Kung was quickly dragged away to the police car and disappeared from the world until he was brought to trial in 1960. Bishop Kung was sentenced to life imprisonment. He spent the next 30 years in prison, most of the time in solitary confinement. In 1991, he was freed and continued to serve the Lord the remaining years of his life.

 

Discipline is never pleasant, but it is necessary to become more like Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for the discipline that has come into your life and seek to learn from it and to walk closer to the Lord.

 

“Discipline is the secret to godliness. You must learn to discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” – Jay Adams

 

God’s Word: “Blessed is the man you discipline, O LORD, the man you teach from your law” – Psalm 94:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Persevere!
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 27, 2013
Devotional - Persevere!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” – Hebrews 12:1

 

In 1969, during the Vietnam War, Texas Computer millionaire H. Ross Perot decided he would give a Christmas present to every American prisoner of war in Vietnam. Perot had thousands of packages wrapped and prepared for shipping. He chartered two Boeing 707s to deliver the 26 tons of gifts to Hanoi, but the war was at its height, and the Hanoi government said it would refuse to cooperate. No charity was possible, officials explained, while American bombers were devastating Vietnamese villages.

The wealthy Perot persevered; he offered to hire an American construction firm to help rebuild what Americans had knocked down. The government still wouldn't cooperate. Christmas drew near, and the packages were unsent.

Refusing to give up, Perot finally took off in his chartered fleet and flew to Moscow, where his aides mailed the packages, one at a time, at the Moscow central post office. They were delivered intact to the POWs in Vietnam.

 

The Lord has called us to follow Him. Persevere in your calling. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His perseverance to the Cross and pray for His strength to continue following Him through all difficulties.

 

“Our motto must continue to be perseverance. And ultimately I trust the Almighty will crown our efforts with success.” – William Wilberforce

 

God’s Word: “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” – Hebrews 10:36

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Faith Is Seeing The Unseen
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 24, 2013
Devotional - Faith Is Seeing The Unseen

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.” – Hebrews 11:13

 

Lori DeMarco was a sixth grade teacher in Bergen County, New Jersey.  If you had walked by her classroom and peeked in, you’d probably not have noticed anything out of the ordinary. But her guidedog “Lattice” would have been your clue that Lori is blind.

Lori became blind as an unfortunate complication of her diabetes, but her blindness has not kept her from fulfilling her childhood dream to teach.  In fact, Lori has ridden tandem bicycles, uses a computer, and lives a full life.  

When interviewed by The Burgen Record, the local newspaper, Lori made an amazing observation.  She stated that, “Being blind is a blessing . . .  (Because I am blind) I go by what is in people’s hearts, by what comes out of their mouths, and how they think. You get to know people better by not looking at them.”

 

Don’t let your eyes get in the way of your faith. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His faithfulness and place your faith in Christ.

 

“Faith is nothing but believing what God promises or says.” – Martin Luther

 

God’s Word: “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.” – Hebrews 11:39

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS 

Devotional - Continue To Meet And Encourage
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 24, 2013
Devotional - Continue To Meet And Encourage

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

 

On September 22, 2013, a pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the 130-year-old Anglican Church in Peshawar Pakistan after Sunday service, killing 78 people in the deadliest attack on Christians in the predominantly Muslim country. There was outrage from both the Muslim and Christian community throughout the country. Two weeks later, on October 6, between 200-300 Muslim Pakistanis peacefully gathered in support of the victims of the attack around St. Anthony's Church in Lahore while the mass was held inside the church. After the mass, Father Nasir Gulfam joined the friendly gathering. Pakistani Muslims and Christians held hands to form a human chain to show solidarity and they prayed for the victims. Father Nasir spoke out during the gathering saying, "The terrorists showed us what they do on Sundays. Here we are showing them what we do on Sundays. We unite."

 

Do not let anything separate you from the love of Christ. Today in prayer, pray for persecuted Christians that they may be encouraged in Christ.

 

“When the world asks, ‘What is God like?’ we should be able to say, ‘Look at the church.’ As the body of Christ, we are to be like Jesus so that we too reveal God to the world.” – William R.L. Haley

 

God’s Word: “They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” – Acts 2:42

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Unswerving Hope
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 22, 2013
Devotional - Unswerving Hope

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” – Hebrews 10:23

 

On November 7, 2013, evangelist Billy Graham will be broadcasting a Gospel message entitled "My Hope America." One of those leading music will be Darlene Zschech who is an Australian Christian singer. She wrote a special song for the televised event.  Her testimony is one of hope. Darlene became a Christian at 15 after a family tragedy. "My heart was lost and very broken," she said. "I was living outside our family home, and when my dad became a Christian, he came and picked me up on a Friday night and took me to church. I was one of two people at the altar call. My life has never been the same. It's been a journey, entirely wrapped in grace and the heart-changing love of Jesus Christ. I remain overwhelmed and grateful." "Everything about my family's life message is based around hope," she said. The congregation Darlene co-pastors with her husband, Mark, is called Hope Unlimited Church, based in New South Wales, Australia. The missions arm of the church is "HOPE: Global." Even their closest friends' last name is Hope. "But actually for us," the singer-songwriter said, "Hope is a person, and His name is Jesus. It's all about the cross, all about the finished work of Christ."

 

No matter what trial we find ourselves, our Hope lies above in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that He is our Rescuer and our Hope.  

 

“One day we will meet beside the river and our Lord will dry every tear. For now, we must live in the joy of that promise and recall that for every generation life is hard, but God is faithful.” – Bodie Thoene

 

God’s Word: “But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-- if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” – Colossians 1:22-23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - In The End We Die
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 21, 2013
Devotional - In The End We Die

“Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” – Hebrews 9:27

 

Steve Austad is a professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center and he argues that someone alive today will live to be 150 years old. He believes that advances in nutrition and medicine will make this dream of his a reality.  Fellow gerontologist S. Jay Olshansky disagrees with Austad's premise and argues that there are simply too many risk factors that pile up by the time a person is 115 years old. "Our body design, although beautiful to behold, miraculous in design and astonishing in its complexity, was never intended to be operated in the laboratory of extended life," Olshansky said. So in the year 2000, the two doctors placed a bet. Each put up $150 which  Olshansky invested in a fund. The winnings will be handed out in the year 2150. If there is a 150-year-old alive on earth - someone of sound mind and body - Austad's descendants will get the pot. If there isn't a 150-year old person alive on earth, then Olshansky's descendants will win.  Olshansky has calculated that the initial $300 should grow to $1 billion thanks to his shrewd, but secret, investments.

 

No matter how man tries to extend our lives, we will eventually die and appear before Jesus. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that after death we will see our Savior’s face and live with Him forever.

 

“He whose head is in heaven need not fear to put his foot in the grave.” – Matthew Henry

 

God’s Word: “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” – 1 Corinthians 15:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - The New Covenant
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 20, 2013
Devotional - The New Covenant

“By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.” – Hebrews 8:13

 

On January 14, 1639, The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut were adopted.  The orders describe the colonial government set up by the Connecticut River towns, setting its structure and powers. It has the features of a written constitution, and is considered by some as the first written Constitution in the United States, and thus earned Connecticut its nickname of "The Constitution State". Historian John Taylor wrote: "The men of the three towns were a law unto themselves. It is known that they were in earnest for the establishment of a government on broad lines; and it is certain that the ministers and captains, the magistrates and men of affairs, forceful in the settlements from the beginning, were the men who took the lead, guided the discussions, and found the root of the whole matter in the first written declaration of independence in these historical orders." Eventually the Fundamental Orders were replaced by a British Royal Charter in 1662, but the major outline of the charter was written in Connecticut and embodied the Orders' rights and mechanics. Today, the individual rights in the Orders, with others added over the years, are still included as a "Declaration of Rights" in the first article of the current Connecticut Constitution, adopted in 1965.

 

In a similar way, we have a “new” living and eternal constitution, that is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that the old covenant has faded and we have a vibrant new life found in Jesus.

 

“It is a new heart-righteousness which the prophets foresaw as one of the blessings of the Messianic age. ‘I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts.’ God promised to Jeremiah. How would he do it? He told Ezekiel ‘I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes.’” – John Stott

 

God’s Word: “In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’” – 1 Corinthians 11:25

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - The Supreme Mediator
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 17, 2013
Devotional - The Supreme Mediator

“But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.” – Hebrews 8:6

 

Theodore Woodrow Kheel was born in Brooklyn on May 9, 1914, named after Theodore Roosevelt. Mr. Kheel went to Cornell University graduating in 1935; he graduated from its law school two years later. In 1938, Mr. Kheel joined the legal staff of the National Labor Relations Board He later worked for the War Labor Board, which was charged with maintaining labor peace to promote the war effort. In 1946, Mayor William O'Dwyer named him deputy director of New York City's new division of labor relations, and a year later he became the division's director. In May 1949, he was named impartial arbitrator for the city's private transit industry, settling disputes between the often-militant Transport Workers Union and seven private bus lines. In 1956, Mayor Wagner named him arbitrator for the citywide transit authority, a position he held for 33 years. During that period he handled an average of 1,000 disputes a year. In 1964, President Johnson summoned Mr. Kheel to Washington to help mediate 10 days of feverish negotiations that prevented a nationwide rail walkout. Newspapers hailed his successes at resolving myriad conflicts; he was described as "the most influential peacemaker in New York City in the last half-century" and the "master locksmith of deadlock bargaining."

 

Jesus Christ is the superior mediator of all time. He was able to successfully mediate the difference between sinful man and Holy God by giving His life as a Holy Sacrifice. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He is our mediator.

 

“Christ’s work as Mediator is unique; it was to restore us to divine favor and to make us sons of God” – John Calvin

 

God’s Word: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” – 1 Timothy 2:5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Our Permanent Pastor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 16, 2013
Devotional - Our Permanent Pastor

“Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.” – Hebrews 7:23-24

 

In May 2013, Father Theodore M. Hesburgh celebrated his 96th birthday. He is the longest-serving Roman Catholic priest in the United States. Ordained in June 1943, Father Hesburgh has now been in ministry 70 years.

He served as Notre Dame's President for 35 years (1952-87), the longest tenure to date.

He also served as a member of the United States Civil Rights Commission from 1957 until 1969. He also was a member of a blue ribbon panel on immigration reform.

The New York born priest knew as an eighth grader he wanted to be a priest after a Holy Cross priest and three missionaries visited the church.

“I just wanted to be a priest, not necessarily knowing what I would do as a priest, except that I knew I wanted to be a priest,” he fondly recounted. “I don’t know why God does what God does. Once I came here [the University of Notre Dame], I didn’t want to do anything but be a Holy Cross priest.”

 

We have a permanent Priest, Pastor and Friend in Jesus Christ. His ministry is eternal. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He has a permanent priesthood.

 

“There can be no vacancy in this (Christ’s) priesthood, no hour nor moment in which the people are without a priest to negotiate their spiritual concerns in heaven. Such a vacancy might be very dangerous and prejudicial to them; but this is their safety and happiness, that this ever-living high priest is able to save to the utmost—in all times, in all cases, in every juncture—all who come to God by him” – Matthew Henry

 

God’s Word: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - The Anchor That Holds
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 15, 2013
Devotional - The Anchor That Holds

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain” – Hebrews 6:19

 

In the autumn of 1985, Ami Eshel discovered a wreck while diving off the coast of Israel. The boat lay in shallow waters, 2 meters deep. Marine excavators had to deal with difficult working conditions caused by the ocean surge. It took three seasons of work to excavate the 37-foot wooden boat.  The Ma'agan Michael Ship, as it is known, was built approximately 400 B.C..

The ship’s cargo was still in the wreck. Artifacts recovered from the wreck include olivewood boxes used for cosmetics or jewelry. Also found were a collection of woodworking tools and seventy pieces of pottery. There were also remnants of food, including grape, fig, olive and barley found onboard. Other organic material found included a woven basket and a large amount of rope.

Amazingly, an anchor was still attached to the boat. The ship's one-armed anchor, made from oak and with a lead-filled stock, was discovered off the ship's starboard bow, with the rope still attached through all these centuries.

 

Jesus Christ is an anchor that holds us throughout all eternity. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that you can put all your hope in Him and Christ is an anchor that can hold.

 

“The anchor holds, Though the ship is battered, The anchor holds, Though the sails are torn, I have fallen on my knees, As I faced the raging seas, The anchor holds, In spite of the storm” – Ray Boltz

 

God’s Word: “For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.” – 1 Thessalonians 3:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Be Patient
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 14, 2013
Devotional - Be Patient

“And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.” – Hebrews 6:15

 

In the early 1900’s, William H. Schmidt discovered gold in Kern County, California. He was faced with a dangerous ridge between his mining area and the smelter at Mojave, California. Schmidt said that he would "never haul his ore to the smelter in Mojave down that back trail" using his two burros. So Schmidt began the unlikely task of burrowing a tunnel through a granite mountain. In 1906 he began digging a tunnel. For the next 32 years, he patiently dug his tunnel. The tunnel was about six feet tall and ten feet wide, but it cut through solid granite and required little shoring. The path was not straight, but took several turns.

Schmidt was trapped many times by falling rock and injured often, and eventually installed a cart on rails. In 1920 a road was completed from Last Chance Canyon to Mojave, eliminating the need for the tunnel, but Schmidt claimed to be obsessed with completion, and dug on.

By 1938 he had achieved his "goal", having dug through nearly 2,500 feet of solid granite using only a pick, a shovel, and a four pound hammer for the first portion, and carefully placed dynamite with notoriously short fuses for the majority. It was estimated that he had moved 5,800 tons of rock to complete his work.

 

The Lord desires that we develop patience in our walk with Him. Today in prayer, confess any impatience you may have and patiently wait on Jesus.

 

“There is no patience equal to the patience of God.” – Oswald Chambers

 

God’s Word: “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” – Colossians 3:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Never Too Old To Teach
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 13, 2013
Devotional - Never Too Old To Teach

“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!” – Hebrews 5:12

 

In May 1990, 61-year-old Alvin McLendon became the oldest seminary graduate of Ashbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. Alvin had been a practicing optician when he heard the call to serve the Lord. He began preaching as a part-time minister in several Kentucky churches. Then he knew he had to receive formal training and enrolled in Ashbury. He completed the four-year course of study in just three years.

Alvin believes that every Christian is called to minister and to share his/her faith with others.

“My greatest regret in life is that I didn’t go to seminary when I was much younger,” he said. “I’ve always known that my place is in the ministry. I feel like a person who answers the call in later life and is completely dedicated will be used of the Lord.”

 

The Lord desires us not only to follow Him, but also to teach others. Are you teaching others how to grow deeper with Christ? Today in prayer, thank the Lord that we are never too old to begin teaching others about the love of Jesus Christ.

 

“I touch the future. I teach.” – Christina McAuliffe

 

God’s Word: “Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God” – Hebrews 6:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Doing The Will Of God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 10, 2013
Devotional - Doing The Will Of God

“During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered” – Hebrews 5:7-8

 

In his book "On the Crest of the Wave," Peter C. Wagner writes the following: "It started through a missionary named John G. Lake. Just after the turn of the century, Lake was touched by God in the Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles and called to be a missionary to South Africa. He obeyed God, went to South Africa, and began preaching the gospel. But no one attended his meetings. He became deeply discouraged. He began a prolonged period of fasting and prayer.

On the twenty-first day of his fast, he was walking down one of the main streets of Johannesburg when a horse pulling a carriage stumbled and broke its leg. It was thrashing around in the street and a crowd gathered. The policeman had a conference with the owner and they decided that the horse should be shot and put out of its misery. Just as the policeman aimed his gun, John G. Lake felt inspired by God. He walked up to the policeman and said, "Don't shoot that horse. God has told me that He wants to heal him."

The bystanders were aghast. Lake stretched out his hand and began to pray for the horse's broken leg. Soon the horse calmed down, and then got to its feet. The leg was healed and the horse pulled the carriage down the street.

The people came to Lake's meetings that night! And they kept coming. From that point over the next five years, John G. Lake saw a new church planted in South Africa on the average of every three days!"

 

There is only one place we should seek, to always be in the will of God. Today in prayer, confess any sin of disobedience and seek to follow Christ in all that you do.

 

“Our gratitude to God can be expressed only in loving, humble obedience to his will.” – Batsell Barrett Baxter

 

God’s Word: “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!” – Philippians 2:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - We Will Be Tempted
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 9, 2013
Devotional - We Will Be Tempted

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.” – Hebrews 4:15

 

In January 2013, the Barna Group released a research study chronicling "Temptations and America's Favorite Sins." The study, based on 1,021 online interviews among adults over the age of 18 in each of the 50 United States, also studied differences in temptations based on gender, generation and religion. Some temptations that researchers considered "old temptations," 60 percent of Americans admit to being tempted to procrastinate and worry, 55 percent say they are tempted to overeat, 44 percent claim a temptation to spend too much money, and 41 percent own up to being tempted by laziness. Researchers placed sins driven by technology in the category of "new temptations," calculating that 44 percent of Americans are tempted to spend too much time on media, while 11 percent admit a temptation to "go off" on someone via text or email, according to the study. "For most American adults, the things they'll admit to being tempted by are related to work and productivity -- but some of the age-old deadly sins show up too," the researchers wrote. "Though, perhaps unsurprisingly, the more serious the temptation, the fewer people admit to struggling with it."

 

In Christ we can live a better life than what temptation promises. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that in this life, we can always face temptation with Jesus and in His power overcome it.

 

“Temptation is not meant to make us fail; it is meant to confront us with a situation out of which we emerge stronger than we are.” – William Barclay

 

God’s Word: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Living And Active
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 8, 2013
Devotional - Living And Active

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12

 

During the 1980’s, Mary Forsythe was a pharmacist and owned her own pharmacy. In a time when many pharmacies were failing, she had one of the most successful stores in Texas.

During the AIDS epidemic, her store was one of few that sold a rare medication for HIV patients. So her client base was large, and the money was rolling in.

“I was riding the wave. Everything was going great, success was abundant,” she recalls.

Until the IRS discovered that her numbers on her tax returns just weren’t adding up. After enduring a very public three and half week trail, Mary was found guilty of all 15 felony counts ranging from mail-fraud to theft of government property. She was eventually sentenced to five years in state prison and three years probation.

Mary was overwhelmed going to prison. “I was afraid. I was disoriented. I was very humiliated. I felt so alone, very isolated.”

Realizing that her life was out of control, Mary cried out to the God of her youth. She asked Him to forgive her, come into her heart and take over the life she had made such a mess of.

“Someone had given me a Bible when I went to prison,” she said. “I took it to the shower stall – that’s the only place for any kind of privacy. I sat on the floor, and I opened that Bible and it was like life.”

“I can’t explain it, but at that moment, I knew that every answer that I’d been looking for was going to be found in that book. That was the beginning of my journey to study, learn the Word of God. It really was the beginning of my relationship with the Holy Spirit.”

Every chance Mary could get, she would devour the Word of God, and the more she read and understood the Word, the more she saw her world around her change.

“Total transformation began as the Word and the Spirit began to work in my life,” she said.

Today Mary travels the globe as the president of Kingdom Ministries encouraging other people through her story.

“I love the transforming power of God’s word is that He can get every aspect of even the smallest residue to the largest stronghold of your past off your life.”

 

The words of the Bible can change our lives. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His Word and pray that His Word will change you to be more like Him.

 

“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens through the years.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” – 1 Peter 1:23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Encourage One Another Daily
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 7, 2013
Devotional - Encourage One Another Daily

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.” – Hebrews 3:13

 

In his book "A Touch of Wonder," author Arthur Gordon relates a story of discouragement and encouragement. Many years ago, at the University of Wisconsin there was a literary group composed of several talented writers, all brilliant young men. They would each read their prose aloud, then take turns dissecting and criticizing each others' writing so fiercely, they dubbed their writing group "The Stranglers." On the same campus, a group of women formed a writing group, calling themselves "The Wranglers." But instead of dousing one another with criticism, they spent most of their time encouraging one another. They all left the meetings feeling inspired in their writing journey. Twenty years after these two groups met, some interesting results were found. For all the brilliance of the writers who made up "The Stranglers," not one member achieved any kind of literary reputation. "The Wranglers," on the other hand, produced a half-dozen successful writers, including the Pulitzer Prize winning author of "The Yearling," Marjorie K. Rawlings.

 

As Christians, we need to always encourage others to grow in the love of Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for the encouragement you have received in your life and seek to be an encouragement to others.

 

“Encouragement is food for the heart, and every heart is a hungry heart.” – Pat Morley

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Fix Your Thoughts
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 6, 2013
Devotional - Fix Your Thoughts

“Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.” – Hebrews 3:1

 

Virginia "Ginny" Owens was born on April 22, 1975 in Jackson, Mississippi. She became blind by the time she was two years old. She became a Christian when she was a child and desired to follow the Lord. She earned her bachelor of music education in 1997 from Belmont University, but found that most people were skeptical about hiring a blind music teacher.

She began concentrating on singing and songwriting. In 1999, Ginny won a talent search contest and the following year her career took off. She has won three Dove Awards for her songs as a Contemporary Christian Artist.

Ginny said the following about fixing her heart on Christ’s grace: “When I think about grace, I think one of the things that’s so odd about it is the more that you are broken by it, the more that you’re aware of your brokenness and your darkness, the more you need grace. It’s almost like the more you embrace it, the more it reveals the darker parts of your heart.”

 

Though we cannot see Jesus, we can fix our heart on Him. Today in prayer, fix your thoughts upon Jesus and seek to follow Him every step of your life.

 

“So when the winds of change try to blow me over

And the shadows of confusion hide the truth

I will hope in the One who is forever

I will run to You

I will run to You” – Ginny Owens

 

God’s Word: “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 4:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - He Died For Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 3, 2013
Devotional - He Died For Others

“For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” – Hebrews 2:17-18

 

On April 16, 2013, Maurice Wrightson was driving a tour bus in the French Alps.

There were 52 passengers, many of them leaving the ski resort of Alpe D’Huez after the ski season.

As the bus was navigating the notorious twisting descent of the mountain, the brakes gave out.

“There's a problem with the brakes!” Maurice shouted. He then faced two choices. He could steer the bus over the cliff, probably killing many onboard. Or he could steer the bus into the cliff, which meant certain death for him. He chose the later.

Frédéric Cuvillier, French minister of transport, said: “You can’t call it a miracle because there is one dead and many wounded. But the human toll could have been much heavier. The driver’s courage saved many lives. All the testimonies of the people we have met have confirmed this. His attitude and his actions prevented an even worse situation.”

 

Before His birth, the Lord had a rescue plan. He would come to earth and die for our sins. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for His love and thank Him for His atoning work on the Cross.

 

“If the death of Christ on the cross is the true meaning of the Incarnation, then there is no gospel without the cross. Christmas by itself is no gospel. The life of Christ is no gospel. Even the resurrection, important as it is in the total scheme of things, is no gospel by itself. For the good news is not just that God became man, nor that God has spoken to reveal a proper way of life for us, or even that death, the great enemy, is conquered. Rather, the good news is that sin has been dealt with (of which the resurrection is a proof); that Jesus has suffered its penalty for us as our representative, so that we might never have to suffer it; and that therefore all who believe in him can look forward to heaven.” - James Montgomery Boice

 

God’s Word: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - The Eternal King Of Kings
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 2, 2013
Devotional - The Eternal King Of Kings

“You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet." In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him.” – Hebrews 2:7-8

 

In 1312, Mansa Musa became the leader of the wealthy Malian Empire. His name means the tenth Mansa, which translates as "King of Kings." During his 26-year reign, this West African ruler amassed $400 billion in today’s money, making him the richest person in history. His astounding wealth came from Mali’s production of more than half the world’s gold and salt.

Musa was a devout Muslim and in 1324 he made his pilgrimage to Mecca. Several historians recorded his lavish procession. It included 60,000 men, 12,000 slaves who each carried 4-lb. gold bars, heralds dressed in silks who bore gold staffs, organized horses and handled bags. Musa provided all necessities for the procession, feeding the entire company of men and animals. Also in the caravan were 80 camels, which varying reports claim carried between 50 and 300 pounds of gold dust each. He gave away the gold to the poor he met along his route. Musa also gave to the cities he passed on the way to Mecca, which included Cairo and Medina. It has been recorded that he built a mosque in a different city each and every Friday. In the city of Timbuktu, the university and mosque he had build still stand today.

 

Far greater than any man who ever lived, stands Jesus Christ who is the true “King of Kings.” He eternally reigns over all. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He is good and He is eternal and He is Lord of all.

 

“You should point to the whole man Jesus and say, ‘That is God.’” – Martin Luther

 

God’s Word: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!” – Philippians 2:6-8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Pay More Careful Attention
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 1, 2013
Devotional - Pay More Careful Attention

“We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” – Hebrews 2:1

 

In January 1942, shortly after America’s entrance into World War II, Howard Dietz, the publicity director of the MGM film studio, recruited actress Carole Lombard for a tour to sell war bonds in her home state of Indiana. On the way home to Los Angeles, Lombard didn’t want to wait for the train, and instead boarded a DC-3 in Las Vegas on January 16.

It was a clear, windless night. The aircraft took off shortly after 7:00 pm. It was on a regular route and the aircraft was mechanically sound. But 23 minutes after takeoff, the plane had drifted off course. Warning beacons on the ground that might have helped guide the pilot had been blacked out because of fears about Japanese bombers, and the plane crashed into a cliff near the top of Potosi Mountain in Nevada. All 22 people onboard were killed.

"If the plane had been flying just a few hundred yards to the left it would have missed the peak entirely," said Larry Fritz, vice president in charge of aircraft operations for the airline.

 

There are many distractions in life, but we need to pay attention to the Lord. Today in prayer, confess to Jesus any distractions to your walk with the Lord. Seek to follow Him in all that you do.

 

“The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.” – Richard Moss  

 

God’s Word: “Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the LORD.” – Psalm 107:43

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Ministering Spirits
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 30, 2013
Devotional - Ministering Spirits

“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” – Hebrews 1:14

 

South African Jan Schlebusch resigned from a mining company job in his early 1960s to work full-time showing the "Jesus Film" in the unreached villages of South Africa, Zambia and Botswana. Once Jan was about to show "Jesus Film" to a small group of hardened criminals in a maximum security prison in South Africa.  He was alone in a room with the "toughest of the tough" - robbers, rapists and murderers.  Several of them were "lifers."  Jan knew that any one of the prisoners could easily slit his throat with a knife when he dimmed the lights. However, despite the pressure he felt, Jan was obedient.  As the movie unfolded many of the prisoners mocked and swore at the screen. Gradually, they quieted down and became more interested in the story. Then an astounding thing happened. During the crucifixion, several began to weep. By the time the prayer of invitation was completed, hardened criminals - EVERY ONE OF THEM - were on their knees, sobbing, asking God to forgive them, praying to invite Christ into their lives. Shocked and amazed, Jan wasn't sure what has just happened.  He turned his head to the corner of the room...startled by the sight.  Standing before him was an awesome being, 10-feet tall, robed in brilliant white...an angel!  Jan said the angel's face was obscured.  He could see nothing above the angel's shoulders.  This messenger of God lifted up his hand and pointed a finger directly toward Jan:  "You see, Jan, all you must do is be available and do the work." Instantly, the angel vanished --but not the sense of awe that was engulfing Jan.  He had witnessed the greatest miracle of all.  He had seen the vilest of sinners being born from above, becoming righteous in Jesus.

 

Angels are ministering spirits sent to serve us and protect us. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He has sent His angels to protect us.

 

“Could the veil be lifted, we would see that angels of God are around us to preserve us from unseen dangers. Thousands of times has their care been especially manifested for us in our warfare with the agencies of Satan.” - Ellen G. White

 

God’s Word: “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” – Psalm 91:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

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