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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions in Joshua, Judges, and Ruth
Devotional - Our Redeemer
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 30, 2012
Devotional - Our Redeemer

“The women said to Naomi: "Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel!” – Ruth 4:14

 

Pranitha Timothy is a soft-spoken Indian woman who has led over 50 rescue operations to free slaves in Chennai, India. According to the website for The American Anti-Slavery Group, there are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today. As the director of aftercare for International Justice Mission in the Province of Chennai, Pranitha and her teams have rescued 4,000 slaves in the last nine years. She has regularly risked her life for these forced laborers, never knowing for sure if she will see her husband and young daughter again. She gives God all of the credit for her success. "God goes before us into the places of darkness and makes the paths straight for us to bring rescue," Pranitha said. One rescue involved 13-year old Madesh and his 7-year old brother Shiva. They were slaves along with their parents at a brick factory. Pranitha and her team, along with government officials, conducted a rescue operation earlier this year. The boys, their parents, and nine others were freed from slavery.  "I think every single day I see what God does, and I'm amazed ... because humanly it's not possible to do what we do, and it's only through God's strength," Pranitha said.

 

Christ saw we were caught in our sin as slaves. He redeemed us by dying for those sins on the Cross. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He is our Redeemer and that in Him we can live a life that is pleasing and honoring to God.

 

“At the cross God wrapped his heart in flesh and blood and let it be nailed to the cross for our redemption.” – E. Stanley Jones

 

God’s Word: “while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” – Titus 2:13-14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

 

 

Devotional - Showing Kindness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 29, 2012
Devotional - Showing Kindness

“"The LORD bless him!" Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. "He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead." She added, "That man is our close relative; he is one of our kinsman-redeemers."” – Ruth 2:20

 

On June 2, 2012, Meghan Vogel, a junior runner for West Liberty-Salem High School in West Liberty, Ohio, was racing in the 3,200-meter race at the girls state meet in Columbus, Ohio.

With just 20 meters to go, Arden McMath, a sophomore from a rival high school, collapsed in front of Meghan. Rather than run by her, Meghan helped Arden to her feet and carried her across the finish line, making sure to keep Arden ahead of her.

The crowd cheered with excitement for her act of kindness.

“Any girl on the track would have done the same for me,” Meghan said.

But Meghan's kindness resonated with the thousands of spectators who witnessed it, as well as with the thousands more who read about the story or saw the video of the race's finish.

Said Meghan: “It's strange to have people telling me that this was such a powerful act of kindness and using words like 'humanity.' When I hear words like that I think of Harriet Tubman and saving people's lives. I don't consider myself a hero. I just did what I knew was right and what I was supposed to do.”

 

Sometimes the great things in life are inspired by the simple kindnesses we give to others. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to make kindness a quality which you would never tire to give others.

 

"It is the history of our kindnesses that alone make the world tolerable. If it were not for that—for the effect of kind words, kind looks, kind letters, multiplying, spreading, making one happy through another, and bringing forth benefits, some thirty, some fifty, some a thousandfold—I should be tempted to think our life a practical jest in the worst possible spirit." – Robert Louis Stevenson

 

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 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

 

Devotional - Seek Him And Follow Him
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 28, 2012
Devotional - Seek Him And Follow Him

“But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” – Ruth 1:16

 

CeCe Sims grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and struggled in high school to feel accepted. She went to the University of Auburn on a full women’s basketball scholarship. But the pressures of college drove her to smoke marijuana and to heavily drink alcohol.

“I wouldn’t say I wanted to escape as much so as I just liked it to accompany me,” said CeCe of her addictions.

Her insecurities continued to mount and she did not want to play basketball anymore, but she did not want to quit college. So she did a very foolish thing and faked her own kidnapping to get out of the pressure she was feeling. But after she was found and it was found that she had faked her kidnapping she was required to go to a rehabilitation center.

It was there that CeCe picked up a brochure on how to know God and she prayed and asked Christ into her life.

“I would talk to God about why I was there and I sat by a window thinking to myself, ‘God is so huge and so magnificent and he loves me so much.’ And I so just want to get an understanding of God that would almost answer every insecurity that I had about myself. And I sought him every day.”

“Jesus is my best friend. He is very loving to me and encouraging and inspiring and with me. And never gives up on me and helps me to do the things that I think are impossible and He is real.”

 

Seek and follow Jesus with all of your heart. Today in prayer, seek the Lord in all that you do and delight in His working in you.

 

“The faithful person lives constantly with God.” – Clement of Alexandria

 

God’s Word: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” – Proverbs 3:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

 

Devotional - Fit In Their Own Eyes
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 27, 2012
Devotional - Fit In Their Own Eyes

“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” – Judges 21:25

 

In June 2011, Libertarian activist Mark Schmidter was arrested for handing out jury nullification flyers to prospective jurors in front of Florida’s Orange County Courthouse. In short, the flyer appeared to cancel the jury summons the prospective jurors had that was issued by the court. Several prospective jurors went home based on Schmidter’s flyers.

Schmidter had been handing out the flyers since September 2010. An administrative order was put into place on January 31, 2011 banning the practice because it was a form of jury tampering.

Schmidter was arraigned and was released on a $2,500 bond. He was charged with indirect criminal contempt.

Schmidter has argued that the administrative order violated his free speech rights. The American Civil Liberties Union added to the chaos by responding with a lawsuit challenging the court order, stating individuals could hand out whatever they wanted on public property.

 

Sin and chaos rule our lives when Jesus is not on the throne of our heart. Today in prayer, thank Christ that He died for you and has given you a new perspective for living.

 

“The basis of all sin is selfishness.” – David O. McKay

 

God’s Word: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” – Judges 17:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

 

Devotional - Giving Into Temptation
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 26, 2012
Devotional - Giving Into Temptation

“So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head," he said, "because I have been a Nazirite set apart to God since birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man." – Judges 16:17

 

Peter Regis was one of Trinidad’s most well known pastors. He had started Valencia Pentecostal Assembly in 1990 and it had grown into a leading congregation on the island nation. He was also a well-known Gospel singer who regularly appeared on the country’s leading Christian radio stations.

But in November 2011, he abruptly resigned from his position. He confessed that he had been caught in a sexual relationship with the wife of a junior pastor at his church. Regis, age 57, was married and the father of four adult children.

In a tormented voice he exclaimed: “I blew it.” He confirmed he had given into sexual temptation. “This is male-shame,” and I am apologizing to everybody and the church,” he said. “I am devastated.”

 

We are all tempted, but we can overcome temptations through the power and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to lead you away from temptations and to follow Him all the days of your life.

 

“Let us learn more about the power of temptation in order to avoid it.” – John Owen

 

God’s Word: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” – Matthew 6:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

 

Devotional - So He May Receive The Glory
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 23, 2012
Devotional - So He May Receive The Glory

“The LORD said to Gideon, "You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her” – Judges 7:2

 

Oscar Pistorius was born to on 22 November 1986 Transvaal Province South Africa. He was born without fibulae (the small bone below the knee) in his legs. When he was 11 months old, his legs were amputated halfway between his knees and ankles. He was fitted with prosthetic legs and began to play most of the sports of other South African boys such as rugby, tennis, and wrestling. But it was running that became his passion. He was fitted with special blades that allow him to run. He became a world class sprinter and became known as the "Blade Runner" and "the fastest man on no legs.” At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Oscar became the first double leg amputee to participate in the Olympics when he entered the men's 400 meter race and was part of South Africa's 4 × 400 meter relay team. Oscar grew up in a Christian home and accepted Christ as a boy. He is quick to give Christ glory in his life “Because he is the reason for my success and the one that takes me from strength to strength. Christ makes all the difference. He aids me in my struggles and makes my glories that much greater.”

 

It is in our weakness and our struggles that Jesus Christ receives glory. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that when we are weak, Jesus is strong and all the glory belongs to Christ.

 

“I never have any difficulty believing in miracles, since I experienced the miracle of a change in my own heart.” – Augustine

 

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 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

 

Devotional - God's Call
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 22, 2012
Devotional - God's Call

“The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?"” – Judges 6:14

 

Gert Behanna was born into a very wealthy New York City family. She grew up in the Waldorf Astoria, the child of privilege. She was a brilliant student and graduated from Oxford University As her parent’s marriage began to dissolve, she started rebelling against her father. She endured three failed marriages, drugs and alcohol addiction and attempted suicide. Then at age 53, after a Christian couple had shared Christ’s love with her, Gert got on her knees and asked Christ into her life.

She soon followed God’s call to share her testimony around the country. In an interview, Gert said the following: “You know I travel around speaking for God and in the process I’m forced to use gas stations restrooms which are almost always filthy. I used to complain about that to God. I’d say, ‘Lord, If I’m your servant, how come I’ve got to use these dirty restrooms?’ One day in the midst of this kind of complaint, He seemed to say, ‘Gert, I come into this restroom too, right after you. (Mat 25:40 NIV) "The King will reply, ’I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” From that moment on, Gert followed God’s direction and she never left a public restroom without cleaning a mirror, wiping the tile sink and picking towels up off the floor. After all that, she’d say, “There You are, Lord. I hope it’s clean enough for You.” Thereafter, instead of bemoaning the mess she found, she began to think of the person who would be coming after her.

 

What is the Lord calling you to do? Today in prayer, look to Jesus to supply all of your needs and then follow Him with all of your heart.

 

“God doesn’t call people who are qualified. He calls people who are willing, and then He qualifies them.” – Richard Parker

 

God’s Word: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"” – Isaiah 6:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

 

Devotional - Sin Is Deadly
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 21, 2012
Devotional - Sin Is Deadly

“Once again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and because they did this evil the LORD gave Eglon king of Moab power over Israel.” - Judges 3:12

 

Cory Byrne of Papillion, Nebraska had a 9- foot, 25-pound pet red-tailed boa constrictor. He would often take the snake outside and let children play with the animal.

But in June, 2010 something terrible went wrong. The 34-year old Byrne had been showing the snake to a friend when it wrapped around his shoulders and neck and squeezed, Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov said.

The friend called the police and an officer found Byrne on the ground with the snake still clamped around his neck. Paramedics soon arrived and together they pried the snake off of Bryne’s neck.

Byrne was rushed to the hospital, but died a few hours later. No citations or charges are planned, Polikov said, as it appears no laws were broken.

In the United States, there have been a reported 17 boa constrictor fatalities in the past 34 years.

 

Allowing pet sins freedom in your life can be deadly. Today in prayer, confess any pet sin in your life, repent from it and seek to grow closer to Jesus every day.

 

“It is a miserable thing to be a backslider. Of all unhappy things that can befall a man, I suppose ‘backsliding’ is the worst. A stranded ship, a broken-winged eagle, a garden overrun with weeds, a harp without strings, a church in ruins—all these are sad sights. But a backslider is a sadder sight still.” – John Charles Ryle

 

God’s Word: “But now that you know God--or rather are known by God--how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?” – Galatians 4:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

 

Devotional - Life Without God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 20, 2012
Devotional - Life Without God

“After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.” – Judges 2:10

 

On 14 June 1926, President Plutarco Elías Calles enacted anti-religious legislation known formally as The Law Reforming the Penal Code. The law outlawed religious orders, deprived any church of property rights, deprived the clergy of civil liberties, including their right to trial by jury and the right to vote.

Opposition by Christians in the form of strikes and protests sparked persecution. The brutal Mexican dictator then began deporting priests, and if they resisted he had them assassinated.  

Those in the church who took up arms were known as Cristeros. For the next four years, open conflict between the Mexican Government and Cristeros resulted in 90,000 Mexicans being killed.

Where there were 4,500 priests serving the people before the rebellion, in 1934 there were only 334 priests licensed by the government to serve fifteen million people, the rest having been eliminated by emigration, expulsion, and assassination.  By 1935, seventeen states had no priests at all. Many Cristeros eventually immigrated to the United States.

 

Life without God would be brutal. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He saved you and through Him you have peace and eternal life.

 

“They that deny a God, destroy man's nobility: for certainly man is of kin to the beast by his body; and if he be not kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature.” – Francis Bacon

 

God’s Word: “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.” – Galatians 4:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

 

Devotional - He Protects and Guides Us
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 19, 2012
Devotional - He Protects and Guides Us

“It was the LORD our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled.” – Joshua 24:17

 

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym to protect his identity. He is a former member to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, who spied for the American government and uncovered valuable information.

Reza also became a Christian and he shared his testimony:

“So I renounced Islam and began the quest to find the real God, the one who had blessed me so often in very dangerous times as a CIA spy. In that journey through a few Christian friends, I came to learn about Jesus. I found myself deeply moved by the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. His words spread through my soul as seeds sprout and grow, opening my eyes and my heart to the real love of our Lord. It was then that I knew beyond doubt that the Bible was the true Word of God. That Jesus was the One I had always been looking for.

Jesus came to me when I needed guidance. He came to me at a time when my faith in man and religion was totally shaken. His words and His love became the guiding light to set me free from sin and hopelessness. I found myself knowing there is goodness and kindness and that it comes from within us – that it is only through His love that we will find peace and eternal life.”

 

The Lord protects and guides us through all of the events in our lives. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He protects you from all types of harm.

 

“The moment we begin to tread upon the thin ice of our own abilities, we have traveled beyond the realm of God’s promised protection and provision.” – Bart J. Leger

 

God’s Protection: “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” – Psalm 17:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Serve With Faithfulness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 16, 2012
Devotional - Serve With Faithfulness

“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:14

 

J. Christy Wilson, was born of missionary parents in Iran in 1921. He received degrees from Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, Cambridge University and Columbia Teachers College.  Christy and his wife Betty went to Afghanistan in 1951 to join other Christians, who were teaching in the Government schools as "tentmakers" or self-supporting witnesses, since missionaries were not allowed in that country.  They faithfully served in Afghanistan for 23 years. He became acting principal of a Government High School, gave private lessons to the Crown Prince, and conducted an English course for Afghan diplomats.  He became pastor of the Community Christian Church that was started in Kabul in 1952.  Mrs. Wilson started a Braille education for the blind during this period. Christy once took some American Christian teenagers to an unusual tourist site, the only cemetery in Afghanistan where "infidels" could be buried. He walked to the first, ancient gravestone, pitted with age. "This man worked here 30 years and translated the Bible into the Afghan language," he said. "Not a single convert. And in this grave next to him lies the man who replaced him, along with his children who died here. He toiled for 25 years and baptized the first Afghan Christian." As they strolled among the gravestones, he recounted the stories of early missionaries and their fates. At the end of the row he stopped, turned, and looked the teenagers straight in the eye. "For 30 years, one man moved rocks. That's all he did, move rocks. Then came his replacement, who did nothing but dig furrows. There came another who planted seeds, and another who watered. And now you kids--you kids--are bringing in the harvest."

 

Wherever the Lord has planted you, serve Him faithfully. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for the gifts and talents He has given you and seek to serve Him faithfully.

 

“As long as I see any thing to be done for God, life is worth having; but O how vain and unworthy it is to live for any lower end!” – David Brainerd

 

God’s Word: “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” – 1 Peter 4:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Let God Be Your God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 15, 2012
Devotional - Let God Be Your God

“If you violate the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the LORD's anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you." – Joshua 23:16

 

Pastor Mark Driscoll of the Mars Hill Church in Seattle has written about idols:

"An idol is someone or something that occupies the place of God in your life," he said. "[It] gives you identity, meaning, value, purpose, love, significance, security. When the Bible uses the word 'idol', that's what it's getting at."

"If you worship alcohol you become an alcoholic. If you worship food, you become a glutton. If you worship pleasure you become a sex addict," Pastor Mark warned. "All the modern vernacular is really not dealing with the root issue of idolatry: Something or someone is preeminent other than God."

He pointed to the reaction millions of people had in the wake of the death of Michael Jackson.

"When his face is on your T-shirt and when you listen to his music for hours, when you give large sums of money to him personally, when his death causes you to go into a steep depression and you have a collection of memorabilia -- I think if you walked in from another culture, you would say that's a very curious god they've chosen," he said.

Pastor Mark also warns of the dangers misplaced worship can have on the people others idolized.

"It destroys them. Because they invariably disappoint. People can't do what God does. They aren't perfect. They aren't continually faithful. They don't' endure forever. That's why we live in a culture that when heroes fall we're devastated."

 

Don’t let any idolatry slip into your life. Let God be God of your life. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He is worthy of our worship and confess and repent from any sin of idolatry.

 

“Idolatry is an attempt to use God for man’s purposes, rather than to give oneself to God’s service.” – C.F.D. Moule

 

God’s Word: “Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.” – 1 Corinthians 10:14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Love The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 14, 2012
Devotional - Love The Lord

“So be very careful to love the LORD your God.” – Joshua 23:11

 

Francine Rivers is a Christian author who writes Christian, romantic fiction novels. Her most celebrated book is entitled “Redeeming Love,” which is set in California in 1850. It is a story based on the biblical book of Hosea, and recounts a love akin to the love between Hosea and Gomer. It is during the gold rush, and the worst of humanity’s greed and desire is displayed. Also, God’s love also shines through in the book. The last few sentences of the book are poignantly beautiful: “Love the Lord your God, and love one another. Love one another as He loves. Love with strength and purpose and passion and no matter what comes against you. Don't weaken. Stand against the darkness, and love. That's the way back into Eden. That's the way back to life.”

 

Love Jesus with all of your heart. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His love for you and let Him know that you love Him.

 

“Let us make God the beginning and the end of our love, for he is the fountain from which all good things flow and into him alone they flow back. Let him therefore be the beginning of our love.” – Richard Rolle

 

God’s Word: “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'” – Mark 12:28-30

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

 

Devotional - Be Strong
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 13, 2012
Devotional - Be Strong

“Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left.” – Joshua 23:6

 

Phoebe Palmer was born into a wealthy, refined Methodist, New York City family. At the age of nineteen, she married Walter Clarke Palmer, a physician. Three of their four children died at a young age, which plunged Phoebe into seeking a deeper relationship with the Lord.

In 1840, Phoebe became the leader of the Tuesday Meeting for the Promotion of Holiness. She boldly spoke at camp meetings, and for the next decade, she traveled alone while Walter remained in New York City to run his practice and their household.

In the 1850s, Walter joined Phoebe on her trips, including a four-year evangelistic tour of Great Britain where their audiences often numbered in the thousands. Phoebe was also involved in urban work in the New York City slums, where she founded the Five Points Mission, an urban outreach center with a chapel, schoolroom, rent-free apartments, and numerous other social service programs.

The New York Journal wrote the following about one of her meetings, "It was an extraordinary revival," Prayer was a significant part of her services "with all classes kneeling at the altar, from little children to the city mayor." Phoebe Palmer has been called the 'Mother of the Holiness Movement' which eventually gave birth to such denominations as the Church of the Nazarene, the Church of God, The Salvation Army, and also Pentecostal groups such as the Assemblies of God.

 

We need to keep our focus on Christ and to be strong in following Him. Today in prayer, thank Christ for His wonderful love towards you and seek to follow Him in all that you do.

 

“It does not require great learning to be a Christian and to be convinced of the truth of the Bible. It requires only an honest heart and a willingness to obey God.” – Albert Barnes

 

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 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - He Gives Rest
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 12, 2012
Devotional - He Gives Rest

“Now that the LORD your God has given your brothers rest as he promised, return to your homes in the land that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side of the Jordan.” – Joshua 22:4

 

The Florida Turnpike was completed in 1957 and contains 460 miles of beautifully maintained safe roads from central Florida to Miami.  

Around 1960, a free car wash was opened along the Florida Turnpike. It was the first free car wash service along a major thoroughfare. The car washing equipment was installed at mile marker 299 at the Okahumpka service plaza near Wildwood, which is at the northern end of the turnpike.

The free service was installed by the state for both northbound and southbound drivers, not only as a convenience, but to stimulate them to take a rest break.

“It is hoped,” said the Turnpike Authority, “that travelers will stop and stretch their legs, helping to rid themselves of road hypnosis and making their trip a safer one.”

 

The Lord desires us to take breaks often and to rest in Him. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that His yoke is light and He gives rest to all who are weary and come to Him.

 

“The stops of a good man are ordered by the Lord as well as his steps.” – George Mueller

 

God’s Word: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - He Keeps His Promises
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 9, 2012
Devotional - He Keeps His Promises

“Not one of all the LORD's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” – Joshua 21:45

 

Soon after the American Civil War, the United States Government sought out a peace treaty with several Plains Indian Tribes. The U.S. wanted peace, unmolested traffic on the Santa Fe Trail and limitation of Indian Territory.

The Indians demanded unrestricted hunting grounds and reparation for the Chivington massacre of Black Kettle's band.

On October 17, 1865, the U.S. Government and representatives from the Kiowa, Comanche, Plains Apache, Southern Cheyenne, and Southern Arapaho Nations met at Little Arkansas River, in Kansas. They signed the set of treaties meeting those objectives and peace was proclaimed.

Several white captives were released by the Native Americans, among them a woman and four children from Texas.

Soon, both sides charged violations and warfare resumed. Within two years, the entire set of treaties had been broken. Today, the only remnant of the Little Arkansas River treaties is a monument. 

 

The Lord is faithful in what He promises, they never fail. Today in prayer, thank Christ that you can depend upon His promises and He is true to His Word.

 

“The message of promise is the beginning and end of everything that is included in the Bible. It undergirds every word, sometimes openly, sometimes subtly, but it is always there. God’s promises are the common thread that unites the Old and New Testament, the core that makes sixty-six books into one.” – Mark Tabb

 

God’s Word: “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” – Numbers 23:19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

 

 

Devotional - Run To Our Refuge
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 8, 2012
Devotional - Run To Our Refuge

“Then the LORD said to Joshua: ‘Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood.’” – Joshua 20:1-3

 

In 1961, Puuhonua O Honaunau on the Big Island of Hawaii was designated a national historic park. Each year, some 375,000 visitors come to the 182 acre site and learn about this city of refuge.  

From ancient times up until the early 1800’s, Hawaiians lived under strict laws. Commoners could not get too close to the chief, nor were they allowed to touch any of his possessions, walk in his footsteps or even let their shadows touch the royal grounds. The penalty for violating a sacred taboo was death.

Breaking a taboo was believed to incur the wrath of the gods. Hawaiians often chased down an offender and swiftly put him to death unless he could reach a puuhonua, or place of refuge. It was at the place of refuge that he could be absolved by a priest in a purification ceremony, then return home with his transgression forgiven.

 

Jesus Christ is our refuge where we can be purified from all sin. Today in prayer, thank Christ that He is your refuge in this turbulent world.

 

“Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee; Leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me. All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring; Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.” – Charles Wesley

 

God’s Word: “Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” – Psalm 2:11-12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Wholeheartedly Following the Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 7, 2012
Devotional - Wholeheartedly Following the Lord

“So on that day Moses swore to me, 'The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.'” – Joshua 14:9

 

In 1900, in Bangor, Ireland, a group of Salvation Army youth were conducting a street meeting. A young man named Billy Nicholson who had desired to do great things for God passed by. Several of the ones in the Salvation Army troop knew that Billy professed Christianity so they invited him to stand with them. Amid the catcalls from the by-passers, Billy stood bashfully, hoping that no one would recognize him. As he stood there, however, several close friends and family members happened by. Billy felt the pressure to conform, to step down. One of the troop suggested that they kneel to prayer. Billy stooped to pray, no doubt thinking to himself to slip off in the crowd. However, as he prayed, something happened. The 23-year old determined to give himself completely to God and as he stood up after prayer, all fear of rejection was gone. Billy, or W.P. Nicholson, was fully committed to following the Lord and went on to study at the Glasgow Bible Institute in 1901. He began to preach in Belfast and Lanarkshire, around Glasgow. He led hundreds of thousands of people to Christ, traveling around the world preaching the Gospel.

 

Following the Lord wholeheartedly means commitment, there is no turning back. Today in prayer, thank Christ that He went to the Cross with commitment and choose to follow Him with your whole heart.

 

“Christ is not valued at all unless He is valued above all.” – Augustine

 

God’s Word: “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.” – Romans 6:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

 

Devotional - Avoid Covetousness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 6, 2012
Devotional - Avoid Covetousness

“When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath." – Joshua 7:21

 

From the age of 8 years old, Michael Lock loved to preach at his grandfather's church. Michael’s brother became a pastor and Michael would occasionally be a guest speaker at the Milwaukeean church.

But Lock lived a double life. He wanted to get rich. He became a leading crime kingpin in Milwaukee, building a network of drug dealing, armed robbery and prostitution. He and gang also became murders, killing at least two people.

When Lock finally was busted with drugs, he cut a deal with prosecutors and avoided a lengthy prison sentence. While on work release from prison, Lock launched another criminal enterprise – mortgage fraud – and he went on to bilk borrowers and lenders out of $2 million. And as he continued his crime spree, he continued to be a deacon at his church.

Lock now 39-years old, is in state prison serving two life sentences for two murders and another sentence 35 years for his other illegal activities.

 

Greed and covetousness puts things above our love for the Lord. Today in prayer, confess any sin of covetousness and seek Jesus with all of your heart.

 

“Covetousness is perhaps the most serious sin in the West today, and no covetous person will inherit the kingdom of God.” – Ron Sider

 

God’s Word: “Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." – Luke 12:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

 

Devotional - His Laws Are There To Protect Us
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 5, 2012
Devotional - His Laws Are There To Protect Us

“Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.” – Joshua 7:11-12

 

On the night of 13 January 2012, the cruise ship Costa Concordia stuck a reef off the Italian coast and ran aground at Isola del Giglio. The accident caused 32 people to die and 64 to be injured. The ship was on the first leg of a planned 6-port cruise. After striking the reef, the ship began to take in water, flooding the engine room and generators, causing the ship to drift for more than an hour off the eastern shore before running aground. The ship partially capsized and the 4252 passengers and crew were forced to abandon ship and make their way to shore.

So how did a state-of-the art luxury ship end up 3-4 miles off course on a clear night?

Captain Francesco Schettino had deviated from the ship's computer-programmed route to treat the people on Isola del Giglio to the spectacle of a close sail-past or near-shore salute. Captain Schettino is being charged with manslaughter for breaking the rules of save navigation.

 

The Lord has given us commandments to protect us. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His Commandments and seek to follow Him in all that you do.

 

"The law is not over us, to condemn us, but under our feet, to be a guide for our path. In saying that, it is the moral law, as reflected in the Ten Commandments, to which I refer, which we have the pleasure of obeying to the glory of God and out of gratitude for our salvation." – Richard D. Phillips

 

God’s Word: “For in my inner being I delight in God's law” – Romans 7:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - What Shall I Do?
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 2, 2012
Devotional - What Shall I Do?

""Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, "What message does my Lord have for his servant?"" - Joshua 5:14

 

President Ronald Reagan accepted Christ as Savior as a teenager, and continued to profess that belief throughout his life.  He credited God and divine intervention for his survival of the assassination attempt on his life in 1981.  He wrote during his recuperation, “Whatever happens now I owe my life to God and will try to serve Him every way I can.”

He believed in the power of prayer.  He was almost constantly in prayer.  Biographer Edmund Morris saw him sitting down mumbling to himself and was surprised to learn that he was talking to God.  He once told Jerry Falwell that he tried to begin every day as president praying, “O God, not my will, but Thine be done.” 

When he discussed his mother’s faith in God, Reagan once said, “I now seem to have her faith that there is a divine plan, and while we may not be able to see the reason for something at the time, things do happen for a reason and for the best.  One day what has seemed to be an unbearable blow is revealed as having marked a turning point or a start leading to something worthwhile.”

 

We need to continually seek the Lord and ask Christ what would He have us to do. Today in prayer, ask Jesus what He would have you to do and then do it with all of your heart.

 

"It is a vain thought to flee from the work that God appoints us, instead of seeking it in loving obedience." - George Eliot

 

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." - James 1:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Be Courageous
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 1, 2012
Devotional - Be Courageous

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9

 

Noorollah Qabitizade, a house church leader from Dezful, was released from prison on 16 July, having spent nearly 19 months behind bars. 

On Christmas Eve 2010, Noorollah Qabitizade, a house church leader from Dezful, Iran was arrested. He along with ten other Christians had gathered to celebrate Christmas Eve. Noorollah was handcuffed and blindfolded before being interrogated by intelligence officers.

During his time in prison, Noorollah was subjected to severe psychological torture and periods of solitary confinement in a bid to get him to deny Christ. At his trial in September 2011, Noorollah was told that he was going to be sentenced to death.

But Noorollah resisted pressure to renounce his faith and courageously shared the Gospel with other prisoners.

After nineteen months in prison, Iranian authorities released Noorollah and the other 10 Christians.

 

There will all come a time when all of us need to have courage and stand up for our faith in Christ. Today in prayer, give Jesus your fears and look to Him in faith.

 

"The way to grow strong in Christ is to become weak in yourself." - Charles H. Spurgeon

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

 

Devotional - Meditating On The Word
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 31, 2012
Devotional - Meditating On The Word

"Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." - Joshua 1:8

 

Ryan Ferguson is a member of North Hills Community Church in Greenville, South Carolina. He is the Manager of the Fine Arts Center at Anderson University and also serves as a director in the theater department there.

A few years ago, he saw a man named Tom Key recite the book of Revelation. Ryan was blown away. At about the same time his church had just studied Ecclesiastes so he started memorizing the entire book and recited it before the church. Since then, Ryan has also memorized the book of Hebrews, various Psalms, Genesis 1, and various other smaller sections of scripture.

He was asked about the process of memorizing scripture and gave the following advice: “Developing our memories takes work, time, and discipline. Don’t be disappointed if it takes you a while to memorize Scripture. God has not set up a Bible quiz to determine if you have all your verses memorized this week. God desires that you love his Word. Psalm 19 uses very specific language, language of desire when referring to God’s Word. Love God’s Word, spend the time with God’s Word to hide it in your heart.”

 

Learning, memorizing and meditating on God’s Word can bring us a joy as we recall His Word. Today in prayer, commit to memorize today’s two scriptures and meditate on them throughout the week.

 

"I am convinced that one of the greatest things we can do is to memorize Scripture." - Billy Graham

 

God's Word: "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." - 2 Timothy 2:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

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