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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions in Mark
Devotional - Go!
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 29, 2011
Devotional - Go!

“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.’” – Mark 16:15

 

Jacques Avakian is an Armenian born in Lebanon in 1963. He gave his heart to the Lord as a boy in a Child Evangelism Fellowship class. He married and emigrated to Quebec, Canada where the Lord put it on his heart to not only be an evangelist, but also help plant churches.

He said: "Every morning, I get up to spend time with someone who is excited about starting a church and to help them be creative about the possibilities. My personal ministry is to see as many people as possible come to the Lord through any means and to see Christians grow and go through the maturity that God wants them to reach." Jacques concluded: "I want to challenge everyone to look forward and remember that God heals the past. It's my personal mission that every soul who lives in the province of Quebec be reached ..., to pray that God would remove the strongholds in Quebec so that when people hear the Gospel, they respond to it instead of react to it."

The Gospel is Good News and Jesus desires you to share it with others. Today in prayer, thank Christ for His Gospel and seek to share it with others.

 

"No man on earth is getting along 'pretty well' without Jesus Christ." - William Fraser McDowell

 

God’s Word: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - The Son Of God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 28, 2011
Devotional - The Son Of God

“And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!’” – Mark 15:39

 

In his book "Dare To Believe", Dan Baumann shared some thoughts about crucifixion that should deepen our gratitude for what the Savior did for us. He wrote, "The twentieth century has forgotten how cruel and hideous crucifixion really was. We have perhaps unwisely and sometimes unconsciously glamorized the cross. Jewelry and steeples alike are often ornamental and attractive but carry nothing of the real story of crucifixion. It was the most painful method of public death in the first century. The victim was placed on a wooden cross. Nails, undoubtedly wooden, were driven into the hands and feet of the victim, and then the cross was lifted and jarred into the ground, tearing the flesh of the crucified and racking his body with excruciating pain. Historians remind us that even the soldiers could not get used to the horrible sight, and often took strong drink to numb their senses." 

 

The Lord suffered the worst of deaths to give us the best of eternal life. Today in prayer, give thanks to Christ for dying for your sins. 

 

“Take hold of Jesus as a man and you will discover He is God.” – Martin Luther

 

God’s Word: “When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God!’” – Matthew 27:54

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - His Blood
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 27, 2011
Devotional - His Blood

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take it; this is my body." Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them.” – Mark 14:22-24

 

George and Vera Bajenksi have been involved in ministry to the people of Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania for over 25 years. A native of Poland, George and his Canadian-born wife, Vera, help to connect the churches in North America with individuals and local churches in Eastern Europe in an effort to establish and develop ministry partnerships. On February 16, 1989, their lives changed forever when they received a phone call. “There’s been an accident…” It involved their son Ben. As they approached the intersection where the accident occured, they could see the flashing lights of the police cars and ambulance units. Vera noticed a photographer and followed the direction of his camera lens to the largest pool of blood she had ever seen. All she could say was, “George, Ben went home—home to be with his Heavenly Father!” Her first reaction was to jump out of the car, somehow collect the blood and put it back into her son. “That blood, for me, at that moment, became the most precious thing in the world because it was life. It was life-giving blood and it belonged in my son, my only son, the one I loved so much.” The road was dirty and the blood just didn’t belong there. George noticed that cars were driving right through the intersection—right through the blood. His heart was smitten. He wanted to cover the blood with his coat and cry, “You will not drive over the blood of my son!” Then Vera understood for the first time in her life, one of God’s greatest and most beautiful truths…why blood? Because it was the strongest language God could have used. It was the most precious thing He could give—the highest price He could pay.

 

The Lord’s Supper is a remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice and His promise to all who partake in it. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for Communion with Him during the observance of the Lord’s Supper.

 

“This meal is for sinners only.” – David Watson

 

God’s Word: “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom." – Matthew 26:26-29

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Do Not Worry What To Say
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 26, 2011
Devotional - Do Not Worry What To Say

“Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” – Mark 13:11 

 

On May 31, 2010, Said Musa, a 45 year old Afghan man, was arrested for converting from Islam to Christianity. The Afghan army veteran who had lost a leg in the service had been a Christian for 8 years. He became a physiotherapist and spent 15 years working with amputees at the Red Cross/Red Crescent. After his arrest, no Afghan lawyer would take up his case.  During the months he was in prison, both guards and other prisoners hit him and spat upon him. Soon after foreign representatives tried to intercede for him, Said was visited by three Afghan officials who told him that he would be released within 24 hours if he wrote a statement declaring that he regretted his conversion to Christianity."I laughed and replied, 'I can’t deny my Savior’s name,'" Said wrote. "Because my life is just service to Jesus Christ and my death is going to heaven [where] Jesus Christ is. I am a hundred percent ready to die. They pushed me much and much. I refused their demands."

 

No matter what trouble we face, we need to live each day as it were our last and bring glory to the Lord. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for He is worthy of our worship and be a witness for Jesus. 

 

“Love makes the whole difference between an execution and a martyrdom.” – Evelyn Underhill

 

God’s Word: “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” – Matthew 10:19-20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Our Royal Savior
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Dec 25, 2011
Devotional - Our Royal Savior

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21

 

During the early morning hours of November 27, 2011, gale force winds battered the Irish Sea. The cargo ship Swanland had 8 crewmen onboard when a large wave cracked its hull and it began to take on water. The ship was 20 miles of the coast of Wales when it radioed a distress call. Six of the sailors were washed away in the violent storm. As the two remaining crewmen clung to the wreckage, they could see and then hear a British Sea-King rescue helicopter approaching them. The co-pilot of the helicopter was Flight Lt. William Wales of the Royal Air Force. He is more widely known as Prince William, the second in line to the British throne. The young prince and his flight crew responded to the ship’s mayday call. The two men were saved and airlifted to the British airbase in Wales. 

 

The King of glory heard the world’s distress call. He came to earth and saved us from our sin. Today on Christmas, give thanks to the Jesus that He is the Savior of the world.  

 

“If I might comprehend Jesus Christ, I could not believe on Him. He would be no greater than myself. Such is my consciousness of sin and inability that I must have a superhuman Savior.” – Daniel Webster

 

God’s Word: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.” – Isaiah 9:6-7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTION FOR CHRISTMAS

Devotional - Loving Your Neighbor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 22, 2011
Devotional - Loving Your Neighbor

“To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” – Mark 12:33

 

In October 2003, Jim Baum, age 65, was walking through an airport when he noticed automated external defibrillator or AED on the wall. Many of Jim’s neighbors in California were elderly, and being a good neighbor, Jim decided to purchase an AED.

A few weeks later, during Thanksgiving weekend, Jim and his wife traveled to Mexico. Jim was in good health, but decided to pack the AED.

A week after his arrival in Mexico, Jim assembled the AED for the first time. He then showed his wife and some friends how it worked.

The next day after a walk across the beach to a nearby restaurant, Jim started to feel tired. He decided to go back to the condo to take a nap. Jim then collapsed in sudden cardiac arrest. His wife and friends quickly administered the AED and within 17 seconds they had revived Jim.

The nice machine that Jim had bought to potentially save his neighbors ended up saving his own life.

 

Loving our neighbors not only benefits our neighbors, but also it benefits us. Today in prayer, ask Jesus

how you can love your neighbor.

 

“He alone loves the Creator perfectly who manifests a pure love for his neighbor.” – Bede

 

God’s Word: “"Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, "'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'" – Matthew 19:19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

 

Devotional - Being A Person Of Integrity
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 21, 2011
Devotional - Being A Person Of Integrity

“They came to him and said, "Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” – Mark 12:14

 

In 1996, Dr. Clyde McDowell became president of Denver Seminary. Dr. McDowell had a special heart to revitalize inner-city churches of all ethnic backgrounds. He also led Denver Seminary to reinvent its approach to seminary education by incorporating an intensive, contextualized mentoring experience into its core curriculum.

Prior to becoming president of Denver Seminary, he ministered 12 years as the senior pastor of Mission Hills Baptist Church in Littleton, Colorado.

Upon his leaving Mission Hills, one of the elders of his church said to him, “Clyde, don’t get me wrong. Though I think you are a good preacher, I really don’t remember a lot of what you have said from the pulpit. But I’ll never forget what you are.”

 

Don’t be swayed by anyone, follow the Lord in all that you do. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is our model for integrity and seek to follow Him in all your ways.

 

"Real integrity stays in place whether the test is adversity or prosperity." - Charles Swindoll

 

God’s Word: “They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are.” – Matthew 22:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Forgive Always
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 20, 2011
Devotional - Forgive Always

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” – Mark 11:25

 

In 1994 Rose Mapendo moved from her Congolese village to a big city called Mbujimayi to give her six children a chance to attend school.

Then in September 1998, she and her children were arrested for being members of the Tutsi tribe. The government sent them to a death camp. The men were quickly killed off, but the women and children suffered from starvation. For sixteen months she endured unsanitary conditions. She asked God for forgiveness whatever bad thoughts she had and whatever bad words she said about God. She also decided to forgive her captors/enemies who consider her as their enemy.

After forgiveness she became free from anger against God and her enemies. She felt her joy and inner peace with herself and others. She finally was released and immigrated to the United States. Today she shares how you can forgive others in Jesus Christ.

 

No matter what trouble someone brings you, you can forgive them through the power of Christ. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His forgiveness and forgive others as the Lord has forgiven you.

 

“The man who is truly forgiven and knows it, is a man who forgives.” – Martyn Lloyd-Jones

 

God’s Word: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” – Matthew 6:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Letting Go Of Money
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 19, 2011
Devotional - Letting Go Of Money

“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’” – Mark 10:21

 

In February 2010, Austrian businessman Karl Rabeder decided to give away his fortune of $4.7 million. The 47-year old decided also to give away his luxury villa and live in a simple cabin.

"My idea is to have nothing left. Absolutely nothing," he told The Daily Telegraph. "Money is counterproductive – it prevents happiness to come."

"For a long time I believed that more wealth and luxury automatically meant more happiness," he said. "I come from a very poor family where the rules were to work more to achieve more material things, and I applied this for many years," said Mr Rabeder.

But over time, he had another, conflicting feeling.

"More and more I heard the words: 'Stop what you are doing now – all this luxury and consumerism – and start your real life'," he said. "I had the feeling I was working as a slave for things that I did not wish for or need. I have the feeling that there are lot of people doing the same thing."

The tipping point came while he was on a three-week holiday with his wife to islands of Hawaii.

"It was the biggest shock in my life, when I realized how horrible, soulless and without feeling the five star lifestyle is," he said. "In those three weeks, we spent all the money you could possibly spend. But in all that time, we had the feeling we hadn't met a single real person – that we were all just actors. The staff played the role of being friendly and the guests played the role of being important and nobody was real."

He had similar feelings of guilt while on gliding trips in South America and Africa. "I increasingly got the sensation that there is a connection between our wealth and their poverty," he said.

Suddenly, he realized that "if I don't do it now I won't do it for the rest of my life".

 

Don’t let money get in the way of your relationship with Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He wants a relationship with you and put all your hope in Christ.

 

“Nothing I am sure has such a tendency to quench the fire of religion as the possession of money.” – J.C. Ryle

 

God’s Word: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”– 1 Timothy 6:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

 

Devotional - Learning To See
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Dec 18, 2011
Devotional - Learning To See

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” – Mark 10:15

 

In 1991, a 50-year-old patient named Virgil, who was blind since childhood, underwent surgery and was given the gift of sight. As Virgil opened his eyes for the first time, he could see his surgeon Dr. Scott Hamlin. Virgil’s fiancée Amy kept a journal and her initial entry was: "Virgil can SEE! ... Miracle of sight restored in­credible!"

But the following day she remarked problems: "Trying to adjust to being sighted, tough to go from blindness to sighted. Has to think faster, not able to trust vision yet .... Like baby just learning to see, everything new, exciting, scary, unsure of what seeing means."

Noted physician Dr. Alberto Salvo summarized this type of situation:

“One must die as a sighted person to be born again as a blind person, and the op­posite is equally true: one must die as a blind person to be born again as a seeing person.”

To truly see Jesus and his truth means more than observing what he did or said, it means a change of identity.

 

When we trust Christ by faith, we need to be born again and see things as God sees them. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for your new life in Him and learn to trust and follow Him in all that you do.

 

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

 

God’s Word: “In reply Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’” – John 3:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - For Him Who Believes
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 15, 2011
Devotional - For Him Who Believes

“‘If you can?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for him who believes.’” – Mark 9:23

 

In February of 1975, Dr. Donald Whitaker’s life was out of control. The forty-two year old was abusing alcohol, taking drugs, and partying for days at a time.

He became ill and checked himself into Whatley hospital in Texarkana, Texas. He was suffering from severe dehydration. But then the doctors discovered other problems. They operated on Don and he slipped into a comma. Three days later, he came out of the comma only to hear his doctor break the news to him that he had Acute hemorrhagic narcotic pancreatitis.  He had less than 24 hours to live. His physician told Don to contact those closest to him and to put his affairs in order.

Don was a hard-core atheist but he knew he was also on his deathbed. He requested a visitation by Ron Short, a Christian he had debated and respected. Don suddenly had the strongest of drives to become saved. It took all night to get word to Ron and have him arrive at Don’s bedside the next morning. Ron led Don to Christ that morning and a peace came over him like he had never experienced. Don still believed that he was going to die that day, and Ron showed him Mark 16:18: “These signs shall follow those that believe.  They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.”

Miraculously, Don did recover and was a witness for the Lord for 32 more years before he went home to be with Jesus in 2007.

 

Everything is possible for him who believes in Jesus. Today in prayer, give Jesus all of your concerns and worries and trust in Him.

 

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

 

God’s Word: “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” – Mark 11:23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Losing Your Life For Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 14, 2011
Devotional - Losing Your Life For Christ

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” – Mark 8:34-35

 

In 1933, Pastor Paul Schneider was the pastor of a church in Hochelheim, Germany. He quickly realized the threat of Nazism and he spoke out against Hitler. In 1934, the diocese moved Schneider to the remote region of Dickenschied.

Pastor Schneider joined the Confessing Church, a Protestant organization that opposed the Nazis. In June 1934, he was arrested, tortured and released for speaking out. He was arrested again in March 1935. During the winter of 1935-1936, Pastor Schneider was arrested 12 more times.

In spring 1937, with the support of members of his church, Pastor Schneider began the process of excommunicating parishioners who, because of their allegiance to the Nazi Party, engaged in conduct that violated congregational discipline.

In November 1937, Pastor Schneider was arrested and taken to Buchenwald death camp.

While at Buchenwald, he preached the Gospel to his fellow prisoners. When put into solitary confinement, Pastor Schneider would preach out his window to the other prisoners. Fellow prisoner Alfred Leikam remembers: “Schneider was utterly tireless, always calling out words of Scripture to other prisoners, especially mornings and evenings at the count for roll call..”

On July 18, 1939, Paul Schneider was murdered with a lethal injection at the camp’s infirmary. He was the first Protestant pastor martyred by the Nazis. At his funeral, one of the pastors preached, “May God grant that the witness of your shepherd, our brother, remain with you and continue to impact on future generations and that it remain vital and bear fruit in the entire Christian Church.”

 

The Lord asks us to follow Him, no matter where the road may lead. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He is Lord for your life. Seek to follow Him always.  

 

“Believer, Christ Jesus presents you with crosses, and they are no trivial gifts.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’” – Matthew 16:24

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Out Of Men's Hearts
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 13, 2011
Devotional - Out Of Men's Hearts

“For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.” – Mark 7:21-22

 

In 1993, Gerald Payne, an ex-convict, founded Greater Ministries International (GMI) in Tampa, Florida. He began to call himself a pastor, but his heart was full of greed. To the outside world, GMI seemed to be a well-meaning church that helped the homeless and addicted with programs by providing housing and work. There were several public officials who had commended GMI’s work for the unfortunate.

GMI’s main program was the "Double Your Money Gift Exchange." It promised to double contributions thanks to GMI's (nonexistent) investments in precious metals. GMI marketed the program to ultraconservative political and religious groups. Payne quoted Luke 6:38:"Give, and it shall be given unto you" and wrongfully promised to double any investment.

Sadly, Payne bilked churches and individuals of more than $500 million. It was the largest financial pyramid scheme at the time.

A federal investigation was launched which took four years to conclude. Finally, in March 13, 1999, Gerald Payne and six others were charged with money laundering, fraud and criminal conspiracy.

 

The natural heart of man is full of every kind of sin. But thanks be to God that all sin can be forgiven at the Cross of Christ. Today in prayer, confess any sin in your heart and seek to follow Jesus in all that you do.  

 

“You must keep all earthly treasures out of your heart, and let Christ be your treasure, and let Him have your heart.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” – Matthew 15:19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Trust In Jesus
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 12, 2011
Devotional - Trust In Jesus

“And he was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village.” – Mark 6:6

 

Franz Delitzsch was a German Lutheran theologian. He served as professor of theology at the University of Rostock, the University of Erlangen, and the University of Leipzig.

His commentaries of the Bible are still trusted by many pastors.

He was an ardent apologist for the Bible. Rabbi Duncan said that Delitzsch "stood firm in maintenance of the divine authority and inspiration of the whole Old Testament" at a time when many "seemed willing to surrender."

While teaching at the University of Leipzig, Delitzsch made this prediction to his students: "Young men, the battle is now raging around the Old Testament. Soon it will pass into the New Testament field—it is already beginning there. Finally it will press forward to the citadel of your faith, the Person of Jesus Christ. There the last struggle will occur. I shall not be here then, but some of you will. Be true to Christ, stand up for him, preach Christ and him crucified.”

 

Doubt confronts all of us, but never doubt the power of Jesus. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to strengthen you in place your trust in Him.

 

"Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

God’s Word: “Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’” – Mark 9:24

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Finding The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Dec 11, 2011
Devotional - Finding The Lord

“When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’” – Mark 5:27-8 

 

James Walker was born in 1955 to a Mormon family in Jacksonville, Florida. He was a fourth generation Mormon and he began practicing their faith. In his teens, James participated in the baptism for the dead rituals in the Mormon temple in Salt Lake City.

But he began to see some of the doctrines of Mormonism were false and he began to have doubts.

He finally began to understand that grace was a gift of God and not something that could be earned or was deserved.

In 1976, James asked Christ into his heart. He went on to graduate from Criswell College in Dallas, Texas.

Today, James works on the ministry staff of Watchman Fellowship, an independent Christian research and apologetics ministry, which focuses on new religious movements, cults, the occult and the New Age.

 

Many people are searching for God, but they are following wrong doctrines rather than seeking Jesus. Today in prayer, thank the Lord you have found Him and pray that you may be a witness of His grace to others.

 

"The turning point in our lives is when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is." - Patrick Morley

 

God’s Word: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Share His Love
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 8, 2011
Devotional - Share His Love

“Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.” – Mark 5:19-20

 

On October 23, 2011, an earthquake rocked western Turkey. Then 17 days later, a second quake struck the area. The death toll climbed to 600 people and left thousands homeless. In the city of Van, which is the home of a large number of Iranian refugees, an Iranian Christian Church as become a beacon of hope to the people. The church is a partner with Elam Ministries, an organization that reaches out to the Persian people.

Rev. Sam Yeghnazar, Elam Ministries’ Founder and Director, said that the church is being used to provide around 100 hot meals a day to earthquake victims. In addition, hundreds of food parcels are prepared in the church and distributed around Van every day. "Immediately after the quake, fifty people came and lived in the church," said Rev. Yeghnazar. "Tents and blankets are being given out to those without shelter. This has been a time of witness. People who had never met Christians before, have now come and been fed and comforted. I am so glad our church building has been used as a center to provide relief."

 

During both good times and hard times, we need to share the love of Christ with others. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for your family, friends and neighbors and share how God loves you and them.  

 

"It is high tide to make known the glad tidings in these dark regions of sin and spiritual bondage." - Samuel Marsden

 

God’s Word: “The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, "Return home and tell how much God has done for you." So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” – Luke 8:38-39

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - The Good Soil
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Dec 7, 2011
Devotional - The Good Soil

“Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop--thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” – Mark 4:20

 

In 1975, Pastor Dion Roberts began a bible study out of his home in Ivory Coast, Africa. He wanted to emphasize growing in Christ, not just evangelism. He believed that those he ministered to should be equipped and their lives transformed as they followed Jesus.

As Pastor Dion ministered, the congregation has swelled to over 190,000 members.  Those interested in membership in the church participate in 6 months of intensive discipleship which includes deliverance and personal attention from one of the over 2500 formally recognized volunteers in the church.  Often a person attends the church and a small group for more than nine months before receiving permission to be baptized.  Within their first year of members, each member is directed to a ministry where they are trained and released to serve according to their gifts. 

At the main church building, there are 6,000 people who worship weekly. But there are 18,000 satellite churches throughout the world, each administered by the main church and seeking to build men and women into followers of Christ.

 

The Lord is looking for men and women to follow Him and for those men and women to reproduce their lives in others. Today in prayer, that Jesus that He is using people who avail themselves to Him in order to bring greater glory to God.

 

"When I see with what little effort souls can be won, I tremble to think of the many opportunities I am missing. We must do what we can - the little things. God will save them." - Malla Moe

 

God’s Word: “Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” – Matthew 9:37-38

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Do Not Worry
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Dec 6, 2011
Devotional - Do Not Worry

“but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” – Mark 4:19

 

At the age of 22, Matt Krueger from Genoa, Illinois had a heart scan. His doctors told him that he needed immediate surgery or he could have a heart attack. Matt put off the operation and at age 27, doctors placed 6 metal stents into his heart to open up blocked arteries.

The operation went fine, but soon Matt was plagued with a new enemy – worry. “Anyone truly facing their mortality for the first time, believer or non-believer, will experience the feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, and anger that can come from such a traumatic event.”

Matt was a young husband and dad. He was a successful entrepreneur and a Christian musician. He had everything - even his health. But he now had anxiety that he could lose it all. “The battle is for your mind. We have to make the choice, with literally every thought, to filter out the negative thoughts such as worry, fear, and anxiety and replace them with the everlasting positive and powerful Word of God.”

It took years for Matt to win the battle over fear and worry. He said: “I enjoy sharing my testimony and the music which documents my real-life journey from fear to faith.”

 

None of us is immune to worry. But we can overcome fear and worry and we place our faith in Jesus.  Today in prayer, cast all of your worries and anxiety on Jesus and believe in Him.

 

"There is no need for two to care, for God to care and the creature too." - Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Following His Instructions
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Dec 5, 2011
Devotional - Following His Instructions

“Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother.’” – Mark 3:34-35

 

In June 1990, Doctor James Luecke was in Alpine, Texas. He delivered a little girl Aida Porras. But soon after her birth, little Aida could barely breathe.

Dr. Luecke got on a telemedicine conference with the School of Medicine in Lubbock, Texas. He described the problem and asked if there was a neonatalogist available. Dr. Marian Myers was summoned to the telemedicine consultation room.

Though the doctors were separated by more than 300 miles, by using the brand new technology, Dr. Myers was able to quickly ascertain the situation. She asked a few questions and looked at Aida’s X-rays and laboratory work. Then Dr. Myers diagnosed Aida as having acute respiratory distress due to aspiration pneumonia. She recommended emergency treatment, told Dr. Luecke exactly how to counteract it.  Dr. Luecke followed the procedures and two hours later, Aida was stable. Aida lived because Dr. Luecke followed the expert’s guidance.

 

The Lord has given us instructions to live in the Bible. He desires that we follow God’s will. Today in prayer, give thanks to Jesus for His instructions and seek to follow them with all your heart.

 

"How many observe Christ's birthday!  How few, his precepts!  O! 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments." - Benjamin Franklin

 

God’s Word: “Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?” – Luke 6:46

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Forgiving Sin
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Dec 4, 2011
Devotional - Forgiving Sin

“Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” – Mark 2:7

 

In January 1990, Richard Denny and his wife Virginia were found murdered in their Oklahoma farmhouse. The murderer took $17 and an old farm truck.

Robert Knighton, known as B.K., was tried and found guilty of the crime. The Denny’s daughter, Sue Norton, saw a change in her heart toward her parents’ killer. She went from hate to forgiveness. On the last day of the trial, while the jury was out for deliberation, Sue got permission to visit B.K. through the bars of his holding cell. Sue related, "I was really frightened. This was my first experience in a jail. B.K. was big and tall, he was shackled and had cold steely eyes." At first B.K. refused to look at Sue. She asked him to turn around and he answered, "why would any one want to talk to me after what I have done?" Sue replied, "I don’t know what to say to you. But I want you to know that I don’t hate you. My grandmother always taught me not to use the word hate. She taught me that we are here to love one another. If you are guilty, I forgive you.

B.K. thought Sue was just playing games. He couldn’t understand how she could forgive him for such a terrible crime. Sue says, "I didn’t think of him as killer, I thought of him as a human being.”

B.K. is serving time on death row in Oklahoma. Sue often writes to him and visits occasionally. She sees that some good has come out of the tragedy:

"I have been able to witness to many people about Jesus and forgiveness and helped others to heal. I have brought B.K. and many other men on death row to our Lord Jesus Christ. I live in peace with my Lord!"

 

The great gift of forgiveness that God offers us is something we can offer others. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His forgiveness and forgive those who have wronged you.

 

"Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness, or else forgiving another." - Jean Paul Richter

 

God’s Word: “The other guests began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’” – Luke 7:49

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Be Compassionate
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Dec 1, 2011
Devotional - Be Compassionate

“Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. ‘Be clean!’” – Mark 1:41

 

In April 1942, Private Carl Ruse survived the Bataan Death March in the Philippines. He spent the next 3 and half years in a Japanese POW camp.

He was eventually shipped to mainland Japan and endured forced labor.

In 1944, there was an earthquake in the area and Carl suffered a broken leg and could not work. He withered down to 80 pounds.

Then a 14-year-old Japanese boy, Fumio Nishiwaki, saw Carl. He had compassion on him. Every day for the next year, Fumio risked his life to smuggle food to Carl.

When the POWs were liberated, American planes air dropped food to the prison camp. Carl made it a point to seek out his young friend and he gave some of the extra food dropped to the teenager. Fumio, as a gesture of thanks, pressed his photograph into Carl’s palm. Carl treasured the boy’s friendship and the picture the rest of his life and he never carried a bad memory of the war.

 

Just as Christ is compassionate with us, we need to show compassion to others. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He is our example of compassion and then be compassionate to others.

 

"I have long since ceased to pray, 'Lord Jesus, have compassion on a lost world!' I remember the day and the hour when I seemed to hear the Lord rebuking me for making such a prayer. He seemed to say to me, 'I have had compassion upon a lost world, and now it is for you to have compassion.'" - A.J. Gordon

 

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 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

Devotional - Following Jesus
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 30, 2011
Devotional - Following Jesus

“At once they left their nets and followed him.” – Mark 1:18

 

Liang Fa was born in Guangdong, China in 1789. At age 15 he quit school and eventually worked in the printing business. In 1810, he met missionary Robert Morrison and his assistant William Milne who asked Liang to help them print the Chinese version of the Bible that Morrison had translated.

As he read the Bible, Liang began to understand the Christian faith and in 1815 he became a Christian.

Because of restrictions against Christianity, William and Liang moved to Malaysia.

During the next 40 years, Liang ministered as a missionary in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and China. He was imprisoned for sharing Gospel tracts and tortured for his faith in Christ.

Despite these trials, he wrote: "I call to mind that all who preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus must suffer persecution; and though I cannot equal the patience of Paul or Job, I desire to imitate the ancient saints, and keep my heart in peace."

At the end of his time on earth, the Gospel had taken root throughout China in part because of Liang’s faithfulness to follow the Lord.

 

When Jesus calls you to follow Him, it is to share His Good News and bring glory to God. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He has called you to follow Him and seek to share the Gospel with others.   

 

"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important." -C. S. Lewis

 

God’s Word: “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” – Matthew 19:29

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2011, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN MARK

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