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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions in Praise And Thanksgiving
Devotional - Thank God For His Indescribable Gift
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 27, 2014
Devotional - Thank God For His Indescribable Gift

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” – 2 Corinthians 9:15

 

Christopher Wordsworth, nephew of noted British poet William Wordsworth, was a scholar and an accomplished hymn writer. Christopher became a school headmaster, a church vicar, and eventually a bishop in the Church of England.

He looked upon hymns as a valuable means of stamping permanently upon the memory the great doctrines of the Christian Church. He held it to be "the first duty of a hymn-writer to teach sound doctrine, and thus to save souls." He thought that the materials for English Church hymns should be sought first in the Holy Scriptures, secondly in the writings of Christian Antiquity, and finally in the Poetry of the Ancient Church.

He was the author of 127 original hymns. One of those works was “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise.”

In this hymn, Christopher surveys Christ’s ministry – from birth to baptism, from temptation to His first miracle. But as it teaches about the person of Jesus, it calls upon us to thank Him and to praise Him that He was manifest to us.

 

Of all of God’s gifts, His manifestation to us in Jesus Christ is the greatest. Today in prayer, thank God for His indescribable gift – our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

“Songs of thankfulness and praise,

Jesus, Lord, to Thee we raise,

Manifested by the star

To the sages from afar,

Branch of royal David's stem,

In Thy birth at Bethlehem.

Anthems be to Thee addressed

God in man made manifest.” – Christopher Wordsworth

 

God’s Word: “I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among throngs of people I will praise you.” – Psalm 35:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - A Day Of Thanksgiving
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 26, 2014
Devotional - A Day Of Thanksgiving

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” – Psalm 100:4

 

On Sunday, September 1, 2013, Rwanda celebrated its second annual National Day of Thanksgiving.

But Rwanda was not looking back at its heritage, a past that included the genocide of more than 1 million people in 1994. It is a celebration of what God is doing now and will do in the future.

On that day in 2013, thousands of Rwandan gathered at the National Amaroho Stadium and thousands more tuned in online, television and radio.  

In less than 20 years after the massacre, Rwanda is a new nation experiencing new hope and prosperity. It is now one of the fastest growing and developing countries in Africa.

The Thanksgiving Day celebration was organized by the nation’s leading Christian organizations.

Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California has sent more than 1200 volunteers to help Rwanda rebuild.

"God has blessed Rwanda in so many ways; so how does God want us to show our thanks to Him?" asked Pastor Rick. "Thank God for the three different kinds of leaders He has used to build a new Rwanda – government leaders to rebuild the structure, business leaders to rebuild the stability and spiritual leaders to rebuild the heart of the nation."

 

On this Thanksgiving Day, thank the Lord that He is moving in countries throughout the world. Thank the Lord for this day and His blessings. Seek to please Him in all that you do.

 

“He who seeketh to retain the favour of God, let him be thankful for the favour which is given, and patient in respect of that which is taken away.  Let him pray that it may return; let him be wary and humble that he lose it not.” – Thomas a Kempis

 

God’s Word: “Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” – Psalm 95:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - The Antidote To Bitterness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 25, 2014
Devotional - The Antidote To Bitterness

“See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” – Hebrews 12:15

 

In a message entitled “Ministry at Your Breaking Point,” Pastor Rick Warren discusses bitterness and the best remedy for it:

“Bitterness is often a by-product of finding yourself stressed to the breaking point. You start thinking, “This stress is unfair. It shouldn’t be happening to me.” You can’t prevent hurt from coming into your life.

Although you can’t control your circumstances, you can control your response to circumstances. At some point in your life, you have to decide whether you’re going to be bitter or happy. The sooner you make that choice the better. You can’t have both.

After many years of ministry, I’ve learned something about contentment. There’s no connection between circumstances and happiness. Most people want you to believe that there is. They want you to believe that if you were serving at a bigger church, had more money, or a nicer home, you’d be happy. But it’s a lie.

We all know people who have it all and are unhappy. Obviously, it’s not a matter of circumstances. Happiness is a choice.

Hebrews 12:15 says, “Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you. It causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives.” Bitterness never changes anything.

But gratitude does. It’s the antidote to bitterness. Studies have shown that gratitude is the healthiest emotion that you can possibly have. When you feel like bitterness is taking over, you need to find something that you can be thankful for. You can’t be grateful and bitter at the same time.”

 

As we prepare for Thanksgiving Day, quiet your heart and give your concerns to Jesus. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that He is good and Lord of all.

 

“God is good. You need to remember that when you’re stressed out.” – Rick Warren

 

God’s Word: “I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.” – Psalm 69:30

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - The Essential Ingredient
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 24, 2014
Devotional - The Essential Ingredient

“Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.” – 1 Chronicles 16:8

 

In August 2012, Dr. Robert George spoke at the Young America's Foundation's National Conservative Student Conference in Washington, D.C.

"Part of what is unique about this country is that our common bonds are not in blood or ethnicity or soil," Dr. George said, "but are rather in a shared moral and political creed. We do indeed hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights."

"Now, one can become a citizen of, say, Greece or France or China. But, can one really become a Greek, a Frenchman or Chinese?" Dr. George asked rhetorically. "An immigrant who becomes a citizen of the United States can become, not merely an American citizen, somebody who's got the certificate, has been through the ceremony, but can become an American  – someone who is recognized as an American by his fellow Americans, not in a thin sense, having citizenship papers, but in a full and robust sense. He is as American as the guy whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower."

The interesting question, said George, is how does that happen?

"The essential ingredient is gratitude," George answered.

 

May the essential ingredient in your life be gratitude to Jesus. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His unsurpassed blessings.

 

“Thanksgiving means giving thanks to the one true God.” – Charles Colson

 

God’s Word: “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” – 1 Chronicles 16:34

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - He Is Wonderful
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 23, 2014
Devotional - He Is Wonderful

“In that wonderful day you will say, “Thank the Lord! Praise his name! Tell the world about his wondrous love. How mighty he is!” – Isaiah 12:4

 

At age 59, Daddy Bruce Randolph was living in Denver when he said, "I couldn't afford a pack of cigarettes." Daddy Bruce mopped floors for a time, then one day he became inspired. He drew a picture of a barbecue pit and took it to a local bank. The bank lent him $1,000 and the result was a local restaurant legend called Daddy Bruce's Bar-B-Q.

In 1963, Daddy Bruce decided he wanted to give back in a big way. He began feeding the homeless on Thanksgiving. For many years he donated his own time and money to serving Thanksgiving dinners. On some of those Thanksgivings he served over 10,000 people. He also gave away clothes and food on his birthday, Easter and Christmas. One year he dyed 25,000 eggs for an enormous Easter Egg hunt!

"I'm just one of His servants," he explained. "I try to do His will, not my will."

 

God has blessed us wonderfully. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for all that He has done and do something kind and considerate to others.

 

“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.” – Henry Van Dyke

 

God’s Word: “Let them tell him thank you as their sacrifice and sing about his glorious deeds.” – Psalm 107:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Give Thanks For His Love Endures Forever
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 20, 2014
Devotional - Give Thanks For His Love Endures Forever

“Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” – Psalm 106:1

 

In September of 1985, when Scott Macaulay was 24, his parent decided to get divorced. He soon began to think, “What’s going to happen at Thanksgiving?” The thought of having Thanksgiving alone was unbearable.

“I decided to put an ad in the local paper,” said Scott who lives in Melrose, Massachusetts. “If people thought they would find themselves alone, they could give me a call, and I would make a Thanksgiving dinner. That first year, a few people came, and they had a good time. I was nervous about making a mess out of the food and disappointing people. But the food was OK, and I didn’t burn anything.”

Scott has held a Thanksgiving dinner every year since then. In 2013, 84 people showed up and he served the meal at the Melrose Baptist Church. “Sometimes they’re new to town; sometimes they’re recently divorced or widowed. I’ve had people who were new to the country and didn’t speak any English, but they enjoyed my Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve had poor people, people who come from AA, old people. Also, not counted within that number: I always feed the police.”

Before the meal, the Reverend Veronica Lanier of First Baptist Church of Lynn, Massachusetts, who has attended Scott’s dinners since they began, provides a worship service for the guests. Everyone gives thanks for their meal and the opportunity to be together on the holiday.

 

We can never give enough thanks to the Lord for all of His many blessings. Today in prayer, give thanks throughout the day to the Lord for His love endures forever.

 

“The Christian who walks with the Lord and keeps constant communion with Him will see many reason for rejoicing and thanksgiving all day long.” – Warren Wiersbe

 

God’s Word: “Save us, Lord our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. – Psalm 106:47

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Lots To Be Thankful For
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 20, 2014
Devotional - Lots To Be Thankful For

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”  – Psalm 118:29

 

Academy Award winning actor Denzel Washington believes that a good way to make sure you pray every morning is to place your shoes "way under the bed at night." Doing that he says ensures that you "gotta get on your knees in the morning.”

In an inspirational speech to a group of young actors, Denzel encouraged the group of student actors to use their talent for good and never forget to pray.

"I pray that you all put your shoes way under the bed at night so that you gotta get on your knees in the morning to find them. And while you're down there thank God for grace and mercy and understanding. We all fall short of the glory; we all got plenty. If you just start thinking of all the things you've got to say thank you for, that's a day. That's easily a day," he said.

 

Give thanks to Jesus, for He is good. Today in prayer, spend some extra time “looking for your shoes under the bed” and thank the Lord for all of His many blessings.

 

“Sometimes we focus so much on what we don't have that we fail to see, appreciate, and use what we do have!” – Jeff Dixon

 

God’s Word: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever” – Psalm 136:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - It Is Good To Thank God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 18, 2014
Devotional - It Is Good To Thank God

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.” - Psalm 105:1

 

Pastor Charles Stanley wrote the following on gratitude:

“Thanking God glorifies and magnifies Him, but did you know doing this also benefits us? The Lord doesn't need our thanks, but we need to give it so we can become what He wants us to be: unselfish, encouraged, and confident. Giving thanks...

Refocuses our attention: Life is filled with situations and distractions that keep us from seeing all that God has done for us. Instead of getting out of bed with the weight of the world on your shoulders, try refocusing on the Lord by thanking Him for His past provisions, guidance, and faithfulness.

Relieves anxiety: Since our fast-paced society has lots of pressure, expectations, and responsibilities, many people live in constant anxiety. But when we bring our concerns to the Lord with thanksgiving, the burden shifts to Him, and His peace comes to us (Phil. 4:6-7).

Refreshes our relationship: Gratitude keeps us from thinking that the Christian walk is all about us and our needs. Our fellowship with God is enhanced because we're focused on Him instead of ourselves.

Reinforces our faith: When we thank the Lord for His past faithfulness, our confidence in His present faithfulness soars.

Rejoices our spirit: Thanksgiving is the best way to dig ourselves out of the doldrums of discouragement.

Although gratitude is always beneficial, it's not always easy. When you're discouraged or overwhelmed, it's probably not on your radar to thank God. But I've learned from experience that shifting focus and thanking the Lord for all He's done is the fastest way to change one's attitude and reenergize.”

 

Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord because gratitude is so good for our walk with Jesus.

 

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say, ‘Thank you?’ – William Ward

 

God’s Word: “Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.” – Psalm 105:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Give Thanks When The Trouble Comes
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 17, 2014
Devotional - Give Thanks When The Trouble Comes

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” – 2 Corinthians 4:15-16

 

In early October 2014, nurse Amber Vinson contracted the Ebola virus from a patient under her care.

The Texas native was flown to Atlanta for emergency treatment and after two weeks, Amber was declared virus free.

At a press conference at the hospital, Amber took a moment to thank God, the hospital staff and the general public for their prayers.

"I'm so grateful to be well, and first and foremost, I want to thank God. I sincerely believe that with God all things are possible," a smiling Amber said. “While the skill and dedication of the doctors, nurses and others who have taken care of me have obviously led to my recovery, it has been God's love that has truly carried my family and me through this difficult time, and has played such an important role in giving me hope and the strength to fight."

 

We cannot control our circumstances, but we can control our attitude. Today in prayer, in the darkest of times that you face, give thanks to the Lord.

 

“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” – Harry A. Ironside

 

God’s Word: “I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.” – Psalm 7:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - In All Things Give Thanks
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 16, 2014
Devotional - In All Things Give Thanks

“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

In February 2014, former major league baseball pitcher Curt Schilling announced he had been diagnosed with cancer.

Curt and Shonda responded to all the care and concern others expressed to him.

“Shonda and I want to send a sincere thank you and our appreciation to those who have called and sent prayers, and we ask that if you are so inclined, to keep the Schilling family in your prayers,” said Curt. “My father left me with a saying that I’ve carried my entire life and tried to pass on to our kids: ‘tough times don’t last, tough people do.’ Over the years in Boston, the kids at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have shown us what that means. With my incredibly talented medical team I’m ready to try and win another big game.”

“I’ve been so very blessed and I feel grateful for what God has allowed my family to have and experience, and I’ll embrace this fight just like the rest of them, with resolute faith and head on.”

 

In all things, we need to be thankful to God. Today in prayer, give your hurts and sorrows to Jesus and give thanks to Him.

 

“A grateful mind is a great mind.” – William Secker

 

God’s Word: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Praise Our Protection
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 13, 2014
Devotional - Praise Our Protection

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” – Psalm 46:1

 

On 6 December 2013, Tara Dekkers, an Iowa daycare director, was driving seven children to pre-school. One of the children started complaining about the van's smell. Shortly after, something popped and smoke rushed into the vehicle.

"After I ran around the front of the van to open the door to the side to get the kids out, I saw flames [coming from under the car], "she said. "I just moved as fast I could to get everyone out."

While the three oldest children were able to leave the van without her help after Tara gave directions, she had to physically help out the four youngest ones. All of them made it safety, with no time to spare as the van burst into flames.

"I give all the credit to God," Tara said. "He was the one who was with me. He was the one who made it all possible for me to get them all out."

 

Praise the Lord for His protection. Today in prayer, praise Jesus because He lovingly protects you.

 

“May the perfect grace and eternal love of Christ our Lord be our never-failing protection and help.” – Ignatius

 

God’s Word: “I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” – Psalm 91:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING 

Devotional - I Love To Love Jesus
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 12, 2014
Devotional - I Love To Love Jesus

“For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise.” – Psalm 47:7

 

In 1991, Kim Bollinger was heading to a women’s retreat. She was the worship leader and also a speaker for the retreat. The organizer had asked Kim if she could write a special song for weekend.

For two months, Kim wrestled with the Lord asking for a song, but nothing came out. She pleaded with God, but nothing.

Then 20 minutes before she was to speak, Kim withdrew to the sanctuary. As she sat still the Lord began to speak to her. Looking out at the lake she began to worship Jesus. God showed her that she was striving and to stop worrying.”

Then in a flash, the verses of “I Love To Love You” began to flow into her mind. As she sang them, she jotted down the words and notes. It occurred in just 10 minutes.

Moments later, Kim was on stage sharing the song with the women on the retreat. They sang the song over and over to praise Jesus for all that He is.

 

The Lord desires for us to cease striving and give Him our worship above everything else. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for He is worthy of our love.

 

“I love to love You, O Lord, my God

I love to love You, O Lord, my God

I love to love You, O Lord, my God

When I come to seek Your face,

I find mercy and grace” – Kim Bollinger

 

God’s Word: “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” – Colossians 3:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING 

Devotional - Praise Him In The Night
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 11, 2014
Devotional - Praise Him In The Night

“But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night” – Job 35:10

 

In 2008, evangelist Louie Giglio began a two-month struggle with the physical and emotional symptoms of stress and depression.

"I woke up in the middle of the night and I felt like I was dying. I literally thought, 'this is it, my heart is going to blow open and I am going to die right here, right now,'" Louie said. "I could not breathe."

For a long time, doctors were unable to properly diagnose the problem.

"It started a journey for me – the worst part of it lasted about two months – and it was the darkest time of my life … I didn't know what to do and every day was a different symptom, every day was a different manifestation of something … I was going crazy," he explained.

He said there was one particular night, after waking up night after night at 2 a.m. in a "dark cloud" of panic and anxiety that he said a simple prayer, "God, please help me."

Louie said he then remembered a passage of Scripture that says "God gives songs in the night."

He began singing praise that night and slowly through the days, while singing praise, he was able to restore the joy of his salvation.

"It was a weapon of praise that led me out of the darkness and back into the land of the living. It was praise that ripped open that cloud and allowed the light of God's love to shine in and draw me back up into the symphony of all creation," he said.

 

During the dark times of your life, praise the Lord. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He brings light to our souls as we praise Him.

 

“Praise the one who breaks the darkness with a liberating light.” – Rusty Edwards

 

God’s Word: “I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.” – Psalm 13:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING 

Devotional - All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 10, 2014
Devotional - All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name

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

 

The Reverend E. P. Scott was a missionary, living in India during the 1800s.

One day he saw on the street a strange looking man. He found out that he was a representative of one of the inland tribes that lived away in the mountain districts and that came down once a year to trade. Upon further investigation Scott found that the Gospel had never been preached to this ferocious tribe.

At the prompting of the Holy Spirit, but against advice of his fellow missionaries, Scott set out alone to visit the remote village.

Several days into his journey, Scott was met by a large group of warriors who quickly surrounded him, each one pointing a spear towards his heart. Expecting to die, Scott made a decision to use his last few breaths to glorify God. He took out his violin (which he always carried on him), closed his eyes, and began to play and sing “All Hail the Power of Jesus Name”, in the native language of the warriors.

After singing the first verse, the second, the third, and then beginning the fourth, Rev. Scott realized he was still standing, and that all around him was a peaceful quiet. Opening his eyes he saw every spear lowered. There stood those mighty warriors, with tears in their eyes. Throughout the remainder of his life, Scott spent much time with this tribe, sharing the love of God.

The hymn was eventually translated into English and has been a favorite song of praise.

 

Praise the Lord for His wisdom and His desire that everyone would be saved. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that the Gospel is moving throughout the entire earth.

 

“Let every kindred, every tribe,

On this terrestrial ball,

To Him all majesty ascribe,

And crown Him Lord of all!” – E.P. Scott

 

God’s Word: “Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore.” – Psalm 113:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Praise His Name
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 9, 2014
Devotional - Praise His Name

“I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!” – Deuteronomy 32:3

 

Beginning in the late 1940s, almost all North Korean Christian leaders were martyred or carted off to concentration camps. The government systematically destroyed all church buildings.

Today, there are only four state-sanctioned churches, which many consider stage-props designed to deceive foreign visitors. The persecution of Christians in North Korea is among the worst in the world, with 50,000–70,000 Christians imprisoned in concentration camps.

But amidst the persecution, the underground church is growing.

“We praise God who is still working in North Korea,” says Thomas Kim, executive director of Cornerstone Ministries, which trains leaders and smuggles Bibles into North Korea. “He is calling and training His people one by one for His own glory.”

Ironically, the Christian church has experienced some of its most rapid growth under repressive regimes, despite despotic leaders’ frantic efforts to stamp it out. “God has never allowed the power of darkness to overcome the church in North Korea,” Kim notes. “We give you praise and thanks that the gospel is still being preached to North Korean people even in warlike persecution.”

 

We need to give thanks and praise to Jesus Christ for all that He is doing throughout the world. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He is a wonderful God who overcomes darkness.

 

“Praise is the honey of life which a devout heart extracts from every bloom of providence and grace.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.” – 1 Chronicles 16:25

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING 

Devotional - Praise You In The Storm
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 6, 2014
Devotional - Praise You In The Storm

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” – Psalm 68:19

 

Mark Hall, the lead songwriter for the Christian band “Casting Crowns,” tells how the song “Praise You In The Storm” came about:

In 2004, Mark heard that a good friend’s 10-year old daughter had terminal cancer. After praying about it, Mark decided to write a song of praising the Lord while facing death.

Laurie Browning’s daughter Erin was a Christian who had placed her full faith in Jesus. On her last day of consciousness, Erin begged her mother:  "Just read the Scriptures!"

So Laurie began reading the Scriptures. She included Erin's favorite passage, Proverbs 3:5-6. From 1 a.m. until 5 a.m., loved ones took turns reading aloud the Word of God over a child in the last, cruelest stages of cancer's grip. Little Erin had battled for more than three years.

And now the end was near. Laurie tried to refuse to believe it, but her trust in the Lord remained steadfast. She was frightened and faithful all at once. She prayed for an eleventh-hour miracle. And she kept reading the Scriptures, as Erin had asked.

At one point, Laurie placed her Bible on the floor and stood on it, literally standing on the Word of God as she read over her child. Finally, after the long night of reading Scripture followed by another long night of hopeful prayer, Laurie consented for a hospice nurse to administer an IV with medicine that essentially placed Erin in a painless coma on Sunday afternoon.

The song “Praise You in the Storm” wasn’t finished until two months after Erin was in heaven, but it is a praise song that comforts Christians who face life’s most difficult circumstances.

 

During difficult times Jesus is there with us. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He bears our burdens and gives us His love and strength to do His will.

 

“And though my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm.” – Mark Hall

 

God’s Word: “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” – Job 1:20-22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Praise Him When You Are Scared
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 5, 2014
Devotional - Praise Him When You Are Scared

“It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night” – Psalm 92:1-2

 

In April 2014, a man kidnapped nine-year-old Willie Myrick from his southwest Atlanta driveway. He allegedly drove the boy around for some time before dropping him off unharmed in East Point.

But Willie's actions during those terrifying three hours are inspiring people around the country. Willie said he sang the gospel song "Every Praise" until the man let him go.

Willie said while he was singing, the man kept cursing and telling him to shut up before eventually kicking him out. The kidnapper was not seen since.

"He opened the door and threw me out," Willie said. "He told me not to tell anyone."

Willie's story traveled fast and soon caught the ear of Grammy Award-winning gospel singer Hezekiah Walker -- the man who wrote the song.

"I just wanted to hug him and tell him I love him," Hezekiah said.

Days later, the singer entered the sanctuary of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Atlanta to a standing ovation, grabbing Willie into a tight hug as tears streamed down the boy's face. Hezekiah then led the church, and Willie, in singing "Every Praise," the song that may have saved the boy's life.

"I really believe that God spoke through me to save that young man's life," Hezekiah said.

 

God is faithful when we need His protecting care the most. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for protecting you and thank Him for the difficult times in your life.

 

“Every praise is to our God. Every word of worship with one accord” – Hezekiah Walker

 

God’s Word: “Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” – Psalm 147:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING 

Devotional - A Hymn Of Praise To Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 4, 2014
Devotional - A Hymn Of Praise To Christ

“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.” – Psalm 40:3

 

In the fourth century, Ambrose of Milan was a prominent lawyer and government leader. He became the bishop of Milan and often found himself in conflict with the Roman Emperor who was pressuring the church. The Emperor issued an edict of banishment against Ambrose, but he refused to accept it. When Ambrose threatened excommunication, the soldiers who were pressuring the church gave up their siege. However Ambrose’s biggest battles were theological. The heresy of Arianism, that held that Jesus was a created being, was beginning to spread throughout the Church. Despite being condemned by church councils, this false teaching continued to spread.

Ambrose wrote hymns upholding the deity of Christ. One of those was the hymn “O Splendor Of God’s Glory Bright.” The last verse of Ambrose’s hymn affirms the Trinity of God through praise:

“All laud to God the Father be;

All praise, eternal Son, to Thee;

All glory, as is ever meet,

To God the holy Paraclete”

 

We should be ready to praise the Lord as God at anytime. Today in prayer, thank Christ that He is worthy of our praise and bring a sacrifice of praise to Him.

 

““We praise thee, O God; we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.” – Ambrose

 

God’s Word: “the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD, saying, "Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures forever." For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,' says the LORD.” – Jeremiah 33:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING 

Devotional - Praising One Another
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 3, 2014
Devotional - Praising One Another

“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.” – Proverbs 27:2

 

Rickey Henderson is a former major league baseball player who is regarded as the greatest base runner. He holds the single-season record for stolen bases (130 in 1982). His 1,406 career steals is 50% higher than the previous record of 938 set by Lou Brock.

On May 1, 1991, Rickey Henderson broke one of baseball's most noted records when he stole the 939th base of his career. There were forty thousand fans on hand in the Oakland stadium when Rickey tied Lou Brock's career stolen base record. Lou, who had left baseball in 1979, had closely followed Henderson's career and was excited about his success. Realizing that Rickey would set a new record, Lou lavished praise on the younger ballplayer, "I'll be there. Do you think I'm going to miss it now? Rickey did in 12 years what took me 19. He's amazing."

 

We were meant to praise others, and the One Person most deserving of our praise is Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, spend time just praising Christ for all that He has done for you.

 

“Usually we praise only to be praised.” – François La Rochefoucauld

 

God’s Word: “Praise the LORD. Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD.” – Psalm 113:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - The Sin Of Ingratitude
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 2, 2014
Devotional - The Sin Of Ingratitude

"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." - Romans 1:21

 

On June 14, 2014, lifeguards in Seaside Heights were wrapping up operations for the day when two men were swept out to sea in a rip current.

Lifeguards swam to rescue the men, but when they got back to shore one of the pair had a strange way of showing his appreciation: "He swung his arm and struck one of the lifeguards in the face," said Chief Jay Boyd of the Seaside Heights beach patrol.

"At that time the lifeguard tried to get him under control and he struck another lifeguard in the face."

The rescuers weren't hurt but the attack caught the lifeguards off-guard. It's not the way people usually react after they've been pulled out of the water.

Some beachgoers said they would have been more appreciative!

"I would be thanking him, sending him Christmas cards every year or something because he just saved my life," said Jennifer Robillard of Plainville, Massachusetts. "He must have been shocked. I mean if I saved someone's life, I wouldn't expect a punch in the face!"

 

We need to be grateful for everything the Lord has given us. Today in prayer, confess any sin of ingratitude and be thankful to the Lord.

 

“Ingratitude is always a kind of weakness. I have never seen that clever men have been ungrateful.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

God's Word: "People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy" - 2 Timothy 3:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2014, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

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