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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions in Romans
Devotional - Watch Out For Divisive People
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jan 31, 2013
Devotional - Watch Out For Divisive People

Bible Study on the Book of Romans

Strengthen your faith in God and increase your understanding of the Book of Romans with the Romans devotionals below. You can also sign up to receive daily devotionals in your email.


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Continue on below and begin with the most recent installment to the Romans devotional.

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“I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.” – Romans 16:17

 

In a sermon about unity, Pastor John MacArthur described an incident that occurred in his church a decade earlier. There was a “terrible assault on the unity of this church, focusing its attention on attacking me and attacking the character of leadership in the church. Such a mutiny coming from staff individuals, pastoral people and particularly those into whose life I had poured myself personally. I never forget walking into a meeting of men who were my own personal partners in ministry whom I had discipled for a number of years and saying, "I want to tell you how much your love means," and hearing in retort, "If you think we're your friends, you've got another thing coming." And then they articulated the mutiny. And before it was done three of those young men were out of the ministry permanently, for life and many hearts were broken. And those things are heart breaking and painful and agonizing for the one who seeks the unity of the church.

Divisiveness is contrary to loving people. As Christians, we need to show the love of Jesus Christ to everyone. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His love for you and the opportunity to love others. Avoid divisiveness and seek unity to bring glory to Christ.

 

“Discord and division become no Christian. For wolves worry lambs is no wonder, but for one lamb to worry another, this is unnatural and monstrous.” – Thomas Brooks

 

God’s Word: “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him.” – Titus 3:10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

 

Devotional - Written To Teach And Encourage
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jan 29, 2013
Devotional - Written To Teach And Encourage

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” – Romans 15:4

 

One of the uniquely American traditions is the swearing in of the newly elected President of the United States. The President traditionally takes the oath of office with his right hand on the Bible. The following are specific Bible passages a few of the Presidents chose to encourage them and place their hands on while taking the oath:

George W. Bush: “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

Bill Clinton: “For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” – Galatians 6:8

Ronald Reagan: "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." – 2 Chronicles 7:14

Jimmy Carter: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8

Gerald Ford: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

Dwight D. Eisenhower: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance." – Psalm 33:12

Abraham Lincoln: “And I heard another from the altar saying, ‘Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments.’” – Revelation 16:7

 

The Bible is God’s great gift to us to teach and encourage. But we need to apply God’s Word to our lives! Today in prayer, thank the Lord for the Bible and seek to apply His Word to your life.

 

“The Bible applied to the heart by the Holy Spirit, is the chief means by which men are built up and established in the faith, after their conversion.” – J.C. Ryle

 

God’s Word: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” – 2 Timothy 3:16

 

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DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

 

Devotional - Encourage One Another
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jan 28, 2013
Devotional - Encourage One Another

“Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” – Romans 15:2

 

In 2010, Lee Wright traveled to Chico, California. He had been homeless for 13 years and he found himself at the Jesus Center -- a local organization that provides meals and other types of assistance to the homeless. It soon became apparent that Lee had a talent, he could paint. The staff encouraged him by providing him with supplies and a place to paint during the day. At night, Lee would sleep behind a building wedged between his painting and garbage bins. But when a volunteer at the center saw his work, she was able to help him secure a commission for a painting. From there, more commissions followed and Lee has since been able to make enough money to rent his own apartment on a month-to-month basis. "Nothing of this would have happened without God," said Lee. He explained that to him the success of his portraits was like him asking for help and, "God said, 'You can get that.' Then He made it happen." "I was painting out of necessity. Now I'm painting out of thankfulness," said Lee.

 

Are you building up people as you go along in life? Today in prayer, thank the Lord for the people He has placed in your life and seek to encourage them in Jesus Christ.

 

“Encouragement is perhaps one of the greater gifts friends can ever give. An encouraging friend is a lifeline to steady a floundering heart, to bring sunshine to a cloudy day, and to deliver a blessing just looking for a place to land.” – Susan Duke

 

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

 

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DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

 

Devotional - Do It In Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jan 27, 2013
Devotional - Do It In Faith

“But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.” – Romans 14:23

 

In early 1940 the British and their allies sent a force of some 350,000 men into the low countries of Europe to stem the tide of German advance into France, Belgium and Holland. Caught in a brilliant pincer movement by the invading German forces the beleaguered British Expeditionary Force was pushed back to the beaches of the small Belgian town of Dunkirk.

On May 24, to everyone's surprise, the Germans halted their advance to regroup for one last assault.

As England and the world waited for what appeared to be the sure and certain annihilation of 350,000 men a three-word message was transmitted from a besieged senior officer of the besieged army at Dunkirk. It read simply, "But if not." The British people understood the biblical importance of the cryptic message. It was a reference from Daniel 3:18, where Daniel and his friends chose death rather than worship an image of the pagan king, "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."

The British Expeditionary Army, surrounded, cutoff and on the brink of destruction was declaring to Britain and to the world that even in apparent defeat they were, in fact, victorious in the faith. The message galvanized the British people. In a matter of hours thousands of boats of every description headed across the dangerous waters of the English Channel and, at the risk of their own lives from enemy fire, began the evacuation of the beleaguered army in what historians now refer to as "the miracle of Dunkirk."

 

Are you facing a decision that requires faith? Today in prayer, look to the Lord for your answer and by faith follow Christ’s leading.

 

“Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.” – Oswald Chambers

 

God’s Word: “Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” – 1 Peter 1:21

 

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DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

 

Devotional - Being A Good Citizen
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jan 24, 2013
Devotional - Being A Good Citizen

“This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” – Romans 13:6-7

 

In 1970, Annie Leibovitz became a photographer for Rolling Stone magazine. Within two years, she was the chief photographer. She developed a trademark technique, which involved the use of bold primary colors and surprising poses. She took the last photograph of John Lennon for the cover of Rolling Stones magazine on December 8, 1980, just hours before his death. As Leibovitz's fame skyrocketed, so did her spending. After years of extravagance and poor financial management, she found herself in a bind. In 2009 Leibovitz owed $2.1 million to the Internal Revenue Service in unpaid income taxes for the years 2004-2007. She was forced to pledge the copyright revenue to every photograph she had ever taken, or ever will ever take, to get the loan she needed to pay her debts. Some of her individual photos are worth $50,000 each.

 

Nothing in a Christian life should detract from being a good representative of Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, ask the Lord how you can be a better citizen and bring glory to the Lord.

 

“The duty of obedience to secular authorities is a temporary one, for the present period of ‘night;’ in that ‘day’ which is ‘at hand’ a new order of government will be introduced, when ‘the saints shall judge the world.’” – F.F. Bruce

 

God’s Word: “‘Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?’ But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, ‘You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.’ They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, ‘Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?’ ‘Caesar's,’ they replied. Then he said to them, ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's.’” – Matthew 22:17-21

 

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DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

 

Devotional - Your Gifts
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jan 24, 2013
Devotional - Your Gifts

“so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach” – Romans 12:5-7

 

In the book "Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith", author Kathleen Norris recounts the story of a South Dakota rancher and his bride who received an expensive Bible as a wedding gift from his grandfather. They wrote a thank-you note and stowed the Bible away on a closet shelf. As time passed, the grandfather repeatedly asked the couple how they liked the Bible. The rancher was confused as to how to respond. Hadn't he already expressed his appreciation? But the grandfather persisted. Eventually, the young man dug out the gift. As he leafed through it, $20 bills fluttered out, 66 in all-one at the beginning of Genesis and in each succeeding book. While the rancher had left a monetary treasure waiting to be discovered, he had also left something even more valuable untouched between those pages: spiritual riches. All because he had not opened the Book. The Lord has given you gifts to build up others in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for the spiritual gifts you have received and seek to use them for His glory.

 

“God has said that every Christian has at least one spiritual gift for the benefit of the whole body of Christ. No one has all the gifts, all have at least one gift, and some have two or more. We are dependent on each other.” – Francis M. Cosgrove, Jr.

 

God’s Word: “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” – 1 Corinthians 12:4-7

 

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DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

Devotional - Fullness In Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jan 23, 2013
Devotional - Fullness In Christ

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:1-2

 

Phillips Brooks, former minister of Boston's Trinity Episcopal Church, is perhaps best known as the author of "O Little Town of Bethlehem." He was a very busy pastor, yet he always seemed relaxed and unburdened, willing to take time for anyone in need. Shortly before Brooks died, a young friend wrote to him and asked the secret of his strength and serenity. In a heartfelt response, Brooks credited his still-growing relationship with Christ.

He wrote, "The more I have thought it over, the more sure it has seemed to me that these last years have had a peace and fullness which there did not used to be. It is a deeper knowledge and truer love of Christ.....I cannot tell you how personal this grows to me. He is here. He knows me and I know Him. It is the most real thing in the world. And every day makes it more real. And one wonders with delight what it will grow to as the years go on."

 

In order to have the fullness of Christ we need to offer ourselves up and He will bless us throughout eternity. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that when we live for Him, we are blessed.  

 

“To love Jesus is to love holiness.” – David Smithers

 

God’s Word: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” – Ephesians 4:1

 

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DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

 

Devotional - Experiencing Grace
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jan 21, 2013
Devotional - Experiencing Grace

“And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” – Romans 11:6

 

James Berry was born in 1852 in Yorkshire, England. He served eight years with the Bradford Police Force, then tried himself as a boot salesman. Since he did not earn enough for the upkeep of his family, he applied for the job of public executioner.

From 1884 to 1892, he executed 134 men and women.

The weight of his profession took its toll on him. James became a heavy drinker and was constantly irritable. At aged 52, he resigned from his position and he decided to commit suicide by throwing himself off a train. James was sitting at the railroad station, when a young man walked up to him and started to talk to him. He invited James to the mission hall. For two and a half hours he heard about the grace of Jesus Christ and he gave his life to the Lord.

For the remaining 21 years of his life, James Berry was an evangelist letting others know about the grace of God.

 

Grace is the unmerited favor of God. We did not earn it. We don’t deserve it. We can just receive it as the loving gift from the God who will judge all mankind. Today in prayer, praise Christ for His gift of grace.

 

“Grace is what God gives us when we don't deserve and mercy is when God doesn't give us what we do deserve” – Reinhold Niebuhr  

 

God’s Word: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9

 

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DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

 

Devotional - No Distinction
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jan 20, 2013
Devotional - No Distinction

“For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him” – Romans 10:12

 

Dr. Darrell Robinson is a former pastor and current President of Total Church Life Ministries in Conroe, Texas. He is also the author of the book “People Sharing Jesus.”

In his book, Dr. Robinson makes the following observation in the original Greek:

“The phrase “no difference” occurs twice in the book of Romans. It is used first with reference to our human sinfulness. ‘There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Rom. 3:22-23 NIV). Second, it is used with reference to God’s grace extended to all who will call on Him. ‘For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’’” (Romans 10:12-13 NIV)

 

The Lord desires ALL to be saved. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that in His eyes, there are no differences between people.            

 

“Prejudice is a learned trait. You're not born prejudiced; you're taught it.” – Charles R. Swindoll  

God’s Word: “Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous.” – Deuteronomy 16:19

 

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DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

Devotional - Justifying Our Actions
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jan 17, 2013
Devotional - Justifying Our Actions

“Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.” – Romans 10:3

 

In 1967, Bishop Leroy Dowd, a self-ordained bishop, began the Triumph Church of God in Los Angeles. The congregation grew, but somewhere along the line Dowd lost his way. In December 2006, Dowd needed money to catch up on late mortgage and tax payments for the church building as well as a nearby mortuary and several other properties he owned. He told an elderly woman in his church that he could help her secure widow's benefits from Medicare and Social Security. Under this guise, he tricked her into signing over the grant deed to her $800,000 home, which was paid in full. Eight days later, Dowd sold the house and walked away with more than $775,000. Not content with robbing his church, Dowd convinced 13 Los Angeles Police officers to invest nearly $4.5 million in a bogus real estate scheme. Dowd has been sentenced and imprisoned for his crimes. It is easy to justify sin when you establish your own righteousness. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He is Righteous and with brokenness, humility and love we call Jesus Lord.

 

“There are only two kinds of men: the righteous who believe they are sinners, the sinners who believe they are righteous.” – Blaise Pascal

 

God’s Word: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21

 

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DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

 

Devotional - The Stumble Stone of Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jan 17, 2013
Devotional - The Stumble Stone  of Faith

“Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the ‘stumbling stone.’” – Romans 9:32

 

Twice a week, Michael Sparks visits Middle Tennessee's thrift stores with the hope of finding something special. In March 2006, he was shopping at the Music City Thrift store when he saw an old parchment that was rolled up. It was a copy of the Declaration of Independence.  Michael figured the document was a modern reprint, so he paid the asking price - $2.48 - and headed home. Michael then started examining the document. "I've looked at every inch with a magnifying glass... the engraving is incredible," he said. He then realized that he had purchased one of only 200 official copies of the Declaration of Independence commissioned by John Quincy Adams in 1820. Of those 200, 35 had been found intact; he had number 36. It took a year for Michael to have the print authenticated and preserved, and then he put it up for auction, netting a final sale price of $477,650. A few days after the sale, Stan Caffey, a pipefitter, contacted the local newspaper. He was the person who had donated the Declaration of Independence to the thrift store. He had bought it at a yard sale ten years earlier and it hung in his garage all of those years. Stan's wife made him get rid of the "junk" and he donated it to the store. "I'm not really that upset," said Stan. "But you can't help but feel not very smart for doing it." Jesus was clothed as an ordinary man, but He is the magnificent treasure we desire. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that when we pursue God by faith, we find all we ask in Christ.

 

“While I draw this fleeting breath, When mine eyes shall close in death, When I soar to worlds unknown, See Thee on Thy judgment throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.” – Augustus M. Toplady

 

God’s Word: “So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.’” – Isaiah 28:16

 

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DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

 

Devotional - God's Providence
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jan 15, 2013
Devotional - God's Providence

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

 

In his book "A Sweet and Bitter Providence", John Piper offers these thoughts about God's providence: "Life is not a straight line leading from one blessing to the next and then finally to heaven. Life is a winding and troubled road. Switchback after switchback. And the point of biblical stories like Joseph and Job and Esther and Ruth is to help us feel in our bones (not just know in our heads) that God is for us in all these strange turns. God is not just showing up after the trouble and cleaning it up. He is plotting the course and managing the troubles with far-reaching purposes for our good and for the glory of Jesus Christ."

 

The Lord is Lord of All, nothing escapes His divine purpose. Today in prayer, seek Jesus and His will and follow Him with your whole heart.”

 

“Providence has at all times been my only dependence, for all other resources seem to have failed us.” – George Washington

 

God’s Word: “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:11-13

 

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DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

 

Devotional - Hope In Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jan 14, 2013
Devotional - Hope In Christ

“The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope” – Romans 8:19-20

 

Brigadier General Robinson Risner ("Robbie") spent seven years as a prisoner of war in Viet Nam. There he discovered the power of hope. He spent four and a half years of that time in isolation. He endured ten months of total darkness. Those ten months were the longest of his life. When they boarded up his little seven-by-seven foot cell, shutting out the light, he wondered if he was going to make it. He had already been under intense physical and mental duress after years of confinement. And now, not a glimmer of light shone into his cell -- or into his soul. Robbie spent hours a day exercising and praying. But at times he felt he could nothing but scream. Not wanting to give his captors the satisfaction of knowing they'd broken him, he stuffed clothing into his mouth to muffle the noise as he screamed at the top of his lungs. One day Robbie got down on the floor and crawled under his bunk. He located a vent that let in outside air. As he pressed against the vent, he saw a faint glimmer of light reflected on the inside wall of the opening. Robbie put his eye next to the cement wall and discovered a minute crack in the construction. It allowed him to glimpse outside, but was so small that all he could see was one blade of grass. A single blade of grass and a faint ray of light. But when he stared at the sight, he felt a surge of joy, excitement and gratitude like he hadn't known in years. "It represented life, growth, and freedom," he later said, "and I knew God had not forgotten me." It was a tiny glimmer hope that sustained Robbie through an unbearable ordeal.

 

Those who trust in Christ have a living Hope who does not disappoint. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that your hope in Him has given you eternal life.

 

“My knowledge of that life is small, the eye of faith is dim, But ‘tis enough that Christ knows all, And I shall be with him.” – Richard Baxter

 

God’s Word: “However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’” – 1 Corinthians 2:9

 

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DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

Devotional - The Law Brings Knowledge Of Sin
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jan 13, 2013
Devotional - The Law Brings Knowledge Of Sin

“What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, ‘Do not covet.’” – Romans 7:7

 

In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shootings where twenty children and six adult staff members died at Sandy Hook elementary school, NBC reporter David Gregory decided to take action. On the following Sunday, Gregory held up a magazine for ammunition on his television show “Meet the Press.”

Gregory asked the National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre whether the NRA was willing to cede any ground on new gun legislation following the Sandy Hook shootings.

“Here is a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets,” Gregory said. “Now isn’t it possible that if we got rid of these, if we replaced them and said, ‘Well, you could only have a magazine that carries five bullets or ten bullets,’ isn’t it just possible that we could reduce the carnage in a situation like Newtown?”

As more than one blog pointed out, Gregory’s demonstration was itself a violation of existing Washington D.C. gun law. The law states:

“No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. A ‘large capacity ammunition feeding device’ means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition.” Violations may include a $1,000 fine or imprisonment for up to a year. Gregory who was in Washington D.C. during the show, did not know the strict law was in place.

 

Knowledge of the law brings recognition of our own sinful actions. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His law that through it we can recognize our own sin. And then thank Jesus for His grace; for it is in His grace we have life in Him.

 

“In the maxims of the law, God is seen as the rewarder of perfect righteousness and the avenger of sin. But in Christ, his face shines out, full of grace and gentleness to poor, unworthy sinners.” – John Calvin

 

God’s Word: “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 15:56-57

 

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DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

 

Devotional - God's Grace
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jan 10, 2013
Devotional - God's Grace

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23

 

On December 20, 1943, in the middle of World War II, American pilot Charlie Brown - a real person - was an American fighting for the British. Charlie was on a mission to bomb a factory in Bremen, Germany. His B-17 was in badly damaged before he arrived at the target. The nose was smashed, the tail section was shredded, one propeller had stopped working, holes everywhere. And to make matters worse, the compass had stopped working, and instead of heading back to Britain, he was flying deeper into enemy territory. Three of his men were seriously wounded and they were more than 200 miles from their base.

German pilot Franz Stigler was ordered to go up and shoot them down. But when he saw the condition of the aircraft, he was stunned. He had never seen a plane in such bad condition, and he didn't have the heart to shoot them down. Instead, he signaled for them to turn around, and he escorted them all the way to the North Sea. Then he returned to Germany and told his commanding officer that he'd shot them down over the ocean. It would be 46 years till these two men would meet and that amazing act of grace would become public knowledge.

 

Our sinful actions would lead to death if it were not for the grace of Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for His gift of grace and eternal life in Him.

 

“Grace is not sought nor bought nor wrought. It is a free gift of almighty God to needy mankind.” – Billy Graham

 

God’s Word: “he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” – Titus 3:5-7

 

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DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

Devotional - Be Reconciled
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jan 9, 2013
Devotional - Be Reconciled

“For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” – Romans 5:10-11

 

In 1994, 39-year-old Steve Backman was depressed, suicidal, and drinking to excess every day. On a rainy night on January 28, 1994, Backman drank heavily and then drove recklessly on California Highway 116 near Petaluma. His car crossed the double yellow line to strike a car driven by Chris Loukas. The impact caused Loukas’s lungs to be punctured and broke almost every bone in his body. For six weeks Loukas hovered between life and death in a coma.

Backman was arrested and charged with felony drunk driving. During that six weeks, Backman read that Loukas’s medical bills ran to over $500,000. Backman was so tortured that against all advice, he went to the hospital and approached the Loukas family, asking to talk to Loukas. When Backman was escorted by Loukas’s wife into the Loukas hospital room, Loukas saw him and immediately said, "Open up your arms and come here."

The two men hugged – both crying for 10-12 minutes. "The love and forgiveness they showed me," Backman said, "was a miracle. Something I never knew existed. When I walked out of that hospital room I weighed 500 pounds less. I saw everything in brilliant color when it had been black and white before."

Each year on February 28th, Backman and Loukas meet to celebrate the event that drove them together.

 

Christ has healed the breach between God and man as well as the divide between men. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He has reconciled the world through the Cross and seek to be reconciled to others.

 

“Why should the world believe in reconciliation when it doesn’t see the church reconciled? And the church is not going to be reconciled even if it gets all of the issues solved. It will be reconciled only through Jesus Christ. He is the Reconciler.” – Richard C. Halvorson

 

God’s Word: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” – 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

Devotional - He Died For Us
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jan 8, 2013
Devotional - He Died For Us

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

 

On December 14, 2012, Victoria Soto had just begun her school day at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The 27-year old first grade teacher heard gunfire and moved her children to a far end of the room to a closet. She then stood in front of the children as a human shield.

The gunman burst in and without a word shot and killed Victoria.

Victoria’s cousin Jim Wiltsie said: “She was found huddled over her children, her students, doing instinctively what she knew was the right thing. I'm just proud that Vicki had the instincts to protect her kids from harm. It brings peace to know that Vicki was doing what she loved, protecting the children and in our eyes she's a hero.”

Fairfield police Chief Gary MacNamara attended the Victoria’s funeral. He calls her a "tremendous hero" and said sacrificing her life was "the ultimate strength."

 

While we were sinners, Christ showed His ultimate strength, and died for our sins. Today in prayer, thank Christ for His death on the Cross for our sins to give us eternal life in Him.

 

“There are some sciences that may be learned by the head, but the science of Christ crucified  can only be learned by the heart.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit” – 1 Peter 3:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

 

Devotional - Faith Credited As Righteousness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jan 7, 2013
Devotional - Faith Credited As Righteousness

“What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." – Romans 4:3

 

One of the most unreached people is the Songhai of Niger. “They were a rare combination of military and mystic might," says John Smythe, an IMB missionary who's been working among the Songhai of Niger since 2006. “They had great warriors along with sorcerers and magicians who claimed to control the spirits, including those of the Niger River,” Smythe recounts. While officially Muslim, the Songhai generally practice animism.  Less than 1 percent of the Songhai are Christian.

One Songhai Christian is Ibrahim. He was a dedicated Muslim who came to Christ when he saw the Savior in a dream. His wife came to the Lord as well.

When Ibrahim’s wife died, the village leaders, refused to have her buried because she was a Christian. Only if Ibrahim confessed Islam would his wife be buried. He refused and by faith he set out to bury his wife alone. However, other Christian believers rallied around him and came to his aid. This unity in the face of cruel rejection was a turning point for the local church, showing that it could endure by faith, even without a missionary’s presence. The small group of believers grew into the first church ever seen in the region. That church "has continued to grow and understand what it means to be the church," Smythe said. "They are a true community that gives as anyone has need and shares as anyone has need."

 

The Lord is a rewarder of faith in Him. Today in prayer, give the battle you are facing to Jesus and when He has answered give the credit to the Lord.

 

“Faith is to believe what we do not see; and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.” – Augustine

 

God’s Word: “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” – Genesis 15:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

Devotional - We Are All Sinners
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jan 6, 2013
Devotional - We Are All Sinners

“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” – Romans 3:20

 

Cornelius Vanderbilt was an American industrialist and philanthropist who built his wealth in shipping and railroads. At one time, Vanderbilt was the richest man in America. He understood man’s affinity to sin, and as his longtime secretary put it, “He thought every man could stand watching.”

In January 1877, Vanderbilt was approaching death. He had been confined to his rooms for about eight months, suffering from complications of numerous chronic disorders.

The 82-year-old was estimated to be worth $100 million. But in the last few hours of his life, he felt poor. As he lay on his deathbed, he asked his faithful servant to come to his bedside and sing the old Gospel hymn, "Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy." The aged servant put much feeling and pleading pathos into the hymn:

“Come ye sinners, poor and needy,

Weak and wounded, sick and sore,

Jesus, ready, stands to save you,

Full of mercy love and pow'r!

Let not conscience make you linger,

Nor of fitness fondly dream,

All the fitness He requireth,

Is to feel your need of Him!”

At the conclusion of the hymn, Vanderbilt, forgetting his wealth, said, "I'm a poor and needy sinner!"

 

We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. But thanks be to Christ! He saw our sin and offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that through His grace we are saved and though we are sinners, we are saved by Christ’s grace.

 

“Sin is sovereign till sovereign grace dethrones it.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

Devotional - Even During Our Crisis Of Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jan 3, 2013
Devotional - Even During Our Crisis Of Faith

“What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness?” – Romans 3:3

 

Ruth Graham, wife of evangelist Billy Graham, was the daughter of missionaries and describes her own crisis of faith. “I had what some might call a "crisis of faith," although that sounds a bit grand for a thirteen-year-old's first doubts.

Still, age has nothing to do with a crisis, and the subject was my faith. Perhaps it resulted from unanswered prayer. I had begged God (and my parents) to let me go home. Without success.

Or it may have been spiritual growing pains.

Like the young man who went to a delightfully sane bishop to confess he had lost his faith.

"Nonsense," replied the bishop. "You've lost your parents' faith. Now go out and get one of your own."

I knew God had sent His Son, Jesus, to die for the sins of mankind, but somehow I did not feel included. There were so many and I was only one and, let's face it, not a very significant one at that. I prayed for forgiveness and felt nothing. I wasn't even sure He was listening.

Finally, in desperation, I went to my ever-practical sister, Rosa, and asked her advice.

"I don't know what to tell you to do," she replied matter-of-factly, "unless you take some verse and put your own name in. See if that helps."

So I picked up my Bible and turned to Isaiah 53:5, one of my favorite chapters. I did just what she suggested—I read, ‘He was wounded for [Ruth's] transgressions, He was bruised for [Ruth's] iniquities: the chastisement of [Ruth's] peace was upon Him; and with His stripes [Ruth] is healed’ I knew then that I was included.”

 

The Lord is faithful, even when our faith wanes. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He Lord of all and faithful in all He does.

 

“God will remain faithful to us through our hard times. He wants to raise us above our trials through faith, so we can say, “My God can do the impossible. He’s a deliverer, and he’s going to see me through.” – David Wilkerson

 

God’s Word: “God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” – 1 Corinthians 1:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

Devotional - Do Not Show Favoritism
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jan 2, 2013
Devotional - Do Not Show Favoritism

“For God does not show favoritism.” – Romans 2:11

 

On March 15, 2012, as the governments of Israel and Iran renewed their calls to war, 41-year-old Ronny Edry and his wife Michal Tamir, graphic designers and teachers living in Tel Aviv, uploaded a poster to their Facebook page.

The poster was a photo of Ronny with his daughter holding the Israeli flag. The written message: “Iranians, we will never bomb your country. We love you.”

Ronny attach a personal letter to the poster, addressed to the Iranian people, sharing his wish to stop a war with Iran by getting to know the other side – all by simply starting a conversation.

Within days, thousands of Israelis posted their own pictures with the same message. Then Iranians were sending the same message to Israel. And soon other people from other countries were sending messages of love and reconciliation similar to “Israel loves Iran.”

It is an Internet movement with the goal of not being prejudice toward anyone or any country.

 

The Lord does not show favoritism and neither should we be prejudice. Today in prayer, confess any sin of prejudice in your life and seek to see others as Jesus sees them.

 

“Prejudices are the chains forged by ignorance to keep men apart.” - Marguerite Gardiner

 

God’s Word: “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism.” – James 2:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

Devotional - The Sin of Ingratitude
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jan 1, 2013
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

 

In 1988, Polish railway worker Jan Grzebski fell into a coma after being knocked over by a railcar.  His doctors didn't give him long to live.

They were wrong. While machines kept him alive, Socialist Poland died outside on the streets. He didn't see the fences and walls come down, missed the collapse and subsequent rebirth of Poland's economy, as well as the country joining NATO and then the European Union.

He awoke on April 12, 2007 to a world of democracy and consumerism after spending 19 years in the selfless and devoted care of his wife Gertruda.

"When I went into a coma there was only tea and vinegar in the shops, meat was rationed and huge petrol queues were everywhere," Grzebski said. "There are so many goods in the shops it makes my head spin.”

But something puzzled him. "What amazes me is all these people who walk around with their mobile phones and yet they never stop moaning."

The people had freedom, and food and wealth greater than Poland had for decades ... and yet Grzebski woke from his coma to find that they were ungrateful for all that they had.

 

The Lord hates the sin of ingratitude. Today in prayer, confess any sin of ingratitude and be thankful with all that He has given you.

 

"The careless soul receives the Father’s gifts as if it were a way things had of dropping into his hand...yet he is ever complaining, as if someone were accountable for the problems which meet him at every turn. For the good that comes to him, he gives no thanks; who is there to thank? At the disappointments that befall him he grumbles; there must be someone to blame!” - George MacDonald

 

God’s Word: “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good” 2 Timothy 3:2-3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

Devotional - Not Ashamed of the Gospel
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jan 1, 2013
Devotional - Not Ashamed of the Gospel

"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile." - Romans 1:16

 

When Vasuman Jayaraman was a child in a village in India, his father became a drunkard and stopped providing for the family. As Vasuman and his mother, brother and sisters went hungry day after day, his heart became hard. He became an alcoholic just as his father had become. One day a Christian pastor knocked on his door and invited him to a film.

After watching the movie “Man of Mercy” and being moved by the Gospel, Vasuman chose to follow Jesus and he gave up alcohol. Eventually, he went on to Bible college. After graduation, he felt called to reach out to others with the same film the Lord had used to save him.

Today Vasuman is a traveling evangelist in India. He shares the Gospel with others because Jesus saved him and changed him from the inside.

 

Do not be afraid of sharing your faith in Jesus. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His Gospel and seek to share it with others.

 

"The gospel is so simple that small children can understand it, and it is so profound that studies by the wisest theologians will never exhaust its riches." - Charles Hodge

 

God's Word: "I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit." - Romans 15:15-16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

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