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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions in Titus, Jude, and Philemon
Devotional - Don't Be A Grumbler
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 29, 2013
Devotional - Don't Be A Grumbler

“These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.” – Jude 1:16

 

People will find just about anything to grumble about. Below are actual customer complaints: A guest at a hotel in the Canary Islands complained that "the sound of the sea so irritating."  He asked hotel staff if they "could stop it." One traveler was disappointed that it was too cold to ski in Japan during winter. Another grumbled that Singapore was too hot and lacked fresh air. A utility company received a call from a customer complaining about the exceptionally high quality of customer service. The customer suggested that less money be spent on staff training and the savings put to reducing customer bills. A cruise ship customer expressed her disappointment with her inside cabin not having a window to the sea. A couple on a cruise said the service was so excellent that they spent a lot more on tips than they expected, and wanted their gratuities to be refunded.

 

Grumbling begets grumbling. When we complain we are only practicing for our next complaint. Today in prayer, confess any constant grumbling in your own life and seek to find peace in Jesus Christ.

 

“By murmuring you undo your prayers, for it is exceedingly contrary to the prayer that you make to God. When you come to pray to God, you acknowledge his sovereignty over you, you come there to profess yourselves to be at God's disposal.” - B.J. Stockman

 

God’s Word: “Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!” – James 5:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

Devotional - Beware of Charlatans
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 28, 2013
Devotional - Beware of Charlatans

“For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” – Jude 1:4

 

In 1971, Stewart Traill, a former atheist and vacuum repairman, started a group called the "Forever Family" in Allentown, Pennsylvania. They later changed their name to The Church of Bible Understanding (COBU). It appeared to be a communal organization, teaching a form of evangelical Christianity. COBU developed into a network of churches with 10,000 members and 110 communes at its peak. But Traill claimed he was the reincarnation of Elijah, and that he knows the date of Christ's return. He had members live in communes and 'donate' 90% of their income to the cult. Traill amassed a fortune and bought four planes and a mansion. According to former members, Traill controlled every aspect of members' lives through harsh criticism, shame, and public humiliation. Ron Burkes, who treats former cult members, stated: "[Traill] has one of most effective means of shutting down critical thinking I've ever seen. Of the hundreds of people I've treated, COBU is definitely in the top five (cults) in terms of harm and psychological damage."

 

There are many imposters trying to lead people astray. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that as we study the Bible, we get to know better the only true God, Jesus Christ.  

 

“By entertaining of strange persons, men sometimes entertain angels unawares: but by entertaining strange doctrines, many have entertained devils unawares.” – John Flavel

 

God’s Word: “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” – Titus 1:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

Devotional - The Desire For Peace
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 27, 2013
Devotional - The Desire For Peace

“Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ: Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.” – Jude 1:1-2

 

In June 2013, Margarita Arellanes, the mayor of Monterrey "gave" her city "to our Lord Jesus Christ, so that his kingdom of peace and blessings may be established." She prayed: “I, Margarita Alicia Arellanes Cervantes, deliver the city of Monterrey, Nuevo León to our Lord Jesus Christ. For his kingdom of peace and blessings to be established, I open the doors of this city to God as the maximum authority.” She said that without the presence and help of Jesus Christ there cannot be real success; “If the Lord doesn’t build the house, the ones who build it work in vain; if the Lord doesn’t care for the city, the watchers stand guard in vain.” Margarita, a former lawyer, says she was careful to ensure the legality of her speech, adding in interviews that she acted as a private citizen–not as the city's mayor. Monterey, the wealthiest city in Mexico, is the third-largest city in the country. In Mexico, churches are "no longer neutral observers" in the violence and drug wars.

 

Every heart desires peace, but that is only possible when we give our heart to the Prince of Peace. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that in Jesus Christ, no matter what our situation is in life, we have peace.

 

“Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart?” – Gerald Majella

 

God’s Word: “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” – 2 Peter 1:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

Devotional = Be Reconciled
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 26, 2013
Devotional = Be Reconciled

“Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good-- no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord. So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.” – Philemon 1:15-16

 

In 1889, Jefferson Davis, the former President of the Confederacy died. His widow Varina had endured financial woes and the loss of several children, and decided to move to New York City and begin a career in journalism. There she advocated reconciliation between the North and South. She went to veterans reunions for the Union and the Confederacy, and she joined both the Daughters of the American Revolution and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She tirelessly wrote and talked about healing the rift caused by the Civil War. In June 1893, Varina met the widow of former U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant at a hotel in New York.  That evening the two ladies dined together and then sat on the porch as other guests watched in amazement. The two women became fast friends and occasionally Julia Grant and Varina Davis traveled together. In 1897, at the dedication of Grant's tomb, Julia invited Varina to be a special guest during the dedication to show her commitment to reconciliation.

 

The Lord desires us to be reconciled to Him and to others. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that you are reconciled to God through Jesus Christ and seek to be reconciled to others.

 

“The number one problem in our world is alienation, rich versus poor, black versus white, labor versus management, conservative versus liberal, East versus West . . . But Christ came to bring about reconciliation and peace.” – Billy Graham

 

God’s Word: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” – 2 Corinthians 5:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

Devotional - Sharing Your Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 25, 2013
Devotional - Sharing Your Faith

“I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” - Philemon 1:6

 

In 1952, the prisons in Singapore were some of the most hellish places on earth. The Singapore Commissioner of Prisons realized that the Gospel needed to penetrate the prisons and asked some of the local pastors to begin a prison ministry. He stated: “These people fear neither the law nor men, I want you to get them to fear God.”  

The Reverend Khoo Siaw Hua, a Methodist minister, answered the urgent appeal for help and served as the country’s first prison chaplain.

He began a weekly chapel service at the Changi Prison and it soon had more than 400 in attendance.

For the next 32 years Pastor Khoo faithfully shared the Gospel and provided spiritual care to prison inmates. He suffered a fatal heart attack while at the prison, and in his dying words after collapsing he said, “Love the prisoners; care for them.”

 

We need to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His Gospel and share His good news with others.

 

“The real problem of Christianity is not atheism, or skepticism, but the non-witnessing Christian trying to smuggle his own soul into heaven.” – James S. Stewart

 

God’s Word: “He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.” – John 1:7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

Devotional -Remember To Pray For Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 22, 2013
Devotional -Remember To Pray For Others

“I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers” – Philemon 1:4

 

Pastor Josh Sprunger is an avid runner. He had trained hard for the 2012 New York City marathon, but when it was canceled just days before the race, he decided he needed to channel his efforts into something else. That something was a 200-mile run from his hometown of Berne, Indiana, to his church in Westland, Michigan.

He dubbed it a “Prayer Run” and ran it in 5 days in July 2013. Pastor Sprunger solicited prayer requests from members of Warren Road Light and Life Church in Westland where he is the youth minister. With each new mile he ran he was handed a card with a Bible verse and a request. He prayed as he ran, covering 40 miles a day. Running, he said, relaxes him and brings him closer to God.

“It’s really neat to praise God for the journey he took me on,” said Josh. “There were a lot of constant reminders of the people he has put in my life to shape me. It was a very successful journey.”

Josh depended on the Lord for many of the logistics, such as where they were going to pitch their tent each night. And for each of the five days of the run, the Lord provided Josh strength and the needs to finish his race.

“One verse that stuck with us was Deuteronomy 31:8 – The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,” Josh said. “We saw that through the whole trip. As we’d get to the next place, he would set up for us.”

During the last few miles of the run, family and friends ran and prayed with Josh, as they finished the Prayer Run.

 

As you race through life, remember to pray for others. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for your friends and pray for them that Christ would be glorified in your life and your friends’ lives.

 

“Intercessory prayer might be defined as loving our neighbors on our knees.” – Charles H. Brent

 

God’s Word: “God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you.” – Romans 1:9-10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

 

Devotional - Follow The Lord's Warnings
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 20, 2013
Devotional - Follow The Lord's Warnings

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

 

In 1997, Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch (M-LAW) began a contest to expose how frivolous lawsuits, and a concern about potential frivolous lawsuits, have led to a new cultural phenomenon: the wacky warning label. Over the years, M-LAW has received hundreds of warning labels from people around the world. M-LAW verifies the authenticity of each label and selects the "Top 5" for each year. The following is a list of some of the best labels from the first eight contests: A household iron warns users: "Never iron clothes while they are being worn" A label on a hair dryer reads, "Never use hair dryer while sleeping" A warning on an electric drill made for carpenters cautions: "This product not intended for use as a dental drill." The label on a bottle of drain cleaner warns: "If you do not understand, or cannot read, all directions, cautions and warnings, do not use this product." A can of self-defense pepper spray warns users: "May irritate eyes" A warning on a pair of shin guards manufactured for bicyclists says: "Shin pads cannot protect any part of the body they do not cover." A popular manufactured fireplace log warns: "Caution - Risk of Fire" And one of my favorites: A cardboard car sunshield that keeps sun off the dashboard warns, "Do not drive with sunshield in place"

 

Unlike the world that gives us some wacky warnings, the Lord warns us to protect us and to provide for us. Today in prayer, praise the Lord loving you and warning you of potential danger.

 

“If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” – Catherine Aird  

God’s Word: “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.” – 1 Corinthians 10:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

Devotional - Avoid Foolish Controversies And Geneologies
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 19, 2013
Devotional - Avoid Foolish Controversies And Geneologies

“But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.” – Titus 3:9

 

On July 17, 1918, a Bolshevik secret police firing squad murdered Russian Czar Nicholas II and his immediate family at the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg. In the latter 20th century and early 21st century, there has been a renewed fascination of the Romanov family. There were 35 members of his extended family that escaped Russia. There have been numerous genealogical followings of these people. There have been a profuse number of DNA tests trying to determine legitimate matches to the Romanovs. Now the fascination with the Romanov family's "martyrdom," has taken on a spiritual bent. Some Russians still yearn for a strong, paternal leader and they believe that their country's salvation lies in the return of the monarchy. Each July 17, some religious pilgrims retrace the route taken by the bodies of the Romanovs from the Ipatiev house to their final resting place at Ganina Yama.

 

Foolish genealogies and pointless controversies waste our time. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that in Him we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and seek to use your time wisely to honor Christ.

 

“Genealogy: a perverse preoccupation of those who seek to demonstrate that their forebears were better people than they are.”  – Sydney J. Harris

 

God’s Word: “nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work--which is by faith.” – 1 Timothy 1:4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

Devotional - Because Of His Mercy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 18, 2013
Devotional - Because Of His Mercy

“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” – Titus 3:5

 

In 1849, Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky was arrested for his involvement in a secret society. He and other members were condemned to death, but at the last moment, a note from Tsar Nicholas I was delivered to the scene of the firing squad, commuting his sentence to four years' hard labor in Siberia.

On his arrival in that desolate region, two women slipped a New Testament into his hand and when the officer’s back was turned, whispered to him, “search it carefully at your leisure”.

He studied the precious volume from cover to cover, pondered every word; learned much of it by heart; and never forgot God’s mercy toward him. All his works are saturated with it, and it is the Word of God that gives Dostoyevsky’s works their power.

His daughter, Aimee Dostoyevski, believed it was by that divine hand that the Testament was presented to her father that day. “Throughout his life,” she adds, “he would never be without his old prison Testament, the faithful friend that had consoled him in the darkest hours of his life. He always took it with him on his travels and kept it in a drawer in his writing-table, within reach of his hand. He consulted it in the important moments of his life.”

 

It is only by God’s great mercy are we saved through Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord for His mercy.

 

“Moral indignation never led anyone to Christ, but mercy has.” – William Dever

 

God’s Word: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” – 1 Peter 1:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

Devotional - True Humility
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 15, 2013
Devotional - True Humility

“to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.” – Titus 3:2

 

Girolamo Savonarola was one of the great preachers of the fifteenth century. He preached in the great cathedral of Florence, Italy, which contained a magnificent marble statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When Savonarola started preaching at this great cathedral, he noticed one day an elderly woman praying before this statue of Mary. He then began to notice that it was her habit to come every day and pray before the statue. Savonarola remarked one day to an elderly priest who had been serving in the cathedral for many years, "Look how devoted and earnest this woman is. Every day she comes and offers prayers to the blessed Mother of Jesus. What a marvelous act of faith." But the elderly priest replied, "Do not be deceived by what you see. Many years ago when the sculptor needed a model to pose for this statue of the blessed Mother, he hired a beautiful young woman to sit for him. This devout worshiper you see here everyday is that young woman. She is worshiping who she used to be."

 

In all that we do, we need to remove our pride and seek to be humble servants of Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His humble example on earth and seek to humbly follow Him.

 

“Humility is strong, not bold; quiet, not speechless; sure, not arrogant.” – Estelle Smith

 

God’s Word: “He has showed you, O man, 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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

Devotional - To Be Obedient
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 14, 2013
Devotional - To Be Obedient

“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good” – Titus 3:1

 

In 1873, 32-year old Lottie Moon from Virginia arrived in North China to be a missionary. She struggled to learn the ways of Chinese culture but she was determined to take the message of God’s love to the countryside. She went to the villages, often on her own.

“Here I am working alone in a city of many thousand inhabitants,” she wrote in one of her many letters home. “It is grievous to think of these human souls going down to death without even one opportunity of hearing the name of Jesus. How many can I reach? The needs of these people press upon my soul, and I cannot be silent.” 

She experienced isolation and loneliness. She had a chance to marry and return home. Her response: “God had first claim on my life, and since the two conflicted, there could no question about the result.” She was obedient through war and famine, because the Chinese needed to know the Lord.

Disease, turmoil and lack of co-workers threatened to undo Lottie’s work. But she gave her life completely to God, helping lay the foundation of what would become the modern Chinese church, one of the fastest-growing Christian movements in the world.

She once wrote home to the Foreign Mission Board, “Please say to the [new] missionaries they are coming to a life of hardship, responsibility and constant self-denial.”

 

When the Lord says “go” be prepared to obey Him. Today in prayer, thank Christ for His commandments and laws. Desire to be obedient to His will in all that you do.

 

"The majority of us do not enthrone God, we enthrone common sense. We make our decisions and then ask the real God to bless our god's decision." - Oswald Chambers

 

God’s Word: “Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and revering him.” – Deuteronomy 8:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

Devotional - Encourage One Another
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 13, 2013
Devotional - Encourage One Another

“These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.” – Titus 2:15

 

The Black Forest fire was the most destructive fire in the Colorado's history. The forest fire began in Black Forest, Colorado on June 11, 2013 and burned for more than 10 days. It killed two people, destroyed more than 500 homes, and burned 14,280 acres. As the firefighting wound down, firefighters were cheered by the local citizens, many of them up signs of thanks. "I have never seen firefighters grinning so much from ear to ear as they come driving into a fire camp with soot and everything all over them than there are when they drive through the public that's out there," said Incident Commander Rich Harvey. People, young and old, stood near the fire command post waving as the firefighters drove by at shift change. "Some of them [the firefighters] want to go up and say 'Hi,'' Harvey said. However, "they say they can't because they said, 'I'll start to cry.'" El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said many of his deputies were surprised at how much they've been hugged. "They said they've been hugged by more people with tears than they have contacted in their careers," Maketa said. "Seeing those people out there and feeling the support that's coming from the community really makes us ready to go handle that grind for you," Harvey said. "We really do appreciate the support."

 

We all need encouragement in this life and to follow Jesus. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for those who have encouraged you during your life and seek to be an encourager to others.

 

“We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a man on his feet. Blessed is the man who speaks such a word.” – William Barclay

 

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

 

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DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

Devotional - Say "NO" To The World
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 12, 2013
Devotional - Say

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” – Titus 2:11-12

 

When he returned home from Vietnam, Alfonso Aceves was lost. After several run-ins with the law, he and some friends started a motorcycle club called the Mongols. 

“When we started the Mongols there were 10 of us. Everywhere we went somebody would want to test us and we’d fight. And, little by little we started growing; growing more chapters until I was getting kind of like famous in there for all the fights that I had - all the things I would do to people,” Al said.

Al made countless enemies, and eventually became addicted to heroin. He married Lorraine, a divorcee with six children.

When his money ran out, Al and his family became homeless. A Christian family took them into their home. They had one stipulation; “We’re going to read a scripture every day when I come home.” Al didn’t know what a scripture was”

But as Al reluctantly studied the Bible, his curiosity began to grow.

He eventually asked Jesus to be the Lord of his life. After some backsliding, Al has given up the drugs and his violent ways. “No matter what kind of biker you are, no matter what club you’re in, no matter what situation you’re in, God can take you out of it. My life has changed just because of Christ,” Al said, “not because of any drug, not because of any program, no doctor, no psychiatrist. God has changed my life completely from the person I was to who I am now.”

 

We need to say “no” to the world and its passions and temptations. Only in Christ is there salvation. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to give you self-control and the strength to say "No" to the world and “Yes” to Jesus.

 

“What makes resisting temptation difficult, for many people, is that they don’t want to discourage it completely.” – Franklin P. Jones

 

God’s Word: “My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.” – Proverbs 1:10

 

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DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

Devotional - Integrity In What You Do
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 11, 2013
Devotional - Integrity In What You Do

“In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness” – Titus 2:7

 

In 1890, Casimir Zeglen, a Ukrainian priest, moved to the United States. In 1893, after the assassination of Carter Harrison, Sr., the mayor of Chicago, he decided to invent the first commercial bulletproof vest. In 1897, the finished product was 1.6mm steel plate woven between four layers of silk. Zeglen claimed his 1/8” thick, 1/2 lb. vest could stop a .44 caliber bullet. He proved it when he volunteered to be shot before a live audience in New York City. When he was struck by the bullet at only 10 paces, he said he felt just "a tap." Zeglen and his "bullet proof cloth" became an overnight sensation.

Alfonso XIII, the King of Spain heard of Zeglen’s bulletproof material and ordered that his carriage be covered with the armor. It is a good thing, because on his wedding day, May 31, 1906, a bomb exploded near the carriage, but the King and his bride were unharmed.

 

Each day, our integrity is put to the test. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to give you wisdom and strength to have Christ’s integrity in all that you do.

 

“Be such as a man, and live such a life, that if every man were such as you, and every life like yours, this earth would be God's Paradise.” - Phillips Brooks

 

God’s Word: “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.” – Proverbs 10:9

 

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DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

Devotional - Teaching Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 8, 2013
Devotional - Teaching Others

“Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.” – Titus 2:2

 

In 2008, the Christian Educators Association International announced that public school teacher Dr. Mella Davis of Richmond, Texas, was named teacher of the year. She taught English and French at Terry High School. Dr. Davis is not shy in proclaiming Jesus as her Savior.

She allows students to have lunch in her classroom so they can join together in prayer. Another way of shining the Christian light so everyone can see it, she notes, is to "make sure that we provide an example of excellence in the work that we do – and as we do that, that will get the attention that will bring God the glory." When not busy educating children, Dr. Davis has served her local church and on the foreign mission field.

Dr. Davis said, “I believe that it is the role of a Christian educator to speak and behave consistently with God’s love for each student.”

 

In all that we do, we should be teaching others to love the Lord and love others. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that the greatest commandments are ones we can live by.

 

“The love of God and the God of love constrain you to love one another that it may at last be said of Christians as it was at first, ‘Behold how they love one another.’” – Ralph Venning

 

God’s Word: “Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” – 1 Peter 2:17

 

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DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

Devotional - Encourage Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 7, 2013
Devotional - Encourage Others

“He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” – Titus 1:9

 

In July 2013, former President George H. W. Bush shaved his head. He did it to encourage a two year old, Patrick, who is losing his hair due to being treated for leukemia. Patrick is the son of one of the former President’s secret service agents. All of agents who are guarding the 41st President in Kennebunkport, Maine decided to shave their heads in solidarity with little Patrick.

George and Barbara Bush empathize with the boy’s parents. The Bushes lost their second child, 4-year-old Robin Bush, to leukemia 60 years ago in October.

The prognosis for little Patrick is much better and he is responding well to treatment.

The Bush security detail has responded to Patrick’s illness by having a series of fundraisers to help pay for the little boy’s medical expenses.

 

Each of us needs to encourage others to follow Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for the good news we have in Jesus Christ and seek to encourage others to closely follow Him.  

 

"God intends that we be people who use words to encourage one another. A well-timed word has the power to urge a runner to the finish line, to rekindle hope when despair has set in, to spark a bit of warmth in an otherwise cold life, to trigger healthful self-evaluation to someone who doesn't think much about his shortcomings, to renew confidence when problems have the upper hand." - Lawrence J. Crabb, Jr.

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

Devotional - Practice Self-Control
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 6, 2013
Devotional - Practice Self-Control

“Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.” – Titus 1:8

 

Pastor Tony Evans from Dallas, Texas spoke of being on an elevator in a high-rise building. He never felt particularly comfortable on such elevators. There was something about riding up and down in a little box several hundred feet off the ground that never sat well with him. He was worried that something would go wrong.

One day it did. The elevator he was riding in got stuck in between floors way in the upper floors. Tony noted that some of the people in the car became frantic. They began to beat on the door hoping to get someone’s attention. Others began to yell in the hopes that their voices would get someone on the surrounding floors to come to the aid. But nobody heard their noise or their cries.

Then Tony, controlling his own emotions, quietly made his way to the front of the elevator, opened a little door in the wall and pulled out the emergency telephone. Immediately he was connected with someone on the outside. He didn’t need to beat on the wall to get their attention. He didn’t need to speak loudly in the phone to receive their help. He could have whispered and they would have heard him.

Tony said that - in this world, we are going to get "stuck" in places we are not comfortable with. Some people begin to beat against the walls, others cry out in dismay. But the person who controls his emotions and trusts in the power of confident prayer knows there is someone on the other end who hears their call and comes to their aid.

 

When we are self-controlled, we bring glory to Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, give your gifts, time and talents to the Lord and be self-control.

 

"The Spirit whom Christians have received is the Spirit of holiness, and nothing unholy can be tolerated in one whom he indwells: self-control is part of the fruit which his presence yields in a believer's life."  - F.F. Bruce

 

God’s Word: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

Devotional - Do Not Be Quick Tempered
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 5, 2013
Devotional - Do Not Be Quick Tempered

“Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless--not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.” – Titus 1:7

 

D.L. Moody was a nineteenth century American evangelist and publisher who founded the Moody Church, Northfield Mount Hermon School, the Moody Bible Institute and the Moody Publishers.

One time D. L. Moody was lecturing and a theological student asked a question. Moody snapped back at him. At the end of his talk he paused and confessed, “Friends, I want to confess before you that I made a great mistake at the beginning of this meeting. I answered my young brother down there foolishly. I ask God to forgive me. I ask him to forgive me.” Then Moody quickly left the platform, went to the young man, apologized for his quick temper and shook his hand. Someone who witnessed this called it, “the greatest thing I ever saw Moody do.”

 

The Lord desires that we would be self-controlled, not quick-tempered. Today in prayer, confess any anger in your life to the Lord and receive His peace.

 

“Men are like steel. When they lose their temper, they lose their worth.”  – Chuck Norris

 

God’s Word: “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.” – Proverbs 16:32

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

Devotional - Strive To Be Blameless
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 5, 2013
Devotional - Strive To Be Blameless

“An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.” – Titus 1:6

 

In February 1984, Thomas Haynesworth was wrongfully arrested and convicted of rape, a crime he did not commit. He spent nearly three decades in prison. In December 2011, Thomas was declared innocent by the Virginia Court of Appeals and was released from prison on his 46th birthday.

At Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Petersburg, Virginia, Thomas shared some of his testimony: “I was in prison for 27 years, and I never got into a fight,” he said. “I always kept myself in a respectful way.”

"I am glad that I went through these extremes, because everything happened for a reason," he said.

He said that instead of unleashing his frustration and anger unto others, he tried to turn it into positive energy. Thomas does not harbor any hard feelings against those who wrongly convicted him. “Sometimes I look back at what could have been, but I don’t worry about that anymore,” he said. “I just go forward with my life and I trust God.”

 

No matter what life throws are way, we should seek to be blameless in all that we do. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that when we follow Him, we can be blameless.

 

“When we quarrel, how we wish we had been blameless.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

God’s Word: “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless.” – Genesis 17:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

Devotional - Peace In Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 1, 2013
Devotional - Peace In Christ

“To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.” – Titus 1:4

 

On February 7, 2013, the Carnival cruise ship Triumph set sail from Galveston, Texas for a four day cruise to Mexico. On Sunday, February 10, 2013 the ship suffered a fire in the aft engine room. The fire was immediately extinguished, but the ship suffered a loss of power and propulsion. The ship became adrift 150 miles off the Mexican coast. For the next five days the 4,200 people onboard had to endure unsanitary conditions, food shortages and camping out on deck until the ship was towed into Mobile, Alabama. But many passengers were able to overcome these difficult conditions thanks in part to an impromptu Bible study that brought them closer to each other and closer to God. Joseph and Cecilia Alvarez were among the passengers. It started out with about 25 people, Joseph said. They met on the upper deck running tracks. "The Bible studies were great," he said. "We did it for four days. . It put our minds and our hearts at ease. We felt peace the whole time. We knew that there was a Mighty Power out there that would get us home and keep us safe so we could get home and see our children." Participants shared testimonies, prayed and sang songs like "Amazing Grace," "How Great is Our God" and a couple of songs in Spanish. They read Psalm 29:3 "the voice of the Lord is over the waters"--and Psalm 91 about taking refuge in God. They were able to experience peace in the most trying of circumstances.

 

Though we all desire peace, it can only be found in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is the Prince of Peace.

 

“I know men who would write a check for a million dollars if they could find peace. Millions are searching for it. Every time they get close to finding the peace that you have found in Christ, Satan steers them away. He blinds them. He throws up a smoke screen. He bluffs them. And they miss it! But you have found it! It is yours now forever. You have found the secret of life.” – Billy Graham

 

God’s Word: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” – Romans 5:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

Devotional - Our Hope Of Eternal Life
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 31, 2013
Devotional - Our Hope Of Eternal Life

“a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time” – Titus 1:2

 

Cody Custer was a professional bull rider for nineteen years. "Everything in me wanted to be a bull rider when I grew up. That's really all I wanted to do was rodeo. I was a little insecure about a lot of things, but when it comes to riding steers or bulls, I was a good as they get. So, my identity became riding bulls."  And everything that went along with that lifestyle. There were lots of fights, lots of alcohol and marijuana. Cody followed the crowd. Then he met some cowboys who challenged him. "They began to talk to me about a personal relationship with Jesus" Cody said. Cody had gone to church as a child. But when he lost his brother and sister in a car accident, he shut God out of his life. "The problem is, I didn't know God. Really, down deep inside I was searching for something, but at the same time I was balking at it because I didn't really want to have to fess up." Ultimately, Cody's conscience caught up with him.  "A couple of months of those guys sharing with me, and sharing out of God's word and just showing me unconditional love; that's really the place where I decided that I was going to come into a relationship with Jesus. It took a few years for the Lord to really move me to that place where my relationship became less about me and more about Him." Today he works with pro bull riding outreach. "As humans we try to have it our way. But I'm telling you from experience that God will be faithful to speak into your life and to show you who you are and why He created you. If you start seeking Him, you're going to find Him."

 

When our hope is in the Lord’s shed blood, we have eternal life in Him. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that in Him we have been saved from certain death and have eternal life.

 

“Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever?” – C.S. Lewis

 

“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” – John 3:14-15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2013, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON

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