2018-12-14T05:43:16.107Z Daily Devotionals by Peter Kennedy Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e Devotional.com 2077 1 25 2018-12-14T05:39:00Z 2018-12-14T05:43:16.107Z Devotional - Do Not Worry <p>&ldquo;Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.&rdquo; &ndash; Luke 12:22</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>James Hudson Taylor was a British medical missionary to China. He spent 51 years in China and was responsible for bringing over 800 missionaries to the country who began 125 schools and directly resulted in 18,000 Christian conversions.</p> <p>He shared two thoughts on anxiety and worry.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize the Lord is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest positions He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult, His grace is sufficient.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>His final thought on worry:</p> <p>"The branch of the vine does not worry, and toil, and rush here to seek for sunshine, and there to find rain. No; it rests in union and communion with the vine; and at the right time, and in the right way, is the right fruit found on it. Let us so abide in the Lord Jesus."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Lord is in control of everything; there is no need to worry. Today in prayer, give your anxieties and worries to Him and relax in Christ&rsquo;s peace.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Oh, how great peace and quietness would he possess who should cut off all vain anxiety and place all of his confidence in God." &ndash; Thomas `a Kempis</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.&rdquo; &ndash; Philippians 4:6-7</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN LUKE</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-12-13T05:40:00Z 2018-12-13T05:42:49.7Z Devotional - But For The Grace Of God <p>&ldquo;Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.&rdquo; &ndash; Luke 11:4</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>John Bradford was a 16th&nbsp;Century evangelist and English reformer. He was imprisoned for his allegiance to the Church of England and martyred in 1555. While in captivity he watched many prisoners as they were led to their execution. Watching these men walk to their death, he famously said, &ldquo;There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford&rdquo;. When he was finally executed for his beliefs, and just prior to being burned at the stake, he looked to the gathered crowd and begged the forgiveness of anyone he had wronged. He also offered forgiveness to those who had wronged him (and even to those who were about to execute him). John understood the blurry distinction between the &ldquo;good guys&rdquo; and the &ldquo;bad guys&rdquo;. None of us are good. All of us deserve punishment. Our fallen nature warrants the judgment of God and begs the forgiveness of others. A forgiving heart is grounded in the attitude: &ldquo;There, but for the grace of God, go I&rdquo;.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>All of us need forgiveness and all of us need to forgive others. Today in prayer, seek to forgive all that have wronged you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;To err is human; to forgive, divine.&rdquo; &ndash;Alexander Pope</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;Bear with each other&nbsp;and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.&rdquo; &ndash; Colossians 3:13</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN LUKE</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-12-12T05:34:00Z 2018-12-12T05:43:14.917Z Devotional - Loving Your Neighbor <p>&ldquo;He answered: &lsquo;Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'&rdquo; &ndash; Luke 10:27</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Dr. Fred Shepherd spent more than 30 years in Eastern Turkey as a medical missionary. He started a school of medicine and 221 men graduated from there to aid in the terrible disease and suffering throughout the country. His records show that by 1914 he had seen 6000 patients in his clinic, called on others in over 2000 homes, and had only 800 paying patients.</p> <p>Dr. Shepard&rsquo;s service was so significant that he received decorations from the Red Cross and President Taft in 1909 and from the Sultan of Turkey in 1911. The Sultan said, &ldquo;The decoration bestowed upon you is nothing compared with your most admiring sympathy shown to the suffering humanity.&rdquo;</p> <p>In 1908 the largest Protestant church in Turkey held a silver anniversary of Fred Shepard&rsquo;s ministry there. It was filled with Moslems, Catholics, Gregorians, and Jews as well as Protestants. For two hours these folks stood and talked about what Dr. Shepard had done for them.</p> <p>While reflecting over his ministry he said that the celebration was really not about him but about one even greater; God and His love. &ldquo;Because I have understood a little about that love, I try to let others know about it. This is my purpose in life. I did not come to this country to make money or a reputation. I came to bear witness that God is love. If by my work I have been able to show you him, I have had my reward and I thank him.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We need to love our neighbors just as Jesus does. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to give you eyes to see those in need and wisdom on how to help them.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Man may dismiss compassion from his heart, but God never will.&rdquo; &ndash; William Cowper</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'&rdquo; - Matthew 22:39</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN LUKE</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-12-11T05:56:00Z 2018-12-11T06:13:26.36Z Devotional - Have Faith In Christ <p>&ldquo;"O unbelieving and perverse generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here."&rdquo; &ndash; Luke 9:41</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>David Wilkerson&nbsp;was an&nbsp;American&nbsp;Christian&nbsp;evangelist, best known for his book&nbsp;&ldquo;The Cross and the Switchblade.&rdquo; He was the founder of the&nbsp;addiction&nbsp;recovery program&nbsp;&ldquo;Teen Challenge&rdquo;, and founding&nbsp;pastor&nbsp;of the&nbsp;non-denominational&nbsp;Times Square Church&nbsp;in&nbsp;New York City. His sermons are known for being direct and frank against&nbsp;apostasy&nbsp;and serious about making the commitment to obey&nbsp;Jesus' teachings. He emphasized such Christian beliefs as&nbsp;God's holiness and righteousness and God's love toward&nbsp;people.</p> <p>On the subject of unbelief, Pastor David said:</p> <p>&ldquo;Likewise today, some Christians are content to merely exist until they die. They don't want to risk anything, to believe God, to grow or mature. They refuse to believe his Word, and have become hardened in their unbelief. Now they're living just to die.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When questions or life circumstances arise, draw near to Jesus in faith. Today in prayer, thank Christ that He is our Rock and in Him we can place our entire faith.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;None but the Lord himself can afford us any help from the awful workings of unbelief, doubtings, carnal fears, murmurings. Thank God one day we will be done forever with &lsquo;unbelief&rsquo;&rdquo; &ndash; Arthur W. Pink</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.&rdquo; &ndash; 1 Timothy 1:13-14</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN LUKE</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-12-10T05:30:00Z 2018-12-10T05:44:55.287Z Devotional - Where Is Your Faith? <p>&ldquo;The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!" He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. "Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."&rdquo; &ndash; Luke 8:24-25</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Pastor Haddon Robinson told the following story: &ldquo;Years ago, Monroe Parker (an evangelist) was traveling through South Alabama on one of those hot, sultry Alabama days. He stopped at a watermelon stand, picked out a watermelon, and asked the proprietor how much it cost. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s $1.10,&rdquo; he replied. Parker dug into his pocket, found only a bill and said, &ldquo;All I have is a dollar.&rdquo; &ldquo;That&rsquo;s OK,&rdquo; the proprietor said, &ldquo;I&rsquo;ll trust you for it.&rdquo; &ldquo;Well, that&rsquo;s mighty nice of you,&rdquo; Parker responded, and picking up the watermelon, started to leave. &ldquo;Hey, where are you going?&rdquo; the man behind the counter demanded. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m going outside to eat my watermelon.&rdquo; &ldquo;But you forgot to give me the dollar!&rdquo; &ldquo;You said you would trust me for it,&rdquo; Parker called back. &ldquo;Yeah, but I meant I would trust you for the dime!&rdquo; &ldquo;Mack,&rdquo; Parker replied, &ldquo;You weren&rsquo;t going to trust me at all. You were just going to take a ten-cent gamble on my integrity!&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Do you trust the Lord with all areas of your life or are you taking just a gamble on His integrity? Today in prayer, praise Jesus that in Him you can place your faith of all areas of your life.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Faith is to believe what we cannot see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.&rdquo; - Augustine</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;"'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."&rdquo; &ndash; Mark 9:23</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN LUKE</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-12-07T05:45:00Z 2018-12-07T05:59:05.617Z Devotional - Forgiveness And Love <p>&ldquo;Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.&rdquo; &ndash; Luke 7:47</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Alexander III was Tsar of Russia from 1881-1894. His rule was marked by repression, and in particular by persecution of Jews. His wife, Maria Fedorovna, provided a stark contrast, being known for her generosity to those in need. On one occasion her husband had signed an order consigning a prisoner to life in exile. It read simply&nbsp; &ldquo;Pardon impossible, to be sent to Siberia.&rdquo; Maria changed that prisoners life by moving the comma in her husband&rsquo;s order. She altered it to &ldquo;Pardon, impossible to be sent to Siberia.&rdquo;</p> <p>In Christ God has changed the comma that stood against us. From &ldquo;Pardon impossible, send to Siberia&rdquo; comes the good news of salvation: &ldquo;Pardon, impossible to send to Siberia.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the most powerful ways to show God&rsquo;s love is forgiveness. Today in prayer, forgive those who have wronged you, just as Christ as forgiven you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We have a free, full, final, forever forgiveness in the atoning work of Christ.&rdquo; &ndash; J. Sidlow Baxter</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.&rdquo; &ndash; Matthew 6:14-15</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN LUKE</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-12-06T05:39:00Z 2018-12-06T05:43:18.147Z Devotional - Remember The Poor <p>"Looking at his disciples, he said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God." - Luke 6:20</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 2010, Bill and Sue McLeod were retiring from their careers and had three adult children and five grandchildren. The couple considered slowing down. Then they learned that over 26,000 children attending San Diego schools have been identified as homeless and food insecure.</p> <p>Having grown up in an underprivileged home with five siblings, Bill knew firsthand the struggles and challenges of food insecurity at a young age as well as its long-term effects.</p> <p>In 2011, the couple launched the non-profit ministry &ldquo;Got Your Back San Diego.&rdquo;</p> <p>The ministry provides a backpack and 6 meals for the weekends, so kids won&rsquo;t go hungry when they are not in school.</p> <p>&ldquo;At first we had no idea what we were doing,&rdquo; said Sue McLeod.&nbsp;&ldquo;We just knew we wanted to feed kids and do our part in the fight against childhood hunger. With no supporters and limited resources of our own, we knew we couldn&rsquo;t do everything, but we were determined to do something. So we started with 22 kids at Olive Elementary School in Vista. In year two we took what felt like a quantum leap and committed to feeding 150 kids in five schools. By the end of year six, Got Your Back provided over 285,000 meals to hungry kids! Now, in our seventh year, we are committed to 500 students in grades K through 5 in the cities of Vista, Oceanside, and Carlsbad schools.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>During this holiday season, remember the poor. Today in prayer, thank Christ that the poor in spirit are blessed by Him, and ask the Lord how you can help the poor in your community.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Poverty is no sin." - George Herbert</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God's Word: "Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?" - James 2:5</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN LUKE</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-12-05T05:33:00Z 2018-12-05T05:43:13.203Z Devotional - Follow Jesus <p>"After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him and Levi got up, left everything and followed him." - Luke 5:27-28</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 2015, Abu Radwan and his family converted to Christianity after they fled Syria to Lebanon. He said it's a genuine conversion, though he does say he thinks it might help him get resettled in the West.</p> <p>&ldquo;Of course it was a difficult decision,&rdquo; Abu&nbsp;Radwan sais. &ldquo;I was born into a Muslim family.&rdquo;</p> <p>The family is from the city of Homs in Syria. They sought refuge in Lebanon at the beginning of the war in 2011. Then in 2015, Abu Radwan said Jesus appeared to him in a dream.</p> <p>&ldquo;I started going to the church,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I believed that Jesus was coming to help us, to save us.&rdquo;</p> <p>Seven months later, he decided to become a Christian.</p> <p>&ldquo;We accepted him as a member of the church and baptized him, together with his wife and children," said Bishop George Saliba. &ldquo;And we take care of him.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Jesus is calling many people from all over the world to follow Him. Today in prayer, pray for those who do not know Christ that they may know that He is Lord and follow Him.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Following Christ has nothing to do with success as the world sees it. It has to do with love." - Madeleine L'Engle</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God's Word: "'Come, follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will make you fishers of men.' At once they left their nets and followed him." - Matthew 4:19-20</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN LUKE</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-12-04T05:26:00Z 2018-12-04T05:43:19.363Z Devotional - Beware Of Temptation <p>"When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time." - Luke 4:13</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the largest freshwater turtles is the alligator snapping turtle. Found primarily in the southeastern United States, these massive turtles have been known to weigh close to 250 pounds. They are carnivorous, and while their diet is primarily fish, they have been known to eat almost anything else they can find in the water&mdash;even in a few cases small alligators! The alligator snapping turtle relies on a uniquely deceitful method of foraging for fish.</p> <p>The turtle will lie completely still on the floor of a lake or river with its mouth wide open. At the end of the turtle&rsquo;s tongue is a small, pink, worm-shaped appendage. The turtle wiggles the end of its tongue so that it looks like a worm moving through the water. When a fish comes to eat the worm, the turtle&rsquo;s jaws rapidly close, trapping the fish so that it cannot escape.</p> <p>Similarly to the snapping turtle&rsquo;s lure, temptation comes in the guise of something desirable, but it always carries destruction with it in the end. If we could see the end result rather than the tempting part, it would be far easier to resist. But Satan knows this, so he cleverly disguises what is deadly in the guise of something pleasurable.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Temptation can come at anytime. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to make you aware of any temptations and have Him lead you away from all temptation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"When evil desire finds you armed with the fear of God and the determined to resist, it will flee far away from you.&rdquo; &ndash; Hermas, the Shepherd</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God's Word: &ldquo;And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.&rdquo;- Matthew 6:13</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN LUKE</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-12-03T05:52:00Z 2018-12-03T05:59:30.187Z Devotional - Being A Servant <p>&ldquo;&lsquo;I am the Lord's servant,&rsquo; Mary answered. &lsquo;May it be to me as you have said.&rsquo; Then the angel left her.&rdquo; &ndash; Luke 1:38</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Jim Irwin was the Lunar Module&nbsp;Pilot for&nbsp;Apollo 15. In July 1971, it became the fourth Apollo moon landing and Jim was the&nbsp;eighth person to walk on the Moon.</p> <p>He spent eighteen of his sixty-six hours on the moon outside the spacecraft. He and fellow astronaut David Scott covered over seventeen miles of the surface in a specialized vehicle people dubbed the &ldquo;moon buggy.&rdquo; The two astronauts collected 170&nbsp;lbs. of lunar rocks and sand.</p> <p>Upon returning to earth, Jim, a professed Christian believer, declared, &ldquo;As I was returning, I realized that I am not a celebrity but a servant. So I am here as God&rsquo;s servant on Planet Earth to share what I have experienced, that others may know the glory of God.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Lord has called us to serve others. Today in prayer, ask Jesus how you can better serve others for Him.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;As long as I see any thing to be done for God, life is worth living; but O how vain and unworthy it is to live for any lower end!&rdquo; &ndash; David Brainerd</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave&mdash; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.&rdquo; &ndash; Matthew 20:26-28</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN LUKE</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-11-30T05:28:00Z 2018-11-30T05:43:25.767Z Devotional - Give Thanks You Are A Survivor <p>&ldquo;Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our &ldquo;God is a consuming fire.&rdquo; &ndash; Hebrews 12:28-29</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Christian artist Zach Williams shared how the song &ldquo;Survivor&rdquo; came about. He said: &ldquo;I remember the day we were writing this song. My wife Crystal came to mind. She survived a fire accident when she was about 14 years old and there&rsquo;s a lyric in that song that says &ldquo;you pulled me out of the fire I&rsquo;m a survivor.&rdquo; And a lot of what I wrote the song about was my own personal testimony but it was also with her in mind that she survived this accident and it got me to thinking about so many of us that are all survivors. The one thing we can all relate to is that through Jesus He can pull us out of any place that we&rsquo;re at and we can all become survivors.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For all who know Jesus, we are survivors and live in Him. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that you are alive in Him. &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Now I'm alive and born again Rescued from the grip of sin God your love came crashing in And pulled me out of the fire I'm a survivor&rdquo; &ndash; Zach Williams</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;&nbsp;for this is God&rsquo;s will for you in Christ Jesus.&rdquo; &ndash; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-11-29T05:49:00Z 2018-11-29T06:00:53.17Z Devotional - Raising Grateful Children <p>&ldquo;Let the message of Christ&nbsp;dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom&nbsp;through psalms,&nbsp;hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.&rdquo; &ndash; Colossians 3:16</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In an article entitled: &ldquo;Grounding our children in gratitude,&rdquo; Dr. Meg Meeker writes the following:</p> <p>&nbsp;&ldquo;As a parent, you've probably noticed that gratitude is not a child's natural tendency. But this isn't your child's fault; it's simply how children develop. They are wired to be egocentric, especially when they're young. Children feel the world revolves around them and they focus on their needs, not those of others.</p> <p>Since they developmentally lack empathy for others, they have a difficult time being grateful for what they have.</p> <p>This is important to know about your child because it means you're going to have to be intentional about teaching your child to be grateful. It isn't going to just simply happen. Parents who want to teach gratitude to their kids must first model gratitude for their kids.</p> <p>Discontented, ungrateful parents usually raise discontented, ungrateful children. Behind every grateful child is a grateful parent who showed them what gratitude looked like and why it was important. As Christmas approaches, make a point of telling your children what you are thankful for and ask them to tell you the same.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is important to be grateful and to raise thankful children. Today in prayer, let your family know you are grateful to the Lord. &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"If we are honest, it isn't only kids who need to be more grateful -- it is us. So this Advent, do yourself and your kids a favor. Work as a team to give someone you know (or don't know) a helping hand. Then have a much merrier Christmas." &nbsp;- Dr. Meg Meeker</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.&rdquo; &ndash; 1 Chronicles 29:13</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-11-28T05:35:00Z 2018-11-28T05:43:31.327Z Devotional - Giving Thanks For Freedom <p>&ldquo;Out of my distress I&nbsp;called on the&nbsp;Lord; the&nbsp;Lord&nbsp;answered me and set me&nbsp;free.&rdquo; &ndash; Psalm 118:5</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 2017, the Christian music group &ldquo;Urban Rescue&rdquo; wrote and recorded the song &ldquo;Freedom.&rdquo; The Christian band &ldquo;Jesus Culture&rdquo; heard the song and asked for and received permission to record it.&nbsp; Kim Walker-Smith of Jesus Culture explains why she loves this praise song. &ldquo;Jesus is not offended at the mess, even when I have made that mess myself. And He truly does meet me exactly where I am. I feel like that is a truth that so many people need to hear because when you have that revelation it does bring incredible freedom. I think it&rsquo;s what pulls you out and allows you to just begin the process of walking out the mess with Jesus. It&rsquo;s a lot of fun because it&rsquo;s really joyful happy song with a strong message.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Let your heart rejoice knowing that in Christ, you have freedom. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for freedom in Him.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Where the Spirit of the Lord is There is freedom, there is freedom Where the Spirit of the Lord is There is freedom, there is freedom Come out of the dark just as you are Into the fullness of His love For the Spirit is here, let there be freedom Let there be freedom&rdquo; &ndash; Mia Fields, Hank Bentley, Brett Younker, and Kristian Stanfill (Urban Rescue)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.&rdquo; &ndash; John 8:36</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-11-27T05:33:00Z 2018-11-27T05:43:39.247Z Devotional - Let's Be Thankful <p>&ldquo;Give thanks to the&nbsp;Lord,&nbsp;for he is good; his love endures forever.&rdquo; &ndash; Psalm 118:1</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Author John O&rsquo;Leary in his article: &ldquo;My plane was shaking and I was terrified. Then this incredible thing happened&hellip;&rdquo; wrote the following:</p> <p>&ldquo;As we returned to smoother air, I thought through all the little things I&rsquo;d already experienced that morning that were worthy of being counted as gifts. From my alarm going off on time, turning on the shower faucet and having hot water come out, seeing my wife and children sleeping soundly, the car starting, getting through security quickly, the plane taking off on time&nbsp;and seeing a magnificent multi-colored sunrise&hellip;this all happened before the turbulence hit.</p> <p>It dawned on me that I hadn&rsquo;t noticed any of it, much less taken pause to be thankful for any of it. I didn&rsquo;t contemplate that throughout the night my heart had beaten thousands of times. I hadn&rsquo;t pondered the gift of a warm bed, my wife&rsquo;s presence&nbsp;or my children&rsquo;s health. I hadn&rsquo;t paused to be in awe of the marvel of technology &ndash; or the grandeur of nature. And I hadn&rsquo;t slowed down to be roused by the promise of the morning, the hope within a new day, the chance to do better, the opportunity to make a difference, to savor, to celebrate, to create, to experience. To live.</p> <p>This momentary lapse of gratitude surprised me because I, of all people, should be grateful for every single minute of every day. You see, at age 9, I was burned on 100 percent of my body and expected to die. It was only through the overwhelming support of my family, the diligence of my medical team, love from the community and grace from God that I am still here today.</p> <p>Yet, it is all too easy, even for me, to recognize what we have only after it has been taken away. Too frequently we finally realize how fortunate we once were only after our business enters a downturn, the relationship falls apart, the car won&rsquo;t start, our child becomes ill, our world catches on fire, or the plane almost crashes.</p> <p>This Thanksgiving, we should make it a point to slow down, take a deep breath and open our eyes, our ears and our hearts to the magnificence that is our lives.</p> <p>We should allow the momentary turbulence we experience to awaken within us a profound sense of gratitude for all we have, all we&rsquo;ve experienced, and all that remains possible going forward.</p> <p>Things aren&rsquo;t perfect.&nbsp;But our lives are precious gifts.&nbsp;Let&rsquo;s be thankful for it.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Everyday we take for granted or even miss all of the good gifts the Lord gives to us. Today in prayer, slow down and give thanks to the Lord for all the blessings of this life.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction." &nbsp;- Harry Ironside</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;Give thanks to the&nbsp;Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.&rdquo; &ndash; Psalm 118:29</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-11-26T05:42:00Z 2018-11-26T06:00:53.77Z Devotional - Give Thanks To God <p>&ldquo;Give thanks to the&nbsp;Lord,&nbsp;for he is good; his love endures forever.&rdquo; &ndash; Psalm 107:1</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Allan McKinlay and Peter Crockett are members of the Christian band &ldquo;Housefires,&rdquo; which is the worship band for&nbsp;Grace Midtown Church&nbsp;in Atlanta. Their most well known song is &ldquo;Good Good Father&rdquo; that has been sung by Chris Tomlin.</p> <p>In early 2018, they wrote the song &ldquo;Give Thanks to God.&rdquo; Lyrically, it pulls various themes and phrases from all over the Psalms. Instead of setting one particular passage to music, it is a wide-ranging testimony to the faithfulness of God. Structurally, the bulk of the song is a call and response between the leader and the people.</p> <p>It is this call-to-worship quality that makes it feel at home in both modern and traditional settings. The worship leader describes facets or actions of God, and the congregation responds with praise. Because the responses are repeated throughout the song, the congregation can pick it up quickly.</p> <p>It is steadily becoming a favorite worship song of thanks because of the Internet.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As Thanksgiving Day becomes a memory, don&rsquo;t let your thanksgiving to the Lord fade. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord for He is good!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;He's always pouring out His abundant provision His never ending love is steadfast and sure For the depths of His riches and incredible wisdom Give thanks to God for He is good Give thanks to God for He is good&rdquo; &ndash; Allan McKinlay and Peter Crockett</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;Give thanks&nbsp;to the&nbsp;Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.&rdquo; &ndash; 1 Chronicles 16:34</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-11-23T05:35:00Z 2018-11-23T05:43:30.483Z Devotional - I’m Thanking the Lord He Made You <p>&nbsp;&ldquo;I have not stopped giving thanks for you,&nbsp;remembering you in my prayers.&rdquo; &ndash; Ephesians 1:16</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 1994, in rebellion to consumerism and worldliness, Josef Anderson penned a simple song called &ldquo;Thanksgiving Prayer.&rdquo; Anderson was the producer of the television show, &ldquo;Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman&rdquo; and he wrote the song for the Thanksgiving episode. Guest star Johnny Cash read the lyrics and set it to music. He performed it on the Thanksgiving episode.</p> <p>The song offers a humble reminder of the principles the holiday. It tells the story of a poor farmer and his Thanksgiving prayer. Even though the farmer doesn&rsquo;t even have a turkey for the table, he&rsquo;s thankful for the warm sun and his loving family.</p> <p>Mr. Anderson recalled,</p> <p>&ldquo;I was honored that Johnny Cash performed my song on Dr. Quinn. He also asked my permission to perform the song in his holiday show in Nashville, which of course I granted.&rdquo;</p> <p>The song is also known as &ldquo;I&rsquo;m Thanking the Lord He Made You,&rdquo; and it has never been released for commercial profit.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>During this time of Thanksgiving, thank the Lord for the friends and family he has given you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve come to the time in the season When family and friends gather near To offer a prayer of Thanksgiving For blessings we&rsquo;ve&nbsp;known through the year To join hands and thank the Creator And now when Thanksgiving is due This year when I count my blessings I&acute;m thanking the Lord He made you&rdquo; - Josef Anderson</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;We always thank God,&nbsp;the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you&rdquo; &ndash; Colossians 1:3</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-11-22T05:30:00Z 2018-11-22T05:43:22.89Z Devotional - Perpetual Thanksgiving <p>&ldquo;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.&rdquo; &ndash; 2 Corinthians 4:15</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 1618, a land grant in Virginia known as the Berkeley Hundred, was given Richard Berkeley. In 1619, the ship&nbsp;&ldquo;Margaret&rdquo;&nbsp;of&nbsp;Bristol, England&nbsp;sailed for Virginia under Captain John Woodliffe and brought thirty-eight settlers to the new Town and Hundred of Berkeley. The&nbsp;London Company&nbsp;proprietors instructed the settlers that "the day of our ships arrival . . . shall be yearly and perpetually kept as a day of&nbsp;Thanksgiving."</p> <p>The Margaret landed her passengers at Berkeley Hundred on December 4, 1619.</p> <p>Kneeling on the cold ground by the shore, their first order of business, according to their instructions, was to say the following prayer: &ldquo;We ordain that this day of our ships arrival, at the place assigned for plantation, in the land of Virginia, shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God.&rdquo;</p> <p>There was no feast and no Native Americans were present. In fact, under Anglican tradition, they may have fasted rather than feasted.</p> <p>The Berkeley Hundred "Thanksgiving," founded the tradition two years and 17 days before the Pilgrims arrived aboard the&nbsp;&ldquo;Mayflower&rdquo;&nbsp;at&nbsp;Plymouth, Massachusetts.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Giving thanks to the Lord is a tradition that is long standing. Today in prayer, this Thanksgiving Day, give thanks to the Lord and praise His name.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.&rdquo; &ndash; Robert Casper Lintner</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord&rsquo;s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.&rdquo; &ndash; 2 Corinthians 9:11-12</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-11-21T05:25:00Z 2018-11-21T05:28:48.38Z Devotional - Give Thanks For His Creation <p>&ldquo;The heavens&nbsp;declare&nbsp;the glory of God; the skies&nbsp;proclaim the work of his hands.&rdquo; &ndash; Psalm 19:1</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Christian songwriter and performer Matthew West shared the inspiration of his praise song &ldquo;The Beautiful Things We Miss.&rdquo; He said: &ldquo;I first had the inspiration for the title &ldquo;The Beautiful Things We Miss&rdquo; while I was on a hike in Colorado. I&rsquo;m a city boy. I grew up near the Chicago area, so being outdoors is kinda new to me but I&rsquo;ve really fallen in love with getting outside and going hiking, especially in Colorado. But for a beginning hiker your sights are really fixed at your feet. I found myself climbing and as I was hiking up I was just focusing on the ground in front of me. There&rsquo;s all these roots from trees that had popped up that you kind of use as steps and if you didn&rsquo;t see them you&rsquo;d trip over them. At one point I was just out of breath and I just stopped and for the first time in the hike I looked around me. It was the most gorgeous scenery. It was just breathtaking. And I literally had the idea &lsquo;The Beautiful Things We Miss.&rsquo; Why? Because I was looking down the whole time I was hiking and I was missing what was going on around me.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Lord has created a beautiful earth. Today in prayer, pause and open your eyes and thank Him for His creation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Open up my eyes, Lord Keep me in the moment just like this Before the beautiful things we love Become the beautiful things we miss&rdquo; &ndash; Matthew West</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;Praise the&nbsp;Lord&nbsp;from the earth, you great sea creatures&nbsp;and all ocean depths, lightning and hail,&nbsp;snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals&nbsp;and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds&rdquo; &ndash; Psalm 148:7-10</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-11-20T06:10:00Z 2018-11-20T06:13:21.65Z Devotional - Be Thankful For This Moment <p>&ldquo;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.&rdquo; &ndash; 2 Corinthians 4:15</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Author Brennan Manning told a story about a monk whom a tiger was chasing. The ferocious animal pursued the monk to the edge of a steep cliff where it appeared he had no escape. It was then, miraculously, the monk spotted a rope dangling over the edge.</p> <p>He grabbed hold of it, and with sweaty palms and knobby knees, began shimmying down the side of the cliff to avoid the clutches of the tiger. Though safely out of his tiger&rsquo;s reach, the monk was horrified to see two mice emerge from holes in the side of the cliff and begin chewing on the rope.</p> <p>So, there he was. Hundreds of feet in the air, he couldn&rsquo;t go up, where the tiger would devour him, and he couldn&rsquo;t go down, as there was not enough rope for him to reach the canyon floor below. All the while, the tiny teeth of mice nibbled away at his lifeline.</p> <p>It was at that moment that a beautiful, red, ripe strawberry caught the monk&rsquo;s attention. It was there, within arm&rsquo;s reach, growing out of the face of the cliff. The monk picked it, ate it, and exclaimed, &ldquo;That is the best strawberry I have tasted in my entire life!&rdquo;</p> <p>Manning offers the moral to the story: &ldquo;If the monk had been preoccupied with the rocks below or the tiger above, he would have missed the present moment.&rdquo; And concluding with a prescription for happiness that is just what the doctor ordered, he wrote: &ldquo;Life is best lived when you don&rsquo;t focus on the tigers of the past or the jagged rocks of the future, but on the strawberries that come in the here and now.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Consider all that has shaped you, both the good and the bad, into the person you are today. Then today, in prayer, give thanks to the Lord and be grateful.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich."&nbsp;&ndash; Dietrich Bonhoeffer</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;&nbsp;Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind&rdquo; &ndash; Psalm 107:8</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-11-19T05:30:00Z 2018-11-19T05:43:38.023Z Devotional - Confidence <p>&ldquo;Let the peace of Christ&nbsp;rule in your hearts, since as members of one body&nbsp;you were called to peace.&nbsp;And be thankful.&rdquo; &ndash; Colossians 3:15</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sanctus Real&nbsp;is an American&nbsp;Christian rock&nbsp;band formed in&nbsp;Toledo, Ohio, in 1996. The group is composed of Chris Rohman, Mark Graalman and Dustin Lolli.&nbsp;Talking about their new song &ldquo;Confidence,&rdquo; the band said:</p> <p>&ldquo;Confidence is a prayer. It&rsquo;s a prayer to see the world selflessly. Not a prayer to be in the lion&rsquo;s den but a prayer to have such unshakable faith in the kingdom of heaven that we are willing to go through dangerous things. Moses never made it to the promise land. He only was able to view it, but his hope was in God&rsquo;s plan for God&rsquo;s people. The plan that he contributed to. He knew it was so much bigger than himself. Confidence is a prayer to see this big picture, to walk humbly, to do what you feel He has called you to do. The truth is real confidence comes from real belief. Belief in a creator that does see this big picture, who does call the unqualified to do unimaginably big things.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With confidence, be thankful that Jesus is with you. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that you are a child of God.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;So I can face my giants with confidence I&rsquo;m gonna sing and shout and shake the walls I won&rsquo;t stop until I see &rsquo;em fall Gonna stand up, step out when you call Jesus, Jesus&rdquo; &ndash; Sanctus Real</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;And whatever you do,&nbsp;whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks&nbsp;to God the Father through him.&rdquo; &ndash; Colossians 3:17</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-11-16T05:26:00Z 2018-11-16T05:43:22.117Z Devotional - Why God? <p>&ldquo;I say to God my Rock, &lsquo;Why have you forgotten&nbsp;me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed&nbsp;by the enemy?&rsquo;&rdquo; &ndash; Psalm 42:9</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Austin French is a Christian musician from Cordele, Georgia. His debut single "Freedom Hymn" was released on December 8, 2017.</p> <p>In 2018, he wrote the praise song &ldquo;Why God&rdquo; and he explains how it came about:</p> <p>&ldquo;Why God do people have to die? Why does tragedy still have a place in the life of a Christian? Why another school shooting? God why? Are you even here? Are you with us? These are real questions that inspired my song &lsquo;Why God&rsquo; on my upcoming record.I believe that our God is a good father and we are his kids and He&rsquo;s not scared of our questions. In those moments there&rsquo;s tons of things in this life that we do not understand, but maybe we&rsquo;re not supposed to. Maybe we&rsquo;re supposed to need God, need a father who knows all things and holds all things in his hands. And that&rsquo;s ok. The world will tell us that those &lsquo;Why God&rsquo; moments are exactly why we should run away from God, but I don&rsquo;t believe it. I believe God is a good father and he wants our questions. He loves us, and those are the moments we need him.</p> <p>So maybe you can turn your &lsquo;Why&rsquo; into worship and maybe the &lsquo;Why God&rsquo; moment in your life is exactly why you need him.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We may never know the &lsquo;why&rsquo;s&rsquo; to many questions in life. But we can know the &lsquo;who&rsquo; to turn to when trouble comes. Today in prayer, turn your &lsquo;Why&rsquo; into worship and know that your heavenly father cares deeply for you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I don't understand</p> <p>But I understand &nbsp;</p> <p>Why God I need You</p> <p>It's why God I run to Your arms</p> <p>Over and over again</p> <p>It's why God I cling to Your love</p> <p>And hold on for dear life</p> <p>And I find You are right by my side&rdquo; &ndash; Austin French</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;Why,&nbsp;Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself&nbsp;in times of trouble?&rdquo; &ndash; Psalm 10:1</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-11-15T05:18:00Z 2018-11-15T05:29:10.053Z Devotional - Sing Praise To The Lord <p>&ldquo;I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.&rdquo; &ndash; Psalm 146:2</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The deadly wildfires that broke out in California have prompted fire departments from around the nation to send in reinforcements to the Golden State. A crew of American Samoan firefighters from Hawaii came as "hand crews" and their job is to remove the flammable materials around the edges of a fire so as to help contain it. They do this by digging trenches and cutting down and removing brush. What has made these Samoan fire fighters unique is they sing accapela a song of praise each morning after the fire briefing in Hayfork, California.</p> <p>The music is beautiful, clear and strong as it echoes through the woods. The tune is familiar to many Christians. It's the praise and worship song "What a Friend We Have in Jesus". The song in Samoan is called, "Fa'afetai i le Atua," which translates to "Thanks Unto God".</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>No matter where the Lord has called you, sing praise to Him. Today in prayer, sing praise to the Lord.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The music of the Gospel leads us home.&rdquo; - Frederick W. Faber</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.&rdquo; &ndash; Psalm 104:33</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-11-14T05:38:00Z 2018-11-14T05:43:23.363Z Devotional - Good News <p>&ldquo;How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, &lsquo;Your God reigns.&rsquo;&rdquo; &ndash; Isaiah 52:7</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Christian songwriter and performer Mandisa shared how her praise song &ldquo;Good News&rdquo; came about: &ldquo;&lsquo;Good News&rsquo; was inspired by a couple of events that happened in my life a little bit ago. I hope that many of you know that I have been praying for my brother&rsquo;s salvation for years. I even recorded a song on my Overcomer album called &lsquo;Dear John.&rsquo; Well I&rsquo;m happy to share the news if you have not heard it yet that this happened a little bit ago. I just prayed the prayer of salvation with my brother John and he is a Christian. AHHH!! Do you see how excited I am? That&rsquo;s the thing about good news. I shout it from the rooftops when I&rsquo;ve experience something I cannot wait to share with you. How much more should it be for those of us who know what it is to have salvation? How much more should we want those that we love to experience that same joy? That is why we share the good news. That is why we testify and give our praise reports. It&rsquo;s because we want the world to know about a great God who still does great things.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Do not let the news of this world cause you to be troubled. Today in prayer, remember the &ldquo;good news&rdquo; of Jesus Christ and rejoice.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Good news Got that old made new Got that joy coming through Got me feeling alright&rdquo; &ndash; Mandisa</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace! Keep your feasts, O Judah; fulfill your vows, for never again shall the worthless pass through you; he is utterly cut off.&rdquo; &ndash; Nahum 1:15</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-11-13T05:48:00Z 2018-11-13T05:59:04.327Z Devotional - A Sacrifice Of Praise <p>&ldquo;Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice&nbsp;of praise&mdash;the fruit of lips&nbsp;that openly profess his name.&rdquo; &ndash; Hebrews 13:15</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Joni Eareckson was a teenager when she dove into the&nbsp;Chesapeake Bay. She misjudged the shallowness of the water and was paralyzed when her spinal cord was ruptured. For more than 50 years she has been an&nbsp;evangelical Christian&nbsp;author, radio host, and founder of&nbsp;&ldquo;Joni and Friends&rdquo;, an organization "accelerating Christian ministry in the disability community."</p> <p>Joni said the following on praise:</p> <p>&ldquo;A sacrifice of praise will always cost you something. It will be a difficult thing to do. It requires trading in our pride, our anger, and most valued of all, our human logic. We will be compelled to voice our words of praise firmly and precisely, even as our logic screams that God has no idea what he&rsquo;s doing. Most of the verses written about praise in God&rsquo;s Word were penned by men and women who faced crushing heartaches, injustice, treachery, slander, and scores of other intolerable situations.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Praise God in the night as well as the sunshine. Today in prayer, at this very moment, put aside your hurts and burdens and praise the Lord.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;You don&rsquo;t learn to praise in a day, especially since you may have been complaining for years! New habits take time to develop. But you can begin today, and practice tomorrow, and the next day, until it becomes part of you.&rdquo; &ndash; Erwin Lutzer&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High&rdquo; &ndash; Psalm 50:14</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/ 2018-11-12T05:46:00Z 2018-11-12T06:00:49.543Z Devotional - Your Spiritual Service Of Worship <p>&ldquo;Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.&rdquo; &ndash; Romans 12:1</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Rhett Walker Band front man Rhett Walker is the son of a preacher from the Aiken, South Carolina. Rhett remembers how the words for the song &ldquo;I Surrender&rdquo; began:</p> <p>&nbsp;&ldquo;It was a song I wrote with a friend of mine and it was just a conversation we had one day. We were talking about being a better spouse, being a better parent, just being a good human being and how that goes with this life we live. I feel like we spend a lot of our times trying to please man, try to be good enough, try to be this person that we&rsquo;re not and we totally forget about grace and we discount it. And so this song was a song where we&rsquo;re like even on our best days, even when we feel like we have everything under control, we&rsquo;re one step away from just messing it all up. I was like how do we put that into a song? We thought about a bunch of different ways to write this song and I didn&rsquo;t want to just throw Jesus into a song or try to say it in a certain way just to make it feel pretty and shiny. I was like one thing I know me personally that I have to do every morning when I wake up is just say &lsquo;God I surrender my life. I surrender my marriage. I surrender my kids. I surrender my music. I can&rsquo;t do this by myself.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Let your spiritual service of worship be surrendering to Jesus. Today in prayer, surrender your day, your week, your life to Christ.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I surrender, everything I am I surrender, my heart into Your hands My hope, my Lord My life is Yours I surrender I surrender&rdquo; &ndash; Rhett Walker</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>God&rsquo;s Word: &ldquo;I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.&rdquo; &ndash; Galatians 2:20</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail</p> <p>DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING</p> Peter Kennedy http://www.devotional.com/profile/popup/06edfe971e/