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Series: DEVOTIONS IN The Letters of John
Devotional - Seeing A Brother In Need
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 19, 2017
Devotional - Seeing A Brother In Need

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” – 1 John 3:17

 

In June 2013, the Rev. Willie Lyle, the newly appointed pastor of the Sango United Methodist Church in Clarksville, Tennessee, spent four and a half days living in the streets as a homeless man. He then transformed back into his role as pastor as he delivered a sermon.

In a dream, God told Willie that he needed to live on the streets of Clarksville as a homeless and hungry person. He challenged Willie to experience firsthand just what it was like to have nothing — no home, no money, no friends, no food on even a semi-regular basis, no nothing. Pastor Willie’s wife, Suzette, dropped him off in downtown Clarksville early Monday morning, June 17, and he lived on the street through the morning of Friday, June 21. In those four and a half days, he learned a great deal about the homeless, the working poor who face hunger daily and those in need of spiritual and emotional help. It was not comfortable.

Early morning on June 23, Willie lay under a tree on the church lawn covered up by a big overcoat. He still had not shaved or combed his hair. He wondered how many people would approach him and offer him food, or a place to sit inside an air conditioned room, or just see how they could help. Twenty people spoke to him and offered some type of assistance.

While he preached, his daughter-in-law cut his hair and his daughter helped shave off his scruffy beard. He changed shoes, and beneath the overcoat, he was wearing his Sunday clothes. He put on a tie and his suit coat, all the while continuing to preach his message. Before the 200 people gathered that morning, he went from looking like a homeless person to the new pastor of the congregation.

The sermon title was “The Least Used Parts of the Body” and based on I Corinthians 12:12-15. According to Pastor Lyle, “Often the least used parts of the body are the ones that mean the most, like our heart and mind. We need to understand that there are no small or least used parts in the body of Christ.

“Too many of us only want to serve God one hour each week. That doesn’t cut it. That is not God’s plan.”

 

Seeing someone in need means you need to get involved, just as Jesus did. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for opportunities to get involved in people’s lives and show His love to them.

 

“The answer to the question, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ must always be ‘No! I am my brother’s brother.’” – Paul Klapper

 

God’s Word: “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” – Hebrews 13:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN LETTERS OF JOHN

Devotional - Stopping The Sin
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 18, 2017
Devotional - Stopping The Sin

“Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” – 1 John 3:4-6

 

By age fifteen, Jed Lindstrom had more money running through his hands than most kids his age, but it was all dirty money. He sold drugs and he stole.

By the time he was 18, Jed was caught in a world of addiction, theft, and drug deals.

Jed said, “The level of crimes started getting really high.  I mean obviously you have a conscience. So I’m –I’m constantly knowing that what I’m doing is wrong, it really doesn’t matter.”

Over the years he bounced between crack houses, jail, and rehab.  His mom often drove through the streets looking for her son, at times pulling him out of the crack houses where she found him.  And she prayed.  

Then in October 2004, at the age of 24, Jed was homeless and had a warrant out for his arrest.  Some friends gave him a place to stay, and one Sunday they took him to church.   

Jed said at the church, “They did a call for communion.  And I just heard a voice say go up there.  Go up there.  And I remember walking up there. And that was one of the first times I really could feel the presence of God.  The next morning I called my mom and says I’m done living like this.”

His mom picked him up and took him to the county jail, where he turned himself in.  In his cell, he found a Bible.

Jed remembers, “So I went to the Bible right away and I literally opened up the Bible and I got on my knees and I just began to like weep. And I remember looking in the mirror just before I got on my–I was like looking at my eyes, I’m like—I, you know, I got to change.  I just said, ‘God, my life is Yours.’   It was like the hatred was gone, the anger was gone. I felt like the weight of all that junk was off of me.  God radically, uh, began to change my heart.”

Today Jed is an evangelist, sharing the gospel with others who have been caught up in a life of crime.

We must forsake our sin and unite with Jesus Christ. It is only then do we stop the sin in our lives. Today in prayer, confess any sin that is in your life and live in Jesus Christ.

"We live in a world full of people struggling to be, or at least to appear, strong in order not to be weak; and we follow a gospel which says that when I am weak, then I am strong. And this gospel is the only thing that brings healing." - N.T. Wright

 

God’s Word: “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” – Galatians 5:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN LETTERS OF JOHN

Devotional - Knowing The Father's Love
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 17, 2017
Devotional - Knowing The Father's Love

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” – 1 John 3:1

 

Chuck Swindoll is a well known author and preacher. He describes a moment of crisis in his life. He was speaking at a pastor’s conference. By any measure it was successful. Participants begged him to speak longer and were very engaged. But when he was alone in his room at the end of each day he felt an emptiness and frustration.

Sensing God was wanting to do something in his life Chuck called four trusted friends. “I want you to listen to my life story and see if anything stands out to you.” And so the four friends and Chuck Swindoll gathered. Beginning with his earliest memory Chuck poured out his life story.

When he had finished, one of the friends asked him a few questions and then said, “Chuck, I want you to put your head on the table and close your eyes.” Chuck put his head on the table and closed his eyes.

“Now I want you to imagine your father is holding you in his arms. What do you feel?”

Almost instantly Chuck began to cry. For thirty minutes he cried his eyes out. You see Chuck’s father had died when Chuck was seven months old. And as he closed his eyes what he felt was pure unconditional love.

What Chuck also realized that day was that while he had preached many times about God’s great love he had never made that personal. With his head on the table that day he really felt, for the first time, that Got loved him, that his heavenly father loved him deeply, richly and unconditionally.

And by his own testimony, Chuck Swindoll was never the same again.

 

Though we have earthly families, we have a Heavenly Father who loves us far greater than we can ever know. Our sin has brought separation, but His grace reunites us with Him. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He loves you and one day we will be reunited face-to-face with Him.

"Our doctrine of equality and liberty and humanity comes from our belief in the brotherhood of man, through the fatherhood of God." - Calvin Coolidge

 

God’s Word: “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” – Galatians 3:26

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN LETTERS OF JOHN

Devotional - Continue In Him
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 16, 2017
Devotional - Continue In Him

“And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.” – 1 John 2:28

 

In April 2017, Violet Mosse-Brown, affectionately known as 'Aunt V', was declared the oldest living person in the world.

Born on March 10, 1900, the 117-year-old Jamaican says her Christian faith is the secret to her longevity.

"Thank God for what he has given to me. This what God has given me, so I have to take it, long life," Aunt V said.

"I've done nearly everything at the church. I spent all my time in the church."

Aunt V was raised in the Christian faith. She was baptized over 100 years ago at the age of 13.

Whenever she is asked about what has contributed to her longevity Aunt V proudly says, "My faith in serving God, and believing strongly in the teaching of the Bible."

 

Our days are numbered by the Lord, but we can all make the most of them by offering ourselves as a living sacrifice and to continue in Him. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for your life in Him and give Him all of your life today.

 

“A living faith is not something you have to carry, but something that carries you.” – J.H. Oldham

 

God’s Word: “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him” – Colossians 2:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN LETTERS OF JOHN

Devotional - Many Deceivers
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 15, 2017
Devotional - Many Deceivers

“Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” – 1 John 2:18-19

 

In 2005, A.J. Miller began the “Divine Truth,” a religious cult in Australia. Miller claimed to be Jesus of Nazareth through reincarnation. Miller has been an elder in the Jehovah's Witnesses and was a former computer systems engineer.

The teachings of the Divine Truth movement focus primarily on "Emotional Clearing" or "Emotional Processing".

In 2007, Miller purchased a 16-hectare property at Wilkesdale, Queensland, Australia. In 2009, Divine Truth listeners purchased another 240ha property, with plans to build "learning centers" and a visitors’ center for international visitors.

He predicted that a “100-foot” wave would hit Australia in 2012. He also predicted that same year a lost continent would rise from the ocean near Hawaii.

In July 2015, Miller declared on Australian television that in the 1st century as Jesus he (Miller) was in a state of "at-one-ment" with God and thus God could perform miracles through him.

 

There are many deceivers professing they are Jesus Christ, but they have a destructive agenda of their own. Today in prayer, pray for those who are caught up in a cult that they may have the courage to leave and follow Jesus.

 

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

 

God’s Word: “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” – 2 Timothy 4:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN LETTERS OF JOHN

Devotional - Do Not Love The World
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 12, 2017
Devotional - Do Not Love The World

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world.” – 1 John 2:15-16

 

James Butler Bonham arrived at the Alamo on January 19, 1836. In early February, a large Mexican army advanced on the Alamo. It became evident that a battle would occur, and the Texans were heavily outnumbered. Lieutenant Colonel “Buck” Travis sent Bonham to Goliad, Texas to get reinforcements. But the troops in Goliad were unable to provide assistance. At the end, the weary Bonham, a friend of Travis, turned his mount around and rode back alone toward the Alamo. He was told it was useless to throw away his life. He answered back that Buck Travis deserved to know the answer to his appeals and he galloped west into his own immortality.

On a wall near the main entrance to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, is a portrait with the following inscription: "James Butler Bonham--no picture of him exists. This portrait is of his nephew, Major James Bonham, deceased, who greatly resembled his uncle. It is placed here by the family that people may know the appearance of the man who died for freedom."

No literal portrait of Jesus exists either. But the likeness of the Son who makes us free can be seen in the lives of His true followers.  

 

As followers of Christ, we are not to love the world and not to follow it. We are to love and follow Jesus. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for all that He is and seek to resemble Him in all that you do.

 

"Love not the world, for it is a moth in a Christian's life." - John Bunyan

 

God’s Word: “but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” – James 1:14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN LETTERS OF JOHN

Devotional - Pardoned Of Our Sins
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 11, 2017
Devotional - Pardoned Of Our Sins

“I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.” – 1 John 2:12

 

In February 1924, Romeo Forlini was arrested for the theft of $106,000 worth of negotiable Italian bonds from the brokerage firm of Hirschfield & Stern. The 40-year-old Forlini had directed a messenger to help steal the bonds. He was found guilty and sentenced to seven years in prison.

During his time in prison, Forlini served as an expert witness on bond theft in other court cases.

In 1930, President Herbert Hoover commuted Forlini’s sentence. That commutation was granted "on condition that he be deported and never return to the United States."

Forlini rejected that condition, and two weeks later Hoover granted him a full, unconditional pardon.

However, Forlini was arrested in New York in 1931 trying to pull off a similar scam on an undercover detective.

 

On the account of Jesus Christ, we have been unconditionally pardoned from our sins – past, present, and future. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for forgiving you.

 

“We have a free, full, final, forever forgiveness in the atoning work of Christ.” – J. Sidlow Baxter

 

God’s Word: “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” – Hebrews 8:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN LETTERS OF JOHN

Devotional - Loving Our Neighbor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 10, 2017
Devotional - Loving Our Neighbor

“Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.” – 1 John 2:10

 

On April 14, 2017, Good Friday, 15-year-old Jack Menzies was riding in a car with his with his aunt, Debbie Ramsey in Pensacola, Florida. Suddenly they spotted Toni Yost waving frantically at them. Toni’s husband Greg had just suffered cardiac arrest.

Debbie pulled over and called 911. Toni and Jack pulled Greg from his truck and placed him on the road.

Jack put his phone up to Greg's mouth to see if he could see any breath on the glass. There wasn’t any.

Jack remembered a comedy medical television "Scrubs'' and recalled that the optimum rhythm to give CPR was the beat from the Bee Gees' song "Stayin' Alive," which is 100 chest compressions per minute. Jack quietly sang the song to himself as he gave Greg CPR for the next 10-15 minutes when the paramedics arrived.

Greg recovered and is grateful for Jack’s actions. "It was a miracle,'' Greg said. "There was no one else in the vicinity, and he had the compassion and courage to do something. Not everyone would have that kind of courage. I owe my life to him. It is by the grace of God that this happened the way it did.''

 

When we love others, people see the glory of the Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His love towards you and love others.

 

“To love another person is to help them love God.” – Soren Kierkegaard

 

God’s Word: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” – John 13:34

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN LETTERS OF JOHN

Devotional - Walking With Jesus
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 9, 2017
Devotional - Walking With Jesus

“But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” – 1 John 2:5-6

 

Pastor Steve Yeschek, Crystal Lake, Illinois, lost his sister, Judy, after a five-year battle with cancer. She was a woman who, as Steve described her, was a party animal—a big drinker with a self-contented lifestyle. She was someone everybody loved, because she exuded excitement and a thrill for life.

When Steve tried to share Jesus with her over the years, she would laugh it off and keep partying. But at the age of 44, her world caved in. She found out she had breast cancer. She later learned her husband had cancer, too. Adding to the devastation of these two blows, she discovered her husband was having an affair. He subsequently announced he didn't love her anymore and left her.

It was in that context that she began to ask eternal questions and soon prayed to receive Jesus as her Savior. From that time until her death, Jesus and his Word and purpose became her priority. With the same gusto she lived life as an unbeliever, she now approached her new life in Christ. Her greatest aim was winning others to Christ. She boldly shared her faith even as she was undergoing surgery after surgery, praying for a miraculous healing from the Lord.

Judy ultimately came to see that the greater miracle would be for her friends and family to come to know Christ. Even as she struggled for every breath, she talked her way out of the hospital about ten days before her death so she could be baptized and publicly proclaim Christ as the only way of salvation.

Judy invited everyone she knew to come to her baptism service. Under the Spirit's anointing, she powerfully and urgently shared her testimony. Her 84-year-old father came to faith in Christ that night and was baptized—along with her ex-husband, a number of nieces, a college roommate who was a New Age cultist, her aunt, her sister, and others.

Ten days later, Judy died. Even still, more people came to know the Savior. When Steve read the message she had prepared for her own funeral service, another 100 people prayed to receive Christ that day.

 

When we walk with Jesus, our lives are transformed. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for new life in Him and seek to walk continually with the Lord.

 

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows.” – Helen Keller

 

God’s Word: “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” – John 13:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN LETTERS OF JOHN

Devotional - To Obey His Commands
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 8, 2017
Devotional - To Obey His Commands

“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.” – 1 John 2:3

 

John Figdor is a Humanist Chaplain serving the community at Stanford University. He meets countless students of this new generation who, after giving up on a belief in God, come to him asking some variation on the question, “What is worth believing in?”

Together with fellow atheist Lex Bayor, John decided to have a contest. They asked the question: "What if, instead of climbing Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments from God, Moses had turned to the Israelites and asked: Hey, what do you guys think we should do?" That was the idea behind the "10 'Non-Commandments' Contest," in which atheists were asked to offer modern alternatives to the famous Decalogue. The contest even offered $10,000 for the best ideas.

One of the winning ideas was a paraphrase of the golden rule: “Treat others as you would want them to treat you, and can reasonably expect them to want to be treated. Think about their perspective.”

But unfortunately the other suggestions were vague and not worth believing in. They were an echo of Judges 17:6 “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.”

The non-commandment #9 summed up the other suggestions: “There is no one right way to live.”

 

We are all naturally born rebels. It takes a supernatural rebirth through Jesus Christ to be obedient to the Lord and to love his commands. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His goodness and His commandments and seek to follow Him with all of your heart.

 

"The secret of true obedience is the clear and close personal relationship to God.  All our attempts after full obedience will be failures until we get access to his abiding fellowship.  It is God's holy presence consciously abiding with us that keeps us from disobeying Him.  I must consciously include the Lord in every thought, activity, and conversation until the habit is established." - Andrew Murray

 

God’s Word: “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” – John 14:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN LETTERS OF JOHN

Devotional - Our Defender
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 5, 2017
Devotional - Our Defender

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” – 1 John 2:1

 

Retired Judge Louis Locascio and his son, Tony, both work at a law firm in Red Bank, New Jersey. Both men spend their days in search of justice and fairness under the law.

“My father taught me how to practice law at the dining room table when I was a boy. It was there I would watch him tirelessly work on cases for his clients,” Tony said. “The highest work ethic is essential to helping people the way we do. This is the greatest gift my father gave me.”

Heading up the Dispute Resolution Department at the law firm, Judge Locascio has an unsurpassed record of settling more than 90% of the cases that come before him. Because of his extensive experience, he has been retained by both plaintiff and defense attorneys to mediate and/or arbitrate civil and family law matters.

Tony, focuses on helping hurt people obtain justice. He does not represent companies or organizations.

“We are humans helping humans. Too often the public is needlessly endangered by other people or companies,” Tony shared. “As a result, they get seriously injured and are left not just with pain but with worry, fear, and frustration. I am honored and devoted to helping them.”

Judge Locascio concluded: “I have pride and respect for what Tony has become as a son and as a lawyer, in that order. I love the law and it’s a father’s dream to be doing what you love with your son.”

 

In Jesus Christ, we have a supporter and a family member who can speak to the Father in our defense. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is Righteous and confess your sin to Him.

 

“If we sin, we’re not written off the list or kicked out of the family, for we have an advocate, a defense attorney in Jesus Christ.” – Jon Courson

 

God’s Word: “Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” – Romans 8:34

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN LETTERS OF JOHN

Devotional - Confess Our Sins
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 4, 2017
Devotional - Confess Our Sins

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9

 

In May 2013, Leo and Dee Samad went out their back door in their home in Villa Hills, Kentucky. Dee spotted a note along with $140 in cash on their back patio.

The note apologized for stealing beer from their backyard bar. Dee did notice that beer cans had been disappearing for years but never thought twice about it.

The note read: “Dear Homeowner: Enclosed is a sum of cash that my friends and I owe you and your family to repay you for all of the times we have stolen from your poolside fridge/bar over the past few years.”

The confessing thief, who signed the letter anonymously as “Villa Hills Resident,” revealed his motives for finally coming forward as a religious conversion, citing a “new found understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ”.

The letter also quoted the Bible verse Romans 1:16 and asked the Samads use the money “to bless your family with good gifts and happiness.”

In their note the remorseful crook promised never to set foot in the Samad's backyard again, but Dee hopes that they will reconsider.

“I'd love to meet them,” Dee said. “My husband said he would be welcomed in our home anytime just because he’s man enough to stand up and do this.”

 

If we confess our sins to Jesus, he is faithful to forgive us of our sins. Today in prayer, confess your sins to the Lord and know He is faithful to forgive you and to purify you from all unrighteousness.

 

“The confession of evil works is the beginning of good works.” – Augustine

 

God’s Word: “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” – Proverbs 28:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN LETTERS OF JOHN

Devotional - Don't Deceive Yourself
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 3, 2017
Devotional - Don't Deceive Yourself

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” – 1 John 1:8

 

During the summer of 1921, Franklin D. Roosevelt was enjoying a day of sailing on his yacht when he suddenly fell overboard into the icy waters of the Bay of Fundy. The water felt paralyzing to his body. The following day, FDR complained of lower back pain and he went for a swim in hopes to ease the soreness. As the day progressed, he could feel his legs becoming weaker and by the third day, he could no longer hold his own weight. 

Doctors diagnosed that Franklin had polio. For many, it would have been the end of a political career. But Franklin’s incurable optimism pushed forward and he devised his own wheelchair. He used a dining chair and replaced the legs with bicycle-like wheels. The chair was small and could move around tight corners and narrow hallways with ease. His wheelchair did not call a lot of attention since it was made out of something people were used to seeing in their own homes.

Franklin then heard of a young man who had been “cured of polio” after visiting the springs in Warm Springs, Georgia.  

In 1924, FDR made a trip to the Georgia resort with high hopes that the mineral water in the springs could treat his paralysis. The waters did not restore FDR’s health, but he continued his visits convincing himself he was getting better.

In 1926, Warm Springs was having financial issues. As its favorite visitor, Franklin couldn’t allow the facility to close down; instead, he bought the facility for $200,000 and transformed it into a rehabilitation center for polio patients like himself. However, not one person with polio was ever “cured” at Warm Springs.

 

Whether it is a serious disease or sin, it can be deadly if not addressed. We should not deceive ourselves. Today in prayer, confess your sins to Jesus Christ and seek His grace.

 

"The problem with people who have no vices, is that you can be fairly certain that they have some pretty annoying virtues!" – Elizabeth Taylor

 

God’s Word: “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” – Lamentations 3:40

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN LETTERS OF JOHN

Devotional - Walk In The Light
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 2, 2017
Devotional - Walk In The Light

“If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:6-7

 

In 1979, a debate was arranged by a radio station in Tulsa, Oklahoma, between the head of the Oklahoma NAACP and the Grand Dragon of the Oklahoma KKK.  The head of the NAACP was Wade Watts, and he was an African-American preacher.  The head of the Ku Klux Klan was Johnny Lee Clary. They arrived for the radio show, and Watts put out his hand to greet Clary, but the latter refused to shake it.  The pastor tried again and said, “Hello, Mr. Clary, I’m Reverend Watts.  Before we go in, I just want you to know that I love you and Jesus loves you.” The debate went as expected, but it ended when Wade quoted some Scripture and asked Johnny about his personal beliefs.  The Klansman said, “I’m not listening to any more,” and he walked off the set. Before they parted company, Pastor Watts called out to Johnny, “I’m going to love you and pray for you, Mr. Clary, whether you like it or not.”  Well, Clary did not like it, and for the next ten years he caused problems.  The pastor was harassed with threatening phone calls, broken windows, a cross was burned on his lawn, and even his church was burned down. But he kept right on displaying Jesus Christ, loving and praying for Johnny Lee Clary. Meanwhile, Clary’s life was falling apart.  In 1989, he had become the national leader of the KKK, but his wife became an informant for the FBI, and then she divorced him, he lost custody of his baby girl, and he was overwhelmed with the darkness of hate.

In 1991, he finally got sick of it all, resigned from everything, went to his shabby apartment, and put a loaded gun to his head. But on his bookshelf, he saw an old Bible like the one Pastor Watts had carried with him to the radio station years before.  He opened it and found the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15.  He read it three times, then fell on his knees and gave himself to the Lord Jesus. He began attending church, and one day he decided to phone Wade Watts.  The preacher recognized his voice at once and before it was all over, Johnny Lee Clary stood in the pulpit of Wade Watts’ church and shared how Jesus Christ has changed him, transformed, him, and cleansed him of all sin.

 

We need to put our relationship with Jesus Christ first in our lives and when we walk in His light, all of our relationships will be correct. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His fellowship and seek to follow Him in all that you do.

 

“A habit of devout fellowship with God is the spring of all our life, and the strength of it.” – H. E. Manning

 

God’s Word: “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” – 1 John 1:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN LETTERS OF JOHN

Devotional - Eternal Life In Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 1, 2017
Devotional - Eternal Life In Christ

“The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.” – 1 John 1:2

 

In 1917, Eastside Baptist Church in Portland, Oregon called W.B. Hinson as pastor. Under his faithful ministry, the congregation grew from 200 members to 1,400 members in nine years.

In 1926, weeks before his death, he preached the following:

"I remember a year ago when a doctor told me, 'You have an illness from which you won't recover.' I walked out to where I live five miles from Portland, Oregon, and I looked across at that mountain that I love. I looked at the river in which I rejoice, and I looked at the stately trees that are always God's own poetry to my soul. Then in the evening I looked up into the great sky where God was lighting His lamps, and I said, 'I may not see you many more times, but Mountain, I shall be alive when you are gone; and River, I shall be alive when you cease running toward the sea; and Stars, I shall be alive when you have fallen from your sockets in the great down pulling of the material universe!"

 

All who trust in Jesus Christ have eternal life. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His gift of eternal life.

 

“For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.” – William Penn

 

God’s Word: “so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” – Titus 3:7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN LETTERS OF JOHN

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