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Series: DEVOTIONS IN James
Devotional - Forever
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Apr 25, 2019
Devotional - Forever

“‘I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.’ For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.” – Daniel 6:26

 

Chris Tomlin has written music for most of his life, but his style changed radically when he started leading worship. “I write a lot of songs,” he said of his songwriting style, “but not many ever make it to the recording stage. That’s because I’m always asking the question ‘Would people want to sing this?’” As it happens, “Forever,” a song of praise for the enduring nature of God’s love that took Chris four years to complete, has become one of those songs that people just can’t seem to stop singing. The idea for the sweeping refrain of the verses came easily enough, but the wide, thrumming chorus was harder to work out. It never left his mind, though.  “Every time we went into the studio to record something,” Chris remembers, “I would bring that song in hopes that someone else would be able to come up with a chorus. I write a lot of patches of songs and then collaborate with someone else to finish them out. With this song it never happened, and it just didn’t feel complete. Then one day, four years later, it just came. I was sitting there and singing, ‘Forever God is faithful, forever God is…’ and I couldn’t come up with the next word. Then our bass player’s wife, Janet, stuck her head in the door and said ‘strong.’ And just like that, it clicked.”

Chris admits that it’s exciting to hear others perform “Forever.” He said, “It’s sort of a validation of the song to hear someone else do it, and to know that they’re moved by it as well.”

 

Unlike earthly kingdoms and earthly kings, Jesus Christ reigns forever. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that His reign and Kingdom lasts forever.

 

“Forever, God is faithful Forever, God is strong Forever, God is with us Forever, forever.” – Chris Tomlin

 

God’s Word: “He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” – Daniel 7:14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Seek To Be Humble
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Apr 24, 2019
Devotional - Seek To Be Humble

“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.” – Daniel 4:37

 

William Carey is considered the father of modern missions. He helped found the Baptist Missionary Society and was a missionary to India. He spent his early years as a cobbler before he became one of the greatest linguists the church has ever known. It’s reported that Carey translated parts of the Bible into as many as 24 Indian languages. When he first went to India, some regarded him with dislike and contempt. At a dinner party a distinguished guest, hoping to humiliate Carey, said in a loud voice, “I suppose, Mr. Carey, you once worked as a shoemaker.”

Carey responded humbly, “No, your lordship, not as a shoemaker, only a cobbler.” William Carey didn’t claim to make shoes, only to mend them.

 

The Lord desires for us to be humble in all of our ways. Today in prayer, confess any sin of pride and seek to be humble in all that you do.

 

“He that is down needs fear no fall,

He that is low, no pride;

He that is humble ever shall

Have God to be his guide.” - John Bunyan

 

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 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - God Is In Control
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Apr 23, 2019
Devotional - God Is In Control

“All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: ‘What have you done?’” – Daniel 4:35

 

Pastor Ray Pritchard said the following about God’s plan: “A friend once told me that we are like ants crawling across a painting by Rembrandt. We crawl across the dark brown and think all of life is dark brown. Then we hit green and think, ‘”Oh, this is better. Now all is green.” But soon comes the dark blue and then a splash of yellow, a streak of red, and then another patch of brown. On we journey, from one color to another, never realizing that God is actually painting a masterpiece in our lives using all the colors of the palette. One day we will learn that every color had its place, had a reason, nothing was wasted or out of place. Just as there is a time and a season for everything, there is also a color for every stage of life’s journey. When the painting is finished, we will discover that we were part of his masterpiece from the very beginning. Time is the canvas on which God does his painting, and eternity is the perspective from which we will see the beauty of his handiwork.”

 

We are not masters of our own fate. The Lord is the King of heaven and earth and He is in control. Today in prayer, praise Christ that He is Lord of all and He alone holds the future.

 

“No one can contemplate the great facts of astronomy without feeling his own littleness and the wonderful sweep of the power and providence of God.” – John Bradley

 

God’s Word: “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.” – Psalm 115:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Going Through The Fire
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Apr 22, 2019
Devotional - Going Through The Fire

“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we

serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” – Daniel 3:16-18

 

In March 2019, reports out of Nigeria stated that Christian children were lined up against a wall facing a firing squad when a miracle took place sparing their lives. 

Initially, the group consisted of 76 men, women, and children. The four men who led the group became the group’s first and only martyrs when militants demanded they renounce their faith and convert to Islam on pain of death.

According to a report by Barnabas fund, while waiting with fear and trembling to meet the same fate as their husbands, several mothers in the group were told by their children that Jesus had appeared to them in the night and had reassured them that "all will be well.”

The promised deliverance arrived the next day when gunmen lined several of the captives up against the wall and submitted the same terms to them.

Mysteriously, before a single shot went off, the captors began screaming about snakes and dropped their weapons. Some fled the scene, while others died instantaneously as if overcome by an unseen force.

“You don’t need to do that,” one of the children told an adult from the group who attempted to pick up a weapon abandoned by a fleeing Boko Haram militant, according to a witness.

“Can you not see the men in white fighting for us?”

 

We will all be tested in our faith, but Christ is faithful and He will be with us during our trials. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He is a loving God and pray for those who are currently facing extreme trials.

 

“Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering. The love of God did not protect His own Son. He will not necessarily protect us – not from anything that makes us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process.” – Elisabeth Elliot

 

God’s Word: “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” – Psalm 17:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - When It Was Light
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Apr 21, 2019
Devotional - When It Was Light

“‘He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’’ Then they remembered his words.” – Luke 24:6

 

In 1903, English author Guy Thorne wrote the a best selling Christian novel “When It Was Dark: The Story of a Great Conspiracy.” 

The story centers about the efforts of a wealthy unbeliever to discredit Christianity. He endeavors to do this by attempting to discredit the Resurrection. In that respect his logic is sound, for if the Resurrection can be discredited Christianity is overthrown. This man hired corrupt archaeologists to fake a discovery of the body of Jesus in the neighborhood of Jerusalem. On the tomb was an inscription testifying that the owner of this sepulcher stole the body of Jesus and hid it there. The novel then goes on to describe the ultimate effect of such a discovery, if accepted as truth, upon the Christian world, upon the Christian Church, and upon civilization in general. In powerful passages he shows how, gradually, the Christian Church crumbles and collapses; how men and women go back to lust, cruelty, and animalism; and how the flame of hope dies out in every human heart.

Had the body of Christ ever been found, or a grave in which it could be proved that his body had been placed, other than that of Joseph of Arimathea, the Church would indeed disappear and the sun of human hope would set in the darkness of an ever-ending life. But thanks be to God, now is Christ risen from the dead! On that empty tomb is the epitaph written by the angels, the epitaph that ends all other epitaphs—"He is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him!" (Luke 24:6).

 

Jesus did rise from the dead and more than 500 people saw His resurrected body. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is the light of the world, He conquered death, and He is alive.

 

“Easter is the one morning in all of history where the dawn came twice; once on the eastern horizon and again in eternity.” ― Craig D. Lounsbrough

 

God’s Word: “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.” – John 20:19-20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTION FOR EASTER

Devotional - The God On The Cross
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Apr 18, 2019
Devotional - The God On The Cross

“ When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.” – Luke 23:33

 

In her book, “The God Who Hung on the Cross,” journalist Ellen Vaughn retells a gripping story of how the gospel came to a small village in Cambodia. In September 1999, Pastor Tuy Seng (not his real name) traveled to Kampong Thom Province in northern Cambodia. Throughout that isolated area, most villagers believed in Buddhism or spiritism. Christianity was virtually unheard of.

But much to the Pastor’s surprise, when he arrived in one small, rural village the people warmly embraced him and his message about Jesus. When he asked the villagers about their openness to the gospel, an old woman shuffled forward, bowed and grasped the Pastor’s hands as she said, “We have been waiting for you for 20 years.” And then she told him the story of the mysterious God who had hung on the cross.

In the 1970s, Khmer Rouge, the brutal, Communist-led regime, took over Cambodia, destroying everything in its path. When the soldiers finally descended on this rural, northern village in 1979, they immediately rounded up the villagers and forced them to start digging their own graves. After the villagers had finished digging, they prepared themselves to die. Some screamed to Buddha, others screamed to demon spirits or to their ancestors.

One of the women started to cry for help based on a childhood memory – a story her mother told her about a God who had hung on a cross. The woman prayed to that unknown God on a cross. Surely, if this God had known suffering, he would have compassion on their plight.

Suddenly, her solitary cry became one great wail as the entire village started praying to the God who had suffered and hung on a cross. As they continued facing their own graves, the wailing slowly turned to a quiet crying. There was an eerie silence in the muggy jungle air. Slowly, as they dared to turn around and face their captors, they discovered that the soldiers were gone.

As the old woman finished telling this story, she told the pastor that ever since that humid day 20 years ago the villagers had been waiting, waiting for someone to come and share the rest of the story about the God who had hung on a cross.

 

Jesus is God who did suffer and die for us. He has compassion for us. Today in prayer, remember the Cross- where our old life came to an end.

 

“God Hold us to that which drew us first, when the Cross was the attraction, and we wanted nothing else.” ― Amy Carmichael

 

God's Word: “There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” – Matthew 27:34-35

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTION FOR GOOD FRIDAY

Devotional - The Power Of God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Apr 17, 2019
Devotional - The Power Of God

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

 

The United States Navy's electromagnetic railgun, which can accelerate a projectile to 5,000 mph in 0.01 seconds using a simple and enormous charge, requires no explosives and only one man to load and fire. It's been in production since 2005 and should be on many warships in the next five years. A few more facts:

• Each projectile is 18 inches long and weighs 23 pounds.

• The cost to fire a projectile is approximately $25,000—as much as 60 times less than traditional artillery.

• After storing up a charge, the gun releases 1,200 volts in 10 milliseconds.

• Firing distance exceeds 100 miles.

• In tests the projectiles were able to pierce three walls of reinforced concrete or six steel plates.

As fast and as powerful as this weapon is, it still pales in comparison to the speed of light and is far less powerful than any force of nature controlled by God.

 

Our Lord God, the Creator of the Universe; His power is overwhelming. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is all-powerful and ask Him to work powerfully through you this day.

 

“The greatest single distinguishing feature of the omnipotence of God is that our imagination gets lost thinking about it.” – Blaise Pascal

 

God’s Word: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - True To Your Faith In Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Apr 16, 2019
Devotional - True To Your Faith In Christ

“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.” – Daniel 1:8

 

In February 2019, Anant Ram Gond, a 40-year-old Christian, was found beheaded in February in Nabarangpur, Odisha in India. His killers have yet to be apprehended by the authorities. According to reports, Anant Ram, a husband and father of four girls and a boy, was dragged out of his home. He was taken from his bed where he was sleeping next to his 6-year-old son. Despite pleas from the child, the killers dragged the father away into the darkness and threatened the boy not to follow them.

The next morning, Anant Ram’s mutilated body was found. He had been harassed for years for his beliefs and family members believe the attack on Anant Ram was an anti-Christian attack.

Dasrup Das, whom discipled Anant Ram in the local church said, “Anant Ram and his family began attending church more than one year ago, unable to bear all the pressure. But villagers thought that he was getting attached to a new culture and threatened him on a regular basis.”

His wife Sukhbati concluded, “My master is dead. He has been killed for his faith. But I will not forsake Jesus Christ my Saviour. We request you to uphold my children and me in your prayers for our faith to remain strong and for our daily needs.”

 

No matter where life may lead, the Lord asks us to remain resolved in our faith in Him. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He died for your sins and seek to remain true to your faith in Christ.

 

“Resolved: that every man should live to the glory of God. Resolved second: that whether others do this or not I will.” – Martin Luther

 

God’s Word: “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” – 1 Corinthians 15:58

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

 

Devotional - In The Sight Of Many Nations
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Apr 16, 2019
Devotional - In The Sight Of Many Nations

“And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.'” – Ezekiel 38:23

 

In 1869, missionary Edwin W. Clark from New York traveled to India. He developed a burden for the Nagas tribes who lived in a mountainous state in northeast India, bordering Myanmar. 

He wrote to the Home Mission Board in 1871: “Tribe upon tribe of Nagas are accessible to the Gospel. It is certainly painful for us at Sibsagar to be unable to lift our eyes without seeing these hills and thinking of them who have no knowledge of Christ.”

Now the Nagas tribes were headhunters and they did not welcome foreigners. Clark sent an evangelist name Gudhola Brown to penetrate the Naga Hills. The evangelist came down with nine others and Clark baptized them on November 11, 1872. Clark began a church and the church became a center for missionaries to the Nagas.

By 1940, half of three million Nagas peoples had given their lives to Jesus Christ.

 

The Lord continually shows His greatness and Holiness. Around the world, people are turning to Jesus Christ knowing that in His righteousness we can have salvation. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He is righteous and praise Him for His holiness.

 

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” – Edward Mote

 

God’s Word: “For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face.” – Psalm 11:7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

 

Devotional - His Promises Are True
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Apr 14, 2019
Devotional - His Promises Are True

“Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.'" - Ezekiel 37:11-14

 

In 1882, the first mass immigration of Jews to Palestine began. It has been called the First Aliyah, the Hebrew word for “Ascent.” This immigration lasted until 1903. Jews who migrated to Ottoman Palestine in this wave came mostly from Eastern Europe and from Yemen. An estimated 25,000–35,000 Jews immigrated to Ottoman Palestine during the First Aliyah.

Vladimir Dubnow, one of those first Jewish settlers in Palestine, wrote in October 1882: "The ultimate goal ... is, in time, to take over the Land of Israel and to restore to the Jews the political independence they have been deprived of for these two thousand years .... The Jews will yet arise and, arms in hand (if need be), declare that they are the masters of their ancient homeland." 

 

God’s Word through Ezekiel came true with the rebirth of the Jewish nation in 1948. The Lord keeps His promises and gives us a hope. That hope is in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that His prophesies and promises are true and you can trust in Him.

 

“Jesus is the yes to every promise of God.” – William Barclay

 

God’s Word: “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - The Good Shepherd
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Apr 11, 2019
Devotional - The Good Shepherd

“As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.” – Ezekiel 34:12

 

In April 2019, on the coastal cliffs of the village of Mathry, in the in Pembrokeshire, Wales, an unusual rescue took place. The owner said he lost a flock of 85 sheep, which were found scattered and stuck over a wide area on the cliffs. It is thought they were scared by a dog and became stuck at Mathry, Pembrokeshire.

For 10 days, specialist rope rescue teams and boat teams were deployed to Mathry. They were joined by the Mid West Wales Fire Service fire, police and a mountaineering rope rescue team.

The rescued animals were lowered down to boats using ropes or hauled up the cliff-face to safety.

Spokesman Romain de Kerckhove, said: "Due to difficult weather conditions, the exposed steep cliff-face, along with the numbers of animals, the officers have had a challenging task."

A total of 65 sheep were rescued from the sea cliffs, while 20 more of the flock fell to their deaths.

 

The Lord knows each of us and we never escape His eye. Today in prayer, give praise to the Lord that even when we were not walking with Him, He knew where we were and came to our rescue.

 

“Too many leaders act as if the sheep... their people... are there for the benefit of the shepherd, not that the shepherd has responsibility for the sheep.” – Ken Blanchard

 

God’s Word: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” – John 10:27-28

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - The Need To Repent
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Apr 11, 2019
Devotional - The Need To Repent

"Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?'” – Ezekiel 33:11

 

As a teen, Scotty West was introduced to the Ku Klux Klan and began a descent into criminal behavior.

He became actively involved in many forms of white supremacy and spent the ensuing years fighting, gambling, stealing, cooking drugs, doing drugs and recruiting young people to join him.

He ended up spending the better part of seven years in California prisons for crimes such as assault, battery, attempted murder, possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance, and burglary.

In 1998, while in prison, Scotty found salvation.

He was in prison, facing a possible life sentence, when, Scotty says, Jesus came to his cell and told him to read the Gideon’s Bible on the shelf.

Picking it up, Scotty found the words of Jesus in John 10:10:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Scotty immediately felt deep remorse for his life of sin and stopped using drugs, believing racist dogma and acting violently.

Shortly thereafter, Scotty’s possible life sentence was miraculously reduced to 26 months. He spent most of that time reading the Bible and teaching a Bible study for as many as 50 inmates, many of them became Christians.

After being released from prison Scotty started teaching a Bible study. He still spends time in prison — as a chaplain — and he visits the local county jail and juvenile hall. He has been transformed by the powerful grace of a loving God.

 

The Lord calls upon us to repent of our sin and to turn to Him. Today in prayer, with brokenness, repent of any sin in your life and turn to Jesus.

 

“With the words “turn, turn,” the Holy Spirit is calling to you saying, “I want you back! Jesus died for you too, and I have forgiven your sins.” – Joel Pankow

 

God’s Word: “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:3-4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Heed The Warning
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Apr 9, 2019
Devotional - Heed The Warning

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.” – Ezekiel 33:7

 

George Seiber predicted the Palestinian terrorist plot that was carried out at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany. Seiber was an established police psychologist who was hired by Olympics organizers to predict what could go wrong at the Munich games in order to give the organizers an idea of how they should beef up security.

Seiber produced 26 predictions. The 21st was the one that would come true. This prediction envisioned 12 Palestinians breaking into the building where the Israeli athletes and coaches were staying, killing one or two people and taking the rest hostage. He said the Palestinians would make two demands: that prisoners be released from Israeli jails and that they be given a plane to fly back to the Middle East.

As it turned out, this is pretty much exactly what happened. The only discrepancy is that there were eight terrorists, not 12. They were able to break into the building pretty easily because security was so lax - the Olympic organizers had ignored Sieber's warning. The authorities tried to rescue the Israeli hostages, but they all died during the rescue operation.

 

When we hear a warning from the Lord, we need to heed it and not dismiss it. God gives the warning to protect us and to provide for us. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to give you a ready ear and a sensitive heart to hear His warnings and to follow them.

 

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

 

God’s Word: “Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.” – Psalm 119:33-36

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Take His Hand
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Apr 8, 2019
Devotional - Take His Hand

“So I spoke to the people in the morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did as I had been commanded.” – Ezekiel 24:18

 

Jeremy Camp had only been married four and a half months when his wife Melissa died of cancer. She was 21 years old and he was 23.

She said, “Jeremy, if I die from this cancer and if one person gets to know Jesus as their savior because of it, it’ll all be worth it.”

Jeremy knew of the cancer before they got married. He remembers: “I went home and wept. I said, ‘God, if you want me to marry her, I will.”

After Melissa died, Jeremy got angry with the Lord for not healing her. Then he read his Bible and prayed: “I remember God saying, ‘I’ll be with you every step of the way.’ I had my battles. I had my times of just being upset and God would show me, ‘Hey, I’m right here, I’ll walk you through this and it doesn’t make sense now but just trust me.’ That’s where faith come in - trust.”

Jeremy’s worship ministry expanded. He eventually met his second wife Adie and they have two daughters together.

 

The Lord leads us throughout our lives, through the joy and sunlight and in the sorrows and darkness. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that He is our Rock. Take His hand as He walks you through eternity.  

 

“How sweet the sound of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear. It soothes his sorrow, heals his wounds, and drives away his fears.” – John Newton

 

God’s Word: “Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.” – Ecclesiastes 7:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Living Biblically
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Apr 7, 2019
Devotional - Living Biblically

“I am the LORD your God; follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” – Ezekiel 20:19

 

In February 2018, CBS television began a running a situation comedy entitled: “Living Biblically.” The show centered on Chip Curry who is a modern day man at a crossroads in his life. Following the death of Chip’s best friend, he decides to live strictly in accordance with the Bible. He is a film critic for a New York Newspaper and a soon-to-be father; Chip desires to be a better man. He decides to put his slightly obsessive temperament to use and start living his life 100% by the Bible to find direction. His smart, pregnant wife, Leslie, while both skeptical and entertained by her husband’s new passion, supports him completely. Knowing he’ll need some practical advice, Chip forms a “God Squad” with Father Gene, a Catholic Priest who helps Chip translate the rules of the Bible to a modern world; and Father Gene’s best friend, easygoing Rabbi Gil Ableman, who respects Chip’s chutzpah and is glad to serve as a sounding board when they meet at their local bar. As he begins his sincere spiritual journey toward a more moral life with the help of his wife and friends, Chip wonders if he’ll be able to take a page – or every page – out of the Good Book, and if the effect will be of Biblical proportions.

The show was cancelled after one season for low ratings. It seems people are not interested in Living Biblically.

 

As Christians, following God’s laws and decrees bring us into a deeper relationship with Him.  Today in prayer, seek to follow the Bible and live for Christ in all that you do.

 

“I feel that, if I could live a thousand lives, I would like to live them all for Christ, and even then, I would feel that they were all too little a return for His great love to me.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’” – Matthew 4:19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - A New Heart And Spirit
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Apr 4, 2019
Devotional - A New Heart And Spirit

“Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel?” – Ezekiel 18:31

 

Patricia Heaton is an actress who is best known for playing a hassled mother Frankie Heck in the long running TV series “The Middle”. She also played the part of Debra Barone in all 209 episodes of the acclaimed TV sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond” from 1996 to 2005.

Faith in Jesus Christ is central to Patricia’s life and has been since she was at school. She relates an incident where she was “trash talking” another girl at school, only to realise that the girl could hear her. She said,

“I knew then that I was not a good person. This girl never did anything to me. I realised then I was a sinful person. I realised that is why Jesus died.”

Patricia mended her ways and has a new heart and spirit.

 

Nothing can replace a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, thank your Heavenly Father for new life in Christ and the new heart and spirit He has given you.

 

“You will never be happy till you are converted.” – J.C. Ryle

 

God’s Word: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” – Ezekiel 36:26

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Lose The Arrogance
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Apr 3, 2019
Devotional - Lose The Arrogance

“'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” – Ezekiel 16:49

 

In 1987, AIG hired Joe Cassano as one of the first ten people in the Financial Products unit, as Chief Financial Officer.

Many accounts describe Cassano as a quintessential arrogant leader. Former coworkers report that in stark contrast to his predecessors, Cassano had penchants for yelling, cursing, bad-mouthing others, and belittling colleagues, as well as little tolerance for opposing viewpoints. He has also been described as having had an obsession with profits, particularly as they related to the lucrative credit-default swap contracts that eventually brought the entire company. In the absence of Cassano’s persistent arrogant behavior and unwillingness to tolerate dissent regarding his management practices, it is possible that AIG’s crisis would have been considerably less severe or altogether avoided. However, despite the fact that it was the practices he sanctioned that led AIG to be regarded as one of the most notable examples of excess associated with Wall Street, Cassano remains unapologetic about his role and blames others for the crisis.

So far, the U.S. government has invested and lent $150 billion to keep AIG afloat.

 

The Lord desires us to be humble, not arrogant and prideful. Today in prayer, confess any sin of pride and arrogance and humbly seek the Lord with all of your heart.

 

"We have become an arrogant people, and we must understand our un-deservedness, and that without Him we can do nothing.  Holy Spirit, bring us to a point of absolute repentance and confession and revival.” – Frank Page

 

God’s Word: “The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong.” – Psalm 5:5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - True Prophecy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Apr 2, 2019
Devotional - True Prophecy

"Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: 'Hear the word of the LORD!” – Ezekiel 13:2

 

José Luis de Jesús Miranda was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He claimed that during his youth, he served stints in prison for petty theft. He also said he was addicted to heroin at age 14. He stated that it was the "power of God what took me out of my drug addiction" and he soon joined a Baptist Church in Ponce.

He was promoted to minister after serving several years in the church. He claims that in 1973, he had a vision in which he maintains that he was visited by a pair of angels. He started to assemble a select number of followers that culminated in the forming of Ministerio Creciendo en Gracia (Spanish for Growing in Grace) in 1988. At first, José Luis was only preaching according to the Four Gospels that narrate the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, but in 1998, he claimed that he was the reincarnation of Paul the Apostle and changed his focus into reading and preaching about Paul's gospel.

In 2005, he announced that he was the next phase of Jesus Christ on Earth and he was “Jesus Christ Man”. 

At the height of his preaching, he claimed to have 2 million followers in 30 countries.

 

True prophecy of the Lord can be found in the Bible. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for giving us His Word in the Bible and spend some extra time studying it today.

 

“It behooves Christians to keep close to the word of God, and in every thing to seek the teaching of the Holy Spirit.” – Matthew Henry

 

God’s Word: “Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. They say, "The LORD declares," when the LORD has not sent them; yet they expect their words to be fulfilled.” – Ezekiel 13:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Heed His Warnings
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Apr 1, 2019
Devotional - Heed His Warnings

“But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself.” – Ezekiel 3:21

 

In 1994, Brooksley Born took over as head of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), a government agency empowered with the task of monitoring and regulating the commodities exchange in the US. She very quickly discovered something that shocked her. An entire branch of the commodities market known as Over the Counter commodities (OTC commodities) existed that were for all intents and purposes, totally unregulated. Worse, the government (which was supposed to monitor and regulate commodity trading) didn’t even know these types of commodity investments existed. Trillions of dollars were being traded as OTC commodities called “derivatives,” with no regulation and nobody even aware it was taking place. 

Brooksley saw the derivatives as a high risk and sought to regulate them. She warned lawmakers of the danger of unregulated derivatives.  Under heavy pressure from the financial lobby, the Congress passed legislation prohibiting regulation of derivatives by Born’s agency. She resigned her position on June 1, 1999.

In 2008, the failure of derivatives led to the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, which triggered an almost complete collapse of the US financial market.

 

Throughout the Bible, the Lord gives us warnings on how to live a holy life. Are you heeding His warnings? Today in prayer, confess any sin in your life and seek to follow the Lord as you read His Word.

 

“The Bible give us a list of human stories on both sides of the ledger. On list of human stories is used examples -- do what these people did. Another list of human stories is used as warnings -- don't do what these people did. So if your story ever gets in one of these books, make sure they use it as an example, not a warning.” – Jim Rohn

 

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 2019, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Be A Light
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Apr 1, 2019
Devotional - Be A Light

“You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.” – Ezekiel 2:7

 

Hymn writer Fanny Crosby loved sharing the Gospel with anyone who would listen. In 1869 she penned the words to “Rescue the Perishing.” When asked about the song, she explained, “It was written following a personal experience at the New York City Bowery Mission.” She went on to explain that she would go one night a week to talk to “her boys.”

One night while speaking to them, she kept having the thought that there was a boy present who had wandered away from his mother and must be rescued that night, or he would be eternally lost. She made a plea to each boy that was there that night. At the end of the service, one of the young men came forward and said, “Did you mean me, Miss Crosby? I promised my mother to meet her in Heaven, but as I am now living that will be impossible.” She prayed with him and led him to Christ. As they finished, he said, “Now I am ready to meet my mother in Heaven, for I have found God.”

 

Wherever the Lord has you today, faithfully be His witness. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is a great God and share the love of Jesus Christ with someone.

 

“Never, for fear of feeble man, restrain your witness.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN EZEKIEL AND DANIEL

Devotional - Pray At All Times
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Mar 28, 2019
Devotional - Pray At All Times

“Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.” – James 5:13

 

Spencer January shares the following answer to prayer: “It was 1945, and the U.S. Army’s 35th Infantry Division, of which I was a twenty-four year-old member, was pushing through the woods and towns in the Rhineland region of West Germany. As I and my comrades were cautiously making our way through a thickly wooded area, word came that the company ahead of us had been badly shot up by the enemy and that Company I was to replace them. When my company arrived on the scene, I was appalled by the grimness of the situation. Only a handful of wounded, bleeding soldiers hiding behind a large stone house at the edge of the woods had survived. The route to Ossenburg had been completely blockaded. ‘God,’ I prayed desperately, thinking of my wife and little son back home, ‘You’ve got to do something… please do something, God!’ Moments later, the order was given to advance. Just as the soldier ahead of me took a step, something to the left caught my eye. I stopped and stared in amazement. A cloud—a long, fluffy, white cloud—had appeared instantly out of nowhere, obscuring the Germans’ line of fire. Taking advantage of this miraculous turn of events, I and my fellow soldiers bolted into the clearing and ran for our lives. Safe in the sheltering woods on the other side of the clearing, my pulse pounding in my ears, I hid behind a tree and exclaimed, ‘This has to be God! I’m going to see what happens now.’ I watched closely as the last American soldier frantically raced toward my comrades in the woods. I will never forget what happened next. The instant the soldier scrambled to safety, the cloud vanished! Just like that. Poof! It was gone. The Germans, thinking they still had us pinned down behind the stone house on the other side of the field, radioed its position to their artillery. Minutes later, the house was blown to bits. Two weeks later, a letter arrived from my mother back in Dallas, Texas. ‘Son, what in the world was the matter on the morning of March 9?’ she asked. ‘You remember Mrs. Tankersly from our church? Well, she called me that morning and said the Lord had awakened her at one o’clock in the night and said, ‘Spencer is in serious trouble. Get up now and pray for him!’ Mrs. Tankersly said she interceded for you until six o’clock the next morning. She told me that the last thing she prayed before getting off her knees was, ‘Lord, whatever danger Spencer is in, just cover him with a cloud!’”

 

The Lord answers our prayers in ways we cannot imagine. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that we have a loving Father that is always ready to hear our prayers.

 

“Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” - Corrie ten Boom

 

God’s Word: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." – Ephesians 6:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

Devotional - Be Patient
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Mar 27, 2019
Devotional - Be Patient

“Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.” – James 5:7

 

Aristotle was an ancient Greek philosopher and scientist born in the city of Stagira, Chalkidiki, Greece. Along with Plato, he is considered the "Father of Western Philosophy".

He was the founder of formal logic, pioneered the study of zoology, and left every future scientist and philosopher in his debt through his contributions to the scientific method.

Aristotle believed that the virtues were the middle ground between two extremes that were both less good. Patience lies between the extreme of apathy on one side and impetuousness on the other. If we are to be virtuous, by Aristotle’s definition, we must walk the fine line between not caring and jumping in with both feet before we’ve had a good look. The philosopher is quoted as believing, “Patience is bitter, but the fruit is sweet.”

 

We are not patient by nature, but the Lord can give us His patience. Today in prayer, give any impatience you have to Jesus and receive His perfect peace.

 

“The three most important words in the English language are 'Wait... a... minute.'”  - Sam Rayburn

 

God’s Word: “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” – Ecclesiastes 7:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

Devotional - Riches Can Bring Misery
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Mar 26, 2019
Devotional - Riches Can Bring Misery

“Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you.” – James 5:1

 

On Dec. 28, 1996, Denise Rossi won $1.3 million in the California Lottery. Eleven days later, she filed for divorce from her husband of 25 years.

Denise wanted to keep her winnings a secret from her husband Thomas. She said she didn’t want him to get his hands on it. And it was a secret for two years after the divorce.

His business folded, and he declared bankruptcy in 1998.

Then fate struck. More than two years after the divorce, a misdirected piece of mail landed in Thomas Rossi's mailbox. It was a solicitation addressed to his ex-wife from a company that pays lump sums for lottery winnings and big legal awards.

“What lottery payments?” thought Thomas.

His attorney confirmed through the California State Lottery Commission that Rossi's ex-wife had won $1,336,000--payable in 20 annual installments of $66,800.

Thomas sued Denise for withholding community property.

The judge ordered her to give her ex-husband the $1.3 million in full because she didn’t disclose the money and acted out of fraud and malice.

 

Money does not satisfy. Only the Lord can satisfy our deepest needs. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for any possessions that you have and seek to use them to His glory.

 

“To be clever enough to get a great deal of money, one must be stupid enough to want it.” – G.K. Chesterton

 

God’s Word: “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” – 1 Timothy 6:9-10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

Devotional - We Cannot Predict The Future
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Mar 25, 2019
Devotional - We Cannot Predict The Future

“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” – James 4:13

 

People who predict the future are often made foolish. The following are some of the most infamous predictions of the future:

Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, but in 1911, he went all in on America’s booming steel industry, predicting, “The baby of the 21st century will be rocked in a steel cradle; his father will sit in a steel chair at a steel dining table, and his mother’s boudoir will be sumptuously equipped with steel furnishings, converted by cunning varnishes to the semblance of rosewood, or mahogany, or any other wood her ladyship fancies.”

In 1950, Associated Press writer Dorothy Roe used what she called “scientific evidence” to predict that by the year 2000, all women would be six feet tall. “Her proportions will be perfect, though Amazonian, because science will have perfected a balanced ration of vitamins, proteins, and minerals that will produce the maximum bodily efficiency, the minimum of fat,” she wrote.

And finally: In 1876, the President of Western Union, William Orton, dismissed phones as a “toy” when Alexander Graham Bell offered to sell him the patent for $100,000. Orton wrote an internal memo stating, “The idea is idiotic on the face of it. Furthermore, why would any person want to use this ungainly and impractical device when he can send a messenger to the telegraph office and have a clear written message sent to any large city in the United States?”

 

The future belongs to the Lord, we cannot predict if it will bring happiness or sorrow. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is Lord of all and seek to humbly walk with Him.

 

“The next moment is as much beyond our grasp, and as much in God’s care, as that a hundred years away. Care for the next minute is just as foolish as care for a day in the next thousand years. In neither can we do anything, in both God is doing everything.” – C.S. Lewis

 

God’s Word: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” – Proverbs 27:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

Devotional - Do Not Slander
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Mar 24, 2019
Devotional - Do Not Slander

“Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.” – James 4:11

 

In January 2019, students from Covington in Park Hills, Kentucky visited Washington D.C. One 16-year-old student, Nicholas Sandmann, wore a ball cap that said: “Make America Great Again.” Native American activist Nathan Phillips engaged Nicholas in a debate near the Lincoln Memorial. The teenager stood quietly as Phillips did all of the talking.

Media from both the Washington Post and CNN television falsely accused Nicholas of racism and other wrong doings.

After the facts came out, the boy’s parents took legal action. They filed a $250 million defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post and a $275 million defamation lawsuit against CNN.

In the lawsuit against the Post, it stated that the newspaper disregarded online videos that showed a fuller picture of the incident and of using “unreliable and biased sources,” thus acting with “knowledge of falsity or a reckless disregard for the truth.”

 

Slander is malicious, seeking to damage others. Today in prayer, confess any sin of slander and ask the Lord to keep you from all slander.

 

“He who slings mud generally loses ground.” – Adlai E. Stevenson

 

“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” – 1 Peter 2:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

Devotional - Submit To The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Mar 21, 2019
Devotional - Submit To The Lord

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7

 

More than 230,000 people were killed, 500,000 were injured, and 1.7 million were left homeless on December 26, 2004, after 9.2-magnitude earthquake caused a tsunami that affected 14 countries in Asia and eastern and southern Africa. The incident remains one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded human history. The death toll could have been less had warnings been heeded.

Seven years before the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, Smith Thammasaroj, a top government official in Thailand warned that the country would soon be hit by a tsunami. His calls were ignored, and he was termed “crazy.”

He retired under a shadow, dismissed as a crackpot, accused of causing panic and jeopardizing a critical tourist industry that grew up around the tropical resort island of Phuket.

After the disaster of 2004, Smith was lionized for his foresight and appointed a vice minister and put him in charge of the newly established National Disaster Warning Office.

 

The Lord wants us to listen to His warnings and to submit to Him. Today in prayer, submit your heart to the Lord and make His will your will.

 

“Our satisfaction lies in submission to the divine embrace.” – Jan Van Ruysbroeck

 

God’s Word: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” – 1 Peter 5:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

Devotional - Stupid Quarrels
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Mar 20, 2019
Devotional - Stupid Quarrels

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?” – James 4:1

 

The aptly named Pig War nearly saw an argument over a slaughtered swine lead to a full-scale conflict between the United States and Great Britain. The controversy began in 1859 on San Juan Island, a chunk of land located between the mainland United States and Vancouver Island. At the time, the island was home to American settlers and British employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and both parties had laid claim to its fertile soil. The first and only shots of the Pig War came on June 15, 1859, when an American farmer named Lyman Cutlar gunned down a British-owned black boar after he discovered the animal rooting through his potato patch. The ensuing argument over the dead hog increased tensions between the two groups of settlers, and Cutlar was eventually threatened with arrest.

After the Americans reported the incident to the military, the U.S. Army dispatched Captain George Pickett—later a Confederate general during the Civil War—to San Juan with a small complement of troops. Pickett upped the ante by declaring the whole island U.S. property, and the British responded by sending a fleet of heavily armed naval vessels to the coastline. An absurd standoff ensued, and the situation remained on a knife-edge for several agonizing weeks. The two nations would finally negotiate a deal allowing for joint military occupation of San Juan Island in October 1859, ending the Pig War as a bloodless stalemate—save for one unfortunate hog.

 

We need to control our anger and not argue over inconsequential things in life. Today in prayer, give any anger you have to the Lord and pray that you may treat others with the love and respect you desire from them.

 

“Argument is the worst sort of conversation.” – Jonathan Swift

 

God’s Word: “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.” – Proverbs 17:14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

Devotional - Sow Peace
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Mar 19, 2019
Devotional - Sow Peace

“Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” – James 3:18

 

In 1939, when the Germans attacked Poland, Lidia Stolowicka decided to take her three-year-old son Michael and flee from Warsaw. Gertruda Babilińska, Michael’s nanny, went with them for the dangerous journey. They wanted to go to Vilna, because it was rumored that it was possible to go abroad from there. After their car broke down, they continued by horse-drawn cart. The roads were being bombed, and Lidia Stolowicki was completely terrorized. It was Gertruda who took charge.

The three managed to reach Vilna, but were stranded there among many other Jewish refuges with no financial means, except the little money Gertruda was able to make. Lidia Stolowicki was unable to cope with the harsh conditions. She fell ill, suffered a stroke, and in April 1941 she died and was buried in the Jewish cemetery. Before her death, realizing that her days were numbered, she had asked Gertruda to take care for her child and to take him to the Land of Israel after the war.

Two months after the death of Michael’s mother, the Germans attacked the Soviet Union and occupied Vilna. “I was left alone, with a circumcised five-year-old child”, Gertruda said. Demonstrating enormous resourcefulness she managed to obtain false papers and a baptismal certificate for the boy, and to have him registered as her nephew.

For the next seven difficult years, Gertruda cared for Michael. In 1948 they finally were able to arrive safely in Israel.

On June 4, 1963, the Israeli organization Yad Vashem recognized Gertruda Babilińska as Righteous Among the Nations for her peaceful actions.

 

Peace does not just happen; it is not the absence of war. Sowing peace is an action. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is the ultimate example of sowing peace and in Him we can have peace in our hearts and share that peace with others.

 

“Peace reigns where our Lord reigns.” – Julian of Norwich

 

God’s Word: “The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.” – Isaiah 32:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

Devotional - Avoid Envy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Mar 18, 2019
Devotional - Avoid Envy

“But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.” – James 3:14

 

Peggy Noonan, formerly President Reagan’s speechwriter, wrote the following about envy: “I am talking with the head of a mighty American corporation. We’re in his window-lined office, high in midtown Manhattan. The view—silver skyscrapers stacked one against another, dense, fine-lined, sparkling in the sun—is so perfect, so theatrical. It’s like a scrim, like a fake backdrop for a 1930s movie about people in tuxes and tails. Edward Everett Horton could shake his cocktail shaker here; Fred (Astaire) and Ginger (Rogers) could banter on the phone. The CEO tells me it is ‘annual report time’, and he is looking forward to reading the reports of his competitors. ‘Why?’ I ask. I wonder what he looks for when he reads the reports of the competition. He says he always flips to the back to see what the other CEOs got as part of their deal—corporate jets, private helicopters, whatever. ‘We all do that’, he says. ‘We all want to see who has what.’”

 

Envy is a sin that hurts oneself and often leads to other sins. Today in prayer, confess any sin of envy and thank the Lord that He is a generous God He has given you all that you need to bring glory to Him.

 

“Few men have the strength to honor a friend's success without envy.” – Aeschylus

 

God’s Word: “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” – Proverbs 14:30

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

Devotional - Gain Wisdom
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Mar 17, 2019
Devotional - Gain Wisdom

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” – James 3:13

 

Dwight Lyman Moody, also known as D. L. Moody, was an American evangelist and publisher connected with the Holiness Movement. He founded the Moody Church, Northfield School and Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts (now Northfield Mount Hermon School), Moody Bible Institute and Moody Publishers.

He once said the following:

“I remember a gentleman of Boston, a man high in life, a Congressman, who was accustomed to carry with him little cards and distribute them wherever he went, and on some of these cards were words like these: "I expect to pass through this world but once, and therefore if there be any kindness I can show, if there is anything I can do to make men happy, I shall do it, for I may not pass this way again.”

 

Do you want to gain wisdom? Then follow Jesus and let your life be flowing with good deeds that glorify Him. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is our ultimate example. Seek to follow Him closely so you may bring glory to Him.

 

“Not until we have become humble and teachable, standing in awe of God's holiness and sovereignty... acknowledging our own littleness, distrusting our own thoughts, and willing to have our minds turned upside down, can divine wisdom become ours.” – J.I. Packer

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

Devotional - The Tongue Is A Fire
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Mar 14, 2019
Devotional - The Tongue Is A Fire

“Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” – James 3:5-6

 

At approximately 7 p.m. on September 19, 2012, Wildwood, New Jersey received a call of a domestic disturbance. A man, identified as Ismael Ayala, age 37, of Wildwood, was arguing with a woman. As a result of the argument the woman was transported to the police department in order to apply for a temporary restraining order.

While at the police department, the woman received a phone call from her landlord informing her electrical power to her apartment was not working. Police officers responded to the apartment and learned the apartment was on fire. Officers quickly evacuated residents from the building. Firefighters from the Wildwood Fire Department also responded to the scene and extinguished the fire.

A subsequent investigation conducted by the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, the Cape May County Fire Marshall’s Office and city police detectives, revealed Ayala intentionally set the fire.

Ayala was arrested and charged with aggravated arson, a crime of the second degree; and terroristic threats, a crime of the third degree.

 

An untamed tongue spreading gossip is like a destructive fire. Today in prayer, confess any sin to the Lord and ask Him to use your tongue to glorify Him.

 

“God doesn't listen to gossip except to judge it.” – Leonard Ravenhill 

 

God’s Word: “Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.'” – Matthew 15:10-11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

Devotional - A Higher Standard
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Mar 13, 2019
Devotional - A Higher Standard

“Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” – James 3:1

 

Drew Bekius was a committed and serious student of the scriptures: “I had found a satisfactory way to spin just about any verse in the Bible to make it fit just right within my theological system. With an unquenchable passion for God’s Word, I sought to grow in its knowledge and understanding every single day. Study was my daily hobby.”

But then in the fall of 2010, he began to realize that some of those answers didn’t line up as well as he would have liked them to.

He said the following: “And as I started dealing more critically with some of the issues I had previously pushed ever so slightly to the periphery, I began to find myself a little less satisfied by answers previously held. And that’s when it all began to unravel.”

“Over the next six months, I found myself increasingly overwhelmed with doubts that went as deep as to the very existence of God Himself. My prayers that God would faithfully correct my thinking and strengthen my faith gave way the following year to tormented late-night prayers, begging and pleading with the God of Wonders to reveal himself to me once again, to light my heart and soul aflame with his Spirit once more.

By the end of 2011 it became clear that I had to transition out of the ministry I had loved so dearly. Even if God were real – and I continued clinging to the hope that he might be, I had clearly lost all ability to discern such truths. Either Christian ministry was unfit for this world or I was unfit for Christian ministry, but either way I had to leave. And so I did. I transitioned out of ministry that following summer. And by the end of that year, I would finally admit to myself that I no longer believed in God. I had to let go. If for no other reason than to keep my own sanity.”

 

The Lord was a teacher and He has a high expectation for teachers. Teachers are not only to teach well, but they are have faith when they don’t know all of the answers. Today in prayer, pray for those who teach and ask the Lord to look after them.

 

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” – Henry Brooks Adams

 

God’s Word: “It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers” – Ephesians 4:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

Devotional - Faith In Action
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Mar 12, 2019
Devotional - Faith In Action

“But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” – James 2:18

 

It is recorded that at the time of the great plague that struck the Roman Empire during the reign of Maximinus (235-38 AD), Christians practiced the Gospel of love perfectly by taking care of pagans as well as Christians:

“...the evidence of the Christians' zeal and piety was made clear to all the pagans. For example, they alone in such a catastrophic state of affairs gave practical evidence of their sympathy and philanthropy by works. All day long some of them would diligently persevere in performing the last offices for the dying and burying them (for there were countless numbers, and no one to look after them). While others (i.e. Christians) gathered together in a single assemblage all who were afflicted by famine throughout the whole city, and would distribute bread to them all.”

We need to put our faith into action and we will reap rewards. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to strengthen your faith into action so you may follow Jesus Christ in all areas of your life.

 

“Faith must always have an accompanying action.” – Diane Benze

 

God’s Word: “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

Devotional - Mercy Triumphs
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Mar 11, 2019
Devotional - Mercy Triumphs

“Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!” – James 2:12-13

 

Father Ron Raab is pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He relates the following story of God’s mercy:

“Last year I was called to the hospital to anoint a woman dying of cancer. The chaplain informed me over the phone while I was still in my office that the patient was also a prisoner. He explained that an officer would be at her side and that my presence was already approved to pray with her. When I arrived at the door of her hospital room, I knocked lightly. I entered and saw the woman in bed near the door. A heavy-set officer sat on the other side of her bed, just a couple of feet away. I bent down at her bedside and she immediately began speaking about her faith. She told me how much she believed in God, and she prayed for her many children and grandchildren. Her eyes sparkled; her skin seemed thin, her arms and hands revealing her many tattoos. She had a profound faith that embraced her experience with cancer.  As I bent down and slowly opened the container of oil, my eyes caught the handcuffs dangling from the officer’s belt. The more I tried to focus on the intimacy of the moment and the profound encounter with her ailing body, I could not help but have one eye on the handcuffs that were reminding her of the earthly ties that still bound her. The more I spoke with her and prayed with her, the more I felt that she was one of the most spiritually free people I had met in a long while. This image of the handcuffs and the anointing remains with me. We all seek the freedom of God’s love for us, and yet we are all bound by past decisions and lives that have not turned out as we had planned.”

 

The Lord is merciful. Today in prayer, praise Christ for His mercy and seek to be merciful to others.

 

“Do you wish to receive mercy? Show mercy to your neighbor.” – John Chrysostom

 

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 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

Devotional - Be Kind To The Poor
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Mar 10, 2019
Devotional - Be Kind To The Poor

“Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” – James 2:2-4

 

Mike Winter, a VIP host for Major League Baseball clubs in Boston, said he was coming out of a bar at about 1:45 a.m. on October 25, 2018. It was just hours after the Red Sox earned a win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the World Series. Winter saw two men in hooded sweatshirts that had a shopping cart with trays of food they were handing out to homeless people outside the Boston Public Library.

It turns out the Good Samaritans were Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts and a friend. Winter said the act of kindness was done without fanfare – no cameras were in the area, and Betts walked off into the night once people began leaving the nearby club.

“It’s funny because none of the homeless guys knew who he was,” Winter said.

Before Game 3, Betts said it wasn’t supposed to get the attention that it got.

Lauren Stokes is homeless and lives on the street in the area Betts delivered the food too. The 22-year-old was there when Betts arrived, but she had no idea it was the Red Sox star.

“That’s so heartwarming. He didn’t have to do that. He could be celebrating. He is on his way to win the World Series. For his first thought to come out here and help people, that’s just so incredible to me,” Stokes said.

 

We need to take care of the poor. Today in prayer, ask the Lord how you can best use your gifts and talents to better serve the poor.

 

“When we serve the poor and the sick, we serve Jesus. We must not fail to help our neighbors, because in them we serve Jesus.” – Rose of Lima

 

God’s Word: “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” – Proverbs 29:7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

 

Devotional - Don't Show Favoritism
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Mar 7, 2019
Devotional - Don't Show Favoritism

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

 

Many companies are implementing a new hiring practice called “blind recruitment.”

In blind recruitment all personally identifiable information is removed from the resumes of applicants including their name, gender, age, education, and even sometimes the number of years of experience, is gaining popularity.

Blind recruitment is used to overcome unconscious bias and promote diversity in the workforce, and it has gained an increasing foothold in companies after a series of studies showed that people with ethnic names needed to send out 50% more resumes before they got a callback than job hunters with “white”-sounding names.

While the advantages of blind recruitment are obvious for applicants, it doesn’t only benefit minorities, says Azmat Mohammed, director general of the Institute of Recruiters. Mohammed says that companies who initiate blind recruitment practices virtually always see a more diverse workforce, which helps businesses overall.

“From research, it is clear that a more diverse workforce resembles your customer base more accurately; it allows for different ideas from different backgrounds. Bottom line, it is good for a business,” Mohammed says. “A more diverse workforce makes more money, they’re more profitable, they’re more harmonious in terms of being a team, so the benefits are all there.”

 

In all that we do, we should not show favoritism. Today in prayer, confess any sin of prejudice and seek to love others as the Lord loves you.

 

“It is never too late to give up your prejudices.” – Henry David Thoreau

 

God’s Word: “Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.” – Leviticus 19:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

 

Devotional - Beware Of Temptation
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Mar 6, 2019
Devotional - Beware Of Temptation

"but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." - James 1:14-15

 

The final eruption of Mount St. Helens in May of 1980 was not a sudden event. For two months prior to the massive blast—the most deadly and destructive in American history—earthquakes and volcanic activity signaled a major event was underway. Authorities had plenty of time to sound the alarm and warn those living nearby of the looming danger. Yet despite the seriousness of the threat, some people chose to disregard the warnings.

Probably the best known of those who refused to evacuate was Harry Randall Truman. The eighty-three year old man was the owner and caretaker at the Mount St. Helens Lodge at Spirit Lake. He had survived the sinking of his troop ship by a German submarine off the coast of Ireland during World War I, and he was not about to leave just because scientists thought there was danger. Truman was tempted that scientists were only spreading fear when he told reporters, “I don't have any idea whether it will blow. But I don't believe it to the point that I'm going to pack up.” On May 18, 1980, Truman and his lodge were buried beneath 150 feet of mud and debris from the volcanic eruption. His body was never found.

 

When temptation and danger approach, many fall into sin. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to keep you away from temptation and to deliver you from all evil.

 

"The devil tempts that he may ruin; God tests that he may crown." - Ambrose

 

God's Word: "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin." - Hebrews 4:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

Devotional - Do What It Says
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Mar 5, 2019
Devotional - Do What It Says

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” – James 1:22

 

Edward VI was crowned King of England and Ireland at the age of nine. Edward was the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, and England's first monarch to be raised as a Protestant. 

Edward's reign was marked by economic problems and social unrest that in 1549 erupted into riot and rebellion. An expensive war with Scotland, at first successful, ended with military withdrawal from Scotland and Boulogne-sur-Mer in exchange for peace. The transformation of the Church of England into a recognizably Protestant body also occurred under Edward, who took great interest in religious matters.

When Edward attended worship services, he stood while the Word of God was read. He took notes during this time and later studied them with great care. Through the week he earnestly tried to apply them to his life. He only lived to be 15 years old, but in his short life he recognized that he needed to follow God’s Word.

 

Reading and listening to the Bible is good. Following the Lord’s teaching is even better. Today in prayer, spend some extra time today reading God’s Word. Then ask the Lord how you can better live out the Bible in your life.

 

“Let us receive nothing, believe nothing, follow nothing which is not in the Bible, nor can be proved by the Bible.” – J.C. Ryle

 

God’s Word: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” – Psalm 119:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

 

Devotional - Persevere
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Mar 4, 2019
Devotional - Persevere

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12

 

Milton dropped out of school in the 4th grade when he was 13 years old. He took an apprenticeship with a printer, only to be fired. He then became an apprentice to a candy-maker in Pennsylvania. After studying the business for 4 years, Milton started three unsuccessful candy companies in Philadelphia, Chicago and New York.  He was not about to give up, so he moved back to Lancaster, Pennsylvania and began the Lancaster Caramel Company. His unique caramel recipe, which he had come across during his earlier travels, was a huge success. Milton, who was always looking ahead, believed that chocolate products had a much greater future than caramel. He sold the Lancaster Caramel Company for $1 million in 1900 when he was 43 years old. Then Milton Hershey started the Hershey Company, which brought milk chocolate -- previously a Swiss delicacy -- to the masses.

Not only did Milton Hershey overcome failure and persevere, but he also managed to do it close to home. He created hundreds of jobs for Pennsylvanians. He also used some of his money to build houses, churches, and schools, cementing his status as a legend in the Keystone State.

 

As Christians, we are called to persevere in Christ. Are you feeling pressured or persecuted for your faith? Today in prayer, give the trials you are facing to the Lord and seek to persevere in Him in all that you do.

 

"Our motto must continue to be perseverance. And ultimately I trust the Almighty will crown our efforts with success." - William Wilberforce

 

God’s Word: “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” – Romans 5:3-4

 

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

 

Devotional - Dispelling Doubts
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Mar 3, 2019
Devotional - Dispelling Doubts

“But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” – James 1:6

 

J. Warner Wallace was born in Torrance, California. He graduated from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Explorer Academy in 1978. From there he went on to pursue a career in the arts, earning a bachelor’s degree in design from California State University at Long Beach and a master's degree in architecture from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In 1988, J. Warner returned to law enforcement, attending the Los Angeles Sheriff's Academy as a recruit for the Torrance (CA) Police Department. During his law enforcement career, J. Warner served on a number of assignments, including SWAT, Gang Detail, and Robbery Homicide. 

As a homicide detective, J. Warner has investigated a number of high-profile cold-case murders. At age 35, J. Warner was an atheist. But he decided to investigate the Scriptures using the same principles as he did investigating cold-case murders. He found the facts compelling and gave his life to Jesus Christ. He said the following: “If you need ‘beyond a possible doubt,’ rather than ‘beyond a reasonable doubt,’ you’re not ready to sit on a jury. The standard of proof is ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ for a good reason; no case is evidentially complete; no case maker can eliminate every possible reservation.”

Though J. Warner has questions, he has no doubt that Jesus is Lord.

 

Doubts dispel and our faith grows strong as we yield are hearts to God’s Word. Today in prayer, look to the Lord and place every area of your life in His hands.

 

“Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.” – Oswald Chambers

 

God’s Word: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” – Mark 11:24

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES

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