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Series: DEVOTIONS IN Joshua, Judges and Ruth
Devotional - Let The Lord Be Your God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 15, 2018
Devotional - Let The Lord Be Your God

“If you violate the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the LORD's anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you." – Joshua 23:16

 

In an article entitled “Idolatry Is Alive Today: Why Modern Church Leaders Still Fight an Old Battle,” Ed Stetzer writes the following: “Idolatry is not just a pagan issue. It is not just an Old Testament or Jewish issue. It is a human issue.

Is it that a 12-inch tall piece of wood or bronze can do something bad to us? Or is it that we do something awful to ourselves when we place adoration and attention that should go to God in other things?

When it comes to idolatry, the danger is not in an item… it is in us.

It was John Calvin who said our heart is an idol factory. In a fallen world, people constantly seek things they can worship, even though the Creator is before us in plain view.

We are all looking for something to worship and serve. Idols come easy, but go hard.

There is a consistent theme about idolatry throughout the Scriptures—and in our lives as well.

In 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, the Bible describes our new life, our new birth in Christ in this way: “You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” Of course, in comparison to a dead and false idol, serving a living God seems like a no-brainer.

Does becoming a worshiper of the one true God mean we no longer have to contend with the issue of idolatry? I wish it were that simple.

Everything that is not of God raises itself up against God, even in the life of a Christian. So we constantly have idol pop-ups in our lives. We have to cast them down, but they will be there as long as we live here on earth.”

 

Don’t let any idolatry slip into your life. Let the living God be the God of your life. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He is worthy of our worship and confess and repent from any sin of idolatry.

 

“Idolatry is an attempt to use God for man’s purposes, rather than to give oneself to God’s service.” – C.F.D. Moule

 

God’s Word: “Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.” – 1 Corinthians 10:14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Love The Lord Your God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 14, 2018
Devotional - Love The Lord Your God

“So be very careful to love the LORD your God.” – Joshua 23:11

 

Christian author Jill Briscoe relates the following about loving the Lord: “Christianity is not for people who have checked their minds in the cloak room as they come into the church. Christianity is for those with bright minds that will mind God. That mind will say, ‘I have to look at this Christian faith. I have to give the mind that God has given me back to him in such a way that he can instruct it about his nature and his ways.’

And that's what it really means to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. It does not mean a mindless Christianity being told what to think and what to believe. It means exposing your mind to the mind of God. And he, omniscient God that he is, God that he is, will share some of his nature with you and with me. Even though we're little dust people with little dust minds living in little dust bodies eating dust food, he will give us the capacity to understand him. When we love him with all our soul, all our mind, and all our heart, then we will begin to love him with all our strength.”

 

Love Jesus with all of your heart. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His love for you and let Him know that you love Him.

 

“Let us make God the beginning and the end of our love, for he is the fountain from which all good things flow and into him alone they flow back. Let him therefore be the beginning of our love.” – Richard Rolle

 

God’s Word: “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'” – Mark 12:28-30

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Be Strong
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 13, 2018
Devotional - Be Strong

“Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left.” – Joshua 23:6

 

Frederick Sleigh Roberts was a British soldier who was one of the most successful commanders of the 19th century. He served in the Indian Rebellion, the Expedition to Abyssinia and the Second Anglo-Afghan War before leading British Forces to success in the Second Boer War. He was also the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces of all British Military forces.

In November 1914, he was visiting St Omer, France to encourage the Indian troops fighting in the First World War. The 82-year-old retired field marshal caught pneumonia and was about to die.

He told those gathered by him of the importance of their studying the Bible:

“I ask you to put your trust in God. You will find in this Book guidance when you are in health, comfort when you are in sickness, and strength when you are in adversity.”

 

Be strong in Christ and do not be timid in following Him. Today in prayer, thank Christ for His wonderful love towards you and seek to follow Him in all that you do.

 

“It does not require great learning to be a Christian and to be convinced of the truth of the Bible. It requires only an honest heart and a willingness to obey God.” – Albert Barnes

 

God’s Word: “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” – 2 John 1:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - He Gives Rest
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 12, 2018
Devotional - He Gives Rest

“Now that the LORD your God has given your brothers rest as he promised, return to your homes in the land that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side of the Jordan.” – Joshua 22:4

 

In 1981, Joe Hunter started “Truckstop Ministries” in Georgia. He reached out to truckers at fuel stops, in parking lots, on the CB and through a radio show called "Heaven's Road."

He heard all sorts of stories: tales of loneliness, thoughts of suicide, struggles with guilt. A Vietnam veteran, he's even lived a little of what he's heard.

Trucking wasn't simply Joe's ministry. It was his first love. He started working at a truck stop at 16 years old and drove a truck for 20 years.

"America moves by trucks," he said. "Without trucks, America stops."

Hunter's Truckstop Ministries Inc. works like a spiritual gas station. He prayed with truckers, coaxed them to make tough decisions and handed out taped sermons that fortify them on lengthy business trips.

"The greatest thing about being a truck driver is that you have a lot of time to think," Hunter said. "The horrible thing about being a truck driver is that you have a lot of time to think."

There's plenty of time to do ill as well. Drug dealers, prostitutes, runaways -- they all hover around some truck stops, Hunter and drivers said.

Joe Hunter went to be with the Lord in July 2018. But the Truckstop Ministries continues to provide spiritual rest in 28 states and at 70 different truck stops.

 

The Lord desires us to take breaks often and to rest in Him. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that His yoke is light and He gives rest to all who are weary and come to Him.

 

“The stops of a good man are ordered by the Lord as well as his steps.” – George Mueller

 

God’s Word: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - The Lords's Promises Never Fail
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 9, 2018
Devotional - The Lords's Promises Never Fail

“Not one of all the LORD's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” – Joshua 21:45

 

The Anglo-Portuguese Alliance was ratified at the Treaty of Windsor in 1386 between England (later the United Kingdom) and Portugal. It is the oldest alliance in the world that is still in force - with the earliest treaty dating back to the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1373.

The alliance has served both countries throughout their respective military histories, influencing the participation of the United Kingdom in the Iberian Peninsular War, the UK's major land contribution to the Napoleonic Wars and the establishment of an Anglo-American base in Portugal. Portugal aided England (and later the UK) in times of need, such as, in the First World War.

Today, Portugal and the United Kingdom are both part of NATO, a larger intergovernmental military alliance between several North American and European states.

The more than 600 years of cooperation and trust between these countries rests on the promises made in the Treaty of 1373.

 

The Lord is faithful in all that He promises; His promises stand throughout eternity. Today in prayer, thank Christ that you can depend upon His promises and He is true to His Word.

 

“The message of promise is the beginning and end of everything that is included in the Bible. It undergirds every word, sometimes openly, sometimes subtly, but it is always there. God’s promises are the common thread that unites the Old and New Testament, the core that makes sixty-six books into one.” – Mark Tabb

 

God’s Word: “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” – Numbers 23:19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Cling To Our Refuge
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 8, 2018
Devotional - Cling To Our Refuge

“Then the LORD said to Joshua: ‘Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood.’” – Joshua 20:1-3

 

The Rohingya Crisis is the mass migration of people from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). Many have fled the area by sea, where they have collectively been dubbed "boat people" by the international media. But even more have fled by land and settled in refugee camps.

The Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh is the largest refugee camp in the world. More than 1 million people have sought refuge there. The camp doubled in size in just six months.

One aid worker, Sunee Singh, described the exodus of people traveling to Kutupalong: “At the border, I remember my colleagues were saying it was a tsunami of people, waves of people crossing the borders.” 

Sunee gave her first impressions of visiting Kutupalong: “It was very overwhelming in the sense that you’re surrounded by these faces and you see they’ve been through a lot. In front of you there are people who don’t even have umbrellas to shelter them from the rain, who look very thin. There was these women drenched along with their small kids with them, and it was just clear they had been starving for days.”

The United Nations estimates there are some 69 million people who are refugees in the world.

 

Today in prayer, pray for the 69 million refugees and thank Christ that He is your refuge in this turbulent world.

 

“Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee; Leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me. All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring; Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.” – Charles Wesley

 

God’s Word: “Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” – Psalm 2:11-12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Follow The Lord Wholeheartedly
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 7, 2018
Devotional - Follow The Lord Wholeheartedly

“So on that day Moses swore to me, 'The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.'” – Joshua 14:9

 

Fulton Sheen was a Roman Catholic Archbishop who pioneered radio and television religious programing. He gave the following illustration of the human heart:

“The human heart is not shaped like a valentine heart, perfect and regular in contour; it is slightly irregular in shape as if a small piece of it were missing out of its side. That missing part may very well symbolize a piece that a spear tore out of the Universal Heart of Humanity on the Cross, but it probably symbolizes something more.

It may very well mean that when God created each human heart, He kept a small sample of it in heaven, and sent the rest of it into the world of time, where it would each day learn the lesson that it could never be really happy, that it could never be really wholly in love, that it could never be really whole-hearted until it rested with the Risen Christ in an eternal Easter…” 

 

Following the Lord wholeheartedly means commitment, there is no turning back. Today in prayer, thank Christ that He went to the Cross with commitment and choose to follow Him with your whole heart.

 

“Christ is not valued at all unless He is valued above all.” – Augustine

 

God’s Word: “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.” – Romans 6:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

 

Devotional - Avoid Greed And Covetousness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 6, 2018
Devotional - Avoid Greed And Covetousness

“When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath." – Joshua 7:21

 

In 1994, Henry “Deacon” Lyons was the highly-respected president of the National Baptist Convention (NBC).

But in February 1998 he was charged with one count of racketeering and two counts of grand theft, and in summer 1998 he was indicted by federal prosecutors for fraud, extortion, money laundering, conspiracy and tax evasion. He initially protested his innocence and claimed there was a racial motivation for the charges, but the proceedings of his trial and his eventual plea bargaining agreement dampened the enthusiasm of those who maintained his innocence. In 1999 Lyons was sentenced to a total of five and a half years in jail for misappropriating more than $4 million from the NBC while he was its President.

He used the money to buy luxury residences and jewelry and to support his mistresses.

When Lyons was released from prison in 2003, he said: "I know I need to be stronger morally. I need to say 'no' to myself and others and mean it and stick with it."

 

Greed and covetousness puts things above our love for the Lord. Today in prayer, confess any sin of covetousness and seek Jesus with all of your heart.

 

“Covetousness is perhaps the most serious sin in the West today, and no covetous person will inherit the kingdom of God.” – Ron Sider

 

God’s Word: “Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." – Luke 12:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - His Laws Are To Protect Us
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 5, 2018
Devotional - His Laws Are To Protect Us

“Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.” – Joshua 7:11-12

 

On the morning of December 20, 1987, the Philippine passenger ferry Doña Paz left from Tacloban, Leyte, for Manila. During the trip, the sky was clear, but the sea was a bit choppy. The ship had a passenger capacity of 608, but there were more than 2,000 people onboard who were not on the ship’s manifest. The ship also did not have a working radio. During the evening, while most of the passengers slept, Doña Paz collided with MT Vector, an oil tanker.

Upon collision, MT Vector's cargo ignited and caused a fire on the ship that spread onto Doña Paz. Survivors recalled sensing the crash and an explosion, causing panic on the vessel. All of the lights onboard had gone out minutes after the collision. No life vests to be found on Doña Paz. It was later said that the life jacket lockers had been locked. The 24 survivors were forced to jump off the ship and swim among charred bodies in flaming waters around the ship, with some using suitcases as makeshift flotation devices. The waters where the accident occurred were shark infested.

Though the Doña Paz broke many laws, the official blame was directed at MT Vector. The MT Vector was found to be unseaworthy, and operating without a license, lookout or qualified master. With an estimated death toll of 4,386 people, it remains the deadliest peacetime maritime disaster in history.

 

The Lord warns us to protect us. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His Commandments and seek to follow Him in all that you do.

"The law is not over us, to condemn us, but under our feet, to be a guide for our path. In saying that, it is the moral law, as reflected in the Ten Commandments, to which I refer, which we have the pleasure of obeying to the glory of God and out of gratitude for our salvation." – Richard D. Phillips

 

God’s Word: “For in my inner being I delight in God's law” – Romans 7:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - What Message Does My Lord Have?
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 2, 2018
Devotional - What Message Does My Lord Have?

“"Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, "What message does my Lord have for his servant?"” – Joshua 5:14

 

Pastor Tim Keller compares the Lordship of Jesus Christ to what he calls "a life-quake":

“When a great big truck goes over a tiny little bridge, sometimes there's a bridge-quake, and when a big man goes onto thin ice there's an ice-quake. Whenever Jesus Christ comes down into a person's life, there's a life-quake. Everything is reordered. If he was a guru, if he was a great man, if he was a great teacher, even if he was the genie of the lamp, there would be some limits on his rights over you. If he's God, you cannot relate to him at all and retain anything in your life that's a non-negotiable. Anything … any view, any conviction, any idea, any behavior, any relationship. He may change it, he may not change it, but at the beginning of the relationship you have to say, ‘In everything he must have the supremacy.’”

 

Every day we need to seek the Lord and ask Him: “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” Today in prayer, seek to do the will of Christ and let others see Christ at work in you.

 

“It is a vain thought to flee from the work that God appoints us, instead of seeking it in loving obedience.” – George Eliot

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Ask For The Lord's Strength
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 1, 2018
Devotional - Ask For The Lord's Strength

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

 

Pastor Bob Russell is a Christian author and preaching minister at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He wrote about a father who watched through the kitchen window as his small son attempted to lift a large stone out of his sandbox. The boy was frustrated as he wrestled with the heavy object because he just couldn't get enough leverage to lift it over the side. Finally the boy gave up and sat down dejectedly on the edge of the sandbox with his head in his hands.

The father went outside and asked, "What's wrong, Son? Can't you lift that rock out?

"No, sir," the boy said, "I can't do it."

"Have you used all the strength that's available to you?" the father asked.

"Yes, sir," the boy replied.

"No, you haven't," the father said. "You haven't asked me to help you."

 

Troubles will come to all of us, but we can have God’s strength to help us. Today in prayer, give Jesus your worries, anxieties and fears and trust in Him to strengthen you.

 

"The way to grow strong in Christ is to become weak in yourself.” – Charles H. Spurgeon 

 

God’s Word: “But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

Devotional - Studying the Bible
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 31, 2018
Devotional - Studying the Bible

“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” – Joshua 1:8

 

In February 2018, more than 200 Christians and Israeli Jews met in Israel’s Knesset to study the Bible together.

American-born Israeli Orthodox Rabbi and Knesset Member Yehuda Glick hosted the study, cosponsored by the Knesset Caucus for the Encouragement of Bible Study; the Schindler Society, a Christian organization that introduced Bible study in the U.S. Congress; and Israel365, a group which strives to connect Christian Zionists with Israel.

“Of course, there is nothing new about the Bible being studied in the Knesset,” said Rabbi Tuly Weisz, director of Israel365. “Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, was an avid reader of the Bible…yet the Schindler Society is adding an important element that has not - and could not have - existed until this day. Emerging from the pro-Israel Christian community, this week’s Bible study is the fulfillment of one of the most beautiful descriptions of Jerusalem.”

Glick summed up the event in light of scripture.

“It’s exciting to see how the words of the prophets are really coming about,” he said. “We have people from all over the world who come to study Bible from Jerusalem, exactly as Isaiah said.”

“Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it.

And many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.’ For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” - Isaiah 2:2-3

 

Everyone needs to be a student of the Word of God, no matter what age. Today in prayer, read through your favorite Bible verses and ask the Lord to help you commit them to memory.

 

“I am convinced that one of the greatest things we can do is to memorize Scripture.” – Billy Graham

 

God’s Word: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2018, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH

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