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Series: DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS
Devotional - Teach Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 13, 2019
Devotional - Teach Others

“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!” – Hebrews 5:12

 

Eleanora Anderson was the longest-serving Sunday school teacher when she died in December 2014. She was a member of St. John United Church of Christ in Valmeyer, Illinois and Taught for 75 years.

She was asked how she began teaching Sunday school. Eleanora replied: “I was the only one still going to Sunday school in my class. A class of girls one after the other dropped out I was the only one left. This one lady was teaching and she quit teaching. Then they asked me to teach and I started. It was in 1941 that was. I had graduated from high school in May and this was August that same year.”

Her largest class was only 7 or 8 children but through the years she impacted hundreds of people.

Her advice to other Sunday school teachers: “Study your lessons.”

 

The Lord desires us not only to follow Him but also to teach others. Are you teaching others how to grow deeper with Christ? Today in prayer, thank the Lord that we are never too old to begin teaching others about the love of Jesus Christ.

 

“I touch the future. I teach.” – Christina McAuliffe

 

God’s Word: “Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God” – Hebrews 6:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Doing The Will Of God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 10, 2019
Devotional - Doing The Will Of God

“During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered” – Hebrews 5:7-8

 

Christian writer Elisabeth Elliot had the opportunity to go up into the top of that great arch in St. Louis. She wrote the following on the subject of the liberty of obedience: “I was fascinated to learn about its construction. I know nothing about architecture, but a few things sank into my thick head. It was designed by Eero Saarinen, the famous architect.

I was thinking about how he as an architect has perfect freedom to design any kind of building he wants, but he does not have the freedom to discard either the plumb line or the level. The mathematical calculations that had to go into the building of that "first of its kind" structure are staggering. The workers put up these tremendous stainless steel triangles one by one on two sides, and they had to bring them up to meet at the top with no other support than themselves. A mistake of an inch at the bottom could have spelled disaster at the top.

There is no freedom apart from obedience.”

 

Our Heavenly Father desires us to be obedient to Him for our own protection. Today in prayer, confess any sin of disobedience and seek to follow Christ in all that you do.

 

“Our gratitude to God can be expressed only in loving, humble obedience to his will.” – Batsell Barrett Baxter

 

God’s Word: “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!” – Philippians 2:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - We Will Be Tempted
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 9, 2019
Devotional - We Will Be Tempted

“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

 

In April 1945, American troops captured a deserted and badly damaged 1500-meter coral-surfaced runway on the island of Okinawa. Eight days later, with the addition of eight inches of coral, the airfield became fully operational. After World War II, the runway remained in American hands and was named Kadena Air Base.

Just a few blocks outside the Kadena Air Base is a street known as “Whisper Alley.” For decades it has been an area where Americans stationed at the base have gone to find prostitutes.

The women have small little stalls, often with bars over the windows. As the men walk down the dimly lit alley, the women whisper temptations to them to try to entice them to spend some time and money with them. It has been the fall of many young men who were stationed in Kadena.

Often temptation begins with a whisper. The best way to resist it is to not walk down that alley.

 

In Christ we can have victory over every temptation. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that in this life, we can always face temptation with Jesus and in His power we can overcome it.

 

“Temptation is not meant to make us fail; it is meant to confront us with a situation out of which we emerge stronger than we are.” – William Barclay

 

God’s Word: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Living And Active
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 8, 2019
Devotional - Living And Active

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12

 

Years ago, in Communist Russia, it was common for plays to make fun of the Savior. One such satirical and sacrilegious play, a play called "Christ in Tuxedo" opened to a packed house in Moscow. The first act showed a church altar set up like a saloon. Drunken clergy offered toasts, nuns played cards on the floor. The second act featured a Moscow movie star: Comrade Alexander Rostovzev. The audience roared when he walked out in robes, carrying a New Testament, impersonating the Savior. The script called for him to read two verses from the Sermon on the Mount, throw off His robes and shout, "Give me my tuxedo and top hat." Rostovzev did read Jesus' words: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." Rostovzev stopped. He deserted the script and kept reading his Bible. The actors thought he was drunk; the audience was confused; the management brought down the curtain on the ex-Communist-now-turned-Christian actor. God's Word was active in Rostovzev and he had met his Savior.

 

The words of the Bible can change our lives. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His Word and pray that His Word will change you to be more like Him.

 

“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens through the years.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” – 1 Peter 1:23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Encourage One Another
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 7, 2019
Devotional - Encourage One Another

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

 

In the early 1960’s, Jean Nidetch, a 214-pound homemaker desperate to lose weight, went to the New York City Department of Health, where she was given a diet devised by Dr. Norman Jolliffe. Two months later, discouraged about the 50 plus pounds still to go, she invited six overweight friends to her Queens, New York home to share the diet and encourage each other how to stay on it. Today, 28 years later, more than one million members attend 250,000 Weight Watchers meetings in 24 countries every week. Why was Jean able to help people take control of their lives? To answer that, she tells a story. When she was a teen-ager, she used to cross a park where she saw mothers gossiping while the toddlers sat on their swings, with no one to push them. "I'd give them a push," said Jean. "And you know what happens when you push a kid on a swing? Pretty soon he's pumping, doing it himself. That's what my role in life is--I'm there to give others a push." 

 

As Christians, we need to always encourage others to grow in the love of Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for the encouragement you have received in your life and seek to be an encouragement to others.

 

“Encouragement is food for the heart, and every heart is a hungry heart.” – Pat Morley

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Fix Your Thoughts
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 6, 2019
Devotional - Fix Your Thoughts

“Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.” – Hebrews 3:1

 

In March 2018, Mason Ringer was on a lunch break with his friends when the group decided to briefly go out in a boat on the Okatie River. Then things took dangerous a turn when their boat capsized.

“I got 75 percent across, but because the water was cold I started to cramp up in my legs,” said the South Carolina man.

The 24-year-old said he started to feel like he wasn’t going to make it, and so he stopped swimming.

“I rolled over on my back and I closed my eyes and said a prayer to God asking him to help me somehow,” Mason said. “Then I heard the dog bark on the dock.”

A yellow Labrador jumped into the water and Mason was able to grab the animal’s collar as the dog pulled him to shore. Mason had already been in the 58-degree water for an hour and was suffering from hypothermia. 

“When I saw the dog was coming in, I was skeptical thinking I am going to drown this dog while he was trying to save me,” he said. “It was almost effortless for him to pull me in.”

The heroic dog belonged to the owner of the property where Mason had been working. Once onshore, Tim Helm, a Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard veteran, warmed up Mason. “I wrapped him in my coat and bear-hugged him,” Tim said. “I told him, ‘Man, this is a God-thing, dude — you would have been dead in 30 minutes.’”

 

In this life we can get in trouble very quickly. We need to constantly fix our eyes upon Jesus. Today in prayer, fix your thoughts upon Jesus and seek to follow Him every step of your life.

 

“God’s purpose for my life is to increasingly grow in my personal knowledge of God as I follow Him in a life of faith. And then to make Him known to others.” – Anne Graham Lotz

 

God’s Word: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - He Died For Us
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 3, 2019
Devotional - He Died For Us

“For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” – Hebrews 2:17-18

 

On September 26, 2019, 15-year-old Khyler Edman was at home in Port Charlotte, Florida with his 5-year old sister. A burglar entered the home and in the end Khyler was dead.

“We believe the teenager was trying to protect the home and protect (his) younger sibling,” said Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell.

The suspect, who had wounds on his hand, was taken into custody after a brief pursuit.

Deputies found Khyler's body while searching to see whether other homes had been entered.

Investigators believe Khyler died after the suspect entered the home, resulting in "a violent encounter.” The younger sister was unharmed.

Khyler was in 10th grade at Charlotte High School, where he was in the JROTC and took some honors classes, said Mike Riley, the community liaison for Charlotte County Public Schools. “He was the kind of kid you would want to be your son. He was polite to everyone. He laid his life down to save his baby sister and showed his community how much of a hero he was.”

 

Before His birth, the Lord had a rescue plan. He would come to earth and die for our sins. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for His love and thank Him for His death on the Cross for you.

 

“If the death of Christ on the cross is the true meaning of the Incarnation, then there is no gospel without the cross. Christmas by itself is no gospel. The life of Christ is no gospel. Even the resurrection, important as it is in the total scheme of things, is no gospel by itself. For the good news is not just that God became man, nor that God has spoken to reveal a proper way of life for us, or even that death, the great enemy, is conquered. Rather, the good news is that sin has been dealt with (of which the resurrection is a proof); that Jesus has suffered its penalty for us as our representative, so that we might never have to suffer it; and that therefore all who believe in him can look forward to heaven.” - James Montgomery Boice

 

God’s Word: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - The Eternal King Of Kings
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 2, 2019
Devotional - The Eternal King Of Kings

“You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet." In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him.” – Hebrews 2:7-8

 

The Mayan King known as Pacal the Great ruled for 68 years—the fourth-longest verified reign of any sovereign monarch in history. He was born in March 603 in the Maya city-state of Palenque. This was a particularly violent time in the history of Palenque. But Pacal the Great’s long reign eventually calmed the warring and began an era of great building.  

He initiated a building program at his capital that produced some of Maya civilization's finest art and architecture.

The first project was a temple called El Olvidado, sometimes called the forgotten temple because of its distance from the capital. Of all Pakal's construction projects, perhaps the most accomplished is the Palace of Palenque. The building was already in existence, but Pakal made it much larger than it was.

After his death, the Mayans deified Pakal and it was said he could communicate with his descendants. But much of his legacy was lost until 1948 when archeologists uncovered his tomb.

 

Far greater than every man who has ever lived, stands Jesus Christ who is the true “King of Kings.” He eternally reigns over everyone. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He is good and He is eternal and He is Lord of all.

 

“You should point to the whole man Jesus and say, ‘That is God.’” – Martin Luther

 

God’s Word: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!” – Philippians 2:6-8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Pay Attention
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 1, 2019
Devotional - Pay Attention

“We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” – Hebrews 2:1

 

In many Pacific island chains, people use small boats to sail from one island to another. The islands are close enough together that sailing from one to the other is a pretty simple, cheap, and frequent mode of travel.

For three teenage boys on the small island of Tokelau, sailing was routine. However, when Filo Filo, Etueni Nasau, and Samu Pelesa set sail on October 5, 2010, it would be a longer trip than any of them were expecting.

Shortly after sailing into the ocean, the three teens weren't paying attention, lost sight of the shore and became disoriented. Not knowing which way was home, the group became lost, drifting further and further from land.

They had brought enough water with them for two days, but that quickly ran out and they had to rely on rainwater. After a few weeks, with no food and no sign of rescue, they grew desperate enough to catch a bird and eat it.

Meanwhile, after a month with no news, their community believed that the boys were dead. A memorial service for the boys was attended by around 500 people, about a third of the total population of the island chain.

Having spent more than a month adrift at sea, the three boys had no food and no water, and were suffering from extreme exposure. Their situation was so dire that they began drinking seawater, a sure sign that death is near. With only days or even hours left to live, they were spotted by a fishing boat halfway between Samoa and Fiji. They had drifted over 500 miles.

The three boys were rescued and taken to a hospital in Fiji, and then back to their homes on Tokelau. They had been adrift at sea for 50 days.

 

Drift can fatal. Today in prayer, confess to Jesus any distractions to your walk with the Lord. Seek to pay attention and follow Him in all that you do.

“The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.” – Richard Moss  

God’s Word: “Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the LORD.” – Psalm 107:43

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

Devotional - Ministering Angels
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Sep 30, 2019
Devotional - Ministering Angels

“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” – Hebrews 1:14

 

Dave Gibbons, an experienced ice fisherman, went out one December on Bald Eagle Lake, Minnesota with his cousin Eric. They found an isolated spot and settled in.

Dave remembers: “Suddenly, I began to sink as the crusted snow beneath my feet dropped away. I plunged chest-deep into freezing water. I struggled to get back onto the ice, but I could not get my leg on the side of the hole to kick myself out.”

After Eric unsuccessfully tried to reach him, Dave saw a man approaching from behind. Dave recalls: “‘I’ve got a rope,’ he said. He tossed the end to me. I grasped it like a lifeline, and the two of them (Eric and the man) pulled me out of the hole. Relief washed over me.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw the stranger with his rope, walking off in the same direction he had come from. I was too busy counting my blessings to chase after him. Eric and I called it a day, and before we packed up I looked for the man in the distance, but he was gone.

The next day, Eric met Dave to go ice fishing again. “You know,” Eric said, “I never saw that guy’s face.”

“I didn’t either,” Dave said. Eric believes an angel rescued him.

 

Angels are ministering spirits sent to serve us and protect us. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He has sent His angels to protect us.

 

“Could the veil be lifted, we would see that angels of God are around us to preserve us from unseen dangers. Thousands of times has their care been especially manifested for us in our warfare with the agencies of Satan.” - Ellen G. White

 

God’s Word: “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” – Psalm 91:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN HEBREWS

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