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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN Ephesians
Devotional - Be Strong In Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 28, 2021
Devotional - Be Strong In Faith

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power." - Ephesians 6:10

 

In the October 27, 2017 edition of the Smithsonian Magazine, an article entitled “What Happens in the Brain When We Feel Fear” described the chemical reactions in our brains when we are fearful:

“Fear reaction starts in the brain and spreads through the body to make adjustments for the best defense, or flight reaction. The fear response starts in a region of the brain called the amygdala. This almond-shaped set of nuclei in the temporal lobe of the brain is dedicated to detecting the emotional salience of the stimuli – how much something stands out to us.

It also triggers release of stress hormones and sympathetic nervous system.

This leads to bodily changes that prepare us to be more efficient in a danger: The brain becomes hyperalert, pupils dilate, the bronchi dilate and breathing accelerates. Heart rate and blood pressure rise. Blood flow and stream of glucose to the skeletal muscles increase. Organs not vital in survival such as the gastrointestinal system slow down.

A part of the brain called the hippocampus is closely connected with the amygdala. The hippocampus and prefrontal cortex help the brain interpret the perceived threat. They are involved in a higher-level processing of context, which helps a person know whether a perceived threat is real.

For instance, seeing a lion in the wild can trigger a strong fear reaction, but the response to a view of the same lion at a zoo is more of curiosity and thinking that the lion is cute. This is because the hippocampus and the frontal cortex process contextual information, and inhibitory pathways dampen the amygdala fear response and its downstream results. Basically, our “thinking” circuitry of brain reassures our “emotional” areas that we are, in fact, OK.”

That tempering is what our faith in God is supposed to do, operate as an instinctive grid through which we view fearful events or circumstances, reining in our responses with the knowledge that he is in control.

 

In all that we do, we need to be strong faith in the Lord. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His love toward you, give your fears to Him, and look to Jesus to strengthen your faith.

 

"The way to grow strong in Christ is to become weak in yourself." - C.S. Lewis

 

God's Word: "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong." - 1 Corinthians 16:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS †

Devotional - Serve Wholeheartedly
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 27, 2021
Devotional - Serve Wholeheartedly

"Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men" - Ephesians 6:7

 

In 2008, Franklin Graham challenged Matt and Ashley Nowery to go to Sudan: “Sudan is the most desperately needy country in the world. There’s been a civil war there for decades, and the U.N. calls it the most dangerous place on earth. We have a field hospital near the Darfur region where we treat people there who have been shot, beaten, slashed with machetes, and tortured by Muslim forces from the north. There’s also every kind of disease you can imagine, and if that wasn’t bad enough, our hospital has been bombed seven times. These people are going through so much, and I think that when this kind of thing is happening, the first hand to reach out to people in need should be the hand of Jesus. We are that hand. Ashley, you’re a talented nurse and I want to invite you to join our team at the hospital in Lui.”Ashley’s parents were shocked. But before they could say anything, Ashley said, “Mr. Graham, my daddy trusts you and we’ve always been taught to live by faith and make strong commitments. I believe God has prepared me for this, so sign me up.”

Franklin turned to Matt and said, “Matt, I want to talk to you about a tougher assignment. In southern Sudan we have identified more than 200 churches that radical Muslims have either bombed, burned or looted. In many of the churches they locked the people inside, tied the pastors to the doors and burned them to the ground.” He paused, letting the picture form in everyone’s minds. “Matt,” he said, “I want you to go in and get the names and stories of every pastor that has been killed. I want you to get the names of all the Christians who have been killed and all the churches that have been destroyed. And I want you to commit to leading the effort to build five churches for every one that has been destroyed and to raise up five pastors for every one who has been martyred. Jesus Christ will stand in the end.” Matt’s exact answer was, “Mr. Graham, I can’t let my sister make me look bad. Sign me up, too.”

For over a year Ashley worked in an indescribably intense setting at the hospital in Lui, often experiencing more heart-wrenching moments in a single day than many people experience in a lifetime. She was even attacked by radical Muslim soldiers who killed one of her patients in front of her. But she continued to serve because of her wholehearted commitment.

Matt said: “My team and I have recorded the stories of 429 Christian pastors who have been tortured and martyred in Sudan. In most cases, their church buildings were destroyed, sometimes burned down with the church members locked inside. The Christians are victims in a reign of violence driven by the fierce Muslim government in the north. They have been severely persecuted, and many have died, but others are waiting to take their place.” At the end of his speech, Matt walked over to where Franklin Graham was seated and looked straight at him.“Mr. Graham,” he said, “Thank you again for challenging me, for asking me to make a difference, for calling on me to make my life count for the kingdom of God. Please don’t ever stop challenging young people to wholehearted commitment to Christ.”

 

We are to wholeheartedly serve the Lord. Today in prayer, thank Christ that He has called you to serve Him and serve Him with all of your heart.

 

"Do not be ashamed to serve others for the love of Jesus Christ and to seem poor in this world." - Thomas a Kempis

 

God's Word: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men" - Colossians 3:23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS †

Devotional - Bring Them Up In The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 26, 2021
Devotional - Bring Them Up In The Lord

"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." - Ephesians 6:4

 

In the 1950s a psychologist, Stanton Samenow, and a psychiatrist, Samuel Yochelson, sharing the conventional wisdom that crime is caused by environment, set out to prove their point. They began a 17-year study involving thousands of hours of clinical testing of 250 inmates here in the District of Columbia. To their astonishment, they discovered that the cause of crime can not be traced to environment, poverty, or oppression.

Instead, crime is the result of individuals making, as they put it, wrong moral choices. 

In their 1977 work “The Criminal Personality”, they concluded that the answer to crime is a "conversion of the wrong-doer to a more responsible lifestyle." In 1987, Harvard professors James Q. Wilson and Richard J. Herrnstein came to similar conclusions in their book “Crime and Human Nature”. They determined that the cause of crime is a lack

of proper moral training among young people during the morally formative years, particularly ages one to six.

 

Fathers, love your children and bring them up to know the Lord by following Jesus in all that you do. Today in prayer, praise Christ for all of the fathers who are teaching their children to love and follow Jesus.

 

"What a father says to his children is not heard by the world, but it will be heard by posterity." - Jean Paul Richter

 

God's Word: "Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged." - Colossians 3:21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS †

Devotional - Husbands Love Your Wives
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 25, 2021
Devotional - Husbands Love Your Wives

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" - Ephesians 5:25

 

Pastor Stuart Briscoe said the following: “I was in Cape Town, South Africa, where I was preaching to a large crowd. The Saturday at the end of the week, there was going to be a great rugby match between South Africa and Australia. If you don’t understand rugby, and you don’t understand South Africa; you have no idea what I’m talking about! This is big! I mean, the Super Bowl – that’s nothing! This is big, folks! This is the whole southern hemisphere that’s involved in this thing, and the northern hemisphere watching because they’ve got to meet the winners.

I said to the group as I was speaking to them: “How many of you men have got a ticket for the game?” And a forest of arms shot into the air. Oh, were they up for this game! I explained: Let me see if I can illustrate this idea of “husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Let me suggest that you go home this evening and you say to your wife, “I have an idea!”

And she says, “Oh, what is it?”

“You know the game on Saturday?”

“Yeah.”

“And you know I’ve got tickets?”

“Yeah.”

“I’ve decided, I’m going to give my tickets away, and I’m going to go shopping with you, on Saturday afternoon!”

Why is that funny? Because humor usually has to do with that which is patently ludicrous – such as the thought of a man actually sacrificing a football game to spend time with his wife! The answer is: because of the way men think, it would never occur to them. Why do they think like that? Because we are basically selfish, and that’s the problem! ‘Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.’”

 

Husbands love your wives as Christ loves you. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for your spouse. Then tell your spouse how much you love her or him.

 

"A man and a woman should choose each other for life for the simple reason that a long life is barely enough time for a man and woman to understand each other-and to understand is to love." - George Truett

 

God's Word: "In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself." - Ephesians 5:28

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS †

Devotional - Submit To One Another
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 24, 2021
Devotional - Submit To One Another

"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." - Ephesians 5:21

 

There is a Church in Bethlehem, built over the site, where tradition holds, is the spot where Jesus was born: the Church of the Nativity. If you wish to visit the spot of Christ’s birth, you must first walk through the main entrance. Unlike the doors of the main entrance of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome that are 25 feet tall, the door of the main entrance of the Church of the Nativity is only about 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide. It was built as a very small entrance in ancient times to keep people from driving their carts or riding their horses into the Church. These days, the caretakers of the Church of the Nativity don’t really have to worry about people trying to drive carts or ride horses into the Church. However, the tiny doors still help to keep something else from entering the spot where Jesus was born: our own pride and egos. Today, the main entrance to the Church is called “The Door of Humility” because when you pass through it, you must bow down to enter.

 

Submitting to one another in humility is a sign of Christian maturity. Today in prayer, consider how can you submit to someone out of reverence for Christ. 

 

"A Christian is the most free lord of all and subject to no one; a Christian is the most dutiful servant to all and subject to everyone." – Martin Luther

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS †

Devotional - Be Wise
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 21, 2021
Devotional - Be Wise

"Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." - Ephesians 5:15-16

 

On Easter Sunday, 2013, the southbound side of I-77 near the North Carolina-Virginia border was closed for hours following a massive chain of accidents. Police later reported that seventeen different collisions involved ninety-five cars and trucks. The wrecks left three people dead and more than two dozen injured, many of them seriously. The cause of the accidents was people driving into a thick fog that descended over the Interstate that Sunday afternoon. A police spokesman said, “Visibility at the time this accident occurred was down to about one hundred feet or less.”

As people continued to drive blindly forward, they could not see the danger that was just ahead until it was too late. Wisdom reminds us to be on guard for danger—not just in the present but in the future as well.

 

Godly wisdom starts with God and His Word. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that we can obtain wisdom as we look to Him and to the Bible to guide us in all situations.

 

"The truly wise are those whose souls are in Christ." - Ambrose of Milan

 

God's Word: "Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: 'He catches the wise in their craftiness'".- 1 Corinthians 3:18-19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS †

Devotional - Expose Sin
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 20, 2021
Devotional - Expose Sin

"Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." - Ephesians 5:11

 

In 1966, Congressional aide James Boyd and secretary Marjorie Carpenter exposed documents from the office of Senator Thomas Dodd (Democrat – Connecticut) that showed Dodd used more than $200,000 in unreported campaign funds for personal expenses.

Between 1961 and 1965, Senator Dodd has seven fundraising events. The funds raised from one of the events had been placed in Thomas Dodd's personal bank account and used to pay his personal expenses. The proceeds of the other gatherings were deposited in a "testimonial for Senator Dodd" account and comingled with campaign contributions. Nearly $95,000 was later transferred from this account to Dodd's personal bank account and used for personal purposes. The remaining money in the testimonial account was used by Dodd for both personal and political expenses. The U.S. Senate’s

bipartisan Select Committee on Standards and Conduct found Dodd guilty of corruption and he was censured by the Senate. Dodd lost his seat in the next election.

 

We must expose sin any time we discover it. Today in prayer, ask Jesus to show you where sin may be in your own life, confess it and turn away from it, and have the courage to walk in the light of our Savior.

 

"Sin is not a monster to be mused on, but rather an impotence to be got rid of." - Martin Luther

 

God's Word: "The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light." - Romans 13:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS †

Devotional - Be Compassionate
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 19, 2021
Devotional - Be Compassionate

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." - Ephesians 4:32

 

Clive Staples (C.S.) Lewis was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a professor at Oxford University and at Cambridge University.

Lewis wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. C. S. Lewis’s most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics in The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures.

In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, “Do not waste your time bothering whether you ’love’ your neighbor act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.”

 

We need to show the heart of Jesus and to be compassionate to others. Today in prayer, thank Christ for His compassion toward you and seek to show His love to others.

 

“Let all find compassion in you.” – John of the Cross

 

God's Word: "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." - Colossians 3:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS †

Devotional - Do Not Be Angry
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 18, 2021
Devotional - Do Not Be Angry

"'In your anger do not sin': Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry" - Ephesians 4:26

 

In June 2021, firemen responded to a house fire in Kennford, Devon, England. The man responsible for the fire, John McCorry, was angry about the upcoming sale of his house that he shared with his estranged wife. He decided to burn down his house with a blowtorch, causing £550,000 worth of damage. An investigation revealed that the incident was not accidental but, in fact, a case of arson that included an “outrageous” reason. Three days before the sale, McCorry burnt down his house with a blowtorch to 'stop his estranged wife from getting a share', according to reports.

According to a report, he had prevented his wife from removing her belongings from the house earlier on the same day. The house was uninsured as McCorry had not paid the premiums. McCorry's wife, Hillary said: “He was also very angry that I had left him. I think he set fire to the house out of spite." McCorry admitted to arson in court.

 

We can only control our anger when we give our hurt and anger to Jesus. Today in prayer, confess any sin of anger to the Lord and receive His peace.

 

"It is he who is in the wrong who first gets angry." – William Penn

 

God's Word: "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." - James 1:19-20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS †

Devotional - Unite With A Church
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 17, 2021
Devotional - Unite With A Church

"It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." - Ephesians 4:11-13

 

At a meeting of the American Psychological Association, Jack Lipton, a psychologist at Union College, and R. Scott Builione, a graduate student at Columbia University, presented their findings on how members of the various sections of 11 major symphony orchestras perceived each other. The percussionists were viewed as insensitive, unintelligent, and hard-of-hearing, yet fun-loving. String players were seen as arrogant, stuffy, and unathletic. The orchestra members overwhelmingly chose "loud" as the primary adjective to describe the brass players. Woodwind players seemed to be held in the highest esteem, described as quiet and meticulous, though a bit egotistical. Interesting findings, to say the least! With such widely divergent personalities and perceptions, how could an orchestra ever come together to make such wonderful music? The answer is simple: regardless of how those musicians view each other, they subordinate their feelings and biases to the leadership of the conductor. Under his guidance, they play beautiful music. 

 

The church is the body of Christ and every believer needs to belong to a local church and follow Christ’s leadership. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for your church. If you do not belong to a church, ask Jesus for wisdom to bring you to a church where you can grow in Him.

 

"In spite of all its flaws and shortcomings, I still believe that the church is filled, for the most part, with decent and caring people who will be there when you need them." – Tony Campolo

 

God's Word: "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues." - 1 Corinthians 12:27-28

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS †

Devotional - Be Patient
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 14, 2021
Devotional - Be Patient

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." - Ephesians 4:2

 

Dr. Henri Nouwen was a Dutch priest who taught at Yale Divinity and Harvard Divinity schools. On the subject of patience he wrote:

“Patience is a hard discipline. It is not just waiting until something happens over which we have no control: the arrival of the bus, the end of the rain, the return of a friend, the resolution of a conflict. Patience is not a waiting passivity until someone else does something. Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are. When we are impatient we try to get away from where we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later and somewhere else. Let’s be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand.”

 

Be in the moment and be patient. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His patience towards you and seek to be humble and patient in all that you do.

 

"True patience grows with the growth of love. – Gregory the Great

 

God's Word: "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. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near." - James 5:7-8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS  †

Devotional - Doing More Than We Ask
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 13, 2021
Devotional - Doing More Than We Ask

"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" - Ephesians 3:20

 

Hyatt Moore of the Wycliffe Bible Translators writes: On November 14, 1983, two American students named David and Ray teamed up to pray for the 40,000 Tira people in Africa. The large group had no Bible in their native tongue. Two-and-a-half years later, other Christians, Jerry and Jan, joined them in praying daily for the Tira. Then, in March 1990, Jane and Marjeanne wrote to the Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project of Wycliffe Bible Translators, asking for the name of a Bibleless people to pray for. They too began praying.... In August 1990, we heard that Avajani, a young Tira man, was beginning to translate the Bible. Great news! We wrote, telling him of those praying and how he was an answer to their prayers. "I'm grateful," Avajani wrote back. "I have never known that there are teams praying for the Tira people. It is wonderful news to me. The same year and month when David and Ray started praying, I got saved. When Jerry and Jan began praying, I was accepted for theological studies... and now I have finished. Jane and Marjeanne can praise the Lord with me, too! In March 1990, a miracle happened. I met a man (a Wycliffe translator) who was able to arrange for me to study biblical translation principles and linguistics. "God did another miracle. Many young Tira have become Christians." Today, seven years after David and Ray began praying in faith, the Bible is being translated for 40,000 new readers. Although we don't always see the effect of our prayers at the time, God hears and answers.

 

Our Lord is a God of miracles and He provides for us in countless ways beyond what we can imagine. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He does immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.

 

"He can give only according to His might; therefore He always gives more than we ask for." - Martin Luther

 

God's Word: "The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice." -Psalms 97:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS †

Devotional - Be Not Discouraged
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 12, 2021
Devotional - Be Not Discouraged

"I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory." - Ephesians 3:13

 

 

Before he was a teenager, Martin suffered from such depression that he twice tried to commit suicide. As an adult, he experienced several bouts of severe depression

He kept his incidents with depression a closely held secret due to the mental health stigma at that time and concern civil rights opponents would use it against him

The more Martin Luther King, Jr. became an integral leader in the civil rights movement, his depression intensified. In 1959, three years after beginning his public life, Martin felt depleted: ‘What I have been doing is giving, giving, giving, and not stopping to retreat and meditate like I should—to come back. If the situation is not changed, I will be a physical and psychological wreck. I have to reorganize my personality and reorient my life. I have been too long in the crowd, too long in the forest.”

Despite his struggles with severe depression, living his life under the constant threat of physical harm and assassination attempts, numerous arrests for peaceful civil disobedience, hostile threats, and accusations, Martin never wavered in his convictions, beliefs, objectives, and dedication to fighting racial inequality.

 

Do not become discouraged during difficult times; the Lord is with you. Today in prayer, do not let anything discourage you in your faith in Jesus.

 

“Too often, discouragement, depression, and disappointment grabs a hold of us with what seems like a death grip. This seems to happen even more after we commit to a consistent and deeper walk with the Lord.” - Troy Dewey

 

God's Word: "Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." - Romans 8:17-18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS †

Devotional - The Approachable God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 11, 2021
Devotional - The Approachable God

“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” — Ephesians 3:12

 

One of the most remote towns in the world is Grise Fiord, Canada’s most northerly community. The native Inuit name for the town means “the place that never thaws out”. The average yearly temperature is minus 16.5 Celsius and that puts this place in the running for coldest community honors.

The town is on the southern tip of Ellesmere Island, and it is a one-bridge town. Grise Fiord has a population of 129 of them according to the last Canadian census, or 135 of them if you ask locals for the current count. It can accommodate the occasional small cruise ship and it does have a small bare-bones airstrip that is closed most of the time because of high winds. The town remains very inaccessible because of its location and climate.

 

The Lord is not far away, in a remote, inaccessible land. He is omnipresent and approachable, desiring all to come into a relationship with Him. Today in prayer, give thanks to Jesus that we can approach Him in confidence knowing that He hears our prayers.

 

“On the ground of our own goodness, we cannot expect to have our prayers answered. But Jesus is worthy, and for His sake, we may have our prayers answered. But if we trust in Christ, if we hide in Him, if we put Him forward and ourselves in the background, depend on Him and plead His name, we may expect to have our prayers answered.” — George Muller

 

God’s Word: “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” — Hebrews 4:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS †

Devotional - Now We Are Citizens
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 10, 2021
Devotional - Now We Are Citizens

"Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone." - Ephesians 2:19-20

 

Vatican City covers just over 100 acres. With the entire country nestled inside the Capital city of Rome, located east of the Tiber River, it is the smallest sovereign state in the world in both area and population. As of 2020 it has a population of 801 people, according to the latest estimates from the UN. This ranks it 235th in the world. Unlike other countries, citizenship is not based on birth but granted only to those who reside in the Vatican because of their work or office. Cardinals who live in Vatican City or Rome, as well as diplomats of the pope, are also considered citizens. And technically, no one can be born in Vatican City as there are no hospitals! For those who wish to move to the Vatican must have their citizenship approved by the Pope, or papal authority.

 

As Christians, we are citizens in God’s family. He paid the price for our citizenship and there is no cap on how many people He accepts. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He has adopted you into His family and given you a new home in Heaven.

 

"Socrates, being asked what countryman he was, answered 'I am a citizen of the whole world.' But ask a Christian what countryman he is, and he will answer, 'A citizen of heaven.'" - William Secker

 

God's Word: "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ" - Philippians 3:20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS †

Devotional - Our Peace
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Oct 7, 2021
Devotional - Our Peace

"For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility" - Ephesians 2:14

 

Ginny M. Griffith hates spiders. Nothing riled up the 34-year old Hutchinson, Kansas woman as seeing spiders. She did not have peace in her home as long as a spider was living there. She reached her breaking point in June 2014. At 1:30 am, she used a cigarette lighter to set some towels on fire. She was hoping to catch the little arachnid with the flaming towels and burn it to death. But things got out of control and soon her duplex was ablaze.

Five fire units were summoned and managed to control the fire, which they said had multiple points of origin, within a matter of minutes. Griffith's aggravated arson charge stems from the fact that the other half of the duplex was occupied when the blaze began. No one, besides potentially the spider, was injured in the fire and the building only suffered light smoke damage.

 

Only Jesus can reconcile us to our Heavenly Father and bring peace. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that He is our peace.

 

“Christ alone can bring lasting peace - peace with God - peace among men and nations - and peace within our hearts.” - Billy Graham

 

God's Word: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." - John 14:27

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS †

Devotional - God's Grace
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 6, 2021
Devotional - God's Grace

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9

 

Pastor H.A. Ironside introduced a Navajo man who shared the difference between the law and grace: “When Mr. Ironside brought me from my home we took the longest railroad journey I ever took. We got out at Barstow, and there I saw the most beautiful railroad station and a hotel I have ever seen. I walked all around and saw at one end a sign, 'Do not spit here.' I looked at that sign and then looked down at the ground and saw many had spitted there, and before I think what I am doing I have spitted myself. Isn't that strange when the sign say, 'Do not spit here'?

"I come to Oakland and go to the home of the lady who invited me to dinner today and I am in the nicest home I have been in. Such beautiful furniture and carpets, I hate to step on them. I sank into a comfortable chair, and the lady said, 'Now, John, you sit there while I go out and see whether the maid has dinner ready.' I look around at the beautiful pictures, at the grand piano, and I walk all around those rooms. I am looking for a sign; and the sign I am looking for is, 'Do not spit here,' but I look around those two beautiful drawing rooms, and cannot find a sign like this. I think 'What a pity when this is such a beautiful home to have people spitting all over it -- too bad they don't put up a sign!' So I look all over that carpet, but cannot find that anybody have spitted there. What a queer thing! Where the sign says, 'Do not spit,' a lot of people spitted.

Where there was no sign at all, in that beautiful home, nobody spitted. Now I understand!

That sign is law, but inside the home it is grace. They love their beautiful home, and they want to keep it clean. They do not need a sign to tell them so. I think that explains the law and grace business."

 

Our God loves us and it is by His abundant grace we are saved. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His grace.

 

"Saving grace makes a man as willing to leave his lusts as a slave is willing to leave his galley, or a prisoner his dungeon, or a thief his bolts, or a beggar his rags." - Thomas Brooks

 

God's Word: "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved." - Ephesians 2:4-5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS †

Devotional - No One Is Like Him
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 5, 2021
Devotional - No One Is Like Him

"And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way." - Ephesians 1:22-23

 

The Watchman-Examiner was an American Baptist newspaper that began publication in 1819 and closed its doors in 1970. On the subject of the Unique Christ, it wrote:

“His birth was contrary to the laws of life. His death was contrary to the laws of death. He had no cornfields or fisheries but He could spread a table for five thousand and have bread and fish to spare. He walked on no beautiful carpets or velvet rugs, but He walked on the waters of the Sea of Galilee and they supported Him.

Three years He preached His Gospel. He wrote no book, built no church house, had no monetary backing. But after two thousand years, He is the one central character of human history, the Pivot around which the events of the ages revolve, and the only Regenerator of the human race.

Was it merely the Son of Joseph and Mary, who crossed the world’s horizon two thousand years ago? What it merely human blood that was spilled at Calvary’s hill for the redemption of sinners? What thinking man can keep from exclaiming: ‘My Lord and My God!’”

 

Jesus stands alone; no one is like Him. Today in prayer, give thanks to Christ that He is Lord of all.

 

"If ever man was God or God man, Jesus Christ was both." - Lord Byron

 

God's Word: "And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him" - Colossians 1:18-19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS    †

Devotional - Praying For Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 4, 2021
Devotional - Praying For Others

"For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers." - Ephesians 1:15

 

British missionary Hudson Taylor was the most widely used missionary in China's history. During his 51 years of service there, his China Inland Mission established 20 mission stations, brought 968 missionaries to the field, trained some 700 Chinese workers, and developed a witnessing Chinese church of 125,000.

One of the 20 mission stations attracted a good deal of attention. Both the number and spiritual character of the converts had been far greater than at other stations where the consecration of the missionaries had been just as great. This rich harvest of souls remained a mystery until Hudson, on a visit to England, discovered the secret. At the close of one of his addresses, a gentleman came forward to make his acquaintance. In the conversation that followed, Hudson was surprised at the accurate knowledge the gentleman possessed concerning this particular mission station. “But how is it,” Hudson asked, “that you are so conversant with the conditions of that work?” “Oh!” he replied, “the missionary there and I are old college mates; for years we have regularly corresponded; he has sent me names of enquirers and converts, and these I have daily taken to God in prayer.” At last, the secret was found — a praying man, praying definitely, praying daily.

 

Prayer makes a difference because our Heavenly Father answers prayer. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for the privilege of prayer and pray for the needs of others.

 

“Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons; but they are helpless against our prayers.” – J. Sidlow Baxter

 

God's Word: "After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before." - Job 42:10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS †

Devotional - Forgiveness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 3, 2021
Devotional - Forgiveness

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace" - Ephesians 1:7

 

On a chilly December morning in 1997, three-dozen students stood in a prayer circle in the lobby of Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky. It was the first day back from Thanksgiving break. Suddenly, a 14-year old gunman appeared and killed three students and wounded five others. One of those wounded was Missy Jenkins. Missy was permanently paralyzed from the waist down.

In her book, “I Choose To Be Happy”, Missy tells of forgiving her attacker. She even met with him personally in prison. What gave her the courage to forgive? She attributes it to her faith in Christ. She believes that the forgiving lead to her healing. Missy said of forgiveness, “It released me from being angry. Being angry holds you down. It causes you to be tired…So I just chose to be happy and move on with my life. I thought it was the best way to help me heal, physically and emotionally.”

 

God has forgiven us for the death of His Son to all who place their faith in Him. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His forgiveness of your sins and seek to forgive others for the wrongs they have done to you.

 

"The man who is truly forgiven and knows it is a man who forgives." – Martyn Lloyd-Jones

 

God's Word: "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you." - Matthew 6:14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS †

Devotional - He Adopted Us
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Sep 30, 2021
Devotional - He Adopted Us

"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will" - Ephesians 1:4-5

 

Jessica Long was born in Siberia Russia. She was born without many of the bones in her lower legs and was given up for adoption by a young Russian girl who couldn’t care for her properly because of her birth defect. An American couple, Steve and Beth Long, adopted Jessica and she grew up in Maryland.

At the age of 18 months, the decision was made to amputate her legs below the knees, so that she would have the opportunity to learn how to walk using prosthetic legs and from that moment, Jessica would begin pushing herself beyond anyone’s expectations. She began swimming as a 3 year old and joined a swim team at age 10. She became a Paralympian and has numerous gold medals in swimming.

Jessica said: “My identity is in Christ and I really hope that I show that with just my character, the way that I do things on the pool deck. I know I couldn't do it without God.”

 

God has opened His heart to adopt us into His family. Today in prayer, praise your Heavenly Father for His love and making you a son or daughter through Jesus Christ.

 

"The moment we were born again, we were placed in an adoptive state as heirs, as sons of God." - Jon Courson

 

God's Word: "Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies." - Romans 8:23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN EPHESIANS    †

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