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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN James
Devotional - Correct In Love
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Mar 30, 2022
Devotional - Correct In Love

“My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” – James 5:19-20

 

The Dalton brothers were infamous outlaws during the late 1800s in the US. They started out on the right side of the law as law officers. But then they followed a gradual descent into crime and became known for bank and train robberies. On October 5, 1892 their day of reckoning came when they tried to hold up two banks at once. Hearing of the robberies, the townspeople armed themselves and began to fire on the Dalton Gang. When the smoke cleared, Emmett Dalton was the sole survivor.

After serving 15 years in the penitentiary, Emmett was pardoned and set free. While in prison, he had come to see the error of his ways. So when he was released, he wanted to deter young people from a life of crime. Drawing from his own experience, Emmett wrote and starred in a film about the Dalton Gang in which he showed the folly of being an outlaw. In many ways, Emmett’s film was telling others: “Do not enter the path of the wicked”.

 

People respond to correction when we correct them in love. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His loving patience with you and ask that you would be loving as you correct others.

 

“Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

God’s Word: “"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” – Matthew 18:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES  †

 

Devotional - Pray At All Times
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Mar 29, 2022
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

 

In an article entitled “Our Prayer Instincts Are Backwards: What I learned about our prayers on a shaky flight to New Zealand” author Andrew Wilson wrote: “Eleven years ago, my wife and I were on an Air New Zealand flight that felt like it was falling out of the sky. Approaching the Queenstown airport in mid-winter—with mountain ranges on both sides and a huge lake straight ahead—we were caught in a giant wind tunnel. The plane was shuddering and sporadically dropping 50 feet at a time. The cabin filled with shrieking and praying. Many people were crying out to a God whom they did not believe. Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there certainly aren’t many on buffeted flights.

 

Thirty minutes later, after having landed safely, the group of strangers waited at baggage claim, looking awkwardly at each other. No doubt, many of them felt silly.

 

The content of those prayers fascinated me. I suspect it reflects the way many of us intuitively pray. The most common petition I heard was some variant of “deliver us from evil”: “Help!” “Save us!” and “Oh, God, please don’t let me die!” Crises prompt cries for deliverance, with the immediate need for safety drowning out all other concerns. Whenever I listen to baptism testimonies at my church, I am struck by how many people called out to God for the first time in a moment of personal danger.

The other prayer I heard, though more infrequently, was “forgive us our sins” in some form or another: “I’m sorry” and “God, please forgive me.” People want to be at peace with God when they die. So after crying out for rescue, they apologized as they prepared to meet their Maker. (By far the most demanding line of the Lord’s Prayer—“As we forgive those who sin against us”—was not heard over the din.)”

 

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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES  †

Devotional - Don't Grumble
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Mar 28, 2022
Devotional - Don't Grumble

“Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!”– James 5:9

 

Benjamin Franklin was one of America’s Founding Fathers and was active as a writer, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, printer, publisher, and political philosopher. He became a successful newspaper editor and printer in Philadelphia, the leading city in the colonies, publishing the Pennsylvania Gazette at age 23. He became wealthy publishing this and Poor Richard's Almanack, which he wrote under the pseudonym "Richard Saunders". After 1767, he was associated with the Pennsylvania Chronicle, a newspaper that was known for its revolutionary sentiments and criticisms of the policies of the British Parliament and the Crown. He also edited the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson.

Franklin once said, "The sentence which has most influenced my life is, ’Some persons grumble because God placed thorns among roses. Why not thank God because He placed roses among thorns?’”

 

Grumbling accomplishes nothing. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for all that He has given, including the thorns in your life.

 

“He who stumbles and grumbles is displaying a crumbled reasoning.” ― Vincent Okay Nwachukwu

 

God’s Word: “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” – Leviticus 19:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES  †

Devotional - Be Patient
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Mar 27, 2022
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

 

In his book “My Utmost For His Highest” Oswald Chambers wrote: “Patience is more than endurance. A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says – ‘I cannot stand anymore.’ – God does not heed. He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight… then He lets fly. – Trust yourself in God’s hands. For what have you need of patience just now? Maintain your relationship to Jesus Christ by the patience of faith. Job wrote: “Though He slays me, yet will I wait for Him.” (Job 13:15.)… You cannot see Him just now, you cannot understand what He is doing, but you know Him… Faith is the heroic effort of your life; fling yourself in reckless confidence on God.”

 

Let the Lord give you 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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES  †

Devotional - Riches Can Bring Misery
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Mar 24, 2022
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

 

James Hayes was working as an overnight security guard in 1998 when he won $19 million playing California's SuperLotto game. The then 35-year-old had become the second-largest lottery winner in Ventura County. With guaranteed annual payments of $684,000 after taxes for the next two decades, the future looked bright for the young Hayes.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Hayes shared his plans to buy a new car and move into a luxury house in the posh Spanish Hills development in Camarillo, California. He had already sent his two weeks’ notice to his employers, too. “I’m not going to blow the money,” Hayes had promised, looking forward to a better life.

But then his world came crashing down. He quickly went from winner to loser: His ex-wife reportedly took half the jackpot money, and Hayes developed a heroin habit costing him $1,000 a week. Authorities say he resorted to robbing banks to keep up his lifestyle. The FBI nicknamed him the "PT Cruiser Bandit" and the "Seasoned Bandit," because of his car and gray hair. In 2018, Hayes pleaded guilty to bank robbery and was sentenced to 33 months in prison.

 

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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES   †

Devotional - We Can Not Predict Tomorrow
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Mar 23, 2022
Devotional - We Can Not Predict Tomorrow

“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

 

In 1968, Business Week wrongly predicted: "With over fifteen types of foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn't likely to carve out a big share of the market for itself."

Lord Kelvin, British mathematician and physicist, president of the British Royal Society, in 1895 said: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." "

Alex Lewyt, president of vacuum cleaner company Lewyt Corp., in the New York Times in 1955 said: “Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality in 10 years."        

The French leader Napoleon Bonaparte, foolishly said of Robert Fulton’s steamboat: “How, sir, would you make a ship sail against the wind and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck? I pray you, excuse me, I have not the time to listen to such nonsense.”

Even the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Albert Einstein was not immune and said in 1932: “There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.”

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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES  †

Devotional - Do Not Slander
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Mar 22, 2022
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 2009, after the tabloid “Daily Mail” claimed that Kate Winslet was lying about her exercise routine in an article titled “Should Kate Winslet win an Oscar for the world’s most irritating actress?” she filed a defamation case against the notorious tabloid for £25,000  and won. Though she was slandered, she said that she was ‘delighted’ to hear the newspaper had also apologized. Winslet further added, “I was particularly upset to be accused of lying about my exercise regime and felt that I had a responsibility to request an apology… I strongly believe that women should be encouraged to accept themselves as they are, so to suggest that I was lying was an unacceptable accusation of hypocrisy.”

 

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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES  †

Devotional - Submit To The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Mar 21, 2022
Devotional - Submit To The Lord

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

 

In July 2021, a cache of illegal fireworks seized in the Historic South-Central neighborhood of South L.A. exploded ripped apart a Los Angeles Police Department vehicle and injured 17 people, including 10 police officers.

The massive blast shook the 700 block of East 27th Street around 7:30 p.m. after police had spent hours confiscating some 5,000 pounds of fireworks from a residence.

Some of the devices had been loaded into an armored container on a police tractor-trailer, where police had decided to detonate them “in a controlled manner,” according to LAPD Lt. Raul Jovel.

A senior LA Bomb technician had warned that overloading the armored container with fireworks would lead to disaster. He recommended breaking up the cache into smaller portions, but his warnings were ignored.

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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES †

Devotional - Stupid Quarrels
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Mar 20, 2022
Devotional - Stupid Quarrels

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

 

In one of the most bizarre conflicts of the 20th century, a dog inadvertently triggered an international crisis. The incident was the culmination of a long period of hostility between Greece and Bulgaria, which had been at odds since the Second Balkan War in the 1910s. Tensions finally boiled over in October 1925, when a Greek soldier was shot after allegedly crossing the border into Bulgaria while chasing after his runaway dog. The shooting became a rallying cry for the Greeks, who soon after invaded Bulgaria and occupied several villages. They were even set to commence shelling the city of Petrich when the League of Nations finally intervened and condemned the attack. An international committee later negotiated a ceasefire between the two nations, but not before the misunderstanding had resulted in the deaths of some 50 people.

 

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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES †

Devotional - Sowing Peace
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Mar 17, 2022
Devotional - Sowing Peace

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

 

Mariya Alabusheva-Brandt was a widow who lived in Mariupol, in the district of Stalino (today Donets’k District in Ukraine). The Jewish Zaslavskiy couple lived in her neighborhood with their granddaughter, Ira Karpovich. The Germans conquered Mariupol on October 8, 1941, and, two days later, under the pretext of transferring the Jews elsewhere, they were assembled at several gathering points in town. Alabusheva, who escorted her neighbors to the appointed place, offered to care for six-year-old Ira in her home, for the time being. Ira stayed with Alabusheva for only one night and the following day Alabusheva took Ira to her family because her name appeared on a list of local Jews. On October 18-20, 1941, the Jews of Mariupol were taken to the death pits. On their last journey, Ira’s grandmother managed to persuade one of the guards that Ira was not Jewish and the child was permitted to stand by the wayside while her identity was being clarified. When darkness fell, Ira fled to Alabusheva’s home, where she found shelter. For six months, from November 1941, a senior German officer was billeted in Alabusheva’s house. Ira was introduced to him as Alabusheva’s daughter, and he even grew fond of her. When the house searches in Mariupol intensified and after the officer had left Alabusheva’s home, Ira was moved to an orphanage, where she was registered under a false name. Alabusheva visited Ira there once a week, brought her food, and taught her how to behave like a Christian.

During the war, Ira’s mother was in the army. Afterward, she returned to Mariupol and found her daughter. Ira and her mother were deeply grateful to Alabusheva for saving Ira during the occupation and they were her neighbors until she died. In the 1990s Ira (by then Tsipurskiy) immigrated to Israel.

On July 21, 1997, Yad Vashem recognized Mariya Alabusheva-Brandt as Righteous Among the Nations.

 

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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES  †

 

Devotional - Avoid Envy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Mar 17, 2022
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

 

The youthful artist Raphael burst on the scene in Renaissance Italy in 1504 with an intricate style that was influenced by his predecessors Fra Bartolommeo, Leonardo, and Michelangelo. In 1508, at the age of 26, the young artist was invited by Pope Julius II to paint a fresco in the Pope’s private library in the Vatican Palace. Not only did he beat competitors such as Michelangelo and Leonardo to win the commission, but his work also gained rapturous reviews.

Michelangelo did not take well to the competition. As Robert S. Liebert writes in “Raphael, Michelangelo, Sebastiano: High Renaissance Rivalry,” he “made Raphael bear the brunt of his unrelenting envy, contempt, and anger.”

But Raphael could give as good as he got. For one thing, Raphael painted a sulking Michelangelo as Heraclitus in The School of Athen.

 

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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES  †

 

Devotional - Who Are The Wise Men?
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Mar 15, 2022
Devotional - Who Are The Wise Men?

“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

 

Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin is an author and serves as the senior rabbi of Temple Solel in Hollywood, Florida. He describes one of the funniest things that happened to him in his synagogue. “I was teaching our Torah study class. We had been studying the prophets, and we came to a famous passage from the prophet, Micah [6:8].

“He has told you, O man, what is good, And what does the LORD require of you?….”

As I was reading that verse, someone in our study group accidentally pushed the button on his or her iPhone.

At the precise moment that I read: “…and what does the LORD require of you?” – Siri responded:

“I cannot give you an answer to that question!”

 

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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES  †

Devotional - The Tongue Is A Fire
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Mar 14, 2022
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

 

Evangelist Billy Graham, when addressing the power of the tongue, said:

“You have a tongue and a voice. These instruments of speech can be used destructively or employed constructively. You can use your tongue to slander, to gripe, to scold, to nag, and to quarrel; or you can bring it under the control of God's Spirit and make it an instrument of blessing and praise. The 20th-century version of James 3:3 says, ‘When we put bits into the horses' mouths to make them obey us, we control the rest of their bodies also.’ Just so, when we submit to the claims of Christ upon our lives, our untamed natures are brought under His control. We become meek, tamed, and ‘fit for the Master's service.’”

 

It is your choice to have an untamed tongue or a tamed one. 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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES  †

Devotional - The Higher Standard
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Mar 13, 2022
Devotional - The 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

 

In 2004, a Berlin driving instructor who taught more than 1,000 motorists how to drive said he never got a driver's license because he was too nervous to retake the test after he failed the first time - 43 years ago.

"I flunked it because I drove too fast at a roundabout and didn't come to a complete standstill at a stop sign," the instructor, identified by police as Wolf-Dieter.

"I was too afraid to try again," he said. Police caught him after a minor accident with a Polish truck recently. He told police he never had a license. He said it was his first accident after four decades of driving cars, tractors, and even tanks as a former East German army soldier.

 

The Lord was a teacher and He has a high expectation for teachers. 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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES  †

 

Devotional - Put Some Action Into Your Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Mar 10, 2022
Devotional - Put Some Action Into Your Faith

“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

 

The leader of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther, wrote: “The question is asked: how can justification take place without the works of the law, even though James says: "Faith without works is dead"? In answer, the apostle distinguishes between the law and faith, the letter and grace. The 'works of the law' are works done without faith and grace, by the law, which forces them to be done through fear or the enticing promise of temporal advantages. But 'works of faith' are those done in the spirit of liberty, purely out of love to God. And they can be done only by those who are

justified by faith. An ape can cleverly imitate the actions of humans. But he is not therefore a human. If he became a human, it would undoubtedly be not by virtue of the works by which he imitated man but by virtue of something else; namely, by an act of God.

Then, having been made a human, he would perform the works of humans in proper fashion.

Paul does not say that faith is without its characteristic works, but that it justifies without the works of the law. Therefore justification does not require the works of the law; but it does require a living faith, which performs its works.”

We need to put our faith into action which performs works. 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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES   †

Devotional - Mercy Triumphs
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Mar 9, 2022
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

 

In government circles, it is known as "WITSEC." That stands for "Witness Security" program or what you and I would know as the "Witness Protection Program." It was established in 1970 and allows for the United States Attorney General to provide for the relocation and protection of a witness of a federal or state government against any organized crime. The witness is given a new name, a new location, $60,000 a year for the first year and opportunities to find new work when they are relocated in their new home. Witnesses are never allowed to travel back to their hometowns or contact unprotected family members or friends. According to the United States Marshal's Service, no one who has followed their procedures has ever been harmed in any way. The purpose of the Witness Protection Program is to ensure that people will indeed testify and tell the truth of what they see and what they know. They are given mercy for their crimes in exchange for living a new life and leaving their sin behind.

 

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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES  †

Devotional - God's Partiality
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Mar 8, 2022
Devotional - God's Partiality

“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

 

As one read Scripture, there is a thought that God's partiality is toward the poor and the disadvantaged. Why would God single out the poor for special attention over any other group? Author Monika Hellwig lists the following "advantages" to being poor:

1. The poor know they are in urgent need of redemption.

2. The poor know not only their dependence on God and on powerful people but also their interdependence with one another.

3. The poor rest their security not on things but on people.

4. The poor have no exaggerated sense of their own importance and no exaggerated need for privacy.

5. The poor expect little from competition and much from cooperation.

6. The poor can distinguish between necessities and luxuries.

7. The poor can wait because they have acquired a kind of dogged patience born of acknowledged dependence.

8. The fears of the poor are more realistic and less exaggerated because they already know that one can survive great suffering and want.

9. When the poor have the Gospel preached to them, it sounds like good news and not like a threat or a scolding.

10. The poor can respond to the call of the Gospel with a certain abandonment and uncomplicated totality because they have so little to lose and are ready for anything.

 

If we are to be partial, be partial toward 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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES  †

Devotional - Give Up Your Prejudices
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Mar 7, 2022
Devotional - Give Up Your Prejudices

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

 

In his book “Shake Free: How to Deal with the Storms, Shipwrecks, and Snakes in Your Life”, Samuel Rodriguez wrote:

“I’ll never forget sitting in the guidance counselor’s office my freshman year in high school in the Lehigh Valley area between Philadelphia and Allentown, where I grew up. The purpose of our meeting was to discuss my vocational direction and the courses I should and hoped to take the following semester. Since our school was located in a mostly working-class area, students were placed into one of two groups pretty quickly: either you were smart enough and your parents wealthy enough that you were headed to college and a professional career, or you were not smart enough or your family wealthy enough for college, so you got a basic education and learned a trade.

“So what do you want to do when you get out of school, Sam?” the guidance counselor asked. “What kind of job are you thinking about?” “Well,” I said nervously, “I’m really into computers and hoping to study computer engineering at one of the state universities.” “No, Sam, I’m not kidding,” she said, genuinely agitated. “Your kind doesn’t go to college. You can work either construction or landscaping or get some other kind of service job.” That hurt.

Even though I had good grades that put me at the top of my class and I tested high on all aptitude and intelligence tests, this woman’s prejudice sent gale-force winds over the dream of a shy fifteen-year-old. And the worst part about it was that she seemed totally oblivious to the devastating power of her words. I knew two things when I left her office that day.

First, whatever I did later in life, I was going to make sure it wasn’t one of the three options she’d mentioned. While there’s nothing wrong with any of these jobs and the hardworking people who do them, I desired a different path. Second, I decided to work harder than ever to graduate at the top of my class. So being salutatorian when graduation day came gave me deep satisfaction!”

 

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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES  †

Devotional - Beware Of Temptation
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Mar 6, 2022
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

 

Christian author C.S. Lewis wrote the following about temptation: “No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness — they have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means — the only complete realist.”

 

 

When temptation approaches, you do not necessarily have to 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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES  †

Devotional - Do What It Says
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Mar 3, 2022
Devotional - Do What It Says

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

 

The Shenandoah Valley Campaign, conducted from February to June 1862 during the American Civil War (1861–1865), catapulted Confederate general Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson from relative obscurity to the first rank of Southern generals.

In June, Jackson's army found itself on one side of a South River when it needed to be on the other side. After telling his engineers to plan and build a bridge so the army could cross, he called his wagon master in to tell him that it was urgent for the wagon train to cross the river as soon as possible. The wagon master started gathering all the logs, rocks, and fence rails he could find and built a bridge. Long before daylight, his wagon master told General Jackson all the wagons and artillery had crossed the river. General Jackson asked where are the engineers and what are they doing? The wagon master's only reply was that they were in their tent drawing up plans for a bridge. 

 

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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES †

Devotional - Persevere Under Trial
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Mar 2, 2022
Devotional - Persevere Under Trial

“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

 

In 2014, the Boko Haram rebel group kidnapped hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls. Many of the girls were Christian. Authors Drew Hinshaw and Joe Parkinson wrote the following in their book “Bring Back Our Girls: The Untold Story of the Global Search for Nigeria’s Missing Schoolgirls”:

“They came of age in captivity, pressured daily to marry fighters and embrace Boko Haram’s creed in return for better food, shelter, clothing, and soap. By their second year, many were badly malnourished. Months of hunger and vanishing rations had left some of the women unable to stand without help. Sometimes they ate tree bark or the sinewy grass called yakuwa, which their mothers used to weave mats and baskets. There were small seeds between the blades, which they plucked out. Some drank hot water, believing the heat would give them energy. At one point, a classmate killed an ant to eat the crumb of food it was carrying.

Their guards had refused to share meals or even jugs of water—except for washing before prayer. Boko Haram itself, though running low on rations, still promised what little food it had to those who agreed to convert and marry into the sect. More than 100 refused. Many of them had been members of choirs in their church, and all of them knew the words to a hymn from Chibok they sang when their guards were out of earshot: ‘We, the children of Israel, will not bow.’”

 

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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES   †

Devotional - Dispelling Doubts
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Mar 1, 2022
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

 

Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, philosopher, and writer. In 1642, while still a teenager, he started some pioneering work on calculating machines (called Pascal's calculators and later Pascalines), establishing him as one of the first two inventors of the mechanical calculator.

In 1648, Pascal fell away from this initial religious upbringing and experienced a few years of what some biographers have called his "worldly period".  

His doubts about God changed in 1654. On the 23 of November 1654, between 10:30 and 12:30 at night, Pascal had an intense religious experience and immediately wrote a brief note to himself which began: "Fire. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and the scholars..." and concluded by quoting Psalm 119:16: "I will not forget thy word. Amen." He seems to have carefully sewn this document into his coat and always transferred it when he changed clothes; a servant discovered it only by chance after his death.

 

Doubts dispel and our faith grows strong as we yield our 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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES  †

Devotional - The Testing Of Your Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Feb 28, 2022
Devotional - The Testing Of Your Faith

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” – James 1:2-3

 

Clint Courtney played catcher in the Major Leagues for 11 years. During his career he earned the nickname of Scrap Iron, implying that he was hard, weathered, and tough. Old Scrap broke no records -- only bones. He had little power or speed on the base paths. As for grace and style, he made the easiest play look rather difficult. But armed with mitt and mask, Scrap Iron never flinched from any challenge.

Batters often missed the ball and caught his shin. Their foul tips nipped his elbow. Runners fiercely plowed into him, spikes first, as he defended home plate. Though often doubled over in agony, and flattened in a heap of dust, Clint Courtney never quit. Invariably, he'd slowly get up, shake off the dust, punch the pocket of his mitt once, twice, and nod to his pitcher to throw another one. The game would go on and Clint persevered -- scarred, bruised, clutching his arm in pain, but determined to continue. He resembled a POW with tape, splints, braces, and other kinds of paraphernalia that wounded people wear. Some called him a masochist, but others remember him as a true champion. 

 

Through testing, our faith can be strengthened. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that when we face trials, we do not have to face them alone.

 

"Faith must be tested because it can only become your intimate possession through conflict. What is challenging your faith right now?" - Oswald Chambers

 

God’s Word: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” – 1 Peter 1:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN JAMES   †

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