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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN Letters of Peter
Devotional - His Grace
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday May 30, 2021
Devotional - His Grace

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” - 2 Peter 3:18

 

During a British conference on comparative religions, experts from around the world debated what, if any, belief was unique to the Christian faith. They began eliminating possibilities. Incarnation? Other religions had different versions of gods' appearing in human form. Resurrection? Again, other religions had accounts of return from death. The debate went on for some time until Christian author C. S. Lewis wandered into the room. "What's the rumpus about?" he asked, and heard in reply that his colleagues were discussing Christianity's unique contribution among world religions. Lewis responded, "Oh, that's easy. It's grace."

After some discussion, the conferees had to agree. The notion of God's love coming to us free of charge, no strings attached, seems to go against every instinct of humanity. The Buddhist eight-fold path, the Hindu doctrine of karma, the Jewish covenant, and the Muslim code of law -- each of these offers a way to earn approval. Only Christianity dares to make God's love unconditional.

 

It is by God’s grace that we are saved. Today in prayer, pray that you will grow in the grace of Jesus.

 

“What gives me the most hope every day is God's grace; knowing that his grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.” – Rick Warren

 

God's Word: “But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!”– Romans 5:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - Be Patient
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday May 27, 2021
Devotional - Be Patient

"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." - 2 Peter 3:9

 

Lou Nicholes is a missionary with Word of Life Fellowship. On the subject of patience, Lou wrote: “Recently I was waiting in the Philadelphia airport on a flight to a distant city. Every half hour, they would tell us that we would get an update in another half hour. I knew the plane was there, the crew was there, all the passengers were sure there, but the flight just kept getting postponed. I must admit that my patience was running low. When we were finally boarded and about to take off, the pilot explained what had been taking so long. He said, “Just before we were going to board you, our mechanics found a problem with two of our tires in a routine maintenance check. We had to replace both tires.” So all of a sudden I was so grateful for the delay that had been so frustrating. Now, there was a very good reason for that particular airline delay. I have to tell you the airlines don’t always have a good reason for their delays. God always does.”

 

In this life, we need to be patient. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His patience toward you and ask Him that you may be patient in all things.

 

"Be patient enough to live one day at a time as Jesus taught us, letting yesterday go and leaving tomorrow till it arrives." – John F. Newton

 

God's Word: "A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly." - Proverbs 14:29

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - No End To False Prophets
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday May 26, 2021
Devotional - No End To False Prophets

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves.”- 2 Peter 2:1

 

In an article entitled “The Problem of False Prophets in Africa,” author Moses Owojaiye gave some of the following examples: “A famous self-proclaimed prophet from Zimbabwe and another from Malawi both announced they had found cures for HIV/AIDS, preventing patients from seeking medical help. A South African preacher encourages his followers to eat grass and drink petrol, while another sprays insecticide on congregants to exercise deliverance from evil.

There are those who make claims that border on blasphemy. At one point, a Kenyan prophet claimed to have the powers of Moses and Elijah and to have toured heaven and held discussions with God. In 2017, police in Oyo State in Nigeria paraded a pastor who allegedly possessed a human head and ritual paraphernalia. Elsewhere, allegations of sexual abuse and swindling people of money and property often leak out into social media.

False prophets have cunningly learned to parrot what impoverished or troubled followers are desperate to hear. Despite awareness of the abuses, self-proclaimed prophets retain thousands of followers who fund their activities.”

 

There is no end to the number of false prophets who try to steer us away from the Lord. Today in prayer, spend some extra time in the Gospels listening to Jesus.

 

“False teachers invite people to come to the Master's table because of what's on it, not because they love the Master.” – Hank Hanegraaff

 

God's Word: "For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord." - Jude 4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - Pay Attention
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday May 25, 2021
Devotional - Pay Attention

"And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts." - 2 Peter 1:19

 

In 2012, Sargent Vernon Kiester discovered a problem that could have caused some serious damage to one of his squadron’s aircraft.

He was inspecting the blades of a Huey helicopter when two other helicopters went by. He said: “At the end of the blade there is a shear restraint, all four blades have one, it allows the blade to pivot, and it takes a good portion of the flexing. I noticed the whole shear restraint was bouncing up and down. I hadn’t seen that before and it didn’t seem right,” added Kiester, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. “I went and looked into it a little further, and it ended up being the actual shear restraint had sheered and was just bouncing around.”

Had the helicopter taken off with a component failure of that magnitude, the loss of aircrew and/or aircraft may have been possible.

Captain Gregg Safinski, his commanding officer praised Kiester for spotting the problem. His “situational awareness, technical knowledge, and attention to detail,” all of which are needed to keep the helicopters in the sky and flying safe.

 

We need to pay attention to God’s Word and be students of the Bible. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to slow you down so you can pay attention to His teaching.

 

"The Word of God will stand a thousand readings; and he who has gone over it most frequently is the surest of finding new wonders there." - James Hamilton

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - Your Goodness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday May 24, 2021
Devotional - Your Goodness

"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge" - 2 Peter 1:5

 

Matthew Parris wrote in the London Times a remarkable December 2--8 Article titled “As an Atheist, I Truly Believe Africa Needs God.” Parris was born in South Africa where his father went to work as an engineer and grew up in Swaziland and Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe). A former British diplomat, he also worked for right-wing Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and served as a member of parliament for the UK’s Conservative Party.

As he grew up in Africa, he noted the profound difference in the goodness and resistance to evil he saw among Christians in contrast to unbelievers. “Missionaries, not aid money are the solution to Africa’s biggest problem—the crushing passivity of the people’s mindset,” Parris wrote. 

He concluded, “Removing Christian evangelism from the African equation may leave the continent at the mercy of a malign fusion of Nike, the witch doctor, the mobile phone, and the machete.” 

 

Doing good never goes out of style. Today in prayer, add goodness to your faith and bring glory to the Lord in all that you do.

 

“Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.” – John Wesley

 

God's Word: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." - Romans 12:21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - Suffering Refines Our Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday May 23, 2021
Devotional - Suffering Refines Our Faith

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” – 1 Peter 5:10

 

My first recollection of real suffering occurred when I (Rich) was about eight and my uncle had died of leukemia. When Uncle Art finally succumbed, my parents brought me along with two of my sisters to his funeral service at a small church in Alcove, New York.

My sensibilities were limited when it came to grasping the loss of someone dying in their late forties. But when my uncle’s elderly father came into the church I began to get it. His head was freshly bandaged from an early morning fall on February ice. As he made his way to the front of the church he no longer could contain his grief and began to wail loudly over the death of his son. I was startled and frightened.

His open and raw grief made suffering very real. I quickly sensed suffering could overwhelm the soul. I remember how uncomfortable I was. I wanted to get out of the church building. But then something else happened. The church community came forward to where he stood at the casket. They held him, hugged him, prayed with, and comforted him.

Soon the silence of a funeral returned. The man who had lost his son was held by a community of faith who suffered with him. It was as if his suffering was distributed to all of us in a hundred pieces.

 

Suffering is never pleasant, but it refines us and draws us closer to Christ. Today in prayer, pray for those who are suffering that their faith in Jesus may increase.

 

"Suffering can never ultimately be meaningless because God himself has shared it." - Philip Yancey

 

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.” – Romans 8:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - Be Anxious For Nothing
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday May 20, 2021
Devotional - Be Anxious For Nothing

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

 

In his book “Anxious For Nothing”, Max Lucado writes: “Statistics have recently shown that Americans are the most anxious/stressed-out people in the world, so preaching on the topic has some obvious import today. As human beings, we are prone to compare ourselves to others. But what if our entire culture itself is sick? If we are ever going to be displaced as the most anxious country in the world, we are going to need to find outside resources to help us. Recognizing we have a propensity for perfectionism, workaholism is the first step in the process. I hope you enjoy this short story by Max Lucado, which ought to illustrate our own predispositions to be busy-body, stressed-out people:

A native Hawaiian once told me the origin of the name that islanders use for us non-Hawaiians—haole. Haole is a Hawaiian word for “no breath.” The name became associated with the European immigrants of the 1820s. While there are varying explanations for this term, I like the one he gave me: ‘Our forefathers thought the settlers were always in a hurry to build plantations, harbors, and ranches. To the native Hawaiians, they seemed short of breath.’”

 

The Lord desires us to place all our worries on Him and to look to Jesus for your peace. Today in prayer, give the Lord all of your worries and anxieties and accept Christ’s peace.

 

"In all trouble, you should seek God. You should not set him over against your troubles but within them. God can only relieve your troubles if you in your anxiety cling to him. Trouble should not really be thought of as this thing or that in particular, for our whole life on earth involves trouble; and through the troubles of our earthly pilgrimage we find God." - Augustine

 

God’s Word: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - With Humility
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday May 19, 2021
Devotional - With Humility

“Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” – 1 Peter 5:5

 

In 1953, a crowd gathered for a man as he arrived at the Chicago railroad station to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. He stepped off the train he was a tall man with bushy hair and a big mustache. As the cameras flashed and city officials approached with hands outstretched to meet him, he thanked them politely. 

Then he asked to be excused for a minute. He walked through the crowd to the side of an elderly black woman struggling with two large suitcases. He picked them up, smiled, and escorted her to the bus, helped her get on, and wished her a safe journey. Then Albert Schweitzer turned to the crowd and apologized for keeping them waiting. It is reported that one member of the reception committee told a reporter, “That’s the first time I ever saw a sermon walking.”

 

The Lord loves a humble person. Today in prayer, ask Jesus to give you a spirit of humility.

 

“The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is.”  - Philipp Brooks

 

God’s Word: “He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.” – Proverbs 3:34

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - Don't Be Surprised
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday May 18, 2021
Devotional - Don't Be Surprised

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” – 1 Peter 4:12-13  

 

On May 11, 2021, Marta Shimoni Church in Turkey’s village of Mehr was attacked and desecrated by unknown persons. This is the same village where the elderly parents of a Chaldean Catholic priest were kidnapped last year. Simoni Diril was later found dead. Her husband, Hormoz Diril, remains missing.

Marta Shimoni Church is a cave church built into the mountains. It cannot be destroyed in the same way as other churches. Crosses, pictures of Jesus, and rosaries were strewn across the path leading away from the mountain church’s entrance.

The village of Mehr had been primarily Chaldean Christian before conflict forced its evacuation in the early 1990s. Eleven years ago, the Diril couple had returned to the village, despite the dangers, in an attempt to rebuild the Christian community. They were the first to return and often celebrated mass at Marta Shimoni. The church, which is named after a local Christian martyred for her faith, stands as a historic reminder of the village’s Christian troubled past. 

 

The pain and suffering of this world should not come as a surprise. But know that we will be overcome by the joy of seeing Jesus in Heaven. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that our suffering is temporary and Jesus has overcome the world to give us eternity with Him.

 

"We are always in the forge, or on the anvil; by trials, God is shaping us for higher things." - Henry Ward Beecher

 

God’s Word: “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” – Romans 5:3-5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - Remember to Pray
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday May 17, 2021
Devotional - Remember to Pray

“The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.” – 1 Peter 4:7

 

Simone Weil was a French philosopher and political activist. She was brought up in an agnostic Jewish home. She became a Christian and is the author of “Waiting for God”. In her book she explains, one can love God by praying to God, and attention is the very “substance of prayer”: when one prays, one empties oneself, fixes one's whole gaze towards God, and becomes ready to receive God. 

She also writes in her book: “In 1938…I was suffering from splitting headaches; each sound hurt me like a blow…. I discovered the poem…called “Love” [by George Herbert] which I learned by heart. Often, at the culminating point of a violent headache, I made myself say it over, concentrating all my attention upon it and clinging with all my soul to the tenderness it enshrines. I used to think I was merely reciting it as a beautiful poem, but without my knowing it the recitation had the virtue of a prayer. It was during one of these recitations that Christ himself came down and took possession of me.”

 

In all things and at all times, we need to pray. Today in prayer, invest some extra time in prayer to build your relationship with Jesus. 

 

"As we are involved in unceasing thinking, so we are called to unceasing prayer." - Henri Nouwen

 

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 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - A Clear Conscience
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday May 16, 2021
Devotional - A Clear Conscience

“keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” – 1 Peter 3:16

 

In 1957, Betty Diamond was a 10-year-old growing up in Whitestone, Queens, New York. She read just about anything she could get her hands on. Books offered her a secret life apart from her parents, immigrants from a small town in what was then called Czechoslovakia who were less familiar with American culture. For Betty, going to the library as a child was like “being in a candy store.” This was the backdrop of her grade-school interest in “Ol’ Paul, the Mighty Logger,” by Glen Rounds, a collection of Paul Bunyan's tall tales.

Now somehow, every other library book Betty borrowed she returned. But for some reason, she could not return “Ol’ Paul”. For 63 years the book traveled with Betty. 

Then in early 2021, Betty decided to “make amends.” Ms. Diamond, now 74, called her old library to let officials know of her plan and to ask that the book be preserved.

She mailed the book along with a $500 check to the Queens Public Library. 

 

The Lord desires to redeem all men and for them to have a clear conscience. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He is God and seek to keep a clear conscience before Him.

 

"A good conscience is the palace of Christ; the temple of the Holy Ghost; the paradise of delight; the standing Sabbath of the saints." - Augustine

 

God’s Word: “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” – Hebrews 10:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - Be Prepared
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday May 13, 2021
Devotional - Be Prepared

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” – 1 Peter 3:15

 

On September 3, 1857, the SS Central America left the Panamanian port of Colón, sailing for New York City under the command of William Lewis Herndon. The ship was laden with 9 tons of gold prospected during the California Gold Rush. After a stop in Havana, Cuba the ship continued north.

Off of the Carolinas, the ship was damaged in a hurricane. The Central America was in a bad state, had sprung a leak, and was going down. She, therefore, hoisted a signal of distress. A ship came close to her, and its captain asked, through the trumpet, "What is wrong?" "We are in bad repair and are going down. Wait till morning," was the answer. But the captain on board the rescue ship said, "Let me take your passengers on board now." "Wait until morning," was the message that came back. Once again the captain cried, "You had better let me take your passengers on board now." "Wait until morning," was the reply that sounded through the trumpet. About an hour and a half later, the ship went dark and sank. Waiting cost 477 passengers and 101 crewmembers their lives. 

 

We need to prepared to share our hope and faith in Jesus Christ with others. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for the opportunities to share your faith. Ask Him how you can be prepared to share the Gospel with others.

 

"Jesus Christ didn't commit the gospel to an advertising agency; He commissioned disciples. And He didn't command them to put up signs and pass out tracts; He said that they would be his witnesses." - Joseph Bayly

 

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” – Colossians 4:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - A Blessing
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday May 12, 2021
Devotional - A Blessing

“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” – 1 Peter 3:9

 

Lloyd John Ogilvie was a Presbyterian minister who served as Chaplain of the United States Senate from 1995 until 2003. In his book “When You Need A Miracle” he writes the following about blessings: “We all need [blessing] desperately. It is the one great need we all share in common. We were born for it and there is no lasting joy without it. What oxygen is for the lungs and protein for the body, that is what it is for our souls…. With it we become winsome and free; without it, we are willful and fearful. It is the one thing people most need from us, but the one thing we can not give until we have received it. It is life’s most precious possession.”

 

The Lord blesses us for a purpose and asks us to bless others for His glory. Today in prayer, ask Jesus how you can bless others so they may experience His loving grace.

 

"Love when you expect no love in return. Do good without expecting thanks. Lend when you do not hope for a return. This will make us act like the sons and daughters of the Most High." - Henrietta Mears

 

God’s Word: “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us” – Psalm 67:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - Live As Freed Men
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday May 11, 2021
Devotional - Live As Freed Men

“Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.” – 1 Peter 2:16

 

Louis Delcourt was a young French soldier during the First World War who overstayed his leave and, fearing disgrace, he decided to desert.  He persuaded his mother to lock him up in the attic of their home and there she hid him and fed him for twenty-one years.

But in August 1937 his mother died.  There was no chance now of his retaining his incognito and remaining in hiding.  So, pale and haggard, he staggered along to the nearest police officer, where he gave himself up.  The police officer looked at him in utter incredulity and asked him, “where have you been that you have not heard?”  “Haven’t heard what?” asked Louis.  “That a law of amnesty for all deserters was passed years ago.”

Louis Delcourt had freedom but did not enjoy it because he did not know that he had it.  It is the same with many Christian people today, they have been set free by Jesus Christ.  But they are not enjoying their freedom because they do not know that they have it.

 

Amen and women freed from sin, we should seek to serve the Lord. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that you are free in Him and serve Him with a glad heart.

 

“But what is freedom? Rightly understood, A universal license to be good.” – Hartley Coleridge

 

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 LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - Do Good
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday May 10, 2021
Devotional - Do Good

“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” – 1 Peter 2:12

 

In the late 1960s, John van Hengel in Phoenix, Arizona developed the concept of food banking. Van Hengel, a retired businessman and committed Christian, had been volunteering at a soup kitchen trying to find food to serve his neighbors facing hunger. One day, he met a desperate mother who regularly rummaged through grocery store garbage bins to find food for her children. She suggested that there should be a place where, instead of being thrown out, discarded food could be stored for people to pick up—similar to the way “banks” store money for future use. With that, an industry was born.

Van Hengel established St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix as the nation’s first food bank. In its initial year, van Hengel and his team of volunteers distributed 275,000 pounds of food to people in need. Word of the food bank’s success quickly spread, and states began to take note. Today there are more than 200 food banks in the United States.

 

The Lord wants you to do good so your life may shine for His glory. Today in prayer, ask Jesus what good works you can do to bring Christ glory.

 

“Do what good you can, and do it solely for God’s glory, as free from it yourself as though you did not exist.” – Meister Eckhart

 

God’s Word: “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - A Chosen People
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday May 9, 2021
Devotional - A Chosen People

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” – 1 Peter 2:9

 

In his book “Live in Grace, Walk in Love” Bob Goff writes: “Every year when I was in school, we were required to go to “athletics,” better known as gym class. I always hated it because there was a possibility we’d play kickball or dodge ball or pretty much anything that required a ball. This meant there would be team captains to pick players. It is a time-honored tradition that picking teams in gym class starts with the best and goes to the worst. I often hoped God would make the bell ring forty-eight minutes early because

I knew what was about to happen again. I wouldn’t get picked. I was huge. I almost blocked the sun. This was good. But I was clumsy, which was bad. It was a terrible system, leaving me and all the other uncoordinated guys stranded on the sidelines looking at each other in our gym shorts and T-shirts. It was clear who was cool and got picked and who wasn’t. I’m so glad God doesn’t choose who will be with Him the way the guys in gym class picked who would be on their team.”

 

The Lord has chosen all of us who are imperfect to love and serve Him. Today in prayer, give praise to the Lord who has chosen you to be a child of God. 

 

“God does not always choose great people to accomplish what He wishes, but He chooses a person who is wholly yielded to Him.” – Henrietta Mears

 

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 LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - Depend On The Word
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday May 6, 2021
Devotional - Depend On The Word

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” – 1 Peter 2:2

 

Pastor Ted Groves of Grace Community Church in West Allis, Wisconsin gives the following illustration on craving God’s Word: “A beautiful and touching story is told of a young French girl who had been born blind. After she learned to read by touch, a friend gave her a Braille copy of Mark's gospel. She read it so much that her fingers became calloused and insensitive. In an effort to regain her feeling, she cut the skin from the ends of her fingers. Tragically, however, her callouses were replaced by permanent and even more insensitive scars. She sobbingly gave the book a goodbye kiss, saying," Farewell, farewell, sweet word of my heavenly Father." In doing so, she discovered that her lips were even more sensitive than her fingers had been, and she spent the rest of her life reading her great treasure with her lips. Would that every Christian had such an appetite for the Word of God! The exhortation is to the effect that the Christian is to so yield himself to the Word that there is a certain at hominess of the Word in his being. The Word should be able to feel at home in his heart. The saint should give it unrestricted liberty in his life.”

 

All of us need to depend on God’s Word and to put the Word of God in loving action. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for the Bible and spend some extra time today reading your Bible.

 

"Like Joseph storing up grain during the years of plenty to be used during the years of famine that lay ahead, may we store up the truths of God's Word in our hearts as much as possible, so that we are prepared for whatever suffering we are called upon to endure." - Billy Graham

 

God’s Word: “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” – Psalm 119:103

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - Deep Love
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday May 5, 2021
Devotional - Deep Love

“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” – 1 Peter 1:22

 

Matt Creemens went on Facebook looking for a babysitter and ended up losing a kidney.

The 47-year-old Springfield, Illinois computer programmer and married father of four was looking for a teenager from his church to watch his kids. As he perused various social media posts, he came across a link concerning the health challenges of one of his church’s pastors.

Steve Patzia, co-lead pastor at Cherry Hills Church, was born with a rare kidney disease and found himself nearing organ failure in 2019.

“It was strange, I found myself staring at that page and I couldn’t make my hand move. The Holy Spirit was leading me. It is a difficult thing to describe but I not only felt compelled to move forward but also was very much at peace,” Creemens said.

The two men, who are both in their 40s, did not know each other particularly well.

“I don’t remember ever speaking with Steve one-on-one before this, but I listened to his sermons, so we had that connection,” he said.

When Creemens began the process, he underwent several medical tests to see if his kidney would be a good match for Patzia. But he didn’t inform his pastor that he was having the test done or contemplating being a donor.

“I kept taking tests and I kept proving to be a good match. Finally, the doctors said I needed to tell Steve.”

Creemens’ inspiration to donate a kidney came from words of John the Baptist in the Gospel of Luke: “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none.”

Creemens said he believed that admonition could apply as easily to someone with two kidneys as someone with a pair of shirts.

Pastor Patzia said he was shocked when Creemens made the offer. The men had the transplant surgery in August 2019 and both successfully recovered.

 

Jesus loves us deeply; He laid down His life so we may have salvation through Him. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His love for you and deeply love others.

 

"I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no more hurt, but only more love." - Mother Teresa.

 

God’s Word: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” – John 13:34

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - Be Self Controlled
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday May 4, 2021
Devotional - Be Self Controlled

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” – 1 Peter 1:13

 

Dr. Roy F. Baumeister is a social psychologist who is known for his work on the self, social rejection, belongingness, sexuality and sex differences, self-control, self-esteem, self-defeating behaviors, motivation, aggression, consciousness, and free will.

He believed that self-control can be strengthened over time, much like a muscle.

On the subject of self-control, or self regulation or ego depletion as he called it, he said: “If you look at the social and personal problems facing people in the United States—we're talking drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, unsafe sex, school failure, shopping problems, gambling—over and over, the majority of them have self-control failure as central to them. Studies show that self-control does predict success in life over a very long time.” 

 

In all that we do, we need to be self-controlled. Today in prayer, look to the Lord and desire to control yourself during the most difficult of times. 

 

“God has equipped you to handle difficult things. In fact, He has already planted the seeds of discipline and self-control inside you. You just have to water those seeds with His Word to make them grow!” – Joyce Meyer

 

God’s Word: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - Trials Strengthen Your Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday May 3, 2021
Devotional - Trials Strengthen Your Faith

“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

 

On January 12, 2010, a powerful earthquake devastated Haiti and left the country in shambles. Few people were fortunate enough to leave, but the Desarmes family was able to evacuate two weeks after the mass chaos began. They had family in South America so Pierre Desarmes, age 34, used his contacts in Port-au-Prince to secure passage for his parents, two brothers and their families, and three cousins—nine in all—to fly south. They arrived in Santiago, Chile on January 23rd.

Then just one month later, they encountered one of the worst earthquakes in history on February 27th. Luigene Philomene, at age 43, was one of the older members of the family.

"God is looking for out for us," he said. "Our family didn't die in Haiti so they aren't going to die in Chile either."

 

We will all face various trials in our lives, but the purpose is to refine us and make us more like Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, give thanks for the trials in your life. Look to Jesus, the hope of our faith to endure them.

 

"God sometimes snuffs out our brightest candle so that we may look up to His eternal stars." - Vance Havner

 

God’s Word: “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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER †

Devotional - The Need To Obey
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday May 2, 2021
Devotional - The Need To Obey

“who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” – 1 Peter 1:2

 

In his book “Mr. Jones, Meet the Master: Sermons and Prayers of Peter Marshall”, former chaplain of the U.S. Senate Peter Marshall writes the following about obedience: 

 “I wonder what would happen if we all agreed to read one of the Gospels until we came to a place that told us to do something, then went out to do it, and only after we had done it, began reading again? There are aspects of the Gospel that are puzzling and difficult to understand. But our problems are not centered around the things we don’t understand, but rather in the things we do understand, the things we could not possibly misunderstand. Our problem is not so much that we don’t know what we should do. We know perfectly well, but we don’t want to do it.”

 

It is through obedience in following Jesus Christ that we find all that our hearts desire. Today in prayer, confess any sin in your life to Jesus and eagerly obey Him in all that you do.

 

"Only he who believes is obedient. Only he who is obedient believes." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

God’s Word: “Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 7:21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS LETTERS OF PETER †

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