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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN Praise And Thanksgiving
Devotional - 'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 25, 2021
Devotional - 'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus

“Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” – Psalm 147:3

 

Louisa Stead had always felt a calling to be a missionary and go to China but due to fragile health, she was kept home in the US. She married and started a family, and when her daughter was four years old, the family went on vacation to a nearby beach. While there, they saw a young boy drowning in the ocean. Louisa’s husband swam out and tried to rescue him, but he was pulled under by the boy, and both he and the boy drowned as Louisa and her daughter watched from shore.

Louisa was left without any means of financial support, and she and her daughter were in dire poverty. One day in 1882, when there was no food in the house and no money, Louisa opened the front door to find that someone had left groceries and money sitting there for her. That same day, she sat down and wrote: “Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” She and her daughter later became missionaries to Africa, and she remarried.

 

It is sweet to trust in Jesus! Today in prayer, praise the Lord and trust in Him!

 

“Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him! How I've proved Him o'er and o'er Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! Oh, for grace to trust Him more!” – Louisa Stead

 

God’s Word: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING †

Devotional - Give Thanks Everywhere
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 24, 2021
Devotional - Give Thanks Everywhere

“I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.” – Psalm 7:17

 

Germany’s Thanksgiving equivalent is known as “Erntedankfest”, which translates to “harvest thanksgiving festival.”

It is mostly celebrated by rural, religious groups, and is an opportunity for these farmland cultures to give thanks and honor their harvest.

It is celebrated in larger cities too but is more of a church service and not much like America’s Thanksgiving. There also isn’t any officially designated day for the celebration, and festivity dates vary across the country. Usually, it's celebrated in mid-September or October, but since 1972, the German Catholic Church recommends celebrating on the first Sunday in October. This is not strictly followed, however.

The holiday isn’t just exclusive to Germany — most German-speaking countries also take part in the festivities, like Austria and Switzerland.

The typical German, Austrian or Swiss thanksgiving celebration (Erntedankfest) is usually a rural harvest time observance with church services, a parade, music, and a country fair atmosphere. In larger cities, Erntedankfest is sponsored by Protestant and Catholic churches. A typical German church observance begins with a sermon and perhaps some choral singing. Then comes the thanksgiving procession, complete with the presenting of the traditional “harvest crown” (Erntekrone) for the harvest queen (Erntekönigin). (Note: The queen gets a crown much smaller than the one in the photo above.). Later in the day, there’s more music, dancing, and food. In some places, there is also an evening service followed by a lantern and torch parade (Laternenumzug) for the children — and even fireworks!

 

Jesus Christ is the One we should thank. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord for He is good.

 

“No matter what our circumstances, we can find a reason to be thankful.” – David Jeremiah

 

God’s Word: “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” – Psalm 9:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

Devotional - Giving Thanks Is Good
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 23, 2021
Devotional - Giving Thanks Is Good

“Joyfully you’ll pull up buckets of water from the wells of salvation. And as you do it, you’ll say, “Give thanks to God. Call out his name. Ask him anything! Shout to the nations, tell them what he’s done, spread the news of his great reputation!” – Isaiah 12:3-4

 

According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, researchers have found that “adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections, and more happiness than those who do not. . . . They’re also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly, and have greater resistance to viral infections.”

[In] a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2003...researchers divided people into three groups. Over a period of 10 weeks, one group had to list five things per week for which they were grateful, another kept track of five things they found annoying each week, and the third just listed things that had happened in their lives. The results? “Those who listed blessings each week had fewer health complaints, exercised more regularly, and felt better about their lives in general than the other two groups,” the Journal reported.

Dr. Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California-Davis, was one of the leading researchers in that study. He’s quoted as saying that the act of feeling gratitude requires “self-reflection, the ability to admit that one is dependent upon the help of others, and the humility to realize one’s own limitations.”

 

Gratitude is good for the body and the soul. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His many blessings in your life.

 

“Gratitude is the forgotten factor in happiness research.” – Robert Emmons

 

God’s Word: “Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” – Psalm 95:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

Devotional - I Need Thee Every Hour
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 22, 2021
Devotional - I Need Thee Every Hour

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:4-5

 

In 1872, Annie Sherwood Hawks wrote the hymn “I Need Thee Every Hour”.

Before her death in 1918, she gave the full background story to “I Need Thee Every Hour” which was inspired by the Bible passage John 15: 4-5:

“Seating myself by the open windows, I caught up my pencil and committed the words to paper almost as they are today. A few months later Dr. Robert Lowry composed the tune and also added the refrain. For myself, the hymn, at its writing, was prophetic rather than expressive of my own experiences, for it was wafted out to the world on the wings of love and joy, instead of under the stress of great personal sorrow, with which it has often been associated. At first I did not understand why the hymn so greatly touched the throbbing heart of humanity. Years later, however; under the shadow of a great loss, I came to understand something of the comforting power of the words I had been permitted to give out to others in my hours of sweet serenity and peace.”

 

In Jesus, we have eternal life! Today in prayer, Praise the Lord we need Him every hour!

 

“I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord; No tender voice like Thine can peace afford. I need Thee, oh, I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee; Oh, bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee.” – Annie Sherwood Hawks

 

God’s Word: “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.’” – John 8:31

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING   †

Devotional - Grateful For Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 21, 2021
Devotional - Grateful For Others

“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters,[a] and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.” – 2 Thessalonians 1:3

 

On a flight from Atlanta to Chicago in July 2004, nine U.S. soldiers—home from Iraq on a two-week leave—were among the passengers. Before one of the soldiers boarded, a passenger traded his first-class ticket for the soldier's coach ticket. As the plane was boarding, other passengers asked to trade their first-class seats for the coach seats occupied by the remaining soldiers.

Devilla Evans, a flight attendant on the American Airlines flight, said "it was a privilege to be flying with those two groups of unselfish people: those who would put their lives on the line to protect their fellow citizens' freedom, and those who were not ashamed to say thank you."

 

The Lord has blessed you with people who have been gracious. Today in prayer and in gratitude, give thanks to others. 

 

"Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity...it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." - Melody Beattie

 

God’s Word: “I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.” – 2 Timothy 1:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING   †

Devotional - A Gift Of God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 18, 2021
Devotional - A Gift Of God

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus"

1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

In his writing “The Spiritual Work of Gratitude”, author Henri Nouwen said: “To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives—the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections—that requires hard spiritual work.

Still, we are only truly grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for.”

 

Do you give thanks for all that the Lord has given? Today in prayer, thank Jesus for everything in your life.

 

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” - Henry Ward Beecher

 

God’s Word: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING   †

Devotional - In Christ Alone
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 17, 2021
Devotional - In Christ Alone

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name” – Philippians 2:9

 

Written in 2002, “In Christ Alone” was a collaborative effort between Stuart Townend and fellow songwriter Keith Getty. “The song came about in an unusual way,” Stuart explains. “Keith and I met in the autumn of 2000 at a worship event, and we resolved to try to work together on some songs. A few weeks later Keith sent some melody ideas, and the first one on the CD was a magnificent, haunting melody that I loved, and immediately started writing down some lyrical ideas on what I felt should be a timeless theme commensurate with the melody. So the theme of the life, death, resurrection of Christ, and the implications of that for us just began to tumble out, and when we got together later on to fine-tune it, we felt we had encapsulated what we wanted to say.”

Townend and Getty both admit they are motivated by the idea of capturing biblical truth in songs and hymns that will not only cause people to express their worship in church but will build them up in their Christian lives.

“I’ve been amazed by the response to this song,” said Stuart. “We’ve had some incredible e-mails about how people have been helped by the song through incredibly difficult circumstances.”

 

There is no other name that deserves our praise and thanksgiving. Today in prayer, praise Jesus and give him the highest place in your heart.

 

“In Christ alone my hope is found  He is my light, my strength, my song  This Cornerstone, this solid ground  Firm through the fiercest drought and storm” – Stuart Townend

 

God’s Word: “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:10-11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

Devotional - Give Thanks To The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 16, 2021
Devotional - Give Thanks To The Lord

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” – Psalm 118:1

 

While it might seem obvious in retrospect, one of the latest discoveries in the psychology of happiness has to do with gratitude. Multiple studies have shown a positive correlation between gratitude and happiness. One study, performed by Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami asked participants to jot down a few sentences each week.

One group was asked to write down things for which they were grateful. The second group was asked to do just the opposite. They wrote down the regular annoyances and frustrations that occur in daily life. The third group was asked to simply write things down that occurred throughout their week, with no specific focus on either positive or negative experiences.

After 10 weeks, those who wrote about things for which they were grateful were markedly more optimistic and exhibited higher levels of enjoyment of their lives than before the study. An unexpected byproduct of the study found that those participants who practiced writing down things for which they were grateful also exercised more and visited the doctor less.

 

Gratitude is an attitude you choose. Choose to be thankful! Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever!

 

“Gratitude is a divine emotion: it fills the heart, but not to bursting; it warms it, but not to fever.” – Charlotte Bronte

 

God’s Word: “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” – Psalm 118:29

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING †

Devotional - In The Garden
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 15, 2021
Devotional - In The Garden

“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher). Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” – John 20:16-17

 

According to C. Austin Miles’ great-granddaughter, Miles wrote the hymn “In the Garden” while “in a cold, dreary and leaky basement in New Jersey that didn’t even have a window, let alone a view of a garden.” In March 1912, while reading the twentieth chapter of John, Miles had a vision of being part of the scene when Mary knelt before her Lord and cried, “Rabboni!” He writes: “My hands were resting on the Bible while I stared at the light blue wall. As the light faded, I seemed to be standing at the entrance of a garden, looking down a gently winding path, shaded by olive branches. A woman in white, with head bowed—hand clasping her throat as if to choke back her sobs—walked slowly into the shadows. As she came to the tomb, she bent over to look in and hurried away. John, in flowing robe, appeared; then came Peter, who entered the tomb, followed slowly by John. As they departed, Mary reappeared, and as she leaned her head upon her arm at the tomb, she wept. Turning herself, she saw Jesus standing; so did I. I knew it was He. She knelt before Him, and with arms outstretched and looking into His face, she cried ‘Rabboni!’ I awakened in full light, gripping the Bible with muscles tense and nerves vibrating. Under the inspiration of this vision, I wrote—as quickly as the words could be formed—the poem exactly as it has since appeared; that same evening, I wrote the music.”

 

Our faith is anchored in a garden, where the first praise of the Resurrection occurred. Today in praise, give thanks to the Lord that He conquered death and rose from the dead.

 

“And He walks with me And He talks with me And He tells me I am his own And the joy we share as we tarry there None other has ever known” – C. Austin Miles

 

God’s Word: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” – 1 Peter 1:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

Devotional - They All Praised God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 14, 2021
Devotional - They All Praised God

“With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD: "He is good; his love to Israel endures forever." And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.” – Ezra 3:11

 

Isaac Wardell is a record producer and composer who primarily writes sacred music. He is a director of Bifrost Arts and the director of The Porter's Gate Worship Project. He is also the Pastor for Worship Arts at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Isaac loves to explore the question: “what is worship? And how is it that worship is not just music?”

Isaac loves to ask whether we think of gathered worship as being more like a concert hall or a banquet hall. If it’s a concert hall, we show up as passive observers and critics, eager to have the itches of our preferences and felt needs scratched. A banquet hall, by contrast, is a communal gathering. We come hungry and in community, ready to participate and share the experience with one another.

 

Let your praise for God be a banquet hall, where you share with others how good is our Lord. Today in prayer, worship Jesus with all of your heart.

 

“Even if God never did another good thing in our lives, we could spend the rest of this life praising Him for what He has already done.” ― Dillon Burroughs

 

God’s Word: “Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” – Psalm 106:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

Devotional - All Nations Praise Him
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 11, 2021
Devotional - All Nations Praise Him

“All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name.” – Psalm 86:9

 

In 2016, at the Dubai Festival of Life, Nigerian gospel singer Funke Akinokun took the stage to lead worship. She began by praising Jesus for a minute in English, calling Him the Alpha and the Omega, as well as other Biblical names for the Lord. She then praised the Lord in Indonesian. She continued her praise for the next 12 minutes praising Jesus in more than 40 different languages!

Reporter Bolu Akindele was at the event and wrote: “Funke Akinokun was quite unassuming when she took the stage, but she had an ace up her sleeves. Somehow she shook the rather multilingual crowd as she chanted in several languages of the world. And you could literally feel the pulse of the crowd rise every time she switched to another language. It spoke of inclusivity of the beauty of lingual diversity yet of the unity of faith that dwells in ‘Jesus irrespective of race or tribe.’”

 

Jesus is Lord of All and every tongue will worship Him! Today in prayer, praise Jesus from your heart and adore Him.

 

“Thus, when Paul says, ‘Praise the Lord all you nations, and let all the peoples extol him’ (Rom. 15:11), he is saying that there is something about God that is so universally praiseworthy and so profoundly beautiful and so comprehensively worth and so deeply satisfying that God will find passionate admirers in every diverse people group in the world.” – John Piper

 

God’s Word: “All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.” – Psalm 66:4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING   †

Devotional - Desire To Be Nearer God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 10, 2021
Devotional - Desire To Be Nearer God

“The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.” – Psalm 145:18-21

 

Sarah Flower Adams was born on February 22nd, 1805 in Sussex. She was the youngest of two, with her older sister being the composer, Eliza Flower. Sarah was an English poet and she is renowned for her writings during the mid-nineteenth century. Sarah wrote several hymns, the most famous is the mesmerizing “Nearer, My God, To Thee” which she wrote in 1840. It is renowned because it is the alleged last song the band played on the RMS Titanic before the ship sank. Sarah wrote the verse and her sister Eliza set it to music.

This hymn retells the story of Jacob’s dream, from Genesis 28.

It is about the joy and comfort found in being close to God. The first stanza introduces the theme of the hymn, with the repeated phrase “Nearer, my God, to thee.” The second through fourth stanzas are based on the story of Jacob and the ladder to heaven, found in Genesis 28:10-22. God's close connection to Jacob in this story is seen as a way of relief from the darkness (stanza 2) and “stony griefs” (stanza 4) of his human journey. The last stanza looks forward to the time when we will come to stand before God in eternal praise.

 

Our heart’s desire should be nearer to Jesus. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that when we seek Him, He is near.

 

“Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me;

Still all my song shall be nearer, my God, to Thee,

Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!” – Sarah Flower Adams

 

God’s Word: “When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” – Genesis 28:16-17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING   †

Devotional - Praise Him For Healing
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 9, 2021
Devotional - Praise Him For Healing

“Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” – Jeremiah 17:14

 

In March 2021, a Filipino senior citizen, age 65, underwent a 7-minute operation in the town of Pampanga to remove cataracts from both of his eyes. He started suffering from cataracts more than two decades ago before losing his sight in both eyes. Incredibly, he was able to see again after coming round and burst into tears.

Doctor Noel Lacsamana said: “It was a very special moment. The patient was able to see again after all those years.” The emotional patient shook the hands of his doctor and went to hug him while saying thank you to the specialist. Nurses guided the old man through the operating room as his legs were still wobbly from the anesthesia. They gave him a card with words to read bearing his doctor’s name to check if he was able to focus his eyesight. He read it successfully.

The emotional man said: “God put knowledge in people to help others and do good. Thank you to our Lord and also to you, Doctor Noel, too. Remember God created us in his image to worship the Lord and do good.”

The doctor replied: “Right after being operated on, this man could see again after 19 years in the dark. Only God can heal, I am just his instrument.”

 

The Lord is Creator and Healer. Today in prayer, praise Jesus who can heal us from all infirmities.

 

“You don’t really know Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.” – Tim Keller

 

God’s Word: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,” – Luke 4:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING   †

 

Devotional - Stand Up For Jesus
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 8, 2021
Devotional - Stand Up For Jesus

“My feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise the LORD.” – Psalm 26:12

 

In the year 1858, a great citywide revival swept across the city of Philadelphia. It was called “The Work of God in Philadelphia”. Of the participating ministers, none was more powerful than the twenty-nine-year-old Episcopalian, Dudley Tyng. Dudley succeeded his father as the pastor of the large Episcopalian Church of the Epiphany in Philadelphia. Some of the more fashionable members soon became upset with their young preacher because of his straightforward doctrinal preaching and his strong stand against slavery. He resigned this pulpit and with a group of faithful followers organized The Church of the Covenant.

In addition to his duties as pastor of the new and growing congregation, Tyng began holding noonday services at the downtown Y.M.C.A. Great crowds were attracted to hear this dynamic young preacher. On Tuesday, March 30, 1858, over 5,000 men gathered for a noon mass meeting to hear young Tyng preach from Exodus 10:11 - "Go now ye that are men and serve the Lord."

During the sermon, the young preacher remarked, "I must tell my Master's errand, and I would rather that this right arm were amputated at the trunk than that I should come short of my duty to you in delivering God's message." The next week, while visiting in the country and watching the operation of a corn thrasher in a barn, he accidentally caught his loose sleeve between the cogs; the arm was lacerated severely, the main artery was severed and the median nerve was injured. Four days later infection developed. As a result of shock and a great loss of blood, Dudley Tyng died, on April 19, 1858.

On his deathbed, when asked by a group of sorrowful friends and ministers for a final statement, he whispered, "Let us all stand up for Jesus." The next Sunday Tyng's close friend and fellow worker, the Reverend George Duffield, pastor of the Temple Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, preached his morning sermon as a tribute to his departed friend, choosing as his text Ephesians 6:14: "Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness." He closed his sermon by reading a poem of six stanzas that he had written, inspired, as he told his people, by the dying words of his esteemed friend. The poem, “Stand Up For Jesus” was eventually set to music by George J. Webb and has become a favorite hymn of the church.

 

Both inside and outside of Sunday morning, Stand Up For Jesus, for He is worthy of our praise. Today in prayer, give praise to the Lord in all that you do.

 

“Stand up, stand up for Jesus,

the strife will not be long;

this day the noise of battle,

the next the victor's song:

to him that overcometh

a crown of life shall be;

he with the King of glory

shall reign eternally.” – George Duffield

 

God’s Word: “Praise the LORD. I will extol the LORD with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly.” – Psalm 111:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING   †

Devotional - Trust Him
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 7, 2021
Devotional - Trust Him

“Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.” – 1 Chronicles 16:8

 

On Tuesday, November 2, 2021, the Atlanta Braves won the World Series when shortstop Dansby Swanson fielded the final out on a ground ball that he tossed to the first baseman. Earlier in the game, Dansby had delivered a two-run home run to help the Braves win.

Dansby had asked Christ in his life as a child, but he learned to trust in Him as a professional baseball player through a bible study. 

He said he felt more connected to God and to God’s calling. “I really was embracing who He had made me to be,” he said. As he grew spiritually, Dansby says he began to trust God more and put his worries into God’s hands.

“The good Lord, He’s blessed me so much. I wouldn’t be here without Him. Just the peace that He gives me, it’s remarkable. Especially in moments like this, you can never go wrong trusting in that. I’m just so thankful to be here.”

 

Has the Lord been working in your life? Then praise Him and thank Him. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for His lovingkindness toward you.

 

“A simple grateful thought turned heavenwards is the most perfect prayer.” - Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

 

God’s Word: “Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.” – Psalm 105:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING   †

Devotional - Praising God During Refinement
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 4, 2021
Devotional - Praising God During Refinement

“These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” – 1 Peter 1:7

 

The Nigerian city of Jos sits on Africa's great fault line between the Muslim north and the Christian south and thus has faced terrible things in recent years. A Nigerian Baptist church was attacked by Muslim extremists who burnt the church building and the house of the church's leader, Pastor Sunday Gomna. On the second Sunday after the violent outbreak, when the people of that Baptist church returned for worship, they gathered in a little mud wall community center about one kilometer from the burnt church. Pastor Gomna stood up and offered some beautiful words of gratitude. He said, 'First, I am grateful that no one in my church killed anyone." Apparently, during the chaos of the attacks, Pastor Sunday had gone around the community and some of the Muslim people said, "Pastor, thank you for the way you taught your people. 'Your people helped to protect us.'" So Pastor Sunday was proud that his people did not kill any Muslims. "Second," he said, "I am grateful that they did not burn my church." Everyone looked at Pastor Sunday with disbelief. After all, everyone was meeting in a small, uncomfortable Mud hut had been burnt to the ground. But Pastor Sunday continued: "Inasmuch as no church member died during this crisis, they did not burn our church. They only burned the building. We can rebuild the building but we could not bring back to life any of our members. So I am grateful that they did not burn my church." He continued, "Third, I am grateful that they burned my house as well. If they had burned your house and not my house, how would I have known how to serve you as pastor? However, because they burned my house and all my possessions, I know what you are experiencing and I will be able to be a better pastor to you. So I am grateful that they burned my house as well."

 

When we praise the Lord, especially in our troubles, He is glorified! Today in prayer, Praise the name of Jesus; He is Lord of all

 

“All hail the power of Jesus' name!

Let angels prostrate fall,

Bring forth the royal diadem,

And crown Him Lord of all.” – E.P. Scott

 

God’s Word: “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” – Hebrews 13:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING   †

Devotional - The Heavens Declare
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 3, 2021
Devotional - The Heavens Declare

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” – Psalm 19:1

 

A hundred years ago, in certain parts of the Alps in Europe, where the people lived scattered about as shepherds, there prevailed a beautiful and touching custom that softened somewhat the dreary loneliness of their solitary life. Just as the sun left the valleys, and its last rays faintly gilded the snow-capped summits of the mountains, the shepherd whose hut was situated on the highest peak took his horn, and with trumpet voice cried: "Praise the Lord!" Instantly all the other shepherds, stood at the thresholds of their cabins, repeating, one after the other, the same appeal, until the echo resounds far and wide, from rock to rock and deep to deep, "Praise the Lord!" A solemn silence succeeded the last notes as they die away, and each shepherd knelt, bareheaded, in prayer. Later when the mantle of night completely enveloped the mountains, once more the horn was heard to resound with the words "Good night!" and the shepherds peacefully retired to their solitary abodes.

 

Let everyone declare the glory of God! Today in prayer, praise Jesus for He is the Creator of all things.

 

“Resolve to spend most of your time in thanksgiving and praising God.” – Hence Baxter

 

God’s Word: “Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies.” – Psalm 148:3-4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

Devotional - Praise Our Deliverer
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 2, 2021
Devotional - Praise Our Deliverer

“Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” – Psalm 34:3-4

 

One night in 1770 in London, Thomas Olivers was attracted to a service in a Jewish synagogue, where he heard a great singer, Leoni, sing an ancient Hebrew melody in the solemn, plaintive mode and he became impressed with a desire to write a hymn to that tune. The result was the hymn, “The God of Abraham Praise”, which in a sense is a paraphrase of the ancient Hebrew Yigdal, or doxology, though Olivers gave to it a distinctly Christian flavor.

The story is told of a young Jewess who had been baptized into the Christian faith, and in consequence, was abandoned by her family. She fled to the home of the minister, poured out her heart to him, and as if to show that, after all, her joy in her newfound Savior was greater than all her loss of home and family, she sang the song, “The God of Abraham Praise”.

 

In times of trouble, no one is closer than Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that we are His people and He is our Deliverer.

 

"The God of Abraham praise, who reigns enthroned above; Ancient of everlasting days, and God of Love; Jehovah, great I AM! by earth and Heav’n confessed; I bow and bless the sacred name forever blessed.” – Thomas Olivers

 

God’s Word: “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.” – Psalm 68:19-20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING †

Devotional - Criticizing God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 1, 2021
Devotional - Criticizing God

“‘But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? ‘Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” - Romans 9:20

 

On January 10, 1776, Thomas Paine published the 47-page pamphlet “Common Sense”, which became an all-time best-selling American title. More than 2 million Americans read his work and Paine was dubbed “The Father of the American Revolution”. 

In 1794, Paine published a work entitled “The Age of Reason”.  Paine also devotes much of his pamphlet to challenging the authority of the Bible. He carries out his attack by listing out objections as he reads through the Bible; in fact, almost half the pamphlet is dedicated to this effort. The majority of his attacks involve claims to evidence against traditional authorship, accounts of divinely-mandated moral injustices, and contradictions within the text.

Because of his attacks on the Bible, President Teddy Roosevelt called Thomas Paine a 'Filthy Little Atheist,' and his legacy as the Father of the American Revolution has largely been forgotten.

 

The opposite of praising God is mocking and criticizing Him. Today in prayer, confess any sin of criticism and praise the Lord for He is good.

 

“The most insanely daring thing that any man can do, the most exceedingly foolish thing any man can do, the most desperately wicked thing that any man can do, is to reply against God, to enter into controversy with God, to criticize God, to condemn God. Yet that is what many people are doing.” - R.A. Torrey

 

God’s Word: “You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘You did not make me’? Can the pot say to the potter, ‘You know nothing’?” - Isaiah 29:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING †

 

Devotional - Ingratitude
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Oct 31, 2021
Devotional - Ingratitude

"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." - Romans 1:21

 

In a sermon entitled “A Thankful Life”, Kevin Harney said the following: 

“This is a story I have never shared. It’s a story that goes back to my childhood when we would go for Christmas to my grandmother’s house. My grandmother would give us a gift and then we would always get a gift from Aunt Elaine and Uncle Vernon. I’d never met them. They lived in Flint, Michigan, and we were in Orange County. But we would get a little gift and then a check for fifteen dollars. Back then fifteen dollars was like a million dollars. Every year I would get this check and this little gift from Aunt Elaine and Uncle Vernon, and my mom would say this, “You kids should write Aunt Elaine and Uncle Vernon a thank you note.” And every year my sisters Gretchen and Alison wrote a note, and I didn’t write a note. So one year we got to Grandma’s house, she gave us our little gift, we opened it, and she gave gifts to Alison and Gretchen from Aunt Elaine and Uncle Vernon, but there was no gift for little Kevin. And I looked and I said, “Don’t I get a gift?” And my mom said, “Aunt Elaine and Uncle Vernon let us know that you’ve never written them a thank you note, they will not be sending you Christmas gifts anymore.” I’ll never forget that and I thank God for it. I’m really good at writing notes now. And it’s not just so I get another gift. They probably thought, ‘He just doesn’t appreciate it, he just doesn’t care,’ and they stopped giving the gift.

 

We need to be grateful for all the Lord has given us. Today in prayer, confess any sin of ingratitude and be thankful to the Lord.

 

“Ingratitude is always a kind of weakness. I have never seen that clever men have been ungrateful.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

God's Word: "People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy" - 2 Timothy 3:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING †

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