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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions In Romans
Devotional - Written To Teach And Encourage
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jan 30, 2022
Devotional - Written To Teach And Encourage

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” – Romans 15:4

 

John Bunyan was an English writer and Puritan preacher best remembered as the author of the Christian allegory The Pilgrim's Progress. He testified the following: “Read God’s Word, and read it again; and do not despair of trying understand the will and mind of God as revealed in His word, though you think they are fast locked up from you…

Pray and read, read and pray, for a little from God is better than a great deal from men. Also, what’s from men is uncertain, and is lost and tumbled over by men, but what’s from God is fixed as a nail in sure place.

There’s nothing that so abides with us as what we receive from God, and the reason why the Christians in this day are at such a loss as to some things is that they are contented to what comes from men’s mouths, without searching and kneeling before God to know of Him the truth of eternal things.

Lessons we receive at God’s hands come to us as truth from the minting house, though old in themselves, yet new to us, old truths are always new to us if they come with the shell of Heaven upon them.”

 

The Bible is God’s great gift to us to teach and encourage. But we need to apply God’s Word to our lives! Today in prayer, thank the Lord for the Bible and seek to apply His Word to your life.

 

“The Bible applied to the heart by the Holy Spirit, is the chief means by which men are built up and established in the faith, after their conversion.” – J.C. Ryle

 

God’s Word: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” – 2 Timothy 3:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS  †

Devotional - Do It In Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jan 27, 2022
Devotional - Do It In Faith

“But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.” – Romans 14:23

 

In an article entitled: “Why You Should Commit to Doing One Faith-Filled Act Each Day”, Pastor Craig Groeschel writes: “During one of my dangerous prayers of submission, God prompted me to add one small thing to my life that has made a big difference. Since we cannot please God without faith (see Heb. 11:6), I believe God asked me to simply do one thing daily that takes faith. Every day, no matter what, at least one faith-filled act.

That simple challenge changed the way I lived. Instead of existing passively, I started living aggressively, watching for opportunities to exhibit faith.

When I met a guy that seemed discouraged on a flight, I talked to him and did my best to lift his spirits. Then I felt prompted by God to do more than just talk. I wrote him a note and included two different verses from the Bible. Rather than just hearing encouragement, I wanted him to have a recorded version that he could revisit.

Your faith acts don’t have to be big, intimidating, or newsworthy. They can be simple, unassuming, and even performed in secret.

It’s simply a matter of being willing, being open, being attuned to God, and risking more. Take the focus off yourself and notice the needs of others. Listen with your heart and not just your ears. Read between the lines and look for a way to serve.”

 

Faith, like our muscles, needs exercising. Today in prayer, look to the Lord and follow Him in faith.

 

“Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.” – Oswald Chambers

 

God’s Word: “Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” – 1 Peter 1:21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS  †

Devotional - Being A Good Citizen
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jan 26, 2022
Devotional - Being A Good Citizen

“This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” – Romans 13:6-7

 

In 2019, Christian missionaries Rembertus Cornelis Beerepoot and Fanny Alida Beerepoot were found guilty of avoiding taxes.

According to a report by ABC Australia, the Beerepoots failed to pay an estimated $930,000 (Australian dollars, the equivalent of $651,000 US dollars) in income tax and other charges in 2017 on their Tasmanian farm.

“We believe that the constitution affirms the fact that the Commonwealth resides within the jurisdiction of the law of the Almighty God and the law of the Almighty God is the supreme law of this land,” Mr. Beerepoot told the court. 

The presiding judge countered: “If you can’t find me a passage in scripture or gospel that says ‘thou shall not pay tax’ then can you see I have difficulty finding a starting point?” Justice Holt stated during the proceedings.

The couple could not quote a scripture and was silent. They were found guilty of tax evasion.

 

Nothing in a Christian life should detract from being a good representative of Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, ask the Lord how you can be a better citizen and bring glory to the Lord.

 

“The duty of obedience to secular authorities is a temporary one, for the present period of ‘night;’ in that ‘day’ which is ‘at hand’ a new order of government will be introduced, when ‘the saints shall judge the world.’” – F.F. Bruce

 

God’s Word: “‘Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?’ But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, ‘You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.’ They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, ‘Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?’ ‘Caesar's,’ they replied. Then he said to them, ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's.’” – Matthew 22:17-21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS   †

Devotional - Your Gifts
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jan 25, 2022
Devotional - Your Gifts

“so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach” – Romans 12:5-7

 

When he was 15, Nathanial Cole dropped out of high school to pursue a music career. He formed a group calling themselves the King Cole Swingsters after the nursery rhyme in which "Old King Cole was a merry old soul". They changed their name to the King Cole Trio before making radio transcriptions and recording for small labels.

In 1940, Nat was recognized as a talented jazz pianist. He was playing in a bar one night when a customer demanded that he sing a song. Nat said that he didn’t sing, but the customer persisted. Nat didn't know the requested song, so he sang "Sweet Lorraine" instead. As people heard Nat's beautiful vocal talent, they requested he sing more songs, and he obliged. Nat King Cole became one of the most popular singers of his era.

The Lord has given you gifts to build up others in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for the spiritual gifts you have received and seek to use them for His glory.

 

“God has said that every Christian has at least one spiritual gift for the benefit of the whole body of Christ. No one has all the gifts, all have at least one gift, and some have two or more. We are dependent on each other.” – Francis M. Cosgrove, Jr.

 

God’s Word: “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” – 1 Corinthians 12:4-7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS  †

Devotional - Living Sacrifice
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jan 24, 2022
Devotional - Living Sacrifice

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:1-2

 

Vincent Capodanno was born on February 13, 1929, in Staten Island, New York. He was the tenth child of Italian immigrants. After nine years of intensive preparation in theology, academics, and basic survival tactics to fulfill the order’s mission to “Go and Teach All Nations,” Vincent completed his seminary training and was ordained in 1958. In 1960, he went to Taiwan and became the director of a youth hostel for young Chinese men preparing for the national college entrance exam.

Six years later, he sensed God’s call to become a U.S. Navy Chaplain.  In the spring of 1966, Chaplain Capodanno reported to the 7th Marines in Vietnam. As the chaplain for the battalion, his immediate focus was the young enlisted troops or “Grunts.”

On the morning of September 4, 1967, Lieutenant Vincent Capodanno was part of Operation Swift, a mission to rescue two Marine companies which had been ambushed in the Que Son Valley. During the operation, Capodanno’s battalion was ambushed by a large North Vietnamese Army. When he heard that two platoons in a company of his battalion were under attack and in danger of being overrun, Capodanno rushed to assist them. He ran through the intense enemy fire so that he could administer last rites and give medical aid. As he aided the Marines, Capodanno was wounded over and over again by enemy fire, yet still, he continued with his duty. It was when he was moving to aid another wounded Marine the chaplain was cut down by machine gunfire. He was posthumously awarded the nation’s highest honor, the Medal of Honor, for laying his life down for others.

 

The Lord wants to do great things in your life, but you must be willing to sacrifice your goals for God’s glory. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that when we live for Him, we are blessed.  

 

“Leadership is an act of submission to God. To be a leader means listening to all kinds of people and situations. Out of that listening, we are hoping to discern the mind of God as best we can. This is the price of leadership - it's an act of sacrifice. So leadership is part and parcel of the work of submission to God.” – Richard Foster

 

God’s Word: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” – Ephesians 4:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS †

Devotional - God's Grace
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jan 23, 2022
Devotional - God's Grace

“And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” – Romans 11:6

 

Martin Luther was a German priest, theologian, author, composer, former Augustinian friar, and is best remembered as a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation. What swayed Luther was God’s Word, and what convinced him was God’s Word concerning grace. He said the following about God’s grace: “Although out of pure grace God does not impute our sins to us, He nonetheless did not want to do this until complete and ample satisfaction of His law and His righteousness had been made. Since this was impossible for us, God ordained for us, in our place, One who took upon Himself all the punishment we deserve. He fulfilled the law for us. He averted the judgment of God from us and appeased God's wrath. Grace, therefore, costs us nothing, but is cost Another much to get it for us. Grace was purchased with an incalculable, infinite treasure, the Son of God Himself.”

 

Grace is the unmerited favor of God. We did not earn it. We don’t deserve it. We can just receive it as a loving gift from God who will judge all mankind. Today in prayer, praise Christ for His gift of grace.

 

“Grace is what God gives us when we don't deserve and mercy is when God doesn't give us what we do deserve” – Reinhold Niebuhr 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS  †

Devotional - No Distinction
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jan 20, 2022
Devotional - No Distinction

“For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him” – Romans 10:12

 

Dr. Richard LaPiere spent his professional career at Stanford University, researching, writing, and teaching sociology from 1929 to 1965. In 1934, he sent out letters to the managers of 256 hotels and restaurants across the southern half of the U.S. He told them that he was planning to tour the south with two Chinese companions and he wanted to know ahead of time whether they would be served. Ninety-two percent of the businesses replied that they did not serve Chinese and that La Piere could save himself considerable embarrassment by not showing up with such undesirables. He wasn't surprised. Racial prejudice was a part of southern life in the 1930s, and this was long before a ban was placed on discrimination in interstate commerce. LaPiere ignored the managers' advice, however. Accompanied by a Chinese man and his wife, he visited every one of the establishments that said they'd refuse service. Surprise! Ninety-nine percent of the places admitted the oriental couple, and almost all did so without a hassle...LaPiere's study points up something that's a consistent finding in the field of persuasion--that a person may say he feels one thing, and then turn right around and do something completely different.

 

There is no difference between men; Jesus Christ desires ALL to be saved. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that in His eyes, there are no differences between people.

           

“Prejudice is a learned trait. You're not born prejudiced; you're taught it.” – Charles R. Swindoll 

 

God’s Word: “Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous.” – Deuteronomy 16:19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS   †

Devotional - God's Righteousness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jan 19, 2022
Devotional - God's Righteousness

“Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.” – Romans 10:3

 

Malcolm Muggeridge was an English journalist and satirist. In his twenties, Muggeridge was attracted to communism and went to live in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, and the experience turned him into a forceful anti-communist.

During World War II, he worked for the British government as a soldier and a spy, first in East Africa for two years and then in Paris. In the aftermath of the war, he converted to Christianity and helped to bring Mother Teresa to popular attention in the West. 

He observed the difference in behavior between Christians and non-Christians, after spending many years in India and Africa, where he witnessed "much righteous endeavor undertaken by Christians of all denominations."  By contrast, however, "I never, as it happens, came across a hospital or orphanage run by the Fabian Society or a Humanist leper colony."

Righteousness only comes from the Lord and it manifests itself in loving our neighbor. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that He is Righteous and seek Him with all of your heart.

 

“There are only two kinds of men: the righteous who believe they are sinners, the sinners who believe they are righteous.” – Blaise Pascal

 

God’s Word: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS †

Devotional - The Stumble Stone Of Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jan 18, 2022
Devotional - The Stumble Stone Of Faith

“Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the ‘stumbling stone.’” – Romans 9:32

 

In March 2012, Zachary Bodish, 46, of Columbus, Ohio, bought what he thought was a poster reproduction advertising an exhibit of Pablo Picasso for $14.14 in a thrift store. He had the print appraised and it was an authentic print signed by the artist himself -- and worth around $6,000.

Bodish, who regularly visited thrift stores, was hidden in a stack of other posters.  

"I see them all the time. There's really no value to them," he said. "But this one looked different because those posters usually have a glossy finish to them and this was matte -- and it was brown."

It was only until he went home and searched online the image that he realized what he might have, later writing about the piece on his blog about thrift store finds, which the Columbus Dispatch newspaper eventually reported.

The previous owner who said he donated the piece to the thrift store reportedly came forward to the Columbus Dispatch, saying a friend gave the print to him as a gift in the 1960s. When he recently decided to re-arrange his home, he donated the work, not knowing its possible value.

Jesus was clothed as an ordinary man, but He is the magnificent treasure we desire. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that when we pursue God by faith, we find all we ask in Christ.

 

“While I draw this fleeting breath, When mine eyes shall close in death, When I soar to worlds unknown, See Thee on Thy judgment throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.” – Augustus M. Toplady

 

God’s Word: “So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.’” – Isaiah 28:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS  †

Devotional - His Providence
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jan 17, 2022
Devotional - His Providence

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

 

During the 1600s, Roger Williams was a popular preacher in Salem and Plymouth, Massachusetts.  At Plymouth, he regularly preached; according to the colony's governor, William Bradford, “his teachings were well approved”.

After a time, Williams decided that the Plymouth church was not sufficiently separated from the Church of England. Furthermore, his contact with the Narragansett Indians had caused him to question the validity of colonial charters that did not include a legitimate purchase of Indian land. Governor Bradford later wrote that Williams fell "into some strange opinions which caused some controversy between the church and him."

In December 1632, Williams wrote a lengthy tract that openly condemned the King's charters and questioned the right of Plymouth to the land without first buying it from the Native Americans. He even charged that King James had uttered a "solemn lie" in claiming that he was the first Christian monarch to have discovered the land.

In August 1634, Williams became acting pastor of the Salem church. In 1635, he was twice summoned to the General Court for the Court's July term to answer for "erroneous" and "dangerous opinions." The Court finally ordered that he be removed from his church position.

 In October 1635, the General Court tried Williams and convicted him of sedition and heresy. After winning a temporary stay from arrest, the sheriff came in January 1636 to arrest Williams, only to discover that he had slipped away three days earlier during a blizzard. He traveled 55 miles through the deep snow and wintered with the local Wampanoags tribe.

In the spring of 1636, Williams and a number of others from Salem began a new settlement on land that he had bought from Chief Massasoit in Rumford, Rhode Island. However, after settling, authorities of Plymouth Colony asserted that Williams and his followers were within their land grant and expressed concern that his presence there might anger the leaders of Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The settlers then continued eastward along a river, where they encountered a cove and freshwater spring. Finding the area suitable for settlement, Williams acquired the tract from the local tribe. Here, Williams and his followers established a new, permanent settlement. Under the belief that divine providence had brought them there, the settlers named the settlement "Providence."

 

The Lord is Lord of All, nothing escapes His divine purpose. Today in prayer, seek Jesus and His will and follow Him with your whole heart.”

 

“Providence has at all times been my only dependence, for all other resources seem to have failed us.” – George Washington

 

God’s Word: “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:11-13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS  †

Devotional - Hope In Christ
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jan 16, 2022
Devotional - Hope In Christ

“The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope” – Romans 8:19-20

 

In his book “Making Sense of God”, author Timothy Keller writes the following: “Imagine you have two women of the same age, the same socioeconomic status, the same educational level, and even the same temperament. You hire both of them and say to each, “You are part of an assembly line, and I want you to put part A into slot B and then hand what you have assembled to someone else. I want you to do that over and over for eight hours a day.” You put them in identical rooms with identical lighting, temperature, and ventilation. You give them the very same number of breaks in a day. It is very boring work. Their conditions are the same in every way—except for one difference. You tell the first woman that at the end of the year you will pay her thirty thousand dollars, and you tell the second woman that at the end of the year you will pay her thirty million.

After a couple of weeks, the first woman will be saying, “Isn’t this tedious? Isn’t it driving you insane? Aren’t you thinking about quitting?” And the second woman will say, “No. This is perfectly acceptable. In fact, I whistle while I work.” What is going on? You have two human beings who are experiencing identical circumstances in radically different ways. What makes the difference? It is their expectation of the future. This illustration is not intended to say that all we need is a good income. It does, however, show that what we believe about our future completely controls how we are experiencing our present. We are irreducibly hope-based creatures.”

 

Those who trust in Christ have a living Hope who does not disappoint. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that your hope in Him has given you eternal life.

 

“My knowledge of that life is small, the eye of faith is dim, But ‘tis enough that Christ knows all, And I shall be with him.” – Richard Baxter

 

God’s Word: “However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.’” – 1 Corinthians 2:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS   †

Devotional - The Law Brings Knowledge Of Sin
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jan 13, 2022
Devotional - The Law Brings Knowledge Of Sin

“What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, ‘Do not covet.’” – Romans 7:7

 

Many people do not know that using a fake name online is against the law. When you’re trying to protect your information online, it seems a lot smarter to create a fake name than give away any real details about yourself. But while you might be safe from hackers, you might not be safe from the law. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act has a stipulation that says you can’t use a computer “without authorized access,” which can include not following a site’s terms of service, according to NPR. It would depend on the site’s policy, but if you actually bother reading the fine print, you’ll probably see a line agreeing not to provide false information. Famously, one Rhode Island prison guard had to pay a $500 fine for setting up a fake Facebook page of his boss. The state has since revoked its law against “use of fraudulent information,” though.

 

Knowledge of the law brings recognition of our own sinful actions. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His law that through it we can recognize our own sin. And then thank Jesus for His grace; for it is in His grace we have life in Him.

 

“In the maxims of the law, God is seen as the rewarder of perfect righteousness and the avenger of sin. But in Christ, his face shines out, full of grace and gentleness to poor, unworthy sinners.” – John Calvin

 

God’s Word: “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 15:56-57

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS †

Devotional - Sin And Grace
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jan 12, 2022
Devotional - Sin And Grace

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23

 

MC Hammer, born Stanley Burrell, made an initial commitment to Christ in 1984. With a passion for God, he attended Bible studies and church meetings almost daily.

He was also active on an outreach team with a street ministry. Simultaneously, a Gospel group he formed, the Holy Ghost Boys, produced a single called "Son of the King," which eventually became one of Hammer's biggest hits.

But a change came in 1988. Capitol Records re-released his first album, Feel the Power, as Let's Get It Started. It produced three Top Ten singles and sold over a million copies.

Thankful for the success, Hammer promised God he would include one song of praise on each album. He kept his word, but fortune gradually sucked him into what he calls, "some serious junk." He began to slide into sin and away from God's protection.

Sin for Hammer wasn't blatant. He wasn't on drugs, but his business became a drug. Most people who are addicted to success, Hammer told Charisma, "can't identify this 'business' drug. It takes all your time away from God, from the family, from extended loved ones."

Hammer believes he was living an illusion: "You create a utopia around you so you don't have to deal with the reality that you're not in the will of God. You wake up and realize you're a backslider."

The downward spiral continued until he produced a video several years ago, which he doesn't care to name. "That video was definitely over the line," he says.

He knew he was moving away from the Lord: "How can a Christian who's not being obedient make Christian materials?" he asked.

In October 1997 he told an audience on the Trinity Broadcasting Network: "[Tonight] we are officially burying the old man. I want to walk sincerely in the newness of life with Christ."

 

Our sinful actions would lead to death if it were not for the grace of Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for His gift of grace and eternal life in Him.

 

“Grace is not sought nor bought nor wrought. It is a free gift of almighty God to needy mankind.” – Billy Graham

 

God’s Word: “he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” – Titus 3:5-7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS  †

Devotional - Be Reconciled
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jan 11, 2022
Devotional - Be Reconciled

“For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” – Romans 5:10-11

 

On December 26, 2004, an earthquake and tsunami shook a dozen countries in the Indian Ocean killing 230,000 people. It was magnitude-9.1 quake that spawned waves 30 feet high. Meri Yuranda, an eight-year-old girl in Banda Aceh, Indonesia and her sister were put on the roof of a house by their father. The girls were separated, but Meri Yuranda was dragged miles out to sea before being washed ashore.

She lost most of her memory and didn’t even know her name. She was found and “adopted” by a woman who named her Wati and forced her to beg in the streets, sometimes until 1 a.m.

When she stopped bringing in money, Wati was kicked out by the woman. She then set out to find her family, but she had very little information to guide her — only the name of her grandfather, Ibrahim.

In 2011, seven years after the tsunami, Wati wandered into a cafe not far from her hometown. Her grandfather Ibrahim was tracked down but he was unsure if it was actually his granddaughter. He quickly summoned her mother. 

“When I saw my mother, I knew it was her. I just knew it,” said Meri. After seven long years, Meri was reconciled with her mother.

 

Christ has healed the breach between God and man that divided us. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He has reconciled the world through the Cross and seek to be reconciled to others.

 

“Why should the world believe in reconciliation when it doesn’t see the church reconciled? And the church is not going to be reconciled even if it gets all of the issues solved. It will be reconciled only through Jesus Christ. He is the Reconciler.” – Richard C. Halvorson

 

God’s Word: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” – 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS †

Devotional - He Died For Us
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jan 10, 2022
Devotional - He Died For Us

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

 

On June 1, 2021, Wang Hongxu, age 35, a primary school teacher in Chongqing, China was taking his 3-year-old son for a walk. The PE teacher was near the Yangtze River when he saw 2 drowning children.

Without a thought for his own safety, he dashed into the water as he heard their cries for help. With the help of nine other people, who formed a rescue chain by holding hands in the water, the exhausted Wang, who was the last in the chain, saved both children but was unable to save himself. He was swept away by the torrent.

Police officers soon arrived at the scene for an emergency search and rescue. Wang was found dead in nearby waters the next day.

One witness said that Wang might have been able to make it back to shore if he had stopped the rescue effort after saving the first child, the girl, but he insisted on trying to save the boy out of the water also.

Wang’s widow said: “I'm fortunate to have met such a good man like him but unfortunate to realize that our time together was so short.”

 

We, who accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, are alive today because He died for us. Today in prayer, thank Christ for His death on the Cross.

 

“There are some sciences that may be learned by the head, but the science of Christ crucified  can only be learned by the heart.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit” – 1 Peter 3:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

 

Devotional - Faith Is Flying
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jan 9, 2022
Devotional - Faith Is Flying

“What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." – Romans 4:3

 

 Henri Nouwen, in his book “The Only Necessary Thing,” writes the following on faith: “The Flying Rodleighs are trapeze artists who perform in the German circus Simoneit-Barum. When the circus came to Freiburg two years ago, my friends Franz and Reny invited me and my father to see the show. I will never forget how enraptured I became when I first saw the Rodleighs move through the air, flying and catching as elegant dancers. 

The next day, I returned to the circus to see them again and introduced myself to them as one of their great fans. They invited me to attend their practice sessions, gave me free tickets, asked me to dinner, and suggested I travel with them for a week in the near future. I did, and we became good friends.

“One day, I was sitting with Rodleigh, the leader of the troupe, in his caravan, talking about flying. He said, ‘As a flyer, I must have complete trust in my catcher. The public might think that I am the great star of the trapeze, but the real star is Joe, my catcher. He has to be there for me with split-second precision and grab me out of the air as I come to him in the long jump.’

‘How does it work?’ I asked.

‘The secret,’ Rodleigh said, ‘is that the flyer does nothing and the catcher does everything. When I fly to Joe, I have simply to stretch out my arms and hands and wait for him to catch me and pull me safely over the apron behind the catchbar.’ 

‘You do nothing!’ I said, surprised. 

‘Nothing,’ Rodleigh repeated. ‘The worst thing the flyer can do is to try to catch the catcher. I am not supposed to catch Joe. It’s Joe’s task to catch me. If I grabbed Joe’s wrists, I might break them, or he might break mine, and that would be the end for both of us. A flyer must fly, and a catcher must catch, and the flyer must trust, with outstretched arms, that his catcher will be there for him.’

“When Rodleigh said this with so much conviction, the words of Jesus flashed through my mind: ‘Father into your hands I commend my Spirit.’ Dying is trusting in the catcher. To care for the dying is to say, ‘Don’t be afraid. Remember that you are the beloved child of God. He will be there when you make your long jump. Don’t try to grab him; he will grab you. Just stretch out your arms and hands and trust, trust, trust.’”

 

The Lord rewards men and women who walk and stretch out our arms for Him to catch us. Today in prayer, trust in Jesus knowing that He will catch you.

 

“Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.” – Augustine

 

God’s Word: “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” – Genesis 15:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS

Devotional - Become Conscious Of Sin
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jan 6, 2022
Devotional - Become Conscious Of Sin

“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” – Romans 3:20

 

In the early 1920's Major General George Owen Squier, a retired Army Signal Corps officer experimented with ways to deliver music directly into homes using electrical lines.

His company, originally known as Wired Radio, began transmitting over telephone lines, later expanding its broadcasts into hotels and restaurants. A 1937 study by British industrial psychologists, ''Fatigue and Boredom in the Workplace,'' reinforced General Squier's efforts, finding that under certain “planned sound conditions, productivity in work areas is stepped up.”

Playing to the subconscious, Squier’s “Muzak” began to give ''subtle psychological lifts'' through its specially designed tunes.

Today, Muzak is ubiquitous, found in grocery stores, shopping malls and in elevators. It is used to subconsciously relax the listener, heighten their mood, slow their pace, and coaxing them to make purchases.

 

Have you been unconscious to your own sin? Today in prayer, ask the Lord make you conscious of sin and repent from it.  

 

“The conscious mind determines the actions, the unconscious mind determines the reactions; and the reactions are just as important as the actions.” – E. Stanley Jones

 

God’s Word: “When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, ‘Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ This was Job’s regular custom.” – Job 1:5

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS †

Devotional - He Is Faithful
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jan 5, 2022
Devotional - He Is Faithful

“What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness?” – Romans 3:3

 

Christian author Philip Yancy writes: “Philip Yancy writes: “I remember my first visit to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. Rings of Japanese and German tourists surrounded the geyser, their video cameras trained like weapons on the famous hole in the ground. A large digital clock stood beside the spot, predicting twenty-four minutes before the next eruption. My wife and I passed the countdown in the dining room of Old Faithful Inn overlooking the geyser. When the digitial clock reached one minute, we, along with every other diner, left our seats and rushed to the windows to see the big, wet event. I noticed immediately, as if on signal, a crew of busboys and waiters descended on the tables to refill water glasses and clear away dirty dishes. When the geyser went off, we tourists oohed and aahed and clicked our cameras; a few spontaneously applauded. But, glancing back over my shoulder, I saw that not a single waiter or busboy--not even those who had finished their chores--looked out the huge windows. Old Faithful, grown entirely too familiar, had lost its power to impress them.”

 

God is faithful and we can depend on Him. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is truly faithful in all that He does.

 

“Cast all your care on God! That anchor holds.” – Alfred Lord Tennyson

 

God’s Word: “God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” – 1 Corinthians 1:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS  †

Devotional - God Does Not Show Favoritism
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jan 4, 2022
Devotional - God Does Not Show Favoritism

“For God does not show favoritism.” – Romans 2:11

 

 On September 3, 1957, nine Black students, known as the “Little Rock Nine”, arrived at the all white Central High School to begin classes but were instead met by the Arkansas National Guard, who were ordered there by Governor Orval Faubus. Also greeting the nine teenagers was a screaming, threatening mob. The Little Rock Nine tried again a couple of weeks later and made it inside, but they had to be removed for their safety when violence ensued.Finally, President Dwight D. Eisenhower intervened and ordered federal troops to escort the Little Rock Nine to and from classes at Central High. Still, the students faced continual harassment and prejudice.One of the nine students was Melba Pattillo Beals. She would go on to work in newspaper and television journalism, earn a doctorate in international multicultural education, and teach journalism at the college level. In her latest book, “I Will Not Fear: My Story of a Lifetime of Building Faith under Fire”, Melba credits the Lord for guiding her through trying experiences in Arkansas and afterward. 

The Lord alone shows no favoritism in His love. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His impartiality and pray that you will not show favoritism to others.

 

“Prejudices are the chains forged by ignorance to keep men apart.” - Marguerite Gardiner

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS  †

Devotional - Ungrateful To The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jan 3, 2022
Devotional - Ungrateful To The Lord

“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

 

Bernard of Clairvaux, venerated as Saint Bernard, was a Burgundian abbot and a major leader in the revitalization of Benedictine monasticism in France during the Middle Ages. Bernard helped found 163 monasteries in different parts of Europe. His written works emphasize the love of God and walking in humility.

Three of his poems have been translated into hymns which are in many English hymnals today: "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded", "Jesus the Very Thought of Thee" and "Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts".

On the subject of ingratitude, Bernard wrote: "Ingratitude is the soul's enemy... Ingratitude is a burning wind that dries up the source of love, the dew of mercy, the streams of grace."

 

As we begin this New Year, make every effort to be grateful for all of the Lord’s blessings. Today in prayer, thank Christ for the blessings He has bestowed on you and seek to be grateful to Him and to others throughout the day.

 

"The man who has forgotten to be thankful, has fallen asleep in life." – Robert Louis Stephenson

 

God’s Word: “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good” 2 Timothy 3:2-3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS   †

Devotional - Living A Righteous Life
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jan 2, 2022
Devotional - Living A Righteous Life

“For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’” – Romans 1:16-17

 

In his book “A Peculiar Glory”, writes the following: “Suppose you meet a man on the street whom you do not recognize, and he gives you a bag with $50,000 in cash and asks you to deposit it in the bank for him. He says that his account number is in the bag. You are surprised because you do not know him at all. You ask, “Why do you trust me with this?” Suppose he says, “No reason; I’m just taking a risk.” What is the effect of that faith in you? Does it honor you? No, it does not. It shows the man is a fool.

But suppose he said, “I know that you don’t know me, but I work in the same building you do, and I have watched you for the last year. I have seen your integrity in a dozen ways. I have spoken to people who know you. The reason I am trusting you with this money is that I have good reason to believe you are honest and reliable.” Now, what is the effect of that faith? It truly honors you. Why? Because it is based on real evidence that you are honorable. The fruit of such faith is not folly. The fruit of such faith is wisdom, and that faith and wisdom honor the person who is trusted.

So it is with God. If God says, ‘Why did you trust my word?’ and we say, ‘No reason, I’m just taking a risk,’ God is not honored and we are fools.”

 

Living a righteous life is living a life by faith in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, thank Christ for this New Year and seek to please Him by living by faith.

 

“The righteousness of God is not acquired by acts frequently repeated, as Aristotle taught, but is imparted by faith.” – Martin Luther

 

God’s Word: “He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” – Proverbs 21:21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN ROMANS    †

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