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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions in Titus, Jude, and Philemon
Devotional - Be Merciful
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 30, 2022
Devotional - Be Merciful

“Be merciful to those who doubt” – Jude 1:22 

 

Judge Frank Caprio is the Chief Municipal Judge in Providence, Rhode Island, and former Chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Governors. He was appointed in1985, and has been re-appointed six times by the mayor of Providence and the Providence City Council. His judicial work is televised on the television program Caught in Providence.

Alicia Moore, a single mother of 5 small children, appeared before his bench. She accumulated 5 speeding tickets for a total of $285. The judge gets to know those who appear before him through friendly questioning. He could tell Alicia was going through a terrible time. She was unemployed and she does not receive any financial help from others.

He concluded she was a good person and a great mom. He stated she was a bit irresponsible while driving. She had gone through one red light and was over the speed limit by 5 mph three of the five times.

The judge reduced the fine to $200 and then mercifully ordered the Filomena Fund, a fund named after the judge’s mother, to pay the fine. The fund was established to pay for the fines of those who cannot pay them.

 

We are to be merciful to all, including those who have doubts. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His faithfulness and seek to encourage others in their walk with the Lord.

 

“Too often we forget that the great men of faith reached the heights they did only by going through the depths.” – Os Guinness

 

God’s Word: “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.” – 1 Timothy 1:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

Devotional - Don't Be A Grumbler
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 29, 2022
Devotional - Don't Be A Grumbler

“These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.” – Jude 1:16

 

People will find just about anything to grumble about. Below are actual customer complaints: “The water in the Gulf of Mexico was too salty. No one told me that there was going to be salt in the water. It was gross.”

Another wrote: “We had to cut our trip short to Yellowstone because we were informed that they don’t cage the animals at night for our protection. This is just dangerous and unacceptable.”

One visitor after visiting Stonehenge: “It’s a bunch of rocks... in a field.”

Another wrote: “My plane journey was a disappointment as the sky was too cloudy, obstructing my children’s view of the sea and ruining our game of eye-spy.”

Finally, one holidaymaker moaned: “The maid who cleaned our room made our towel into a swan shape. I don't like swans.”

 

Grumbling begets grumbling. When we complain we are only practicing for our next complaint. Today in prayer, confess any constant grumbling in your own life and seek to find peace in Jesus Christ.

 

“By murmuring you undo your prayers, for it is exceedingly contrary to the prayer that you make to God. When you come to pray to God, you acknowledge his sovereignty over you, you come there to profess yourselves to be at God's disposal.” - B.J. Stockman

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

Devotional - Beware of Charlatans!
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 28, 2022
Devotional - Beware of Charlatans!

“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 1:4

 

In his article entitled “Charlatans, Heretics, and One-Trick Ponies: The Danger of Theological Distractions”, Pastor Daryl Wingerd summarizes by saying: “So, how can you avoid these potentially harmful distractions? First, make sure you are solidly and faithfully involved in a biblically sound local church where the pastor(s) are ‘keeping watch over your soul as those who will have to give an account’ (Hebrews 13:17). Second, study the Bible yourself, and make sure what you are being taught squares with what you read. Third, if anything seems out of order with someone you’ve been reading or listening to, ask your pastor for help sorting things out. Lastly, be wary about receiving the bulk of your instruction in the open and unguarded forum of the Internet, television, or Christian bookstores. There is much good to be found in these places, but Satan is also present and active with his schemes as much as he ever was in any place.”

 

There are many imposters trying to lead people astray. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that as we study the Bible, we get to know better the only true God, Jesus Christ.  

 

“By entertaining of strange persons, men sometimes entertain angels unawares: but by entertaining strange doctrines, many have entertained devils unawares.” – John Flavel

 

God’s Word: “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” – Titus 1:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

Devotional - His Peace
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 25, 2022
Devotional - His Peace

“Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ: Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.” – Jude 1:1-2

 

The 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School motivated Mike Martin to put his Mennonite faith into practice, a way to address gun violence through direct means. He founded RAWtools a ministry whose mission is to “Disarm Hearts and Forge Peace”.

RAWtools accepts weapons donations, stripping them of metal. Then, using a process of smelting and metalwork, he turns these former firearms into handheld garden tools.

RAWtools visits cities nationwide with their message of peace, engaging gun violence survivors in a healing and restorative process around the anvil.

During these visits, survivors and those who have lost loved ones to gun violence gather in community centers, churches, and parking lots to share their stories. Outside, they approach the hot iron, hammer in hand, and — with each strike — release years of pain and grief. As a crowd stands by in witness, enveloping the scene with a community’s strength and support, the hammer is passed, and a new tool is forged.

 

Peace and protection can only be found in Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord that in Jesus Christ, no matter what our situation is in life, we have peace.

 

“Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart?” – Gerald Majella

 

God’s Word: “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” – 2 Peter 1:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

Devotional - Be Reconciled
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 24, 2022
Devotional - Be Reconciled

“Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good-- no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord. So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.” – Philemon 1:15-16

 

The 1968 presidential campaign was one of the most bitterly fought in the nation's history. Set among national divisions over the Vietnam War, and social policy, and against the backdrop of riots and assassination, neither Richard Nixon’s nor Hubert Humphrey’s campaigns made healing divisions a major theme.

Just 3 weeks before the election, as Nixon’s train pulled into the small town of Deshler, Ohio, Vicki Cole was there to greet him. The eighth-grader, along with her classmates, cheered. Vicki held up a sign that read “Bring Us Together”.

Richard Moore, a friend of Nixon, told the candidate's speechwriters who then began inserting the phrase “Bring Us Together” into Nixon’s speeches. Nixon mentioned the Deshler rally and Vicki’s sign in his victory speech on November 6, 1968, adopting the phrase as representing his administration's initial goal—to reunify and reconcile the bitterly divided country.

 

The Lord desires us to be reconciled to Him and to others. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that you are reconciled to God through Jesus Christ and seek to be reconciled to others.

 

“The number one problem in our world is alienation, rich versus poor, black versus white, labor versus management, conservative versus liberal, East versus West . . . But Christ came to bring about reconciliation and peace.” – Billy Graham

 

God’s Word: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” – 2 Corinthians 5:18

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

Devotional - Share Your Faith
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 23, 2022
Devotional - Share Your Faith

 “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” - Philemon 1:6

 

In 1988, Thomas Johnson, an ex-convict and drug addict, drifted onto Nantucket Island in Massachusetts and burrowed eight feet under the surface in a remote corner of a Boy

Scouts Campground.  He lived in the hole for 10 years, a refugee from the confusion of society.

Then in 1998, a deer hunter stumbled over his stovepipe and informed the authorities.  His fears of the outside world were quickly justified when police, federal, and state agents raided his lair and papered the walls with citations.

The state health inspector even cited the Scouts for having an unapproved dwelling on their property.

The underground hermit is philosophical about it all.  “God told me it was time to come out of the hole,” he told the Boston Globe.

 

God does not want us to retreat from the world or become like the world. We need to share our faith in the good news of Jesus Christ with others. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for His Gospel and share His good news with others.

 

“The real problem of Christianity is not atheism or skepticism, but the non-witnessing Christian trying to smuggle his own soul into heaven.” – James S. Stewart

 

God’s Word: “He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.” – John 1:7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

Devotional - Pray For Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 22, 2022
Devotional - Pray For Others

“I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers” – Philemon 1:4

 

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

 

When we pray for others, the intercessor and those prayed for are blessed. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for your friends and pray for them that Christ would be glorified in your life and your friends’ lives.

 

“Intercessory prayer might be defined as loving our neighbors on our knees.” – Charles H. Brent

 

God’s Word: “God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you.” – Romans 1:9-10

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

Devotional - Do Good
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 21, 2022
Devotional - Do Good

“Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.” – Titus 3:14

 

Eugene Peterson was an American Presbyterian minister, scholar, theologian, author, and poet. He wrote over 30 books, including the Gold Medallion Book Award–winner The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. It is a paraphrase of the Bible.

In his book entitled Leap Over a Wall, Peterson observed that God is first presented in Scripture as a worker and that Adam and Eve were placed in the garden as workers. He notes, “Work is the primary context for our spirituality.” The question then is “How will you approach your work today? Will you view it as a drudgery to be endured, with little value other than the money you expect to receive on payday? Or will you see it as a way of serving God and meeting the needs of others?”

 

In all that you do, do good. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His goodness and seek to follow the Lord and do what is good.

 

“Goodness is something so simple: Always live for others, never to seek one’s own advantage.” – Dag Hammarkskjold

 

God’s Word: “This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.” – Titus 3:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

Devotional - Follow The Lord's Warnings
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 18, 2022
Devotional - Follow The Lord's Warnings

“Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him.” – Titus 3:10

 

In an article entitled “Weird Laws from Around the World” author Priyadarshika Ingle highlights some outdated or ridiculous laws in each country. Below are a few of the laws:

In Switzerland: There is no flushing of toilets after 10 pm.

In Italy: Only women can wear skirts. Men wearing skirts can lead to an arrest.

In Western Australia: It's illegal to have more than 50 kg (110 pounds) of potatoes.

In France: Kissing is prohibited on trains in France but allowed on railway stations only if it is done before the train arrives.

In Madagascar, pregnant women in Madagascar are prohibited from wearing hats.

Finally, in Wyoming in the United States: photographing rabbits in the state between January and April requires a permit.

 

Unlike the world that gives us some wacky warnings, the Lord warns us to protect and provide for us. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for loving you and warning you of potential danger.

 

“If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” – Catherine Aird 

God’s Word: “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.” – 1 Corinthians 10:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

Devotional - AVOID FOOLISH CONTROVERSIES AND GENEALOGIES
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 17, 2022
Devotional - AVOID FOOLISH CONTROVERSIES AND GENEALOGIES

“But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.” – Titus 3:9

 

What is the largest ancestry in the world? How far can we go back? Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, states that the longest family tree in the world is that of the Chinese philosopher and educator Confucius (551-479 BC). The tree spans more than 80 generations and includes more than 2 million members. An international effort involving more than 450 branches around the world was started in 1998 to retrace and revise this family tree. The latest findings were published in 2009.

But there is a longer and older family tree than Confucius. It is a family tree that spans every human generation since the beginning of creation. It can be traced back chronologically through the Bible to around 6000 years ago, and every human being that has ever been born on this planet, including you and me, belong to this ancestry. This ancestry began with Adam, the father of all humanity.

 

Foolish genealogies and pointless controversies waste our time. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that in Him we have a Heavenly Father who loves us, and seeks to use your time wisely to honor Christ.

 

“Genealogy: a perverse preoccupation of those who seek to demonstrate that their forebears were better people than they are.”  – Sydney J. Harris

 

God’s Word: “nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work--which is by faith.” – 1 Timothy 1:4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

Devotional - By His Mercy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 16, 2022
Devotional - By His Mercy

“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” – Titus 3:5

 

A California man exercised "good judgment" by turning himself in after Googling his name and finding himself on a "most wanted" website, according to authorities.

In March 2014, a bout of curiosity, followed by guilt, landed Christopher Viatafa in jail for a gun-related incident allegedly committed more than seven months prior, police said. Viatafa was wanted by police in connection with an August 2013 incident involving shooting into an inhabited dwelling, but the 27-year-old had no idea his mug shot was featured on Northern California's Most Wanted website until he looked himself up on the Internet. When he found out, he was alarmed enough to turn himself in to authorities, according to police." Viatafa was at a private party at the San Leandro Senior Center when he got into an argument with some other partygoers. Viatafa "pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and fired a few rounds into the ground near the people". After being thrown out of the party, he shot several more rounds, police said. Viatafa was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, police said. He believed that mercy and justice were preferable to a guilty conscience.  

 

It is only by God’s great mercy that we are saved through Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord for His mercy.

 

“Moral indignation never led anyone to Christ, but mercy has.” – William Dever

 

God’s Word: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” – 1 Peter 1:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

 

Devotional - Be Humble
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 15, 2022
Devotional - Be Humble

BE HUMBLE                                   Tuesday - August 15, 2022

 

“to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.” – Titus 3:2

 

One of the most humble of men was Edmund Halley in his relationship to Isaac Newton.  Halley, the man who predicted the return of the comet that now bears his name, recognized the importance of Newton's discovery of the law of gravity.  He challenged him to perfect his original idea and corrected some of his mathematical equations.  Halley then urged Newton to put his ideas in book form.

The work, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, made Newton famous.  What few people know is that Halley edited and supervised its publication and even financed its printing, though Newton could more easily have afforded it.  Historians today call Halley's action one of the most selfless examples in the records of modern science.

 

In all that we do, we need to remove our pride and seek to be humble servants of Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His humble example on earth and seek to humbly follow Him.

 

“Humility is strong, not bold; quiet, not speechless; sure, not arrogant.” – Estelle Smith

 

God’s Word: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

 

Devotional - Be Ready
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 14, 2022
Devotional - Be Ready

“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good” – Titus 3:1

 

Texas A&M is a university drenched in tradition, but none is more revered than the 12th Man.  “The students are the 12th Man, and they remain on their feet through every home game -- standing ready to help in any way asked.” 

This tradition started on January 2, 1922, when the A&M Aggies were playing Centre College, a national power at the time, in the Dixie Classic, the forerunner of the Cotton Bowl, in Dallas. 

So many players got hurt in the game that Coach Dana X. Bible summoned a student from the stands to put on the uniform of an injured player. The student, E. King Gill, was, if the truth were told, a former football player who had dropped off the team six weeks earlier to concentrate on basketball.  Bible told him, 'Boy, it looks like we may not have enough players to finish the game.  You may have to go in and stand around for a while.' Said Gill in typical A&M style, “Yes, sir.”

Holding up a blanket, Gill changed along the sidelines.  A&M won in an upset 22-14. Gill wasn't needed, but he was obedient and ready.

 

The Lord desires us to be ready and obedient, no matter what situation comes our way. Today in prayer, follow Jesus no matter what happens this day.  

 

"The majority of us do not enthrone God, we enthrone common sense. We make our decisions and then ask the real God to bless our god's decision." - Oswald Chambers

 

God’s Word: “Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and revering him.” – Deuteronomy 8:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

Devotional - Have Integrity
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 9, 2022
Devotional - Have Integrity

“In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness” – Titus 2:7

 

A life of integrity is one that is not divided into compartments: James Cameron, the producer of the movie Titanic, said, “The Titanic is a metaphor of life. We are all on the Titanic.” When the Titanic set sail in 1912 it was declared to be ‘unsinkable’ because it was constructed using new technology. The ship’s hull was divided into sixteen watertight compartments. It was thought that up to four of these compartments could be damaged or even flooded, and still, the ship would float. Tragically, the Titanic sank on 15 April 1912 at 2.20 am. 1,513 people lost their lives. At the time it was thought that five of its watertight compartments had been ruptured in a collision with an iceberg. However, on 1 September 1985, when the wreck of the Titanic was found lying upright on the ocean floor, there was no sign of the long gash previously thought to have been ripped in the ship’s hull. Now scientists conclude that the collision’s impact buckled or loosened the seams in the adjacent hull plate’s core, causing them to separate and allowing water to flood in – thus sinking the unsinkable ship. What they discovered was that damage to one compartment affected all the rest.  Many people make the Titanic mistake. They think they can divide their lives into different ‘compartments’ and that what they do in one will not affect the rest. But integrity demands all areas are good.

 

Each day, set a good example by walking with integrity. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to give you wisdom and strength to have Christ’s integrity in all that you do.

 

“Be such as a man, and live such a life, that if every man were such as you, and every life like yours, this earth would be God's Paradise.” - Phillips Brooks

 

God’s Word: “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.” – Proverbs 10:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

Devotional - Teaching Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 8, 2022
Devotional - Teaching Others

“Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.” – Titus 2:2             

 

In 2006, Dr. Samuel Weinstein was the chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York.  In May 2006, he traveled to El Salvador with Heart Care International in order to provide life-saving operations for needy children.  However, it would take more than his expertise and advanced equipment to save eight-year-old Francisco Calderon Anthony Fernandez.

Dr. Weinstein and his team began operating on Francisco's heart shortly before noon.  Twelve hours later, the procedure took a deadly turn.  "The surgery had been going well, everything was working great, but he was bleeding a lot and they didn't have a lot of the medicines we would use to stop the bleeding," Weinstein said.  "After a while, they said they couldn't give him blood because they were running out and he had a rare type." In fact, Francisco's blood type was B-negative, which only two percent of people have.

As it was, the only other person in the room with a blood type B-negative was Dr. Weinstein.  Knowing what he had to do, he stepped down from the operating table.  As his colleagues continued their precision work, Dr. Weinstein set aside his scalpel, took off his gloves, and began washing his hands and forearm.  Then, in the corner of an unfamiliar operating room, the prestigious doctor from one of the most advanced hospitals in the world sat down to give away his own blood.

When he had given his pint, Dr. Weinstein drank some bottled water and ate a Pop-Tart.  Then--20 minutes after stepping away from the table--he rejoined his colleagues.  After watching his own blood begin circulating into the boy's small veins, Dr. Weinstein completed the operation that saved Francisco's heart--and his life.

 

In all that we do, we should be teaching others to love the Lord and love others. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that the greatest commandments are ones we can live by.

 

“The love of God and the God of love constrain you to love one another that it may, at last, be said of Christians as it was at first, ‘Behold how they love one another.’” – Ralph Venning

 

God’s Word: “Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” – 1 Peter 2:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

Devotional - Encourage Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 7, 2022
Devotional - Encourage Others

“He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” – Titus 1:9

 

Douglas Maurer, fifteen of Creve Coeur, Missouri, had been feeling bad for several days.  His temperature was ranging between 103 and 105 degrees, and he was suffering flu-like symptoms.  His mother, Donna, took him to the emergency room where blood tests revealed one of the most agonizing things a parent could learn about a child.  Douglas was diagnosed as having leukemia.

During the next forty-eight hours, Douglas endured blood transfusions, spinal and bone marrow tests, and chemotherapy.  For five days his mother stayed in his hospital room.  The doctors were frank about his disease.  They told him that for the next three years he would have to undergo chemotherapy.  They told Douglas that he would go bald and that his body would most likely bloat.  Upon learning this, he went into a deep depression.

On his first day in the hospital, he said to his mother, "I thought you get flowers when you're in the hospital."  One of his aunts telephoned Brix Florist in St. Louis.  His aunt wanted the sales clerk to be aware of the flower arrangement's significance.  "I want the planter

to be especially attractive.  It's for my teenage nephew who has leukemia," she told the clerk.  "Oh," said the sales clerk.  "Let's add some fresh-cut flowers to brighten it up."

When the floral arrangement arrived it was beautiful.  Douglas opened the envelope and read the card from his aunt.  Then he saw another card.  The second card read:  "Douglas--I took your order.  I work at Brix Florist.  I had leukemia when I was seven years old.  I'm 22 years old now.  Good luck.  My heart goes out to you.  Sincerely,

Laura Bradley."

Douglas' face lit up.  His mother said, "For the first time since he had been in the hospital, he had gotten some inspiration.  He had talked to so many doctors and nurses.  But this one card, from the woman at the florist who had survived leukemia, was the thing that made him believe he might beat the disease."

 

Each of us needs to encourage believers and non-believers to follow Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for the good news we have in Jesus Christ and seek to encourage others to closely follow Him.  

 

"God intends that we be people who use words to encourage one another. A well-timed word has the power to urge a runner to the finish line, to rekindle hope when despair has set in, to spark a bit of warmth in an otherwise cold life, to trigger healthful self-evaluation to someone who doesn't think much about his shortcomings, to renew confidence when problems have the upper hand." - Lawrence J. Crabb, Jr.

 

God’s Word: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

Devotional - The Spiritual Discipline Of Self-Control
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 4, 2022
Devotional - The Spiritual Discipline Of Self-Control

"Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.” – Titus 1:8

 

In his book “Building Below the Water Line - Shoring up the parts of leadership nobody (but God) sees” author Gordon MacDonald tells the story of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, which arches the East River and joins Manhattan to Brooklyn.

“In June 1872, the Chief Engineer of the project wrote: ‘To such of the general public as might imagine that no work had been done on the New York tower, because they see no evidence of it above the water, I should simply remark that the amount of the masonry and concrete laid on that foundation during the past winter, under water, is equal in quantity to the entire masonry of the Brooklyn tower visible today above the water line".

The Brooklyn Bridge remains a major transportation artery in New York City today because, 135 years ago, the Chief Engineer and his construction team did their most patient and daring work where no one could see it: on the foundations of the towers below the water line.

It is one more illustration of an ageless principle in leadership: the work done below the water line (in a leader's soul) that determines whether he or she will stand the test of time and challenge. This work is called worship, devotion, spiritual discipline. It's done in quiet, where no one but God sees.”

 

When we are self-controlled, we bring glory to Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, give your gifts, time, and talents to the Lord and be self-control.

 

"The Spirit whom Christians have received is the Spirit of holiness, and nothing unholy can be tolerated in one whom he indwells: self-control is part of the fruit which his presence yields in a believer's life."  - F.F. Bruce

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

Devotional - Do Not Be Quick Tempered
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 3, 2022
Devotional - Do Not Be Quick Tempered

“Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless--not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.” – Titus 1:7

 

Christian author Gary Thomas, in his book “The Beautiful Fight”, writes the following: “A businessman in a service industry grew weary of being yelled at. He tired of getting sprayed with angry spittle from dissatisfied customers who expected five-star service at Motel 6 prices. One day, he became oddly detached during yet another customer tirade; he felt as though he were watching a movie. In fact, he couldn't help but think that the angry woman's antics made her look like a monkey.

That observation gave him a brilliant idea. He posted a giant mirror behind the front desk -- and the customer tirades all but ceased. When people saw how rude and hateful they looked while yelling and screaming, they stopped yelling and screaming.”

 

The Lord desires that we would be self-controlled, not quick-tempered. Today in prayer, confess any anger in your life to the Lord and receive His peace.

 

“Men are like steel. When they lose their temper, they lose their worth.”  – Chuck Norris

 

God’s Word: “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.” – Proverbs 16:32

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

Devotional - Strive To Be Blameless
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 2, 2022
Devotional - Strive To Be Blameless

“An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.” – Titus 1:6

 

In May 2022, Dr. Charles E. Brown, a retired Mobile pastor, was falsely tied to the Southern Baptist Convention sexual abuser list by a local news outlet.

“In a three-minute newscast, 80 years of my life and ministry went down the tubes,” said Charles.  

The correction reported by the television station during the 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts the same day stated, “In our story, we identified the names of church leaders from our area who were on the Southern Baptist Convention’s alleged sex abuser list … the names identified and their church affiliations were correct, however, the picture we showed for one of the people on that list was not.”

That’s where the two names were mixed up. The Charles Brown on the list is not the Dr. Charles E. Brown who retired from Government Street Baptist Church in Mobile earlier this year after nearly 45 years as pastor.

How the reporter who developed the story determined the Charles Brown of London Baptist in 1987 was the same Dr. Charles E. Brown who now serves as pastor emeritus of Government Street Baptist in Mobile is unclear.

The blameless Dr. Charles E. Brown said: “I tried to redeem as much of my morality and my character as I could.”

 

No matter what life throws our way, we should seek to be blameless in all that we do. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that when we follow Him, we can be blameless.

 

“When we quarrel, how we wish we had been blameless.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

God’s Word: “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless.” – Genesis 17:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON   †

Devotional - Seeking Peace
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 1, 2022
Devotional - Seeking Peace

“To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.” – Titus 1:4

 

On November 4th, 1991, the Ronald Reagan presidential library opened in Simi Valley, California, about 35 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The then five living presidents, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George Bush, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan were present at the opening.

As a symbol of turning “swords into plowshares”, Parker Pens manufactured a pen for the occasion.

The pens were inscribed with the Presidential seal on the crown, and engraved signatures of the presidents. It was offered in a walnut box also with the names of all five presidents and the Presidential seal.

On the lid of the box, it read: “Peace – In honor of the five living U.S. Presidents, who during their presidency, were instrumental in the elimination of nuclear arms from the face of the earth.

The metal embedded into the top of the pen is from disarmed U.S. Pershing and Soviet SS20 nuclear missiles, fused together, symbolizing an end to the nuclear arms race.”

 

As we draw closer to Christ, we find a peace that can only be found in Jesus. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is the Prince of Peace.

 

“I know men who would write a check for a million dollars if they could find peace. Millions are searching for it. Every time they get close to finding the peace that you have found in Christ, Satan steers them away. He blinds them. He throws up a smoke screen. He bluffs them. And they miss it! But you have found it! It is yours now forever. You have found the secret of life.” – Billy Graham

 

God’s Word: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” – Romans 5:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

Devotional - The Hope Of Eternal Life
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 31, 2022
Devotional - The Hope Of Eternal Life

“a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time” – Titus 1:2

 

Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary. He tells the following story: “A man went to a cemetery for a burial. He arrived ahead of the procession, and as he waited for the arrival of others, he occupied himself reading the epitaphs. He saw one across the way that caught his attention. It said, “Death Is Eternal.” He thought that it was the most depressing thing he had ever seen on a tombstone, but when he went nearer he found that another stone had obscured part of that one. The full message was “Death Is Eternal Life.” If we let anything obscure the biblical view of life or death, we will be sadly and widely misled.”

 

When our hope is in the Lord’s shed blood, we have eternal life in Him. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that in Him we have been saved from certain death and have eternal life.

 

“Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever?” – C.S. Lewis

 

“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” – John 3:14-15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN TITUS, JUDE, PHILEMON  †

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