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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Joshua, Judges, and Ruth
Devotional - Our Redeemer
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 30, 2021
Devotional - Our Redeemer

“The women said to Naomi: "Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel!” – Ruth 4:14

 

For over 300 years, the coastlines of England were at the mercy of Barbary pirates from the coast of North Africa, based mainly in the ports of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli.  Their number included not only North Africans but also English and Dutch privateers. Their aim was to capture slaves for the Arab slave markets in North Africa.

The Barbary pirates attacked and plundered not only those countries bordering the Mediterranean but as far north as the English Channel, Ireland, Scotland, and Iceland, with the western coast of England almost being raided at will.

The situation was so bad that in December 1640 a Committee for Algiers was set up by the English Parliament to oversee the ransoming of captives. At that time it was reported that there were some 3,000 to 5,000 English people in captivity in Algiers. Charities were also set up to help ransom the captives.

In 1645, a raid by Barbary pirates on the Cornish coast saw 240 men, women, and children kidnapped. The following year Parliament sent Edmund Cason to Algiers to negotiate the ransom and release of English captives. He paid on average £30 ($70) per man (women were more expensive to ransom) and managed to free some 250 people before he ran out of money. Cason spent the last 8 years of his life trying to arrange the release of a further 400.

 

Christ saw we were caught in our sin as slaves. He redeemed us by dying for those sins on the Cross. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He is our Redeemer and that in Him we can live a life that is pleasing and honoring to God.

 

“At the cross, God wrapped his heart in flesh and blood and let it be nailed to the cross for our redemption.” – E. Stanley Jones

 

God’s Word: “while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” – Titus 2:13-14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH  †

Devotional - Showing Kindness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 29, 2021
Devotional - Showing Kindness

“'The LORD bless him!' Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. 'He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.' She added, 'That man is our close relative; he is one of our kinsman-redeemers.'” – Ruth 2:20

 

The Appalachian Trail is a rugged footpath that runs from Northern Georgia to Central Maine along the crest of the Appalachian Mountains. It passes through 14 states and all kinds of unpredictable weather. At age 21, Nick, an avid outdoorsman raised in Maine, decided the journey would be a good adventure. The trek takes an average of 6 months. Hiking 20 miles a day through the wilderness for 5 or 6 months will get you to a place you’ve never been before.

“I guess I wasn’t prepared for two things,” says Nick. “How hard sections of the trail were going to be, and all the small acts of kindness along the way that kept me going.” Those thru-hikers who complete the entire 2,200 miles talk about trail magic, little acts of kindness that happen at exactly the time they are needed. “I had been living on filtered water and granola bars for a month, my legs were aching, my body hurt, and I was having that once-a-week feeling of quitting. I came around a corner, and there was a bag of clementines (oranges) hanging from a tree. A small thing at home, but on the trail, the taste of that fresh fruit was so amazing it kept me going for days.”

As Nick learned, the people who live in the towns that border the trail see it as a privilege to give. “People blindside you with kindness,” Nick says. They provide rides into town when hikers need to replenish. They open their homes to a fresh shower after months on the trail. And they offer encouragement to keep going.

 

In all that we do, we need to be kind to others. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to make kindness a quality that you would tirelessly give others.

 

"It is the history of our kindnesses that alone make the world tolerable. If it were not for that—for the effect of kind words, kind looks, kind letters, multiplying, spreading, making one happy through another, and bringing forth benefits, some thirty, some fifty, some a thousandfold—I should be tempted to think our life a practical jest in the worst possible spirit." – Robert Louis Stevenson

 

God’s Word: “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” – Colossians 3:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH  †

Devotional - Fit In Their Own Eyes
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 26, 2021
Devotional - Fit In Their Own Eyes

“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” – Judges 21:25

 

Lawlessness is the new order of state in several countries today, in one manner or the other. Despite an existing world order and international institutions keeping a close watch on law and order in all countries, we still see the worst possible atrocities taking place every day.

The magazine Silicon India ranked each country by lawlessness. Their number one lawless country is Columbia.

The magazine said: “Wrecked by more than half a century of civil war, political conflict and drug trade, Colombia is a modern nation which is in total disorder. Most of us would have guessed a middle-eastern or an African nation to top the list of most disturbed nations, but to our surprise Colombia it is. Colombia, a country that is deeply divided between the rich Spanish decent and a majority of poor citizens is a victim of narco-terrorist group, residential crimes, political violence and drug trafficking. This Latin American country is a weak state dominated by rebel groups.”

 

Sin and chaos rule our lives when Jesus is not on the throne of our heart. Today in prayer, thank Christ that He died for you and has given you a new perspective for living.

 

“The basis of all sin is selfishness.” – David O. McKay

 

God’s Word: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” – Judges 17:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH  †

Devotional - Giving Into Temptation
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 25, 2021
Devotional - Giving Into Temptation

“So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head," he said, "because I have been a Nazirite set apart to God since birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man." – Judges 16:17

 

Jim Grant in Reader’s Digest told about someone else who faced temptation. An overweight businessman decided it was time to shed some excess pounds. He took his new diet seriously, even changing his driving route to avoid his favorite bakery. One morning, however, he showed up at work with a gigantic coffee cake. Everyone in the office scolded him, but his smile remained nonetheless. “This is a special coffee cake,” he explained. “I accidentally drove by the bakery this morning and there in the window was a host of goodies. I felt it was no accident, so I prayed, ‘Lord, if you want me to have one of those delicious coffee cakes, let there be a parking spot open right in front.’ And sure enough, the eighth time around the block, there it was!”

 

We can overcome temptations through the power and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, ask the Lord to lead you away from temptations and to follow Him all the days of your life.

 

“Let us learn more about the power of temptation in order to avoid it.” – John Owen

 

God’s Word: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” – Matthew 6:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH  †

Devotional - So He May Receive The Glory
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 24, 2021
Devotional - So He May Receive The Glory

“The LORD said to Gideon, "You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her” – Judges 7:2

 

In February 1954, a U.S. Navy pilot set out on a night training mission from an aircraft carrier off the coast of Japan. While he was taking off in stormy weather, his directional finder malfunctioned, and he mistakenly headed in the wrong direction. To make matters worse, his instrument panel suddenly short-circuited, burning out all the lights in the cockpit.

The pilot "looked around … and could see absolutely nothing; the blackness outside the plane had suddenly come inside." Nearing despair, he looked down and thought he saw a faint blue-green glow trailing along in the ocean's ebony depths. His training had prepared him for this moment, and he knew in an instant what he was seeing: a cloud of phosphorescent algae glowing in the sea that had been stirred up by the engines of his ship. It was the "least reliable and most desperate method" of piloting a plane back onto a ship safely, but the pilot—future Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell—knew that was precisely what he needed to do. And so he did.

Jim's life was saved because of light. Not just any light, but by bioluminescent organisms that emit the lowest level of light.

 

We live in a dark and dangerous world. As followers of Jesus, we are the light of the world when we give Him glory. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that when we are weak, Jesus is strong and all the glory belongs to Christ.

 

“God’s glory is His reputation. To live for God’s glory means to live so that God’s reputation is enhanced (heightened in quantity and quality) and not diminished in any way.” – Charles Ryrie

 

God’s Word: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH   †

Devotional - God's Calling
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 23, 2021
Devotional - God's Calling

“The LORD turned to him and said, 'Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?'" – Judges 6:14

 

One day Walter invited his friend Arthur to join him for a ride into the country. To Arthur’s surprise, they left the highway and headed off down a dirt road through orange groves, finally parking near an abandoned farmstead. Walter then described, with great passion, a new venture that he had planned for that land. It soon became apparent that he was inviting his friend, Arthur, to join him on the ground floor of this new venture by investing in some of the surrounding land. Much as he respected his friend, Arthur could not help but think, “Who in the world is going to drive twenty-five miles out into the middle of nowhere to support Walter’s new venture.” Still, Walter insisted, explaining that while he had enough money to handle the main project, it would require everything he had. Which was why he was offering his friend the opportunity to buy up the surrounding land, which he knew in a few years would be jammed with hotels and restaurants designed to accommodate the needs of those who came to vacation at his park. Walter assured Arthur that in less than five years, the land would appreciate in value by several hundred times. Arthur did not know what to say. He knew Walter was wrong. He knew that Walter had let his dream overcome his common sense. So he mumbled something about tight money and promised to look into it later. And with those words, Art Linkletter turned down the opportunity to buy up the land surrounding Disneyland. His friend, Walt Disney, had offered him the opportunity of a lifetime but, fearful, Art hesitated and in hesitating, he lost his chance.

God’s call is an opportunity. It is sad that Art Linkletter missed out on the opportunity to buy up the land around Disneyland. But it is much sadder to miss out on an opportunity from God.

 

What is the Lord calling you to do? Today in prayer, look to Jesus to supply all of your needs and then follow Him with all of your heart.

 

“God doesn’t call people who are qualified. He calls people who are willing, and then He qualifies them.” – Richard Parker

 

God’s Word: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"” – Isaiah 6:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH †

Devotional - Backsliding
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 22, 2021
Devotional - Backsliding

“Once again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and because they did this evil the LORD gave Eglon king of Moab power over Israel.” - Judges 3:12

 

Billy Sunday was a major league baseball player who became a Christian and then became a well-known evangelist. In a message entitled “Backsliding” evangelist Billy said the following almost 100 years ago:

“This is an age of incompleteness of unfinished things. Life is full of half-done things. Education is begun and abandoned. Obedience to the law of God is begun – and given up. People start in business – and fail. They attempt to learn a trade – and don’t do it thoroughly. A hound once started running after a stag and after running for a while it saw a fox and turned after it. A little farther along it saw a rabbit and ran after that, and finally wound up holing a field mouse. So it is with so many who enter the Christian life.”

 

Backsliding is a gradual process. Today in prayer, confess any sin in your life, repent from it and seek to grow closer to Jesus every day.

 

“It is a miserable thing to be a backslider. Of all unhappy things that can befall a man, I suppose ‘backsliding’ is the worst. A stranded ship, a broken-winged eagle, a garden overrun with weeds, a harp without strings, a church in ruins—all these are sad sights. But a backslider is a sadder sight still.” – John Charles Ryle

 

God’s Word: “But now that you know God--or rather are known by God--how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?” – Galatians 4:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH   †

Devotional - Not Knowing God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 19, 2021
Devotional - Not Knowing God

“After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.” – Judges 2:10

 

Jim Palmer started a church in Brentwood, Tennessee in the 1990s. But two events brought him to question his faith. The first was a revelation that a staff member was beating a spouse. The second came when a mother-to-be, bolstered by Palmer's sermons that anything is possible with God if you have enough faith, believed her unborn child with a fatal disorder could survive. The infant died soon after birth, and the mother blamed herself.  

"That triggered, 'How can I preach this stuff?'" Palmer said. "Beneath the appearance and the surfaces of people's lives, there was a level of suffering and brokenness for which my theology did not touch." Those cataclysmic moments more than two decades ago sent Palmer down an introspective path that led to him leaving the ministry, the end of his marriage, and the eventual realization that he no longer believed in the supernatural. He founded the Nashville chapter of the American Humanist Association and no longer believes in God.

 

Knowing Jesus and having a deep personal relationship with Him needs to be our first priority in life. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He saved you and you can know Him better.

 

“They that deny a God, destroy man's nobility: for certainly man is of kin to the beast by his body; and if he be not kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature.” – Francis Bacon

 

God’s Word: “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.” – Galatians 4:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH  †

Devotional - He Protects Us
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 18, 2021
Devotional - He Protects Us

“It was the LORD our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled.” – Joshua 24:17

 

In May 2011, a devastating EF5-rated multiple-vortex tornado struck Joplin, Missouri, United States, on the evening of Sunday, May 22, 2011.

Days later, Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplain Pam Rhodes was fortunate to hear Cheryl’s gripping story and pray for her family.

Cheryl had picked up her two daughters who were out celebrating high school graduation and she was driving away from the storm. Only her compass was backward and she was actually driving square into it.

A half-mile from home, the rain was a deluge, coming down so hard, as if she was in a car wash, and Cheryl felt the Lord telling her to pull over.

There could be no other explanation for the magnitude of winds and rain bearing down. Cheryl realized she was in the midst of a massive tornado.

The windows blew out and Cheryl pushed her daughters down and began to pray.

As Cheryl describes it, there was an unexplainable force keeping all three of their heads down and it saved them from a multitude of chards that punctured the van.

Suddenly there was a peace that passed over.

Cheryl and her two daughters were now in the vortex and she could hear the Lord telling her “your daughters are going to be safe.”

A split second later, the winds and rain picked up and in the blink of an eye, the van was whipped up into the twister, landing on the top of a roof that had been torn off a building.

Smashed in a van, covered by debris and wrapped in power lines, Cheryl believed she encountered an angel.

“A man came up and had no debris on him at all and she felt this presence, this peace,” Cheryl said. “He came and said he was going to help them get out of the car. He said, you don’t have to be afraid and he rescued them.”

And as quickly as he appeared, he vanished.

“It was really just the hand of God who saved them,” Rhodes said. “God is going to use that.”

 

The Lord protects and guides us through all of the events in our lives. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He protects you from all types of harm.

 

“The moment we begin to tread upon the thin ice of our own abilities, we have traveled beyond the realm of God’s promised protection and provision.” – Bart J. Leger

 

God’s Protection: “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” – Psalm 17:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH  †

Devotional - Serve With Faithfulness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 17, 2021
Devotional - Serve With Faithfulness

“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:14

 

Simon Sinek is a British-American author and inspirational speaker. During an interview, Simon mentioned that only 10% of Navy Seals make it through the initial training process and he gives some insights as to who gets through.

It’s not the big, muscle-bound guys. They look impressive but don’t have what it takes.

It’s not the tattooed tough guys.  They look scary but don’t have what it takes.

It’s not the college-educated stars.  They look like leaders but don’t have what it takes.

The ones who make it through don’t necessarily look impressive and there may be times during the training when they are shivering in fear.

But at some point during the grueling, punishing training, when they’re exhausted, when they’re mentally spent and when it doesn’t look as though they can go on, they dig deep and find a way to help the person next to them.

 

Wherever the Lord has planted you, serve Him faithfully. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for the gifts and talents He has given you and seek to serve Him faithfully.

 

“As long as I see any thing to be done for God, life is worth having; but O how vain and unworthy it is to live for any lower end!” – David Brainerd

 

God’s Word: “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” – 1 Peter 4:11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH †

Devotional - Let God Be Your God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 16, 2021
Devotional - Let God Be Your God

"If you violate the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the LORD's anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you." – Joshua 23:16 

 

In an article entitled “6 Surprising Idols Worshiped Today”, Jeffrey Curtis Poor writes the following about smartphone addiction: “Smartphone addiction is increasingly becoming a worrying trend. This is especially true for Gen Z and Millennial generations, but it’s certainly not confined to them. For many, they simply cannot live without their phones (or online presence). This is quickly becoming an idol for many.

The problem isn’t our phones or social media or any form of technology. It’s the value we place on it that makes it a problem. When our lives revolve around how many likes we get, what our following looks like, or if we can’t sit in silence for 5 minutes without refreshing our newsfeed, we might have an idol. Anything that takes the place of God in our life, anything that becomes more important than him, is an idol.”

 

Don’t let any idolatry slip into your life. Let the living God be the God of your life. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He is worthy of our worship and confess and repent from any sin of idolatry.

 

“Idolatry is an attempt to use God for man’s purposes, rather than to give oneself to God’s service.” – C.F.D. Moule

 

God’s Word: “Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.” – 1 Corinthians 10:14

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH  †

Devotional - Love The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 15, 2021
Devotional - Love The Lord

“So be very careful to love the LORD your God.” – Joshua 23:11

 

Joni Erickson Tada had a terrible accident that left her a quadriplegic. In spite of her physical limitations, she became an accomplished author and artist. Over 25 years ago she married her husband, Ken. For her wedding, she had planned to come down the center aisle in her motorized wheelchair. Just before her grand entrance, she noticed two distressing problems. First, she had rolled over her beautiful gown and made a big grease spot and tear in it. Then, the flower in her lap had slipped and had lodged between her leg and the chair. She was filled with disappointment, and then suddenly the doors to the auditorium opened, and she saw her husband to be.

Here was the man who was committing his love and his life to her. Joni later said, “Once I saw Ken's face, all I could think of was him.  Everything else—the people in the church, the flowers that were sitting a little askew on my lap, the fact that my dress didn't fall right because I was sitting in a wheelchair, the grease marks, the rip in my gown all of it paled in comparison.”

When we see Christ, He will be all that matters to us.

 

Love Jesus with all of your heart. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His love for you and let Him know that you love Him.

 

“Let us make God the beginning and the end of our love, for he is the fountain from which all good things flow and into him alone they flow back. Let him, therefore, be the beginning of our love.” – Richard Rolle 

 

God’s Word: “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'” – Mark 12:28-30

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH †

Devotional - Be Strong
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 12, 2021
Devotional - Be Strong

“Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left.” – Joshua 23:6

 

David Jeremiah tells the story of Dr. P.P. Job, who spoke at a Christian rally in New Delhi, India, in 1998. After the rally, he received threats against his family. At the time, his son Michael was training at the university to be a medical missionary. One evening, a white Fiat with Delhi plates, traveling at a high speed, changed lanes, rammed into Michael, and sped away without stopping. Michael died from the injuries.

Dr. Job was inconsolable. “It happened because I am a preacher of the Word of God,” he said. “I was shattered. There are no words to describe the pain I went through.” As he read his Bible, he found Philippians 1:12: “The things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.”

That verse strengthened Dr. Job’s faith, imparting courage to advance the gospel. Today there is the Michael Job Orphanage, the Michael Job High School, the Michael Job Residential Art and Training College, and the Michael Job Memorial Chapel. Multitudes have been inspired by this story, and God is gaining glory for Himself throughout India because the Holy Spirit inwardly strengthened a father. 

 

Be strong in Christ and do not be timid in following Him. Today in prayer, thank Christ for His wonderful love towards you and seek to follow Him in all that you do.

 

“It does not require great learning to be a Christian and to be convinced of the truth of the Bible. It requires only an honest heart and a willingness to obey God.” – Albert Barnes

 

God’s Word: “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” – 2 John 1:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH  †

Devotional - He Give Rest
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 11, 2021
Devotional - He Give Rest

“Now that the LORD your God has given your brothers rest as he promised, return to your homes in the land that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side of the Jordan.” – Joshua 22:4

 

It was January 28, 1986, and many Americans were glued to the television to witness the Space Shuttle Challenger take off.  Sadness and shock soon followed when the shuttle disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean.

Media coverage of the accident was extensive: One study reported that 85 percent of Americans surveyed had heard the news within an hour.

The Rogers Commission, appointed by United States President Ronald Reagan to investigate the Challenger accident, determined that cultural and mechanical processes were contributing factors.  

The Commission found key NASA officials made the ill-fated decision to go ahead with the launch after working twenty hours straight and getting only two to three hours of sleep the night before. Their error in judgment cost the lives of seven astronauts and nearly killed the U.S. space program. 

The Rogers Commission Human Factors Findings stated, "The willingness of NASA employees, in general, to work excessive hours, while admirable, raises serious questions when it jeopardizes job performance, particularly when critical management decisions are at stake."

 

The Lord desires us to take breaks often and to rest in Him. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that His yoke is light and He gives rest to all who are weary and come to Him.

 

“The stops of a good man are ordered by the Lord as well as his steps.” – George Mueller

 

God’s Word: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH  †

Devotional - He Keeps His Promises
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 10, 2021
Devotional - He Keeps His Promises

“Not one of all the LORD's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” – Joshua 21:45

 

The treaty of the Hong Canal (203 BC) was one of the shortest-lived peace treaties of all time. It was an agreement between Liu Bang of Han and Xiang Yu of Chu, in which they agreed to split the old Qin Empire between them. Towards the end of 203 BC, the main armies on both sides were facing each other close to Xingyang. Liu Bang had a stronger position and better supplies, but Xiang Yu was the better battlefield commander. Liu Bang also had a second army, under Han Xan, operating in the former kingdom of Qi  (northeast of Ancient China) from where it threatened Xiang Yu’s northern borders.

In 204 BC, while he was besieged in Xingyang, Liu Bang had offered to split China, with Xiang Yu getting the east and Liu Bang getting the west. At the time Xiang Yu had dismissed this peace offer, but late in 203 BC, he agreed to the same terms. The dividing line was to be the Hong Canal (meaning either the Canal of the Flying Geese or Far-Flung Canal), which linked the Yellow River near Kaifeng (east of Xingyang) to the Si River, then a tributary of the Huai River,  itself then a major river that ran into the sea (the courses of both rivers have since been disrupted by changes in the course of the Yellow River). 

The treaty was broken almost as soon as it had been agreed. While Xiang Yu appears to have been happy with its terms and began the march east back to Chu, Liu Bang (or his advisors) decided that this gave them a chance for an easy victory. Instead of returning home, Liu Bang invaded Xiang Yu’s new kingdom, eventually defeating him at Gaixia (202 BC) in the decisive battle of the Chu-Han Contention.

 

The Lord is faithful in all that He promises; His promises stand throughout eternity. Today in prayer, thank Christ that you can depend upon His promises and He is true to His Word.

 

“The message of promise is the beginning and end of everything that is included in the Bible. It undergirds every word, sometimes openly, sometimes subtly, but it is always there. God’s promises are the common thread that unites the Old and New Testament, the core that makes sixty-six books into one.” – Mark Tabb

 

God’s Word: “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” – Numbers 23:19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH  †

Devotional - Run To Our Refuge
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 9, 2021
Devotional - Run To Our Refuge

“Then the LORD said to Joshua: ‘Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood.’” – Joshua 20:1-3

 

In 2019, 30,755 refugees and migrants arrived on Greek shores. Under Greek law, new arrivals must be “processed” and receive paperwork before they can find asylum in Europe. In 2018, the average processing time between pre-registration and a first instance decision was 8.6 months.

“Since this has been going for several years and has [strained] the resources of Greece, the Greek people are not as welcoming of refugees anymore,” said AMG International President Tasos Ioannidis. “Initially when this was taking place, [people] were a lot more welcoming.”

Society’s rejection is a stark contrast to the love and kindness displayed by Christians in Greece. Whether it’s providing a warm plate of food or helping refugees fill out paperwork, each interaction provides a Gospel opportunity. “As they experience Christian love, they respond,” Ioannidis said.

“They (refugees) have experienced violence; they have experienced that rejection. Then, these people who – for no other reason [than] because they are followers of Jesus – show love to them.” Many refugees become Jesus' followers as a result.

 

Today in prayer, pray for the 69 million refugees and thank Christ that He is your refuge in this turbulent world. 

 

“Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee;

Leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me.

All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring;

Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.” – Charles Wesley

 

God’s Word: “Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” – Psalm 2:11-12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH †

Devotional - Following The Lord Wholeheartedly
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 8, 2021
Devotional - Following The Lord Wholeheartedly

“So on that day, Moses swore to me, 'The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.'” – Joshua 14:9

 

Nathaniel Hawthorne has a strange tale called "Earth's Holocaust." The story is about a time when the inhabitants of the earth were overburdened with an accumulation of worn-out foolish things, determined to rid themselves of it by a general bonfire. All night long a stranger with a cynical smile and haughty air stood watching them bring things that they considered evil, pornographic books, implements of war, liquor, tobacco, drugs, and what not. All were tossed into the fire. Late in the night, the stranger approached and said, 

“There is one thing that these wiseacres have forgotten to throw into the fire, and without which all the rest of the conflagration is just nothing at all; yes, though they had burned the earth itself to a cinder.”

“And what may that be?” eagerly demanded the last murderer.

“What but the human heart itself?” said the dark-visage stranger, with a portentous grin. “And, unless they hit upon some method of purifying that foul cavern, forth from it will reissue all the shapes of wrong and misery–the same old shapes or worse ones–which they have taken such a vast deal of trouble to consume to ashes.”

 

Following the Lord wholeheartedly means total commitment. Today in prayer, thank Christ that He went to the Cross fully committed to you and choose to follow Him with your whole heart.

 

“Christ is not valued at all unless He is valued above all.” – Augustine

 

God’s Word: “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.” – Romans 6:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH  †

Devotional - Avoid Covetousness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Aug 5, 2021
Devotional - Avoid Covetousness

“When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath." – Joshua 7:21

 

Michael Lock grew up in his grandfather's church, Unity Gospel House of Prayer, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He started preaching from an early age. His brother Marlon is the current pastor of the church.

But somewhere along the line, Lock became greedy for money and power. For over a decade, he ran a criminal outfit in Milwaukee known as the "Body Snatchers" that sold drugs and kidnapped, tortured, and sometimes killed rival dealers, burying them under concrete. He used his prostitutes to lure his victims into traps. At the height of his crimes, Lock was making $100,000 a week. 

In 2009, Lock, age 39, was convicted of homicide, kidnapping, drug dealing, and mortgage fraud, receiving multiple life terms. 

"We have opened up a window into the life of Michael Lock," Assistant District Attorney Kurt Benkley told the jury in his closing argument. "What we have seen is a man of utter moral depravity. This man has a godless contempt for the dignity of human beings."

 

Greed and covetousness are sins. Today in prayer, confess any sin of covetousness and seek Jesus with all of your heart.

 

“Covetousness is perhaps the most serious sin in the West today, and no covetous person will inherit the kingdom of God.” – Ron Sider

 

God’s Word: “Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." – Luke 12:15

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH †

Devotional - His Laws Are There To Protect Us
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Aug 4, 2021
Devotional - His Laws Are There To Protect Us

“Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.” – Joshua 7:11-12

 

The Ethan Allen was a 40-foot, glass-enclosed tour boat operated by Shoreline Cruises on Lake George in upstate New York.

On 2 October 2005, at 2:55 p.m., with 47 passengers—all from Michigan and Ohio and mostly seniors—aboard, the Ethan Allen capsized and sank just south of Cramer Point in the Town of Lake George. Twenty passengers died.

An investigation found that the Ethan Allen's passenger load weighed a total of 8,552 pounds the day it sank, a figure that put it 1,800 pounds above the weight limit it was certified to carry. That is despite the fact it was under its 50-passenger capacity.

Using the U.S. Coast Guard estimate of 140 pounds per person when determining capacity, it appears the boat was nearly a ton overweight.  

The accident caused government regulators to consider new laws on passenger boat capacity.

 

The Lord warns us to protect us. Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His Commandments and seek to follow Him in all that you do.

"The law is not over us, to condemn us, but under our feet, to be a guide for our path. In saying that, it is the moral law, as reflected in the Ten Commandments, to which I refer, which we have the pleasure of obeying to the glory of God and out of gratitude for our salvation." – Richard D. Phillips

 

God’s Word: “For in my inner being I delight in God's law” – Romans 7:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail   

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH †

Devotional - Give God Attention
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Aug 3, 2021
Devotional - Give God Attention

"'Neither,' he replied, 'but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.' Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, 'What message does my Lord have for his servant?'" – Joshua 5:14

 

After demonstrating his brilliance as a military commander in the early years of the Civil War in the west, General Ulysses Grant was called back to Washington in March 1864 to be made a lieutenant general and put in command of all Union forces in the field. When Grant checked into his hotel in Washington, the clerk failed to recognize the general, who was rather shabbily dressed. The clerk was about to give his guest a back room on an upper floor of the hotel when someone saw Grant in the lobby and called out his name in greeting. The startled clerk quickly realized his error in evaluating his guest and reassigned the General to a better room.

 

Every day we need to seek the Lord and ask Him: “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” Today in prayer, seek to do the will of Christ and let others see Christ at work in you.

 

“It is a vain thought to flee from the work that God appoints us, instead of seeking it in loving obedience.” – George Eliot

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH †

Devotional - Let The Lord Be Your Strength
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Aug 2, 2021
Devotional - Let The Lord Be Your Strength

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

 

An old shoemaker’s awl is on prominent display in the French Academy of Science. That awl fell from the shoemaker’s table one day and put out the eye of his 9-year-old son. Soon, the child became blind in both eyes and had to attend a school for the blind. At this school, the child learned to read by handling large, carved, wooden blocks.

When the shoemaker’s blind son grew up, he thought of a new way for the blind to read. It involved punching tiny dots onto paper, and Louis Braille devised this new method using the same awl that had blinded him in his youth.

When there is a falling awl in each of our lives we can ask one of two questions. “When it strikes, we can ask, ‘Why did God allow this to happen?’ Or we can ask, ‘How will God use it?’”

 

Troubles will come to all of us, but God can give us the strength to do His good purpose. Today in prayer, give Jesus your troubles and trust in Him to strengthen you.

 

"The way to grow strong in Christ is to become weak in yourself.” – Charles H. Spurgeon 

 

God’s Word: “But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH †

Devotional - Meditate On The Word
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Aug 1, 2021
Devotional - Meditate On The Word

“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” – Joshua 1:8

 

In 1977, at the height of the Cold War, Anatoly Shcharansky, a brilliant young Russian mathematician and chess player, was arrested by the KGB for his repeated attempts to immigrate to Israel. He spent thirteen years inside the Soviet Gulag. From morning to evening Shcharansky read and studied all 150 psalms in Hebrew. “What does this give me?” he asked in a letter:

“Gradually, my feeling of great loss and sorrow changes to one of bright hopes.” Anatoly so cherished his book of Psalms, in fact, that when guards took it away from him, he lay in the snow, refusing to move, until they returned it. During those thirteen years, his wife traveled around the world campaigning for his release. Accepting an honorary degree on his behalf, she told the university audience, “In a lonely cell in Chistopol prison, locked alone with the Psalms of David, Anatoly found expression for his innermost feelings in the outpourings of the King of Israel thousands of years ago.”

Anatoly was released in a prisoner exchange with the West on 11 February 1986 and settled in Israel. 

 

Everyone needs to be a student of the Word of God, no matter what age. Today in prayer, read through your favorite Bible verses and ask the Lord to help you commit them to memory.

 

“I am convinced that one of the greatest things we can do is to memorize Scripture.” – Billy Graham

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2021, Devotional E-Mail    

DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES, AND RUTH †

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