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Devotional - Giving
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 17, 2024
Devotional - Giving

“If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?” – 1 Corinthians 9:11

 

In 1928, Paul J. Meyer was born into a poor immigrant family. Paul’s parents gave him something far greater than material wealth — they instilled Christian values along with strong moral principles, a robust work ethic, and a burning desire to learn and excel.

Paul’s commitment to Christian Stewardship began with the words of another notable Christian business leader. As a young professional, Paul heard the testimony of Christian industrialist R.G. Letourneau. Mr. Letourneau gave his testimony and said that his goal was to give 90 percent of his income to the Lord’s work and live off 10 percent. He wanted to reverse the common Christian idea of tithing. This struck a chord with Paul –it became a turning point in his view of wealth as belonging to Christ and not him. In the days that followed, Paul committed to tithing. He would pursue this commitment to Christian Stewardship for the rest of his career.

In 1984, Paul and his wife Jane established the Foundation, which has provided more than $75,000,000 in support of non-profit organizations that have met the spiritual and physical needs of people the world over.

Paul said: “The only time God ever challenges us to test Him in the entire Bible is in the area of tithing! He said in the last half of Malachi 3:10 to “test me in this and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

 

The best investment you can make is financially supporting the pastors and ministers of your church. Today in prayer, ask Jesus to give you wisdom on how best to invest in His work.

 

“Giving is the thermometer of our love.” – Benjamin R. De Jong

 

God’s Word: “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.” – 1 Corinthians 16:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2024, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN 1 CORINTHIANS †

Devotional - Stumbling Blocks
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 16, 2024
Devotional - Stumbling Blocks

"Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak." - 1 Corinthians 8:9

 

In an article entitled “A Brief History of Mazes”, the National Building Museum distinguishes the differences between labyrinths and mazes:

“A labyrinth has winding, curved passages, forming a “unicursal,” or one-way path from the outside toward the center. Walking through a labyrinth, you will change direction often, but theoretically should not feel lost or confused as you wind through the space. Often the labyrinth is purposefully engineered so that it takes a long time to get to the middle, encouraging slow, meditative contemplation while navigating many twists and turns.

A maze is filled with dead ends. Often there are puzzles that help you find your way and alleviate frustration, but the idea is to get lost a few times before figuring out the terrain and finding your way. Two-dimensional mazes offer the ability to see the entire course at one time, though the hardest ones will take time to solve. While labyrinths are often seen as thoughtful, peaceful spaces for quiet reflection, mazes tend to attract those more interested in solving puzzles and facing challenges.”

 

Life has many twists and turns. Today in prayer, ask Jesus to help you see any stumbling blocks in your life and pray that you can turn the stumbling blocks into stepping-stones to encourage others in their walk with Christ.

 

"We should be careful to do nothing that may occasion weak Christians to defile their consciences." - Matthew Henry

 

God's Word: "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love." - Galatians 5:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2024, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN 1 CORINTHIANS  †

Devotional - Time Is Short
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 15, 2024
Devotional - Time Is Short

"What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away." - 1 Corinthians 7:29-31

 

The great 19th-century naturalist and Harvard professor Louis Agassiz is known for observational data gathering and analysis. He made institutional and scientific contributions to zoology, geology, and related areas, including multivolume research books running to thousands of pages. He is particularly known for his contributions to ichthyological classification, including of extinct species such as megalodon, and to the study of historical geology, including the founding of glaciology (the study of glacial ice).

He was once approached by the emissary of a learned society and invited to address its members. Agassiz declined the invitation, saying that lectures of this kind took up too much time that should be devoted to research and writing. The man persisted, saying that the society was prepared to pay handsomely for the lecture.

"That's no inducement to me," Agassiz replied, "I can't afford to waste my time making money."

 

Time is short. Today in prayer, ask Jesus to help you make every day count for Him and love others as Jesus loves them. 

 

"Doest thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.” – Benjamin Franklin

 

God's Word: "And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light." - Romans 13:11-12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2024, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN 1 CORINTHIANS †

Devotional - Following God's Commands
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 14, 2024
Devotional - Following God's Commands

"Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God's commands is what counts." - 1 Corinthians 7:19

 

At noon EDT on May 10, 2022, the pilot of a Cessna 208 flying to Florida from the Bahamas told his two passengers he wasn’t feeling well. He fell against the controls, putting the aircraft into a nosedive and sharp turn. 

At that point, Darren Harrison, one of the passengers jumped into action. He pulled the aircraft out of the nosedive and called Fort Pierce Tower at Treasure Coast International Airport in Fort Pierce, Fla., to let them know the pilot was incapacitated, and that he had no flying experience.

“I’ve got a serious situation here … the pilot is incoherent … and I have no idea how to fly the airplane.” — audio from radio call

Controller Christopher “Chip” Flores at Fort Pierce Tower received the radio call and asked Harrison the location of the plane. Harrison did not know where the aircraft was. With assistance from operational supervisor Justin Boyle, Flores calmly instructed Harrison to fly straight ahead and to start a gradual descent allowing time for air traffic control to locate the aircraft.

Flores then calmly guided Harrison to another controller, Robert Morgan, a certified flight instructor with experience piloting Cessna aircraft. Morgan offered clear, short directions on how to fly and confirmed that Harrison understood each instruction. After 27 minutes of following Morgan’s instructions, Harrison landed the plane safely.

 

The Lord desires for us to have a life that is pleasing to Him, but we need to follow His commands. Today in prayer, seek to follow Jesus Christ in everything you do.

 

“Holiness does not consist in mystic speculations, enthusiastic fervours, or uncommanded austerities; it consists in thinking as God thinks, and willing as God wills.” - John Brown

 

God's Word: “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” – 1 John 2:3-6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2024, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN 1 CORINTHIANS †

Devotional - Flee Sexual Immorality
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 11, 2024
Devotional - Flee Sexual Immorality

"Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body." - 1 Corinthians 6:18

 

In his article “Chastity and the Goodness of God: The Case for Premarital Sexual Abstinence”, Dr.Steven R. Tracy concludes by saying:

“As strange as it sounds to modern ears, sex before marriage is morally wrong because God prohibits it. But God did not prohibit premarital sex because he is whimsical or mean. As the almighty, holy creator, he has the right to dictate human sexual behaviour. As a loving creator, his commandments are always for our good. God prohibits premarital sex, not because sex is bad, but because it is such a precious and powerful gift. God knows that reserving sex for marriage enhances the gift, builds personal and relational health, and protects us from harm. Oh that more singles would experience the goodness of God in their sex lives!”

 

The Lord has reserved sexual intimacy for marriage. Today in prayer, if you are involved in an affair outside of marriage, flee from it and look to Jesus for strength. If you are not in an affair, seek to remain sexually pure and to honor Christ with your body.

 

"Within marriage, sex is beautiful, fulfilling, creative. Outside of marriage, it is ugly, destructive, and damning." – John MacArthur

 

God's Word: "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2024, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN 1 CORINTHIANS †

Devotional - Avoid Greed
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 10, 2024
Devotional - Avoid Greed

"But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat." - 1 Corinthians 5:11

 

In November 2023, a federal grand jury in Texas returned an indictment charging a Texas couple for operating an illegal pyramid scheme that defrauded thousands of participants of more than $10 million.

According to court documents, LaShonda Moore, 35, and Marlon Moore, 37, co-founded and ran an illegal pyramid scheme called Blessings in No Time (BINT). BINT was allegedly a chain-referral pyramid scheme that targeted the African American community during the COVID-19 pandemic with false and misleading promises that participants could expect 800% guaranteed returns and guaranteed refunds if participants were unsatisfied with the program.

The Moores are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. If convicted, they each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each wire fraud count and 10 years in prison for each money laundering count. 

 

Christ has called us to love people not to love things. Today in prayer, examine your life and get rid of any greed.

 

"God wants to give us something, but cannot, because our hands are full--there's nowhere for him to put it." - Augustine

 

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 2024, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN 1 CORINTHIANS †

Devotional - Avoid Boasting
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 9, 2024
Devotional - Avoid Boasting

"Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?" - 1 Corinthians 5:6

 

In December 2022, a rapper who boasted in a YouTube music video about getting rich quickly by scamming a COVID relief program was sentenced to 77 months in federal prison.

Fontrell Antonio Baines, 33, a.k.a. “Nuke Bizzle,” of Memphis, Tennessee, was sentenced by United States District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald, who also ordered him to pay $704,760 in restitution to the California Employment Development Department (EDD).

From July 2020 to September 2020, Baines unlawfully exploited the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provisions of the CARES Act to obtain unemployment insurance money – ultimately more than $700,000 – to which he was not entitled.

According to court documents, Baines bragged about his ability to defraud the EDD in a music video posted on YouTube and in postings to his Instagram account. In the music video called “EDD,” Baines boasts about doing “my swagger for EDD” and, holding up a stack of envelopes from EDD, getting rich by “go[ing] to the bank with a stack of these” – an apparent reference to the debit cards that came in the mail.

 

Boasting is foolish pride and the Lord hates to see pride in our lives. Today in prayer, confess and pride in your life and seek to live a life of humility.

 

"Grace puts its hand on the boasting mouth, and shuts it once for all." – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God's Word: "As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil." - James 4:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2024, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN 1 CORINTHIANS †

Devotional - Heed The Warnings
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 8, 2024
Devotional - Heed The Warnings

"I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children." - 1 Corinthians 4:14

 

In February 2006, race car driver Tony Stewart warned that aggressive bump drafting could kill somebody in the Daytona 500, prompting NASCAR's president, Mike Helton, to issue a stern warning about rough driving prior to the race.

But days later, that message was lost on Stewart. Stewart failed to heed his own safety warning and found himself penalized for rough driving during a series of incidents with Matt Kenseth, a fellow Cup champion. The two spent so much time banging on each other's racecars that they took themselves out of contention.

The two had been among the leaders early in the race. Stewart led once for 20 laps; Kenseth had the lead on four occasions for a total of 28 laps. But they each had to overcome penalties by NASCAR that took them out of the hunt. Stewart rallied in the closing laps to finish fifth. Kenseth ended up 15th.

 

When the Lord warns us, we need to heed His warnings. Today in prayer, thank Christ for His Word and the godly men and women in your life. Seek to heed the warnings He has given you so you may grow in His wisdom.

 

"Take warning by the misfortunes of others, that others may not take example from you.”- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

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 2024, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN 1 CORINTHIANS †

Devotional - Be Faithful
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jul 7, 2024
Devotional - Be Faithful

"Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful." - 1 Corinthians 4:2

 

In her article “Want to Be Faithful? Think Like a Farmer”, Glenna Marshall writes:

“Our growth hinges upon both God’s investment and our obedience. The Lord ordained our means of growth through prayer, Scripture intake, and the church just as he ordained for plants to grow through good soil, sunlight, and rain. We can trust his process for growth, waiting patiently for him to bring about what he’s promised. He who called you is faithful, his will for your life is your sanctification, and he will keep his promise (1 Thess. 4:3; 5:24). 

When it comes to growing long-term, everyday faithfulness in your life, think like a farmer who works and waits with patience, and know that the harvest is sure to come. One day, Jesus will present you pure and spotless before the Father, and what a harvest that will be!”

 

Whatever you have been called by the Lord to do, do it faithfully for Him. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for the work He has called you to do and strive to be faithful in all that you do.

 

"I do not pray for success. I ask for faithfulness." - Mother Teresa

 

God's Word: ""His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'" - Matthew 25:21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2024, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN 1 CORINTHIANS †

Devotional - Wisdom And Foolishness
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Jul 4, 2024
Devotional - Wisdom And Foolishness

"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness" - 1 Corinthians 3:19

 

On March 18, 2022, around 2:17 pm, Seminole (Florida) Fire Rescue responded to a disabled vessel taking on water with occupants onboard. Deputies found Pastor Shawn Thomas, 39, and his friend Alexandra Dumervil, 37, onboard and brought them both safely to shore. Pastor Shawn was not wearing a life jacket and he could not swim.

But Pastor Shawn decided he wanted to go back and save his little boat. So, he called a friend to ferry him back out on the lake, so he could rescue the boat-in-distress. But, again without a life jacket.

Around 5:30 pm Pastor Shawn tried to transfer to the little boat, and actually capsized it! Deputies received multiple calls around 5:42 p.m. about a man drowning in Lake Seminole, enlisting marine, flight and dive units to search for Thomas.

His body was located at 9:47 p.m., about 10 yards from where he was last seen.

 

Our “wisest” decisions can look very foolish in time. Today in prayer, ask the Lord for His wisdom in all of your decisions.

 

"We are ensnared by the wisdom of the serpent; we are set free by the foolishness of God." - Augustine

 

God's Word: "For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding." - Proverbs 2:6

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2024, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN 1 CORINTHIANS †

Devotional - A Firm Foundation
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Jul 3, 2024
Devotional - A Firm Foundation

"For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ." - 1 Corinthians 3:11

 

The Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, California was completed in 1972 and stands as the tallest building in the city. The office building soars 853 feet into the air and has stood as a symbol of San Francisco since 1972. It was built to withstand earthquakes. 

The foundation’s concrete walls are 9 feet wide and extend as far as 52 feet deep, to absorb shock waves. The building draws its strength from a unique truss system, which features cross bracing, used above the first floor. 

The 49-story office building's advanced engineering and earthquake-resistant features were put to the test in the 1989 Loma Prieta, California, earthquake when a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the city. For a minute, the building swayed more than a foot, yet it remained undamaged.

 

The only perfect foundation, the one that will hold through any of life’s storms, is Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, thank Christ that He is our firm foundation and build your life on the surest of cornerstones.


"The doctrine of our Savior and his mediation is the principal doctrine of Christianity. It lies at the bottom, and is the foundation, of all the rest." - Matthew Henry


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 2024, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN 1 CORINTHIANS †

Devotional - Place Your Faith In God's Power
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Jul 2, 2024
Devotional - Place Your Faith In God's Power

"so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power." - 1 Corinthians 2:5


Elka was born around 1933, to the Wai Wai people. This tribe was located on the border of Brazil and Guyana in South America. His father died shortly after his birth, and he was sold to his uncle. 

As a young man, Elka marveled at the power and authority of the local witch doctor, who could heal and curse.

Elka trained for 3 years and became a shaman.

But the coming of missionaries to Kanashen changed his spiritual beliefs. As a witch doctor, he was imprisoned by fear until he heard the gospel from missionary brothers Neil and Bob Hawkins. By the time this conversion happened Elka was the Chief of his village. While at the beginning of his conversion many disagreed and laughed at him, before long many of the villagers followed him into the Christian faith when he did not die from forsaking the old spirits.

It is said that, “by 1962, the Wai Wai had gone on as many mission trips in as many different directions as a man had fingers and toes.”


Our faith must rest either in the Lord or it rests in something inferior. Today in prayer, place all of your cares and concerns in Christ’s hands and have faith in Him.


"It is the heart that senses God, and not the reason. That is what faith is: God perceptible to the heart and not to reason." - Blaise Pascal


God's Word: "Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands." - Psalm 78:7


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2024, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN 1 CORINTHIANS †

Devotional - The Message Of The Cross
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Jul 1, 2024
Devotional - The Message Of The Cross

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." - 1 Corinthians 1:18


John Ortberg, in his book “Who Is this Man?” writes: “During a recent Holy Week a cross with a mocking sign ROFL (a texting abbreviation for “rolling on the floor laughing”) was placed on Cross Campus at Yale. It stirred considerable conversation about free speech and respect for religion and whether Christians are privileged or persecuted. Some Christians complained that they are the one group allowed to be bashed in public, a complaint that—even if it were true—sounds oddly unlike the response of the early church.

This was not the first time mocking words had been associated with the cross. According to the scriptural account, Pilate had the words “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS ” printed on the cross. Jewish leaders complained that it should say, “This man claimed to be king of the Jews.” But Pilate said, “What I have written, I have written.” Churches often place the Latin acronym for what Pilate had written on crosses: Jesus-Nazareth, King-Jews, giving the Latin letters INRI. But it was not a tribute. It was a roast. ROFL.”


The most important thing in life is to give your heart to Jesus Christ and to follow Him. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His sacrifice on the Cross and seek to follow Him in all that you do.


"On almost every church in the Western world there is a cross. Why? Why has the cross become the symbol of Christianity? It is because on the cross Christ shed his blood, which has become the cure for sinners who will recognize their spiritual poverty and receive Him as their savior, Master, and Lord." - Billy Graham


God's Word: "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile." - Romans 1:16


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2024, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN 1 CORINTHIANS †

Devotional - Agree With One Another
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Jun 30, 2024
Devotional - Agree With One Another

"I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought." - 1 Corinthians 1:10


The Apostles’ Creed is a statement of Christian belief that is used by Western churches, both Catholic and Protestant. An early version of what later became the Apostles’ Creed, called the “Old Roman Creed,” was in use as early as the second century. The earliest written form of this creed is found in a letter that Marcellus of Ancyra wrote in Greek to Julius, the bishop of Rome, about AD 341.

The text of the Old Roman Creed written by Marcellus is:

“I believe in God the Father almighty;

and in Christ Jesus His only Son, our Lord,

Who was born from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary,

Who under Pontius Pilate was crucified and buried,

on the third day rose again from the dead,

ascended into heaven,

sits at the right hand of the Father,

whence he will come to judge the living and the dead;

and in the Holy Spirit,

the holy Church,

the remission of sins,

the resurrection of the flesh,

life everlasting.”


As Christians, we should agree on these principles of the faith and work together to bring glory to Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, give your heart to the Lord and strive to be in unity with other Christians to serve Him.


"As we draw nearer to Christ, we shall be drawn nearer to His people; and in our search for unity with the members we shall be drawn closer to the Head.” – G.T. Manley


God's Word: "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus" - Romans 15:5


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2024, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN 1 CORINTHIANS †

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