cwkennedy

Weekday devotionals for Christians

The Finger Pointer!!

Romans 2:1   Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

We all have done it.  We will most likely do it today.  We all know someone in our lives that could make a living off judgement if it carried a paycheck.  Why is it so easy to judge?   Better yet…. Why is it so easy to do? Why are we so good at it?

I should say we think we are good at it.  We are really only good at hurting people’s feelings and getting right out of the way of God’s will in this part of our lives.  It  is true that some of our walk with Christ may just have something to do with people you don’t agree with or even worse…  DON’T LIKE.

As the scripture above states, this isn’t something we should over look.  I really believe this is the fall of most of our brothers and sisters.  The judgement of our self, first.  Then of others.  Then we get really crazy with it and began to be a sideline judge of what God may think of us or others.  We began to play who is more religious games.  Before we know it we are not even reading our bible to get closer to God.  We are just running around with it in our hand and forget who is really in charge of this life we are living.

Where is the answer you ask?  I believe it comes right down to where your heart is.  If your heart is still being controlled by you.  Then it will be impossible to not fall into the inexcusable.  If we just take a few seconds when judgement looms and think of what we are doing.  Give God the situation and work hard to find a way to be DIFFERENT in the situation.  Most of the time the actions you are about to judge in others are just a defense they have built.  They built it to defend themselves from judgement.  It is a never ending loop if someone doesn’t put a stop to it.  Be that person today please.  Retire from Finger Pointers of America and join a  movement that has eternal benefits.  Love on someone you would have judge today.  Start with YOU!!

-ERN

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year.  May you receive God’s blessings this upcoming year with great joy.

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December 30, 2011 Posted by | Devotional, Sunday School | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be The Horse

Luke 4:2   Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, He afterward hungered.

How long have you been tempted lately?

We get so overwhelmed by our current life issues it hinders our walk with Christ.  We get tunnel vision and sometimes may forget the bigger picture.  40 day is a very long time to suffer through something.  For most of us four minutes is a long time to suffer through anything.  Jesus after being tempted by the best of tempters and not eating along with that just waited in faith for his father to help him.  He stepped back in all them small moments and noticed the bigger picture.  Of course, he was God in a human body but I am sure it was still mentally challenging.

I would like to challenge everyone this morning to take another look at what is going on in your life today. No matter how it seems right now IT IS TEMPORARY.  That is one promise this guy can make.  EVERYTHING here on earth is temporary.  Now, here is when it gets interesting.  You are not a prisoner to situations of your life.  You are an active and willing ACTOR in it.  That’s RIGHT.  You can choose to be or do anything you have enough FAITH to do.  If you have faith in God to see you through.  I really mean some active faith.   You will handle your “40 day temptation” with much faster results by being the horse.  Lets stop acting like the blade stuck in the ground.

Lets make a promise to each other today.  No longer will I be the tool of the harvest.  I will be the harvest itself with Christ’s guidance.

-ERN

December 29, 2011 Posted by | Devotional, Sunday School | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Picture Perfect…Almost

 

Eph 2:5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 

Isa 59:17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.
Isa 59:18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.

Lesson #7

Once the Tree is home, it has to be put in a tree stand and stood up!

Lesson #8

The tree must be placed in a good, solid tree stand.

Lesson #9

The tree must be watered in order to last through the season.

Lesson #10

The tree is decorated by it’s owner and has no choice in what is put on it.

Lesson #11

The Decorator knows what ornament or decorations to use to cover up the “gaps, imperfections, and blemishes” on the tree to make the tree look as if there was nothing wrong with the tree at all!  I know you have done it.  Used certain ornaments or garland or lights to cover up the holes or bad branches.

Application

If we do that with our tree, what do you think God does to us?  God knows where our gaps are, so tell Him in humility and ask for Him to help you.  Guess what, He is infinitely better at decorating us, than we are decorating trees!  Let God decorate you, He wants to!  I am not saying that you need to walk around proud or boastful; just let God bring the things in your life that will cover up certain scars that were left from moments of foolishness.  God wants you to have a good life in His will, but you have to let Him decorate you.  Before you know it, people will look at you and think “you don’t know what I am going through, you never had anything go wrong in your life!”  Deep down inside you and the Lord know better than that!  Wouldn’t it be nice for that to be said about you?  If that ever happens…Praise God!

December 28, 2011 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mikey Likes It!!

Mat 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Mat 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
Mat 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Lesson #6

Now that the Tree is cut down, it must be put on a shaker to get the dead needles off of it.

Lesson #7

Once the Tree is home, it has to be put in a tree stand and stood up!

Lesson #8

The tree must be placed in a good, solid tree stand.

Lesson #9

The tree must be watered in order to last through the season.

Lesson #10

The tree is decorated by it’s owner and has no choice in what is put on it. The owner decorates the tree the way he or she wants to.

Application

The owner already has an idea of what is going on the tree.  The already have a theme picked out for the decorating.  They know which lights will go on it and where.  They know where the tree will be placed, probably in front of a window.  Likewise God knows where He will put you, how you will get there, what will be placed on you, how much will be placed on you, and will decorate you according to the “theme” that your life will take.  It is not for the tree to accept or reject what it’s Owner has for it; the tree just simply needs to bear the weight of whatever is put on it.  What about you christian?  Are you trying to “shake off” what God has put on you?  What He does in your life is not for you to accept or reject; it is for you to be decorated with.  Will you accept what God puts in your life?  Remember, if He put it in your life, you will not be able to get rid of it.  Just accept it and move on…you just might like it.  Remember the “Life Cereal” commercial…”Mikey likes it!!”

December 27, 2011 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m Thirsty

Merry Christmas !!!!

Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 

Isa 44:3  For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: 

Lesson #4

Everyone that goes to the tree lot or tree farm is looking for the right tree.

Lesson #5

To be used, the tree must be cut down.

Lesson #6

Now that the Tree is cut down, it must be put on a shaker to get the dead needles off of it.

Lesson #7

Once the Tree is home, it has to be put in a tree stand and stood up!

Lesson #8

The tree must be placed in a good, solid tree stand.

Lesson #9

The tree must be watered in order to last through the season.  I was told my first time getting a real tree that as soon as I got it home and in the stand that I need to water it as much as it will take.  The tree will take the most water initially and then slowly after the transition stage.

Application

The tree is going through a transition stage as it comes home and needs a lot of food.  The christian is the same way; he needs an increased amount of food immediately at the start of the transition.  Transitions are very slippery.  I have seen many people slip during a transition to a new level spiritually.  Why does this happen?  When a christian starts something new, they need extra food, extra nourishment to help get them through “uncharted waters”.  I have seen a lot of christians go to the next level and flat line because they were still “spiritually feeding” the same amount.

When my children are going through a growth spurt, a strong sign that they are growing is increased appetite.  I don’t fight it, I just give them as much as they can eat.  Growing children are usually very active physically and need much more food.  Growing christians usually are very active and need more food.  The old way of eating (spiritually) is not enough for the growing christian, they need more, atleast until they are finished with the transition.  Just like the tree can no longer get it’s nourishment from the roots, the christian will need to get his nourishment from a new place, new way, etc…  Are you going through a transition?  If so, don’t starve yourself spiritually.  Give your spiritual nature as much food as it can take.  This is a sure way not to die!

 

December 26, 2011 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Firm Foundation

1Co 2:5  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 

1Co 15:1  Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand

Lesson #4

Everyone that goes to the tree lot or tree farm is looking for the right tree.

Lesson #5

To be used, the tree must be cut down.

Lesson #6

Now that the Tree is cut down, it must be put on a shaker to get the dead needles off of it.

Lesson #7

Once the Tree is home, it has to be put in a tree stand and stood up!

Lesson #8

The tree must be placed in a good, solid tree stand.  It needs a stable foundation to hold it up or any slight imbalance or bump will knock it over.  I found this out the hard way.  I didn’t tighten the bolts down hard enough, because I was afraid to hurt the tree.  What happened was the tree fell over and broke a branch and caused some frustration to me, the owner.

Application

We as Christians need a stable foundation and that is the Word of God.  The world is full of advice that is not evil, but that advice is not Godly.  Anything that is not of God is therefor ungodly.  Anything that is not of the Bible is unbiblical.  We as Christians should do everything in our power to live Biblically and Godly.  The world says follow your heart or discover your heart. The Bible says:

Jer 17:9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 

Pro 18:2  A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself. 

I can go on and on with many illustrations, but I will say this: just because it sounds good, that does not make it good.  The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.  Good intentions never justify doing ungodly and godless things.  I am talking about those daytime talk show hosts that give their opinion and expect you to listen to it like Dr. Phil, Oprah, and more.  I am not trying to throw a stone but look at the top to I Corinthians 2:5, that verse is for all talk show hosts, but that is not all.  It is also for me and you!  What!  What am talking about?  Anytime I exalt my opinion above the Bible’s and God’s, I just put myself in the place of God.  Be careful, there are some very smart people out there that can manipulate words very well.  Use the Bible as the filter for all of those opinions.  What is your foundation?  Is it logic, science, or academics?  What ever it may be, know this: your foundation should be in Christ!  If it is not,  you will fall, break something, and cause a lot of frustration!

December 23, 2011 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stand

Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Eze 22:30  And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. 

Lesson #1

You have to go where the trees are and search all of the trees.

Lesson #2

The Pine Christmas Tree is an Evergreen Tree…it is always in bloom.

Lesson #3

The Christmas Trees are planted and grown for a specific purpose.

Lesson #4

Everyone that goes to the tree lot or tree farm is looking for the right tree.

Lesson #5

To be used, the tree must be cut down.

Lesson #6

Now that the Tree is cut down, it must be put on a shaker to get the dead needles off of it.

Lesson #7

Once the Tree is home, it has to be put in a tree stand and stood up!  The Tree is no good to me and my family if it is laying on the floor.  All of the growing, fertilizing, watering, searching and shaking and bringing it home is pointless if I never put it in a tree stand to fulfill the tree’s purpose

Application:

We as Christians must stand for Christ if we are going to be effective Christians.  If you are saved wonderful!!!  Now what are you doing for Christ?  Standing for Christ might cause resistance from others, friction from family, and pressure; but that is ok!  That is why we have Jesus!  He said:

Mat 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
Mat 7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

God will take care of you!  He wants you to stand for Him!  It doesn’t matter what you call yourself if you don’t stand for Christ!  God is seeking someone that will stand for Him, will you be that one?  The Christian who does not stand for Christ is like a Christmas tree that is brought home and laid on the floor.  A Christian who does not stand for Christ is as useless as a tree that is laying down.  Will you stand for Christ?  God is looking for some one who will!

December 22, 2011 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All Shook Up

 

Psa 51:7  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 

Psa 65:3  Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away. 

Psa 79:9  Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake. 

Lesson #1

You have to go where the trees are and search all of the trees.

Lesson #2

The Pine Christmas Tree is an Evergreen Tree…it is always in bloom.

Lesson #3

The Christmas Trees are planted and grown for a specific purpose.

Lesson #4

Everyone that goes to the tree lot or tree farm is looking for the right tree.

Lesson #5

To be used, the tree must be cut down.

Lesson #6

Now that the Tree is cut down, it must be put on a shaker to get the dead needles off of it.

This was an enlightening experience for me.  The first time I went a tree farm, they put the tree on a shaker.  I, at that point in my life, had never seen a machine that shakes a tree.  I literally thought is what some “redneck contraption” made by a guy working for a tip.  I was looking for the duct tape…ha ha.  I saw the guy put my tree up on the shaker, and immediately I felt, “take it easy man, that is MY tree.  Don’t hurt my tree!”  I did not say this, I just thought it.  As the worker was shaking it, I was asking the question why, when I was half-way through the question, I figured it out.  The worker instead gave me a better answer.  His answer was, “So you don’t drag a mess into your home!  There is a lot of “dead-ness and dead needles in the middle of the tree that you cannot see well.”  Wow, this guy had no idea, but he just preached me a sermon!

Application:

God wants to use me…Yeah!!!  In order for God to use me, He must put me through a “shaker” to get a lot of the dead-ness that I did not know was in my life, out of it.  God wants to use me and you but there will be a purging process that will shake our lives up a little.  Do not fight it, let it happen.  You don’t want to keep dragging a mess with you everywhere you go do you?  I don’t.  Sometimes I realize that I have some dead-ness; and there are times that I think that I am pretty good, but am full of dead-ness.  What am I talking about are things like: Bad Attitudes, Destructive Thinking, Iniquity, Besetting Sins, Baggage, Hurts, Depression, Bitterness, Etc.  There are so many things in our life that can hinder God’s will for us.  Will you allow God to shake-up your life?  By the way the shaker does not hurt the tree at all, it just spins it around for a short time.

December 21, 2011 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Take Me Home

Mat 10:37  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Mat 10:38  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Mat 10:39  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Lesson #1

You have to go where the trees are and search all of the trees.

Lesson #2

The Pine Christmas Tree is an Evergreen Tree…it is always in bloom.

Lesson #3

The Christmas Trees are planted and grown for a specific purpose

Lesson #4

Everyone that goes to the tree lot or tree farm is looking for the tree that:

A. Has no Big Blemishes

B. Has Green Needles

C. The Right Height

D. Mature

Lesson #5

To be used, the tree must be cut down.  Imagine this:  You and your family pack up all of your:

1. Presents

2. Decorations and lights (if you have lights, then you will need a generator to give power to those lights)

3. Food

and then you go to the tree farm and decorate a tree, put presents at the foot of the tree, and sing some Christmas Carols, Eat, open up presents, and have fun…all while you are at the tree in the tree farm.  This sounds silly doesn’t it?  Why would anyone go to all of that trouble to save the $30-$60 for cost of the tree.  You would probably have to explain to the police why your family is trespassing on someone’s property.  The best thing to do in this situation is to have cut the tree down and taken it in your home…this is why the tree was grown, to be cut down and taken home.

Application

The above story is a little strange and I don’t know anyone who would do that.  Spiritually, people do that constantly; they want to do what God wants for them, but they want to do it their own way.  They don’t accept or will not accept 4 things:

1. They (like the tree) will have to leave the old life.  This is a must even if you have had a good life in the past.  God’s will will cause you to leave the old life whether or not it was good.

2. They have to leave the old way of thinking.  What worked in the past is not necessarily going to work in the future.  God brings us through stages in our life and if we try to handle things, reason things out, solve problems the same way like we did in the past, then we will “mess-up” a lot of things in the future.

3. They have to leave (like the tree) the ones whom they grew up with.  This includes family and loved ones.  If you are not willing to leave father and mother, you are not worthy of Christ or His will for your life.  You MUST DECIDE Who is most important to you in your life…Jesus or family.

4. They must leave (like the tree) their comfort zone.  Just as the tree will have go to a drastically new place to fulfill it’s will, you will also go to new places and do new things that are drastically different.  They will not be comfortable…at first.  But once you get acclimated to the new environment, you will grow to love it!

-It will be a little painful as you are “cut away” from your old life.

-You won’t be able to get your nourishment from the old life; it won’t satisfy you anymore.

-You won’t fit in anymore once you are cut away from the old life.  God has a new place for you.

-You will be exposed to new elements:  for the tree it is children, pets, etc…

-You will be in a warmer and cleaner environment.  God’s will is exciting and fulfilling, but when He starts to change things around in your life, things will get a little scary…that is ok, because that is living by faith…allowing God to bring things in your life and trusting solely on Him to bring you through them as you “press on the upward way” for Christ!

-What will you do?

 

 

December 20, 2011 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Trees Under the Shed

Heb 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Heb 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Lesson #1

You have to go where the trees are and search all of the trees.

Lesson #2

The Pine Christmas Tree is an Evergreen Tree…it is always in bloom.

Lesson #3

The Christmas Trees are planted and grown for a specific purpose

Lesson #4

Everyone that goes to the tree lot or tree farm is looking for the tree that:

A. Has no Big Blemishes

B. Has Green Needles

C. The Right Height

D. Mature

No one wants a tree that has been abused, looks like trash, or is messed up.  Everyone goes after the “good tree”.  Usually the good trees get cut down early and are taken to a special shed to be sold for more money.  Why do they do this you ask?  Because they are in higher demand and the farmer knows that people will pay more money for a good tree.

Application

If everyone looks for the “good tree”, what do you think God is looking for?  Please do not take this lesson as a “beat-em up session”, but rather take it as a challenge to be the tree that is most sought after.

I am for everyone.  I am for the one who makes a mistake, to get all the mercy and grace that he needs from God to come back.  What I am not for and I think God is not for those people who abuse God’s loving mercy and grace to the point that they say that want to “live it up in the world” and come crawling back to God when they are done partying.  I am not for anyone who abuses God’s mercy, for when we live like the devil; we take on blemishes and hindrances that will hinder our purpose for Christ.  Every time we “live it up”, we hurt our own “tree” for God to use.  I am not against anyone coming back to God!  I am a sinner and have my own personal issues also, but it is no accident that we are given so many wonderful and great opportunities to serve Christ.  When we take those opportunities and squander them away by doing something other than what God wants, we are hurting our own usefulness for God.

Luk 12:48  But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. 

How mad would you be if you personally gave money to someone to get a specified education in medicine and they went through and got a degree only to go flip burgers at McDonalds or go and be a lazy, ignorant “occupy wall street” protester.  I would not be too happy if I helped someone like that and they squandered it away!  OK, again I am not trying to be mean to someone who wants to come to Christ.  If this is you, then come on, He will take and cleanse anyone!  But let us all strive to be the “good tree” that everyone wants in their home!  Let us train our children and instill in them the desire to be pure, chaste, clean vessels for God’s use!  Let’s be those trees that are taken early by the farmers and sold for more under the shed!

December 19, 2011 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment