cwkennedy

Weekday devotionals for Christians

Special Tree, Unique Purpose

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

2Ti 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 

I grew up with our family having a fake Christmas tree my entire life.  I preferred having a fake tree as the only way to have a tree…until I got married and was “told” what we were going to do, just kidding, I wanted to try it out and see what it was like.  I am very glad that I tried getting a real tree, because my family really enjoys that process.  These next few lessons came as a result of going to a tree farm or tree lot and the process it takes to buy and get it home and decorated.  I hope these lessons will encourage, challenge, and convict you just like they have done to me.

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.  There are many different kinds of pine trees, but only one is used for the Christmas Tree.  Right down the road from my church is a pine tree farm that is used for harvesting trees to be used for paper.  I am not one that is very knowledgeable on pine trees, but I do know it takes a specific pine tree to be used for a Christmas Tree.  I know that there are many different types of trees used for Christmas, but for the sake of the lesson I am using the Pine Tree.

Application

God has a specific purpose for each and everyone that has been born.  Once you are finished with that purpose, I believe God takes you to Heaven (I will expound on this later).  If you are living, you have a purpose.  If you are breathing, you have a purpose to fulfill.  If you are reading this, you definitely have a purpose in life.  God knows what that purpose is and wants you to fulfill that purpose.  Only you can fulfill that purpose.  Just like there are many pine trees, there is only one that you are looking for…the “right one”.  God has custom made your purpose for you.  It is made will the intention of only one person fulfilling that purpose and that person is you!  Only you can fulfill God’s purpose for your life!  Will you do it?

Jesus had a purpose, and it was to come and bear the sins of mankind so that we will have a home in Heaven when we die.

1Jn 3:8  He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 

Mat 26:39  And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt

Once Jesus fulfilled that purpose, God took Him home to Heaven.  Once you fulfill your purpose, God will take you home.  Guess what?  If you are still living on this wonderful planet, then God is not finished with you.  You still have a purpose, now go fulfill it!

December 16, 2011 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Evergreen Christians

1Co 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 

Psa 1:3  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 

I grew up with our family having a fake Christmas tree my entire life.  I preferred having a fake tree as the only way to have a tree…until I got married and was “told” what we were going to do, just kidding, I wanted to try it out and see what it was like.  I am very glad that I tried getting a real tree, because my family really enjoys that process.  These next few lessons came as a result of going to a tree farm or tree lot and the process it takes to buy and get it home and decorated.  I hope these lessons will encourage, challenge, and convict you just like they have done to me.

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.  One of the  differences between pine trees and oaks, maples, etc…is that the pine trees do not lose their needles in the fall.  I do want to say that I enjoy seeing the leaves change on the trees that do that sort of thing, but pine trees keep their needles green all year.

Application

We as christians should always be in bloom for those around us; although we should not be a “bloomin’ idiot” as my dad says it.  What does it mean to be in bloom?  It means to be abounding with fruit and fulfilling your purpose.  We as christians should always be looking for ways to fulfill our purpose for Christ.  There is never any “down-time” with Christ because our time on this earth is short.  It will not be too long before Jesus comes back to get us!  We will be able to rest in heaven.  The need is so great and so important that God needs and wants us to be like that tree that brings for fruit, and whose leaf does not wither,and whatsoever we do will prosper.  Don’t you want to be that type of christian?  They key to doing and being this is to always be in bloom.  Are you in bloom for the Lord?  If not, be a blooming christian!

 

 

December 15, 2011 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lessons I Learned from a Pine Christmas Tree

Psa 14:2  The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.

Joh 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

I grew up with our family having a fake Christmas tree my entire life.  I preferred having a fake tree as the only way to have a tree…until I got married and was “told” what we were going to do, just kidding, I wanted to try it out and see what it was like.  I am very glad that I tried getting a real tree, because my family really enjoys that process.  These next few lessons came as a result of going to a tree farm or tree lot and the process it takes to buy and get it home and decorated.  I hope these lessons will encourage, challenge, and convict you just like they have done to me.

Lesson #1

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

You have to go to the tree farm where they are, or in some cases you need to go to a tree lot and pick one out.  You will not get a tree unless you go where they are.

Application

God the Father is seeking someone to use.  This is why we were created…to be used!  I do not want to live this life without having any purpose from God the Father.  What a sad life to live when a person lives a life that has no purpose.  I do not know about you, but I want to have purpose to everything that I do.  I want to fulfill God’s purpose for my life.  Let me ask you a few questions:

1. What is God’s will for your life?  Do you know it?  If not, then I suggest that you seek God and beg Him to show it to you.  The only way to get total fulfillment and satisfaction in life is to do what you were created to do.

2.  Are you DOING God’s will?  I didn’t say your own will.  I have met many people who blame a lot on the Lord, their mistakes. included.

Are you willing to follow God’s will for your life?  I feel crazy even asking that question because asking that question is like asking a lady if she wants chocolate; it’s like asking a car guy if he wants a fully restored vintage car of his choice; it is like asking a starving person if they would like to go to a buffet.  God’s will is the best thing that anyone could ever do!!!!!  Doing God’s will takes faith, but God gives that peace that passes all understanding, He gives that grace to help in time of need, and He gives that fulfillment that every addict in the world is looking for.  God’s will is so good, we should pay to be a part of it.  We should not have to be convinced to trust God and follow Him, but rather we should  be “bugging Him” to use us.  What happens to the trees that are not picked and every year they get passed up?  They become rotten…why, because they do not fulfill what their purpose is.  What will you do?  Do you know God’s will?  Are you in God’s will?  If you are not, then you are missing out on the “key” to life!

December 14, 2011 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are You My Teacher?

Tit 3:14  And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

“Every man is my teacher”, is what I heard growing up from a hero of the faith, Dr Jack Hyles.  I will not give the statistics of what God has done through him, but I will tell you that he was used in a mighty way to change our country for good and for God!  When Bro. Hyles stated that he can learn from any person, it was like Albert Pujols saying that he still has a lot to learn about being a good hitter, it was like Michael Jordan saying that he still has a lot to learn about the game of basketball, it is like Donald Trump saying that he has a lot to learn on the subjects of Real-Estate and Business!

If Bro. Hyles can humbly admit that he still has a lot to learn, then I can admit that  I have a LOT to learn still!  My point with all of this is that I have learned a lot from a tree.  Yes, a lowly pine tree is my teacher.  I am not ashamed to admit this.  Over the course of the next few devotionals, I will share with you the many lessons that I have learned from the lowly pine tree.  Will you be open and receptive to the lessons and thoughts that have helped me?  I encourage you to  read with an open heart and a teachable spirit!

December 13, 2011 Posted by | Devotional, Sunday School | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joseph’s Obedience

Mat 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
Mat 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Mat 1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
Mat 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Mat 1:24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
Mat 1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

 

I started a little series on Joseph and I want to continue it today.  I have listed the first 4 points.  I will add one more.

1. Joseph did right, even when his ancestors and relatives did wrong.

2. Joseph reacted slowly.

3. Joseph respected Mary, even when he didn’t trust her.

4. Joseph waited and thought about what should be done, before he did anything.

5. Joseph obeyed God.  I want to point out a few things on this point:

1. He had to listen, to hear the instructions.  Sometimes we disobey God and do not intend to disobey, because we are to busy talking and not listening.  Have you ever told your child to be quiet so that they can listen to your instructions?  That is what God feels.  By the way, were you listening in church yesterday?  Were you in church yesterday?  God is talking, the question is Are you listening?

2. He obeyed, even when others did not understand.  This can be hard when you have loved ones looking at you like you are crazy.  If God tells you to do something then you should do it.  By the way, make sure it is God telling you to do it and not yourself convincing you that what you want to do is of the Lord.

3. He experienced embarrassment from obeying God.  Sometimes God’s instructions embarrass our pride.  That is ok, because our pride will destroy us.  If you do not understand what I mean, then do right in front of others that are not doing right.  They will not make you feel good.  The Will of God is not embarrassing at all, but fulfilling it in the eyes of those who do not understand God’s will can be embarrassing.  Joseph walked around with a pregnant fiance, at a time when that was shameful.  Will you be willing to sacrifice your pride for God’s will?

December 12, 2011 Posted by | Devotional, Sunday School | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your Turn God

Mat 1:16  And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. 

Mat 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Mat 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
Mat 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

I started a little series on Joseph and I want to continue it today.  I have listed the first 3 points.  I will add one more.

1. Joseph did right, even when his ancestors and relatives did wrong.

2. Joseph reacted slowly.

3. Joseph respected Mary, even when he didn’t trust her.

4. Joseph waited and thought about what should be done, before he did anything.  I know that I kind of went over this two days ago, but I want to add something to it.  When Joseph waited and pondered what to do next, that allowed God to step in and inform Joseph of what to do and how to do it.  When we react slowly, we allow God the opportunity to step in and fix, explain, show, and solve the problem.  When we are quick to jump, we often find ourselves getting ahead of God and making the situation more complicated than it needs to be.

Notice in verse 20 the Angel of the Lord came to him and told him what he needed to hear and to do.  I would also like to point out that Joseph listened, he did not talk or interrupt or try to control the situation.  He allowed God to do what was best, and because of it he and Mary and Jesus were bettered for it.  When crazy things happen to you will you allow God a chance to do something, or will you jump ahead of God?  The choice is up to you!

December 9, 2011 Posted by | Devotional, Sunday School | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Revealed Respect

Mat 1:16  And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. 

Mat 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Mat 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
Mat 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

I started a little series on Joseph yesterday and I want to continue it today.  I have listed the two points from yesterday.  I will add one more.

1. Joseph did right, even when his ancestors and relatives did wrong.

2. Joseph reacted slowly.

3. Joseph respected Mary, even when he didn’t trust her.  The custom back then with two people getting engaged or “espoused” was to wait 9 months to a year for a “proving time” for the woman to show that was “pure, chaste, and honorable.”  If she was impregnated before she was married, then the “waiting period” would reveal it.  If this happened, the man espoused to her would take her before the city and expose her and she would bear the shame for not being a virgin.  Joseph found out that she was pregnant and loved and respected her so much that he was not willing to make her a public example-verse 19.  Even in his broken heart, Joseph still did right by Mary.  I often ask myself what I would have done in that scenario, and I probably would not have reacted as good as Joseph did.  Here we have another example that it is never ok to do wrong even when it seems justifiable.

I believe that God knew how Joseph would react when put in this situation; that is why Joseph got used by God in such an miraculous way!  I could imagine that Joseph was probably feeling some stress at this point, and he revealed to everyone that he was a “Just Man” and that he can be trusted by God with Baby Jesus.  Do you think God would just put Jesus in any home?  No Way, Jose!  God  put Jesus in THE home that He could trust to raise His son right!  How about you?  How will you react to things that are tough?  Will you buckle under pressure or will you shine through like Joseph did?

 

December 8, 2011 Posted by | Devotional, Sunday School | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joseph the Just

 

Mat 1:16  And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. 

Mat 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Mat 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
Mat 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

I love Christmas!  I love the Bible verses that tell us of the story of Jesus coming down on the earth.  Matthew chapters 1 & 2 and Luke chapter 2 are the main passages where the Christmas story comes from.  These verses are so rich with things that are beneficial to us today; I want to share a few thoughts with you concerning the verses listed above:

1. Joseph did right, even when his ancestors and relatives did wrong.  Joseph was in line to be king of Israel, but because his relatives before him lived wickedly; he suffered.  Joseph, in our reasoning, could have been justified in being bitter, but he wasn’t.  Joseph was more interested in being “Just”.  That means holy, equitable, and fair.  What will you do…How will you respond when you have to suffer from someone else “messing-up”?  How will you respond when your loved ones mistreat or abuse you?  Joseph responded correctly and God had respect for Joseph and used him to train God’s only Begotten Son.  That is very amazing considering that God could have chosen anyone!

2. Joseph reacted slowly.  In verse 20, he thought about what his reaction could be and should be to Mary being pregnant.  He didn’t know that it was the Holy Ghost that did it.  Even if Mary explained it to him, He probably still would not have believed her; still, he reacted slowly.  Slow reactions lead to better reactions.  Those who fly off the handle and over-react to life are in for a harder life.  Bad reactions only complicate the matter.  In our anger and hatred, we convince ourselves that over-reacting will solve the problem.  It only complicates the situation and makes a bad situation into a horrible situation.  When something happens that is out of your control, remember to react slowly.

December 7, 2011 Posted by | Devotional, Sunday School | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Overlooked The Best Things

 

Psa 68:19  Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. 

I know, I know, I have used this verse already.  I just can’t stop thinking about how wonderful God really is to me and my family!  No, I did not win the lottery.  No,  I did not receive an expensive gift.  No, I was not given something out of the ordinary.  My day started like it usually does and nothing significant has happened……..except for the fact that I:

1. Did not wake up homeless today.  What a blessing it is to wake up in a warm bed with a roof over my head!  My roof is not leaking, that I know of, and my house stayed dry in the rain storm that we were in.

2. I woke up next to my wife.  A lot of men can say that this morning.  A lot of heart-ache has happened to a lot of good people.  I am sorry that others cannot  say that they woke up next to their spouse, but if you did, you are blessed!

3. I helped my children get ready for school today.  I have two wonderful, beautiful, funny, exciting, energetic, and loving little girls.  They, next to my wife, are my best buddies!  I got to spend my morning with them today!  I know that a lot of soldiers did not have that privilege that I had this morning!  Thank God for our faithful, dedicated, hard-working, and sacrificial soldiers who were not able to spend their morning with their little ones!!

4. I got in my car with a hot cup of coffee and went to work!  A lot of people are out there looking for jobs, wishing that they had work to go and do!  I did not have to worry about my car breaking down (I drive a Chevy, it is 15 years old and it was made before they got rescued by BIG BROTHER) due to running out of gas or any mechanical failure.

5. I get to do what I love to do!  WHAT AN AWESOME BLESSING!  I get to do what I love to do, and that is to work full time for Christ!  It is the highest honor and most humbling honor that I have ever experienced.

I listed these above things to say that our lives are full of daily blessings that we  often overlook.  I am guilty of overlooking and taking for granted the daily benefits that God gives me!

Bro. CW’s Challenge:

Make a list of blessings today.  List the everyday, common things that happen and sit back and thank God for allow you to receive and experience those benefits!

 

December 6, 2011 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Satisfaction is Coming

 

Psa 91:14  Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

Psa 91:15  He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

Psa 91:16  With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

 

 

    Do you know who else knows of God’s coming answer to your need?  The answer is your adversary, the devil.  He knows that God blesses faith and blesses where you set your love.  This is one of the big reasons why the devil uses fear to get you to jump and make a hasty decision.  He knows that you are protected in God, but also realizes that most humans, especially christians, suffer with a lack of faith.  He then does his best to scare us in to acting prematurely by causing us to act on fear instead of acting on faith.   

     I will deliver him, and honour him.  This is a definitive statement.  It means that it will definitely happen!  God did not say might, maybe, or I’ll try.  He said I will deliver him and honour him.  That him is you if you set your love on him. 

God does not stop there.  He goes on to say that He will satisfy you.  Most addicts in this world, are searching for satisfaction.  The sad thing is that they are looking in the wrong places.  I have also noticed that most addicts are pretty determined people.  They get so determined and consumed with getting satisfaction, that they often sacrifice the things that are the most important to them.  Moms, dads, husbands, wives, children, grandchildren, jobs, homes, friends, and God are the ones who suffer and endure with that addict the most.  I have noticed that the ones who suffer the most do so because they don’t give up on them and  they see what God sees, a loved one who needs true satisfaction, and this only comes through Jesus.

      Let me ask you a question; has there been a drought of satisfaction in your life?  The world thinks that things, money, fame, programs, and logic will solve your need.  They think that because of their unsaved condition.  They don’t understand spiritual things because they have the Holy Spirit to understand the spiritual.  If you are not saved, make today the day of Salvation.  If you do, you will start down the only path that leads to satisfaction.  

 

-You have the keys to the secret place!!

December 2, 2011 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment