cwkennedy

Weekday devotionals for Christians

Glad You Did or Wish You Had?

Mat 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:

Mat 13:46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

I am scheduled for pre-op today at 8:30 am.  This is the first time that I have ever gone in for surgery.  I know that it is minor surgery, but I still feel very anxious about it.  I was preaching at a nursing home on Friday morning to several retired people.  All of them remember WWII and can tell stories about it that will blow your mind.  One guy was in the search team that searched Hitler’s bunker.  Another guy landed on Omaha beach.  Many ladies told stories that their husbands told them.  One guy went 14 days without food because the german army cut off their supply lines.  It brought tears to my eyes and an overwhelming sense of gratitude to my heart for the many sacrifices that those elderly folks have made for my country and for my freedom.  They remind me a lot of my grand-parents.  I can’t help but think of my grandfathers when I listen to them.  I love spending time with those wonderful people!  Back to the devotional…I feel kind of like a wimp telling those wonderful people about my little out-patient surgery.  They were kind to me and were supportive…God Bless Them!  Those wonderfully aged people have had more hard times in the first half of their life than my life combined!

I am going to get ready for my surgery on Tuesday morning.  This thought came to me, spiritually, how willing am I to let God operate or “cut” on me?  This surgery will cost me a lot now, but hopefully it will benefit me for the rest of my life!  Spiritual surgery is the same. It will always cost you something, but you will benefit from it for the rest of your life.  The real question is are you willing to pay in the short term to have long term results?  The choice is easy to make and tough to live, but you will look back and say I am glad that I did, rather than I wish I had.

February 13, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In A Submission Hold

Eph 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 

One of the keys to every relationships for everyone is the biblical philosophy of submitting.  No one likes talking about it, but it is a vital need in every relationship.  The Lord Jesus started this Biblical mandate of submitting by dying on the cross.  He didn’t want to die that way but He did.  The question is, “will you follow the Lord’s example of submitting in your own personal relationships?”  A husband submits to God by loving his wife like Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.  A wife submits to God by submitting to her husband just as if she would submit to the Lord.  While this may not be enjoyable, this is not an option given by God, it is  a command.  Do you want to be more Christ-like?  Christ submitted His will to the will of God the Father.  Christ obeyed even when He didn’t want to.  He submitted for the entire human race to benefit.  What about you?  Who will benefit from your submission?  Even if you don’t see who will, God still says to do it!

February 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Skin?

Heb 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I had received an email that I thought would be a blessing to those of you who receive this.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

What’s at Stake If You Don’t Succeed?
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In 1986 I started my own publishing company with Robert Wolgemuth. We had worked together at Word, Inc. and then at Thomas Nelson. Like a lot of young entrepreneurs, we had a big dream, a business plan, but few resources.

Orel hershiser Pitching

We raised enough money from investors to launch the company, but we were still strapped for cash. Regardless, we soldiered on, believing that God would bless our creativity, hard work, and commitment to excellence.

Our first big break came in 1988 when the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series. After the final game, Robert and I miraculously got an appointment with Orel Hershiser, the Dodgers’ pitcher. We met with him in Washington, D.C. just after he met with President Reagan.

Our meeting went well. He hadn’t considered writing a book, but we were able to talk him into it. He seemed genuinely excited.

After our meeting, we visited the Washington Redskins practice field together, where we met Coach Joe Gibbs and watched the Redskins practice. Orel was a major celebrity and everyone on the team wanted to shake his hand.

We then flew with Orel and his agent to New York by private jet where we had dinner together. It was heady stuff for a couple of young businessmen from Nashville.

We were really excited about the idea of publishing Orel’s book, but we knew we would be in competition with the biggest publishers on the planet. They would surely drive up the royalty advance for the book, but we hoped against hope that we could make a favorable enough impression that he would publish with us in spite of the money.

A few days later, Orel’s agent called us. He said, “I have great news. Orel would like to publish his book with you, provided you are willing to pay a royalty advance of $150,000.”

Without a moments hesitation, we both said, “Absolutely. We’re in!” We then promised to get him a contract the next day. We were pumped!

We hung up the phone and high-fived one another. After a few seconds, I said, “Only one problem … where are we going to come up $150,000?”

Robert laughed, “Oh, yea, that!

We didn’t know if we should celebrate or puke. It was one of those times in business where the line between success and disaster is razor thin.

Robert finally suggested that we call Jack, one of our investors, who also sat on our board. He said, “I’m sure Jack will lend us the money. This is a no-brainer.”

A few minutes later, we had Jack on the phone. We shared with him our story of meeting Orel, and his agent’s decision to give us the book. Jack was enthusiastic. “Way to go guys. I am proud of you!”

Robert then said, “Yea, only one problem, Jack. We need $150,000 for the royalty advance. We’re confident this book will be a bestseller, so we just need a short-term loan. Can you help us out?”

We held our breath.

To our surprise, Jack said, “You bet, guys. This is going to be huge.”

Robert and I pumped our fists and quietly mouthed the word, “Yes!”

“Just one thing I need you to do,” Jack continued. “As part of the loan agreement, I need you to pledge your homes to me as collateral. If you are willing to do that, we can make this happen quickly.”

Uh-oh. We didn’t see that coming.

What Jack understood, and we eventually learned, is that having skin in the game makes it easier for everyone to win. I’ve seen it again and again—in life and in business.

When you have something significant at stake:

  1. Your attention is focused. Winning or losing matters.
  2. You work harder, because you have a stake in the outcome. If the book didn’t work, we would lose our homes.
  3. You won’t walk away as easily. You have to fight until the bitter end. This is good for everyone involved.

As it turns out, we did agree to Jack’s terms. He loaned us the money, and we published Orel’s book, Out of the Blue. It landed on the New York Times list at #4 where it remained for several weeks. The whole process took less than ninety days from the first phone call to hitting the list.

Thankfully, we were able to repay Jack the money we owed him. Our wives were happy too, since we didn’t need to move out and turn our property over to Jack. This was one of those times when everything just worked.

The moral of the story is this: if you want to accomplish big goals, you need to have skin in the game. You don’t have to pledge your house, but you need to have something significant at stake. The more concrete you can make it, the better.

Questions: Think of your biggest goal right now. What is at stake if you achieve it? What is at stake if you don’t achieve it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

February 9, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

 

Psa 10:1  Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?

Psa 10:2  The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.

Psa 10:3  For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth

Psa 10:4  The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

 

I want to point out something about humility before I move on.  Humility helps us out in two main areas.

1. Humility will help my mountain top experiences to not be so high.  At first this may sound bad, but it is not.  If stability is what you want in life, then humility will help you achieve it.

Why should I not want to have an enormous High?  Because our valleys are measured by our mountain top “Highs”.  How do you know that you are in a valley?  Because you are next to a mountain.  And when you are next to a mountain, you feel pretty low.  So what do I mean by my first point?  When I stay humble, I realize that any good thing that comes from me is not me, but in fact it is God working through me.  I therefor do not get a big fat head thinking more highly of myself than I ought to think.

Rom 12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

2. Humility keeps me from going into the deep dark recesses of depression (my valley).  When I remember that all good that comes from me is God, I won’t be shocked to realize that I was made from dirt.

Psa 103:14  For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

God on purpose chose to make us from dust.  Why, I don’t know for sure, but I will ask Him when I get to Heaven.  I have a theory though why I was made from dust, to remind me of what I was before God came along.  Guess what, God knows that you will mess up and mess up and continue to mess up.  That is why He put this verse in the Bible:

Rom 5:20  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

When I allow Humility to remind me of these things, I keep my valleys from going to low because I am really just a clump of dust; I also keep my mountain top highs a little lower, because the higher I go, the harder and farther I fall.  I don’t know about you, but I would rather have a more stability in my christian life, than a roller coaster life that is full of all kinds of drama!

February 9, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Caught!!

2Ti 1:5

When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.

2Ti 1:6

  Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.

 

Here in II Timothy chapter 1 we have the Apostle Paul writing a letter to Timothy.  Paul starts out with thanksgiving for him and compliments Timothy on the unfeigned faith that was found in him.  I want to point out with the Apostle Paul that the “faithfulness” was started with a faithful parent.  It is very easy to “let down” around our children without realizing that the most important people that we need to influence are the ones who see us the most.

I have felt the temptation to “slack off a little” when it was “just me and the family”.  I believe that one of the great tragedies of modern christianity is that we are more concerned with being faithful with someone or something else or left our family behind in pursuit of someone else’s family.  With good intentions and sincerity of heart, we left the ones whom God entrusted us with the most.  In fact, He trusted us to the point of having them live with us, to see how we live and observe how we should act and react to the world around us.  What will our children “catch us doing”?  Will they catch us reading our Bibles (Hint, Hint…..The Bible reading schedule to the right), praying, singing songs to the Lord, trusting in God?  What will your most precious possessions catch you doing?  Let it be said of us by our children that we are “caught being a christian”!

February 7, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Come Out, Come Out, Where Ever You Are

Psalms 10:1  Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?

Psalms 10:2  The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.

Psalms 10:3  For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth

Have you ever felt like you were on the outside looking in?

This could be anything in life; from a family situation, to work, or something that you felt like you were being left out.  Sometimes the feeling of loneliness comes in and seems as if that feeling is the only thing that will be with me.  I feel this way when the Lord seems like He is standing afar off.  The story of Jesus on the Cross and His looking up to God and saying, “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?” is brought to my mind when I read verse 1 in this chapter.

While we may not know why God hides from us, I do know what we can do when it happens.  Here are a few things that we can do when we feel that God is hiding from us.

1. Stop…that is right, just stop.  Sometimes we get so busy that we fail to recognize the “Who, What, Where, When, and Why” of God.

2. Pursue Him…Maybe God wants to see if He is worth pursuing in your life.  Maybe we are pursuing the wrong things in life.  In the Old Testament, God is always pursuing His chosen people, the Jews.  But many times He sends judgement to provoke them to Him.  When the Israelites pursued Him, they found Him.

3. Read extra Bible.  This always helps me and it will help you.  Run to the places in the Bible that God reminds you of His love(Psalms).  Go to the places where God tells us how to get His attention(II Chronicles 7:14, Isaiah 55:6, Zephaniah 2:3).

4. Brag on God…this will always get His attention.  Psalms is a great blue-print for this.  As King David brags on God, He says certain things and does certain things to get God’s attention.  By all means, we should do what David did as he is called a “Man after God’s own heart”.

February 6, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good Sleep

Pro 3:24  When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

Pro 3:25  Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.

Pro 3:26 For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.

Have you ever been weary and needed a good night’s rest?  I have yet to meet an adult who could say no to this question.  I remember when I worked 2 jobs a day and extra jobs on the weekend before I moved down here.  I was glad to have those 2 jobs.  I needed both of them to make ends meet.  I am sure you have been there at some point in your life, or you might be there now.  What ever the situation might be, having “sweet sleep” is something we all desire.  In fact, life gets pretty rough when you can not get restful sleep.

These 3 verses talk about sudden fear, and verse 25 talks about desolation of the wicked.  Both of these can cause poor sleep.  Sometimes seeing the wicked going into desolation is very scary.  That word means “devastation”.  Seeing someone go through total devastation is very hard to see, even if you do not like them.  “Never fear”, God says!  “I will be your confidence, and keep thy foot from being taken”.

Have you seen someone’s foot being taken by a trap or a noose hidden on the ground?  That is what verse 26 is showing.  God will keep thy foot from being snared.  The word “keep” also means to protect or guard.  If I want anyone to guard or protect me, I want them to be the Lord.  He never gets fooled or tricked!  These 3 verses should be an encouragement to you as you follow the Lord.  Are there dangers out there?  The answer is yes, but God is your Protection!

February 3, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Preaching With Our Feet

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Pro 30:9  Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain. 

Have you ever wondered why crazy, silly, frustrating things happen to those who love the Lord and strive to serve Him with their whole heart?  I am sure that there are many reasons why, but I want to explore one idea with you today.  That idea is that we preach with our feet.  In the verse in Proverbs above, the passage states that we take the name of God in vain when we steal.  The idea is that our actions (which speak louder than our words), take God’s name in vain.  It is like someone in the checkout line at Walmart and they cut in front of someone while wearing a shirt that says that they are a christian.  It is like someone who has a “Honk if you love Jesus” bumper sticker and they run people off the road and are a rude driver.  What we do preaches a very loud message to those around us.

So…here it is, why does God allow crazy stuff to happen to you?  Well, I believe one reason is that He trusts you more than others.  Huh?  What?!  Come Again!! What I mean by that is He wants to display to the lost and dying world the Greatness of His Love.  He does that through His representatives…that’s right, you and me!  Can God trust you to show Christ’s love when junk happens to you?  He is looking for someone that He can trust to show His through.  At first glance you might think, “why would I want God to send junk my way”?  The answer: to show His love, to take the Gospel to the ends of the world, to let God use you in a mighty way, to allow God to help others through your faithfulness and dedication, to be THE ONE that is His “go-to guy”.  Wouldn’t you want to be God’s “go-to guy”, His problem solver, His loving representative to a lost world?  I do (just help me through it Jesus)!  Just remember that, God will never put more on you than you can handle!

Last question, can God trust you to “Preach with your Feet”?

February 2, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Is Your Life?

Jas 4:14  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 

What an intriguing statement!  What a convicting statement!  Ask yourself that question, What IS your life?  This statement is in the present tense.  That does not meant what WAS your life; it means what IS your life.  I have met a lot of people who spend a lot of time beating themselves up for their past…guess what?  If you are saved by the Blood of Jesus, the Gift of Salvation, and the ONLY way to Heaven, then your history is simply that…..history.  With God, He wants to focus on the now and the future.  So let me ask you again, what IS your life?  Are you pleased with the way it is going…is God?  Are you pleased with your current status of “where you are going, and what you will do to get there”…is God?  Do you know where you are going and how you will get there?

There is good news…there is still time to change what is needed to change!  Someone does know what is needed and how to fulfill that which is needed!  That is Jesus Christ!  What a Wonderful, Awesome, Amazing, Magnificent, Superior, Ultimate, Heavenly, Perfect, Pure, Loving, Gracious, All-Knowing, Highest, and Patient Saviour!!!!!!  He is the answer to what we need!  While some men have some power, my Jesus has all power!!!  Have you accepted Him as your ONLY WAY to Heaven?  Guess what, it is free access to Heaven!  But it is only through the Almighty, Pure, and Precious Blood of Jesus!  Will you accept Him as your Saviour?  If you have, will you allow Him to salvage your life?  He can and wants to?  Last Question…..What is your Life?

 

 

February 1, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment