cwkennedy

Weekday devotionals for Christians

Loving On Accident or On Purpose

1Kings 11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;
1Kings 11:2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.

When you think of King Solomon, what do you think of , Wisest man on earth other than Jesus, Immense wealth, Building the Temple, King David’s Son, or do you think of the 700 wives and princesses and 300 concubines?  You might think of all of it.  I think that Solomon was one of the best kings that Israel had, with the exception that his heart was turned away from God.

So how did a man that was blessed by God so much have his heart turned away from God?  Look in the last statement in verse 2: Solomon clave unto these in love.  Solomon fell away from God because he allowed himself to “fall in love” rather than jumping into love.   What ?!  What do you mean “jump into love?”  This is what I mean: 

One action is an accident and the other accident is deliberate.  When I fall, I usually get hurt.  I usually end up in pain and at the very least, I get embarrassed!  Have you ever watched “America’s Funniest Home Videos?”  These videos were funny because the actions that made us laugh were accidental actions, not deliberate decisions.  Accidental actions often can be humorous for those who are standing back and watching, but for those who are “feeling the accident”, it can be painful.  Deliberate actions, for the most part, are not glamorous, funny, or entertaining.  Those actions are usually boring by nature because they come from deliberate thought.

Solomon allowed an “accident” to happen.  He allowed beautiful women capture his heart and in doing so, his heart was slowly and deliberately turned away from the One who blessed him.  If you ever find this happening to you, stop and  lead your heart because allowing your heart to fall in love by accident is something that usually brings devastating results.

Remember this one thing, if the world’s wisest man can fall in love with the wrong people, then certainly you and I can do the same.  The choice is yours to make.  Will you do what the Bible says in Proverbs 23:19  Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way, or will you allow something as important as love be left up to chance?    

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March 29, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let Go and Let God

1Kings 11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;
1Kings 11:2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.

I was reading this morning in my devotions in I Kings and I came across chapter 11 and it stuck out to me because the previous chapters were talking of the many wonderful things that Solomon did in building the tabernacle for the Lord and in bringing back the Ark of the Lord, etc.  I also read how God asked Solomon what he wanted from God as he became King of Israel.  Solomon asked for wisdom and an understanding heart so that he may rule and judge this so great a people in Israel.

1Ki 3:9  Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? 

Before I get into my thought that the Lord showed me, I want to point out a few things:

1. Solomon remained humble after he became King.  He asked God for an understanding heart to judge the people with.  He knew that he did not have enough wisdom to do what God wanted him to do.  When God calls you to do something for Him, He will equip you to do the job, but you must keep humility in your heart as you learn and gain what you need to fulfill what God has for you.

2. He realized the task ahead of him was greater than he could handle.  So he asked God to give him what he needed.  There is a big difference in confidence in the Lord and arrogance in yourself.  Many people get these two confused as they cause damage with their arrogance.

3. He realized that there was only one person that could give him what he needed; that is the Lord Jesus!  Many people turn to their own devices to solve there own problems while ignoring the great God that has all of the answers.  I have been guilty of trying to manipulate the results of something instead of letting God be in control.  I will tell you that it did not turn out good when I tried to control the results.  Let go and let God!

 

 

March 28, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Philip…Soul-winner/Door-knocker…Kind Of

Act 8:29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
Act 8:30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
Act 8:31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

Act 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
Act 8:37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Notice in verse 29, the Holy Spirit told Philip to go witness to the Ethiopian Eunuch. I like Philip’s response, he ran to him.  Once he got to the Eunuch, he asked him a question.  I love the response, “How can I except some man should guide me?”

What would your response be to the Holy Spirit if He told you to go and carry the gospel to someone?  Would you run? Would you go?  So often our response or lack of responding can hinder someone coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Keep in mind that the Spirit is always willing to see souls saved, the question is, are you?  Are you willing to see souls saved and lives changed?  Are you willing to go immediately like Philip did?  He did not hesitate when told by the Holy Spirit.  I wonder how quickly the “window of opportunity” stays open for us to respond and get the gospel to someone?  I do believe that Philip understood that his opportunity was limited at best and because of it, he ran.

Would you run to someone to take them the gospel?  Would you do it, even if they turned you down.  What if the Holy Spirit wanted them to receive the Gospel witness of a soul-winner and you went and got turned down?  Remember in soul-winning, if you get rejected by someone, it is not you that they are rejecting, it is Christ.  Remember that when you go soul-winning, if you go soul-winning.  Last question, how long has it been since you led someone to Christ?

March 27, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pride Has A Steep Price

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.

It is interesting to note what God’s actions are concerning the wicked.  Notice what the wicked does in these few verses and you will see why God chooses not to be around the wicked.

The wicked in his pride:

1. Persecutes the poor.  He is like a bully: always picking on someone who he can push around.  Notice the word persecute.  It is not bother, irritate, etc.  It is persecute.  Webster’s Dictionary defines persecute as:

In a general sense, to pursue in a manner to injure, vex or afflict; to harass with unjust punishment or penalties for supposed offenses; to inflict pain from hatred or malignity. That is what the wicked does to the poor.   God protects the poor and supplies there need.
2. Boast’s his heart’s desire.  He brags on the evil that he wants to do.
3. Blesses the Covetous.  God abhors the covetous.
4. Does not seek after God.

I am amazed at what some people allow their pride to do in their life.

Pro 16:18  Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Pro 29:23  A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

Will you allow your pride to get in the way of things and hinder what God has for you?  Only you can deal with your pride.

1Pe 5:6  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

March 22, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God…He Sounds Familiar….l Think

Joshua 24:31  And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel. 

Judges 2:8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
Judges 2:9 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.
Judges 2:10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.

Ok, so this was my original thought when I came across these passages:  Look at verse 10; this is yet another sad statement in the Bible.  Verse 10 explains why God refers to Israel as a harlot.  Israel, the bride that Christ gave himself for, continues to walk away from God and forsakes Him.  She was very unfaithful to the Lord as she kept turning away from Him.  I used to get very upset and frustrated because they were so unfaithful to Him, but I realize that I am no better than they are.

Why would Israel continue to walk away from God?  I don’t know exactly why, but I have an idea.  It is because:

1. There arose another generation that knew not the Lord, nor His mighty works.

2. The next generation’s faith was not challenged at all.  The Lord was real to the older generation because the older generation saw God fight their enemies. They have seen miracles that bolstered their faith in God.  It was a natural thing for them to believe in God because they constantly saw God work in their life.  Let me ask you something, What are you children seeing?  While you make think you know what they are seeing, you should actually see what they are seeing…don’t just take their word for it.  Are they seeing God work in their life? or are they seeing Satan work in their life?  Are they seeing Christ’s righteousness in you, or are they seeing you live in worldliness and ungodliness?  Are they seeing you live by faith, or are they seeing you live in the flesh.

3. Their parents did not pass on their heritage to the next generation.  I don’t know why, but that next generation did not know the Lord….they just did not know who He was.  I am sure that they have heard about Him, but never took the opportunity to KNOW Him.  They did not pass down their standards or convictions to their children.  They did not teach their children the “why and why not’s” of the christian life.  Have you ever wandered why this world is becoming more wicked with each passing year?  One of the reasons why is because less and less is being handed down to that next generation.  They are not teaching their children how to live godly. They are not teaching their children how to have a godly marriage.  They are not teaching their children how to “train up a child”…and the list goes on.

Last question,

What are you handing down to that next generation?

March 19, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God…Who’s That?

Joshua 24:31  And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel. 

Judges 2:8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
Judges 2:9 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.
Judges 2:10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.

Ok, so this was my original thought when I came across these passages:  Look at verse 10; this is yet another sad statement in the Bible.  Verse 10 explains why God refers to Israel as a harlot.  Israel, the bride that Christ gave himself for, continues to walk away from God and forsakes Him.  She was very unfaithful to the Lord as she kept turning away from Him.  I used to get very upset and frustrated because they were so unfaithful to Him, but I realize that I am no better than they are.

Why would Israel continue to walk away from God?  I don’t know exactly why, but I have an idea.  It is :

1. There arose another generation that knew not the Lord, nor His mighty works.  If we are going to further the Kingdom of God, then we MUST raise up another generation that will know the Lord.  This is so important to the furthering of the Gospel.  Where were the parents?  Where was the training that was so desperately needed by that next generation?  Why did the next generation grow up without their lives being centered around Christ?  If our children are going to turn out right for the Lord, it will not happen on accident! They will not magically have a heart to serve the Lord.   Serving the Lord and loving our Dear Saviour comes by deliberate action.

to be continued…

March 16, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Nice Slice of Peace

Joshua 24:28  So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance. 

Joshua 24:31  And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel. 

This passage really jumped out at me.  Well, actually both of these passages jumped out at me.  I get really encouraged when I look at the passage in Joshua 24.  The children of Israel have finished going through the Promised Land and fighting the battles that the Lord brought their way.  I want to point out a few ideas that “jump off the page” at me:

1. The Lord brought them to battles.

2. They saw the Lord fight for them many times.

3. They Had Many Years of Peace in Canaan Land.  This was the end result of those that followed Joshua’s leadership (it was Joshua following what God told him to do)…peace.  Finally, the peaceful life! was heard throughout the land among the new inhabitants of Canaan land.  

So many people get discouraged and quit on God before they get to that peaceful place in the promised land.  People struggle and have a hard time while in the battle, not realizing that God wants them there to grow their faith, endurance, toughness, and appreciation.  I go several times throughout the week and do church visits.  Some of those visits that I go to, I try to encourage the people because they are going through a hard time (usually caused by themselves).  Sometimes the situation that they are in came because of something out of their control.  I always walk away from those visits thanking God for a boring, Peaceful life.  How about you?  Are you ready for some peace?  It only comes from God.  Remember, God has it coming…will you wait long enough and endure long enough to see that Blessed Peace come into your life?

I don’t know about you, but I can always enjoy a nice slice of Peace!

 

March 15, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Experience With the Lord

Joshua 24:31  And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel. 

Deuteronomy 20:3 And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them;
Deuteronomy 20:4 For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

Judges 2:8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
Judges 2:9 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.
Judges 2:10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.

This passage really jumped out at me.  Well, actually both of these passages jumped out at me.  I get really encouraged when I look at the passage in Joshua 24.  The children of Israel have finished going through the Promised Land and fighting the battles that the Lord brought their way.  I want to point out a few ideas that “jump off the page” at me:

1. The Lord brought them to battles.

2. They saw the Lord fight for them many times.  That’s right, you did not read the previous statement wrong; neither did I make a mistake (this time).  The Lord will fight for you!!! Hallelujah !!!!!  When you are in God’s Will, you will encounter battles.  But fear not, He…the Almighty, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Creator of the Universe, the One Who Owns the cattle on a thousand hills, the First and the Last will fight for you!  That’s right, He will fight your battles for you while you are in the fight.  It is an amazing thing to see the Lord fight your enemies and bring down those who are against you!  Those who try to avoid the battles miss out on the blessings and the fellowship that happens when you are “arm in arm” with the Saviour.  Sometimes, people do not recognize peace and therefor cause a lot of negative drama in their life.  When someone is in the battle with the Lord, they are looking for peace and quiet, they are just wanting to get away from the noise of battle.  Those who are not in the battle get bored and then find some trouble.  Fellowship with God takes on a new meaning when you fight together.  Conversations change when you experience hardship and trouble.  Relationships take on a whole new meaning when you go through battles.  Appreciation for God and Faith in what He says will drastically increase when you see the God of the Universe conquer what you can not do on your own. You talk differently to Him when you get alone to pray.  

So how about it?  Have you been in the battle with the Lord? Do you want to see how mighty He really is?  Those who miss out on the fight, fail to see God’s might.  How much experience do you have with the Lord?

March 14, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thank God for 59 and Rainy

Joshua 24:31  And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel. 

Judges 2:8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
Judges 2:9 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.
Judges 2:10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.

This passage really jumped out at me.  Well, actually both of these passages jumped out at me.  I get really encouraged when I look at the passage in Joshua 24.  The children of Israel have finished going through the Promised Land and fighting the battles that the Lord brought their way.  I want to point out a few ideas that “jump off the page” at me:

1. The Lord brought them to battles.  I want to point this out because the Promised Land is a representation of the victorious christian life.  Some people get mixed up into thinking that God’s Will or the victorious christian life will not have any battles or heart-aches.  God never promised a life without pain, but He did send a Comforter to help us through that pain.

Another reason I believe (my opinion) that God brought them to fight is because the children of Israel need something to judge the peaceful times with. What I mean by that is the children of Israel can appreciate the peace that God brought them a whole lot more because they understand what it is like to be in a full-on battle.  How do we judge peaceful times?  We judge them against the non-peaceful times.  I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to take for granted, the goodness that God brings in my life.  If all of my days were sunny and 72 degrees, I would not appreciate them like I would when I sit inside on a rain, dreary day.  I need the rain, for many reasons; but especially to appreciate the days that it is sunny and 72.

No one likes hard times that come our way, but we are far more grateful of the good days when we have endured the days that are dreary, dark, gloomy, and depressing.  So let us all learn  to appreciate the days that are not sunny and 72, but rather 59 degrees and rainy.

March 13, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is That It?

Luke 23:42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

I want to wrap up my last thought with these verses today.  I often catch myself naturally settling for something that is not the best; or I try to convince myself that  something other than best is what I should get.  Often times though, getting the best requires some sacrifice and work.  It takes someone who is tired of the “status quo” and pursues something that is perceived as bigger than they are.  I wander how much mediocrity we settle for just because the thing we want seems to “good to be true”, and might take a little more sacrifice than what we want to pay.  Keep in mind that I am not talking about things, like a plasma TV, new car, or an expensive piece of jewelry as the things that I need to press on to achieve or seek after.  I am talking about increasing your vision for yourself and expanding it to a place of dis-comfort.  Success comes from people who do not seek for the comfortable life, but rather those who are dissatisfied with the current situation that they are in.

Let me challenge you to look in your life; at all areas and ask yourself, “Is this all that I want?”  I can just imagine as Jesus was on the cross and heard the question from the thief to remember him in Heaven.  I can imagine that Jesus thought “Is that all you want?”  What areas, if any, are coming to your mind right now that can stand an expanded vision; a vision that pushes “the  envelope” of faith that will cause you to reach out to God and beg Him to help and guide you as you press toward that “perfect will of God”.

AREN’T YOU TIRED OF JUST GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS?  Are you willing to get more out of the christian life?  Don’t you want to see miracles happen in your life that can only be explained by Christ working through you?  If you find your heart pumping a little more because you want God to do something miraculous in your life, then go ahead and bow your head and ask God to show you the areas that need an expanded vision in your life.  When He shows you those areas, then pursue them with gazelle like intensity and hold on  to all of the promises of God as you pursue a greater vision.

Remember, God wants to do more through you!  But you must first ask yourself the question, “Is this all that I want?”

 

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