cwkennedy

Weekday devotionals for Christians

Teaching the Teachable

Philippians 3:10-13
(10) That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
(11) If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
(12) Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
(13) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

3. Always learn from your past.
This is where the main thought for today is going to be. I believe one of the main frustrations in the life of any individual in the regards to personal failure is the inability to learn from your past. While we all have things in our past, including failures, if we learn from the past defeats or failures in our life, we will be able to grow and avoid the failure in the future. One of the reasons why God allows us to fail is for us to learn from our failures. I know that in my life, certain lessons could not be learned from succeeding. I would say that most of the lessons that stand out in my mind came from a failure so bad, I got burned. My body has a few scars on it from when I did not succeed. I have 2 scars on my right arm because I was running will a porcelain bowl that was filled with popcorn. I was 4 years old, and I was running from my mom who wanted some popcorn. It was a fun moment I was having with my mom, until I turned the corner and my foot slipped out from under me and I fell on top of the bowl. The bowl broke into pieces and a few of those pieces went into my arm. I was screaming bloody murder! Oh the pain! Oh the lesson I learned that day! That is probably my earliest memory ….a failure! Isn’t it amazing how we can remember a detailed description when we suffer? I learned that day not to run (especially from mom) when holding a porcelain bowl.
How good are you from learning from past mistakes, failures, and/or defeats? I would say that the ability to go to God and then be teachable enough to learn from your past will directly affect your ability to grow.
2 Peter 3:18
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

What is hindering you from growing in the Lord? Whatever it is in your life, let me encourage you to remove any hindrances to your growth.

4. Help someone else learn from your mistakes.
Wow, this is not always easy. In order to do this, you must admit you have failed or have been defeated. Some people cannot handle this because their image is most important to them. How sad it is when individuals put their ego, their image, and yes their pride ahead of helping others. I have met many people who fit into that category. I also belong in that category when I allow my pride, ego, and image to get in the way of progress and helping others. We all have our moments of selfishness, but we can fight it and be a help to others.

Helping others learn also helps me learn on a different level. I learned in college a principle in education. That principle is this, “The person that does the work, is the person that does the learning.” This explains why the teacher who studies and prepares for the lesson that they will teach the class is the one who typically knows the most on the subject. When I help someone else learn the vital lessons that I had to learn the hard way, it engrains that lesson into my mind even more. You should try it. Teach someone a vital lesson that really helped you in your life. What starts to happen is growth in your life. Rather than feeling embarrassed, you will feel the gratitude from the heart of your teachable student.
Proverbs 9:9
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

 

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June 30, 2017 Posted by | Devotional, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Daily…Really?

Philippians 3:10-15
(10) That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
(11) If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
(12) Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
(13) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
(14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
(15) Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

I want to address another area in regards to growing, and that is dealing with failures.
Surprisingly most people do not realize it, but failures are a daily occurence.  I hate not succeeding! I would guess that you probably are the same as I am in that area. “I don’t play to lose”, is something that my girls will tell you about me when we play or do something that requires competition. I am a very competitive person. I always try to succeed in everything that I do. I have learned that the average person does not need to have an aggressive drive to succeed in order to enjoy winning. Most people strive for success.
What happens then when we fail or do not succeed at what we start out doing? Well….a lot of things happen, but what I want to address is what needs to happen after we lose or fail. If we first don’t succeed, ……. You know the rest of the statement. We need to try again. While I want to stay away from the self-help advice that usually is void of God and is primarily focused on the sheer determination of man; I want to point out a few thoughts on growing through past failures.
1. God is not surprised when we do not succeed on the first try.
Psalms 103:14
For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

Praise God! Thank You Jesus! I have found that the average honest individual (there are exceptions to this), is harder on himself than anyone. We always expect to succeed on the first try and when we don’t we experience a lot of negative feelings and a range of frustration. If God is not surprised that we will fail, we need to be understanding of that ourselves as well. If we can do this, we will be able to do things like: encourage others when they fail, encourage ourselves when we fail, and learn from our past mistakes. In my failures, I have learned that the answer to my failure is out there, I just need help in finding that answer.
2. When we fail we should do the following things:
    A. Be teachable and seek the answer to the failure.
    B. Look to the Lord, before I look to man for the answer.
Proverbs 16:1
The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
…to be continued tomorrow…

June 29, 2017 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Easy or Best

Philippians 3:10-15

(10)  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

(11)  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

(12)  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

(13)  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

(14)  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

(15)  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

I want to share a few thoughts with you on the topic of Growing in Christ:

1. We should desire and work toward getting more victories in our spiritual life through Jesus Christ!  When was the last time you had an answer to prayer?  I am not talking about the prayer you say before each meal, but rather a prayer for someone else or an urgent need in your life….the type of prayer that it would take God to answer.

—————or—————

When was the last time you read your Bible through cover to cover in a year?  I took the challenge about 7 years ago…wow…I can’t believe it has been that long….I digress.  Have you ever read the Bible through cover to cover in a year?  If you have not, let me challenge you to do that as an area to grow in.

—————or—————

How good are you at giving your time, talent, and/or treasure to the Lord?  Maybe you can improve your church attendance.  Try adding something more like going to Sunday School or attending Sunday Night or even Wednesday Night.  Remember we are talking about growing in the Lord.  What are your hindrances to growing?  Is it your schedule, maybe you should trim it for the sake of Growing in Christ.  Is it your church, maybe you can find a good Bible believing church that has Sunday School, Sunday night, and/or Wednesday night services.

—————or—————

When was the last time you gave more to Jesus?  More what?….I will not try to name specifics, I will endeavor to let the Holy Spirit do that.  The Holy Spirit is great at pointing to Christ and convicting me of what I need…maybe you have experienced it too….the moving of God, the urging of the Holy Ghost to do something.  Have you followed through with it?

One last question…In 20 years when you look back on your life and assess where you have been and how you have grown or stagnated, will the hindrances you list now that hinders growth be worth it?  I hope you can do the hard thing and that is to continue to Press Toward For Christ.

I have learned that the best things in life are not easy, and the easy things in life are usually not the best.

-Pastor CW Kennedy

June 28, 2017 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

20 Years From Now….

Philippians 3:10-15

(10)  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

(11)  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

(12)  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

(13)  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

(14)  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

(15)  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

In this passage, we must go back to verse 10 to understand what Paul was talking about in verses 12-14.  In verse 10, the apostle Paul is telling us that he wants to know Christ, and understand a special type of fellowship; and in doing that, that causes him to try to be a better Christian and is on a continual path of growth.  Verse 11 is the indicator that he is attaining unto something and verses 12-14 makes it clear that he is pursuing growth in Christ.  I want to point out that growth in Christ is not something that is automatic, neither is it guaranteed.  Growth in Christ takes diligent persistence on the part of the one needing growth.  When God chose to give us the ability to choose right or wrong, one of the by-products of that is now we must continue to decide to grow and improve in any particular area in life.  Make no mistake, this lesson is not about “becoming a better you” in your own strength and absent of the power of God; these devotionals are about becoming conformed to the image of Christ.

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

The drive to constantly grow in Christ is something that most people do not have.  A continual growth in your life will be tiresome and exhausting, but also extremely rewarding.  I want to challenge you to do exactly what the Apostle Paul is admonishing us to do…Grow in Christ.  I am now 20 years past my High School graduation and the realization of this makes me feel old.  I clearly remember having conversations (20 years ago) with my fellow class mates and encouraging them to go to college of some form to get either a trade or a degree in some field.  I remember that a few of them did not want to further their education.  I and many of my class mates knew they would regret it later in life, but they would not be convinced to continue their education.  How sad it is now that we are 20 years removed from our graduation.  I wonder how I would look back on my life 20 years from now.  If I will continue the growth process, I firmly believe that I can be pleased rather than regretful; and so can you!

-Pastor CW Kennedy

June 27, 2017 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moving Forward In Christ!

Philippians 3:13-15

(13)  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

(14)  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

(15)  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

These verses come from God through the Apostle Paul to the church at Philippi.  The Apostle Paul is a man that committed murder in his past….that’s right…he is a murderer.  God saved him from a wretched life of sin and now he is bringing a message to the church and now us in  the church age.  What is the message?  The message is this: “Anyone can move forward, as long as they are in Christ!”  We all need to move our life forward in Christ.  It does not matter how successful we were in our past or if our past is filled with the graffiti of sin.  We all need to move forward.

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June 26, 2017 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , | Leave a comment