cwkennedy

Weekday devotionals for Christians

Looks Can Be Deceiving

Proverbs 14:11-12
(11)  The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.
(12)  There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

For skiing enthusiasts there are few places that top the rugged Cascade Mountains in Washington state. For “extreme skiers” who look for the most remote and steep locations, one of the best places to ski is the Stevens Pass on Cowboy Mountain. Just outside that ski park is a place known as Tunnel Creek. Though it is not maintained by the ski resort, it is known for deep snow that is perfect for skiing-and avalanches.

In February of 2012 more than a dozen world class skiers gathered for and excursion down Tunnel Creek. The trip ended in disaster as nearly 3 feet of newly fallen snow combined with temperature changes created a deadly avalanche. Three of the skiers-professionals who had spent much of their lives on the slopes-perished in the massive snow slide. The wife of one of the victims asked him that morning if the excursion was safe. She later said, “He looked me right in the eye and said: ‘Of course, I wouldn’t be going if it weren’t.” They thought that what they were doing was safe, but they were tragically and fatally wrong.

Human wisdom and understanding is fallible. Studies have shown that people routinely underestimate dangers and overestimate their abilities to cope them them. Thisis true in all aspects of life, but it is especially true in the spiritual realm. The prophet Jeremiah put it this way: “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”  (Jeremiah 10:23) God has given us a perfect and inerrant guide-His Word. Rather than relying on how things look and feel to us, we should truest and follow His precepts.

May 18, 2020 Posted by | Coronovirus, Covid-19, Devotional, Fear, Madison Street Baptist Church, Wisdom | Leave a comment

9 Nor’s to Encourage You

Romans 8:35-39
(35)  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
(36)  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
(37)  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
(38)  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
(39)  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We, that is you and me, have an enemy. He is Satan, the devil. He is horrible, terrible, cruel, mean, wicked, full of wretchedness and filthy. I hate the devil. The devil wants to hurt us. The devil wants to destroy us. The devil wants to lead us astray from God. The devil wants get us away from God to make us vulnerable to his wiles. Just as a lion hunts for the weak and very young, so likewise the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.

1 John 4:19
(19)  We love him, because he first loved us.

The devil hates you because God loves you. The devil wants to separate you from the Love of God, but he can’t…HA HA! God loves you and the devil cannot do anything to stop it! Think about that … God….Loves….you! God is so powerful, that their is not any thing that can separate us from His love. Look above to verses 38 and 39. Their is 1 “neither” and 9 “Nor’s” that should encourage you. They are used to describe God’s limitation in our lives. Nothing can separate us from God’s love…NOT EVEN THE CORONAVIRUS…LOL. God loves us so much!

Just a simple thought today…God loves you and nothing can keep you from receiving God’s love! Take a moment and thank Him for His wonderful love that cannot be kept from His people! Thank you God!

May 15, 2020 Posted by | Coronovirus, Covid-19, Devotional, Madison Street Baptist Church | Leave a comment

Takes One to Know One

1 Kings 15:3
And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father.

1 Kings 11:3-9
(3) And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
(4) For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.
(5) For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
(6) And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.
(7) Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.
(8) And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
(9) And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice,

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. What goes around comes around. These statements are familiar and they are so true to so many people. I am reminded of the devotional yesterday where Solomon married 300 wives. WOW! 300! If you know much about his father, King David; you know that his father married many women as well. He had many wives, although only eight of them are named. Of the eight, five are mentioned only once. The other three wives figure prominently in the story of King David. According to 2 Samuel 5:13, David married more wives in Jerusalem, but how many is unknown. These facts are not as widely known to us today, but they were very obvious and well known to his children.

And he walked in all the sins of his father

Is there any doubt now why Solomon married so many women? Especially with his dad being highly praised and decorated. So often, we as parents do not think that our sins are that big or that bad, but they really are! While many may not see our faults or sins, our children do! And they probably see them more clearly than we do. Such is the case with King David and King Solomon. David married many women. Without getting stuck in the weeds, that was sin, but David was still able to keep his heart loving the Lord and trusting the Lord. I personally cannot explain it, but the Bible points it out.

And he walked in all the sins of his father

The sins of the father definitely effected his son. And the issue that comes is that while David may have “handled it” (the sin of so many wives), his son Solomon couldn’t. Keep in mind that Solomon was the wisest human, outside of Jesus Christ, that walked this earth.

We as parents need to make sure that we are setting an example where we set the bar up high enough and live by it that we can say, “Do what I say AND what I do,” rather than making the statement, “Do what I say, not what I do.” That statement says 2 things: 1. I am a hypocrite. 2. I am not willing to do right, but you need to. I have never seen that work out correctly.

In closing, let’s make sure that our lives are the type that could be modeled to our children as they grow up. Let us be the example of how to live and overcome the difficult things in this world through Jesus!

What will your children learn from you?

May 14, 2020 Posted by | Coronovirus, Covid-19, Devotional, Madison Street Baptist Church, Wisdom | Leave a comment

Is Your Heart Right, or Has It Left?

Proverbs 7:24-25
(24) Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.
(25) Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.

One of things that the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, does is track the different things that end life. According to their statistics, more Americans die of heart disease every year than any other single cause. No one keeps similar statistics on spiritual tragedies, but if there were a way to measure the cause of them, certainly problems of the heart would be at the top of the list. If we allow our hearts to be turned away from God, disaster will soon follow.

We see this truth illustrated in the life of Solomon. Though God gave him great wisdom, wealth, and power, Solomon did not remain constant in his devotion. In his youth, he worshiped and valued God. building the magnificent Temple in Jerusalem. But he disobeyed the Word of God by having many wives from foreign countries and different false religions. Those wives eventually turned his heart away from God. Over time they destroyed his allegiance to the God of Israel. “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.” (1 Kings 11:4).

What goes on in the heart cannot be concealed forever. Sooner or later it will be apparent in our actions. Jesus said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:” (Matthew 15:19). If we love God as we should, there will be no room for the things of this world to take root. The warning that John issued to the church at Ephesus shows the vital importance of the heart: “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.“(Revelation 2:4).

Where is your heart? The words to this hymn ring true even to this day:

Is Thy Heart Right with God?

Have thy affections been nailed to the cross?
Is thy heart right with God?
Dost thou count all things for Jesus but loss?
Is thy heart right with God?

chorus:
Is thy heart right with God,
Washed in the crimson flood,
Cleansed and made holy, humble and lowly,
Right in the sight of God?

Hast thou dominion o’er self and o’er sin?
Is thy heart right with God?
Over all evil without and within?
Is thy heart right with God?

Is there no more condemnation for sin?
Is thy heart right with God?
Does Jesus rule in the temple within?
Is thy heart right with God?

Are all thy pow’rs under Jesus’ control?
Is thy heart right with God?
Does He each moment abide in thy soul?
Is thy heart right with God?

May 13, 2020 Posted by | Coronovirus, Covid-19, Devotional, Madison Street Baptist Church | Leave a comment

Here is the Pep Talk

Galatians 6:7-9
(7)  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
(8)  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
(9)  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Are you ready for the “pep talk?” Ready or not, here it comes!

We are told and reminded in the Bible that we will reap what we sow. It is only a matter of time before it comes about. WHEN you reap, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO REAP? The verses above are a sober reminder that we need to keep pressing on. If you need to take a break, then take a break (hopefully a short one). When you are finished, jump back in. If you need to make a change, then change it and keep going forward. These are things that I am reminded about. We all get worn out from time to time, just keep it all in perspective.

Here is the list that I believe came from the Lord. It challenges me and maybe it can be a help and a challenge to you as well to keep on going:

In times of displacement:

1. How will you respond?

2. Who will you continue to trust?

3. Who will you become during your displacement?

4. Will you work on improving where flaws are exposed?

5. How will you treat others?

6. How will you improve as a leader?

7. What will get priority in your schedule?

While I will not be able to answer all of these questions now (and neither will you), the answer will eventually come for every question. Will you still keep moving forward? Progress is dependent on you moving forward. I hope you will!

Be good at doing the difficult things in life…with God, through God, and by God!…be a Conqueror!!

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

God Bless You!

May 12, 2020 Posted by | Coronovirus, Covid-19, Devotional, Madison Street Baptist Church | Leave a comment

Sometimes, I Just Hate Improvements

Galatians 6:7-9
(7)  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
(8)  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
(9)  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

I like growing and improving. I like to see progress and things to get better in my own personal life and with things around me. I like to see various things in my house, car, personal performance, and career make improvements. “It” just gets old sometimes with me. What is the “it” that I am talking about? The inconvenience and irritation of consistently being uncomfortable or not satisfied with where I am at or the things in my life that need improving, really gets old at times. Any one feel my pain?

What should we do when this happens? Well, sometimes I need a break from the improvement and just to take a “breather (short break)” from it. At other times, I need to re-evaluate my goals. Sometimes the frustration or discouragement will come from “spinning my wheels” and not making progress. At times the frustration will come from goals that have already been achieved or achieved too easily. And there are times when I do not really know, so I need to ask the Lord to show me and wait for His answer.

All of this to say, “Hang in there, improving is worth the frustration and irritation that you will encounter. We have a human body to live in and sometimes the problem is not external, but internal….meaning, my mortal flesh just doesn’t like anything but fun and good food. I have learned that if I give my flesh everything that it wants, I will always end up having regrets in some form or fashion.

So, for those of you who feel my pain….Keep on Keeping on! It is worth it! Don’t let temporary feelings stop permanent change in our life. Remember that we have to “pay” at some point. I would rather “pay now and enjoy later”, than to “enjoy now and pay later.” Investing is paying now and enjoying later. Living on credit cards and building debt is enjoying now and paying later. Righteous and wise living is paying now and enjoying later. Sinful living that will leave you bruised and broken, is enjoying now and paying later. Hang in there. It will be worth it all, when you finish!

Tomorrow, I will share with you some newer goals and challenges that the Lord has put on my heart to help motivate me and keep me moving in the right direction on the right path. God Bless You!

May 11, 2020 Posted by | Coronovirus, Covid-19, Devotional, Madison Street Baptist Church | Leave a comment

Misunderstanding the Memo

2 Timothy 1:13-14
(13)  Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
(14)  That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

J Edgar Hoover ran the FBI with an iron fist. As a result, almost all of his subordinates were on the lookout for ways to impress their powerful boss. A young FBI agent put in charge of the supply department attempted to cut costs and impress his boss by reducing the size of the office memo paper.

One of the new memo sheets soon ended up on Hoover’s desk. Hoover took one look at it, determined he didn’t like the size of the margins on the paper, and quickly wrote down on the memo, “Watch the borders!” The memo was passed on through the office.

For the next six weeks, it was extremely difficult to enter the U.S. by road from either Mexico or Canada. The FBI was watching the borders. They thought they had received a warning from their chief, but they hadn’t. They had transformed an innocuous comment into a solemn warning.

Many messages are confused or misinterpreted. In the Old Testament days, the people didn’t have the entire Bible, so God gave them prophets, holy men of God, who relayed God’s messages. If a prophet refused to relay God’s message to the people, he was no longer useful to the Lord. God could speak, but if the prophet was not surrendered and obedient, the people would never get God’s message.

Think about your own life. God has given you a message called salvation. He has spoken it to you through His Word, and you are His spokesperson, sent to tell the ones He loves of salvation. Are you communicating it to them? Have you spoken the truth of God’s Word to those around you? Determine to relay God’s message of salvation to others today, for there will be a day when you will no longer be able to tell them.

May 8, 2020 Posted by | Coronovirus, Covid-19, Devotional, Madison Street Baptist Church | Leave a comment

What is Integrity

Psalms 26:1-2
(1) A Psalm of David. Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.
(2) Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is looking. Integrity means giving your employer an honest 8 hours work for 8 hours pay. Integrity is attending church(if not quarantined) even if your relatives decide to plan an event on Sunday. It is never separating the life you live from the words you speak.

Someone once said, “Integrity is keeping my committment even when the circumstances surrounding my commitment have changed.” As Christians, our commitment is first to Jesus Chirst. No matter if the circumstances surrounding our lives have changed, we must keep our integrity by staying true to our Lord.

One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised. Ask yourself these questions, “What does it take to stop me from serving God?” or, “What does it take to make me compromise one of my beliefs?”

If someone tried to ruin your Christian reputation, would you compromise a belief and start talking badly about them? If your parents got a divorce, would you give up on God altogether? If your family quarrels, will you forget God’s omniscience and start blaming Him for giving you a dysfunctional family?

Integrity is mentioned 16 times in the Bible, Five times that integrity is mentioned, it is referring to walking in integrity. Five other times it is mentioned, it refers to the integrity of the heart. We get integrity by maintaining a consistent walk with God from the heart.

Job is one of the best examples of a man with integrity. He allowed God to prove him, and through his integrity, he not only proved his love to God, but he also received 10 times the blessing. Can your life be characterized by integrity?

May 7, 2020 Posted by | Coronovirus, Covid-19, Devotional, Madison Street Baptist Church, Wisdom | Leave a comment

The Key to Going Up, Is Taking Your Pride Down.

1 Peter 5:5-6
(5) Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
(6) Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Many years ago, Christian professor Stuart Blackie of the University of Edinburgh was listening to his students as they presented oral readings. When one young man rose to begin his recitation, he held his book in the wrong hand. The professor thundered, “Take your book in your right hand and be seated!” Ath this harsh rebuke, the student held up his right arm. He didn’t have a right hand! The other students shifted uneasily in their seats. For a moment the professor hesitated. Then he made his way to the student, put his arm around him, and with tears streaming from his eyes, said, “I never knew about it. Please, will you forgive me?”

The Story was told some time later in a large gathering. At the close of the meeting a man came forward, turned to the crowd, and raised his right are. It ended at the wrist. He said, “I was that student. Professor Blackie led me to Christ. But he never could have done it if he had not made the wrong right.”

Had Professor Blackie not humbled himself and apologized to his student, that student may have never received Christ. It took a refusal of pride, a natural human reaction, and an admission of fault.

Many times the biggest reason we fail to follow God’s leadership is because of pride. Pride is a natural human tendency on which the world seems to focus. God teaches us that in order to follow Him, we must humble ourselves.

Are you submitted to God’s leading in your life? Have you humbly given Him control? The key to walking in humility is daily submitting yourself to God’s leadership in your life. This isn’t a one-time decision, but a daily surrendering before God. Before you leave your house today, humble yourself before God. Die to pride, and allow God to guide you by surrendering your will to Him.

May 6, 2020 Posted by | Coronovirus, Covid-19, Devotional, Madison Street Baptist Church | Leave a comment

Good and True Doctrine

John Witherspoon was the only pastor among the fifty-six men who signed the Declaration of Independence. After pastoring for a number of years in Scotland, he came to America to become president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). In addition to pushing for independence from England and signing the Declaration of Independence, Witherspoon would go on to serve as a member of Congress for a number of years.

But his most lasting contribution to our nation may well have been the impact he had on the lives of his students. Witherspoon was not just an administrator; he proved to be one of the school’s most popular teachers. His class, Moral Philosophy, emphasized the Christian foundation of all truth in every sphere of life. Among Witherspoon’s pupil were three Supreme Court Justices, more than seventy-five senators and congressman, ten cabinet officials, one vice president, and one president. As an educator, his focus on the foundational role of scriptural truth profoundly impacted his students who would influence the nation.

In our day it is common to find people downplaying the importance of good doctrine, both in the church and in society. Doctrine is simply teaching, and all sound teaching has its foundation in God’s truth. There is no substitute for the truth if we want to have a positive impact on classrooms and formal settings. Each of us has an influence on others, often far beyond what we realize. We must make sure that we are giving other good and true doctrine.

May 5, 2020 Posted by | Coronovirus, Covid-19, Devotional, Madison Street Baptist Church | Leave a comment