cwkennedy

Weekday devotionals for Christians

The Finger Pointer!!

Romans 2:1   Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

We all have done it.  We will most likely do it today.  We all know someone in our lives that could make a living off judgement if it carried a paycheck.  Why is it so easy to judge?   Better yet…. Why is it so easy to do? Why are we so good at it?

I should say we think we are good at it.  We are really only good at hurting people’s feelings and getting right out of the way of God’s will in this part of our lives.  It  is true that some of our walk with Christ may just have something to do with people you don’t agree with or even worse…  DON’T LIKE.

As the scripture above states, this isn’t something we should over look.  I really believe this is the fall of most of our brothers and sisters.  The judgement of our self, first.  Then of others.  Then we get really crazy with it and began to be a sideline judge of what God may think of us or others.  We began to play who is more religious games.  Before we know it we are not even reading our bible to get closer to God.  We are just running around with it in our hand and forget who is really in charge of this life we are living.

Where is the answer you ask?  I believe it comes right down to where your heart is.  If your heart is still being controlled by you.  Then it will be impossible to not fall into the inexcusable.  If we just take a few seconds when judgement looms and think of what we are doing.  Give God the situation and work hard to find a way to be DIFFERENT in the situation.  Most of the time the actions you are about to judge in others are just a defense they have built.  They built it to defend themselves from judgement.  It is a never ending loop if someone doesn’t put a stop to it.  Be that person today please.  Retire from Finger Pointers of America and join a  movement that has eternal benefits.  Love on someone you would have judge today.  Start with YOU!!

-ERN

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year.  May you receive God’s blessings this upcoming year with great joy.

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December 30, 2011 Posted by | Devotional, Sunday School | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be The Horse

Luke 4:2   Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, He afterward hungered.

How long have you been tempted lately?

We get so overwhelmed by our current life issues it hinders our walk with Christ.  We get tunnel vision and sometimes may forget the bigger picture.  40 day is a very long time to suffer through something.  For most of us four minutes is a long time to suffer through anything.  Jesus after being tempted by the best of tempters and not eating along with that just waited in faith for his father to help him.  He stepped back in all them small moments and noticed the bigger picture.  Of course, he was God in a human body but I am sure it was still mentally challenging.

I would like to challenge everyone this morning to take another look at what is going on in your life today. No matter how it seems right now IT IS TEMPORARY.  That is one promise this guy can make.  EVERYTHING here on earth is temporary.  Now, here is when it gets interesting.  You are not a prisoner to situations of your life.  You are an active and willing ACTOR in it.  That’s RIGHT.  You can choose to be or do anything you have enough FAITH to do.  If you have faith in God to see you through.  I really mean some active faith.   You will handle your “40 day temptation” with much faster results by being the horse.  Lets stop acting like the blade stuck in the ground.

Lets make a promise to each other today.  No longer will I be the tool of the harvest.  I will be the harvest itself with Christ’s guidance.

-ERN

December 29, 2011 Posted by | Devotional, Sunday School | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 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

A Gracious Gift

 

Pro 3:34  Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. 

Pro 3:35  The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

Have you ever wondered why some people seem like they get more grace from God than others?  Is it a recipe that they are “cooking”?  Is it a formula that only they understand?  Is it a process that they perform better than any one?  Well, according to the Bible, God gives grace to the lowly.

Jas 4:6  But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

When we humble ourselves, God will life us up.  This is the Fundamental problem with most people.  They try to do things in their own power and their own wisdom and fail to realize that God resisteth the proud.  Where do you fit in with this verse?
The wise shall inherit glory.  There is wisdom in humility.  A wise person will humble himself when he makes a mistake.
A wise person will confess and ask for forgiveness rather than trying to “save face”.  A wise person that truly humbles himself will realize that in order for things to progress, he will come to God and leave the solution of the problem to Him.  What will you do?  The choice is up to you!

November 15, 2011 Posted by | Devotional, Sunday School | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Enjoy it Now While You Can

 

Psa 1:4  The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Psa 1:5  Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

 

     Growing up in church I have heard all kinds of preaching, and one of the things that I have heard several times in sermons was that when you come across a “therefore” in the Bible; I need to look and see what it is there for.  Verse 5 starts out with a “therefore”.  Looking back to the previous verses, we understand that the ungodly were being talked about.  The “therefore” is continuing about the ungodly and the results of being ungodly.

     Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement.  At first glance this seems like the “judgement” would be a bad thing, but it is not.  This judgement is indicating a judgement for good.  It means that the ungodly will not be with the christians when the “crowns of glory” are being given out by Jesus.  This is one of the reasons why the Lord Jesus does not want us to worry what the ungodly are doing by comparing ourselves with them.  When the Bible says,

2Co 10:12  For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

God does not want us to compare ourselves to any other for many reasons; one important reason is because our “judgements” will be completely different.  It is very easy to fall into the trap of comparing, especially when it seems others are rubbing there “stuff, things, or money” in your face.  One thing that I have found that helps my spirit is; when someone is trying to show off or gloat, I have to remind myself that their judgement will be different than mine.  A 10 talent christian will be judged by his 10 talents that were God-given.  While a 5 talent christian will be judged with his 5 God-given talents; likewise the 1 talent christian will be judged according to his 1 talent.  If you are saved, your judgement will be different than the unsaved.  The unsaved may be relishing in the sin and trying to rub it in your face, but remember, their judgement is coming.

November 11, 2011 Posted by | Devotional, Sunday School | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s OK to Cry

 

Psa 34:5  They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.

Psa 34:6  This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

Psa 34:7  The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

 

     We serve a Wonderful God!!  It never ceases to amaze me how much He loves me and cares for me.  It also is amazing to me how such an  Awesome God really cares about me and what I go through.  Today, know that God really, really, really, really, loves you and cares about what burdens you carry, and the things that cause you sorrow!

Just a quick note from verse 5, when they looked unto Him, they were lightened.  This word mean to be cheerful to the point that you feel lightened.  This is a HUGE benefit of looking unto Jesus.  He will settle, calm, and deliver you when the world around you is crashing in.  Also notice that is finishes with, “their faces were not ashamed.”  Their focus was on their Saviour and not themselves.  Therefor they did not have the pride issue that I talked about yesterday.  When pride is out of the way; I won’t be ashamed.

I can relate with verse 6!  This POOR man cried…OK, OK, the word “poor” is referring to the state of his circumstances & spirit.  The Psalmist is referring to his situation, not his financial portfolio.  OK, back the devotional…it is OK to cry.  Notice who the Psalmist is crying to.  He is crying to the Almighty God.  Even though he was keeping his focus on God in verse 4, the devil was trying to cause his focus to turn to something other than God.  The devil in this case, and in a lot of our cases, will try to use outside circumstances to scare you into looking away from God and doing something other than what God wants you to do.  Satan doesn’t care what you do, as long as it is not what God wants.

The Psalmist is showing us by example what every Christian should do when it seems like life is crashing in.  He looked unto Jesus and then cried unto Jesus.  Don’t fall for the lie that only babies cry.  God gave us tears to use and He always takes notice when we cry…

Psa 56:8  Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?

Notice what God did when the Psalmist cried to Him.  He heard him.  God hears you when you cry.  It always gets God’s attention.  But that is not all, He also saved him out of all his troubles…troubles that the Psalmist did not start.  The Psalmist could not have changed the king’s heart or what the king (the one who was jealous of him and tried to kill him) was going to do, but please don’t forget that while the king had some power, God has all power!!!

Today, are there things in your life that are happening that you cannot control?  Pour out your heart to God.  It is OK to cry to God.  When you go to God like the Psalmist is doing in verse 6, you are re-affirming your faith in the Almighty…

Heb 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Tears have an amazing way of grabbing God’s attention.  Remember, God is in the “Saving” business!  He loves to show how mighty and powerful He is!  So go ahead and cry out to God, you just might be amazed at what He does!

November 10, 2011 Posted by | Devotional, Sunday School | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment