cwkennedy

Weekday devotionals for Christians

What School Did You Go To?

Mark 10:46-52

(46)  And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

(47)  And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

(48)  And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

(49)  And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.

(50)  And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.

(51)  And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

(52)  And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

I have learned in life that (in my opinion) the most comfortable way to learn is through the school of wisdom.  While I realize that hearing advice from someone else is not always easy or comfortable, it is far better than getting burned and then suffering through a big ordeal because of it.  I look at the story of Bartimaeus the same way.  While there is not many details to go over, I would like to point out a few things from this story that might help you and me.

  1. He cried out to Jesus for mercy. –vs. 47 Herein is the essence of true faith, he turned to Jesus for help. How many times has it been said by Christians who are in a tuff time, “All we can do now is pray”.  I have said that, have you?  I believe the fast track (if there is one) to getting help lies with this as the first step.  If we can go to the Lord first, wouldn’t we be able to avoid some hardship, frustration, and pain?  Yet, what do we all do in time of trouble?  There is wisdom here that we all can benefit from.
  2. He cried out to Jesus in the face of opposition. –vs. 48  Isn’t this horrible?  The people around Jesus were trying to keep others from getting the help that they need.  This truly is bad.  I wonder if you have ever come across someone who should have helped you get relief and healing from the Lord, but instead they make it hard and some even will try to stop you from getting that help!  My flesh wants to rise up and lash out at them.  Let me encourage you to do what the Bartimaeus did and start crying out even more to Jesus!  Just think, if he started fighting with them, he would have lost his opportunity to get healed.  What he did was best: He devalued their opinions and started crying out even more.  Such is the case with us.  If you and I allow those haters to distract us away from the Lord, we will lose out because we will miss our opportunity to get the healing during that short window of opportunity.  This is something to keep in  mind when they want to rise up against you.

to be continued…

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August 7, 2017 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Want It Now!

Mark 10:46-52

(46)  And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

(47)  And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

(48)  And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

(49)  And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.

(50)  And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.

(51)  And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

(52)  And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

Here we have a story of a blind man.  Bartimaeus was his name and he heard that Jesus was in town and was passing by his way.  I want to stop and appreciate the Lord Jesus for a moment.  If you notice in verse 46 that nothing was mentioned about Him being in Jericho.  It only mentions that Jesus entered and exited that town, but what was mentioned is the interaction between Him and Bartimaeus!  Why do I point that out?  I believe that Jesus was coming to someone in need.

That’s right!  Jesus is coming to the rescue!  While I believe that Jesus was passing by Bartimaeus on purpose; Jesus did not go to Bartimaeus.   Bartimaeus had not received an RSVP from Jesus, neither did he call the secretary and set up an appointment with Jesus.  Why do I like this so much!  Let me try to explain below.

I believe that Jesus went out of His way to go to Bartimaeus to heal him.  I also believe that Jesus wanted to test Bartimaeus and see how bad he wanted to be healed.  I have learned in the Bible and in my experience that healing and opportunity comes in many shapes and forms.  In this story, Jesus made Himself available to heal a blind man, but that blind man had to show faith.

Hebrews 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.

I believe that this verse explains this story well.  Jesus wanted to see his faith and gave blind Baritmaeus a life changing opportunity.  Bartimaeus responded in faith.  His response was action!  He called out to Jesus and did not let anyone stop him from getting to his Lord!  The world we live in trains us to think that God should be knocking down my door to help me.  This is far from the Biblical view point.  We must seek Him.  If we seek Him, He will be found and will reward us for seeking Him.

Matthew 7:7-8

(7)  Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

(8)  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Let me encourage you not to have a welfare mentality when it comes to God.  God does not need to be the one seeking us.  We need to be the ones seeking God!  We will become victims to the “entitlement mentality” that is plaguing our country.  That mentality leads a person to think that God needs to seek me out, fix my problems, and take away all of my hardship…..and by the way God, make it fast!

What kind of attitude do you have toward the Lord?  Is it an attitude of faith or is it an attitude of entitlement?  Notice that the blind man called out to Jesus when he had the chance.  He was not focused on what he thought the Lord’s duty was to him; he simply called out to Jesus!  I have learned that God will not make it hard for us to come to Him, but He does want to see how determined we are in getting His help.  How determined are you at getting Jesus’ help?  He is near and waits for you to call for help!

 

to be continued…..

August 4, 2017 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Member and Active-part 2

Hebrews 10:22-25
(22)  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
(23)  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
(24)  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
(25)  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

We are told in verse 24 to observe one another with the purpose of challenging each other. Notice that neither the Bible, nor I have said the word criticize, but rather challenge each other unto love and good works.  I do think it is funny that we need to provoke each other to love, but the more I think about it I realize that sin nature that we all have causes us to be the type of people that needs a challenge to love each other.  We naturally love ourselves mostly and if it is convenient then I will love someone else.  That is the day we live in.  Mature Christians will have more love for others because they have grown in the Lord.  Just like a parent who loves their child without any expectation of return, so we ought to love others in Christ.

We also are reminded to challenge each other to good works.  This can be tricky because you really need to have a good relationship with a person in order to do this.  No one wants to be made to feel like they aren’t doing enough, but if we really think about it and are honest with ourselves we will admit that we can do more for Christ.  If you were to honestly sit down and assess your situation and your schedule, do you think that you would be able to do more for the Lord?  I would guess that we probably could do more.  I believe that when we stand before God and have our works judged in Heaven, we will be shown that we could have done and still can do a lot more than we realize for Christ.

One last question…Are you really doing all that you can in relation to good works?  I am told to challenge you and I should be willing to let you challenge me as well to love and doing good works.

…To Be Continued…

July 19, 2017 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Member and Active Part-part 1

Hebrews 10:22-25
(22)  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
(23)  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
(24)  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
(25)  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

We live in day and age where church membership is not held in high esteem by the general population.  There was a day in America where stores shut down,  businesses would close, and churches would be full on Sunday.  That day has long past us.   The verses above admonish us concerning our church attendance and our activity in our churches.

In the next few devotionals, I want to share with you some thoughts that i came across in regards to being actively involved and attending a local New Testament Baptist church.

In verse 22, the subject is the “understood you”. It says that you need to let us draw near.  That means that while our lives take us away from each other through out the week, wee need to draw near again.  It is almost like having a spiritual family reunion every week.  We need this, not only for fellowship, but also for us to be washed with pure water.  There is a certain type of cleansing that happens when we draw near to each other.   Make no mistake, the drawing near does not cleanse us from all sin, but the Bible does say that a cleansing happens.  I believe it is a cleansing of the pure water of the Bible.  When the Bible is taught and preached, a cleansing takes place.

In verse 23, we are admonished to hold fast the profession of our faith. The profession of our faith is our testimony. When we draw near to each other, we are holding our testimony and keeping it protected.  We as Christians damage our testimony when we take our church attendance and involvement lightly.  We are also reminded that God is faithful and we should be challenged to be as faithful as we can.

-to be continued…

July 17, 2017 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

He is not the Great I Was..part 3

Exodus 3:12-14

12.  And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.
13.  And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?                                                                                                               14.  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

One of the most important things that God does for us is to assure us that He won’t ever leave us or let us down.  Whether or not realize it, we need His assurances.  Here in Exodus, God is instructing Moses to give this command to the children of Israel as they are in bondage to the Egyptians.  God is about to drastically change their life forever!  God (in this passage) is starting the process by which they will be no longer enslaved and live not just as free men and women, but rather live victoriously!   Did you know that God wants you to live victoriously?  He wants you to be conquerors through Him!  But don’t forget, in order for you to have victory:

1. You must have an enemy.

2. You must be on the winning side.

Exodus 17:3  And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?
Exodus 14:11  And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
Did you read that?  They were complaining that they were no longer enslaved!  How’s that for gratitude?  I have a few thoughts on this matter:

1. God fulfilled His promise to them. 

2. God did not tell them ahead of time what the details were going to be.

3. It was a drastic change of life!  Even though they were in bondage to the Egyptians, the children of Israel missed the life of bondage.  No, they did not miss being beaten or enslaved, but rather they missed being familiar to their surroundings.  You see, when they went out into the wilderness, it was VERY unfamiliar and scary to them.  Even though God was with them, their “faith muscle” was very weak.  They did not exercise their faith muscles while they were in bondage, and the result was very weak faith.   Let me ask you a question, How is your faith?  Is it weak?  Do you exercise it?  The only way to strengthen a muscle is to make it work…to exercise it.  Do you exercise your faith?  If you don’t it will be very weak.

4. The I AM was taking care of them!  This is why Moses would continually get so mad at them.  God brought them out of Egypt, out of slavery with a strong hand and they still doubted God!  I like the definition of that name!  The I AM means I am now and will always be now. Guess what?  If you are saved, then you have the same I AM in your life taking care of the details.  He may not give you advanced warning, but He will fulfill His promises to you!  He may make drastic changes in your life, but He will always take care of you!  When in doubt, have faith in God!  Remember, He is not the I was, He is the I AM (now and forever)!

July 22, 2013 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

He is not the Great I Was…part 2

Exodus 3:12-14

12.  And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.
13.  And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?                                                                                                               14.  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

One of the most important things that God does for us is to assure us that He won’t ever leave us or let us down.  Whether or not realize it, we need His assurances.  Here in Exodus, God is instructing Moses to give this command to the children of Israel as they are in bondage to the Egyptians.  God is about to drastically change their life forever!  God (in this passage) is starting the process by which they will be no longer enslaved and live not just as free men and women, but rather live victoriously!   Did you know that God wants you to live victoriously?  He wants you to be conquerors through Him!  But don’t forget, in order for you to have victory:

1. You must have an enemy.

2. You must be on the winning side.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

The above is from yesterday, I have a few more thoughts:

Exodus 17:3  And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?
Exodus 14:11  And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
Did you read that?  They were complaining that they were no longer enslaved!  How’s that for gratitude?  I have a few thoughts on this matter:

1. God fulfilled His promise to them. God cannot lie.  It is not possible for Him to lie.  He started to fulfill His promise to them and the children of Israel murmured at the details.  Sometimes God uses methods that we are not used to, to see His will fulfilled.  This was no exception.  He rained down manna from Heaven, He sent water from a flint rock, and also fed them quail.  He is also very creative in how He will take care of His children.  Even when we cannot see the “h0w”, we still need to step out and follow.  Just look at it this way, It will be very different and very exciting.  I am amazed at what God does every year.  As I look back and examine the previous year, there are many things that happen that I could not and would not have predicted.

2. God did not tell them ahead of time what the details were going to be.  He just did it.  I have wondered in the past why God did not inform them of what they were going to face, but it seems very apparent now why He didn’t.  He knew how they would react, before they reacted.  He knew that they would have a faithless reaction to what He was doing and going to do in their life. He knew that some of them might not have taken the journey because of a lack of faith.  I am glad that I cannot see the future!  My heart would probably break from the hurt that will come.

It is good for me to realize that God does not need my approval or disapproval of what He will do in my life, I just need to accept it by faith.  “Where He leads me I will follow” also includes, what He feeds me I will swallow.  Who knows what is better for us in our life, God or you?  The answer, in case you didn’t guess it, is God!

to be continued…

July 19, 2013 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , | Leave a comment

He Is Not The Great I Was

Exodus 3:12-14

12.  And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.
13.  And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?                                                                                                               14.  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

One of the most important things that God does for us is to assure us that He won’t ever leave us or let us down.  Whether or not realize it, we need His assurances.  Here in Exodus, God is instructing Moses to give this command to the children of Israel as they are in bondage to the Egyptians.  God is about to drastically change their life forever!  God (in this passage) is starting the process by which they will be no longer enslaved and live not just as free men and women, but rather live victoriously!   Did you know that God wants you to live victoriously?  He wants you to be conquerors through Him!  But don’t forget, in order for you to have victory:

1. You must have an enemy.  Yes, that’s right; you must have someone to defeat if you are going to be Victorious!  Without an enemy, you cannot have Victory!

2. You must be on the winning side.  What ?!  How can you be on the winning side before you start the battle?  That answer is easy!  Jesus is the answer!  If you are on His side, you WILL have victory!  WAY TOO MANY christians have it the wrong way.  They are trying to coerce Jesus to give them the victory.  They are trying to bribe God to bless them.  They want God to move to them rather than them move to where God is.  This is why so many people never see victory.  God will not be “strong-armed” over to anyone’s side!  If we want victory, we must move to Him rather than Him move to where we are!

So let me ask you one more question, Do you have Victory?  Remember, He is not the I was, He IS the I AM.  That means He is now.

to be continued…

 

 

 

 

July 18, 2013 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Believe God!

Revelation 1:8

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Malachi 3:6a

For I am the LORD, I change not…

What Do You Believe…or I should ask, “Who do you Believe”?  The god of this world seeks to destroy, obliterate, demolish, undermine, and hollow-out your faith in the Almighty.  When he tries to do that in your life, stand up and boldly say, “I believe God”!  Now I am not talking about Buddha, Mohammed, Hare Krishna , or any other false god, I am talking about God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost)!  I am talking about the One true, Living God!  I am also talking about His Wonderful, Everlasting, Preserved, Love Note that He wrote to you and me…The Holy Bible, the King James Bible!  Do you feel the tug of doubt that comes from the world?  When you do, boldly proclaim this one thing,   I BELIEVE GOD!!!

If you don’t know who I am talking about, then click on the link and read for yourself what the Bible says about knowing Jesus!  You will not regret that you did!

http://www.s422488312.initial-website.com/heaven-free-gift/

July 16, 2013 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’ll Beat Up Your Father!

231 verses that have faith in them with only 2 of these verses being in the Old Testament.  4 verses have the word Faithless.  78 verses that have the word faithful in them with only 28 verses in the Old Testament.  Below are the only two verses in the Old Testament that have the word faith in them:

(Deuteronomy 32:20)

And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.

(Habakkuk 2:4)

Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

Faith is a subject that we all struggle with from time to time.  It is a subject that keeps us all living uncomfortably because we are commanded to live by faith:

(Hebrews 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.

God is putting the pressure on us here to live by faith for Him!  God greatly loves deserves and desires our faith in Him!  I am reminded of a story of my oldest daughter in K-5 in school.  She had a toy that a boy wanted to play with.  She was not ready to give it to him as she was playing with it.  That little boy threatened to tell the teacher if she didn’t give it to her.  She didn’t budge.  Then he tried something extreme; he said, “If you don’t give it to me, I’ll beat up your daddy!”  With a tear in her eye and a broken heart she handed the toy over to him.  What she had here was a great lack of faith in her daddy!  When I heard this, I was a little insulted (to say the least).  I wanted to show my little baby how strong I was and that I could handle that little bully.  I was a little insulted that my baby had such a great lack of faith in her daddy!

Guess what, that is what God feels when we give in to doubt when life tries to bully us around.  God Almighty is up in Heaven and can defeat any and every enemy you face.  When we give in to “doubt”, we show a great misunderstanding in the One who created everything.  I know that God loves to shine and show us how strong He really is.  All we have to do is believe. 

What do you do when life, (bills, health, job, faith giving, church, etc.) tries to threaten you?  I can assure you of one thing: keep your faith in God!

July 10, 2013 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Help, Hug, but Won’t Hinder

Psalms 35:1 A Psalm of David. Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.
Psalms 35:2 Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
Psalms 35:3 Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.

The last time I wrote a devotional, I started this thought and I didn’t finish it.  I gave the first point and I will continue on from there:

Have you ever been attacked?  If you are living and breathing right now, then the probability is very high.  Have you ever felt like you were being attacked?  I feel like I can write about this topic, because I have been the attacked one many times!  It will only be a matter of time before I feel like I am being attacked or will be attacked.

Don’t attacks seem so vicious and brutal?  They seem to hit us in the most vulnerable and week spot…don’t they?  They usually catch us off guard and we get to mix in embarrassment with our pain…….I HATE being attacked!  A lot of things come to my mind: why? who? what did I do?….all are questions that usually come off of my tongue when this happens.  Let me encourage you and myself and remind us all of what the Psalmist did when he got attacked.

1. He went to God.

2. He gave his issue to God.  This is so hard to do.  It is so easy to lash out and be unkind and mean with your words.  Real control is displayed when you want to do something, but instead choose the high road.  Real christianity is not retaliating or seeking vengance.  It is so hard to give our matters over to the Lord, even though He is the best One to handle the situation.  I believe for a person to truly “live by faith” is to hand over the matter to God and trust that He will take care of the situation better than you can.  I am for communicating when an issue rises up.  I am for problem solving with someone on a matter that needs to be corrected.  I am for addressing a situation that needs to be fixed.  I believe the true problem comes when we take matters into our own hands and “fix” them our way.  You see God can fix a situation without putting a sinful attitude in the solution.

3. He vented to God.  He took his complaint to God.  I do not think that complaining is bad; I think that complaining to the wrong person is where most people mess up.  If I have a work complaint and I take it to another employee in my company, I am not doing any good.  If I take my issue to the proper authorities, then my “complaining” has the potential to bring about a positive change.  It is ok to complain to God!  Guess what?  God can handle complaining!  In fact, God likes it when we bring our issues to Him!  That is one of the reasons why He allows some issues in our life…to draw us closer to Him!  So go and complain to God, He can help you, hug you, but He won’t hinder you!

May 1, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment