cwkennedy

Weekday devotionals for Christians

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

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

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

The Apple of His Eye

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.

 

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 many times!  Although I believe I am not being attacked now, 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.  Wow, I could spend all day on this.  God does not want us to be attacked, but is ready for us to come to Him when we do get attacked.  Because God gives everyone free-will, He chooses not to control some things, which at times are evil attacks from one person to another.  Don’t blame God for another sinner attacking you, but rather run to Him and let Him deal with it.  He longs to be the One to whom you run to when hurtful and hateful things are done to you.  He wants to be there to catch your tears (Psalms 56:8  Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?)  God catches all of your tears.  They mean a lot to Him.  They are precious to Him.  If you have children, you understand what I mean by that.  We are God’s children (if we are saved), and the apple of God’s eye (Psalms 17:8  Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,).  He loves you!  He cares about your broken heart and hurts when you hurt.  Some people do not realize this because they don’t run to God when they hurt.  When they do not run to God in their hurt, they don’t feel His love and realize that He hurts with you.  They are truly depriving themselves of God’s love all because they do not go to God when they get hurt.  What will your first action be when you get hurt?  Will you run to God?  Remember you are the Apple of His Eye!

–To Be Continued Tomorrow

 

 

April 25, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walking With My Jesus

Continued from yesterday…

Romans  6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Walking is (I have been told) some of the best exercise that we can do.  I am not a fitness expert so I have to trust the experts when they say that walking is good for you and me.  I actually enjoy walking, as long as I am with my family.  I like to walk with them and talk to them.  Usually me and my wife walk while the girls ride their bikes.  Another reason why I like walking is that I get to multi-task.  I like multi-tasking!  In fact, I really dislike it when I can’t.  I like the ability and the thought of getting multiple things done at the same time!  Sometimes this can hurt me because I try to do too much and drop the ball on all the things that I try to accomplish.

1John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

When I walk with God, many things happen:

1. I walk with someone who has never sinned.

2. I walk with someone who loves me.  This brings comfort to me.  Jesus loves me, why?  Because He does.  I don’t need a reason why He loves me, I am just glad that He eternally loves me no matter what I do.  He wants us to know that we can always come back to Him no matter how bad it gets for us.

3. I exercise with the Lord.  One thing that I have learned is that a muscle needs to be exercised to remain strong.  Muscles will lose mass if they are not exercised.  Spiritually, I need to exercise also.  I need to exercise my faith muscle in God.  When I exercise, I may get a little tired now, but it will build up my endurance so that my faith won’t waiver in the Lord.

4. I walk.  I do not run, jog, or sprint; I walk.  God wants us to walk in newness of life.  Walking is a pace that, while it may be slow, it progresses at a sustainable rate.  So many people can “jump out” to an early lead, but fizzle after a while because they do something that is not sustainable.  I also notice that my walking “cadence” is different than others cadence.  I walk a lot faster than my wife and children.  I should not try to use my cadence or speed of walking to judge others by.  Their “walk with God” is uniquely for them and not me.  I need to remember that if it seems like someone is not progressing like I think they should.  Their walk with God is literally with God and not me; I’ll let God be the judge of how they will walk.

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

The Best Exercise For You

Romans  6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Walking is (I have been told) some of the best exercise that we can do.  I am not a fitness expert so I have to trust the experts when they say that walking is good for you and me.  I actually enjoy walking, as long as I am with my family.  I like to walk with them and talk to them.  Usually me and my wife walk while the girls ride their bikes.  Another reason why I like walking is that I get to multi-task.  I like multi-tasking!  In fact, I really dislike it when I can’t.  I like the ability and the thought of getting multiple things done at the same time!  Sometimes this can hurt me because I try to do too much and drop the ball on all the things that I try to accomplish.

1John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

When I walk with God, many things happen:

1. I walk with someone who has never sinned.  This brings conviction to me.  Even though Jesus loves me, He is righteous and pure and that convicts me.  I cannot be full of pride when I walk next to someone whose righteousness reveals my dirty and sinful state.

to be continued tomorrow….

April 12, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Come Out, Come Out, Where Ever You Are!

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Romans  6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Romans  6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Romans  6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

We just had Easter Sunday and God blessed it so much!  7 people were saved and 1 got assurance of salvation, and 1 rededicated his life to God!  We also had an Easter play that was simply amazing!  A lot of hard work went into it, but it was Amazing because of God!  While I think about Easter, I am reminded that Jesus was crucified and gave up the Ghost.  He was buried and rose again the third day!  This got me thinking about God’s Grace.

Grace is getting something good that we do not deserve! These verses are some of my favorite!

Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Because Jesus rose from the dead, we have God’s Grace, Hallelujah !!!!  I need it!  I also need His mercy!  As I was continuing on in the scripture reading, I went to the next chapter and God reminds us why we have Grace…it is not to wallow in sin!

We have Grace to help us live the Christian life and it helps us come back to God when we mess up!  I know that I may have sounded like I contradicted myself, but understand this; we as sinners are going to sin, no matter how hard we try not to sin.  Those who use Grace to justify their sin, are twisting a righteous gift from God to justify their desire and justification of sinning (iniquity).  God gives  grace to help us retain a relationship with Him.  When we fully understand Grace, we get confidence to know that no matter what we do, what we say, God will forgive us and will accept us back to Him!  This should give us boldness in the Christian life to press on the upward way.  When we get God’s Grace, we are getting an assurance from God that He loves us no matter how bad we mess up! He loves us not because of what we can offer Him, but rather because He is a loving God.  He doesn’t need anything that we have, He chooses to love us regardless of what we can offer Him.

I don’t know about you, but that thought alone gives me the confidence to live the Christian life!  Think about this, God wants you to have 100% total security in the Eternity of your relationship with Him.  When we realize that God’s love will not diminish but rather grow stronger, we should be more zealous and more courageous for Him!  Are you away from the Lord?  If so, He has just enough Grace for you to come back to Him!  Take a moment and do that, come back to God!  He misses You!

 

April 10, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Flash in the Pan or Slow Burn

1Ti 4:14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
1Ti 4:15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
1Ti 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

I love a good start!  Whatever I am  doing at any particular moment, I love to start very well!  I think most people would love to get out to an early lead as they start something.  In fact, a lot of people gauge others and the success of what is happening by how they start.  I personally think that there are those who put too much in how they start as a gauge to how they will end.

I believe God wants a good start for us as well, but I believe He is more interested in how we end rather than how we start.  Have you ever heard of beginners luck?  I would rather have “ender’s luck”.  I know “ender’s” is not a legitimate word, but you get the point.  Many of us have gotten out to a bad start, and sometimes have a hard time turning the momentum into something that is positive.  I have met many people who have had a bad start to their marriage, job, ministry, family, child-rearing, sporting event, etc, but have finished strong and eventually end very well!  God loves to help us end well.  There is hope to the discouraged one who desires to finish well regardless of how they start!  The verses above tell us that we need to take heed to ourselves and our doctrine and continue in them.

It is so easy to start good and end bad.  Have you ever heard of the phrase “flash in the pan”?  That means we start off with a bang and fizzle out shortly thereafter.  I do not want to be this.  I want to be more like a slow burn that might start slowly,but ends with a roaring fire.  What would you be likened to?  A flash in the pan or a slow burn?  Are you finishing what you started?  Finishing what you started is very important!  Will you have the determination to finish what you have started?  The choice is yours to make, a flash in the pan or a slow burn.

April 6, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Ain’t No Hater, He A Lover

Psalms 34:1 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.

Psalms 34:16  The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

Psalms 34:17  The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

Psalms 34:18  The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Psalms 34:21  Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.

Psalms 34:22  The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

Have you ever had anyone hate you?  Has any one ever told you that they hate you?  I have been told.  I am sure that I will hear it again from someone in the future.  It is not a good feeling to have someone express that feeling toward you.  When I was told by that individual that I am hated by them, it made me really think about that person’s influence on my life.  While many things come to my mind, I won’t take the time to give some potential possibilities of why I was hated.  I am certain that I was hated by more people than that one person that told me that they hated me.

Verse 21 states that those who hate the righteous shall be desolate.  The word hate in this verse is talking about how someone would hate an enemy.  Who is an enemy of you?  I am not speaking of human enemy; I am speaking of spiritual enemy.

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

We have an enemy that hates us.  We cannot fight him with human weapons; we must use spiritual weapons.  In verse 21, it states that those who hate us will be desolate.  Think about places that are desolate.  They all are empty.  The definition of the word “desolate” has the words guilty, and punishment.  They will be guilty of being empty.  They will also be punished.

Verse 22 says the Lord redeemeth the soul of His servants.  The word redeemeth in the Hebrew definition means to preserve, to deliver.  The rest of the verse states that none that trust in Him will be desolate.  The word trust in the Hebrew definition, means to confide, to go to for refuge.  Those who run to God for refuge and put their confidence in Him, will not be empty, be guilty of punishment.  I love serving an all-mighty God!  Here are the last questions for the day: Who are you putting your confidence in?  Where do you go for refuge?  The answer to these questions will determine if you will be desolate.

April 4, 2012 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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?    

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