A Time to Sing

July 7th, 2015

“Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:19 NKJV.

Anointed music feeds your spirit and lifts your soul.

My thoughts and comments today are about “a time to sing.”

My friend, Campbell, once said to me, “If you want to know what fills your heart, watch what spills out when you are bumped unexpectedly or adversely.” What’s in your heart? Sometimes, the sounds that spill out may be frustration, grumbling, complaint, discouragement, or self-pity. Not very pretty sounds. I have learned that what I put into my heart and mind daily is what pours out in uncomfortable or unguarded moments. Listen to anointed music that feeds your spirit and lifts your soul. Hide God’s Word in your heart every day. Read Psalm 1:1-3. Lift your voice in praise daily. Psalm 34:1.

Here is how you do that. “Be filled with the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18 NIV. In the Greek text, that verb is in the present imperative, “Be (being) filled with the Spirit,” indicating a continuous and progressive work of the Holy Spirit. “When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in us, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control . . if we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” Galatians 5:23/25 NLT. The fullness of the Spirit results in His influence and direction.

A joyful sound in the ordinary incidents and events of life is the evidence of a heart full of the Spirit. The Apostle Paul taught the Christ-followers in Ephesus, “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:19-20 NIV. Spiritual songs and thanksgiving for all things at all times flow freely from the Spirit-filled heart and are the authentic expression of a Spirit-filled Christ-follower. In our songs as well as sermons, the Christian Faith is devotedly expressed across generations, “singing with grace in your hearts.” Read Colossians 3:16-17.

There are notable occasions in Scripture of “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” releasing the presence and power of God in particular situations. (1) Moses’ victorious new song recounting God’s triumph at the Red Sea. Exodus 15 NKJV. (2) David’s enthusiastic new song joyfully celebrating God’s presence when the Ark of the Covenant was restored to Israel. 2 Samuel 6:14-15 NIV. (3) King Jehoshaphat’s obedient new song declaring faith in God’s promise and power, as singers and praisers preceded the army against their enemies. 2 Chronicles 20:20-23 NIV. (4) Paul and Silas’ thankful new song focusing on Who God is rather than where they were. Acts 16:23-34. Whatever your present circumstance, it is always the right time to sing an anointed song. Give God your voice of praise; God will give you His lyrics of victory and rejoicing.

Today, I pray for you that there will be a song in your heart that lifts your spirit.

A Steadfast Hope

July 2nd, 2015

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.” Hebrews 6:19 NKJV.

Hope is lost when trust is misplaced.

My thoughts and comments today are about “a steadfast hope.”

I lose things occasionally; well more accurately, I misplace things temporarily. They usually turn up or they are easily replaced and life goes on without them. That is not true when you start losing hope. Hope is lost when trust is misplaced. Past experiences and present circumstances combine to cause a struggle to maintain hope. Losing hope colors everything else about your life, work, and relationships.

Hope can be described as, “expectation of good things to come.” Biblical hope is not puny, neither wistful desire nor wishful thinking; it is powerful. Scripturally, hope is found in the best of company, “There are three things that will endure – faith, hope and love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT. “We who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor of the soul, firm and secure.” Read Hebrews 6:17-20 NIV. As I study the Bible, I observe three powerful truths about hope.

1) Hope elevates your experience, inspiring dignity even in difficulty. Romans 8:18 NIV. 2) Hope encourages your endurance, reminding you not to give up. Romans 15:4 NIV. 3) Hope empowers your expectations, lifting your eyes beyond the immediate, strengthening your hands with promises and possibilities, and assuring your heart of the miraculous. Romans 4:18-21 NIV.

Luke, a physician and author, recorded the story of, “a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up.” Read Luke 13:10 -16. People often endure the worst of things if of brief duration, but that same person can feel overwhelmed by a lesser difficulty when help seems delayed. Progressively, her physical body drained of vitality and strength, yet she was “in the synagogue on the Lord’s Day,” a woman of faith, in the place of faith, among the people of faith. She had not come that day expecting to meet Jesus, but Jesus came to that synagogue to meet her. Your obedience and consecration can cause your schedule to intersect with God’s sovereignty.

The heart of Jesus is clearly expressed in His words, “Should not this woman whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free?” Verse 16 NIV. I love the simplicity of Luke’s four part description, “Jesus saw her . . He called her to Him . . Jesus said to her . . Jesus laid His hands on her . .” The result was predictable. “And instantly she could stand straight.” Your hope can be renewed in the Word of God, at the house of God, with the people of God, and by the power of the Spirit of God.

I have included a link – https://vimeo.com/132153671 – to the expanded teaching I shared at Cathedral of Faith, San Jose, CA. – “Finding Help When Losing Hope.”  Could I ask a favor? If you watch the Video Teaching, would you send a simple reply to this email?

Today, I pray for you that a steadfast hope remains alive in your heart.

Rise Above What Gets You Down

June 25th, 2015

“The Lord was with Joseph, and he was successful.” Genesis 39:2 NKJV

If you stay where you were, you will never get where you are going.

My thoughts today advise that you “rise above whatever gets you down.”

Joseph’s story is a great one. His rise to the second most powerful governmental position in the most influential nation at the time is a phenomenal success story. It is certainly not about luck or good fortune, nor about his being in the right place at the right time. Actually, he seemed more often to be in the wrong place at the wrong time – except for the fact that wherever Joseph was, God was there with him. That is what makes all the difference in the world.

To get there, he had to rise above significant misfortunes and mistreatment – shattered dreams, dysfunctional family history, violent sibling rivalries and jealousy, cruel mistreatment, false accusations, felony imprisonment, and being a foreigner far from home with a religion at odds with the population around him. Who would ever have guessed that he would end up at the right hand of Pharaoh, ruler of Egypt? To be who you want to be and what God wants you to become, you have to rise above little people and petty things.

Joseph succeeded beyond his wildest imagination – because God was with him, and he was willing to rise above everything that could have prevented his becoming what he could be. Never let “it” or “them” get you down or keep you down – reach higher, touch something greater. Reach until you touch the One who loves and lifts, and cares. That’s how you rise above anything. Paul discovered how to rise above it all, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit . . we get knocked down, but we get up and keep going.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NLT.

If you stay where you were, you will never get where you are meant to go. Where do you want to go with your life? Who do you want to be? Some stay trapped in their hurts, reliving their mistreatment and excusing their lack of moving forward. Others find people to blame for what they have not done and what they fail to become. There are those who earned a bad reputation that still limits their opportunities, but are not willing to do the hard work of building a new and better reputation for reliability. Sure unwanted, even unfair, things will happen to you, but success comes when you rise above all that to be more than you’ve been. “It is never too late to be who you might have been.Mark Batterson and Richard Foth, A Trip Around The Sun.

The Bible says, “Keep putting into practice all you learned from Me, and heard from Me, and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you . . may grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God our father and from Jesus Christ His Son, be with us all who live in truth and love.” Philippians 4:9/2 John 3 NLT.

My prayer for you today is that you rise above whatever gets you down.

Christian Communications 61010

Never Too Late

June 23rd, 2015

EveryDay Life

This morning, I read a comment from Pastor/Author Mark Batterson in his and Dick Foth’s new book, “A Trip Around the Sun.” Mark wrote, “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” His words may well be the most motivating, spirit inspiring, excuse removing, possibility producing, new life beginning words I can imagine.

And I hear the echo of Heaven’s Amen. “This is the day the Lord has made. Rejoice and be glad in this day!” Psalm 118. This is your day to write a new and glorious chapter in your story. “To as many as received Him, to them He gave the power to become the sons of God.”
John 1.

“Jesus, I pray for You to give a new hope, resolve, and strength to those who read these words and feel their heart quicken with Godly desire to begin a new life today. Amen”

Please visit the EDL archives . . I hope to resume my normal posting next week. I would welcome your prayers for this Saturday and Sunday ministry at Cathedral of Faith, San Jose, CA.

Christian Communications, Inc.

Success With Satisfaction

June 10th, 2015

Please read a personal message for EDL Readers I have included at the end of today’s Devotional . .

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“I pray that you may prosper in all things, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 2 NKJV.

Prestige will not satisfy if  your soul is bereft of God’s benediction.

My thoughts and comments today are about “success with satisfaction.”

Success is a worthy goal; satisfaction should be the result. No one plans to fail; some fail to plan. It is important that you establish your personal definition of success. Without reliable benchmarks for measuring success, you cannot know when you achieve it, or recognize when you have failed. Everything without God is nothing, but little or nothing with God can be everything. 

Do not allow other people to determine what success looks like for you. The world’s values are vastly different than God’s. Decide to which value system you will give your heart and where you will invest valuable effort and energy. Someone has written, “As you climb the ladder of success, be sure your ladder is leaning against the right building.”

Prosperity does not result from the labor of your hands alone. True prosperity rests in the contentment of your heart. The prophet, Isaiah, asked a probing question, “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.” Isaiah 55:2. Prosperity is found only in what God provides.

His intention for you is clear and simple; “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 2. God delights in your success – materially, physically, and spiritually. Your greatest delight is when your success is evidenced by satisfaction. Prosperity is the sweet fruit of success; and real prosperity occurs, “as your soul prospers.” Read Joshua 1:7-8 NIV.

Neither possessions nor prestige will satisfy, if your soul is bereft of God’s benediction. “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Consider how things are going for you! You have planted much but harvested little. You have food to eat, but not enough to fill you up. You have wine to drink, but not enough to satisfy your thirst. You have clothing to wear, but not enough to keep you warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!’ This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Consider how things are going for you!’” Haggai 1:5-7 NLT. In things important, are you succeeding or failing. Take time to consider.

This is Godly counsel; “Teach is to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 NAS. The intangible contentment and satisfaction of your achievements are a more reliable measurement of success than all tangible rewards gained by your accomplishments. Satisfaction is a reliable measurement of success. Gayle and I have simply tried to obey God and serve Him and others to the best of our abilities and opportunities, “seeking God and working wholeheartedly.” 2 Chronicles 31:21 NIV.

Today, I pray for you to always place the highest value on that which has eternal reward.

Christian Communications, Inc 07187

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Dear EDL Readers: due to travel and ministry opportunities in California these next two weeks, the devotionals may be less frequent as time and travel allow, but resuming regularly as we enter July. Meanwhile, I encourage you to visit the EDL website and archives and draw inspiration and encouragement among the 1,200 Devotionals archived at www.allenrandolph.com. And to increase the effective reach of EveryDay Life, I am asking each of those who appreciate and have benefited from the spiritual encouragement and teaching of EDL to recommend a friend, or friends, to visit the website and subscribe. I request your prayers for effective ministry these next Sundays. Blessings . .

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