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Safe Environs

April 29th, 2013

“Your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3 NIV.

A hurting world is hurtful by nature and practice.

My thoughts and comments today are about “safe environs.”

Because of sin, the world is not a safe place. Every day the news reports that reality. That was not the case in the beginning. When God surveyed the world of His creation, His benediction was, “It is good.” But His world did not long remain that way. Nothing and nowhere is good is God is not found there. Sin entered into a perfect Eden bringing pain and suffering, betrayal and distrust. See Genesis 3. And the world we know was changed for the worse.

A hurting world is hurtful by nature and practice. Sin brings hurt, and hurting people hurt others. Nations as well as neighborhoods fill with danger and violence. The result? Our cities are not always safe; our highways are not always safe; our communities are not always safe; even some homes and families are not always the safe place they should be. Solomon wrote much about the place of safety, “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge . . The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe . . Whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 14:26 NKJV/18:10 NIV/29:25 NIV. Safe is what God wants for you. In Him alone, safety can be found.

I awakened this morning with two words in my spirit: “safe environs.” I recalled the Apostle Paul’s words, “Set your hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God . . set your mind on things above . . [for] your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:1-3 NIV. Read those last words again; meditate on them, allowing their powerful truth to penetrate your faith. Do not stray from His safe environs for even a moment.

What you are to do – establishing your affections, emotions, and thoughts on Christ – is the after effect of, “your life [being] hidden with Christ in God,” not a prior cause. That distinction of order is more important than you may first presume. What you are now asked to do will flow out of your conviction of what God in Christ has already done. “The righteous . . shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:6-7 NKJV. Your heart must not waver or wander.

When life would overwhelm or darkness envelop and danger surround, remember who you are and where you abide; you are His and “hidden with Christ in God.” There is no safer place. Just as Christ resides safe and sure in His Father’s love, you can abide in the safe environs of a Savior’s loving care. Jesus said, “I give them eternal life and . . no one can snatch them away from Me . . no one can snatch them away from My Father’s care.” John 10:28-29 TEV. That is security which is enduring.

I love David’s words, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust’ . . because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place.” See Psalm 91:1-11 NKJV. Read Psalm 90:1 NIV. Make the Lord your refuge and dwelling place.

My prayer for you today is that your heart and soul reside always in safe environs.

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Sorry . .

April 26th, 2013

I am so sorry for the “computer glitch” that prefaced your devotional this morning.  Nothing is wrong with your computer. The problem originated in the sending, not the point of receiving. Unknown to me, something internal to the blog site decided that it should include what I can only assume is formatting information as an introduction to the EDL devotional.

My apology for any concern and my hope that the origin of this glitch can be found and eliminated in the future. Thank you for your patience and understanding. I am not alright with EDL being anything less than the best we can provide “in His Name.”

Blessings!

Devotionals

Who’s Laughing Now?

April 26th, 2013

“The Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh?’  Genesis 18:13 NIV.

God can turn incredulous disbelief into inexpressible delight.

My thoughts and comments today ask, “Who’s laughing now?”

Have you thought much about laughter? I amused myself one day by thinking of the variety of words to describe differing forms of laughter like: smile, grin, smirk, giggle, titter, snicker, chuckle, cackle, guffaw, but my favorite may be chortle. I am chortling just reading these words.

As the words differ, all laughter is not the same either. There is a nervous laugh from discomfort when a person is unsure or uncomfortable. There is a scoffing or skeptical laugh of disbelief when something sounds too good to be true or you know to be untrue. There is the sound of a friend laughing with you, differing from the awkward moment when someone is laughing at you. And there is the happy laugh of your own joyful anticipation of good.

“The Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh?’ Genesis 18:13 NIV. Sarah’s incredulous laugh happened before discretion could stifle it. Hearing Abraham being told that she would have a child was more than she could mentally process or dare to believe. That time of life was long past. Read Romans 4:17-22 NKJV/Hebrews 11:11-12 NIV.

Months later, Sarah again laughed but her laugh was far different as she cradled the miraculous son in her arms, as promised by God. God had changed her laughter from incredulous to incredible! Sarah named her son Isaac, whose name means, “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.” Genesis 21:1-8. God changed her laughter forever from disbelief to inexpressible joy. Others would never again laugh at her, but would laugh with her.

Maybe there are prayers you have not dared believe God would, or could answer. A promise of God that once warmed your heart now seems too long delayed, until you are no longer expectant. Maybe dreams and hopes that once brought joyful anticipation now silence your laughter. There is good news. God has a plan for you that will turn your laughter of disbelief into inexpressible delight. “For I know the plans I have for you . . to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV.

Every day, God wants to birth new life in and through you. He whispers promises of your future that He will fulfill. God’s delays are not denials. “For I will turn their mourning to gladness; I will give them . . joy instead of sorrow.” Jeremiah 31:13 NIV. Isaiah prophesied of Messiah, “The Spirit of the Lord has anointed Me . . to comfort all who mourn . . to give them the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” Isaiah 61:1-3 NKJV. Listen closely to your heart; you may hear God laughing and inviting you to laugh with Him.

Life should be – and can be – filled with laughter. Laughter is healing and contagious, brightening your life as well as the hearts of others. God loves to fill your days with laughter; share that laughter and brighten the lives and hopes of others. Solomon wrote, “Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time.” Proverbs 17:22 TEV. See Psalm 126:1-6 NIV.

My prayer for you today is for your laugh to be of joyous expectation, not disbelief.

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Comments and News

April 24th, 2013

We just returned from fruitful times of ministry and wonderful time spent with the dearest of friends serving churches hungry for God’s Word and growing in His grace. I wanted to share an email response just received from this morning’s EveryDay Life, “Time Well Spent.” I enjoy feedback of how God uses the practical wisdom of His Word in readers’ lives . .

Sent: Wed, April 24, 2013 12:30:41 PM
Subject: Re EveryDay Life – Time Well Spent

“Wow, Have you been in my head or what?!  You are so on target; these last two devotionals have been awesome! Or maybe it was things God wanted to remind me of. I just don’t want to realize one day that I procrastinated and didn’t fulfill all God had for me to do. Not easy in this time. Stress, I was reading, is the greatest health factor that is controllable. I guess that is the spiritual maturity you speak of. Being able to let God truly be the center of our daily walk should be our mission in life. I think everyone struggles with that; I know I do. But there is a certain peace that is there when you let God’s time be your time. I got to get back to the work he set for me today . . blessings, my friend.”

If you have not yet visited the new Facebook page of EveryDay Life, I hope you will do so and when you do, take a moment to click on “LIKE.” The page is found at www.Facebook.com/EveryDayLife.AllenRandolph. God has used that resource to help us reach an from 1,500 to more than 2,000 readers weekly. The response has been beyond any of our expectations. And remember the availability of an EDL archive now of 925 previous editions of EveryDay Life  on many topics and Bible verses, at the website, www.allenrandolph.com.

Devotionals

Time Well Spent

April 24th, 2013

“Make every minute count.” Ephesians 5:16 CEV.

You cannot buy, borrow, or bargain for more time than God gives.

My thoughts and comments today are about “time well spent.”

Most of everything you use or lose can be replaced, except for time. It is a mistake to not value time as you should or use it as wisely as you could. Time is a limited commodity; you cannot buy, borrow, or bargain for more time than God gives you. Use the time you have, well and wisely. Time is irreplaceable, much too precious to waste; invest in people and matters of eternal importance rather than spending it frivolously. Jesus advised, “Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven . . for where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 NIV.

James’ counsel was that you not presume anything about tomorrow, because “How do you know what will happen tomorrow?” James 4:13-17 NLT. The Psalmist prayed, “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom. Psalm 90:12 NLT. The wise objective is to prize each moment, investing it wisely as a gift from God. Paul’s counsel is, “Make every minute count . . find out what the Lord wants you to do.” Ephesians 5:16-17 CEV. Here’s practical advice how to do that.

(1) Just say, “No.” Learning to say no to things – or people – that waste time allows you opportunity to say yes to God’s will, caring for your responsibilities, and being helpful to others. Stress results when you busy yourself with things not your responsibility, or commit to more than you can accomplish in available time. Jesus could confidently say to His Father, “I have finished the work You gave Me to do.” John 17:4 TEV. Jesus was not distracted by lesser matters, understanding personal priorities and knowing what is eternally important.

(2) Avoid procrastination. Ignoring things that must be done wastes time now and usually takes more time later. Personal and spiritual maturity is evidenced by doing what you should even when you don’t feel like doing so, just because that is what you should do. Jesus said, “I always do those things that please [the Father].” John 8:29 NKJV. Can you say that today? My spiritual life improved noticeably when I understood that procrastinated obedience is merely disobedience by lesser name. Read Matthew 21:28-31 NIV. Obeying God promptly and fully is time best spent.

(3) Take time to abide in Christ. Time reflecting on God’s Word, worshiping in His presence, and serving others is time well spent. Jesus was clear,“You cannot be fruitful unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4 NKJV. You will be more effective, more fruitful, more successful, and so much more satisfied. Listen and learn from the One Who will guide your life and direct your steps. Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV. Your time doing so is well spent and makes every other minute more effective. A disciple of Jesus will trust His promise, “Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and His righteousness, and all these other things will be provided for you.” Matthew 6:33. Life works best God’s way. First things first” is always good advice.

My prayer for you today is that you value time and use it with eternal purpose in mind.

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