Archive

Archive for March, 2019

Love Is for Sharing

March 15th, 2019

Love Is a Choice You Make.

 “Love one another; as I have loved you.” John 13:34 NKJV.

My thoughts and comments today are that, “Love is for sharing.”

At times, love can be challenging for any of us. The Bible would not command us to love if love was not possible for us. Love is not a feeling you have; love is a choice you make. Can anyone learn to love? Most certainly, God’s answer is yes. God set the precedent when He loved you and me – and such love was extended to the whole world. “God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8 NIV. Real love is always sacrificial.

Jesus was clear about His mission. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 NKJV. Abundant life now! Everlasting life forever! “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NKJV. How long has it been since you gratefully reflected on those glorious, foundational, and liberating truths?

About love, Jesus’ commandment was clear. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34 NKJV. Notice that those words are not a suggestion or a lofty goal beyond your ability to accomplish. How is such love possible? When you experience God’s love, you are changed from the inside out. The ongoing conformation to love others as Jesus loved you is the surest evidence of spiritual transformation. Obedience supplies ability.

Is that easy all the time? Definitely not! But would God ever ask you to do something you are incapable of doing without providing His example to guide you and His Holy Spirit to empower you to do so?

Love is meant to be shared, not stored until a special occasion. And love is not earned; love is best when freely given. I think the foundation for love is Jesus’ reasonable admonition: “Freely you have received; freely give.” Matthew 10:8 NIV. If ever you have experienced God’s love through Christ by the power of the Spirit, you are capable of profound love. The followers of Jesus marveled at the news of Saul’s conversion was described this way, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” Galatians 1:23 NKJV. Read Acts 27:1-37. The love of God changed a persecutor into a preacher of grace.

Love inspires and instills passion. Passionately, Paul prayed, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:10 NKJV. Paul longed to know Christ, whatever the sacrifice and suffering required. Notice the multilayered component to an empowered life. (1) the power of His Resurrection, and (2) personal identification with Christ’s sufferings,and (3) embracing the life-changing conformation of Jesus’ selfless surrender. There are no shortcuts.

Today, I pray for you to know that God’s love is always transforming.

 

Christian Communications 2019

Website and archives: allenrandolph.com

facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

Devotionals

Bread of Life

March 7th, 2019

External Things Never Satisfy Eternal Longings.

“I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry.” John 6:35 NIV.

My thoughts and comments today are about the, “Bread of Life.”

Hunger is a strong motivation, impossible to ignore and common to us all. I think that inner alert is God-given. God crafted your body to know when it needs replenishing, whether that be for nutrition, rest, or exercise. Your body responds to its lack by sending a signal and waiting for the expected response.

If the signal is ignored and no response comes, the body protects its vital organs by shutting down things less essential and redirecting the diminishing supply of the body’s stored resources where most needed. To protect and supply critical organs, the heart, lungs, and brain, the body gradually grows weaker from the lack of nourishment, and the process of starving begins.

Make no mistake; there is a hunger of the soul. Similar to your physical body, the human spirit is also created to need nourishment and replenishing in unique and internal ways. People fail to recognize their spiritual hunger or misinterpret those inner longings, trying to fill a growing emptiness with many things that will never satisfy, such as money, possessions, busyness, thrills, amusements, sex, drugs, alcohol, and the like. Such efforts go to excess, and yet remain never enough. Too many people fail to recognize the origin of the soul’s hunger.

David voiced the desire of every Godly heart. “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” Psalm 42:1-2 NIV. External things will never satisfy eternal longings. Listen to your heart; feed your soul.

Job was right, “I have esteemed the words of Your mouth more than my necessary food.” Job 23:12. Can you say that?Jesus, described Himself as the Bread of Life. He invites you to know that He alone will satisfy the deepest and greatest longings, and you will never be hungry again. Your ultimate desire will be wanting more of Jesus and His Word. Jesus must be first in your life. Jesus was clear, “But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the Living Bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.” John 6:50-51 NIV.

Eternal life is reserved for those who value abundant life now and prize eternal life forever.His ample supply is always available and ever abundant. His provision is not automatic; you must come to Him. Here’s how Jesus taught you to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11. Jesus is that bread given to you everyday. Enjoy His ample provision to the fullness.

You receive this life-giving, daily bread through the regular practice of true worship (John 4:23-24), personal prayer (Ephesians 6:18/Romans 12:12), time with your Bible (Psalm 119:11), thoughtful reflection on truth (Psalm 1:1-3), and meaningful fellowship with others who are seeking the same Source and satisfaction, as are you (Hebrews 10:24-25). Those spiritual practices become your spiritual sustenance and strength.

These important, spiritual disciplines provide satisfaction that is much fuller and more lasting than any and everything else with which you might attempt to feed your soul. Jesus promised, “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6.

Today, I pray for you to nurture a heart set on things above and not below.  

Christian Communications 2019

Website and archives: allenrandolph.com

facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

Devotionals