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Blessings on Christmas Day

December 25th, 2019

A simple greeting on Christmas Day

Thank you for being a reader of EveryDay Life. Instead of writing a devotional as usual, I just want to say, ” Thank you and enjoy a Blessed Christmas and New Year,” to all who read and who share EveryDay Life with your family and friends. Thank you for sharing this journey with me. Thank you for welcoming me into your heart and life. When our oldest granddaughter was entering university, I had been her only pastor and I wanted to keep sharing God’s Word and Godly principles into her life. Friends and friends of friends began to ask to receive what I was writing, and with the help of others who had technical skills I lacked, EveryDay Life was born. I still write first to my granddaughter, now the mother of three school age children. With her blessings, thousands of people now read EveryDay. You are gracious and the Holy Spirit is faithful to bring God’s  Word in practical application.  Here are a few thoughts for today . .

Christmas is only fully Christmas when you share its joy. 

A  joy-filled message is not credible when coming from a joyless messenger. You can’t share something you don’t have, and you can’t keep something that you won’t share. That states a spiritual principle that also applies to inexpressible and glorious joy, “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” Proverbs 11:24-25 NIV. When you give joy, you gain joy.

Share the joy of Christmas every day and to every person, in every imaginable way. Celebrate with abandon and without apology. Invite, include, involve, converse, welcome, laugh, love, express life, and be real. Celebrate Jesus joyously. Incarnate the joy of the timeless message so an unbelieving world cannot resist. Christmas is the celebration of the truth that, “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father,  full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 NKJV.

Blessings on this Christmas day and as we enter a New Year, Pastor Allen and Gayle Randolph

 

Devotionals

A Mystery Wrapped in Majesty

December 19th, 2019

Christmas is a season. Salvation is forever.

“We were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” 2 Peter 1:16 NKJ.

My thoughts and comments today are about,

“a mystery wrapped in majesty.”

I love Christmas. It is truly a wonderful time of the year. And Jesus’ birth is the heart of the season and center of its celebration. Make no mistake. Christmas is a holy day, not merely a holiday. I love the carols and decorations. I love nativity sets that recall His humble arrival into our world, well into His world really.

I love the wonder in children’s eyes at the familiar stories of shepherds, angels, a family, and carolers and congregations singing, “Joy to the World, the Lord is come; Let earth receive her King.” I love Christmas Eve Communions and Christmas Day dinners with family and friends. I love everything about Christmas, except its brevity.

Most of all, Christmas unveils the mystery and majesty of God, by an event so  inexplicable that only God could accomplish it. It was no surprise that all who heard the shepherds’ eyewitness account, “wondered at their words. Nor is it a surprise that Mary, “pondered all these things in her heart.” Unlike any other story, consider the matchless wonder that His story creates. The cast of characters are both good and bad.

There is a worried king jealous for his throne, wondering shepherds rushing from their flocks, wandering kings with royal gifts from afar, and a worshiping couple left contemplating the angels’ startling pronouncements to them. Read Matthew 1:18-25 / Luke 1:26-38 NKJ.

Not much remains a mystery anymore. Christmas is, and will remain both a mystery and majesty. Paul wrote, “Great is the mystery of godliness: Christ was revealed in the flesh, was vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.” 1 Timothy 3:16 NAS.

This great mystery seems counter-intuitive.  From where would a Savior come? Who would imagine a dusty little village? Jesus would come to Bethlehem, but not to Rome. To a stable, but not a throne. How would a Savior come? Would you imagine an infant miraculously born with our shared humanity? Of course not. The Savior would come as a humble carpenter, but not as a conqueror. For whom would the Savior come? Jesus would come for the worst and best among us, sinners all. ”For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 NIV.

How did this grand introduction to our world occur? “There were shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock. And an angel of the Lord [said] . . ‘Do not be afraid; I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people . .” Read Luke 2:8-14 NKJ.

The shepherds could have remained with their flocks, just retelling one another their stories about angels. Instead, they hurried to become eyewitnesses of the Savior. “When the angels had gone away into Heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us now go and see this . .” Read Luke 2:15-20 NKJ. This Christmas season will pass, but lives can be changed forever.

A baby born to a nondescript couple in an ordinary stable. The mystery of His birth can become the unequaled majesty of His life in your heart. “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.” Read 1 Corinthians 1:24-26 NKJ.

Christmas is knowing the Savior and sharing His Good News with others. Inevitably, the angels return to Heaven. Will you remain as you were, or will you seek a life-changing encounter with the Savior? Christmas is more than the angels’ song. Christmas is about your personal testimony of the grace and love of God for all.

You experience Christmas when you have personally found the One, “born to you this day, a Savior which is Christ the Lord,” and shared the Good News. This Advent, you can be an, “eyewitness of His majesty . . until the Morning Star rises in your heart. “Read 2 Peter 1:16-19. Amid your celebrations, reflect on the divine mystery and celebrate the grand majesty of your Savior.

Today, I pray for your joy to be unrestrained and your celebration  extravagant.

EDL Communications 2019

Website and archives: allenrandolph.com

Facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

Devotionals

Life Is Not Fair

December 10th, 2019

God’s grace is Enough.

 “My grace is sufficient for you.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “life is not fair.”

Have you heard the complaint, “Life is not fair!” Maybe you have felt like that on some occasions. But God is more than fair; God is righteous. Our God is always wise, unchangeably loving, and faithfully strong. No one can promise that your life will be either easy or fair. And when life is challenging and feels unfair, when things do not go as you plan, or develop as you hope, life will not seem very easy either.

Everyone prefers ease and comfort over effort and challenge. We all want the same. No problems. No worries. No troubles. No tears. But without those, there will be no growth and little if any development of faith. In uncertain times when life doesn’t seem to make sense, our faithful and loving God remains the same. The Bible confirms this truth, “Jesus doesn’t change – yesterday, today, tomorrow; He’s always totally Himself.” Hebrews 13:8 The Message.

Andrae Crouch, an amazing singer and songwriter, wrote the song, “Through It All.” The lyrics included this reasoning, “If I never had a problem, how would I know that God could solve them; I’d never know what faith in God can do. But through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus; I’ve learned to trust in God. Yes, through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.” Lean on God. Learn to rest upon God’s Word.

Learning to know God through His Word increases your understanding of His righteous nature and loving character. The God of the Bible is even more loving than you have assumed or been told by others. You learn to know God by His Word and your personal experience of Him. Circumstances can send matters in directions that God’s love would not have chosen or wanted for you.

Due to the fallen nature of the world around you, bad stuff happens even to good people. For this moment in time, things may not yet be as God desires or designed them to be. At such times, your humanity is tempted to question, “Why God? Where is God? What will He do? What can He do? Read the Psalms for courage and assurance. The psalmist spoke frequently and honestly about the distress that can weigh on one’s heart and mind. The Holy Spirit – the Comforter – was with you in that moment and His power and presence will neither falter nor fail.

In the New Testament, the Greek word translated as, “distress,” described, “a pressure or narrowness of room.” Today, we call that stress. Stress surrounds and squeezes your joy from daily life. Distress is what you feel mentally, emotionally, and even physically. When life’s situations overwhelm, the Holy Spirit prompts you to turn to God. Why would anyone be reticent to run to the One who alone has abundant grace, abounding love, and unequalled power?

Paul found God and His grace to be enough, never lacking. The Apostle Paul debated with God until, ”[God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’” Read 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV. There and then, you will find God is enough for you as well.

Could there even be times that God does not quickly deliver you from your distressing situation but allows circumstances to grow increasingly uncomfortable and confining until you will truly look to Him, and listen to Him, and embrace and obey His good will, and rest at peace in His care? “Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is.” Romans 12:1 NLT.

The Psalmist was distressed, “When I call, give me answers. . . Grace me! Hear me!” Psalm 4:1 The MSG. Grace provides opportunity to recover and regroup. David found the entry to such enlargement was, “When I call . .“ Maybe you are waiting for God, while God has been waiting for you. Call out to Him. The door into His grace awaits you.

Life is not always fair, but your God is righteous and just. I have found this true, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25. Life is not always easy, but your Father’s grace is enough. Your Father has promised, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV.

My prayer for you today is to call upon the Lord and be confident of His answer.

EDL Communications 2019

Website and Archives: allenrandolph.com

Facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

Devotionals