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An Abounding Life

September 9th, 2016

EDL sowing and reaaping                  

Whatever good toward God or man will be returned from God’s own hand.

“Whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord.” Ephesians 6:8 NKJV.

 

 

My thoughts and comments today are about “an abounding life.”

There is a simple lesson in life. What you do and say, whether good or bad, eventually comes back to you in some form of either kindness or distress. Because you feel like speaking or behaving in a certain way does not mean that you should. When you give and what you give determine what you will receive. Therefore, it would only be wise to consider carefully the effect of what you do or say before doing so.

Solomon wisely observed, “Your reward depends on what you say and what you do; you will get what you deserve.” Proverbs 12:14 TEV. Now that can be either encouraging or terrifying. It’s great to know that God rewards goodness; It is not so comforting to realize that He does not spare you the bitter fruit of wrongdoing. The Bible calls that sowing and reaping: “For he who sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption. He who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Galatians 6:7-10 NKJV. Whenever you are not reaping enough, you are not sowing enough. 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 NIV.

As a child, I remember my grandfather McGinness saying, “God will be no man’s debtor.” I have come to understand what he meant by that. A simple rhyme comes to mind: “Whatever good toward God or man, will be returned from God’s own hand.” My grandfather had learned that whatever good is done, toward God or man, will be returned with added blessing from God, in one way or another at one time or another. God lets no good go unrewarded, however unnoticed by others. Your return may not always come from an expected source, but your reward always comes from the true Source of all that is good. God uses whom He chooses to do His work.

Here’s the practical lesson in this. Never hesitate to do what is right or to deal generously when you can; those opportunities come your way with God’s promise of blessing and enrichment. Conversely, never do what you know is wrong, nor withhold what you know is due, however small or secret that may at first appear. Solomon was specific. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is the power of your hand to do so.” Proverbs 3:27 NLT. There is a moral law. Good comes from the good you do or the grace God gives.

You can count this to be true, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does.” Ephesians 6:7-8 NKJV. You may not realize the connection with a previous occasion at that moment, but God does, and remembers and rewards accordingly.

Today, I pray for you to do good freely and receive reward extravagantly.

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You may be receiving “Abounding Life” twice, we were notified that the majority of readers did not receive this devotional because of a server error. We want to provide this devotional for those who did not receive it. We apologize for that. Know that much time and effort has been invested in rectifying this technical problem. We trust the error has been corrected. And watch your Monday email for my thoughts on, “Living Passionately.” Spiritual life weakens when passion lessens.

Christian Communications 2016

Facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

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A Harvest of Generosity

November 2nd, 2015

A personal note:

I ask your prayers this week for our family. My father, a pastor and minister for more than 70 years, completed his journey of 94 years last Friday morning and is now in the presence of the One He loved and served. As a friend of mine encouraged me Friday morning, “We grieve but not without hope.” Our hearts are heavy; God’s grace and comfort are sufficient. Blessings, Allen and Gayle Randolph


 

“God will produce a great harvest of generosity in you.” 2 Corinthians 9:10 NLT.

Generosity flows from a wealth of gratitude rather than your abundance.

My thoughts and comments today are about “a harvest of generosity.”

Generosity is an admirable trait in any individual. As you are made in the image and likeness of God, you have a benevolent potential within you. Generosity should be natural but its genuine expression does not naturally occur. Realizing and releasing that latent benevolence is the challenge. See Psalms 112:5-9 NKJV. Authentic, selfless generosity requires a work of grace and impartation of God’s Spirit. “God will give you many opportunities to do good, and God will produce a great harvest of generosity in you.” 2 Corinthians 9:10 NLT. Of that which you sow, God provides a generous harvest.

Liberality is the honest recognition and appreciation for God’s and others’ benevolence to you. Generosity flows from a wealth of gratitude rather than your abundance. Whether you realize it or not, you have received immeasurable munificence from many others such as parents, neighbors, friends, teachers, employers, or even the kindness of strangers. And out of His amazing and abundant grace shown you in salvation, God has been extravagant in His mercy and love toward you and me. Read Ephesians 2:4-9 NIV.

Generosity is expressed in your choice to give rather than ability to give. See Mark 12:41-44 NIV. In my lifetime, I have found that people with much less wealth and possessions can sometimes be proportionately more generous than those having a greater ability to give. Solomon accurately observed, “The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” Read Proverbs 11:24-25 NLT.

Generosity extends beyond mere finances, being also expressed in the kindness of your words to and about others, the joyful helpfulness of doing what you can when you can, or even the esteem in which you hold others. But generosity ultimately touches your possessions and finances. “Good people will be generous to others and will be blessed for all they do.” Isaiah 32:8 NLT. Generous people are happier, friendlier, more satisfied, and more well-liked than people who are restrained.

“The one who plants generously will get a generous crop . . For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. For God is the one who gives seed to the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, He will give you many opportunities to do good, and God will produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched so that you can give even more generously.” Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 NLT. Generosity produces a spiritual harvest in the lives of others, as well as your own.

Today, I pray for you to allow the Holy Spirit to perfect generosity as a character trait.

Allen Randolph, Christian Communications

 

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The Joy of Generosity

February 17th, 2015

”He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25 NIV.

Generosity blesses the recipient and enriches the giver.

My thoughts and comments today are about “the joy of generosity.”

EDL pix generositySome years ago my friend, Harold, piqued my interest with these words, “What you make happen for others, God will make happen for you.” That is a Biblical principle affirmed in both Old and New Testaments. If you need encouragement, find others to encourage. If you need friendship, be a friend to those who need a friend. There is always someone whose need is greater than yours. Give out of your own need until you can give out of your surplus. “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does.” Ephesian 6:8 NIV. Be the one who meets the needs of others, and God will be the One who meets yours.

Those times when your generosity seems not to be noticed or reciprocated, remember your reward comes from God, not man. And God keeps immaculate records. “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10 NIV. I remember my grandfather saying, “God will be no man’s debtor.” God counts every benevolence as generosity toward Him. Jesus described a day when everyone will stand before God as their generosity or lack thereof is reviewed. “Come you who are blessed by My Father . . Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Read Matthew 25:31-41 NIV.

Know this; liberality enriches you, leaving you with more not less. Generosity blesses the recipient and enriches the giver. “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:24-25 NIV. You may think that you cannot afford to be generous; the truth is that you cannot afford to not be generous. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 NIV. Generosity opens your life to the abundance of God while enriching the lives of others. I suggest that some measure of a person’s lack may even be the result of how little they give, rather than how little they have. “Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Acts 20:35.

Liberality is a lifestyle issue. “As you abound in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us – see that you abound in this grace (of giving) also.” 2 Corinthians 8:7. Generosity is not only about money and things, it is about a lifestyle of generosity – in your words to and about others, offering encouragement, being positive, and giving praise – in a lifestyle of unrestrained expression for others’ kindness – by consideration and thoughtfulness where it would not be expected – in helpfulness through giving your time or lending a helping hand – and by tolerance and forgiveness for others’ shortcomings.

“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously . . for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work . . so that you can be generous on every occasion.” Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 NIV. See Galatians 6:7-10 NIV. In the time of harvest the work and weariness of sowing is never regretted.

Today, my prayer for you is that what you make happen for others, God will make happen for you.

Christian Communications, Inc.

(Bible verses are NKJV unless noted)

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Seeds and Harvests

November 18th, 2014

“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest . . shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22 NKJV.

Every seed you plant schedules a harvest.

My thoughts and comments today are about “seeds and harvests.”

I don’t know anyone who enjoys waiting. What you want, you want now. But that is not how life works. Things that come too quickly or too easily are not appreciated as fully. God designed life to have a necessary process. “Consider the farmers who eagerly look for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They patiently wait for the precious harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient.” James 5:7-8 NLT. And without the process, you will miss the preparation essential to experience God’s best. David got it right. “But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God. My times are in Your hand.’” Psalm 31:14-15 NAS. Peace and satisfaction come when you rest in God’s hands and trust in God’s time.

Solomon wisely observed, “Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses . . God has set the right time for everything.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 TEV. Life works best when you believe God and trust His timing. “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart; and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14 NIV. Trust and tranquility relax life, granting you patience with peace of heart and mind.

Process is important. God’s process begins with sowing and ends with harvest. Every harvest begins with a seed. With no seed planted or no patience with the process, you will not experience a harvest. Nothing comes from nothing; nothing ever has. Here are two simple, practical considerations: sow what you plan to reap (See Galatians 6:7-9); sow in the measure that you hope to reap. See 2 Corinthians 9:6-11. NIV.

Those who pour their life generously into the lives of others are replenished, while those who hold and hoard everything for themselves worry about parting with what they have and end up losing it, or not enjoying it while they have it. The Bible says, “Some people give their money freely and still grow richer. Others are cautious, and yet grow poorer. Be generous, and you will be prosperous. Help others, and you will be helped. People curse a man who hoards . .” Proverbs 11:24-26 TEV.

Now, when you have planted seed in abundance having allowed the necessary process for the planted seed to germinate and release its inherent life, God promises the time of harvest will come just as He established from the beginning. Every seed you plant schedules a harvest. God built His promise into every seed. “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest . . shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22 NKJV. You plant the seeds; God promises the harvest.

God wants to bless you and give you more; His intent is far greater than your having excess. There should be a distinction between excess and abundance. Excess is what you hoard and hide for yourself. Abundance is the means from which you validate your stewardship to God and exhibit a generosity toward others. Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 NIV. Jesus’ context was about forgiveness, but the principle is broadly applicable to every area of stewardship in the Kingdom of God.

Today, my prayer for you is that you sow in faith so that you may reap in joy.

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Abounding

October 2nd, 2013

Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV.

You have to give the maximum to live the maximum.

My thoughts and comments today are about “abounding.”

God clearly desires that you abound in Him, and in every grace. God’s will is that you enjoy a life that flourishes in every good way – not living with just enough, and certainly never less than enough. Abundance! Think about it. There are some that are “full of themselves,” but others who are full of life, and life is full for them. Do you ever wish your life were more like theirs? You can be.

“Abound in everything in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us . . 2 Corinthians 8:6-7 NKJV. You can allow life’s adversities to steal your hopes and dreams. With each year you might accept life on lesser terms, smaller than you want and less than you need. Inside, doubt whispers the lie that you are just accepting reality, but are you? Embrace possibilities rather than a false reality that is not God’s intention. Abound in hope! Read Romans 15:13 NKJV.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV. I love the God that makes that possible; “God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” Ephesians 3:20 The Message.

Only one place where abounding life can be found – in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s most important, but only the beginning. An abounding life requires intentionality of you: a good example, your best effort, and a little extra.

A good example is important, one that inspires and assures you. “Remember your leaders, who spoke the Word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” Hebrews 13:7 NIV. Fix your eyes on a Godly example, because you will ultimately imitate who you admire. See Hebrews 12:2 NIV.

Your best effort is required at all times.The abounding life does not come to those who are casual about it, or unwilling to do what it requires. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord . .” Colossians 3:23 NIV.

A little extra needs to be given, of extra effort and extra time.A life that abounds does not come cheaply or quickly. See Matthew 19:29 NIV. My Dad taught and believed, “Anything worth having is worth working for.” Take the long view; life is not measured in seconds or minutes or even hours, but in years and lifetimes.

Forget measuring out the minimum. That gets you nothing and nowhere. “You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give.” Sir Winston Churchill. You have to give the maximum to live the maximum. “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is to have a fullness of all that God gives, and life affords.

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