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Posts Tagged ‘anointing’

Integrity and Skillfulness

December 9th, 2015

Allen Randolph

For any of you living in the St Louis, MO/Granite City, IL area, I will be speaking next Sunday, December 13, 10:45 am, at City Temple, 4751 Maryville Rd, Granite City, IL. I would love to meet you after the service.

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“Bless all his skills, O Lord; be pleased with the work of his hands.” Deuteronomy 33:11 NIV.

The Gifts and anointing of the Holy Spirit are invaluable.

My thoughts and comments today are about “Integrity and Skillfulness.”

You have a potential beyond whatever your natural abilities and talents may be. If you wish to realize your potential and be exceptionally successful, there are skills you will need to acquire – intellectual, social, business, writing, speaking, and other practical skills of everyday life that require your best effort and diligent practice. However well you develop your natural skills, there is a spiritual potential that is important to your becoming all that God has designed you to be. Beyond your own best efforts, God offers something more – His blessing and anointing. The Gifts and anointing of the Holy Spirit are invaluable. Without those, the best of yourself will never be realized. Ephesians 4:13 NIV.

In particular, our current theme of “Integrity” has focused on God’s testimony about David from Psalm 78:72 NKJV, “So David shepherded (fed) them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided (led) them by the skillfulness of his hands.” David’s heart aligned with God’s heart. From his heart and hands, David fulfilled God’s ministry assignment to him; David fed and led Israel with integrity and skills. God is interested in both your inner character and outward skills. To fully achieve God’s calling upon your life, both who you are and what you can do will be required.

David demonstrated qualifications of both heart and hands. With a shepherd’s sling David evidenced physical skills to protect his father’s sheep against a lion and a bear, which prepared him to defeat Goliath without fear or hesitation. Read 1 Samuel 17:32-37. Equally important, God used David’s spiritual sensitivities and musical skills to soothe Saul’s troubled spirit and refresh the King with rest. David was described as one, “who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him.” Read 1 Samuel 16:16-23. The final phrase is the most important of all that is said about David. That is quite a well-rounded description of attributes.

In matters of ministry and service, a spiritually empty heart results in hands without blessing to God or for man; a heart overflowing with God results in life-giving hands toward others. Jesus was clear, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45 NIV. There must be consistency of your heart and hands. A simple act of touch has the power of spiritual impartation. A hand reaching out to another offers hope and help. Your hand on a shoulder can encourage. A pat on the back can cheer and congratulate. An embrace can express comfort.

As Moses faced the end of his life, he spoke blessings over the twelve tribes, that had arisen from the twelve sons of Jacob. Moses spoke blessing over Levi, the priestly tribe, “Bless all his skills, O Lord; be pleased with the work of his hands.” Deuteronomy 33:11 NI V. It is interesting to read the entire chapter, Deuteronomy 33. God has personal blessings just for you.

Today, I pray for you that your skills would be blessed and useful to God’s purposes.

Reminder: This is the final of three devotionals, “Integrity and Potential, Integrity of Heart, and Integrity and Skillfulness.” All of this series are available at the EDL website, www.allenrandolph.com. If you have not yet listened to my video teaching on Integrity titled, “Heart and Hands,” I encourage you to do so. Just click on the title here . .

Christian Communications

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Integrity of Heart

December 4th, 2015

Recently, at Cathedral of Faith, San Jose, CA, I taught on this topic that I titled “Heart and Hands.” It is a brief teaching from King David’s life in Psalm 78:70-72 about integrity and skillfulness. The video of that morning is available at this link,  “Heart and Hands” Pastor Allen Randolph.

My heartfelt thanks to Pastor Ken Foreman of Cathedral of Faith for the privilege of ministering at the Cathedral’s 50th Anniversary, and also my friend, Jimmy DeYoung, for his technical help . .

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“God chose David . . He brought him to shepherd His people.” Psalm 78:70-71 NKJV.

Gifting and anointing is always by God’s grace and initiative.

I continue my thoughts and comments today about “integrity of heart.”

God evaluates your potential rather than your past, your availability not ability. God sees possibilities others assume improbable. God’s ways are eternal; they remain unchanged. In the Kingdom of God, Godly potential proceeds from integrity. There is a time to further develop your natural abilities and a place to hone your skills. Diligence in those is good stewardship of what God has invested in you, but God does not depend upon those alone. God’s gifting, with the Holy Spirit’s anointing, will surpass the very best of your abilities and efforts.

Gifting and anointing is by God’s grace and initiative alone. He initiates with grace; you respond with faith. Heaven’s initiative occurs wherever God finds spiritual integrity. For my purpose today, I would define integrity as, “a heart that serves God and others unselfishly with singular devotion to obedience.” As I wrote in the previous devotional on this topic, God looks upon your heart. Review 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV. Neither good intentions nor natural aptitude impress God or influence His decision to choose and use you.

God looks for the same spiritual qualifications that He sought and found in David. “God raised up for them David as king, to whom also [God] gave testimony, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’” Acts 13:22 NKJV. Allow the Holy Spirit to conform your heart to God’s heart and establish your heart to do God’s will in all ways, at all times and your life will be a life God can bless and use. The Bible wisely counsels, “Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23 NKJV.

The Bible says, “God chose David His servant . . and took him from the sheepfolds to shepherd His people . . So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart and guided them with the skillfulness of his hands.” Psalm 78:70-72 NKJV. In those verses, the Hebrew word, “shepherded,” literally means “to provide nourishment.” Whatever you have to give God or others can only come out of integrity authenticated by faithfulness.

God’s testimony of David was two-fold; David shepherded/fed Israel according to the integrity of his heart and guided/led Israel with the skillfulness of his hands. The latter requires the foundation of the former. We will look further into the principle of spiritual integrity and skillfulness when we continue next week.

Today, I pray for you that your heart is pure before God and man.
To be continued . . Christian Communications

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Being Exemplary

January 27th, 2014

“Christ . . is your example. Follow in His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21 NLT.

Personal example far outweighs impersonal instruction.

My thoughts and comments today are about “being exemplary.”

Maybe you have heard it said, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Such instruction doesn’t work so well in parenting, or relationships of any kind. The problem with such advice is this: personal example far outweighs impersonal instruction. Words take little time, minimal cost, and marginal effort to tell someone what to do. The most accurate instruction is not nearly as effective as modeling. The best teaching, and therefore most enduring learning, includes example and demonstration.

In previous comments last week, I wrote, “As God came into His world by the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, God works today in our world to bring lost people from unbelief to faith as His Word is incarnated in the very lives that have been forever changed.” But how does that work? Paul wrote to Christ-followers, “[You are] known and read by everybody, you show that you are a letter from Christ . . written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God.” 2 Corinthians 3:3-4 NKJV. (See “Living Letters,” EDL, Friday, January 24, 2014). I want to further develop how God achieves that incarnation of truth through the lives of those who know and trust Him as Savior.

Jesus’ expectation and your assignment are clear, “Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” 1 Tim 4:12-13 NLT. Now, that’s a holy mission requiring devotion and sacrifice. How can you and I bring a living word to a world where the plethora of inauthentic words and paucity of worthy examples devalue efforts?

In humility, Jesus understood, “The Son can do nothing of Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son also does [in like manner]. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all He does . . I don’t speak on My own authority. The Father who sent Me gave Me His own instructions as to what I should say. And I know that His instructions lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.” John 5:19-20 NIV/12:49-50 NLT.

The Father modeled for Jesus what He should say and do and the Son wisely followed His Father’s example with His disciples, and with us. As Jesus learned from His Father, He taught by example and modeling all the Father taught Him. To His disciples, Jesus said, “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done.” John 13:15 NLT. In your strength alone, success is impossible. You need the indwelling Word of God and anointing of the Spirit. See Colossians 3:16-17 NIV.

The calling is daunting but the solution is this simple. Christ . . is your example. Follow in His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21 NLT. If you will walk as He directs, speak what He says, and do the will of the Father as He did, you are following His example and your life will be extraordinary. “Live as children of God in a dark world . . Let your lives shine brightly before them.” Philippians 2:15-16 NLT. Being ordinary is nothing special; being exemplary is.

My prayer for you today is that you are a shining example of all that is good and holy.

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Life Lessons

July 16th, 2010

“Take My yoke upon you and . . you will find rest for your soul.” Matthew 11:29 NIV

“Life is better when invested in the eternal, not wasted in the temporary.”

My thoughts today are about “life lessons.”

Doing life God’s way will work. Your own way? Not so much! Read today’s verse again, slowly and thoughtfully. Does this seem a little strange to anyone but me? Jesus promises people the deepest kind of rest – “rest for your soul.” And just how would He accomplish that? By inviting them to work alongside Him. Work will bring you rest? Really? That contradicted everything they had ever experienced. Work was often exhausting for them, as it could be for you.

Make no mistake. When Jesus used the word, “yoke,” His listeners knew that He was talking about work. Their daily lives were agricultural. Their livelihood and lives depended upon the soil and the sea; they ate and bartered with what they could raise or catch. Neither was an easy task; both involved long, tedious, hard work. A fisherman’s net or a farmer’s yoke were the same – similar symbols of strenuous effort, physical weariness, and sometimes after all that, still with disappointing results. Exactly who was He was talking to? “All who are tired from carrying heavy loads.” Matthew 11:28 NLT.

Here’s Jesus’ secret for them and invitation to you, Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart . . My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV. You thought you knew how to make life work on your own, didn’t you? But the labor and cumulating burdens finally catch up with you; that’s when Jesus says, “Learn from Me.” Here’s what Jesus can teach you.

(1) Do what you know is pleasing to God. Learn from Jesus’ example: “I always do what pleases the Father.” John 8:29 NIV. Jesus lived without anxiety, uncertainty; frustration, or stress, fear of failure. Imagine the confidence with which Jesus lived. Trying to serve God without learning what pleases Him is needlessly exhausting. Read Colossians 1:10-11 NIV.

(2) Do what God is doing; that is sure to please Him. “Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and tells Him everything He is doing . . the very work that the Father has given Me to finish . . I am doing.” John 5:19-20/36 NLT/NIV. Life is better when invested in what is eternal, not wasted in the temporary.

(3) Do nothing without God’s power and anointing. “The Son can do nothing by Himself. He does only what He sees the Father doing.” John 5:19 NLT. Why live without including a great God? I cannot imagine anything worse than coming to the end of life, and realizing too late that so many years were wasted that could have been invested in what matters? Why waste a precious life busy about anything that doesn’t really matter to God? Such people are sadly described as “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:7 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is that you have a contentment in life that is soul deep.

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The Place for Blessing

May 12th, 2010

“It is like (anointing) oil running down . . there the Lord bestows His blessing.” Psalm 133:2 NIV

“The place of blessing is relational, not geographical.”

My thoughts today are about the place for blessing.”

Who doesn’t want blessings – the good will and regard of others (See Romans 1:12 NLT), and especially the generous grace of God? An important thing to understand about blessing is this: it doesn’t just happen randomly. It is usually purposeful and can be predictable, as God promises. God delights in any person who will put themselves in the place of blessing. Let me quickly add that “the place for blessing” is relational, not geographical. Blessing “flows down” from the Giver of all blessings. Close to God is where the greatest of blessings are found in abundance. “We have all benefited from the rich blessings He brought to us – one gracious blessing after another.” John 1:16 NLT.

I find it interesting that the final act of Jesus before His return to Heaven is described in these words, “Then Jesus led (His disciples) to Bethany, and lifting His hands to Heaven, He blessed them. While He was blessing them, He left them and was taken up to Heaven.” Luke 24:50-51 NLT. How characteristic of the heart of God that giving His blessing was the final, earthly expression of Jesus to His disciples. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3 NIV.

Today’s verse uses the picture of Aaron’s anointing as Israel’s first High Priest to model the blessing that God desires to pour out upon your life. If you want to be the kind of person that God can bless, you will want to be doing the kinds of things that God blesses; that involves living in the center of God’s will (Romans 12:1-2 NLT), and walking everyday in obedience to God and His Word. You can choose blessing! (Read 1 Peter 3:9-10 NIV/Ephesians 6:3 NLT/Deuteronomy 11:26-27 NIV)

Obedience brings God’s blessing in any area of spiritual life, especially in the area of generosity and giving. “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse . . test Me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” Malachi 3:10-11 NIV. Now that sounds like the size of blessing I want to enjoy; how about you?

Notice this about the anointing and blessing; it flows down in abundance. It isn’t forced; it isn’t demanded; it isn’t earned; it is bestowed and flows from above. God will not bless what He does not anoint. Give God a life that depends upon His anointing and desires His blessing; that’s the place of blessing. Make sure that’s where God and others find you – everyday! Psalm 133:1-3 NIV.

My prayer for you today is: be unwilling to live without God’s favor and highest blessing.

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