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Sincere Faith

May 7th, 2016

“Your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother and mother.”  2 Timothy 1:5 NIV.

Faith must be sacredly held, sincerely lived, and successfully shared.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “sincere faith.”

Everyone has influence. The impact of some is beneficial; the effect of others is less so. Nowhere is there the greater opportunity for enduring influence than in the home. Since this weekend is Mother’s Day, let me share some thoughts about moms. Certainly, in the home and family they are not the only influence; but for this occasion, Moms deserve the spotlight. Knowing me, God knew I would need a Mom that was especially patient, generous to a fault, immeasurably kind, and extravagantly loving. My Mom – Mildred Florence (McGinness) Randolph – was exactly that kind of Mom, and more.

She was the eldest of thirteen children, the daughter of a pastor, and an exceptional pianist. She was raised in a very modest home. My grandad always worked to support his family in addition to what the small churches of southern Illinois could provide in the 1930s and 40s. They were poor in comparison with others but rich in the things that truly matter – family, love, character, loyalty, and faith in God. They never thought of themselves as poor; they considered themselves fortunate. My Mom was raised in a Christian home.

My Dad had not even been inside a church until he was seventeen. His personal conversion resulted from my grandmother’s miraculous healing, when he was a teen. My Dad, a young Bible School graduate from Buffalo, New York, held a revival in southern Illinois and discovered this pastor’s beautiful and talented daughter playing the piano. Soon she was his wife, and then she was my Mom. For that, I am graced and blessed. My Dad died a young man, just 44 years old. My Mom died about 15 years ago at the age of 80. Even long after their deaths, my parents and grandparents still influence my personal faith. My parents were both significant, spiritual influences in my life, shaping who I am as a man, husband, father, and minister.

Church and home were one and the same in our family. My Dad from his pulpit and my Mom from her piano, taught me the inestimable worth of a personal knowledge of God and a life of faith and service. Every day of my life has been blessed by their words and personal example. Our marriage, ministry, and family of four generations have a Godly heritage that could not have been earned or learned in a lifetime without them. Read 1 Peter 1:3-5 NAS.

My Dad taught me the rare value of faith and friendship, and the loyalty and integrity required in those. My Mom taught me a generosity and care for others that I am far from having mastered yet. My parents left me an inheritance counted in the very real currency of the lives and faith of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. “A good man [or woman] leaves an inheritance to their children’s children.” Proverbs 13:22 NAS. You will afford your family a Godly example or allow them a perilous exemption. Sincere faith must be sacredly held, sincerely lived, and successfully shared with the next generations. Make your practice and profession of faith honest, and especially, consistent. A Godly, family heritage that touches future generations can either continue or begin with you today.

Today, I pray for you to highly value the faith entrusted to you.

Christian Communications 2016

Facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

EDL Mothers Day graphic

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Coming Home

March 7th, 2016

“In returning and rest you shall be saved.” Isaiah 30:15 NKJV.

Repentance is radically more than regret.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “coming home.”

We so misjudge the nature of God. You know God is the Father of our Lord Jesus, but Jesus definitively said that His father is your Father. When you believe and understand that, it is liberating truth. After Jesus’ resurrection, He said, “I am returning to My Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” John 20:17 NIV. In the Gospels, Jesus repeatedly described God as, “your Father.” Jesus did not say that His Father would be like a father to you; Jesus said that His Father would be your Father. Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your Name . .” Read Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV.

Jesus devised stories to make truth understandable and personally applicable. In the most beloved story Jesus told, He described a loving, gracious, and forgiving father to reveal the nature of your Heavenly Father. Read Luke 15:11-19 NIV. Jesus told of a wealthy father and his two sons, a story usually presumed to be about a younger, “prodigal son,” and his elder brother. In reality, the two sons are subordinate to Jesus’ focal point. Jesus’ accent is really on the father, extravagantly selfless and sacrificially gracious to a fault. Prodigal is a word that can positively describe lavish generosity that typifies the father in Jesus’ story, or negatively describe the wanton wastefulness of the younger son.

The younger misspent what his father had given to him, and was soon left penniless, desperate, and far from home. Inevitably, however much you have will be inadequate apart from your Father. The only questions are how and when, and what comes next. “After he had spent everything . . he began to be in [desperate] need . . when he came to his senses” Reality reoriented his thoughts to his father and home, and a simpler, better time in stark contrast to his present circumstances.

Returning home was his best and only alternative. His resolve was clear, his humility sincere, his repentance real. “I have sinned against heaven and against you. I will go back to my father and say to him, ‘I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your servants.’” His journey began with demanding, “Give me my share.” He returned with humble request, “Make me like one of your servants.” Repentance is radically more than regret; “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” Read 2 Corinthians 7:8-11 NIV. In love, your Father will allow past choices and present struggles to turn your heart homeward.

Picture the scene, “While he was still a long way off . . his father ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Read Luke 15:20-24 NIV. With urgency and abandon, the father ran to embrace his long absent son, smothering the prodigal with his forgiveness and rapturous joy. His reception exceeded even the remorse of his penitent son. Fear was banished, shame discarded, forgiveness spontaneously granted. Home is where you belong.

Wherever you’ve wandered, whatever you’ve done, however long you have lost your way, come home to your Father now. I remember words of an old hymn – “I’ve wandered far away from God, Now I’m coming home; The paths of sin too long I’ve trod, Lord, I’m coming home. Coming home. Coming home, Nevermore to roam, Open wide Your arms of love, Lord, I’m coming home.” William J. Kirkpatrick, 1838-1921.

Today, I pray for you to know there is a place for you in the bounteous grace of God.

Prodigal's Father

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Communications 2016
www.facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

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Make Room for People

September 9th, 2013

“Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable woman.”  2 Kings 4:8 NKJV.

What you make happen for others, God will make happen for you.

My thoughts and comments today are to “make room for people.”

Be careful; without realizing it, your life can become too small, or too busy, or so self-centered that you have room only for yourself. That lifestyle is selfish, unsatisfying, and eventually lonely. Making room for other people is an intentional lifestyle issue. The Bible is clear; “Therefore as [you] have opportunity, do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:10 NIV. Jesus promised that whatever good you do for others is credited as being for Him, but also warned that neglect of others is negligence toward Him. “I assure you, when you did it to the least of these . . you were doing it to Me . . when you refused to help the least of these . . you were refusing to help Me.” Read Matthew 25:34-46 NLT.

In the Old Testament, there is an otherwise anonymous lady who lived in Shunem, a small, unspectacular village. But the Bible described her as, “notable.” Read 2 Kings 4:8-10 NKJV. Of the many words to describe a person; I think “notable” may be one of the best. Blessed are those who make room in their heart and home for others.  This woman can be described as “notable” because room for others in her heart and life provided a spare room in her home. “Let’s make a little room for [this holy man of God] . . and furnish it with a bed, a table and chair, and a lamp.” (Verses 9-10 NLT). She provided for his comfort, and more. From her practical furnishings – “a bed, table, and lamp” – I suggest three simple applications. She provided Elisha room for rest, refreshment, and revelation.

Make room for people to be rested. For those spiritually and emotionally drained from the cares of life: their struggles, failures, sorrows, or regrets, make room in your heart and life where others find shelter recovery. You can be a living example of Jesus’ invitation, “Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened . . and you will find rest for your soul.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV. Proper rest renews vigor, hope, and fresh resolve in a person’s heart.

Make room for people to be refreshed. For those with a soul hunger for forgiveness, acceptance, friendship, understanding, hope, or practical help, make room in your life where others are refreshed in spirit. Your welcome and invitation to them becomes Jesus’ promise, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6 NKJV.

Make room for people to receive revelation. For those where questions and doubt have darkened their spirit, make room in your life for them where light and illumination reveals truth and hope. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world . . Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father . . children of God . . [who] shine as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life.” See Matthew 5:14-16 NLT/Philippians 2:15-16 NKJV.

Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes you welcomes Me . . whoever gives even a drink of cold water to one of the least of these because he is My follower will certainly receive a reward.” Read Matthew 10:40-42 NLT. A friend of mine explained that principle, “What you make happen for others, God will make happen for you.”

My prayer for you today is that your heart and home are open to God and others.

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Home and Harvest

November 21st, 2012

A Blessed and Joyful Thanksgiving Season to our friends and readers of EveryDay Life! As you gather with family and friends, may you thankfully remember the faithfulness of God and enjoy ample provision from His hand. Gayle and I are thankful for you and your fellowship with us in this written ministry expression of Christian Communications, Inc. We are appreciative and encouraged by your kind responses and privileged to share the  practical wisdom and wonder of God’s Word with you and the friends with whom you choose to share EveryDay Life.

For our friends in the San Antonio area

I have been invited to speak this Sunday, November 25,  at 9:00 am and 10:30 am at Trinity Church, 5415 N Loop 1604 E (at the Judson exit on NE Loop 1604). It would be our privilege to share the morning’s ministry with you.

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Home and Harvest

Home and harvest are a good place and a great time.

“Eye has not seen . . the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 NKJV

Circumstances distracted and misdirected Naomi. Read Ruth 1-4. The book of Ruth is just four brief chapters, but a most amazing story of God’s providence. Naomi, her husband and two sons, experienced a famine in Bethlehem, so they moved to Moab to put the tough times behind. It is usually wrong to assume another place will be better when things are not good where you are. Things weren’t better; they became worse. In tough times, look for lessons not exits.

You can grow more in adversity than in prosperity, but you must keep your problems in perspective and your confidence in God. When I was a young teen, I recall my Father observing, “More people can stand adversity than can handle prosperity.” I have witnessed that truth in many lives.

Uzziah reigned as a king until it was said of him, “He was marvelously helped until he was strong. When he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction for he transgressed against the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 29:15-16 NKJV. Prosperous times have their hazards as can adverse times. Prosperous times might promote a faulty assumption that you need God less, when you may need Him even more. Adverse times can suggest that you can care for yourself better than God has.

Naomi and her family left Bethlehem thinking Moab was their solution, but their problems grew worse there. In Moab, Naomi’s sons married, but later died, as had her husband. When you lose what you love, a famine is a small thing in comparison. She was left in a foreign land with only her Moabite daughters-in-law, but determined to return home to Bethlehem. See the gracious, providential hand of God in her return, “[Naomi] heard in Moab that the Lord had visited His people by giving them bread . . now they came to Bethlehem [the House of Bread] at the beginning of the barley harvest.” Ruth 1:6/22 NKJV. What great news to hear and good time to return home. In God’s timing, home and harvest are a good place and a great time.

Naomi inaccurately described her plight, “I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty.” Ruth 1:21 NIV. Her excursion to Moab left her empty; the Lord brought her home in time for harvest, beyond anything she dared imagine. Her pain and loss made her fail to see, “’The Lord has brought me back’ . . at the beginning of the barley harvest!” Your Father will bring you home to blessing, if you let Him. Read Ruth 4:13-17 NKJV. Naomi’s grandson would become the grandfather of David, and the lineage of the Messiah promised to Israel! See Matthew 1.

Like Naomi, you may not yet know what God has prepared for you but this is true, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 NLT. God’s timely harvest will wipe away your loss from the famine. She left in a famine; God brought her home at a time of harvest.

The Bible says you can, “[learn] to be content whatever the circumstances.” Read Philippians 4:11-13/19 NKJV. Contentment is a lesson life teaches learners. Happiness doesn’t come from having all you want; happiness is found in thankfulness for what you have. In tough times, you learn that faith, family, and relationships matter more at all times.

At this Thanksgiving season, be joyful and thankful for a bountiful harvest, whether at hand or still ahead. Now is a good time to enjoy home and harvest when you, “enter His gates with Thanksgiving.” Read Psalm 100:1-5 NIV.

My prayer for you today is that you find God’s place of fullness and stay there in His will.

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A Godly Legacy

September 7th, 2012

“Some parents brought their children to Jesus.” Mark 10:13 NLT

Godly priorities and practices train a child’s spirit for both a blessed life and blissful eternity.

My thoughts and comments today are about “a Godly legacy.”

This Sunday will be quite an important occasion for our family. Kaylee Grace, our first great-grandchild, will be presented to the Lord for dedication by our eldest granddaughter and her husband, and both of their parents. (This granddaughter is the one for whom EveryDay Life began in 2006 as a daily email devotional when she began her university studies.) There will be a spiritual legacy of five Godly generations standing at an altar together in gratitude and consecration of this new life. What a thrill it will be to hold that precious little girl in my arms, speaking blessing over her, and her parents, in dedication to the Lord Jesus as we have with all of our children and grandchildren.

Children are no casual matter with God. “[The Lord] commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget His deeds but would keep His commands.” Read Psalm 78:1-7 NIV. I count five Godly generations in that Bible verse. Admittedly, there is more to that command than a single Sunday morning of consecration, much more. But it’s a place to begin.

Godly priorities and practices train a child’s spirit for both a blessed life and blissful eternity. Of interest to me is the Bible verse today, “Some parents brought their children to Jesus so He could touch them and bless them.” Mark 10:13 NLT. Those parents understood the thing that is of vital and eternal importance. Music and dance lessons are beneficial. Educational studies equip children for life. Play and social interaction prepare children for healthy relationships. Competitive sports develop strength, skills and model fair play. But don’t ignore what is eternally essential. Whatever their age, do you daily “bring your children to Jesus so He can touch and bless them?”

A spiritual legacy begins with Godly parents who understand their highest calling and purpose is “to bring their children to Jesus.” I have heard adults naively suggest that spiritual matters should be left “until they are old enough to make their own decisions.” How foolish! If parents were to follow that philosophy, their children would never have an education, and would have horrendous health and hygiene habits – and there certainly would not be any violinists!

The Bible’s instruction is too clear to be misunderstood, “Parents . . raise [your children] with Christian discipline and instruction.” Ephesians 6:4 TEV. An older translation says that effective parents’ effective provide, “nurture and admonition” – the essential practices of example and encouragement. I have heard it said, “Your actions speak so loudly, others cannot hear a word you are saying.” Lead your family by your personal example and consistent affirmation. The most effective words are those that are true expressions of your own life.

A spiritual legacy begins in your heart and becomes the center of your home. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength . . these words shall be in your heart . . you shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house . .” Read Deuteronomy 6:5-9 NKJV. In that, you find your greatest joy. See 3 John 4 NIV.

How did Jesus respond to those parents? “Let the little children come to Me . . and He took the children in His arms, put His hands upon them and blessed them.” Mark 10:16 NIV. Notice the means of spiritual impartation: surrounding arms, loving touch, and spoken blessing. In those, there is divine power to touch a child’s heart and change their life forever. Father God yearns for Godly generations to bless, “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever!” Deuteronomy 5:29 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is that you consecrate yourself and family to be fully His.

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