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Posts Tagged ‘inheritance’

Sincere Faith and Spiritual Influence

May 13th, 2018

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

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

My thoughts and comments today are about, Sincere Faith and Spiritual Influence.”

Everyone has influence, positively or negatively. The impact of some is beneficial; the effect of others is less so. Nowhere is there a greater necessity of sincere faith, and the opportunity for spiritual influence, than in the home. Since this weekend is Mother’s Day, let me share some thoughts about moms, especially my Mom. 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, an exceptional pianist, and the wife of a pastor, and best of all, my Mom. 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. When he was a teen, his personal conversion resulted from my grandmother’s miraculous healing. A few years later, my Dad, a young Bible School graduate from Buffalo, New York, held a revival in a small church in southern Illinois and discovered the 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 in 1963, a young man, just 44 years old. My Mom died about 18 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 now have a Godly heritage that could not have been earned or learned in a lifetime without them.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 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 value highly the faith entrusted to you and pass it on.

Christian Communications 2018

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Eternal Life

May 10th, 2017

Our call is to live in the present while our heart rests in the eternal

 “This is eternal life: to know  Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” John 17:3 NIV

My thoughts and comments today are about, Eternal Life.”

In this life, almost everything is temporary. Even your lifetime is short term. Hopefully, we strain to embrace the concept of forever. When you are young, time seems forever but with every year that your span of life narrows you will realize that nothing here is forever. Life is only for a comparatively brief season when measured by the eternity that follows.

Yet this brief season of life is not unimportant; just the opposite is true. This season is of extreme importance because it will determine where and how you spend eternity, and eternity really is forever. I see two mistakes that people make. Some live only for the moment, giving little attention to eternal matters. That is an oversight costly to one’s soul. Jesus was clear, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” Mark 8:36 NKJV. Others major on eternity, to the neglect of the invaluable time given them now. That neglect results in missing rich opportunities and relationships that would make eternity nearer and dearer. That is regrettable. Our call is to live in the present while our heart rests in the eternal.

“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Read Philippians 1:20-26 NIV. Far better, forever! Serve Christ faithfully and effectively in this world, but keep your heart set on Heaven and the limitless life yet to be experienced. See Philippians 3:20-21 NIV.

  1. Heaven is a forever place for you. If Heaven were not real, Jesus was deliberately misleading. But He spoke clearly about Heaven and His Father. To His disciples and us, Jesus promised, “In My Father’s House are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you.”John 14:2 NKJV. Heaven’s reality rests upon the truth of God’s Word and the strength of Jesus’ own assertions. If Heaven were not real,there is no God, no Savior, and there would be no salvation. If Heaven were not real, every person would be lost in their sin, die, and exist no more. These all too brief years are too little for the divine life that is in you, if there were no Heaven.
  2. Heaven is a prepared place for you. “I go to prepare a place for you that where I am there you would be also.”John 14:2 NKJV. This is no haphazard one size fits all. Heaven is a place prepared with forethought, appropriate for you.  Heaven is a place of bliss and blessing, perfectly suitable for every man and woman there.
  3. Heaven has a reserved place for you. And if I go, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:3 NKJV. “A hope laid up for you in heaven . . an inheritance reserved in Heaven for you.” See Colossians 1:5 NKJV/1 Peter 1:3-5 NIV.
  4. Heaven can be a sure place for you. “Whoever confesses Me before men,him I will also confess before My Father in Heaven.” Matthew 10:32 NKJV. “Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” John 17:3 NIV. May your heart be drawn to a brighter and more glorious day when we shall see Jesus face to face and know Him even as we are known by Him, and that day by day you will, “love His appearing,” more and more. Read 2 Timothy 4:8 NKJV.

Today, I pray for you to know that Heaven is real and sure, and live accordingly.

Christian Communications 2017

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Grace in the Garden

May 4th, 2017

From an act of grace the drama of redemption began.

He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of His mercy. Titus 3:5 NLT

My thoughts and comments today are about, “Grace in the Garden.”

God made the world and He pronounced it good. Refer to Genesis 1:26-2:24 NKJV. The problem is that the world did not long remain good. Adam and Eve were put in a perfect environment, abounding provision for any and all of their needs. Yet, they could not resist doing the single thing that God instructed them not to do. The Tempter played them for fools. And sin was welcomed into Creation. And their world, and every generation’s world since, was changed forever. Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” Romans 5:12 NIV.

Ultimately, Adam and Eve were evicted from Eden, God even barring the possibility of their re-entering, positioning angels, “with flaming sword to guard the way to the Tree of Life.” Was God angry? Punitive? Or was God grieved at their privilege squandered? Would Father God’s response have been more akin to the broken heart of His Son, Jesus, weeping over Jerusalem many generations later? “O Jerusalem, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” Luke 13:34 NIV.

Until today, I have always assumed their eviction from Paradise was a well-deserved penalty for their disregard of God’s clear instruction. Upon careful reading of the event, my assumption seems inaccurate. Instead, I offer consideration of a grace-filled distinction. To me, it appears to be protection of them, not punishment. With love, mercy, and grace a righteous and loving Creator safely escorted them from Eden. Why? God best explained Himself, “. . lest [Adam] eat of the tree of eternal life, therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden.” Read Genesis 3:22-24 NAS. The guardian angels could be God’s protection from the possibility of their making their failure final.

The extent of God’s grace is beyond our comprehension. “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Read Romans 4:25-5:2 NIV. Tears fill my eyes with joy and gratitude as I write these words today. In love and grace, God prevented Adam and Eve’s access to the Tree of Life, preventing Adam’s failure and consequence from becoming their eternal fate.

Paul’s understanding of grace was very personal, “God, Who has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” 2 Timothy 1:9-10 NIV.

From an act of grace the drama of redemption began. “He Who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32 NIV. “Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient . .  Our lives were full of evil and envy . . But then God our Savior showed us His kindness and love. He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of His mercy . . now we know that we will have eternal life.” Read Titus 3:3-7 NLT. God deals with yours and my sins with love not anger, with grace not blame, with mercy not judgement. Do you feel the need for grace today? His grace is available, abundant, and always sufficient.

“And now I entrust you to God and the word of His grace – His message that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those He has set apart for Himself.” Acts 20:31-32 NLT.

Christian Communications 2017

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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

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A Life That Pleases God

June 11th, 2014

“God is giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.” Philippians 2:13 NKJV.

A life that pleases God is the life most satisfying for you.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “a life that pleases God.”

Some days, you just don’t feel motivated. That’s not too bad unless that becomes true for most days, not just some. Motivation is engendered by having a reward worth acquiring or an accomplishment worthy of achieving, or a relationship worth pleasing. If your motivation is lacking, your efforts will be measured and minimal. If your motivations are unclear or impure, even your best efforts will be ineffective. Your first and enduring motivation should be to live a life that pleases God. A life that pleases God is the life most satisfying for you.

People of good heart want to please others who are important to them, as well they should, but without becoming people pleasers. “Serve [others] sincerely as you would serve Christ. Work hard . . do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Read Ephesians 6:5-8 NLT. One goal must have priority over every other: pleasing God whatever the cost or inconvenience.

“Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance for you serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24 NKJV. “The reward of the inheritance” should be your incomparable and eternal motivation. The Apostle Paul held distinct goals for his life and the lives of those in his spiritual care: “That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Read Colossians 1:9-12 NKJV. Imagine the satisfaction you would feel with the life Paul describes: worthy, fully pleasing, fruitful, and increasing in knowledge.

Alone, desire and intention are not enough; there is still something more needed. Your will must follow your willingness. Paul’s admonition applies, “Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.” 2 Corinthians 8:10-12 NIV. God is not hard to please, not at all like some people for whom, “enough is never enough.” But know this clearly, God does expect your first and best. The life that pleases God loves the will of God, keeps His commands, follows His Word, serves wholeheartedly, considers others important, and lives charitably. Those are big expectations for an individual to fulfill. But Jesus is your example and enabler, “I always do what pleases Him.” John 8:29 NIV.

Here’s how this works for you. ”For God is working with you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him.” Philippians 2:13 NLT. What you lack, God offers. As badly as a person may want to live a life pleasing to God, you must also recognize the secret is this: “God is working with you,” producing the desire in you to obey and supplying the power to “do what pleases Him.” What pleases Him? Obeying His will. “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead . . make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ.” Hebrews 13:20-21 NKJV. The resurrection of Jesus assures you of His power to keep His promises.

Today, my prayer for you is that His pleasure with who you are and what you do is uppermost.

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