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Posts Tagged ‘James 4:8’

The Power of Praise

January 8th, 2016

“The High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy.” Isaiah 57:15 NKJV.

When your faith struggles, bolster it with truth.

My thoughts and comments today are about “the power of praise.”

Feelings of distance need not suggest God’s disinterest. There are times when you feel God is distant, somehow apart from you. That is painful to the soul. You may or may not always feel Him near but He will always be there. When God seems distant, it is more likely that you have moved away from Him than that He has moved further from you. Where can you find God when you do not feel Him near? The answer is simple; “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8 NKJV.

Difficult situations are rarely as unsettling as the emotions they produce. Emotions such as pain, fear, or anxiety can suggest God is not near. Even worse, painful emotions produce a false belief that God does not care. If God cared, we inaccurately reason, He would be there. Our fear is that God is purposefully distant from us. There will be times and circumstances when such thoughts conflict with truth, when such feelings seem to negate faith. When your faith struggles, bolster it with truth.

In the Old Testament, God revealed Himself by compound names. Among those is, “Jehovah Shammah, the Lord Who is there.” Ezekiel 48:35. Where you are, God is there. God reminded a nation in captivity because of their disobedience, that He would always be, “The Lord who is there.” Even the Lord’s loving reproof is never abandonment.

Again, let me ask; where will you find God when you do not feel Him near? Isaiah described God as, “The High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy.” Isaiah 57:15 NKJV. We live in the confines of time; God fills expansive eternity. That could seem intimidating even foreboding, making God seem unapproachable.

The Bible also tells of another place where the eternal God will always be found. “You are holy, You inhabit the praises of [your people].” Psalm 22:3 KJV. Inhabit describes, “a place of permanence, a place to abide continually.” When you do not feel Him near, praise will bring you into His presence – from where you are to where He always is.

God chooses to dwell amid the joyful praises of those who know and love Him. Praise exalts God and welcomes His presence, redirects your thoughts from self-centeredness, releases your emotions from negative expressions, and reorients your focus on all that is good. See Philippians 4:4-9 NIV. Praise glorifies God as is appropriate in all situations. God seeks the company of grateful hearts.

Praise is the simple act of expressing thanksgiving and gratitude, telling God and others what He has done for you. “You are holy. You are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.” Psalm 22:3 NASV. Sincere praise establishes His authority and invites rulership in every circumstance. “Make His praise glorious . . Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise . . I will praise You with my whole heart.” Psalm 66:2/100:4/138:1 NKJV. Read Hebrews 10:22-23 NIV.

Today, I pray for you to know your God is always gracious and ever present.

EDL pix praise keyboard

Christian Communications 2016

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Seeking God

July 15th, 2013

Please read the “EDL Update and Email Change” below today’s Devotional

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“O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for you.” Psalm 63:1 NIV

A man with time to spare never has enough to do what He would rather not.

My thoughts and comments today are about “seeking God.”

In life, your desires decide your direction. David wrote, “O God, You are my God; earnestly I seek You.” Psalm 63:1 NIV. Could he say honestly, “O God, You are my God,” yet be disinterested or unwilling to seek Him? Christians may profess He is their God, but not earnestly seek Him; such professions claim Him as their God, but He is not their goal. That disconnect can be caused by distraction more than disinterest.

Jesus said of some of the religious people, “These people . . honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” Matthew 15:8 NKJV. If He truly is your God, respect Him as such. Set the direction of your life to seek and know God. There you find life in its fullness. See John 10:10 NIV.

Let’s get practical. Would you describe yourself as seeking God earnestly? If not, why not? If so, how so? Let’s be clear about this: you are not seeking God because He “is lost.” You and I are the ones who were lost, and like the Good Shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine to seek the one that was lost “. . until he finds it,” Jesus came seeking you, until you found Him! See Luke 15:4.

What do you do with a God like that? The only worthy response to such a Savior is to give your life to know and serve the One who loved you so, and sacrificed Himself for you. He did not grow weary nor discouraged in the pursuit of your soul. God’s love was unrelenting; His grace expansive. Seeking God earnestly is the proper response to the love as He has shown you. See Jude 3 NKJV.

Paul’s passion was, “That men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us: for in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” Acts 17:27-28 NIV. He is not far; He is near. He is not elusive; He is inclusive. He does not conceal Himself; He reveals Himself. Human history evidences God’s availability to all who call upon Him. The promise reserves no exceptions, has no expiration date; “Draw close to God, and He will draw close to you.” James 4:8 NLT.

Is it time you lack or inclination? Life is busy; spare time is scarce. That’s true for all of us. The Bible wisely says, “Walk circumspectly . . redeeming the time . .” Ephesians 5:15-16 NKJV. We all have the same number of minutes in an hour and the same number of hours in a day. You just don’t know how many days, months and years you have. Busy schedules are convenient for not doing what you would rather not do. A man with little time will find time to do what he chooses, whereas, a man with time to spare never has enough to do what He would rather not.

More honestly, people lack inclination. Jesus wept over a city and nation saying, “O Jerusalem . . how often I have longed to gather your children as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” Matthew 27:37 NIV. They had Jesus invitation, but lacked inclination. Does Jesus weep over your neglect as He did theirs? You and I should weep at our neglect.

My prayer for you today is this: regard God as worth every effort His fellowship requires.

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EDL Update and Email Change:

Thank you for being one of the circle of readers and partners of EveryDay Life Ministries. I prize the opportunity and trust that you give me each week to share practical applications from the wisdom of God’s Word. I view that privilege as a sacred trust. EveryDay Life is now also available on Facebook at, www.facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph, providing another means for you to to easily share EDL with your friends on Facebook. We have been pleased with the number and response of new readers. In the first month, the English edition of EDL was reaching people hungry for God’s Word in 20 countries, while last year the Bulgarian edition reached 80 countries. There are current discussions with new friends in Poland and the Czech Republic to translate and provide EDL there as well. May it be true of us that, “The Word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.” Acts 13:49.

If you have recently tried to write me at a “Trinity Church.com” email address, the previous sending email address for EveryDay Life, please note that EveryDay Life now has a new email addresseverydaylife@allenrandolph.com – where your communication can be received. Please update your contact information. My thanks to those who made us aware of the difficulty and my apology for any inconvenience to you these recent weeks. The problem has been corrected.

With appreciation, Allen Randolph

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Places Unfamiliar

January 12th, 2012

“Your God will go with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NKJV

“Life will confront you with places unfamiliar and times uncertain, but God is there.”

Lauren, my thoughts today are about “places unfamiliar.”

I guess I am just not adventurous; if unaccompanied, I don’t enjoy going places where I have not been before. I am most comfortable when I am hosted by a friend or acquaintance familiar with the places we’ll be. I enjoy visiting England, but I enjoy it most when my British friend, Andrew, is alongside. Life will frequently take you where you may not have been before – such as a first experience, a new opportunity, a new demand, a new direction, a new challenge, a new difficulty, into a new circle of acquaintances, toward a new destination, or on an unfamiliar path. Life will confront you with places unfamiliar and times uncertain, but there God will be with you. “Draw close to God and He will draw close to you.” James 4:8 NLT.

Joshua and Israel were in a place they had not been before. Now Moses was dead and Joshua was in charge, and Israel waited to see what he would do. Joshua, even with 2 million people with him probably felt very alone – until God appeared! Joshua did not know what was ahead, but God did. It may be your first time somewhere, but God has gone before you and will be with you. All Joshua had to do was listen and follow.

“The Lord spoke to Joshua . . I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous . . that you may prosper wherever you go . . be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:1-9 NKJV. Reading these verses, I learn five practical things when I am in a new place – expect God to show up (Read Isaiah 30:21 NKJV); reach inside for strength and courage without fear or dismay; rehearse God’s truth in every conversation, reflect on God’s instructions in your considerations, and respond obediently to God’s direction. Why? Because “your God is with you wherever you go!”

Luke describes two disciples returning to Emmaus following Jesus crucifixion and resurrection, the latter yet unknown to them. “They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked . . Jesus came and walked along with them but they were kept from recognizing Him.“ Luke 24:13-35 NKJV. They were somewhere they had never been before. Their dreams buried, plans changed, and thoughts puzzled. And then and there, they found Jesus with them. So will you!

If you want God to be with you wherever you go, then be sure you go in obedience where God leads. Even when you are uncertain of other things, be confident the Almighty God is with you. This was Job’s confidence when the future was unclear and the present unfamiliar and uncertain: “He knows the way that I take . . my foot has held fast to His steps. I have kept His way and not turned aside.” Read Job 23:8-12 NIV. Read Psalm 139:7-10 NIV. If you cannot escape from God when you would, then God will not be absent when you want Him near. “That men would seek Him and reach out for Him and find Him. Though He is not far from each one of us. In Him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:27-28 NIV.

Lauren, my prayer for you today is that you are unshakably assured that God is near.

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