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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

Facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

 

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Spiritual Intimacy

November 14th, 2014

“That I may know Christ.” Philippians 3:10 NKJV.

Relational integrity is essential for spiritual intimacy.

My thoughts and comments today are about “spiritual intimacy.”

Life requires purpose and a superceding objective. Your purpose has to be consequential enough to weather the demands life will require of you and influential enough to empower you to give the effort necessary to achieve and excel. Any person is insufficiently inspired who lacks an objective worthy of the sacrifices needed. The greatest purpose is knowing Jesus Christ in a practical, personal, and intimate way. His intent is that you, “. . know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Read Ephesians 3:17-20 NIV.

Intellectual knowledge alone is inadequate for the personal and experiential knowledge of Christ that Paul sought. He desired a transformative experience of soul and spirit that redeems the heart (See Romans 7:15-26 NIV) and forever alters the desires and direction of one’s life. Read Acts 9:1-6. Subsequently, Paul pledged a devotion to Christ that did not exclude the most severe of mortal threats. “None of these things move me, nor do I count my life dear to myself . .” See Acts 20:22-24.

Relational integrity is essential for spiritual intimacy. Information without corresponding experience becomes intellectual, without relational integrity. As I intend, “relational integrity” describes a commitment to absolute authenticity in relating to God or others. Authenticity is the only enduring basis for real intimacy. Worse yet, intellectual information without corresponding, spiritual experience immunizes you from a real and vital relationship with God.

As a young, college student preparing for ministry, I prayed that Paul’s passion for Christ would be my passion as well. “That I may know [Christ] and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” Philippians 3:10. This verse became, and remains today, my “life verse.” Paul’s words describe my purpose and objective. I am committed to daily experience an intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

Paul’s passion to “know Christ,” expressed an unparalleled intimacy, with disregard for suffering or sacrifice. The same expression is found in the Old Testament, “Adam knew Eve, his wife, and she conceived . .” (Genesis 4:1), as well as in the New Testament, describing Mary’s incredulity at the angel’s announcement, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” Luke 1:30-38. The word expresses experiential knowledge that forcefully creates and releases new life. Do not be content to know about God, without experiencing Christ personally and powerfully. Anything less is inadequate.

Passionately, Paul desired an encounter with Jesus that releases God’s power and new life, in and through him. Such spiritual intimacy evidences itself in a power for life that is linked to and sourced from the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. See Ephesians 1:17-21 NIV. Nothing you encounter will ever prove His Resurrection power insufficient. In Jesus’ resurrection, God turned apparent defeat into glorious triumph.  Whatever is broken in your life can be fixed. What seems listless and lifeless can receive life abundantly.

If you desire anything more than Him, then your passion to know Him as He desires to be known is lacking. Jesus was clear, “And this is the way to have eternal life – to know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the One You have sent to earth.”  John 17:3 NLT. There is a depth of relationship that results from intimate fellowship experienced with God through Christ. Only then will you know the power that flows from His Resurrection into the very circumstances where you walk and live every day.

Today, my prayer for you is to know Jesus to the extent you could never again be the same.

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Knowing God

November 2nd, 2012

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 NIV.

Knowing anyone requires significant investments of your heart and time.

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

How do you actually get to know someone, really know them? There have been times I thought I knew a person, only to be surprised to find how little I knew them and how little they knew me. Acquaintances are many; friends are few. Facebook reinforces our fuzzy concept of friends. But it takes more than clicking “Confirm” to become a friend.  Friendships are the product of significant investments of heart and time with one another.  Sufficient time and shared experiences are essential to truly know and trust one another and by those, enduring friendships are formed. Relationship is the process of welcoming and sharing life with others.

But my thoughts today are about a relationship unlike any other – a lifelong pursuit of knowing God personally and intimately. Knowing God is so much more than having intellectual knowledge about God. The Bible advises, “Acquaint yourself with [God] and be at peace. Thereby good will come to you.” Job 22:21 NKJV. Knowing God requires time and meaningful interaction; it is more about your heart than your head. There are many who know about God; you can truly know God in life-changing ways. “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3 NKJV.

In fact, you cannot really know God without willingness for life-change to occur. From personal experience Paul wrote, “Those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun. All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to Himself through what Christ did . . for God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 NLT.

God invites you to know Him, “Be still and know that I am God.“ Psalm 46:10 NIV. Time and attention are essential elements for knowing God. God says, “Be still.” See also Psalm 131:1-2 NLT. But our lives are anything but still. The business and busyness of your world competes with the inner poise necessary for knowing God. Knowing God requires slowing your pace deliberately, and hearing God demands the practiced discipline of listening with your heart. Isaiah’s prophetic words are clear, “The Sovereign Lord says, ‘Only in returning to Me and waiting for Me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.’” Read Isaiah 30:15-18 NLT.

In college, my life verse and heart’s cry was and remains, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” Philippians 3:10 NKJV. I don’t claim to have achieved that, but I know my heart still yearns to know Him. I want to know God, and I want you to know Him in a real and personal way. See Daniel 11:32 NKJV. Do not be as those Paul describes, “Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live.” Titus 1:16 NLT. Know God and let the evidence be “to walk just as [Jesus] walked.” See 1 John 2:3-6/4:8 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is that you will invest your heart and time to know God a little more every day.

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