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Direction, Distractions, and Diversions

September 8th, 2017

Distractions create diversions to a course not envisioned.

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2 KJV.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “Direction, Distractions, and Diversions.”

Life needs direction – a worthy goal to reach and a path to reach that goal. For that direction, you need God. ”Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT. And life can be full of distractions. Even God cannot direct your path if you allow yourself to become distracted.

A firm and clear direction minimizes distractions. David’s direction was unequivocal, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of my life.” Psalm 27:4 NKJV. That is a Holy direction that can last a lifetime, and reaches into eternity. Most of the time distractions are usually of little or no lasting consequence, just a small matter of extra time. But what if the original intention was one of personal urgency and importance? Distractions, even those that are small and brief, lead to diversions that can set your life on an unintended path. Distractions create diversions toward a course not envisioned.

The sincerest decision and most vital direction can be supplanted by even a minor distraction. Because there is so much that you should do, and so much that you could do, there will always be moments that misdirect you along another path, away from the task at hand. Diversions are inevitable. Be prepared for them. Something more attracting and enticing will beckon your attention. All too easily, the best of  intentions can be displaced.

Later in life, individuals find themselves in a far different place than they planned. Where did they take a wrong turn? What decision changed their destination? Or maybe it was a curiosity that became a fascination indulging experimentation, which slowly became a habit and eventually an addiction from which you could not break free. Paul was wise when he wrote, “Everything is permissible for me – but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me – but I will not be mastered by anything.” 1 Corinthians 6:12 NIV. Permissible does not mean advisable.

There is no diversion that is more important than your decision to pursue God earnestly. Writing to the Christians in Philippi, the Apostle Paul wrote, “One thing I do,” then consolidated three necessities of that singular passion. “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Read Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV. Similarly, the Bible offers multiple, practical characteristics for your single-minded pursuit of God.

Be earnest about eternity. “Earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from Heaven.” 2 Corinthians 5:2 NKJVHeaven is real and eternity is sure.

Be earnest about the Christian faith. Exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered to all saints.” Jude 3 NKJV.  Hold fast to the faith that in difficult times will hold you fast.

Be earnest about prayer. “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.James 5:17 NKJV. Effective fervent prayer has the power to change anything.

Be earnest about spiritual giftedness. “Earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way, [the way of love].” 1 Corinthians 12:31 NKJV.

Be earnest about living for Jesus. “According to my earnest expectation that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now Christ may be magnified in my body.” Philippians 1:20 NKJV.

The world, with its deceitful pleasures, is full of distractions. If you then are risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:1-2 KJV. Love Jesus with earnest devotion. Live in such a way that others will see Jesus’ life and love in you. May this worthy goal be yours and mine. “We conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and Godly sincerity.” 2 Corinthians 1:12 NKJV.

Today, I pray for you to be earnest about all aspects of spiritual life.

Christian Communications 2017

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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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Spiritual Legacy

May 10th, 2013

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

Example works better than empty exhortation.

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

A lifetime is just not long enough for the investment poured into any individual or single generation. I have benefited vastly from the example and encouragement of family and friends. Because others freely shared their lives and examples of faith with me, I am a better man, husband, father, and friend than I would have been. “Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation.” Ronald Reagan. On whose shoulders are you standing? Imagine the costly waste of social, financial, educational, intellectual, and spiritual capital if every generation were left to learn the necessary life lessons without benefit of the experience and knowledge of previous generations.

Allow me to narrow the focus. Lessons of life and vital faith practices should be faithfully handed from generation to generation. Amid growing secularism and misapplied political correctness about religious pluralism, Christian families and churches must be vigilant to guard a vital practice of faith that is a transferable experience while its application is contemporary, personal, and individual.

I see a dynamic, spiritual principle in the letter of Paul to his young protégé, Timothy, “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother, Lois, and in your mother, Eunice, and I am persuaded now lives in you also.” Read 2 Timothy 1:4-7 NIV. Timothy was the beneficiary of a multi-generational, spiritual heritage of incomparable value. A Godly legacy is never coincidental; spiritual legacy is produced by clear and Godly intentionality. The transmission of your personal faith and Biblical convictions must not be left to chance.

The origin of EveryDay Life and the required discipline of its writing were an attempt to faithfully transfer to our children and grandchildren a proper understanding and practical application of the Bible’s wisdom, real faith, clear convictions, eternal values, and vital, spiritual practices entrusted to us from Gayle’s and my parents, grandparents, pastors, mentors, and Godly friends. Your life serves God’s purpose and your faith fulfills its promise when the lives of family, friends, and others embrace your faith and know your God. Be assured; it is never too late for that to be possible.

The faith was personal and practical that captured young Timothy’s heart; “. . a sincere faith which first lived in your grandmother and mother. Sincere faith alive in one’s heart ignites spiritual life in others. Here’s how they accomplished such a transfer of faith; “. . from infancy, you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus . . thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:14-17 NIV. God’s Word works in real life. It is never too early to teach the truth of God’s Word. Be sure you model its truth.

Example works better than empty exhortation. “You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord . . and so you became a model to all the believers . . your faith in God has become known everywhere.” 1 Thessalonians 1:5-8 NIV. See Jude 3 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is that you will cherish the heritage of faith others labored to preserve.

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Importance of Being Earnest

September 17th, 2012

Contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to all saints.” Jude 3.

Distractions become diversions that send your life in unintended directions.

My thoughts and comments today are about “the importance of being earnest.”

The most sincere direction and vital decision can be short circuited by distractions. Because there is so much that you could do and much that you should do, there will always be alternatives that beckon you along another path, away from the task at hand.

Most of the time such distractions usually have little or no lasting consequence, just a small matter of extra time. But what if the original intention were one of personal urgency or particular importance? Distractions, though brief, can become diversions that may more permanently set your life in an unintended direction; one you did not envision. Such diversions could be regrettable at the least, or inconvenient, or maybe even costly to you in missed opportunity or unfulfilled responsibility.

Later in life, many people find themselves in a far different place than they planned, and are perplexed why. What decision changed their expected destination? Sometimes it’s a casual acquaintance becoming an unlikely friendship, evolving into a questionable relationship, and eventually resulting in an ill-advised and ill-fated marriage. Or maybe it was a curiosity that became fascination, soon an indulging experimentation, then becoming a habit, and eventually an addiction from which you could not break free. “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful . . I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 6:12. That is a wise rule for living prudently.

Be earnest about the Christian faith. In life, there is no intention more important than a clear decision to pursue God earnestly everyday. The Bible gives practical advice for such an earnest pursuit. “Contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to all saints.” Jude 3. Hold fast to the faith that will hold your soul fast in difficult days.

Earnest is not a word commonly used or always well understood. Being earnest is to live with an evident priority and pursuit of a lifestyle of discipleship and service. The Christian life is not a casual stroll on a sunny afternoon. To live earnestly, you must live with purpose and clarity.

Be earnest about living for Jesus. “According to my earnest expectation that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now Christ may be magnified in my body.” Philippians 1:20. Love Jesus with earnest devotion. Live in such a way that others will see His greatness in you.

Be earnest about prayer. “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly . .” James 5:16-18 NIV.  Effectual, fervent prayer makes a difference in the lives of yourself and others. Pray earnestly and expectantly.

Be earnest about spiritual giftedness. “Earnestly desire the best gifts . . and yet I show you a more excellent way (the way of love).” 1 Corinthians 12:31. Spiritual giftedness is for useful service; serve well for the glory of God and the blessing of others.

Be earnest about eternity. “Earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from Heaven.” 2 Corinthians 5:2. Heaven is certainly real, and eternity is sure. Avoid the mundane life; keep a heavenly perspective.

My prayer today is that you are diligent about all aspects of spiritual life.

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