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Posts Tagged ‘King David’

Loving Discourse Lessens Discord

June 12th, 2018

Communication enables mutual understanding.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6

My thoughts and comments today consider that, “loving discourse lessens discord.”   

Kind and sincere communication is a gift that we give to one another. Communication connects and unifies people. I love a simple, beautiful verse: “Grace is poured upon Your lips.” Psalm 45:2 NKJV. What would your life and relationships look like if grace poured from your lips? Loving discourse lessens discord. In contrast, our world is so torn because individuals persist in being right, however high the price is paid in their dearest relationships. Whether in a marriage, family, friendship, or church, the relationship is left the victim when loving communication breaks down.

Sadly and widely, both public and private discourse seem course today, evidencing less and less grace. Why do we choose dispute over concurrence? Conversations are essential for social interactions and profitable commerce. Communication enables effective collaboration to bring about mutually beneficial understandings. The interaction that communication requires is not optional. Sincere and meaningful communication offers significant benefits such as: proper discourse unifies people, decides purpose, defines progress, and produces greater achievements. Real community is possible only to the extent or limitation of real discussions.

Language is a gift, possessing the power to unite or divide us. A wise person considers their words. Words have potential for good or ill, can help or hurt, heal or wound, increase understanding or create confusion. Your words are always within your authority to speak or remain silent. Speak after forethought and prayerful reflection. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge.” Proverbs 15:1-2 NIV.

With clarity and authority, Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Read Matthew 12:35-37 NKJV. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.” Read Proverbs 4:20-24 NIV. Ask yourself, “Are my words honestly intended, edifying to others, and glorifying to God.”

With King David, we should pray from our heart that our words and thoughts would be these, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 NIV. And how can we keep our words and thoughts pleasing in the sight of God and others? Pray as David prayed, “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3 NIV.

Today I pray for you to choose your words to always be both true and kind.

Christian Communications 2018

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A Practical Ethic

February 7th, 2015

“Nor will I offer . . to the Lord that which costs me nothing.” 2 Samuel 24:24 NKJV.

Taking spiritual life seriously will cost a personal price gladly paid.

My thoughts and comments today are about “a practical ethic.”  EDL pix ETHICS

I remember my Dad saying to me, “Allen, anything that costs you nothing is usually worth the price you paid for it.” From him, I learned to appreciate the worth of Godly counsel and the cost and value of achievement. My life is better and my spiritual life clearer because of his practical wisdom. If I were to summarize my Dad’s personal ethic, it would be his conviction and example that: “Anything worth doing is worth doing well, and anything worth having is worth whatever effort or sacrifice it cost to acquire.”

The prophet Isaiah pleaded with a generation who turned from spiritual allegiance to godless idolatry. Isaiah reasoned, “Who would form a god or mold an image that profits him nothing?” Isaiah 40:10. How foolish. As I read Isaiah’s words, I recalled my father’s warning, “Anything that costs you nothing is usually worth the price you paid for it.” As an example, Isaiah wrote of a man who with purpose and costly expenditure of time and effort cut down a tree, used some of the wood to build a fire to warm himself and to cook a meal to feed and satisfy himself, and only then after his desires were served and needs met, “with the residue thereof, he makes a god . . and worships it.” Isaiah 44:14-17.

Yet, in one way or another, has not every one of us done something similarly? Any god who is merely an afterthought is impotent to save. God isn’t properly valued when you prioritize your affections, interests, time, and resources before giving what’s left to God and others. What remains when your wants are satisfied, your needs are met, your bills are paid, and your future seems secure? Whatever is then given to God and others is unworthy.

How must God view such lack of reverence and recognition? Maybe the only thing worse than offering your scraps to the true God is to take those scraps and create a false god to worship. I don’t think that I have ever done the latter, but I fear that there were occasions and situations when I may have done the former – offering my residue without apology or embarrassment.

When King David desired to acknowledge the Lord’s great grace and mercy, he chose a threshing floor where he would offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord. Read 2 Samuel 24:18-26. When the land owner recognized the King and heard his desire, he generously offered the land without price, and even the oxen for sacrifice. David got it right. “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that which costs me nothing.” 2 Samuel 24:24.

Taking the spiritual life of yourself and others seriously will cost a personal price gladly paid. Let me be practical. What does it mean to “give God what costs you nothing?” When you devote hours to your own pursuits, but leave only brief moments for Him; or when you spend freely for your pleasure, but offer God a mere gratuity; or when you make time for your pleasure and recreation, but allow no provision for your soul – you are taking the residue of your life and creating a false god to worship and serve. Jesus was clear, “[God] will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.” Matthew 6:33 NLT. Now that is a practical ethic.

Today, my prayer for you is that you put God first in everything, every day, in every way.

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Repairing and Restoring

June 20th, 2014

“You shall be the ‘Repairer of the Breach, Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.’” Isaiah 58:12 NKJV.

Once broken, few things are as difficult to repair or replace as trust.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “repairing and restoring.”

Broken. What image comes to mind? Discarding something that doesn’t matter and won’t be missed? Or holding something broken but now irreplaceable? Everyone has experienced something being broken. Sometimes, that may be trust, or hearts, or friendships. Sometimes, you may be responsible, or it may have been someone else. Remember this: many things can often be fixed, or easily replaced. People, not so easily.

Friendships and family relationships are the most priceless and irreplaceable things that you are ever privileged to have and hold. The longer you have had them, the more irreplaceable they become. Hold them carefully with the fondness and regard they deserve. Once broken, few things are as difficult to repair or replace as trust. When harsh words, thoughtless actions, improper conduct or just unintended neglect breach the trust level in a relationship, there comes a growing distance between hearts that is often felt even before it is known. Brokenness must be repaired and trust restored promptly and fully. Read Ephesians 4:1-6 NIV/Psalm 133:1-3 NIV.

Move wisely, but quickly, to bridge relational separation. Doing so both minimizes the damage and demonstrates the value you place on the individual and relationship. No one promises it would be easy. “It’s harder to make amends with an offended friend than to capture a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with iron bars. Words satisfy the soul as food satisfies the stomach; the right words on a person’s lips bring satisfaction.” Proverbs 18:19-20 NLT. Delay gives unhealthy, even unholy, opportunity for imagination to misinterpret and magnify offences.

David felt the traumatic pain of a friend’s disloyalty. “It is not an enemy who taunts me – I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me – I could have hidden from them.  Instead, it is you – my equal, my companion and close friend.  What good fellowship we enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God.” Psalm 55:12-14 NLT. Misunderstandings occur between the best of people, but the person and relationship are always more important than your hurt feelings or disappointment.

You are called to live in communion with God and in unity with one another. Communion suffers where unity is lacking. “Live in harmony with each other. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible.” Romans 12:15-18 NLT. You cannot control what others choose, but you are responsible for what you choose to do, either initially or in reaction to another person.

When you break another’s trust, apologize quickly and ask forgiveness sincerely. When your trust has been broken, forgive unilaterally and immediately, asking God for His sufficient grace. Remember all you have been forgiven. ”Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall be called the ‘Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.’” Isaiah 58:12 NKJV. There are blessings if you do and consequences when you don’t. And what will the Lord do for you, when you repair and restore? “’For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds,’ declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 30:17 NAS.

Today, my prayer for you is to be first to offer forgiveness and the last to inflict harm.

A personal note: today’s devotional thoughts mark a milestone for EDL of 1,100 devotionals in the archives available at the website for you at – www.allenrandolph.com.

They cover a wide spectrum of helpful Bible verses and practical topics for you to browse at your leisure, consult for personal study, share with a friend, neighbor, or co-worker, or use as a resource for leading a Bible Study. Gayle and I thank each of you for your appreciation and partnership in the ministry of EveryDay Life . . Blessings!

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Problems Present Possibilities

June 5th, 2013

“Outside were fightings; inside were fears. Nevertheless, God . .” 2 Corinthians 7:5 KJV.

Face facts, even if daunting, until you find truth that is empowering.

My thoughts and comments today are that “problems present possibilities.”

Success begins with a proper perspective. Some look at problems deciding they’re unsolvable. Others look beyond the problem, seeing possibilities worth their time and effort. Some people just focus on problems; successful people study possibilities and strategize ways to succeed.

Does that sound at all like any problem you are facing right now? Any problem will be accompanied by voices suggesting you are not able. Sometimes, it is others’ voices you hear; often, it is your own. Paul described one occasion when, “We were troubled on every side. Outside were fightings, inside were fears. Nevertheless, God . . comforted us.” 2 Corinthians 7:5-6. The truest meaning of that word involves the concept of restoring faith or fortitude. Just don’t forget to consider and expect, “Nevertheless, God . .” Never leave God out of the equation.

Newly crowned as King, David faced a problem. An old enemy inhabited a fortress critical to his occupying Jerusalem, the nation’s capital. Read 2 Samuel 5:1-10 NIV. The Jebusites occupied Zion, confident their fortified walls were impenetrable. The walls were high, the enemy powerful, and the voices intimidating. This stronghold stood in the way of his success. They taunted David and his soldiers, “You’ll never get in here. Even the blind and lame could keep you out.” How wrong they were.

Including God in your situation introduces unforeseen opportunities. David looked at his problem, then studied possibilities. Rather than attacking the walls that were strong and heavily guarded, David strategized that his soldiers could enter the city through a water tunnel, outsmarting the city’s defenders. David faced the facts that seemed daunting, until he found a truth that was empowering. Facts can change; truth is ever true. Where walls discouraged others, David discovered tunnels. “Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion!” Every possibility has a problem you must face, solve, and overcome. Every problem hides a possibility, if you will seek it. That’s problem solving at its best.

In his 1968 presidential campaign, Robert Kennedy adapted a quote, “There are those who look at things the way they are and ask, ‘Why?’ I dream of things that never were and ask, ‘Why not?’” (George Bernard Shaw, 1925 Nobel Prize for Literature). Consider possibilities rather than problems.What problems do you face? What stronghold blocks your achievement – a losing battle with old habits, loss of confidence, previous failures, frustration, fearfulness, lack of faith? In every problem, there are possibilities.

Use your head but also listen to God in your heart. God is equal to any opposing stronghold, knows the way through every obstacle, and possesses everything you ever need. “We use God’s mighty weapons . . to knock down the devil’s strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NLT.

My prayer for you this day is that you look for God’s possibilities in every difficulty.

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Good Things

April 8th, 2013

“Lord . . You have promised good things to your servant.” 2 Samuel 7:28 NIV.

Don’t lose sight of good things promised, nor lose sight of God in the good He provides.

My thoughts and comments today are about “good things.”

Life can be hard at times, sometimes changing without warning. You build comfortable routines and form assumptions about the future. Things go as you plan, for a while; then life tumbles out of your control, suggesting good times are unrecoverable. The news that shatters your assumptions and shakes your confidence is not the “end of the world” It just feels like it.

In a moment, your expectations can be dashed and you feel, “If it weren’t for bad news, there would be no news at all.” Such moments involve wildly swinging emotions, usually exaggerated and probably irrational. Despair paralyzes you momentarily, your fondness for how things were lies to you about how things will remain. Read Hebrews 12:27-28 NKJV. Dr. Robert Schuller, longtime pastor of the Crystal Cathedral, often reminded people, “Tough times never last; tough people do.”

David was king and concerned that the Ark of the Covenant rested in a tent while he enjoyed a palace of cedar and stone. Read 2 Samuel 7:1-17 NIV. David desired to build a suitable “House for the Lord.” But God sent Nathan, a prophet, to tell David he would not build a house for the Lord, but God promised David a future of prosperity, posterity, security, and legacy. David responded with praise. Vs. 18-29. “O Lord Almighty, [You have said, ‘David], I will build a house for you’ . . You are God! Your words are trustworthy, and You have promised these good things to Your servant.” God promises good things for your home and family as well.

A holy desire was in David’s heart to build a proper house for God; God saw his heart, and in response, promised to build and establish a house for David. There is a spiritual principle here to consider. When your concern is to bless God with your life, God’s response is to build your house and bless you with good things. Your joyful response will be as David’s, “Your word is trustworthy and You have promised good things to Your servant.” Your Father promises good things, not the unsettling things of the moment. Jesus reasons, “If you then . .  know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him.” Matthew 7:11 NKJV.

Jesus said, “Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these [daily] things. But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these [good] things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33-34 NKJV. Trouble diverts your attention from God and distracts you with your own problems. Disappointments can distract you from a Godly focus.

Be advised; prosperity as well as problems can be distracting. “When your God brings you into the land He swore to your fathers, to give you – a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant – then when you eat and are satisfied . . do not forget the Lord.” Deuteronomy 6:10-11 NIV. Don’t lose sight of the good things God promises, nor lose sight of God in the good things He provides.

My prayer for you this day is for the good things God has for you as you love and serve Him.

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