Archive

Posts Tagged ‘opportunities’

Disappointments and Doorways

June 23rd, 2016

Disappointment can be a doorway to your greatest opportunity.

 “Moses my servant is dead. Now arise and go over this Jordan.” Joshua 1:1 NKJV.

My thoughts and comments today are about disappointments and doorways.”

Difficulties and disappointments will come. When they do it is difficult to stop staring at the past, to resist the present reality, and not to feel stuck where you are. It is difficult but it is not impossible. Optimism is the best cure. There really is no other good option to moving past the past. In the purposes of God, your focus is forward and optimism is your attitude.

Moses died, 120 years old and, “his eye was not dim nor his natural force abated.” Note Deuteronomy 34. The page of history is turned and a new and grander chapter begun. In God, every ending births a new and greater beginning. Moses is dead; promises remain and victories await. Joshua 1:1-11 NKJV.

You have to deal with present reality to embrace future possibilities. Moses’ death must have been Joshua’s biggest disappointment. He personally and Israel nationally lost a bold and brilliant leader; the only leader they had known. “Moses my servant is dead; now arise.” Moses is dead. Joshua must carry on. Israel stands at a pivotal national moment – on the brink of its destiny and the fullness of God’s promises.

Your biggest disappointment can be a doorway to your greatest opportunity. It was for Joshua and Israel. “Moses my servant is dead; now arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them.” Joshua 1:2 NIV. Several million people were waiting to know from Joshua what was next. They couldn’t go back where they were; they couldn’t stay where they are; they had to press onward. The realities were these. Before them was an uncrossable Jordan at flood tide. Across Jordan was Jericho, the most fortified city guarding the entry to Canaan. Beyond Jericho were scores of other fortified cities, war-hardened armies, and men of such stature as to be seen as giants. They had been here before and a generation died because of their unbelief. Numbers 13:31-33 and 32:9-12 NKJV.

We know the story and the dangers faced and victories achieved. Let’s consider the process and apply it to your situation. God always rests the future on His promises in the past. God reminds Joshua of the renewed promises. “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.” Joshua 1:3-4 NKJV. God assures Joshua of His continuing presence. “As I was with Moses, so shall I be with you. I will never fail you nor forsake you. Be strong and of a good courage.” Joshua 1:5-7 NKJV. Three times God called Joshua to strength and courage. The issue is settled. “If God is for us, who can be against us?“ Romans 8:31 NIV.

God prepared Joshua to lead Israel with confidence; He will do the same for you in your difficult and uncertain moments. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 NKJV. The best is yet to come. This passage provides three things that are essential, not optional. (1) Speak the Word of God faithfully. (2) Dwell on God’s Word continually. (3) Live according to God’s Word consistently. “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9 NKJV. Jesus promised, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mathew28:20 NIV.

Today, I pray for you that you refuse to settle for anything less than God’s highest and best.

Christian Communications 2016 and  Facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

EDL open doorway

Devotionals , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lost Things

March 2nd, 2016

“The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Luke 19:10 NIV.

A lost soul is the worst and unrecoverable loss of all.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “lost things.”

Everyone misplaces something at some time. Eventually, you may even be unsure where or when it was lost. And if too much time passes before realizing your loss, that item is more likely to remain lost. Upon realizing you have lost something, you determine if the value of the absent item is worth the time and effort of replacing it or looking for it. Sometimes it is more than an item that was lost. Marriages and families are lost by distraction and inattention. Friendships are lost by neglect or busyness. Opportunities are forfeited by procrastination or aversion to risk and failure. At such times, inaction is costly.

Jesus was a great story-teller. The Gospels are replete with stories about ordinary and extraordinary people. His stories were practical and helpful, revealing truth and providing instruction to the wise. Among the best, most familiar, and beloved of those, Jesus told multiple stories about a single theme – lost things. Read Luke 15:1-31 NKJV. The theme is appropriate to the Savior who understood His calling and commission, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Luke 19:10 NIV. See John 3:17 NKJV. As is true with lost things, people can’t find themselves; they have to be found.

In Luke’s account of Jesus’ stories, a wandering sheep was lost, a valuable coin was lost, a prodigal son was lost, a valuable opportunity was lost, and importantly, irreplaceable years were lost. In all but one instance, Jesus’ stories conclude with festive celebration and rejoicing.

In the first example of the lost sheep, neither the neglect of the shepherd nor the intention of the sheep is at fault. That one sheep simply wandered, not knowing it was lost nor finding its way home. Endangered and defenseless, the sheep was dependent on the shepherd, who spared no time or effort in finding and returning the straying sheep to the safety of the fold and the company of the flock. Vs. 4-7.

In Jesus’ next story, a single coin of minimal value was misplaced. Though nine other coins remained, extensive effort was made to find an otherwise insignificant coin, yet valued by its owner. She made every effort, searching relentlessly until it was found. Vs. 8-10.

In the final story, something more valuable than sheep or coins was lost; a valuable inheritance was squandered by a young son. In that process, a cherished son was lost whose heart drew him far away from his home and family where he misused and lost all that he had been given. Vs. 11-16. Jesus’ question is haunting, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” Mark 8:36 NKJV. A lost soul is the greatest, unrecoverable loss of all.

Fortunately, the story does not end there. When the Prodigal came to his senses, he went home to his father. I love Jesus’ words, “While he was still a long way off . . his father ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Vs. 20. I love the image of the Father running to meet and envelop the returning prodigal with loving, joyful embrace. His reception even exceeded the regret of the penitent son. I am reminded of Poet Robert Frost’s perceptive description of home. “Home is the place where when you go there they have to let you in.”  Ultimately, Jesus’ story is about coming home in humility and repentance where you will find forgiveness, redemption, restoration, and rejoicing. Vs. 17-24. Read 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 NIV.

But not to be overlooked, Jesus’ story is also about the immense loss a father suffered by the failure of both of his sons to understand and value their father’s immeasurable love and generosity. “You are always with me, and everything I have is yours.” Luke 15:31 NIV. Our Heavenly Father’s heart remains unchanged, “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11 NKJV.

Today, I pray for you to know the enduring love and faithful care of the Good Shepherd.

Christian Communications 2016
www.facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

EDL Welcoming Prodigal

Devotionals , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Obstacles and Opportunities, Part 2

February 3rd, 2016

“Stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” Colossians 4:12 NIV.

With God, there is more than you can see from where you are.

My comments today continue about, “obstacles and opportunities.”

Obstacles are natural events the devil uses to restrict you to the past or impose limits today. Every obstacle also presents opportunities. Opportunities are Godly provision that encourages you into a better and greater future, just over the horizon from where you now are. You fail to progress in your faith if you only see the obstacles but not the opportunities.

The Bible records two similar yet distinct miracles. Moses and Israel’s miracle at the Red Sea was to redeem Israel’s history. Joshua and Israel’s miracle at the Jordan River was to release Israel’s destiny. Allowing God to deal with your history allows entrance into your destiny. There never could have been a miracle at the Jordan if there had not been a miracle at the Red Sea. As with Israel, God sovereignly deals with your past as prelude to entering your blessed future, a place, “with flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant.” Deuteronomy 6:10-11 NIV.

But first, Israel faced two insurmountable, natural barriers – the impassable, swollen Jordan River at the worst possible time of year and the formidable, menacing city of Jericho – a sentinel guarding the Jericho valley and entrance to Canaan. Read Joshua 3:10 NKJV. As you read, notice God’s two purposes for the miracle He would provide. (1) assurance of His abiding presence among them, and (2) His guarantee of unfailing victory until every enemy was vanquished before them. If God could dry up the waters of Jordan, He could collapse the walls of Jericho. From what God has done you learn what God can and will do.

The priests, bearing the Ark of the Covenant on their shoulders, were to step into the surging flood waters first and, “stand still in Jordan.” (Joshua 3:8 KJV). It required obedience to step into those surging waters and even greater faith to continue to stand there. Read Joshua 3:13-17 KJV. As promised, the miracle began when the priests stepped into the water, but not where the priests stepped into the water.

Miraculously, the waters stopped many miles upstream beyond where the priests stood and could not yet see. As the rushing waters receded, the priests, “stood firm in the middle of the Jordan on dry ground while all Israel completed the crossing on dry ground.” There will be times when your miracle is still upstream and unseen. With God, there is always more than you can see from where you are. In such times, “In prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” Colossians 4:12 NIV. “And having done all to stand, stand therefore . .” Read Ephesians 6:11-18 NKJV.

Today, I pray for you to stand strong in the truth of God’s Word at all times.

To be continued . . Part 3

EDL Pix stormy sea

If you did not already watch the video of this teaching, “Seize the Day.” My comments today originate from that teaching. I hope you will take the time to listen . . . https://vimeo.com/153012760.

If you watch the video, would you be kind enough to simply hit “reply” to the email – no comment required. It’s just a simple way for me to know if posting a video teaching is useful to EDL readers. By the way, at the website, allenrandolph.com, this video and three others are available any time. You can go to the website and scroll down past the calendar to the bottom right corner and you will see them listed. Thank you for your support of this ministry.

Christian Communications 2016

Devotionals , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Obstacles and Opportunities, Part 1

January 29th, 2016

“This is the day of the Lord’s victory. Let us celebrate.” Psalm 118:24 TEV.

The impossible is what God does best.

My comments today are about “obstacles and opportunities.”

I have observed that life presents both obstacles and opportunities. It is unrealistic to presume you will have either without the other. Every opportunity presents an obstacle; every obstacle presents an opportunity. The bigger the opportunity, the greater the obstacles. The greater the obstacle, the bigger the opportunities will be.

You learn a lot about your own character when you experience obstacles. And in every obstacle, God offers an opportunity to learn about His character as well. “This is the day of the Lord’s victory. Let us be happy. Let us celebrate.” Psalm 118:24 TEV. Any day is a good day when you are offered the opportunity to walk and live in His victory.

Take a few minutes to read Joshua 1:1-10 and Joshua 3:1-17 NIV. Joshua and Israel faced serious obstacles; an uncrossable Jordan and an invulnerable Jericho were both impediments to entering Canaan, the land of God’s promise and plenty. Why would the armies in Jericho neither offer opposition to Israel crossing Jordan nor demonstrate any active resistance as they marched around Jericho seven days? I suggest, with such flooded dimensions and depth of the Jordan, they must have assumed it unimaginably impossible for two million people to navigate such a crossing, just as they believed the capture of their city to be impossible. The impossible is what God does best.

Under the cover of darkness, Joshua sent two men went into Jericho to assess the situation ahead. What they heard was that Jericho was more afraid of them than they were of Jericho. Fear creates battles that God has already fought and won. A Canaanite woman in Jericho said, “I know the Lord has given you the land . . all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea when you came out of Egypt . . our hearts melted . . no courage remained in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God is God in Heaven and in earth.” Read Joshua 2:9-11 NIV. Imagine! Canaan’s current and continuing fear began more than forty years earlier, when God drowned the Egyptian army and divided the Red Sea for Moses to lead newly liberated people across on dry land.

Upon return to Joshua, their report was with assurance and certainty, “The Lord has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us.” Joshua 2:24 NIV. But first they still had to cross the treacherous currents of a flooding Jordan. God always makes a way where there seems to be no way. With divine authority, Jesus said, “The things that are impossible with men are possible with God.” Luke 18:27 NKJV. But be prepared, God’s way will be what you least expect and never imagined. God said, “’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘As the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’” Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV.

Maybe you face an obstacle, feeling uncertain of the path forward. Sometimes the past feels difficult to overcome; sometimes the future seems unsure and concerning. “This is the day of the Lord’s victory. Let us be happy. Let us celebrate.” Psalm 118:24 TEV. Let me remind you that the God Who makes a way where there seems to be no way knows where you are and what you need, and He is able to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20 NIV. Today can be your day of victory. Celebrate!

Today, I pray for you that you will believe God for the impossible.

To be continued . .

I spoke last weekend at the Cathedral of Faith in San Jose, CA. They have posted the video of the teaching, “Seize the Day.” My comments today originate from that teaching. I hope you will take the time to listen . . . https://vimeo.com/153012760

ARR and Screen COF 1-24-16

Devotionals , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spiritual Discomfiture

May 20th, 2015

“Those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the Word.” Acts 8:4 NKJV.

God permits situations beyond your custom and convenience.

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

“Discomfiture,” is defined as, “a feeling of unease, uncomfortableness.” At times, God will permit spiritual discomfiture to dislodge you from comfortable places for more than you could accomplish if you remained as you were or where you were. Unwanted or unexpected changes are discomfiting. Since Pentecost, the Church at Jerusalem had seen noticeable growth, and with that came a notoriety that was not so favorable. “At that time a great persecution arose against the Church which was at Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions . . therefore, those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the Word. Comfortable people don’t make inconvenient changes, except by necessity.

Their dispersion was involuntary, prompted by circumstances contrary to their wishes or control. What was previously comfortable for them was presently in contrast with God’s purpose. There were eternal plans of which they were not yet aware. Before His ascension, Jesus specifically instructed, “You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8.

Content within their current boundaries, the Jerusalem believers could not fully accomplish God’s will for the extension of the Gospel, “to the end of the earth.” And consider, this persecution and geographical disbursing of believers would ultimately result in the unparalleled conversion of the Church’s primary persecutor, Saul of Tarsus, who would become an apostle and most prolific author of the New Testament. Read Acts 9:1-6.

God was serious about His intention for those first century Christians. Apparently, God is just as serious about orchestrating your life into His purposes and plans. His promise remains sure, “The plans I have for you are plans for your good . . to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT. A future without hope is empty; hope without a future is futility. I add my Amen to David, “As for God, His way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true.” Psalm 18:30 NLT.

(1) God is more invested in your eternal contribution than your current comfort. Jesus warned, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth . . but store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven . . for where your treasure is there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 NIV. God will make every effort to include you in what has eternal significance and enduring fulfillment.

(2) God permits situations beyond your custom and convenience. God allowed circumstances that stretched those early disciples beyond their customary routines and into the direction of His purposes. The uncomfortable experience for those Christians was persecution. Fleeing Jerusalem for their own, and their family’s safety, they discovered unforeseen opportunities. Everywhere they went, they were preaching about Jesus.

(3) God purposes only what will be for your good, and the good of others. Closed doors can be the Lord’s protection; open doors can be the Lord’s provision. Today, persecution is not likely to be the impetus to push you or me to new horizons. More likely that may be an unexpected disruption of carefully made plans, or inexplicable discontentment that opens your heart to new possibilities, or a turn of events you had not foreseen that introduces a new and fulfilling direction.

Until discomfort where you are becomes greater than the anxiety of moving onward, you will remain where you are, doing what you’ve done. That is not at all what God wills for you, providing neither progress nor growth.

Today, I pray for you to embrace any temporary discomfort to gain an enduring satisfaction.

Devotionals , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,