Archive

Posts Tagged ‘prosperity’

About God and Governments

July 1st, 2016

Above pride of nation, be a servant and soldier of the Lord Jesus.

“Are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations?“ 2 Chronicles 20:6 NAS.

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

As we celebrate our nation’s birthday and heritage, it seems an appropriate time to consider present world realities. You cannot listen to the news even a little without wondering and worrying about the things happening around the globe.

And what is happening? Global politics, accusations and threats from world leaders, heads of governments strutting across the world stage with boast and bravado, bitter political and religious differences, growing terrorism and brutal violence, ideological alliances and fearful attempts to balance military powers, international rivalries and jealousies, lust for power with the threat of nuclear and biological weapons, apparent impotence of most treaties, truces, and international sanctions, as well as angry, military hostilities in too many diverse locations – all combine to create concern for today and uncertainty for the days ahead. Can governments provide the remedy?

Conflicting voices and partisan opinions tell you the solution to all of this is your vote for their candidate or political party, each one promising you greater security and prosperity for yourself and family. Isn’t that what every citizen wants, whatever their nationality, language, religion, economy, or governmental system? But has that ever worked yet?

Where is God in all of this? Here’s what the Bible says. “He made from one man every nation . . having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation.” Acts 17:26. Ultimately political summits do not shape the geography of countries. Nor do political leaders alone determine the future of nations. God does. Your informed vote in the political process is important; your faith in God and fervent prayer is yet more consequential and powerful – more far reaching to influence the fate of nations. “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 NIV. See 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV.

God caused Israel’s oppressors to fund their exodus from captivity with Moses. Exodus 3:21. Generations later, God opened the heart of Cyrus, King of Persia, to return Israel’s captives to Jerusalem. Ezra 1:1.  In more recent history, was it the world’s nations that carved out territory and national boundaries for Israel in 1948, again returning the Jewish people to their homeland? Or was that the hand of God, and His promise to Israel from centuries before? Job confidently declared, “God makes nations great, and He destroys them; He enlarges nations, and disperses them.” Job 12:23-25 NIV.

Here is the sum of this matter of security and prosperity in this day and world. “I will both lie down in peace and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8. God promised every generation, “For unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder . . of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end . . the passionate commitment of the Lord Almighty will guarantee this!” Isaiah 9:6-7. Is it God, or governments? I will go with God. See Philippians 3:20.

My prayer for you today is that above pride of nation, be loyal as a servant and soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christian Communications 2016

Facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

Today’s comments were originally written in 2009. As I considered this upcoming weekend for our nation’s celebration of Independence, the words remain a relevant reminder today for freedom loving people in every nation. God’s Truth is timeless and applies broadly. Blessings to all of our EDL readers across more than 120 nations.

The Washington National Cathedral, Washington DC

EDL National Cathedral

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

Prosperity and Adversity

February 12th, 2016

“In the day of prosperity be joyful, But in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other.” Ecclesiastes 7:14 NKJV.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “prosperity and adversity.”

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat those two impostors just the same . . Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son.”
“If” – Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936

When I was a young teen, I questioned my Dad, a pastor, about a young husband and father I had admired in our congregation. He had such a heart for God and an expressed interest in ministry. He was personable, eloquent, enthusiastic, persuasive, and diligent. His natural gifts and spiritual passion were well suited for success in ministry, until he experienced rapid and unexpected success in his construction business.

As he prospered, his plans adjusted as his interests, time, and attention shifted. I well remember his words, “My goal is to make a million dollars by the time I am thirty; then I will become a minister.” The first part of his goal was met and exceeded; the latter intention was neither attempted nor realized. My Dad’s response to my disappointment was specific, “More people can stand adversity than those who can handle prosperity.”

I didn’t fully understand it then, but across decades as a pastor, I have learned the wisdom and accuracy of my father’s words. Adversity is difficult; prosperity can be deceptive. Be careful, riches will be deceitful. In His masterful and practical Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned, “The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word and [a man] becomes unfruitful.” Matthew 13:22 NKJV. Both prosperity and adversity have unique hazards. In the best of times, you may easily forget your need of God’s daily provision; in the worst of times, you can incorrectly assume God will not meet your needs.

Uzziah was a young king of Judah who enjoyed great success during his fifty-two year reign. He beautified and fortified Jerusalem. His armies were victorious. He was feared and respected by surrounding nations. His land was fruitful and his people prosperous. “As long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.” 2 Chronicles 26:5 NKJV.

Ominously, the Bible says, “So his fame spread far and wide, for he was marvelously helped [by God] until he was strong. But when he was strong his heart was lifted up to his destruction, for he transgressed against the Lord his God.” 2 Chronicles 26:15-16 NKJV. Prosperity without humility and gratitude is destructive.

Far from the prideful height of acclaim, success, and sufficiency, Uzziah died a leper under the judgement of God, ostracized from others. For me, Uzziah illustrates the practical wisdom of my Dad’s counsel, “More people can stand adversity than those who can handle prosperity.”

Here is the simple truth Solomon understood, “In the day of prosperity be joyful, But in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other.” Ecclesiastes 7:14 NKJV. The Apostle Paul gave invaluable advice, “Everywhere and in all things, I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Read Philippians 4:11-13 NIV. 

Today, I pray for you to “prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 2 NKJV.

Christian Communications 2016
Website and archives: www.allenrandolph.com
www.facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

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

Prosperity in Adversity

August 14th, 2015

“The Lord made all that Joseph did to prosper in his hand.” Genesis 39:3 NKJV.

Adversity around you will not prevent God’s blessings upon you.

My thoughts and comments today are about “prosperity in adversity.”

It never seems a person has enough money, so it is important that you learn some basic things about handling the money you have. God’s principles remain true and effective whether you have little or much. My Dad taught me to, “always live within your means and always save something for later.”That is a Biblical principle of stewardship. That isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but it is always the best thing to do. See Proverbs 21:20 NIV.

Gayle and I have done that for all of our married life, when we made less and when we made more. We have chosen to live without credit card debt and been very careful about long-term debt. Before our marriage, my Dad recommended allocating a fixed percentage of income for housing expenses as a helpful guideline to keep expenses in proportion to income, not allowing expenses to grow without proportional income.

It’s simple really. The world’s economy cannot provide you with Kingdom prosperity. God’s blessings provide prosperity. Joseph found himself in adverse circumstances – sold as a slave, indentured as a servant, and in a foreign land. “His master saw that the Lord was with Joseph and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him.” Genesis 39:1-6 NKJV. Joseph prospered in extreme adversity. Adversity around you will not prevent God’s blessings upon you. God intends the same for you. “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 1:2 NASB.

Governments assume that giving taxpayers’ money to large banking corporations and requiring them to lend money to assure sufficient funds circulating in the economy can solve the problem. Actually, that fuels the source of the problem. The common wisdom – ill formed and wrongly believed – is that if everybody will spend more, we can borrow and buy our way out of the predicament. That is a false cure, temporary and shortsighted. The wheels of commerce are greased by the principle of leverage through a cycle of borrowing and growing debt. Debt is addictive and destructive. It doesn’t work for a nation, nor for your household.

Our country is in economic distress through mounting debt, which merely reflects a financial mess many of us have made for ourselves. Readily available credit does not make it wise. Availability is not the same as affordability. Families have chosen a lifestyle of debt in a culture that encourages and enables your doing so. When tempted to spend beyond your means, consider the financial, marital, and eventual emotional cost.

God will not bless your mess. Begin putting God first. Malachi 3:8-12 NLT. Everything you have belongs to God; you and I are stewards. Use wisely what God provides, always thankful for His blessings. “Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.” Psalm 128:1-2 NIV.

Today, I pray that you earn diligently, save regularly, spend wisely, and give generously.

Christian Communications 02139

EDL pix adversity-prosperity

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

Success With Satisfaction

June 10th, 2015

Please read a personal message for EDL Readers I have included at the end of today’s Devotional . .

————————————————-

“I pray that you may prosper in all things, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 2 NKJV.

Prestige will not satisfy if  your soul is bereft of God’s benediction.

My thoughts and comments today are about “success with satisfaction.”

Success is a worthy goal; satisfaction should be the result. No one plans to fail; some fail to plan. It is important that you establish your personal definition of success. Without reliable benchmarks for measuring success, you cannot know when you achieve it, or recognize when you have failed. Everything without God is nothing, but little or nothing with God can be everything. 

Do not allow other people to determine what success looks like for you. The world’s values are vastly different than God’s. Decide to which value system you will give your heart and where you will invest valuable effort and energy. Someone has written, “As you climb the ladder of success, be sure your ladder is leaning against the right building.”

Prosperity does not result from the labor of your hands alone. True prosperity rests in the contentment of your heart. The prophet, Isaiah, asked a probing question, “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.” Isaiah 55:2. Prosperity is found only in what God provides.

His intention for you is clear and simple; “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 2. God delights in your success – materially, physically, and spiritually. Your greatest delight is when your success is evidenced by satisfaction. Prosperity is the sweet fruit of success; and real prosperity occurs, “as your soul prospers.” Read Joshua 1:7-8 NIV.

Neither possessions nor prestige will satisfy, if your soul is bereft of God’s benediction. “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Consider how things are going for you! You have planted much but harvested little. You have food to eat, but not enough to fill you up. You have wine to drink, but not enough to satisfy your thirst. You have clothing to wear, but not enough to keep you warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!’ This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Consider how things are going for you!’” Haggai 1:5-7 NLT. In things important, are you succeeding or failing. Take time to consider.

This is Godly counsel; “Teach is to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 NAS. The intangible contentment and satisfaction of your achievements are a more reliable measurement of success than all tangible rewards gained by your accomplishments. Satisfaction is a reliable measurement of success. Gayle and I have simply tried to obey God and serve Him and others to the best of our abilities and opportunities, “seeking God and working wholeheartedly.” 2 Chronicles 31:21 NIV.

Today, I pray for you to always place the highest value on that which has eternal reward.

Christian Communications, Inc 07187

———————————————-

Dear EDL Readers: due to travel and ministry opportunities in California these next two weeks, the devotionals may be less frequent as time and travel allow, but resuming regularly as we enter July. Meanwhile, I encourage you to visit the EDL website and archives and draw inspiration and encouragement among the 1,200 Devotionals archived at www.allenrandolph.com. And to increase the effective reach of EveryDay Life, I am asking each of those who appreciate and have benefited from the spiritual encouragement and teaching of EDL to recommend a friend, or friends, to visit the website and subscribe. I request your prayers for effective ministry these next Sundays. Blessings . .

————————————————

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

God Makes Life Make Sense

September 11th, 2013

“Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25 NIV.

The hurt you feel is not apart from the hope you have and healing you need.

My thoughts and comments today are that “God makes life make sense”

Life isn’t fair; serious disappointment waits for those who expect it to be. Today, September 11, is a stained date on America’s calendar when our stunned nation puzzled how crazed jihadists would rob hearts and homes of more than three thousand lives, guilty of nothing more than going to work that morning. Everything in our national grief cried, “Unfair!”

Unfair; everyone feels that way sometimes. Jesus told a parable about workers in a vineyard who agreed to a proper day’s wage for a full day’s work. Read Matthew 20:1-16 NLT. As the day progressed, other workers were needed and hired. But at the end of the day, the owner of the vineyard said, “I wanted to pay this last man the same as you . . should you be angry because I am kind?” Matthew 20:14 NKJV. “Unfair,” seemed a legitimate complaint! Read Vs. 8-12. See Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT. With which worker did you first identify – the ones who got what they agreed to receive or the ones who received a grace they could not earn? We have more likely and more frequently been the latter. See 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV.

Probably one of the important questions of everyday life is: do you trust God to be fair? When he interceded for God to spare Sodom, Abraham affirmed his trust by a rhetorical question whose answer assumed to be obvious, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25 NIV. Of course, God will! He is righteous and cannot do less. And He will always do right by you.

“Unfair!” That’s a familiar exclamation or emotion anyone might say or feel.From a child’s earliest years there seems to be an innate sense of fairness, not so much in evidence when you are the one getting the best deal but certainly when someone else is and you are not. People never seem to outgrow the need to be first, have the most, the best, or the biggest; do we? When you don’t and someone else does – that you think deserves it less than you – your feelings scream, “Unfair!”

In their pain and tears, I have heard many good people say, “Life isn’t fair.” And they had every right to feel that way. The hurt you feel is not apart from the hope you have and the healing you need. A good person struggles with hardships, while a lesser person lives carefree. A hard working person seems not to get a break; another stumbles into unbelievably good fortuneLife isn’t fair. But God is just – every time, all the time. See 2 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV.

The Psalmist anguished over the incongruity that the wicked prospered yet the righteous suffered. The inequities bewildered him; “But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold . . when I saw the prosperity of the wicked . . Till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” Read Psalm 73:1-28 NIV. There is a sanctuary for you where God makes life make sense. One day, the scales of justice are balanced, the wrongs made right, the innocent vindicated, the guilty punished.

My prayer for you today is that you trust in the goodness of a righteous God.

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