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Wisdom

August 30th, 2016

Invest in acquiring wisdom.

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom.” Proverbs 4:7 NIV.

My thoughts and comments today are about “wisdom.”

Life can be challenging. In those challenges, hold loosely what is temporal; distinguish and hold tightly what is eternal. The Bible’s counsel is wise; “Examine everything carefully; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21 NAS. I find it interesting that our God Who, “changes not,” also declares, “I make all things new.” With discernment, you navigate the changes inherent in daily life without losing connection with the spiritual values that have enriched your journey.

As years and experiences accumulate, you will cherish your history of God’s providence while you readily recognize the current activity of the Holy Spirit in your life. A trusting heart and mind are the keys to expanded experience and increased knowledge. Solomon discovered, “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for [wisdom and understanding are] more profitable than silver and yield better returns than gold.” Proverbs 3:13-18 NIV. Invest in acquiring wisdom. Wisdom from God is easy to recognize. James 3:17 NIV.

Spiritual discernment and wise discrimination will guard and guide you. No wise person would leave their door open to anyone who drops by for good or ill. Neither should your heart or mind be void of discernment. You must exercise spiritual judgment. Stay open in your spirit, not to everyone or anything, but welcome those Godly people and present realities that align with God’s Truth and ring true in your heart. Solomon learned, “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” Proverbs 24:3-4 NAS.

Change alone is not quite enough; you want growth and measurable improvement. For that to happen, you will need your knowledge to mature into understanding and wisdom. It is equally foolish to be open to everything as to be closed to anything. “Every teacher . . who has become a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a person who brings out of the storehouse the new teachings as well as the old.” Matthew 13:52 NLT. Experiences, old or new, require discriminating discernment. Value both old and new experiences, integrating both for your gain and growth.

If you desire Godly wisdom, my friend, Campbell, practiced and recommended reading one of the 31 chapters of Proverbs each day, again and again every month. “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7 NIV. As Solomon learned, you do not acquire true wisdom by your own cleverness. Wisdom and understanding result from the practice of God’s Word, by observing and welcoming the Godly wisdom of others, and by learning through your own experiences as understood through the prism of God’s Word. Value those who have lived longer, journeyed further, and are open to know God and His ways better. Then become that person for someone else. “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 NAS.

Today, I pray for you to listen well to the Holy Spirit in your heart. John 16:13-14 NIV.

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Christian Communications 2016

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Success With Satisfaction

June 10th, 2015

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

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“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

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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 . .

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Time Well Spent

April 24th, 2013

“Make every minute count.” Ephesians 5:16 CEV.

You cannot buy, borrow, or bargain for more time than God gives.

My thoughts and comments today are about “time well spent.”

Most of everything you use or lose can be replaced, except for time. It is a mistake to not value time as you should or use it as wisely as you could. Time is a limited commodity; you cannot buy, borrow, or bargain for more time than God gives you. Use the time you have, well and wisely. Time is irreplaceable, much too precious to waste; invest in people and matters of eternal importance rather than spending it frivolously. Jesus advised, “Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven . . for where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 NIV.

James’ counsel was that you not presume anything about tomorrow, because “How do you know what will happen tomorrow?” James 4:13-17 NLT. The Psalmist prayed, “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom. Psalm 90:12 NLT. The wise objective is to prize each moment, investing it wisely as a gift from God. Paul’s counsel is, “Make every minute count . . find out what the Lord wants you to do.” Ephesians 5:16-17 CEV. Here’s practical advice how to do that.

(1) Just say, “No.” Learning to say no to things – or people – that waste time allows you opportunity to say yes to God’s will, caring for your responsibilities, and being helpful to others. Stress results when you busy yourself with things not your responsibility, or commit to more than you can accomplish in available time. Jesus could confidently say to His Father, “I have finished the work You gave Me to do.” John 17:4 TEV. Jesus was not distracted by lesser matters, understanding personal priorities and knowing what is eternally important.

(2) Avoid procrastination. Ignoring things that must be done wastes time now and usually takes more time later. Personal and spiritual maturity is evidenced by doing what you should even when you don’t feel like doing so, just because that is what you should do. Jesus said, “I always do those things that please [the Father].” John 8:29 NKJV. Can you say that today? My spiritual life improved noticeably when I understood that procrastinated obedience is merely disobedience by lesser name. Read Matthew 21:28-31 NIV. Obeying God promptly and fully is time best spent.

(3) Take time to abide in Christ. Time reflecting on God’s Word, worshiping in His presence, and serving others is time well spent. Jesus was clear,“You cannot be fruitful unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4 NKJV. You will be more effective, more fruitful, more successful, and so much more satisfied. Listen and learn from the One Who will guide your life and direct your steps. Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV. Your time doing so is well spent and makes every other minute more effective. A disciple of Jesus will trust His promise, “Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and His righteousness, and all these other things will be provided for you.” Matthew 6:33. Life works best God’s way. First things first” is always good advice.

My prayer for you today is that you value time and use it with eternal purpose in mind.

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Wise Or Wasteful?

March 12th, 2010

“Teach us to use wisely all the time we have.” Psalm 90:12 Contemporary English Version

“It is tragic to ignore a future for which you must prepare.”

My thoughts today ask, “wise or wasteful?”

This weekend, our country changes to Daylight Savings Time, turning clocks forward – seeming to lose one hour. That leads me to think of today’s verse: “use wisely all the time you have.” Time is something you may not think much about until you don’t have enough of it. What are you given that is any more valuable? The busiest person with the most to do and the idle person who wants little or nothing to do both have the same number of hours in a day to “git ‘er done.”

Time is far too valuable to misuse by wasting it. Once wasted, instead of being useful and valuable, that time is now gone, worth nothing – nothing produced, nothing accomplished, and nothing left to show for the time spent. Right now is the most important time given you – not yesterday, not tomorrow, right now – don’t waste a minute of it.

Now, don’t confuse deliberate moments with wastefulness. Time is well spent in rest and simple reflection or wisely taken for planning and preparation that results in more efficiency and greater effectiveness. Luke 14:28-30. Time is profitably given to be a friend to someone, to hear their story, to lend a helping hand. Such time is never wasted; it is invested.

But how do you know if you are using time wisely or wasting time needlessly? Jesus told marvelous stories that were true to life, and taught practical life-lessons. Learn them well; it’s time wisely spent.

You waste time living only for the moment without valuing what lasts and endures. Jesus told of two men who built houses. One took time to choose wisely where and how to build. He planned a house that would last. The other built more quickly, but foolishly, but his house ultimately collapsed. Matthew 7. 24-27. Jesus’ point is this: take time to wisely build a life that matters and lasts, or you foolishly waste time building your life on stuff that of little or no value. 1 Corinthians 3:10-13 NIV.

You waste time for pleasure or profit here and now without recognizing what is truly valuable and eternal. “Lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven . . “ Matthew 6:19-21.

You waste time ignoring a future for which you must prepare. A successful farmer built bigger barns for his growing wealth. He looked into his future, but not far enough.He foolishly reasoned, “I have much stored up for many years. Take it easy. Enjoy yourself, “ not knowing his life would end that night. With no time left, he would stand before God. “It is appointed unto man to die once, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27 NKJV. He presumed he had more time than he did; a lot of people make that tragic mistake.

You waste time living to please yourself and others while failing to please God. Nothing is of greater reward than pleasing God? “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord.” Colossians 3:23.  That sounds like time well spent.

My prayer for you today is that you will use your time wisely, and profit eternally.

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Rollover Minutes

November 13th, 2009

“Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 NLT

“In business they say, ‘ Time is money’; in life, money is time!”

My thoughts today are about “rollover minutes.”

In any given day, you have only so much time; use it wisely and use it well. A prominent cellular company promotes their company’s service plan as having rollover minutes, which as you know means that any minutes not used in the billable month can be carried over to the next months. Real life is not like that; real life has no rollover minutes. Any minute wasted or not used purposefully is gone, unrecoverable and lost forever.

How many days and years God grants you may vary from one person to another, but everyone gets the same number of minutes and hours in their day; you can’t buy more or borrow extra. Really, when you think about it, it is not about how many minutes you have but about how well you use them and for what you trade them.

The author of What To Do Between Birth and Death: The Art of Growing Up writes, “You don’t really pay for things with money; you pay for them with time.” Have you ever thought about it that way? You only know the real cost of something by calculating how much time you traded out of your life in order to buy that. In business they say, “Time is money.” In life, money is time!

You spend a significant part of your life working for money in order to trade that for things you need or want. Some of those things are necessities, things you have to have. A few of those things are luxuries, things you want to have whether needed or not. I wonder if your purchases would change if you calculated how much of your life you were trading for that thing you thought you could not live without – things that will soon be broken, lost, or be replaced by a supposedly new and improved model.

I think I am pretty careful about how I spend money, but I realize that I am not always as careful about how I spend my time. Really, if I am not making the most of my time, I have failed real stewardship.

The Bible advises, “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 NLT. Apparently, you are not growing in wisdom until you are successfully making the most of the time you have. See Matthew 6:19-21 NIV.

Maybe the first, and most important thing about using time wisely is investing in things eternal before temporal. Jesus told the story of two men whose lives touched. One enjoyed many things for which he had traded his time on earth until in eternity he found himself in torment wanting some comfort though none could be given him. The other had meager comforts in his lifetime, but somehow made the most of his time and was received into God’s presence upon his death. Read Luke 16:19-28 NIV. Which used time wisely? Your flesh is temporal; your soul is eternal!

There is a simple but haunting question Jesus asks, “What will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mark 8:37 NKJV. You won’t get any rollover minutes. Use the ones you have wisely.

My prayer for you today is: rememberthis, time is brief then gone; eternity is forever.

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