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Posts Tagged ‘rejection’

Better Together

August 11th, 2014

On a personal note: after this mailing of EDL, Gayle and I will be taking a few weeks to celebrate our 50th anniversary – though a year late! The importance of the occasion and the travel involved dictate that the writing of EveryDay Life be set aside, to resume in September. I will miss the discipline and enjoyment of sharing my thoughts from God’s Word, as well as reading your kind responses and comments, but anticipate resuming my joyful assignment upon our return. During these weeks, let me suggest that you use the option of browsing the archive of more than 1,100 previous devotionals available at the EDL website: www.allenrandolph.com. I look forward to our return and our visits together around God’s amazing and practical Word.

Blessings, Allen Randolph

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“That you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. Romans 1:12 NIV.

Some measure of your success requires the cooperation and contribution of others.

My thoughts and comments today are about being “better together.”

Let me journey a little further on our recent theme of encouragement. The Bible is clear, “Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV. Human nature is a bundle of contradictive inclinations; for example, a person can long for meaningful closeness with others, while at the same time requiring privacy from others. Relational intimacy can seem threatening; isolation can feel discomfiting.

At every level of personality, our fallen natures conflict with the Creator’s intention. At creation, God observed all that He had made, then declared, “It is not good that man should be alone.” God’s solution was, “a companion who will help him.” Genesis 2:18 NLT. God’s assessment is unchanged and His solution remains the same. People need other people.

Jesus chose His disciples, “to be with Him.” Mark 3:14 NKJV. Much of God’s intention for you begins with a call to divine companionship. I think the mention is significant that when Jesus gave His disciples power over unclean spirits and all kinds of disease, He sent them, “two by two.”  Mark 6:7 NKJV. Jesus knew they would face challenges and feel rejection, and partnered them for the mutual encouragement they would require. Together is a better option.

The Bible is full of such examples: Moses and Joshua, David and Jonathan, Paul and Barnabas, Paul and Silas, and others. In prison, Paul wrote to Timothy, “Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life . . bring Mark when you come, for he will be helpful to me.” 2 Timothy 4:10-11 NLT. It is a wise individual who recognizes his or her need for others.

“I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. Romans 1:9-12 NIV. The encouragement of each other’s faith provides a mutual strength.

Solomon wrote, “Two are better than one . . pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.” Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV. Solomon reasons that your efforts together are more productive; help is more readily available; comfort is found in company; strength is compounded. Some measure of your success requires the cooperation and contribution of others. You will not reach your full potential without the meaningful fellowship of others. And some measure of others’ accomplishments and fulfillment requires yours. Encouragement is neither complicated nor extravagant; it can be as simply expressed as a genuine interest, a sincere inquiry, an affirming word, a heartfelt prayer, an overture of assistance, or an act of generous benevolence.

Today, my prayer for you is to be as encouraging to others as someone has been to you.

Christian Communications, Inc.

 

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Being Peace-full

February 17th, 2014

“God blesses those who work for peace.” Matthew 5:9 NKJV.

Where God and His Word are lacking, peace will be absent.

My thoughts and comments today are about “being peace-full.”

My dear friend, Campbell, introduced me to the eloquent, British word, “dispeace,” describing “an unsettling absence of peace.” One who has known peace will not be content to live again without it. God is the answer for dispeace of heart and dissension with others. “For the kingdom of God is . .  righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.” Romans 14:17-18 NIV.

Jesus established the practical qualities of an exemplary life, “Being real, compassionate, submissive, satisfied, merciful, and authentic.” (Matthew 5:1-12). To those, Jesus adds, (7) “Being peace-full.” To those who work for peace, a family resemblance is seen. “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9 NLT. Like other traits of spiritual maturity, being peace-full starts in your heart with your right relationship with God, then expressed in your conduct and conversation. “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:17-18 NIV.

What most determines your peace is not what others do but what you have done, or will not do, to restore what is broken. The tools of making peace are prayer, confession, humility, forgiveness, obedience, and “giving preference to one another.” Romans 12:9-11 NKJV. Peacemaking is aptly described as work because it requires effort and personal sacrifice, but its blessings are immeasurable, “for they will be called the children of God.”

Hurting people hurt others. The person who desires peace initiates efforts toward peace, yet such efforts are not always well received. You cannot impose peace against another’s will. Neither you nor God can heal a person’s brokenness without their willingness. “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:17-18 NIV. Real peace cannot be instituted unilaterally. Do what you can, “as far as it depends on you.” Let God do what you cannot, and what others will not.

Fear of rejection is a major inhibitor to peace. Jesus said, “When you go into a household, greet it. If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.” Matthew 10:12-14 NKJV. From Jesus’ words, I draw three helpful conclusions. (1) Come with God’s peace in your heart. (2) You came with peace; leave with nothing less. (3) Don’t carry away any residue of hurt. As you go, “Let your peace return to you . . shake off the dust.” See Luke 10:5-6 NLT. Read Romans 14:22 NIV/2 Corinthians 13:10-11 NLT.

Where God or His Word are lacking, peace will be absent. Paul’s advice is practical, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts . . Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly . . Whatever you do, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Colossians 3:12-18 NIV.

My prayer for you today is that your peace with God will bring you the peace of God.

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