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Posts Tagged ‘seeds’

Words Matter

February 17th, 2017

Words contain life and carry the seeds of creation

 “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight.” Psalm 19:14 NIV

My thoughts and comments today are that “words matter.”

My fourth-grade teacher taught me an appreciation and respect for words. My Dad taught me the responsibility of words. Words were important to my Dad. I recall his reminding me, “Allen, never speak words you don’t mean.That seems plain and simple enough. He practiced and believed that your words represent you and your good name, and insisted they be honest and honorable always and to all. If not already, you will learn that not all people mean what they say, say what they mean, or do what they say. That is unfortunate, but never let that be said of you.

Words are the essential currency of social interactions. Words are the necessary tool for ordinary communication, meaningful exchange of ideas, and the intended covenant of business and agreement. I have visited and ministered in countries where their native language is different from mine. Thankfully, I was accompanied by others who made me understood and helped me understand.

Words contain life and carry the seeds of creation. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.” John 1:1-3 NIV. The Creator spoke, and it was so. “We understand that the universe was created by God’s word.” Hebrews 11:3 TEV. Words have the power to heal or hurt, inspire or intimidate, inform or deceive, build or tear down. Solomon warned, “You must live with the consequences of everything you say. What you say can preserve life or destroy it; so you must accept the consequences of your words.” Proverbs 18:20-21 TEV.

 Your words are important to God. “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord.” Psalm 19:14 NIV. In unguarded moments and situations, your words will eventually reflect your true attitudes and thoughts. Know your heart. Guard your words. Paul urged that your words should not be, “foolish talk or coarse jokes.” Read Ephesians 5:3-4 NLT. Jesus’ words are sobering, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks . . But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.” Read Matthew 12:35-37 NIV.

Your words must be important to you. “Let your speech be always with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so you will know how you should respond to each person.” Colossians 4:6. In those words, I see the picture of a mom carefully preparing supper for her family, tasting and seasoning as she cooks. Taste your words before you lend them a voice. Just in case you must eat them later. “Words from a wise man’s mouth are gracious . . A man of knowledge uses words with restraint.” Ecclesiastes 10:12/Proverbs 17:27 NIV.

Today, I pray for you to choose your words to be gentle and loving without need for regret.

Christian Communications 2017

Facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

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Seeds and Harvests

November 18th, 2014

“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest . . shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22 NKJV.

Every seed you plant schedules a harvest.

My thoughts and comments today are about “seeds and harvests.”

I don’t know anyone who enjoys waiting. What you want, you want now. But that is not how life works. Things that come too quickly or too easily are not appreciated as fully. God designed life to have a necessary process. “Consider the farmers who eagerly look for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They patiently wait for the precious harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient.” James 5:7-8 NLT. And without the process, you will miss the preparation essential to experience God’s best. David got it right. “But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God. My times are in Your hand.’” Psalm 31:14-15 NAS. Peace and satisfaction come when you rest in God’s hands and trust in God’s time.

Solomon wisely observed, “Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses . . God has set the right time for everything.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 TEV. Life works best when you believe God and trust His timing. “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart; and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14 NIV. Trust and tranquility relax life, granting you patience with peace of heart and mind.

Process is important. God’s process begins with sowing and ends with harvest. Every harvest begins with a seed. With no seed planted or no patience with the process, you will not experience a harvest. Nothing comes from nothing; nothing ever has. Here are two simple, practical considerations: sow what you plan to reap (See Galatians 6:7-9); sow in the measure that you hope to reap. See 2 Corinthians 9:6-11. NIV.

Those who pour their life generously into the lives of others are replenished, while those who hold and hoard everything for themselves worry about parting with what they have and end up losing it, or not enjoying it while they have it. The Bible says, “Some people give their money freely and still grow richer. Others are cautious, and yet grow poorer. Be generous, and you will be prosperous. Help others, and you will be helped. People curse a man who hoards . .” Proverbs 11:24-26 TEV.

Now, when you have planted seed in abundance having allowed the necessary process for the planted seed to germinate and release its inherent life, God promises the time of harvest will come just as He established from the beginning. Every seed you plant schedules a harvest. God built His promise into every seed. “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest . . shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22 NKJV. You plant the seeds; God promises the harvest.

God wants to bless you and give you more; His intent is far greater than your having excess. There should be a distinction between excess and abundance. Excess is what you hoard and hide for yourself. Abundance is the means from which you validate your stewardship to God and exhibit a generosity toward others. Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 NIV. Jesus’ context was about forgiveness, but the principle is broadly applicable to every area of stewardship in the Kingdom of God.

Today, my prayer for you is that you sow in faith so that you may reap in joy.

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Unceasing Prayer

February 24th, 2014

“We have not stopped praying for you.” Colossians 1:9 NIV.

Prayer commits enduring seeds of amazing possibilities into the eternal purposes of God.

My thoughts and comments today are about “unceasing prayer.”

There are many things you can do for others – acts of kindness, encouragement, words of counsel, practical assistance – but there is nothing more helpful or effective than praying for another person. You are only able to help another person within the limits of your awareness and understanding, limited resource, or in observable needs. But what of needs unseen or unsaid?

There are times when you want to help a person, and would help if you only knew how. In such times, I suggest you pray for them. “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us . . the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will . . The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.” Romans 8:26-27 NIV/ James 5:16 NLT. Prayer is a way that you can touch another’s life beyond your normal reach.  When you pray, you invite God to do what you cannot.

Ambiguous prayers are not likely to have powerful results. The Apostle Paul was faithful and direct in his prayers because he knew the value of others’ prayers for him, “As you help us by your prayers . . many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” 2 Corinthians 1:11 NIV. See also Romans 12:11-12 NIV. Paul was steadfast in praying because he knew what his prayers could accomplish, “We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom . .” Colossians 1:9 NIV.

Notice that Paul was, “asking God,” not demanding of God. Prayer is not pressuring God; nor is it a passive assumption of what will be will be. Prayer is the sincere expression of your heart’s desire for God’s best for another, realizing that you may not always know the best that God has for them,  but He does. Notice also that Paul did, “not stop praying.” There are crisis occasions necessitating prayer, but more generally, there is need for continuing prayer.

Prayer commits enduring seeds of amazing possibilities into the eternal purposes of God. John had a vision of the Throne of God where those worshipping, “. . held gold bowls filled with incense – the prayers of God’s people . . and the incense with the prayers of the saints ascended before God from the angel’s hands.” See Revelation 5:7-8 NLT/8:3-4 NKJV. Prayers remain ever upon the heart of God. The impact of prayer is not always visible or immediate. Prayers do not expire by clock or calendar; they are eternal! “Pray without ceasing . . this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV.

When you do not know how to pray for someone, pray as Paul did for those he loved. Prayer touches God’s heart and changes others for the better when prayer asks God for, “knowledge of His will, wisdom, and understanding, a life pleasing to God, fruitfulness and growth in good works, patiently enduring with God’s strength, and a joyful, thankful life in God.” Read Colossians 1:9-14 NIV. See also Philippians 1:9-11 NIV/2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is that you will value the promise and practice of prayer.

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Prayer Seeds

November 17th, 2011

“We have not stopped praying for you.” Colossians 1:9 NIV

“Your prayers are continuing seed sown into the purposes of God.”

My thoughts today are about “prayer seeds.”

There are many things that you can do for others – acts of kindness, words of counsel and advice, encouragement, practical assistance – but there is nothing more helpful or effective than praying for another person. You are only able to help another person within the limits of your awareness and understanding, limited resource, or in observable needs. But what of needs unseen or unsaid?

There are times when you want to help a person, and would help if you only knew how. Let me suggest that you pray for them. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will . . The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.” Romans 8:26-27 NIV/ James 5:16 NLT. Prayer is a way that you can touch another’s life beyond your normal reach. When you pray, you ask God to do what you cannot.

General and ambiguous prayers are not likely to have powerful result. The Apostle Paul was faithful and direct in prayer because he knew the value of others’ prayers for him, “As you help us by your prayers . . many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” 2 Corinthians 1:11 NIV. See also Romans 12:11-12 NIV. Paul was steadfast in praying because he knew what his prayers could accomplish, “We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to . .” See Colossians 1:9-12 NIV.

Notice that Paul was “asking God,” not telling God! Prayer is not your invitation to pressure or insist of God; neither is it a passive assumption of what will be will be. Prayer is the sincere expression of your heart and desire for God’s best for another, realizing that you may not always know the best that God has for them. Notice also that Paul did “not stop praying.” There are crisis occasions necessitating prayer, but more generally, there is need for continuing prayer.

Prayers are the continuing seed sown into the purposes of God for the accomplishment of amazing possibilities. John wrote of a vision of the Throne of God where those worshiping there, “held gold bowls filled with incense – the prayers of God’s people . . the incense with the prayers of the saints ascended before God from the angel’s hands.” See Revelation 5:7-8 NLT/8:3-4 NKJV. Prayers of faith and submission to God’s will have no expiration date; they remain ever upon the heart of God.

When you do not know how to pray for someone, pray as Paul did for those he loved. See Colossians 1:9-14 NIV. Prayer that touches God’s heart and changes others for the better includes: knowledge of God’s will with understanding, a life pleasing to God, fruitfulness and growth in good works, patiently enduring with God’s strength, and a joyful and thankful life in God. See also Philippians 1:9-11 NIV/2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is that you will value the practice of prayer.

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Small Things

March 16th, 2011

“Do not despise these small beginnings.” Zechariah 4:10 NLT

“Benign neglect may be little noticed, but is largely consequential.”

My thoughts today are about “small things.”

Be careful you don’t confuse something small as therefore being unimportant. Significance and size are not identical in most cases. Big is not always more important; little is not always less. There are times when a very small thing has major consequence.

This practical concept was written by Benjamin Franklin when the American colonies were at odds with the English Parliament, “For want of a nail, the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe, the horse was lost. For want of a horse, the rider was lost. For want of a rider, the battle was lost. For want of a battle, the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.” Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1758. Such a tragic and irreversible loss occurred because of the smallest, needless neglect.

For good or bad, that’s very true in everyday life as well. A marriage grows closer or more distant, a friendship deepens or diminishes, a working relationship prospers or languishes – not usually because of large things, but by the small things such as: words said or left unsaid, kindnesses shown or withheld, courtesies demonstrated or denied.

That is also true of your spiritual life and growth. It is not the great things you do that propel spiritual growth; it is the simple, everyday things you never fail to do – Bible reading, prayer, church attendance, giving, serving, and Christian fellowship. Benign neglect may be little noticed, but is largely consequential.

The Bible uses the examples of a man’s tongue, a horse’s bit, a ship’s rudder, or a small spark to illustrate the power in the smallest of things, properly or improperly exercised. “Those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every way. We can make a horse turn around and go wherever we want by means of a small bit in his mouth. And a tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong. The tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.” See James 3:3-9 NLT.

God believes in the power of seeds. In the smallest acorn is contained all the potential of the grandest oak tree. In the weakest individual are all of the unlimited possibilities inherent in who God made each person to become. Since being a young man, I have been amazed at the simplest, yet most promising verse, “As many as received Him, to them He gave power to become the sons of God, even as many as believe in His Name. Which were born . . not of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13 KJV.

I don’t claim to know all that means or how that happens, but as little as I may understand as to how God does that, the possibilities are electrifying. See Ephesians 3:20-21. God sees in you all that you can become by placing your life entirely in His hands. See Philippians 1:6.

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin . .” Zechariah 4:10 NLT. God rejoices to see good things begun, however small they seem when beginning, because He “declares the end from the beginning,” is “the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end,” and is “the Author and Finisher of our faith.” See Isaiah 46:10/Revelation 22:13/Hebrews 12:2 NKJV.

The chronicle of your life will not be written by the months and years, but composed in the smaller slices of time, mere seconds and minutes. A small step in a right direction can take you on a glorious journey. A moment of decision can shape your eternal destiny.

My prayer for you today is that you will see what God is doing and rejoice.

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