Wednesday, March 14, 2018

9 Keys to Walking In Christ

If you're in Christ, then you need to walk out your faith day-by-day. Similar to "hitting the gym" to exercise, you have to exercise your faith in order to walk and grow in Christ.

It's a choice to daily do the right things in pursuing God, His Word, and living out your faith through a Word and Spirit filled and led life! 

So, how do you walk in Christ exactly? Good question! 

God's Word outlines many things that we should and need to be doing to successfully walk in Christ and the following is a list of 9 of the Keys to Walking in Christ. 

Each key includes scripture and practical insight for your further personal study.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

The 3 Part Test of a Prophet

Read: Deuteronomy 18:20-22, 1 Corinthians 14, Ezekiel 13:9, Matthew 24:24, 2 Timothy 4:3-4, Acts 20:28-30, 1 John 4:1-6, Matthew 7:15-20, 1 Peter 5:8, Hebrews 13:9

It's been my observation that there are many gifts such as the gift of prophecy and speaking in tongues that aren't handled or expressed Biblically today and we need to be careful to take in any teaching that doesn't align with God's Word. 

It's seems that specifically with the gift of prophecy, that it is often only thought by some to be the foretelling of future events but it is also and more often than the previous - it is the proclamation of God's truth from His Word. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Bible is Essential Part 3 - Scripture Memorization and Tips.

Read: Psalm 119:9-16

In the last communication we took a look at studying God's Word, specifically Bible Study methods  as an important part of making God's Word a priority. 

In this communication we're shifting our focus to the importance of scripture memorization in the life of a follower of Christ. 

Memorization is vital:

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Bible is Essential Part 2 - 5 Bible Study Methods

Read:  2 Timothy 2:15, Psalm 1:2, 2 Thessalonians 3:1, Psalm 119:16, Psalm 119:33–35, John 14:21 

In my last communication, we touched on how vital studying and abiding in God's Word is and I pray as a result, we've taken time to evaluate our priorities including our time with Him and have purposed to set time aside to make God's Word more of a priority. 

In this communication I am going to do a brief "fly over" description of 5 of the many common Bible study methods to give you a some information to check out and try out.  

As followers of Christ, we're to continually learn and grow in our relationship with Christ and this includes growing in wisdom and knowledge through regular intentional study of God's Word. God's Word is an should be a delight to us heart, mind, and soul!

Friday, February 09, 2018

The Bible is Essential Part 1 - Studying and Abiding in God's Word

Read: Psalm 119:105, John 8:31-32, Deuteronomy 8:3 , John 15:1-17,  1 John 2:1-6, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 4:12

The more we walk with Christ the more we should have a desire to know Him, The Holy Spirit and His Word more. 

Unfortunately, I continue to see the trends and statistics that state that there are a large amount of people who identify as Christians, those who even attend a Church somewhat regularly, who rarely pick up the Word of God to read and study it for themselves. (See several links to statistic examples below this communication)

They often can't even name basic things like the 4 Gospels or other very rudimentary things about The Scriptures...things that the average "Sunday School" aged child could answer...not that many churches even have Sunday School anymore for kids or adults anymore. It's as if some give an intellectual nod to the Bible but they don't really own their faith.  

They don't honor God's Word nor give it the proper place in their lives that they should. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

It's Not "Hammer Time": Being mindful of your words and actions.

Read: Proverbs 10:11, Proverbs 12:18, Proverbs 15:4. Proverbs  16:24, Proverbs 18:21, 1 Corinthians 13.

God has given us many tools and also wants to produce the fruit of The Spirit in and through us. Sometimes people forget that things like harshness, anger, etc are not part of the fruit of The Spirit. 

Furthermore, the scripture reminds us that Love is patient, love is kind...(See 1 Corinthians 13) but sometimes others in our lives or even ourselves lack these very things in relation to others. I'm also reminded of Proverbs 16:24 "Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body." 

As always, our words can bring life or death to the hearer. Our words are more powerful than we realize because those words whether good or bad, stay with the hearer and sometimes much longer than they should when we speak unkind words. This is why I've shared in the past that the old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words may never hurt me," while a nice sentiment, it's not really true because words do hurt and it takes more time mentally and emotionally to heal from words spoken to us. 

While there are times where we need to be more firm in our communication, we need to remember that even in being firm with others who have wronged us, or who need correction, or that we disagree with, we need to season that with grace so we can represent The Lord more effectively. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Prayer Is A Gift But Remember: God is NOT Your Personal "Genie in a Lamp".

Read:  Matthew 6:1-15, Hebrews 4:16, Mark 11:24, Matthew 21:22, James 1:5-8

Prayer is a precious gift and vital tool that God has given us. 

The fact that we can freely talk to The One Who gave us life is amazing and we should never take this gift or Him for granted. 

As we approach prayer, we need to remember and be encouraged that He's a loving Father Who knows what's best for us and when He instructs us to pray believing in faith and to approach Him with confidence, He really means it. 

Can and should we pray about everything in faith as the scripture tells us? Of course, but, we have to trust God's will and pray according to His will just as Jesus modeled for us in The Lord's Prayer. (See Matthew 6:1-15) 

Unfortunately, some have taken this as an invitation to believe and or teach that He's going to give us everything we want just for the asking. Or, equally flawed are those who "demand" that He give them what

Monday, January 15, 2018

5 Practical Things You Need To Do When God Seems Distant!

Read:  Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5, 1 Peter 5:8, Ephesians 4:25, Ephesians 6:18, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, James 1:22, James 4:7, John 15:4, Hebrews 4:16.

I often hear people say that "God is distant" or that "God seems far away" and let me tell you: this is the furthest thing from the truth that anyone can proclaim, think or feel! 

In other words, this is flawed thinking or what I refer to as "stinking thinking".

Why do I say this? "Spoiler Alert" case you forgot...It's because in God's Word, He tells us that He will never leave or forsake us and we can take Him at His Word! 

Just as the enemy helped confuse Adam and Eve, which contributed to them doubting God and not taking God at His Word as well as led to their sin against Him...he tries to do the same thing in our lives so that we also might doubt God and take Him at His Word. 

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Lay ALL of Your Burdens Down!

Read: Matthew 11:28 or 1 Peter 5:7

We read passages like Matthew 11:28 or 1 Peter 5:7 where we're instructed about laying our burdens, anxieties and more, down and then we seem to forget about it or say, "that's nice" and then go about "our" business. 

Then, we run into an issue, trial or something that weighs us down and sometimes instead of turning directly to The Lord Who is our strength, we try to carry the burdens on our own. H
ow's that working out for you and I? Not very good...speaking on behalf of "a friend" of course. :-)

It's like we take scripture sometimes as if it's a passing phrase like a well meaning greeting card or something but it's much more than this as it's the very Word of God!

We are not to nor were we ever supposed to carry our burdens on our own. We cannot handle the vast weight nor should we because that's not our job...Jesus is our strength and can carry them's no wonder He instructs us to give all our burdens to Him!?

So, the question is...will you and I continue to be miserable, stressed out and more trying to carry too heavy a load or will you and I listen to The Savior's word of grace, truth and love and actually lay ALL of our burdens down?

I pray that we lay ALL of them Down not just some of them Down, in Jesus name, amen.

Lay ALL of your burdens down friend! 

Blessings in Christ,
Your Brother and Servant,

Randolph Koch

P.S. Do you have a friend who is struggling under the weight of burdens? Encourage them to lay their burdens down...give them all to Jesus! Please pass on this encouragement to someone today! 

Thursday, January 04, 2018

A New Year and a Request for Ongoing Prayers for A Shepherd's Heart.

Hello and Happy New Year!

As the New Year begins, I want to simply ask you to keep A Shepherd's Heart in your prayers. 

Here are thoughts and several areas where your prayers will be appreciated: 

Specifically prayer for God's wisdom, direction and provision for A Shepherd's Heart as I seek to continue to serve The Lord and His people seeking to encourage all of us to Live Life On Purpose...grounded and routed in Christ!

I want to focus on the projects, resources, teaching / speaking opportunities as well as any other opportunities He provides and directs me to do in serving Him from the heart He's given me. 

I've been a "tent-maker" for years and I'm constantly seeking The Lord for the continued direction He wants me to go and I know He'll provide the clarity needed as He directs my path.  

Please pray that God will help me be very strategic with my time as working high demand positions in the marketplace as well as every other important priority God's given me including a family and friends I've been blessed with, a home to maintain, etc., time is always at a premium. All of these areas are important and I need to be present in the lives of my family especially and my friends too and with this...again, need to be better at time management. 

May God provide the availability and means to serve in each case He opens and directs me to serve including the tools, technology, time and financial resources. 

May God help me grow more as a shepherd-servant, communicator, husband, dad, friend and employee. 

May God somehow expand this ministry including it's reach - for His kingdom and glory. 

May God help me grow the needed income to meet every need for my family, ministry which includes helping others. There are many growing needs including practical every day needs where my income isn't keeping up and I want and need to provide better. With this, please pray that God will open up a new good fitting and providing position that also provides enough flexibility to serve or possibly something entrepreneurial that will do the same.

Thanks for your prayers and please know that I'm praying for you! Please don't hesitate to let me know how I can be praying for you!

I'll keep you posted on new projects and items I'm working on this year some of which includes...I hope, new encouragement / teaching videos and finally publishing my first 30 day devotional.

I'm here to serve you so, feel free to share your thoughts on resources and topics you might be encouraged by and I'll definitely take your suggestions into consideration for future projects!

Thanks again for your regular prayers!

In Christ,
Your Brother and Servant,

Randolph Koch

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year: Entering The New Year With Hope In and Waiting On The Lord!

Read: Romans 5:2-5, Romans 15:13, Psalm 42:11, Hebrews 11:1; Hebrews 10:23, Psalm 130:5, Isaiah 43:19.

Let me be one of the first people to wish you a Happy New Year!!! 2018!

I wanted to thank you for the privilege of serving you in 2017! 

As we close out 2017 and look forward to all that God has in store in 2018, I wanted to share a brief encouragement with you. 

Throughout 2017 God has repeatedly reinforced the importance of Hope grounded in Him as well as the importance of waiting on Him! 

He is our strength and hope and His hope doesn't disappoint! 
"Hope that is grounded in Christ is like a candle burning brightly as it brings light to the darkest of places and the darkest of circumstances." -Randolph Koch
Never lose hope as He is on your side!

Furthermore, in regard to waiting on Him...In the New Year may you make it not just another a goal but may you make it a priority to wait on The Lord!

Include Him in all your goals, plans, dreams and priorities! Don't try to "get ahead" of The Lord! Wait on Him to move forward seeking Him with all that is within you! 

No matter what circumstances you face, may you be filled with great hope in Him and may you look forward in optimism because you know The One Who is your strength and holds your future in the palm of His hands!

As you enter the New Year, may you hold onto hope and may you experience joy, happiness, success, confidence, good health, prosperity and great faith! May you seek Him daily with everything that is within you! 

Let's also purpose to pray for one another in these areas and more and may we pray that God will continue to work in and through us for His Kingdom and Glory!

Please know that I'm here for your encouragement, prayer and more! 

Don't hesitate to let me know how I can be of encouragement to you in the New year and if you have resource or other ideas, please let me know as I aim to create new and meaningful content to serve and build up the Body of Christ. 

Please also remember me in prayer as God guides this ministry regarding what He wants to do through A Shepherd's Heart. Please pray for His wisdom, provision and direction. 

Have a wonderful 2018! Have a hope filled New Year! 

Warmest regards in Christ,

Your Brother and Servant,

Randolph Koch
 Founder and Servant-Shepherd of A Shepherd's Heart

Share this image/encouragement with someone today! Encourage them to Hold onto hope!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas From A Shepherd's Heart!

Hello and Merry Christmas!

I pray that your Christmas celebration is filled with the joy and hope found in Christ!

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and most of all for allowing me the privilege of serving you this year!

This Christmas I'm looking forward to the blessing of spending time with family and friends celebrating the Birth of Jesus!

As we all celebrate, I'm reminded of this great truth from Roy Lessin: 
God Sent Us A Saviour
If our greatest need had been information,
God would have sent us an educator.
If our greatest need had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.
If our greatest need had been pleasure,
God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was forgiveness,
so God sent us a Saviour.
-Roy Lessin
It's so encouraging to be reminded that God, in His wisdom and divine plan, knew exactly what we needed and loved us so much that He sent Jesus because we needed Him, The Savior! 

Jesus came from heaven to earth, lived a sinless life, was crucified on the cruel cross for mankind, rose from the dead winning victory over death and now is seated in heaven!

May we never forget the deep truths of Christmas as well as the truths beyond the manger!

As you celebrate, here's a little Christmas gift from me to you, I wanted to share again a recording of the Luke account of The Birth of Jesus again from Luke 2:1-35:

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Your Brother and Servant,

Randolph Koch

Please share this imaged with the above encouragement with others! 
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