Monday, January 20, 2020

Choosing To Live Significantly

Dear Friend,

I continue to meet people even within the church who struggle with identity, significance, and purpose. So, I wanted to republish this article from several years ago with hopes it will bring encouragement to whomever reads it. I've also included a link to another post at the end which is a reminder of who you are Christ. 

Your Brother and Servant,

Randolph Koch
"Choosing To Live Significantly" By Randolph Koch

Read: John 15:5, John 15:16, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Ephesians 2:6, Ephesians 2:10, Ephesians 3:12, Philippians 4:13

On some level, we all want to be significant. We want to feel valued which in and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with that as long as we don't pursue it or live it out in an unhealthy way.

With this, we can often struggle with feeling insignificant or unworthy, and more. You may struggle with feeling insignificant at times as well. You are not alone...the world is full of people searching for significance and struggling with the very same things.

Unfortunately, some confuse significance with fame or popularity which it is not. They identify their worth by what they do or accomplish. In addition, some want to seek fame …the next viral video or YouTube. Some feed on how many “likes” or followers they receive on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram.

Some will also try to bring you down and make you feel that you aren’t important, worthy or worth something…but as for you...hold onto God's truth and don't believe the lies spoken to you or that you speak to yourself!

You have to shift your focus off these temporal things to God's eternal Word and specifically what He says about you and how He defines you!

You are significant… No matter what, I want you to know here and now that in Christ, The One Who gave you life in the first place and defines you…He says you are significant!

So much so that He took up the cross for you so that you might be forgiven and have salvation in Him. He loved you that much!

Again, here are some scripture encouragements (of the many and same as above) about who you are in Christ: John 15:5, John 15:16, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Ephesians 2:6, Ephesians 2:10, Ephesians 3:12, Philippians 4:13

Please note that NONE of these passages say anything about God operating without a specific purpose in regard to you nor do we see here that you have no worth or significance! ...Quite to the contrary…Again…You became worthy and significant through Christ!

You may feel insignificant at times but you can choose to live significantly by living the way God has commanded you to live!

God the Father sees you and says…There’s my child whom I love with a sacrificial, perfect and eternal love whom I sacrificed my Son Jesus for!

Choose to live significantly for Him my friend because you are secure, accepted and significant in Christ! Don't ever forget your worth! God gives you significance...so live it out!

In Christ Alone,

Randolph Koch

P.S. Please share this post with others to encourage them and please see the following link for further study about who you really are in Christ.  https://www.ashepherdsheart.org/2012/03/who-you-are-in-christ.html

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

A Clean Slate


Read and Study Psalm 103:11-12

If you are in Christ, you need to remember that your Heavenly Father has given you a clean slate.
 As a part of this clean slate, He does not hold your sins against you.

I have to ask though, since He doesn't hold your sins and past against you, why do you hold on to them or hold on to your past sometimes?


Friend, It's times to really walk in the new life He's given you.


As part of this, if you're holding on to things, remember that you've experienced His forgiveness and you need to lay it all down at His feet. 


You also need to forgive yourself as He's already forgiven you!

You are completely forgiven!

I have to ask though, since He doesn't hold your sins and past against you, why do you hold on to them or hold on to your past sometimes?

Friend, It's times to really walk in the new life He's given you.

As part of this, if you're holding on to things, remember that you've experienced His forgiveness and you need to lay it all down at His feet. You also need to forgive yourself as He's already forgiven you!

I pray that you take these truths to heart in Jesus name. 


Your Brother and Servant in Christ,

Randolph Koch 

Monday, January 06, 2020

My YouVersion Devotional Plan "Rooted" is now Live!

Hello!

Thank you for visiting the A Shepherd's Heart website!

I'm excited to share that my YouVersion Devotional Plan, "Rooted" is now Live in the YouVersion Bible App and website!

Here's the link: http://bible.us/r/4cs














Thanks for your prayers, for prayerfully subscribing and completing the plan, and helping spread the word by sharing with your family and friends!

Excited to see what God does through this in the lives of those who go through the plan. Praying this plan is a blessing to the body of Christ,

Humbly In Christ,
Your Brother and Servant, 

Randolph Koch

P.S. Please note: If you're unfamiliar with the YouVersion Bible App, if you open this link via your smartphone or tablet, you’ll want to open it via the free YouVersion Bible Application or it will open via a browser. If you are opening this via a PC it will likely open via your web browser only.

Monday, December 30, 2019

A Special Announcement from A Shepherd's Heart! 01/06/2020!

Hello!

Thank you for visiting the A Shepherd's Heart Website!

Please check out this special announcement regarding my latest YouVersion project which is launching 1 week from today!

https://youtu.be/HXBMKKJtAFw
Humbled and thankful for this opportunity to serve the body of Christ!

Please stay tuned for more information to come later this week!

In advance of the New Year, Happy New Year!

Thanks for your prayers!

Your Brother, Friend, and Servant,

Randolph Koch

Friday, December 20, 2019

He Is Emmanuel - God Is With You!

Hello Friend,

This time of year can solicit a multitude of thoughts, emotions, and the feeling of being alone. While this may be true, we need to remember that no matter what you and I are facing each day, remember that Jesus is Emmanuel. God is with you/us!

He is Emmanuel my friend and will never leave or forsake you!He will always be with you!


Let me ask you: Are you feeling feeling alone or low? If so, don't be afraid to reach out to Him in prayer and through His Word if you're feeling alone or low and He will lift you up.

And, don't be afraid to reach out to other's after you've met with Him because we're supposed to be in this life together as the body of Christ. 

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel” (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:23

May this truth that He is always with you be an encouragement to you and allow you to celebrate Christmas in an even more special and meaningful way.

Merry Christmas!

Your Brother and Servant in Christ,

Randolph Koch

P.S. You're in my prayers! Please reach out if you'd like me to pray for something specific! 

Friday, November 29, 2019

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Hello!

Let me be one of the first people to wish you Merry Christmas!

To kick off this incredible season where we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, I wanted to share three Christmas resources with you. 

1. Celebrating Advent guide:

While this is currently the free gift for subscribing to my free A Shepherd's Heart Communications, I want to simply offer it this year to anyone whether they subscribe or not. 

Please click on the following link to download the guide:  Celebrating Advent

This a guide that I created to help provide you with the basic information to incorporate Advent into your Christmas celebration as you focus on The Reason for the season....Jesus! 

This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent so there's still time to check out this guide, pray, and decide if you want to incorporate Advent into your Christmas celebration! 

2. Christmas: The Promise Fulfilled YouVersion Devotional:





















This is the first of two Christmas devotionals that are currently published in the YouVersion Bible App and Website. 

Please click on the following link to check out the devotional: Christmas: The Promise Fulfilled 


3. The Wonder of Christmas YouVersion Devotional:





















This is the second of two Christmas devotionals that are currently published in the YouVersion Bible App and Website. 

Please click on the following link to check out the devotional: The Wonder of Christmas

A note about these devotionals: You can either open these in the App or a web browser via your mobile phone or if you're opening them in a personal computer, it will prompt you to open them in a web browser. If you'd like both the audio and written versions of the devotionals then I recommend accessing them via the mobile app. 

From there it will give you the option of reading a sample and then give you the option of subscribing to the free devotional plans. 

I hope you check out, take advantage of, and enjoy these Christmas Resources as they were created to encourage you in your faith as you seek to celebrate the birth of Christ!

Again, Merry Christmas! It's an honor to serve you and The Lord!

Your Brother and Servant In Christ,

Randolph Koch

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Thankfulness...it's really a "thing".

What are you thankful for? Do you make thanksgiving part of your day-to-day or like many, do you relegate this to holidays or special occasions?

It may sound ridiculous to hear that but sadly it's true because some today don't have an attitude of gratitude...they have the opposite of that.

Thankfulness can be found despite the circumstances of a given day or moment. 

Thankfulness can be found with each new day because each day provides a fresh new start.

Thankfulness can be found in the beating of your heart and with every breath.

Thankfulness can be found in the rising and setting of the sun each day is a gift to live out.

Thankfulness can be found in salvation, love and a new life found in the Savior. 

Thankfulness is a decision... a mindset... an attitude...a choice. 

You can find so many things to be thankful for if you just pause for a moment and look around you...what do you see? You should see a multitude of things to be thankful about. 

Maybe you need to periodically take time to pause for a few minutes and write down what you're thankful fore instead of what you're ungrateful for?

Don't compartmentalize your thanksgiving. Be thankful daily. Thank others daily. Thank God for the life you've been given and for the people He's blessed and surrounded you with. 

Be thankful for the "big" and "small" things in your life because at the end of the day they are all truly big things. Your life, your attitude and your outlook will be far better if you are thankful and appreciate how blessed you truly are!

Here are 8 passages (of the many in God's Word) to help you meditate on regarding thankfulness.

Take time to read, study and pray about these and then go find more in The Word for yourself.

Psalm 95:2-3
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

1 Corinthians 1:4-5
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge—

2 Corinthians 9:11-12
You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.

1 Chronicles 16:34
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Psalm 7:17
I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

Psalm 100:4
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!

Psalm 106:1
Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

1 Thessalonians 5:18
18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 


Be thankful because God is good and He loves you beyond measure.

Thankfulness is really a thing...just make it your thing! 

Thankfully,

Randolph Koch

Friday, October 18, 2019

You Were Created And Set Free To Serve!

I recall hearing Pastor Greg Laurie say the following:
"God looks at us and says, “I know what you can be. You don’t know it yet, but I know. I know what I can make you into. You’ll be a mighty man of God. You’ll be a mighty woman of God.” -Greg Laurie

Friend, You are His workmanship and He has uniquely created you with a specific purpose, will, and plan for you in mind. Through His free gift of salvation you've been set free from the bondage of sin and have been given a new life in Christ.

He did this because He loves you with a perfect and eternal love!

Pause for a moment and let these truths sink in.

This speaks volumes to me because He not only saved us but thought exactly what He created us to do according to His purpose, will, and plan! We're unique in Him and made by and for Him! We are set apart by and for Him!

With this in mind, have you considered that you can and should freely serve Him and that you've been called to do so?


We don't serve to somehow "continue to earn our salvation" rather, we serve out of love for Him and thanksgiving for all He's done for us.

Please note that serving isn't just for "The professionals" as in the paid and volunteer pastors and staff...no..serving is for ALL of us!

So, what's holding you back from serving the Lord?

Let's pray for one another that we get off of our seats and really live to be His Hands and Feet for His kingdom and glory!

Please read and study Ephesians 2:10 (ESV),James 2:14-18 (ESV), and 1 Samuel 12:24 (ESV) for encouragement from God's Word and then walk in the work He's call you to do.


Your Brother and Servant In Christ, 

Randolph Koch

Monday, October 07, 2019

There's Nowhere You Can Hide!

Read:  Psalms 139:7, Romans 8:37‭-‬39, and Luke 19:10  

You may try to convince yourself that you've done too much wrong or your past or present is far too messy for God to love you.

You may even try to run and hide from Him.

Let me tell you that no matter if you know Him already or not, there is nowhere that you can run or hide from the presence and love of God!

So, quit trying to run and hide from The Lord your God and instead run to Him!


Your Brother and Servant In Christ,

Randolph Koch

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Give All The Glory To God!

Influence, platform, followers, celebrity, popularity, and more are some of the many things people strive for in many church and individual circles today.

They are all kind of buzz terms that really don't account for much, (especially if you have the wrong focus.) in the long run in regards to truly building God's kingdom and making sure He's known.

Some who may have began with good intentions trying to point people to Christ, have ended up trying to build their little kingdoms and followings so they are well known instead of turning the focus on The One they are supposedly trying to represent.

Sadly, they convince themselves that it's the same thing... But it's not! They give into popularity and celebrity status which is a far cry from where they first began.

Then you have people like a well known rapper bringing in the numbers by the thousands for his so called "Sunday Service" which essentially is worship of the certain rapper instead of worshiping Jesus and pointing people to Him!
Whether it's "celebrity preachers" or well known music artists, down to common everyday Christians like you and I, we have to guard against seeking after fame for the sake of fame. We also have guard against allowing people to in essence worship us when Jesus is the one Who we all should be worshiping.

My friend, make sure you... Build His kingdom and not your own.
Communicate His platform. (AKA The Great Commission)
Worry about His influence as He works through you and not your own.
Worry about building His followers and not your own.
He must increase and you and I must decrease.

No matter how popular you may become, no matter how many followers you have, no matter what... Don't let people worship you. Instead, point them to Jesus in all you do because it's all about Him and not about you an I!

All glory, honor, and praise belongs to Him! 

Your Brother and Servant in Christ,

Randolph Koch

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Debunking Boaz

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.  He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you but will rejoice over you with singing.”  -Zephaniah 3:17

"Debunking Boaz"  by Guest Contributor Danee Wright of The Wright Word


If you’re familiar with the Bible then I’m guessing you’ve heard of the story of Ruth.  If not, let me give you a quick summary.  Ruth was a woman who married a man from a foreign land and tied herself to his family.  Her father-in-law, her husband and her brother-in-law all die (not simultaneously) and her mother-in-law (Naomi) decides to return to her homeland.  Naomi tells her daughters-in-law to stay with their own families.  Ruth’s sister-in-law Orpah stays.  But Ruth clings to Naomi and ends up returning to Naomi’s homeland with her.  Ruth then goes to work in a barley field as a means to provide for herself and Naomi.  There she meets Boaz who just so happens to to own the barley field Ruth is working in.  Long story short, Naomi finds out who Ruth is working for, realizes it’s a relative who can “redeem” Ruth as wife and mother and plays matchmaker between the two.  Her instructions and Ruth’s obedience pay off as Boaz marries Ruth and Ruth gives birth to Obed who was King David’s grandfather.

The book of Ruth is one of redeeming love and used as an example of how God can take tragedy and turn it into glory.  However, if misinterpreted, it can easily be romanticized and fill people, especially single women longing for marriage, with false hope.   For a woman longing for marriage, especially one has endured much rejection and/or abuse, the story of Boaz redeeming Ruth can fill her with the idea that God will use a man to redeem her circumstances also.  I want to be clear-Boaz was a kinsman redeemer but he did not redeem Ruth.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Your Children and Their Choices Don't Define You.

A Little Disclaimer: I've had a draft of this article/encouragement sitting in my queue to finish 
for months and I thought now is a good time to finally finish it with the season I'm currently in. :-)

As my wife and I move into the next phase of life with all of our 5 children being young adults now, I've been reflecting on all the child raising years. 

I've noted my own strengths, weaknesses, successes, and mistakes and yet despite all my short comings and even the good things I've done, I see that my adult children are making good decisions. They are owning their faith and relationship with The Lord and working toward their adult goals. I have no doubt that they will do well with God has their guide and I will continue to pray for them and be a line of counsel as they make their way. 

My aim in this article is to briefly touch on several parent related topics with hopes that you may find encouragement no matter the season you're in and no matter the actions your children choose. May you have a glimpse of God's grace and a renewed hope in The Lord as you continue your journey.