Friday, July 12, 2019

Got Hope?

Read Psalm 42:11, Romans 15:13, Romans 5:3-5, 1 Peter 1:3, 1 Peter 3:15

Truth be told, I may be kind of a nerd at times as I enjoy SciFi movies and books from time to time. I also nerd out on new technology and many other things like random facts and more. 

When I was a young kid I recall seeing the original "Star Wars" movie when it first came out in the local movie theater. 

Ok, I may have just dated myself a bit as that was a LONG time ago in sort of a galaxy far far away...but back to my point in sharing this. :-)

There's a scene that has stuck with me over the years and it's the scene where Princess Leia pleads for help from Obe Wan Kenobi and she finishes with the line, "You're our only hope." 

Hope in general and hope of help or deliverance is such a powerful thing. 
Let me ask you, in what or in whom do you put your hope in? 

As followers of Christ since we've experienced salvation in Him, and as we study God's Word, and walk with Jesus daily, we know true hope. In Christ, we know our hope is in Him.

Hope in Jesus will never disappoint. 

No fictitious character, no person, no thing can be our true hope as Jesus is The Only Hope for our lost and broken world. He is our only hope, period. 

If you don't put your hope in Him, you don't have or know true hope. 

Let me encourage you to put your hope in Him friend and no one or nothing else.

In Christ Alone,
Your Brother and Servant,

Randolph Koch

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

The 1 Year Launch Anniversary Of "The 9 Keys To Walking In Christ" YouVersion Devotional Plan!!

Dear Friends,

Today is a special day for me as it marks 1 year since the launch of my devotional, "9 Keys To Walking In Christ" in the YouVersion Bible App and website which launched July 9, 2018!!

I'm so thankful that God opened up this opportunity for me to serve the body of Christ through this incredible tool! 

The Devotional Plan: 
Just in case you are new to A Shepherd's Heart and or haven't completed the plan before, here's the link: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/12135-9-keys-to-walking-in-christ  

If you use the YouVersion Bible app and open the above link in your phone, it will open via the YouVersion app. If you're using a PC, you'll be able to open this via the web version. 

Please note that the YouVersion app version also includes an audio version along with written version, however, the web version does not include the audio version. 

Let's Celebrate! 
1. To help me celebrate this launch anniversary, if you haven't completed the plan already, please sign up to do the plan and then complete the plan.  

2. Once you complete the plan, send me an e-Mail via rlk@ashepherdsheart.org and I'll send you a special e-Book version of the devotional complete with audio version links via SoundCloud as a thank you! (and as this year's birthday gift to you :) on my birthday.) 

3. Please also share this plan with your family and friends including those in your home church! 

Fun Facts: 
  • Over 12,000 people have subscribed to the plan in this past year.
  • Of the 12,000 subscribers, almost 8,000 people have completed the plan! 
  • The audio version in the app was read/recorded by me and edited by my son Noah Koch

Closing thoughts and Next Steps: 
Since the launch of this plan, I've published 2 more plans (back in November 2018) which are Christmas focused and please stay tuned for more devotionals to launch in the near future! 

I'll be sure to reveal the next devotional title/topic with you as soon as possible. 

Thanks for your prayers, encouragement, and celebrating God's goodness along with me! 

Many blessings in Christ, 
Your Brother and Servant, 

Randolph Koch

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Happy Independence Day - USA!

Happy Independence Day - USA! 
Dear Friend,

Don't ever take your freedom for granted! Freedom came at a great price! 

If you are in Christ, don't ever take your freedom in Christ for granted either!


Your freedom came at a great price as Jesus sacrificed it all so you can have salvation and freedom from the bondage and wages of sin! 

Freedom in Christ doesn't have to be renewed each day because he paid for your freedom in full, but, we definitely need to walk in the new life He's given us and again never take His sacrifice for granted! 

God has truly shed His grace upon us! Let's praise His mighty name for His love, goodness, mercy and grace!

Happy 4th of July my friends!


Your Brother and Servant in Christ,

Randolph Koch 

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

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Fresh Eyes On Humility and Confession


Read Philippians 2:1-11, Psalm 119:105, and Matthew 5:16

Do you ever arrive at a familiar passage of Scripture, one that you've read and studied many times, and God shows you an insight that you possibly missed several times before?

It's not uncommon for us to sometimes gloss over the truths He teaches us but I'm thankful for His patience toward us while we finally learn something He's likely been trying to teach us for a long time! 

It's no doubt that God's Word is a lamp to our feet and light to our path just as Psalm 119:105 says and I'm thankful God illuminates us soul, minds, and spirit so we may live more faithfully for Him, His Kingdom, His glory.

As we abide in God's Word we are sure to find rich truths through His instructions for us.

Philippians 2:1-11 is no exception because the passage if full of truths to unpack and apply to our lives. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

A Tent-Making Journey and You're Input and Prayers Are Appreciated!

Hello,

From time to time we'd like to share a bit more about the background, current happenings, and prayer requests of A Shepherd's Heart. 

1. Facts about A Shepherd's Heart: 
Did you know that since the very beginning, A Shepherd's Heart has been a "tent-maker" type ministry?

Similar to how the Apostle Paul worked various occupations such as "Tent-Making" to fund some of his mission work, Randolph Koch continues to work a regular job(s) to supply for his family and God's Kingdom Work through the local church and A Shepherd's Heart. 

He does not receive any income or funding from the many hours devoted each week to God's Kingdom Work and his day job income is devoted to God's Kingdom work through the local church and again, supplying for his family with very little that can be directed to A Shepherd's Heart.

This ministry is not a large and regularly funded ministry but none-the-less, he ministers from a big heart for God and His people. Many projects, resources, and services that could be provided are not because his income just covers only the before mentioned.

If you believe in this ministry, please keep A Shepherd's Heart and specifically, God's Kingdom work through this ministry in your prayers and check out 

https://www.ashepherdsheart.org/p/help-a.html for ways you might be able to come along side and help this ministry as Randolph continues to strive to serve God, the body of Christ, and his family. Thank you!

2. Teaching and Resource Ideas: 
If you have topics you want to hear or learn more about, or new resource ideas that you'd like Randolph Koch and or guest contributors to teach about or create, please send a message to info@ashepherdsheart.org with your ideas and he'll definitely take your ideas into consideration for future written, audio, or video posts or new resource creation!

3. Prayer Requests: 
We are here to serve you so please send your prayer requests to prayer@ashepherdsheart.org and rest assured we will pray for you regularly. 

Speaking of prayer requests, while we don't communicate our needs often, please continue to pray for this ministry as we're at a critical stage as we continue to seek The Lord for how He might direct our path. We're considering forming a 501 (c) 3 non profit for A Shepherd's Heart. 

Please pray for this little ministry and like the prayer of Jabez, the potential for expanded territory / opportunity. Please pray for additional ministry opportunities to open up for Randolph regarding speaking/teaching/podcasts and more as his heart is to serve

Please also pray for the completion of his next YouVersion Devotional plan that is currently in the works and that it would reach many for God's Kingdom and glory. 

Please pray for the audio and video equipment needs as well as the other basic operational resource needs to keep this little ministry running. 

Please pray for God to help direct Randolph's path to the right providing and fitting employment to supply more adequately for his family and God's Kingdom work.

Lastly, Randolph and his wife Angela's 25th wedding anniversary is coming up this year (August), please pray for them as they work toward a special vacation later this year to celebrate God's goodness! 

Thank you for upholding this ministry in you prayers and please be sure to send your prayer requests our way!

Sincerely, 

A Shepherd's Heart

Monday, June 10, 2019

Keep Jesus In The Center, Because He Is The Center.

Read: Matthew 6:33, 1 Corinthians 10:31, Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Romans 11:36, Colossians 1:16, John 15:5, John 15:16, Galatians 2:20, Psalm 34:3, Psalm 99:5, Psalm 145.

I recall the song, "Be the Centre" by Kathryn Sarah Scott, Michael Frye and I thought of it like a prayer asking for Jesus to be the center of everything in our lives. 

Part of the lyrics are: 
Jesus, be the centre Be my source, be my light Jesus
Jesus, be the centre Be my hope, be my song Jesus
Be the fire in my heart, Be the wind in these sails
Be the reason that I live Jesus, Jesus
Jesus, be my vision Be my path, be my guide Jesus

Everything we do as born again followers of Christ needs to be laser focused on Jesus, His Holy Spirit, and the Word of God. 

Monday, June 03, 2019

So, You Think Church Is Optional?

Read:  Hebrews 10:19-25, Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2, Colossians 3:16,   Colossians 4:15,  1 Corinthians 16:19,  Romans 16:5; Acts 20:20; James 2:2, Acts 2:42,  1 Cor. 12:12–27,  Matthew 18:20. 

For those who might not know and for those who do, as followers of Christ, when we talk about "Going to Church", we're talking about the times on the weekends or any time when we gather together for instruction in The Word, Worship in Song, Prayer, Communion Fellowship and more. It's what God wants us to do. 

To be clear, we are The Church and not the building we gather in and God does want us to regularly gather together as The Church which typically happens at a specific place that we refer to as the Church Building. 

Sadly, there is a certain mindset were some state that "Church is optional" and they try to justify it from their own human based opinion and perspective. Now, when I hear people who are supposed to be follower's of Christ claim that "Church is optional", I have to question when was the last time they actually read God's Word? Passages like Hebrews 10:19-25 and others are very clear on God's instruction that we need to come together regularly as it's not really optional if you're a born again follower of Christ. 


Friends, we need to be regularly reminded that coming together via our local church meeting places is NOT optional.

Monday, May 27, 2019

It's Time For a Faith-Lift

Read: Mark 9:17-29 and 1 Peter 5:6-11

From celebrities to everyday people like you and I, dissatisfaction abounds in many areas of our lives including the area of physical appearance. 

Unfortunately, many focus on physical appearance and go to great lengths to reconfigure themselves through plastic surgery when what they really need in many cases is a faith-lift instead of a face-lift. 

The same is true about issues of anxiety, depression, and the like. Some people of faith may rely only on the medicine prescribed to them when they also need to truly consider and turn to God and His Word for faith-lift. While there is a place for medicine in some cases,  we also need a regular dosage God's Word, prayer, and the encourage of The Holy Spirit to completely heal from a given battle with these things. 

There are times when we're really down or depressed. Most of the time when we're going through things like this in our daily lives, it's our own thinking or our wrong self-image that gets us messed-up or off-track. We fail to gauge things through God's filters and standards instead of our own. Our faith in God and ourselves needs a "lift" and our attitudes, thoughts, and actions need a "tuck." In other words, they need to be tucked away permanently. We need to see ourselves as God sees us, which is through Jesus Christ His Son who loves us with an everlasting love. We also need to believe that Jesus Christ can do miraculous things in our lives.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Faith, Mountains, and Molehills.

Read Matthew 17:20, 1 Peter 5:6-7, Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 6:27–28, Matthew 6:31, and Matthew 6:34

There's the old saying you might be familiar with that is, "Making mountains out of a molehills".  

Unfortunately, we as people of faith who know God's truth (or should), can still fulfill this old saying instead of fulfilling God's Word by responding in faith.

Due to our fear, doubt, forgetting the basic tools God has given us, as well as being guilty of overthinking, we can often create our own mountains and obstacles where there are none. Or, we can take the problems and obstacles at hand and make them far larger than they really are. 

Instead of responding in faith, we can go straight to fear, doubt, anxiety and more which always clouds our vision of God's truth.

In contrast, God's Word reminds us that our faith can move mountains. (Read Matthew 17:20)
The question is, will we allow The Holy Spirit and The Word of God to help us respond more often in faith rather than in fear and doubt?

Will we turn to God's Word and God Himself through prayer first instead of putting Him second while we get stuck in the thoughts of our own heads as well as our emotions? 

Will we strive to turn to God, the wisdom of His Word, the help of His Holy Spirit, Prayer, and Godly counsel more often during the times of problems and obstacles rather than our own thoughts, feelings, and limited wisdom? 

Whether our troubles are mountain sized or molehill sized, let us pray for one another that we'll turn to God in faith first and always and not give into our fears and doubts.

Let's strive to stop living the old life and really ask for God's help to walk in new life every day, in Jesus name.

Your Brother and Servant in Christ,

Randolph Koch

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Great I AM Is With You!

Read Exodus 3:13-15, Mark 8:29, and Matthew 16:15

In Holiness and Great Power God spoke these words about Who He IS... "I AM WHO I Am.". (Exodus 3:13-15)

God is the Great I AM that generations have worshiped and revered! He is The One true God Who is beyond time and space. He’s always been…He has no beginning and no end. He simply...IS!
Flash forward to the New Testament where Jesus stated He was the I AM and Jesus asked on multiple occasions, "Who do you say that I Am?" (Mark 8:29 and Matthew 16:15)

This question is vital to you and I as Who He His and how we view Him should collide with and change our world view including our sense of identity as our identity ought to be ground in The Great I AM!

You and I need to also understand that Jesus is the same I AM being fully God Who chose to come in the flesh to dwell among us. 

No matter what you're facing right now, pause for a moment and remember that if you're in Christ, You walk with The Great I AM...and, He is with you always!  

Your Brother and Servant In Christ,

Randolph Koch

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Wait On The Lord...No Really...Wait On The Lord.

Read Isaiah 40:31 ESV and Matthew 6:33-34.

Waiting. This isn't something most of us in our day and age or very good at especially when we want something now.  

In comparison, we will wait in a long line for hours for the latest piece of technology, a concert, or movie...yet, we'll continually check our watches or phones for the time if the pastor's message goes longer than 30 minutes during what is the extent of many people's mostly once-a-week spiritual activity. 

We also often get impatient when we drive, are pulling out of the church parking lot, standing in the grocery store check-out line, or at the local department of motor vehicles...ok...maybe that list is just about me as I know "no one else" struggles with waiting patiently.  Or, maybe that list is what I've heard "a friend" experiences. ;-) 

We also get impatient when our plans or next purchase of one thing or another doesn't move along as fast as we want...and many times that gets us in trouble. Why? Because we often don't include God in our plans or purchases and we forge ahead sometimes foolishly toward something that wasn't God's plan for us and yet...we wonder why our plans are meeting resistance or fail?!

It becomes clear that He didn't want that plan for us and we can't expect Him to bless what is not His Will...and if it's related to a foolish purchase, we can't expect Him to bless us if we go into debt for something we really didn't need.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Passion Week - What took place?

Passion Week is an incredible time where we should pause to remember all Jesus did and endured for us so that we can have forgiveness and life in and through Him!

The following is a straight forward list of some of the many things that took place from His triumphant entry that we remember on Palm Sunday and on through to Resurrection Sunday with scriptures for your personal reading, study, reflection, and prayer. 

Palm Sunday:
  • The Triumphal Entry of Jesus: Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:29-44, John 12:12-19

Monday:
  • The Cleansing of the Temple: Matthew 21:12-17, Mark 11:15-19, Luke 19:45-48
  • The Cursing of the Fig Tree: Matthew 21:18-19, Mark 11:12-14

Tuesday:
  • Jesus’ Authority is Challenged: Matthew 21:23-27, Mark 11:27-33, Luke 20:1-8
  • Jesus’ Parables of Warning: Matthew 21:28-22:14, Mark 12:1-12, Luke 20:9-19
  • The Withered Fig Tree: Matthew 21:18-22, Mark 11:20-25
  • Debate With Jewish Leaders: Matthew 22:15-46, Mark 12:13-37, Luke 20:20-44
  • Jesus' Warning against Hypocrisy & Jesus Denounces the he Scribes & the Pharisees: Matthew 23:1-39, Mark 12:38-44, Luke 20:45-21:4 Teaching on the Last Things Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, Luke 21:5-36

Wednesday:
  • The Chief Priests Conspire Against Jesus: Matthew 26:1-5, Mark 14:1-2, Luke 22:1-2
  • The Anointing of Jesus & Judas' Plot: Matthew 26:6-16, Mark 14:3-11, Luke 22:3-6, John 11:45-12:8

Thursday:
  • The Last Supper: Matthew 26:17-35, Mark 14:12-31, Luke 22:7-38, John 13-17
  • The Garden of Gethsemane: Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, Luke 22:39-46
  • Jesus’ Betrayal & Arrest: Matthew 26:47-56, Mark 14:43-52, Luke 22:47-53, John 18:1-14
  • Jesus Stands Trial before the Jewish Authorities: Matthew 26:57-75, Mark 14:53-72, Luke 22:54-71, John 18:15-27

Good Friday:
  • Jesus Stands Trial before Pilate: Matthew 27:1-31, Mark 15:1-20, Luke 23:1-25, John 18:28-19:16
  • The Crucifixion of Jesus: Matthew 27:32-56, Mark 15:22-41, Luke 23:26-49, John 19:16-37
  • The Burial of Jesus: Matthew 27:57-61, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42

Saturday:
  • The Tomb Watch: Matthew 27:62-66

Resurrection Sunday!
  • The Resurrection of Jesus: Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-18
  • The Report of the Tomb Watch: Matthew 28:11-15
  • Jesus Appears on The Road to Emmaus: Luke 24:13-35
  • Jesus Appears to the Ten in the Upper Room: Luke 24:36-49, John 20:19-23

May you be moved to praise The Lord all the more as you re-read, study, and reflect on these passages this week as remember all He did and endured for you!

You're Brother and Servant in Christ,


Randolph Koch