Wednesday, April 04, 2018

The Gifts That Are OK To Re-gift

Read: Ephesians 2:10, 1 Peter 4:10, Romans 12:6–8; 1 Corinthians 12:4–11; and 1 Corinthians 12:28. 

God created you specifically for the good works that He's prepared for you. He's uniquely given you the spiritual gifts you need, as well as the ability and capacity to grow in skills, talents and abilities to fulfill exactly what He's called and created you to do!

He's blessed you with these things so you can in turn serve Him with all that is within you and give those gifts back in service to Him. 

Now, there's an important distinction between Spiritual Gifts and talents, skills, and abilities as follows. 

Sunday, April 01, 2018

He Is Risen!! Resurrection Sunday 2018!

HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED!

Dear Friend in Christ,

I wanted to wish you a wonderful and peaceful Resurrection / Easter Sunday! 

He is the resurrection and the life! Read: John 11:25-26

May this Sunday be filled with joy as you celebrate and worship the risen savior Jesus Christ!

He is Risen!

With Love In Him,
Because of He Lives,

Randolph Koch

P.S. Here's a post sharing Historical Evidence For The Resurrection of Jesus: http://www.ashepherdsheart.org/2009/04/historical-evidence-for-resurrection.html

Friday, March 30, 2018

Passion Week Reflections - 2018

Dear Friend,

I typically post a communication once a week via www.ashepherdsheart.org and and if you follow A Shepherd's Heart on Social Media, you already know that I post a brief thought pretty much everyday.

Here are five reflections for this passion week. 

Four of these have been shared via my Instagram, Facebook, and other other Social Media Platforms. However, since you have visited the web site or are subscribed to our free e-Mail communications, you are receiving day five (Friday) of the reflections first...before it's posted anywhere else! 

I pray that these brief Passion Week Reflections will encourage and challenge you in your faith as you prepare you heart, mind, and soul for your Good Friday remembrance and then your Resurrection Celebration! 

Because He Lives,
Your Brother and Servant,

Randolph Koch

____________________________________________
Friday: 
Read: Isaiah 53:5

It's Good Friday and it's a day of deep contemplative reflection as we remember what Jesus endured for us. 

As Isaiah reminds us...

He was pierced for our transgressions. 

He was crushed for our iniquities.

He died for all of our sins past, present, and future!

All of this so we can have peace with God through His free gift of salvation, because, by His wounds we are healed!

If you've received His free gift of salvation, you are no longer spiritually separated from God because of your sin. 

You are no longer spiritually corrupt, broken, and bankrupt because through His sacrifice - you are healed! 

He willingly laid-down His life so you can have life in Him. 

No matter how our bodies age and feel like they're literally or figuratively falling apart, we should also look forward to the day when we will experience the joy of our salvation and ultimate healing when we pass from this life and into His presence in heaven!

Until then, may you serve Him will all that is within you and today, Good Friday, and forever more may you remember His sacrifice for you. 

  • May you remember what He endured so you can have life!


____________________________________________
Thursday: 
Read: Matthew 20:28 and Matthew 25:35-40

It's Thursday, the Thursday before Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday and again, I'm moved by the reality of what Jesus came to do and has done for mankind! 

Matthew 20:28 summarizes for us the mission He came to fulfill...He came to serve and give His life as the ransom payment for you and I! 

He was payment for the wages of sin which is death by giving His life for YOU! Why? So that you might have life in Him if you receive His free gift of salvation!

I pray that these truths from God's Word blow you away and sink deeply into your hear, mind, and soul!

Again, What a Savior Jesus Is! He came to serve and not be serve! 

May we seek to be like Him as we seek to serve Him and others! 
Read Matthew 20:28 and Matthew 25:35-40 and ask yourself:
What can I do to sacrificially serve Him and others?
What can I do to make His name great proclaiming Him to the world?
What can I do to shine His light more in all we do? 
What do I need to change in order to live my life more for Him in service to Him and others?

____________________________________________

Wednesday:
Read: John 3:16-17

John 3:16 - It's more than just a sign at a sporting event, more than some mere platitude to be shared as some might think, this passage is the whole truth of The Gospel regarding why God The Father sent His Son.

Let's break it down like this....

God Loved you and I so much that He knew from eternity past that man would fall and need a way of salvation...through Jesus!

Through Jesus... 

He provided a way to fix that was broken!

He provide bridge to fix the separation between God and Man!

He provided The Shepherd Who would find those who are lost but yet can be found in Him!

He provided the cure for your spiritual blindness! 

He provided The Pathway that does not lead to destruction!

He provided The Way to complete the transaction through Jesus whose sacrifice served as payment for the wages of sin which is death.

Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life! 

God did this for you and is or has drawn you to Himself so if you receive His free gift of salvation, you will have forgiveness and eternal life with Him! Insert your name where it says "World" and I pray you get the profound truths of this passage all the more! 

I pray that you have received His free gift and that as you prepare your heart and mind for this weekend's celebration, that you will celebrate and worship Him in spirit and truth this Resurrection Sunday! 
____________________________________________
Tuesday: 
Read: Isaiah 25:8

I love the language of this passage in Isaiah. It's powerful and beautiful in it's truth and it points to Jesus!

Jesus is The One Who swallowed up death forever for those who accept His free gift. 

Jesus also cares about you and I and will wipe every tear away now as He ministers to and comforts us and He's prepared a way to Heaven where there will no longer be ANY tears!

For those who've received His free gift of salvation, He has also removed our sin / reproach as He died on the cross for our sins!

What a Savior Jesus is! Praise His mighty name! 

He is The Reason and The One we celebrate this Easter/Resurrection time and every day!

I pray again, as we prepare our hearts, minds, and plans, may we stay in awe and remember all He did so that we might have life in Him and keep Him in the center of all we do! 
____________________________________________
Monday:

Read: Romans 6:23
As we walk day-by-day this week through what we refer to as Passion Week or Holy Week, leading up to Resurrection Sunday, may be never forget why Jesus came in the first place!

May we prepare ourselves as we look to remember Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday! May we never grow complacent in remembering all He did as a free gift to those who would believe and receive it because of the wages of Sin is death and He came to bring life!

As Romans 6:23 reminds us, the wages of sin is death and that's what we deserved.
However, the free gift of God through Jesus' sacrifice is forgiveness and eternal life!

I pray that if you haven't already, that you will receive His free gift of salvation and then you can really celebrate this Resurrection Sunday with the joy of personally knowing The One Who gave His life for you! 

I'll be walking through one scripture a day this week to provide an encouraging reminder for us about His sacrifice and victory! Stay tuned for more.  
____________________________________________
For days 6 and 7, Please visit A Shepherd's Heart on Instagram or Facebook.



Friday, March 23, 2018

It's "Time To Make The Donuts."

Read: Genesis 2:15, James 2:14-18, Ephesians 2:10, Colossians 1:9-10, Matthew 5:16, 1 Timothy 6:17-18, Titus 2:6-8, Titus 3:14, and Galatians 6:9 

From the very beginning, God created mankind with a specific purpose and work to do just like we see in Genesis 2:15.

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"...in 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.