Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year, New Perspective on "Resolutions"...










Hello!

As we approach the New Year and the proverbial need to make New Year's Resolutions, I think this quote from Paul David Tripp says a lot:
..."the character of a life is not set in two or three dramatic moments, but in 10,000 little moments." -Paul David Tripp

We ought to have goals in life and
to be clear, New Year's Resolutions aren't bad in and of themselves, however, I believe that it's in the goals we have and actions we take in the day-to-day where real victory and life change takes place for us.  
The "little victories" and the "little goals achieved" will lead to long term success! ...that is if you keep at it...don't give up...don't give in to mediocrity. Yes, this may include some failures along the way but that is part of growth!

So, as you approach the New Year, maybe instead of making goals that you may or may not keep and then "beat yourself up" if you don't reach your goals, maybe go ahead and set larger goals but try fulfilling them through smaller goals and day-to-day actions? Things that are tangible / attainable?

Take time to pray and ask the Lord through His Holy Spirit to help you each day today and in the New Year to come!

Something to think about as we enter the New Year.

Here's to your success and victory in the New Year!

May the Lord work in and through you mightily this next year for His kingdom and glory!

Happy New Year!

Blessings in Christ,

rlk

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!!

Hello and Merry Christmas!!

This is a gift from me to you! 

Each Christmas Morning, The Koch Entourage will pause to reflect on why we as a family celebrate Christmas by reading the Luke 2 account of the Birth of Jesus Christ just before we exchange and open gifts. So, I decided to share this will you via the below images as well as the linked PDF version. Enjoy...and again, Merry Christmas!!


http://dl.dropbox.com/u/62880866/TheChristmasStory_Luke2_1-35.pdf

Have a wonderful Christmas! Please see the below!

Because He is the reason for this season,

rlk




Friday, December 21, 2012

The Long Awaited One


Waiting...... I don't know anyone, especially in our society who likes waiting! Whether it's for your coffee order, or for the car in front of you to "finally" go when the light turns green, or whatever comes to mind...we aren't great at...Waiting!

Imagine for a moment a man who waited his entire life to see the messiah arrive! Then it finally happened! Wow! What commitment! What a heart he had!

Let me encourage you, that no matter what side of salvation you're on - seek the Lord as He's seeking you, He wants a daily relationship with you and stands ready to forgive you of everything you've done, all the sins you've committed past, present and future! You just need to call upon His name, repent and receive His eternal gift for you - salvation then walk with Him! What a great time of year (any time is great of course) to receive His free gift!

For all of us, the wait is over. Jesus has arrived and is the solution to our ultimate problem which is sin and separation from God!

I wanted to share the below devotional I wrote some years ago that is a great picture of man's commitment and desire to meet the Messiah before he died - and God brought it to pass through what we celebrate on December 25th!

Merry Christmas!

Let me leave you once again, with this benediction:

MAY GOD GRANT YOU THE LIGHT OF CHRISTMAS, WHICH IS FAITH;
THE WARMTH OF CHRISTMAS, WHICH IS LOVE;
THE BELIEF IN CHRISTMAS, WHICH IS TRUTH;
THE ALL OF CHRISTMAS, WHICH IS CHRIST JESUS. –Unknown


With Tremendous Love,
Your Brother and Servant,

rlk

__________________________________________________

The Word:

Read:
Luke 2:21-35
Additional Reading: Micah 5:2-4


“The Long Awaited One” by Randolph Koch

Imagine if you had to wait an entire lifetime to attain a goal. This would take patience and determination. Today, in the “I want it here and right now” world we live in, this might not go over too well. Personally speaking, even as I write this, many things come to mind that I've waited for and with some of these things I’ve honestly been waiting for many years for God to open the doors He’s clearly been preparing to lead me through. Let me say, this hasn’t been easy at times and has been very frustrating sometimes. Yet, I keep waiting and keeping my faith and trust in Him as I know He’s preparing the way. He keeps reminding me that it will happen in His will and in His timing- not mine. I look forward to the day when the door swings wide-open for me.


Now, place yourself in Simeon’s shoes for a minute. He was an older and very devout man that the Holy Spirit was working through. It was revealed to him through The Spirit that he would not die before he would see the Messiah. Simeon had literally been waiting his whole life to see Jesus Christ, the Son of God come to Bethlehem as the prophets of old foretold. Then after Jesus was born and circumcised and the days of purification were completed according to the Law, Mary and Joseph made their way to the temple to present Jesus to the Lord. Simeon saw the baby Jesus and took Him with joy into his arms, held Him and said the following words:

"Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel."
-Luke 2:29-32

The long awaited One had arrived! Simeon’s wait was over! We can only imagine the sheer joy, wonder, and awe he must has experienced as he held in his very arms the One whom God had sent as Savior of the world!

Possibly you’ve been waiting your whole life for something that you just couldn’t place your finger on? Jesus is the One who you’ve been missing and honestly, He’s been waiting for you to realize your need for Him. Please seek Him now while you still have time to receive His gift.

Maybe you have Him now and have received Him but have forgotten what a gift He is? It’s not too late to enter back in re-committing yourself to live for Him, His purpose and plan. It’s never too late to turn away from complacency and bad habits. Even if you feel that you’ve forsaken and completely turned away from Him, it’s never too late to return to Him as His arms are wide open waiting for you to come to Him.

Whatever your situation is, run to him and cling to Him because the long awaited One, Jesus Christ, is waiting for you and came to earth on your behalf for your salvation!

Questions To Get Started With:

-Have you received His gift of salvation yourself?
-Have you been missing something in your life that you can’t quite place your finger on? Have you considered that Jesus Christ is who you’ve been missing?
-If you’re a Christian, have you become complacent in your faith and relationship with Him? If so, do you know what you need to do to get back what you once had with your Savior?
-This Christmas, will you celebrate the true meaning and reason for Christmas?




Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Through The Eyes of A Child and Our Greatest Need


Hello and Merry Christmas!

Today I wanted to share two items with you. 

1. I wanted to share this cute video I saw recently at a Christmas celebration of The Christmas Story Through the Eyes of Children:

 

2. Here's a poem that I really love by Roy Lessin titled "Our Greatest Need":

Our Greatest Need
by Roy Lessin

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 Savior.  

Have a blessed day!

Blessings during this Christmas time,

rlk

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Wise Men Still Seek Him

Hello!

In the midst of this Christmas Season may you be blessed as you celebrate the true reason for the season!

Today, as a tradition, I’m sharing a devotion with you that I wrote some years ago.

I trust that you’ll be like The Wise Men and Seek The Lord earnestly each day!

Merry Christmas! 

Have a wonderful day in Him! Please see the below.

Because HE IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON,
rlk


The Word:
Read: Matthew 2:1-12


"Wise Men Still Seek Him" by Randolph Koch


      Some time ago I received an end of the year family Christmas newsletter from some friends. On the top margin of the letter was the phrase "Wise Men Still Seek Him." Today this phrase still rings true! 

     If you are a believer then at one point or another in your life, you were like many today that seek the truth. As a believer you know that the truth you were seeking is Jesus Christ. Even now as we grow in Christ we still seek Him! We now seek the One that we know; where as before we were strangers to Him. Isn't it wonderful to know that your search is now over! You have found the Savior of the world, (although He knew you and sought you first) and you can worship Him just like the Magi / wise men did! They followed the star to Bethlehem to find the King of Kings and Lord of Lords that they were seeking! This was the King that had been foretold would be coming and now they had found Him and came to worship Him.

     Today we don’t have to look for a star to follow in order to find Him because He is always with us! Many today seek the truth in all of the wrong places, only to come up empty handed. If you want to or desire to be wise then seek Jesus Christ today and every day!

     Share Jesus with those around you this year so they may come to celebrate "The Gift" of Christmas- Jesus Christ! Not only His birth but Salvation, that can only come through Him and by trusting in Him.
 

     There is no gift greater in value or worth than Salvation! In the eternal view of things, Salvation is the one gift that once you truly receive it or have it, you will never forget it or lose it; unlike the gifts that man creates, buys, sells, and gives.

Questions To Get Started With:

-Do you seek to spend time with Him?
-Why do we give gifts during Christmas?
-What can you do now to share Jesus Christ as the real Christmas gift?
-Do you know anyone at school, work, in your neighborhood, etc. that you could simply invite to your Christmas Eve / Christmas Worship services at your home church?


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Emmanuel - Our God (Your God) is With Us (You)


Feeling alone right now or lately? 

Please hear me, God is there with you and for you, friend. Just call out to Him, He is there! 

Please view this video which is another great video reminder to share during this Christmas season. 

"Emmanuel" by Geoff Moore. 

May you be encouraged and ministered to through this song and reminder that He is with you!


Blessings,

rlk  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The 12 Days Of Christmas













Hello!

Happy 12-12-12! Hope this message finds you well!

There are twelve days until Christmas! Are you ready? Are you ready to celebrate the most important Birthday ever? I hope you are!

Today, I wanted to share something I found years ago on Dayspring.com. 


Dayspring produces great cards and some years ago they placed the below linked devotional content online.

They called it the Twelve days of Christmas as it is meant to be a 12 devotional countdown until December the 25th.

I placed the 12 devotions in a PDF document for your enjoyment & uploaded it here:

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/62880866/The%20Twelve%20Days%20of%20Christmas.pdf


I’ve also uploaded a second PDF document that gives 12 suggested ideas/resources for the 12 days of Christmas here: 

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/62880866/Resources%20for%20the%2012%20days%20of%20Christmas.pdf

There are some good ideas included.

Hope the devotionals and the resource ideas bring you encouragement and a little more of His light to your Christmas holiday festivities and preparations.

Have a wonderful day in Him! Please see the above links.

Because He Lives and He Is the Reason for the Season,

In His Strong Love,
    Your Servant and Brother,

rlk

Monday, December 10, 2012

The First Gift of Christmas












Over the weekend I started to get "wrapped-up" in the Christmas Holiday - I know... silly pun...but seriously I was wrapping a few presents and two thoughts came to mind again:


1- I could never make extra money wrapping gifts as I'm pretty horrible!
2- I was reminded again and thankful that Jesus was and is the first gift of Christmas!

Sometimes I think as I wrap gifts what it must have been like for Mary to wrap Jesus (The Gift) in swaddling clothes and as she pondered in her heart all she was told by the Angel when she learned she was going to be pregnant via the Holy Spirit with the Son of God and then it actually came to pass and she held Him in her arms!?

As you wrap and unwrap gifts this year may you think of the eternal gift of salvation that was wrapped for you and that you can unwrapped freely as you repent (or maybe already have) and believe in Christ as your Savior!

With this I wanted to share a devotional I wrote a few years back. It's a tradition that I share it with you every year. :-)

I trust that it will be an encouragement to you as you fix your eyes on The Reason for this Christmas Season! Check out the below when you have a few moments.

Your Brother and Servant,
Blessings,

rlk












 

"The First Gift of Christmas"
By Randolph Koch
The Word:

Read Luke 1:5 - 2:40
Additional Reading:  Matthew 2:1-12

"The First Gift of Christmas"

    As we approach each Christmas season, it becomes more evident that the world we live in has a completely different reason for and idea of Christmas. From the commercials, to the shopping mall decorations, to the yearly hot toy or gadget items that everyone says you’ve just got to have. It seems that everywhere we turn is devoid of the truth of Christmas. I'm not attempting to be cynical but it seems that Christmas gets more watered down every year - sometimes even in our churches!

     For many, Christmas becomes merely a time to exchange gifts - as many as possible. Or for others it becomes a time of year to share good tidings/do good deeds (not that there's anything wrong with that), as if they shouldn’t all year through. Unfortunately for some it becomes a competition regarding how many gifts a person receives. The number of gifts to them equates to how great or how bad their Christmas was or wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, receiving and giving presents is a real blessing but I wonder how much is too much when it comes down to it. The same can be said about how much we decorate or indulge in the name of “Christmas”. These things can be a lot of fun and with the right focus can make things memorable as long as we don’t lose sight of the truth of Christmas. There are so many things that can be trappings of the season or blessings depending on whose hands they’re in. Again, don't get me wrong, God wants us to enjoy these times of the year but we have to do it responsibly. 
     I'm reminded of the time someone asked me whether or not it’s our personal responsibility to seek out the true meaning of Christmas? What a wonderful question! I replied to the effect that yes indeed it is our responsibility to celebrate and keep the true meaning of Christmas at the center of our Christmas celebration!
     Yet, some still focus on the gifts because of the gifts the wisemen brought or other reasons, but I would submit that we should focus on “The gift” of Christmas, Jesus Christ Himself. Celebrate His birth, life, death, and resurrection.  
     Jesus is and was the first gift of Christmas. In fact, He is and was the long awaited Gift of Christmas and without Christ, there would be no Christmas...no matter what the World would says!
     Let us draw near to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and treasure all that He is. He’s the best gift we can ever have and the full expression of God’s love for us. We need to take our focus off ourselves and our mere gift receiving / giving, and place it back where it should be - on Jesus! Furthermore, let us help our friends and loved ones know His love and that He is the reason for Christmas. He is in the very name of the holiday but sadly many just don’t see Him, yet. 
     No matter what you do every Christmas, may you strive to worship the Lord for the most important birthday celebration and gift we can ever receive. 
Let us never forget that Jesus is the first and foremost gift of Christmas!

Questions to Get Started With:
-What is Christmas really all about?
-Is Jesus Christ the center of your Christmas?
-What can you do differently each year to make Christmas more meaningful?
-What are some of the things you already do to make your Christmas meaningful?
-Is it bad to enjoy the holiday festivities?
-Is it our personal responsibility to seek out the true meaning of Christmas?

Suggestions for the The Christmas Holiday:
1. Just before you open your presents on Christmas day or Christmas Eve, pray and give thanks for Jesus and for all of God’s goodness in your life.
2. Also before you open your gifts read the Luke 2 account of the Birth of Christ.
3. Make a Birthday cake for Jesus and sing happy birthday to Him!
4. Go to candlelight or other Christmas Eve service as it’s a great opportunity to worship and prepare for Christmas day.
5. Throughout the Christmas season, get involved in your community through
a clothing or food drive, or possibly help at shelter, etc.
6. Incorporate things into your Christmas to take to focus off gifts and yourself.
 (I.E. Serving others, Celebrating Advent, etc)  
Whatever you do, make Jesus the center of your celebration!