No Fear For Doing Right!

“For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended” (Romans 13:3 NIV).

When we look at what is occurring all over the world and we see the effects of misguided leadership, we need to pray. Apparently, they did not understand what this means; especially those who proclaim to know the Living God! They have forgotten that their leadership is limited and should have guided by the One who truly rules and when all do right–there is no need to fear, but when they do wrong–look out!

If we desire freedom from fear from God (not mankind), when we do what is right, we can be confident in walking in His favor. But if we do what is wrong in order to appease misguided leadership, then we should be fearful of the wrath of God. For His wrath will fall on the just as well as the unjust.

The rulers Paul references in this passage of scripture are those who are led by the Spirit of God in their governance of people. And when we know that leadership has gone astray, being influenced by another spirit, we must pray that God will remove the scales from their eyes and they can see themselves clearly, as everyone else does.

When leadership allows all manner of people into an environment that should be sanctified and holy, the spirits of all those who are not holy, are left behind and they congregate to influence all who come into their presence. When we pray, we must pray against the influence of evil spirits who inhabit and dwell in places when given room to do so. And we pray that God’s Will is fulfilled in all that is done. However, when we see leadership actively opposed to God’s purposes, we must remove ourselves before we are also infected with wrong thinking and doing likewise.

In order to take fear out of the equation–love unconditionally and do what is right at all times. God will take care of the rest, according to His purposes and plans.

 

Meaning What?

“Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Romans 8:30 NIV).

Predestined–determined in advance–before we were born.

Called–summoned, in the spirit, by Holy Spirit, to promote the Gospel.

Justified–acquitted us all wrong doing when we repented and came into true knowledge of who He is.

Glorified–put us in position to walk in His favor.

Paul explained what God has done in the Spirit before we were ever born so we can walk with heads held high and never be ashamed of who we are in Christ Jesus. However, we must understand God’s plan–He had a purpose for each one us–plans to prosper us and not to harm us, as He waited for us to reach a place in life where we came to ourselves and acknowledged Him for who He is and now, we can walk in His plans.

If we recall Jeremiah being told that his purpose had been designed by God before he was conceived, we would have to know that since God is not a respecter of persons, His plans for us were also designed before we were.

Once we reach that stage or place or phase of life in which we have reached the end of ourselves–our own plans and acknowledge God is–everything we need, and we see how our lives were not pleasing to Him, we repent (turning away from all sin) and He declares us “guiltless” totally exonerated and acquitted of wrongdoing so we can move into His plans without shame.

Knowing how much He loves us, creates a desire in us to want to please Him, and when we do all things to please Him, we reap the benefits of walking in His favor–accomplishing things that would have otherwise been out of reach for us, without Him in our lives.

What does this all mean for the average person? Whatever God has determined in advance for them to do, they should walk in it, never being deterred by naysayers or scoffers, knowing that God’s plans and purposes will be fulfilled in our lives.

What does this mean for you? Only you can determine when you will walk in God’s favor by your obedience to His plans and purposes for your life. How will you know? You will know His plans and purposes for your life when you deliberately seek, achieve and maintain a right relationship with Him.

God’s calling, justification, and glorification in our lives does not mean that we are superior to others; it means we become servants to others in order to do God’s Will and to bring all into the knowledge of who He is and into a right relationship with Him. Don’t get it twisted! We are not better than others; God simply uses us in different ways to accomplish His plans!

Submission Is A Good Thing!

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

So many people tend to think that the word “submit” is a bad word; especially as it pertains to women “submitting” to their husbands. One of the reasons for this disdain of the word is the fact that many have mis-taught the context of the word in the Bible. For clarity’s sake, the definition for submit–deferring to another’s opinion or authority makes it clear that submission is a good thing.

We must learn to accept the fact that none of us know everything and recognize that when we don’t know; it is not a judgment against self to defer to the opinions or authority of someone who does know. Not recognizing the authority of another is not only stupid, but could have detrimental results–depending upon the situation.

James tells us to submit to God–yield, defer to God’s authority. Resist–turn away from, run in the opposite direction, close ears to, anything the devil has to say and when we actively resist the devil, he will flee from us.

The best way to do this is to make sure understanding of The Word has been a priority in life. When we see the attempts the devil makes to cause us to believe anything God did not say; we simply speak The Word against what the enemy has said and do it as often as needed. The devil will get tired of hearing The Word and eventually leave a person alone–for a season. He will return, but if The Word is buried deep in our hearts, whenever he returns, we’ll be ready.

God knows more than we shall ever know! Fact–not opinion–and we know because we have not created a universe and He has. Therefore, we should acknowledge His authority and defer to His authority so we can defeat the enemy at every turn. Submission to God–is a good thing–it guarantees us victory over the enemy!

 

[tags element not working this morning on WordPress]

#God   #James   #Victory    #devil     #Mary M. Hall-Rayford

Dontcha Just Hate It…!

Don’t you just hate it when…

The person standing in front of you can’t make up their minds about their order?

The person driving behind you stays close enough for the bumpers to kiss?

The person standing behind you feels the need to share all of their life’s woes with you?

The person in the movies just has to talk loud enough for all to hear when people are trying to listen to the movie?

The people driving next to you have to share their taste in music–with everyone for miles around them?

The people who live next door to you refuse to discipline their children and then wonder why all the neighbors hate to see them outside?

The person you’re having a meal with can be heard enjoying their meal and is not ashamed of their loud smacking sounds?

The children you raised with all the love you have act like they were raised by animals?

The person driving in front of you is completing their personal hygiene and slowing down traffic for everyone?

People on their phones feel the need for everyone to know their business, when they really should have kept it to themselves?

You see people texting while driving in the midst of rush hour traffic?

The people you thought were your friends turn out to be your arch enemies?

The people you know love to borrow, but never have anything you need when you need it?

You think you have done all you can for your children and yet they do not appreciate anything and expect more from you?

You saved that last piece of “anything” to snack on the next day and someone beat you to it?

You finally get to the front of the line to complete your purchase and the power goes out?

You run into every inconsiderate person on the planet on the one morning, you’re running late for work?

There are a lot of things most of us could hate when someone else does it. Don’t be guilty of doing the things you hate to see done by others.

I’m sure this list could go on and on so feel free to add your own–dontcha just hate it things in your comments.

Praise Him Anyway!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3 NIV)

In order to get a better a understanding of what Peter was saying, the entire chapter needs to be read, but this verse–should trigger thanksgiving for all who have been “born again.”

Being born again of the spirit cannot be equated with a natural birth as Jesus pointed out to Nicodemus. When Nicodemus approached Jesus for clarification, Jesus explained to him that man must be born “naturally” through the water (amniotic fluid, not water baptism) and “spiritually”.

All of us are born naturally into a state of sin due to man’s severed relationship with God in the Garden of Eden, but we all have an opportunity to be born again of the “Spirit” of Jesus Christ when we accept the work on the cross and live according to God’s Word. The opportunity for restored relationship with God has been rectified with His resurrection!

Being born again is not a “feeling”; it is an active phase of living–according to God’s purposes and plans. Too many people are caught up in the emotional aspects of “feelings” (crying, feeling shame, etc.) and not enough are lifted by His love, understanding His mercy and loving Him enough to live for Him.

If Peter could encourage those who suffered persecution by those who crucified Jesus and sought to kill them (and they did with the exception of John), how much more should these words encourage us to “praise God” anyway?

Whatever we’re going through in life–the good, the bad, and the ugly–we should be able to praise God for His mercy and love. If He had not loved us enough to die for us, where would we be right now? If we want to have the promise of eternal life fulfilled, we must be born again and live to His glory while we yet have a chance.

 

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to lift our heads and our eyes and our hands in praise of You. Give us a song of praise that will see us through whatever hardships we incur, looking forward to being brought out from the depths of misery to the glorious bountiful blessings we know You have planned for us. Our hope is entirely in You and we are indeed looking forward to eternity with You. For any who have not experienced Your love and mercy, open a pathway for them to hear the Good News and to be born again of Your Spirit.

Encourage One Another!

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV).

We can do all things through Him who loves us.

We are more than conquerors.

We have the assurance of eternal life with Him.

No weapon formed against us shall prosper or by any means harm us.

The Word of God shall never pass away.

Faith is the key to seeing all hope manifest itself.

The enemy has already been defeated, we simply need to remind him from time to time.

Perfect love–unconditional love–towards others, self, and God casts out fear.

Our Father will not withhold any good thing from His children.

Because God is love, He can only do what love does.

If we obey God, everything we put our hands to will have good success.

He who has planned our future, has already determined our success in all things.

There is nothing too hard for God to accomplish.

When all else fails, we who know and love God, can know His peace which surpasses all understanding.

Since we know that God is not the author of confusion, when we recognize chaos, we know who has ignited it and we can rest assured of the victory in Christ Jesus.

The gifts God gives are ours and can never be taken from us by others.

Stand up for what is right and see justice for all–even when it appears to not exist–stand firm, immoveable and watch our Father work on our behalf.

Speak to all of the issues that would attempt to deter you from your destiny–in faith–without doubting and keep marching forward.

Since God created the universe without our help, He can certainly take care of any problem we have.

Never doubt Him or what He can do–in spite of all the negativity that attempts to embrace you–allow your faith to dispel the doubt and shatter it for all times.

Read The Word, Hear The Word and Obey The Word--seeking to please Him who holds all the treasures in His hand and who is waiting to bless His children so we might be a blessing to others.

Praise Him at all times–good and bad–and make the devil quake when we wake!

Share only the good with others, shelter self and others from the naysayers and listen to the still, small voice that speaks instructions, comfort, and directions to keep us on the path of victory.

Our God reigns forever more! Hallelujah!

 

Dead or Alive!

“He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him” (1 Thessalonians 5:10 NIV)

With the promise of the second coming of the Lord and all of the speculation as to when that will happen, we who have a relationship with Him and understand His Word, know when He comes is of no great consequence. Whether we are alive or dead–when He comes–we are assured of our living with Him for all eternity.

We have heard that Jesus is coming back for hundreds of years and He has not made it yet. The delay in His return should not be our concern. If we know we have received Him as our Lord and Savior and we are obedient to His Word, whenever He comes back, He will receive us unto Himself. This delay (or at least this seeming delay) has given the scoffers fuel to add to their derision of our faith. The delay has also caused some–who claim to know the Savior–to err in their need to proclaim exact dates as to when He will return. One group of people has said in their doctrine that He has already returned (my response to them was since I had not seen any dead people walking around, I’ll keep waiting).

What the speculators and scoffers have missed is understanding of The Word. In this passage of scripture we see that the Lord will return as a thief in the night. Not many thieves will “announce” their coming in advance. Jesus has said that “But about that day no man knows the day or hour, not the angels in heaven, and not even the Son,only The Father” (Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32) And my personal favorite  is this one–“With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day” (2 Peter 3:8).

So, take comfort with this final thought. Jesus will return, whether we are asleep in the grave or alive, and it will not matter to Him because “the dead shall rise and those who are living will be caught up in the clouds and meet Him in the air, to be with Him forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:17 NIV).

Lord Jesus, whenever You return, we await that day with great expectations of living for all eternity with You.

Who We Are!

“You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness” (1 Thessalonians 5:5 NIV).

Children of the light

Let your light shine bright

Children of the day,

Do all things, God’s way.

We have no need to hide

The things we do or in choosing which side,

Whose influence we follow on our journey in life

We understand the role of husband and wife.

As long as there is love flowing from above,

We will lift His name, obey His Word, and love

All we meet and greet in the name of Jesus,

Never allowing the works of darkness to enter

Our minds, defeat our spirits, or to hinder our souls

From entering into the promise of eternity in heaven,

To spend that time with Him who created all things

And has assured us of victory in all things, to His Glory.

We are children of The Light

We are children of The Day

God is our Father, We say what He says!

It’s all in The Word, the foundation of our faith,

Nothing will move us or deter us or cause us to waver

Or doubt the Truth of God’s Word, or Jesus our Savior.

Pray Without Ceasing!

“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

As we continue this journey in life–today as with every day, we ought to always pray, and pray without ceasing–for the land and all the people within it.

Prayer is not just petitions requesting something of God, but of thanksgiving and intercession, and acknowledgment of who He is. Prayer is not one-sided–it is communication with God–we talk to Him and He speaks to us–in the spirit, through His Word, and what He says is confirmed through others as He directs.

To pray without ceasing does not mean to keep asking for the same thing over and over again. Jesus said through Mark and Matthew that when we pray, we believe what we say we have and we shall receive–if we do not doubt. James tells us that if we doubt, we are like the waves of sea–unstable in all our ways.

Believe we receive what we ask for when we pray and then thank God for whatever it is and keep thanking Him until it manifests.

Father, in the name of Jesus, we pray for all the children, parents, and grandparents who are raising grandchildren. We ask for your direction, instruction, guidance and strength and courage to do all that needs to be done. We thank You for providing us with everything we need–love, mercy, patience, and fortitude to keep going so we may do all things to Your glory. We know that You know all things–our needs, our thoughts, when we’ll fail, and when we’ll rise again, more determined than ever to praise You for Your goodness, love, and mercy towards us. Speak to our hearts at all times and create in us a desire to hear and obey Your every word, even when we do not understand it. You and You alone are worthy of all our praise and we lift our hands and hearts to You; we open our mouths and sing Your praises loud enough for the mountain tops to hear and participate. What an awesome God! Thank You for hearing and responding to our every need as only You can. Amen!

When No Relationship Exists!

In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 17:6)

Considering all the events in this country for the last two years, we are living “in those days” when no one in authority has a right relationship with God. That’s basically what the writer in Judges is saying. When no relationship exists with God, men (mankind) do whatever they want to do and then chaos reigns. We know that chaos reigns in the midst of our society–especially in the United States–because of the decisions that “men” have made to pacify flesh with no regard to doing what is right in God’s sight–only their own.

When no relationship with God exists–men legalize sin–in all sorts of manners (condoning same-sex relationships, drug use, pornography, prostitution, all manner of whoredom) and then the same people who applauded the legalization of sin–condemn anyone who dares to disagree with them–spouting their first amendment rights. What happened to the first amendment rights of Christians? Are we not citizens in this country, eligible for the protections of the same laws? Or is it that only the anti-Christ are in position to change laws to appease flesh and promote hatred of those to speak what God says? There appears to be a double-standard here, but only those in relationship with God can see it.

When no relationship with God exists–confusion enters in and takes control. Men and women are confused and promote the confusion in the schools and community so that children also become confused. God is not the author of confusion, but we know that Satan is. Unfortunately, the devil has blinded the eyes of those who follow him and they do not see the pit he is digging for them and by the time they realize what has happened, it will be too late.

When no relationship with God exists–men are subject to the debilitation of all manner of sickness and disease that  occurs, in many instances, as a result of sinful living. There are some who would argue this point, but the bottom line for sin is this–“the wages of sin is death.” God is not mocked! We can do whatever we want to do–but in the end, God’s Word will not come back void, and it will perform all that it says it will.

When a right relationship exists with God, peace and prosperity reign in the land. Healing exists for those in right relationship with God. Love for all mankind and God exists for those in right relationship with God. Wisdom exists for all those in right relationship with God. Insight exists for all those in right relationship with God. For all who are not in right relationship with God–they lack the wisdom of God to see the conclusion of the matter. They have forgotten the history of mankind and sin and what God does and they are therefore, doomed to repeat the tragedies of the past.

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to see the need to stay in right relationship with You. Remove the scales from the eyes of those who have been deceived so they can see the end of their lives, right now. Strengthen the minds, hearts, and determination of all who are in right relationship with You to stay the course You have established for us. Thank You for loving us enough to give us one more chance to get living for You right.