Our God Forever!

“For this is God, Our God forever and ever; He will be our guide Even to death.” (Psalm 48:14 NKJV)

The “unseen God” that holds all power in His hands.

The “invisible” God who created all that was ever created,

Before man was–God was and is–The same.

No matter what theory, or philosophy is thought,

One fact remains true, The skies are still above

And the Seas below, higher than the clouds

The Sun, Moon, and Stars yet shining

Mountains still standing–majestic and tall,

And Man, yet flawed, but remains

As a testament to a Living God,

Not made by stones or hands, free

To be in all places at the same time,

Watching over all His children

Guiding us in life, until death,

Here on earth, and welcoming us Home

To be with Him for all eternity.

This is our God, though invisible to the naked eye of man,

His works–created–for all to see, He is

Alive and well in the hearts of all who believe and obey,

The Spirit who quickens our spirits to live

And praise Him forevermore!

Hand of Power!

“Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me.” (Psalm 138:7 NLT)

I am reminded in this verse of scripture–to simply trust God–and know that He will do exactly as He says He’ll do. For if He stretches forth His hand–that Hand of Power–it will save me and others, no matter how dismal things seem.

His Hand–has the power to heal, the power to save, the power to redeem, the power to lift out darkness and the pits some have dug for themselves. His Hand–has the power to guide and comfort–no matter how far we may have strayed from His Love. His Hand–is the only hand from which power flows into the hearts of those who love Him and obey Him.

Though it seems like all is lost and the world has gone completely mad, I know I can count on His reaching out to me and by the Power in His Hand, I shall survive and thrive in the midst of chaos.

God’s got it–the answer and solutions to all of our problems and He holds it in the Power of His Hand, just waiting for us to turn towards Him and receive!

Thank You, Lord for stretching Your Hand of Power towards all of Your children and keeping us safe from all harm. Hallelujah!

We Are Protected!

“The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.” (Psalm 91:14 NLT)

Many of us find ourselves in need of being rescued from various situations in life–car breakdowns, relationship breakdowns, financial breakdowns, and some even from fire or water hazards. Most of those rescues could have been avoided if we had simply made wiser decisions and not put our trust in people or things.

Sometimes, we think we know what we’re doing when we purchase certain types of things, but when we do not maintain the things, they will break down on us.

Sometimes, we think we know what we’re doing when we decide where to work or with whom we get into relationships, but then we realize we have made a mistake and we either get fired or get so frustrated we quit the job and end relationships.

How about this–let’s seek God for every decision we have to make and trust His judgment and guidance in our lives! When we trust Him, we won’t have to worry about making wrong decisions.

If we listen to Holy Spirit, He’ll remind us when to get the oil checked, the tire pressure checked, and other regular maintenance on a car. He’ll whisper in our ears when we’re in the wrong places trying to seek employment. He’ll also tell us when we’re with the wrong people–if we listen.

Loving Him, and trusting Him puts us in a good position to be protected by Him and we can avoid the need for being rescued. However, if our love for Him is real, He will rescue us from ourselves and yet protect us from the unwise decisions we make.

Being in a relationship with God does not mean that we have reached perfection, but it does mean that we should be mindful of those things of which He’s trying to warn us. When situations occur over which we have no control, He will rescue us!

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have His protection than the best insurance money can buy. He can do things and protect us from things that cannot be equated with monetary value. He deserves my trust and love beyond any other because It is He who gives me life and reason to keep going forward.

“I really love The Lord! Way back on Calvary, He gave me the victory and I really love The Lord!”

With The Heart!

“Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (Acts 8:37 NKJV)

Contrary to what most unbelievers think, understanding God and believing the work on the Cross begins with the heart, not the head because the mind of man cannot begin to conceive the wonders of God.

The word heart is mentioned 830 times in the bible–noting the condition of a person’s or a nation’s heart–whether good or evil, because it is the heart of man that interest God. He looks upon the heart of man (and woman) to determine their honesty and integrity for many will be guilty of having lying lips. They will say one thing with their mouth, but the lies trip so fluently that they begin to believe the lies they tell. However, the heart–which no man can see–is fully exposed to God and He knows what a person or a nation is truly capable of doing.

Paul tells in his letter to the church in Rome, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (10:10).

Throughout history, God has looked upon the heart of man and saw the evil and the good and in whatever condition the heart was found, man received his just reward.

Physically–the heart pumps the blood that keeps us alive and whenever there is a problem with the heart, our physical condition is impacted–negatively. Without the body’s ability to receive the life-source, blood, things begin to deteriorate and sometimes, they are left irreparable. The body can survive without the brain functioning as it ought, but it cannot survive without a functioning heart to keep the blood flowing.

Spiritually–the spirit of the man–is the center of right and wrong, whether our spirits agree with Holy Spirit or is influenced by demonic spirits–this is control center by which man is judged by God.

In the beginning of my ministry, over 25 years ago, I often told the naysayers that in order to believe God, one must believe with the heart so the mind will accept. For the carnal mind of man cannot accept the spiritual reality of a living God unless led by the Spirit of God who speaks to the heart of man.

Romantically–we are often led by our hearts rather than our heads and sometimes–this is a good thing, but sometimes, our hearts lead us astray–into accepting those into our lives that lead us down the wrong paths. But it is the heart that usually determines our love interest, not our heads. When the heart and head agree–the love relationship lasts forever.

This is why it is more important for Believers to have a relationship with God rather than an affiliation with religion or religious doctrine. When our hearts and head agree–the love relationship lasts forever with Him and we can know, without doubt that He has only our best interests at heart.

Praying for a heart change–towards God–for all people in every nation so we can see peace in the land.

For Long Life and Prosperity!

“The eyes of the LORD watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help. But the LORD turns his face against those who do evil; he will erase their memory from the earth.” (Psalm 34:15,16 NLT)

Starting with verse twelve–we’re given a strategy for long and prosperity–keep our tongue from speaking evil and our lips from lying–and then we know that the Lord watches over those who do right, hears our cries, but He turns His face from those who do evil.

Whether people believe in God or not is a non-issue. His existence is not contingent upon our belief nor does unbelief change His Word. What He has said, He means and what He means, He says. There is no gray area or obscurity with God–and though He would prefer to see us do right, He sees when we do wrong.

Just as recently as yesterday, I read comments regarding one of the Duck Dynasty stars who had a seizure and ended up in the hospital. He was thankful to God for not dying and people attacked him for his faith. He knew God was watching and would guide those who treated him while he was in the hospital. This is a testament of his faith–experience with God–to share with others. He was right to thank God!

When the nurse who recovered from being infected with the Ebola virus openly thanked God for her recovery, people attacked her faith, accused her of spitting in the face of medical science. She knew what God would do for her and her recovery is a testament for those who did not believe, about how His love surrounds us, and when people listen to Him, He guides us to safety. She was grateful for the wisdom God poured into those who were treating her and for the prayers offered on her behalf.

Knowing and understanding God does not necessarily keep things from happening to us, but it certainly provides a means of escape when negative things do happen. This then is the evidence of Him watching over those who love Him. Those who know Him understand that He pours out His wisdom on all who are willing to receive it and the prayers of the righteous–those in right-standing with God–avail much.

These are not the only situations in which those who do not know God or understand how He operates, belittle those who do. If they knew Him, they would understand, but since they don’t, they would rather belittle that which is unknown to them. Their belittling others gives them a sense of superiority that is false and will crumble at the first sign of calamity in their own lives. But then, they have no one to call upon for help in their time of need.

To live a long and prosperous life, we must not entangle ourselves with evil–those who do evil and lie to make themselves to be something when they are nothing. We, who know God because of our experience with Him, should pray for God to provide opportunity for those who do not know Him, to experience His Love, grace, and mercy for themselves.

Message For The Times!

But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching. Repent of your sin, or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” (Revelation 2:14-16 NLT)

The simple, but powerful message–used by John, the baptist (one who baptized, not the denomination), spoken to John, the Disciple whom Jesus loved, and should be used by Believers all over the land--REPENT!

We hear all sorts of “feel-good” messages from various preachers of The Word. We hear prosperity messages (which some have rejected), we hear messages for healing (always appropriate), we hear messages of deliverance (again, appropriate), we hear messages of forgiveness (we should forgive since we have been forgiven) and we hear messages about the power of prayer (there is power in prayer), but what we seldom hear is a message that deals with repentance–turning away from sin and turning to God–and this is why the world is in the shape it is.

John’s message before the appearance of Christ–REPENT and be baptized for the remission of sin.

God’s response to our needs–because He loves us so much–He came down from heaven, in the likeness of sinful flesh, tempted by all man could be tempted, and chose to be raised upon a cross for our sins though He never committed a sin.

Our response to God has been–negligible at best–we come to an altar, sorry for our sins (sorry we got caught), and ask Him to forgive us–and as soon as we get out of the church, away from the altar and those who were praying for us–turn back to our sinful lifestyles, like a dog returning to its own vomit–absolutely sickening.

The real problem is that not many–who are preaching–understand the need to teach REPENTANCE and what it really means. To repent is more than to say, “I’m sorry, Lord forgive me.” True repentance is an acknowledgment that we have sinned, we need Him in our lives to help us to remain sin-free, and give our lives over to Him to keep us from sin–turning completely to Him–away from sin.

When we say we allow Jesus to be our Lord and Savior–what we should mean (and some don’t know), is that we give Him complete control over what we do and say–we submit to His Lordship. Accepting the work on the cross is acceptance of His being our Savior–saving us from ourselves. This is the first step on the journey to living a life that glorifies God and puts us in position “to receive” all His many benefits--prosperity, longevity, good health, etc. REPENTANCE–comes first–then we receive the rewards from pleasing Him–not the other way around.

It is time for us–all of us–who believe and agree with God–to preach the message for this time–REPENT!

When The Mountains Crumble!

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” (Psalm 46: 1, 2, 10 NLT)

It appears that all is falling apart, all around us, no matter where we look.

Chaos in The Middle East.

Chaos in Canada.

Chaos in Europe.

Chaos in Asian Countries.

Chaos in Africa.

Chaos in South America.

Chaos in North America.

Everywhere we look–according to media reports–there is chaos and unrest! People are rebelling against governmental authority across the world. Social media provides the means for many to instigate hatred and bigotry against and towards anyone who dares to offer a differing opinion about the state of the world and current events.

For those of us who know and understand God’s Word–we know what time it is, yet we have no need to join in the uproar or fear, we simply need to be still and know–all of this has been predicted and is coming to pass–just as God showed it to us.

Yesterday, I wrote about the devil notching his belt every time someone falls under his influence and at this point, he must have started notches on more than one belt or–the belt he notches–is equal to the circumference of the entire world–and is being notched moment by moment.

Kids killing classmates, madmen running the streets with axes, angry people trespassing government buildings and shooting the innocent–when will it all stop?

When we are convinced as a people–united by the fact that we all belong to the human race–all created by God and Loved by Him and will be obedient to Him–the chaos and destruction will stop, but not until then. Will we see the change in our lifetime–within the next fifty years? It is doubtful, but we can remain hopeful that we will start by turning again to Him to loves us and will never give up on us.

Obedience to Him–our Only Wise God–provides us the space to not fear what man may do, but just know--if we will just be still and not worry, we will see the mighty works of God change nation after nation until peace is obtained throughout the land.

So, while it seems like everything is falling apart and the end is near, just be still and know that He is God and we have nothing to fear–even if we see the crumbling mountains fall into the sea–we have a home in heaven for all eternity. Our future with God is secure as long as we are obedient to Him in all things!

Are You a Notch On The Devil’s Belt?

Being notch on someone’s belt is a phrase that is indicative of someone merely taking advantage of a situation–there is no attachment to the person or the event–just a game to keep count of those foolish enough to participate.

Women who sleep with men, indiscriminately, are usually just a notch on the man’s belt. He has no real affection for her and is usually involved in a macho-sadistic game with peers to see who can sleep with the most women in a given time period.

Young folks–who think and do stupid and dumb things are just a notch on the devil’s belt. He influences their their thinking and manipulates them into doing. He doesn’t care about them or the consequences they face; he just laughs every time people–especially our young people do stupid.

Doing drugs and becoming addicted–stupid–another notch on the devil’s belt; he doesn’t have to worry about you any more–your life will be filled with negativity and the consequences will include loss of friends, family, trust from others and eventually, you’ll end up in jail or dead. Can you hear him laughing at you?

Playing stupid games with people’s lives–such as the “knock-out” game–another notch on the devil’s belt. You knock out a person “just because” and they end up seriously injured or dead and you end up in jail. Another notch on the devil’s belt. Can you hear him laughing at you?

Participating in foolish challenges–risking your life to fit in with the stupid crowd. Social media is being perverted by those who are influenced by the devil and you have the nerve to jump right in and join them, never thinking about the risk. How many people died from the Cinnamon Challenge? Was that you who was rushed to the hospital, unable to breathe? Can you hear the devil laughing at you? If you had died, the devil would have been really ecstatic–another notch on his belt.

Whenever we do stupid–drinking and driving, texting and driving, having promiscuous sexual relationships with every Tom, Dick, and Harry or Sally, Sue, and Jane, doing drugs to relieve our boredom, contemplating suicide or homicide, ignoring instruction from parents and teachers or anyone in authority who actually cares about us–stupid things that lead to disastrous consequences–are just another notch on the devil’s belt.

Remember this–the devil hates all who God loves and he really loves to get you confused and doing stupid things so he can add that new notch in his belt. Don’t give him the satisfaction! Think before you do anything and learn to seek God for wisdom--turn the tables on the devil and every time you resist his influence, make that a notch on your belt. It’s your turn to laugh at him!

At the end of the day, count the notches–who’s winning–the devil or you?

Is This You?

“Declare me innocent, for you see those who do right.You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night. You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong. I am determined not to sin in what I say. I have followed your commands, which keep me from following cruel and evil people. My steps have stayed on your path; I have not wavered from following you.” (Psalm 17:2-5 NLT)

Does any of our communication sound like David’s prayer?

When we have reflected upon what we do and have done, do we dare ask God to declare us innocent–knowing He sees everything we do, knows our hearts and certainly knows our hearts? Can we realistically say to Him, “You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong?”

Considering we are saved by grace–not because of anything we done to deserve God’s favor, but because of who He is–our sins are forgiven and we have a right to declare whatever it is we want to Him.

When we understand we are forgiven for those things we did when we did not have a relationship with Him, it is so much easier to understand David’s declaration. It is also easy to understand the importance of “staying on the path” which God has established, not following evil people or trends, and not wavering from following His directions.

We know what and who we were–notice the past tense–before we knew and understood Him.

I refer to some aspects of my life as my “BC” time–before I had understanding of Christ and what He has done for me. I am now living in my “AC” time–after obtaining understanding of who He is and grateful for what He has done and is doing for me. 

If we never acknowledge that we have done anything that needs to be forgiven, how can a forgiving God, forgive us? If we never obtain a relationship with Him, how can we expect to communicate with Him–knowing He knows all about us and loves us anyway? If we never change our ways, how can we expect to be a beacon of light in the darkness that pervades the earth so others will come to know Him? Can we be like David and make such declarations?

David was not perfect by a long shot and neither are we, but right now–I declare I am the righteousness of God; I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; I am forsaking all those people who might lead me astray; I am staying on the path that God has set me upon and I will not be moved! I am Blessed and highly favored and never alone because He is always with me!

Is this you?

I Am All That God Says I Am available on http://www.amazon.com/Mary-M-Hall-Rayford/e/B00BAW31CQ/

Running Wild!

“When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.” (Proverbs 29:18 NLT)

How many times do we have to see the actions of rebellious children to  know that somewhere along the way, they chose to ignore instruction and guidance or were never given any?

The children who are running wild, skip school, join gangs, and prefer getting high on drugs more than paying attention to good advice. When they drop-out of school, they are angry and rebellious and think life has treated them unfairly when in all reality, they end up where they do because of poor choices and willful ignorance of guidelines and rules.

How many times must a person ignore traffic laws to understand that ignoring them will bring about unwanted tickets and fines and eventually the loss of privilege to drive?

What’s amazing to me is the “anger and rebellion” often exhibited by those who blatantly ignore traffic laws. They drive under the influence of alcohol, after repeated DUIs. They don’t slow down after repeatedly getting tickets for speeding. They drive with suspended or revoked licenses and get angry when they are arrested. These are the “adults” who are running wild.

Realistically, those who never understand the importance of obedience as children, seldom get it as an adult. They view their consequences as just part of their unfair life, rather than accepting responsibility for their behavior and disobedience.

The same is true for all who ignore “divine guidance” from God–people end up in ruts and pits they cannot dig themselves out and blame everyone but themselves.

This country–right now–is running wild–very few are listening for divine guidance and we can see the results in every aspect of our society.  Without regulations for the airways, we are bombarded with all manner of immorality on prime-time television, cable, and even the cartoons and so-called–teen shows. Drugs are legal, but the bible is not. Sexual immorality is touted as “normal” but agreeing with God is touted as being “hateful.”

We are a nation–running amuk–without divine guidance and yet the same people who are responsible for the chaos are blinded to their role in the decadence of morality because they are afraid of what people think, “being insensitive” and have a greater desire to be “politically correct” than Godly righteous. Their desire is to please man and weak, fleshly desires, rather than to please God who holds the future of all mankind.

But we must understand the carnal mind (fleshly desires) is in opposition to the Spirit of God and cannot understand the benefits of living a Godly life before man and God.

Divine guidance is as close as your Relationship with God and in His Word. The choice is ours–are we running wild or heeding divine guidance and knowing the joy of doing so?