Anointed Truth!

“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.” (I John 2:20,21 NIV)

One of the reasons that I love John’s passages to us is because they are so personal. In the Gospel of John, he reveals to us the person of Christ and all of attributes. In his continued letters, he constantly reminds us that we are loved and because of His love towards us, we walk in His anointing and in Truth.

If we are filled with Holy Spirit–the Spirit of Jesus Christ–then we walk in Truth since He is Truth. When we allow Holy Spirit to guide us in all things, we speak only what He speaks and do only what He wants us to do.

Are we perfect people? Not hardly! We are people who love the Lord and want to please Him, so we are growing in grace and in the confidence of His Word in our ability to know when Holy Spirit speaks beyond what we understand and are open to the revelation!

This is why John tells us, we know the truth and there is no lie in truth. Now, this is where some people miss this. There is no lie in truth. A half-truth is a whole lie. There are no white lies, red lies, black lies are any other kind of lies that have any kind of relationship with Truth. Paul tells us to speak the truth, in love. Love the person to whom you’re telling the truth,, but tell the truth, confidently, not harshly.

One of the reasons the Body of Christ is in the shape it is in is because no one really wants to hear truth from the pulpit so preachers–sugarcoat truth–to maintain a congregation. I’d rather hear Truth, according to God’s Word (not man) and be convicted of wrong doing than to hear a sugar-coated message that makes allowances for sin. Yes, God forgives our sin, but repentance means we have turned away from doing those things that sever a relationship with God.

God is not mocked! He is not fooled by the preachings, dripping with syrupy meanings and rhyming rhythms that do nothing but entertain the flesh. The only person who is fooled by this is the one who does not know the Word.

I encourage every Believer to walk in the anointing of Truth and tell no lies–even if it means no other mortal walks with you, you are never alone!

Practicing What’s Learned!

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9 NIV)

“Whatever” you have learned–practice–and the God of peace will be with you. If there is always an opposing perspective that is equally true, then whatever people have learned from watching others, and put into practice that is in opposition to God, there will be no peace with them.

If others see a married couple with children, struggle through the trials of life and yet remain faithful and committed to the relationship, they will learn to do the same and practice what they have learned.

If others see married couples move in and out of marriages as quickly as they change their clothes, they will learn to do the same and practice what they have learned.

If others see people doing good–always doing the right thing–no matter what their circumstances–they will learn to do the same and practice what they have learned.

If others see people taking advantage of others, misusing and abusing others, they will learned to do the same and practice what they have learned.

If others see people living their lives according to The Word, they will learn to do the same and know peace in their lives and practice what they have learned.

If others see people living their lives any way they want to live, they will learn to do the same and never know peace in their lives and practice what they have learned.

This list could go on and on, but the bottom line is that whatever people see and hear us do, when we are the influence in their lives, that is what they will learn and practice.

Perhaps, this is why there is no peace in the land. Not many people have seen others practice what they preach (in many cases) and so they practice what they see and God is never in the midst of foolishness or evil, so chaos reigns.

So, if we really want to see change in our homes, in our communities, in the nations, we must do all according to The Word, so that all will see and hear what we do, practice what we do and then the peace of God will reside with us and there will be no more confusion in our midst.

I encourage every Believer to watch what they do and say because others are watching and what they see us do and hear what we say, they will put into practice. It’s up to us to influence living according to The Word.

I Will Tell It!

“But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.” (Psalm 73:28 NIV)

Now, where else have we heard, “As for me and my house, we will serve The Lord?” Joshua reminds those around him that they have a choice and if they chose evil and not to obey God, they could, but he chose to serve The Lord.

Good choice for all who love the Lord and want to stay in position to receive all of His many benefits. What are they? His love and mercy begin the story. He loved us enough to come down from heaven to save us from ourselves, even when we didn’t deserve it–having mercy upon us.

We healed by His stripes–received on the cross.

We are delivered from being tempted to do evil when we function with the mind of Christ.

All of our needs are met through Him who loves us.

We are more than conquerors because of His great love for us.

We can do all things well through Him who gives us the strength and courage to do so.

We know that no one weapon formed against shall ever prosper–Satan’s plans are null and void–because of God’s hand of protection around us.

He hears us when we call upon Him and never leaves us alone.

When friends and family forsake us–we can look to Him who is our help.

All of our help, comes from the Lord.

We have been provided the means–through receiving His wisdom–to amass wealth and prosper as our soul prospers so we may help others.

There is no body like The Lord in all the earth who sees our need and responds.

There is no body like Jesus to will uphold us, protect us, strengthen us, love us, forgive us, and give us favor with men and women in every station of life.

There is no body who loves us enough to speak to us in the midnight hour to encourage our hearts, bring back to our remembrance all we have been taught and show us things to come–like Holy Spirit.

We are blessed beyond measure and our imagination because His spirit dwells in us and we hear Him when He speaks!

As for me–I choose to serve our living God and I will tell of His goodness at all times and at all times, He will demonstrate His goodness through me! I WILL TELL IT UNTIL I CAN SPEAK NO MORE!

Glory Hallelujah to our God–our Father, our Savior and Comforter!

This Present House!

‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.” (Haggai 2:9 NIV)

Though the prophet was speaking to the priests who wanted to rebuild the temple, what He prophesied was not just about a physical building, but building the Body of Christ.

Are we not the temple where the Holy Spirit dwells? Are we not supposed to be consecrated and worthy of His presence in our lives?

For those who think that Old Testament scriptures are “literally” just for that era, I encourage you to look again and not just see what is said regarding the Law, but for those who are living according to the grace shown us so we might know how to honor our bodies in reverence of Him.

In previous versus of Scriptures, the prophet tells the priests that God owns all the silver and gold and He hears the cries of the nations and the nations will receive what they desire–peace in the land. But we cannot have peace in the land until we have peace in our spirits and peace overflows from within to without–into homes, communities, and then the nations.

What we must do now is clean house–clean our spiritual house and rid it of all debris–thoughts that grieve Holy Spirit and cause us not to hear Him. We must rid of ourselves of hatred and biases that do nothing to bring people into a right relationship with God. And being the catalyst–to steering people into receptivity of God’s mercy and grace, is what we’re really supposed to be building–not the physical edifices that bring glory to us–but the spiritual edifices that bring glory to God.

What about us–right now? Are we ready to see the glory of this present house–in our spiritual temples–be filled beyond our imaginations with God’s goodness and His peace?

As long as we harbor bitterness and resentment, unforgiveness and grudges against others, His peace cannot abide within and if there is no peace within, there will be no peace without. Let’s clean house–leaving only room for the glory of the Lord to fill it and then know peace!

No Weapon Will Work!

no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 54:17 NIV)

When God declares a thing, it is what it is. He tells us through Isaiah, He is the one who creates all–the material for the weapons and the destroyer who wreaks havoc upon others, but no weapon made will work against those who love and obey Him! Hallelujah!

The enemy tries to use all sorts of weapons (literally and figuratively) against those who love God, but he has not managed to create a weapon that will work against us.

Poverty is a weapon influenced by the distractions that keep us hearing God and the using His Wisdom to amass wealth.

Sickness is a weapon when our bodies are attacked and we don’t receive the healing already made possible through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Persecution is a weapon instigated by the bold stances we take against the enemy who seeks to scorn and devour us..

Self-hatred, depression, oppression are all weapons ignited by a lack of knowledge of who we are in Christ.

When we get into The Word and allow The Word to dwell richly within us, we can overcome any attack and quench the fiery darts of the enemy, every time he launches an attack against us. We are overcomers, victorious in all things, and since the battle is not ours, but The Lord’s, in the end, WE WIN!

We are never told that we would not be attacked. In fact, just the opposite is true. Jesus tells us, “In the world, we will have trials and tribulations, but He has overcome The World. What He’s saying to us is that the god of this world–Satan–will influence, instigate, and ignite situations in our lives that may make us want to cave, but we don’t have to cave, because the victory is ours in Jesus’ Name! All we have to do is live according to The Word and see the results of our obedience to God’s Word.

When there is sickness among any, we call upon those who know the power of prayer and the power of the healing virtue that flows from Jesus just as powerful today as it was in years past and we are healed.

When we experience lack of anything, we seek God’s wisdom and He gives it liberally, and we know how to operate in the gifts He has given us and have more than enough–for ourselves and others.

When we stay in the Word, understanding who we are in Christ–knowing that we are children of the Most High and He will withhold no good thing from us because He is a loving Father and wants only the best for us and we can and should operate with the Mind of Christ, not our own and never be enticed into depression and self-loathing.

This is the will of God for us–No weapon–contrived by the enemy–will work against us!

Teach The Children!

“All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their peace.” (Isaiah 54:13 NIV)

Have we dropped the ball? Are we know longer demonstrating what The Lord has taught in our own behavior? Are we the reason the children are the way they are?

We have all been “children” at sometime or another and unfortunately, some fully physically grown adults are still children. They were not taught the basics of socialization--common courtesy, sharing, consideration, respect, self-control, and self-respect. If we didn’t learn these as children, chances are we never will.

I remember when I first started working at one of the high schools and I was trying to squeeze past a young lady blocking my path. I said, “Excuse me.” Her response was, “Excuse you?” and then she sat there staring at me like I’d grown horns. She had no idea what I meant.

Too many of the children in schools, at home and in the general public take their “anger and frustration” with them, everywhere they go.Why are they angry? Their home life is less than desirable. We have kids going hungry, being abused, sleeping on mattresses without linen, sleeping in their clothes because they’ve never had pajamas, and then they have mamas who have different live-in boyfriends every other week, there’s never enough food or money, some in the dark without heat or light and then mama’s boyfriends are abusing the children and daring them to tell it.

It is not their fault that their parents never learned to parent, but someone has to teach them right from wrong and how to get along with others in this society because we do not live alone in isolation.

This happens because the parents were not taught when they were children and so they cannot teach their children anything worthwhile, but those of us who know, can and should teach them whenever we find a need to do so, wherever we are; it is our responsibility to teach the children in the ways of the Lord, by example not just by what we say!

So, let’s make a pledge–a commitment–to correct lovingly (if we can) and show those children who were never taught the things that they ought to know and do, so our communities and school and homes, too will know peace and harmony will reside in the midst of it all–Let’s Teach The Children!

My name is Mary M. Hall-Rayford. As an educator, parent, grandparent and child of the Most High, I approve this message!

Comforted To Comfort!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3,4 NIV)

In the midst of being persecuted and treated badly, Paul writes to the Church at Corinth, praising God for being the God of all comfort, for comforting those in chains with him, so they could comfort others in times of trouble!

The best way to “wait on The Lord to learn patience” is to take our focus off our own problems and concentrate on others who are going through trials. If we cannot see the solution to our problems, we should help others and while we’re helping others, God reveals the solution to those problems we face and sometimes, He works it out and we simply see the problem solved. Glory Hallelujah!

There have been so many times in years past that I did not know what to do about situations that arose because of car accidents and mountains of bills piling up. I’ve been rear-ended twice and both accidents totaled cars, but I am yet alive to testify of God’s goodness. The first accident was caused by a sleeping driver and the second accident caused by a drunk driver. I was “in front of them” and they crashed into me from behind. I saw them coming–both times, but had nowhere to go before being hit. Waiting for resolution–in particular behind the last accident–I was in pain, could not see well and could not work. The first attorney supposedly working on my behalf was only interested in amassing as much as he could. I fired him. The second attorney resolved the issue as quickly as he could and warned me that I did not have to take what was offered in a settlement, but it would take years to get what I deserved. This was three years after the accident. I realistically could not wait years, trying to get more, so I settled.

In the three years I waited, I did not work, but God had a plan I knew nothing about. He arranged for my bills to be paid through the kindness of others, who wanted nothing in return. During this time, I encouraged others by helping them do whatever I could. Sometimes, that was simply being available to talk to them over the phone. I assisted children by tutoring them, I did whatever I could to help others because I could not help myself through this ordeal. But God could.

While we’re going through–take heart and be encouraged–help someone else in their time of need and watch God handle your business like no one else can! He is a comfort to us so we can comfort others!

Fool’s Delight!

“Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating.” (Proverbs 18:2,6 NIV)

The words fool or fools is mentioned in the Bible 108 times and predominately in Proverbs–the book of Wisdom. Hmmm! Now, we know that if we lack wisdom, we can ask of God who gives it to us liberally (James 1:5), but what happens when we lack wisdom and don’t realize how foolish we are are?

How many times have we seen evidence of fools through their behavior? You know, those folks who do really dumb things and think they can get away with it. There was even a show on television about “dumbest criminals” that a number of people watched, just to laugh at the foolishness.

I’ve often said stupid people think everyone else is just as stupid as they are. They don’t realize they’re incapable of having a rational thought and so they think no one else can either. A perfect example of this mentality is a young woman trying to cash a 94 million dollar income tax check. Really? Of course she was caught! No one in their right mind would attempt to cash a 94 million dollar income tax check when they walk into a bank looking like they just rolled out of bed. Seriously?

But in her mind, the foolish mind, no one would be the wiser and she’d walk away with all that money. I don’t even think she had a bank account which proves her inability to have a rational thought. Fools delight in their own opinions, devoid of understanding.

I’ve had students who tried to turn in papers they didn’t write and thought I wouldn’t know. If a student can’t write a grammatically correct, complete sentence in class, why would they be able to write an entire paper that is flawless, outside of class? Really? Do I have stupid written across my forehead? I think not. And when I give their papers back with comments across the top of the paper about plagiarism, they start stuttering, trying to explain how they didn’t have time to do the work, so they had someone else do it for them. Uh huh! Then I tell them to re-read their syllabus which explains the consequences of plagiarized work.

And the same is true for those who run their mouths without thinking–especially in situations they do not understand. They talk and talk and talk, ignoring the warning signs from people who don’t want to hear what they have to say and then, when they get in someone’s face–the wrong someone–they get the beat down of their life. I’m not condoning violence, just referring to why some things happen to people. Wise people walk away from strife, fools simply continue stirring it up until it explodes on them.

If I, a mere human being, can detect foolishness and a lack of wisdom, how much more so can God detect the fools who delight in stirring up strife?

It is better to be quiet and thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and let everyone know–yep, there’s a fool in the house!

I encourage all reading to consider what’s being said even in a humorous light and encourage others to seek God and His wisdom before doing or saying something foolish that will result in severe consequences.

No Jesus, No Peace!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

What were the things Jesus told them? Jesus said so much to His disciples that it would be time consuming to try to explain them all, but if we start at verse nineteen, Jesus sensed the questions they were about to ask Him and He answered them before they spoke. He told them in a little while they would not see Him, but a while after that, they would. How confusing is that?

Seeing their confusion, He used the birth of a child and the pain the mother experiences and the pain she forgets because of the joy of seeing her baby. Jesus reminded them that He had been speaking to them about certain things figuratively, but the time would come would He would speak, literally and they would understand. He was trying to prepare them for His arrest, crucifixion, and ultimate resurrection. After His resurrection, they would ask whatever they wanted from God in Jesus’ name and they would have it. But with the benefits also came responsibility and in the world, He warned, we (His disciples by faith) would have trouble, but He would be with us and therefore we can have peace in the midst of trouble.

Do we really believe this–there is peace with Jesus?

When we are scorned and ridiculed because of our faith, do we have peace within?

When we experience hardships and grieve over the loss of loved ones, do we have peace within?

When we experience angst on our jobs or in our homes, do we have peace within?

If we are not able to experience peace in the midst of the trials we face, do we really have Jesus in our lives and do we really believe what He said?

The world is in chaos and much confusion and that confusion and chaos is a result of there being no peace in the hearts of those who refute and deny Jesus!

If we want to see peace in the land, we must promote Jesus!

If we want to see peace in our homes, we must establish Jesus as our source of peace!

If we want to see peace in the world, we must pray that all will receive Jesus as their Personal Savior and rest in His peace!

We can enjoy peace within as long as He reigns within our hearts. No Jesus, No Peace!

Deep Things Revealed!

“But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” (I Corinthians 2:9, 10 NKJV)

I encourage all who are reading this to read entire chapters to maintain the context of what is being said. What I find truly amazing–is every time I read a passage of Scripture, again, I get new insight and understanding.

I remember how excited I was when I first read this chapter and understood that God has not revealed all He has prepared for us to those who do not love Him, but through His spirit–when we listen, Holy Spirit speaks–and does just what Jesus said He would do–“bring back to our remembrance those things we’ve learned and reveals to us those things to come!” 

The key here is in understanding that it is to those who love Him, not just anybody. For those who either continue to deny His existence–no problem; for those who claim to know Him and yet in opposition to His Word–no problem. This promise is only for those who love Him because when we love Him, we obey Him and when we obey Him, we please Him, and when we please Him, He gives us the desires of our hearts! Glory!

When people say–out of ignorance–there is no God and they know more than God–we can ignore them, not argue with them. For there are many who refute that He is and scorn and mock those of us who believe Him. They spend a great deal of time searching out those they think they can manipulate by engaging in foolish debates. “Argue not with a fool because we do, we become like them.” So let them keep believing that they believe–they will not be in position to have the deeper things revealed to them and we will.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t share the Gospel; I’m saying we should not debate our beliefs. When someone is sincerely interested in what we have to say about Jesus, let’s share. But don’t get caught up in “false sincerity” designed to engage into debate so we can be ridiculed. “Be wise as a serpent, but gentle as a dove”–hear Holy Spirit when He speaks, exercising discernment of spirits and know which spirit is operating in your conversations. “Try the spirits, by the Spirit to see if they are of God.”

Holy Spirit reveals things to those who love God and we readily admit we have no other way of knowing what we know. He shows us future events and the end results. If we are willing to hear and obey Holy Spirit, we will have the deep things revealed to us.