He’s Watching!

He’s Watching!

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. Proverbs 15:3 KJV

God sees and He knows

We cannot hide our hearts

Our thoughts, our deeds;

Before we think them, He knows!

Judgment Coming For Whom?

Judgment Coming For Whom?

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you. Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! James 5:1-9 NIV

On the surface it would appear that James has a problem with those who are rich. Since–we who Believe we are children of God–we know that can’t be the problem since James wrote as The Lord spoke to him. The issue here is not in the riches, but in those who are materially wealthy, but spiritually poor.

If our only pursuit in life was in attaining “things” to the point where the things have us, then we have a problem. The purpose of being blessed by God is so we can be a blessing to others. Now we know some are filthy rich and claim their achievement was because of what they did. This is an example of a spiritually poor person and if we look closely enough–we see these people all the time. We can’t help but see them if we pay attention to any media. They like to be seen and flaunt their material wealth and actually think, their material wealth entitles them to do anything they want to do. I could at this juncture provide a list of the those who think this way, but why bother. God knows who they are and in the end, He will have the last say over their lives.

However, the important take-away from this passage of scripture is in understanding that as brothers and sisters in The Lord, we should not condemn or belittle one another, but encourage one another to be patient while waiting for The Lord. God is not deaf or blind. He sees all the injustices and wrongs committed against those who are His and in His own timing, He will judge the matter.

Once again, a commenter on a thread called themselves chastising me–without knowing me or who I serve–by invoking the name of Jesus into the commentary. His attempt was to belittle me, while making a claim to follow Jesus. I had to remind him that his behavior was not a good example of an ambassador for Jesus–especially since he thought he was the only person who had a right to speak his mind and everyone else needed to “shut up.”

What I see–especially in this political cycle–is difficulty in determining who the Believers really are from those who say they are Christians. “Christians” are loudly proclaiming their desire to “execute” and put people on the “firing line” promoting the worst kind of hate! Is this what Christians truly believe and how they act towards others? If this is the new “Christian” mantra, then I respectfully decline from acknowledging myself as a “Christian” but loudly proclaim that I am a TRUE BELIEVER IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND ALL HE DESIRES US TO DO!

Now, judgment is coming for all–saved and sinner alike–and our eternal resting place will depend upon the judgment rendered by God–not people.

So, I’m distancing myself from those who proclaim to know God in His infinite mercy, goodness and grace and unconditional love and yet they are incapable of demonstrating it. It is not our place to fuel frenzied conduct by the masses, inciting hatred and bigotry and I will not participate in that arena.

I will continue to write as The Lord gives me direction and for any who choose to ignore or disagree, I respect that. But I will not tolerate anyone attempting to tell me that I should condemn anyone when I have been redeemed by a loving Savior.

Lord, I pray you’ll speak to hearts all over the land so violence will not erupt and leave this country mourning like we’ve never mourned before. In Jesus’ name I ask and thank You, Amen!

Lessons Learned!

Lessons Learned!

Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer. Proverbs 9:7-12 NIV

#Politics Alert

For the past two days, I have–as per my habit–scrolled through various media articles and commented on those I thought warranted a comment. It is always my intent to simply comment “to the article” and I never comment on what another poster has said–unless they reply to me directly.

Herein lies the challenge–for them and me. It would appear that many who post to Internet articles feel they are the only ones entitled to an opinion and they repeatedly end up calling people names when asked to produce verification of what they said. Here’s an example to a comment I wrote regarding the use of the song, “We Are The Champions” on CNN 7/19/16.

Mary Hall-RayfordNot surprising–he thinks he can get away with anything. After all, he hijacked the GOP in order to pursue his own attention-getting agenda that’s all about him!
Tony Guidroz
Tony GuidrozWell Hilary knows that she will get away with everything, including murder, illegally sending classified information, and perjury. You let me know when Donald gets on that level.
Mary Hall-Rayford
Mary Hall-RayfordTony Guidroz Who did Hillary murder? I must have missed that trial!
Tony Guidroz
Tony GuidrozThose are FACTS.
Mary Hall-Rayford
Mary Hall-RayfordTony Guidroz You didn’t provide any facts–just more speculation and obscure biased opinion. Who did she murder and when was the trial held? Just the facts, please!
Tony Guidroz
Tony GuidrozLet me guess you are denying all those others or no? I gave you all facts that you can look up yourself. You seem pretty lazy not wanting to do any research for yourself. Typical.
Mary Hall-Rayford
Mary Hall-RayfordTony Guidroz Actually, you gave me NO FACTS–just innuendo–there is a difference. I usually research information before I proffer an opinion–about anything. Who did she murder and when was the trial? That is factual information and unless you can prove it–with documentation–you might want to take a nap and then wake up from your delusional world.
Tony GuidrozI told you. Where are your factual rebuttals for the FACT that she is a thief, that she sent classified information illegally, and that she committed perjury? All things that are on video. As for the murderer part, she didn’t pull the trigger, but she may as well have. Oh and she was investigated for it. She’s not in prison for the same reason that she’s not in prison for the email scandal. She is apparently above the law.
Tony GuidrozShe sat there and lied to Congress on 2 separate occasions, about 2 separate cases. So sad that you defend a woman who takes money and sympathizes with the very people that view women as property. She belittled and berated women that were sexually abused by her sex crazed husband. She calls black men super predators, yet she has your support. Lmao. Who’s the delusional one?
Marvel Amber John If she was this bad she should be behind bars. She’s not.. Your point? No wait! Don’t tell me.
Mary Hall-Rayford Tony Guidroz I didn’t say one word about anything other than your allegation that she had committed murder. None of what you just spewed provides any factual information of your allegation. But I won’t belabor the point that you keep straying away from. You’re entitled to your delusions and as for the other allegations that I’m defending her–where did I say that or did you just assume that? Not much for facts are you? Just spewing bigotry, I guess–is a way to spend your time. Have a wonderful day!
My point to titling this post, “Lessons Learned” is that even though I tried to end the conversation with calm, it escalated into something far more sinister than needed to be.
While I realize every person on the planet has already concluded who their political candidate is, I am extremely cautious about making accusations about anyone–without concrete evidence. I have to admit, I seldom experience the kind of hatred for one person that I’ve seen lately about Hillary (in the past about Obama simply because of his skin color). People have criticized everything about the woman–from the clothes she wears to her husbands past indiscretions and everything in between and beyond.
Who has never committed a stupid act in their life? Who has never made mistakes? As I pointed out to several people on that thread yesterday, I usually research information before I speak on it and can and have provided links to support what I say. But the lesson I have learned is that no matter what you say to some people–they go into attack mode and never recover from it. At that point–it is wiser to stop talking to them–even though they won’t stop.
I’m not afraid of controversy and I don’t back down from anyone attempting to bully or intimidate me–I know who I am and don’t have to prove that to anyone. I am concerned about the level of hate that people don’t have a problem displaying and how all that hatred impacts the challenges we see on a daily basis.
I encourage substantive discussion about issues I care strongly about, but I refuse to be embroiled in stupidity–where what we say, matters not. While I can respect a differing opinion by anyone, that courtesy is not often reciprocated, but it won’t stop me.
When The Lord speaks to my heart, I will respond and obey. It does not matter if people accept what is said; what matters is my obedience and therefore, I will continue to obey God for He is the only one who deserves my praise. Politicians–come and go--and in the end, only what we do for Christ will have any lasting impact in our society.
Praise Him Anyhow!

Praise Him Anyhow!

Praise the LORD.Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights above. Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts.Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the LORD, for at his command they were created,and he established them for ever and ever— he issued a decree that will never pass away.  Psalm 148:1-6 NIV

If we can look around and see–all that God created–and understand how they (the non-human creations) praise Him, we should be able to praise Him no matter what happens.

There are things that will happen in the earth, upon the earth and around the earth that we may never understand, but we can still praise The Lord!

There are phenomena that occur–all around us and within us–that we simply cannot explain, but we can still praise The Lord!

There are situations–that on the surface–seem self-evident and are not, but we can still praise The Lord!

No matter what happens or who it happens to or through–we can still praise The Lord for His goodness and mercy are everlasting–and nothing and nobody can ever change that!

Yes, this is a time for praying as is always, but when we stop praying–talking to Him and listening–we can praise Him for the solution that only He has. And though we may not see it–He has already worked it out!

So, praise Him anyhow!

Through the press of heartache and prayer–Praise Him!

Through the valleys of despair–Praise Him!

When it seems like hope is gone–Praise Him!

If everyone abandons us, and we’re left alone–Praise Him!

The sun doesn’t rise on a new day until the darkness of night has passed away–Praise Him!

Weeping–watching the tears flow like a river–will soon run dry–Praise Him!

Grief–enough to break a heart into–will pass and we’ll laugh again–Praise Him!

If we have use of our limbs and can use the bathroom on our own–Praise Him!

In the middle of the battle–in the mind or in actuality–there is one reality–we can do our victory dance in the midst of our praises–no weapon formed against us shall ever prosper!

No lies or liars, no despot or dictator, no narcissist or egomaniac, no fear-monger or hatemonger, no bigot or back-pedaller, no politician or polluter–nothing and no one shall ever suppress our praises to You, O Lord!

Our hope is in Jesus and our faith will never waver no matter how dreary life may seem, we will Praise Him Anyhow!

 

Is This You?

Is This You?

I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. Revelation 2:2-7 NIV

This letter to the church at Ephesus was also written for the benefit of 21st Century Believers as were the other six letters. Why? God loves us so much that He is unwilling to allow any of us to fall by the wayside. It was true then and it is true now. However, have we lost the love we had for Him when we first believed?

Do you remember when–your eyes were first opened and your heart was receptive to the love of God and His Word ministered to your soul? Do you remember how you wanted to share with everyone you met–the enlightening experience you had so all would know it, too? Do you remember the light of love that shone so brightly people knew something great had happened to you?

Does the light of God’s love still shine brightly and people know who we are without telling them? Or has the darkness–the dark deeds of the enemy distracted us and caused us to allow fear to reign in our spirits and we’ve closed our hearts to hearing God because of what we see in others?

Every once in a while, when we feel ourselves getting weary of the nonsense that perpetuates the atmosphere, we need to take time to reflect upon how we first loved and then muster enough of that love–to energize us so we can keep going.

If you’re like me–you’ve stopped watching the news because it is so disheartening and if we allow all the negativity to embed itself in our spirit, we’ll start looking like the walking dead–still here, but wandering–trying to determine which way to go.

We know we cannot encourage anyone to practice a faith in anything or anyone other than God. This is what the Nicolaitans did–encouraged people to worship idols and false doctrine which included sexual immorality.  When people worship money and people above God, we have allowed the enemy to reign. We must remember God’s love for us and know that nothing we do–unless we turn from Him–can cause Him to abandon us. He promised He would never leave us alone.

This is why it is important for us to stay in The Word and to keep our spiritual ears open and our hearts receptive to hearing from God. We must not allow others to influence us to do anything in opposition to God’s Word and that includes all that we must consider on a daily basis. The Word must lead us–all the way through our journey on this side of heaven–not people.

The reason we should not follow people is because people are imperfect, fallible beings and if they are not following the precepts outlined in The Word, they are not worthy of our time and attention. Therefore, we must seek The Lord and His wisdom, only!

Now, is this you? Are you following people more than God? If so, step back and take a good look at where this may lead you and know–God’s love for us never changes, but we often get tired and weary and lose sight of our first love for Him.

 

Just Do The Word!

Just Do The Word!

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  I Thessalonians 5:11-18 NIV

We don’t need to carry big bibles, wear crosses so large they cause us to bend from the weight, or “just talk about” being a Believer. Following Jesus Christ and doing what He has told us to do–is not limited to a political party–as much as some would have us to think. There are Believers in the world who are affiliated with all sorts of political systems and some are not even worthy of mention. The truth of the matter is–Jesus said, people would recognize us by our love for one another. Love, inspired by God, transcends politics.

Today and everyday, our time should be spent in The Word, praying one for the other, and doing what The Word says to do. Though we are to encourage those who are living according to The Word, we are also to admonish and correct those who are not–if they claim  to follow Jesus. For those with whom it is evident that Jesus Christ is not their Lord, we simply pray that He will reveal Himself to them in an awesome way. And we must remember this–The Word was written for the benefit of The Believers for the unbelievers won’t care!

And when we caution others about following the dictates of men, we do so with the authority given us by Jesus Christ through Holy Spirit. For those who allow Holy Spirit to guide them in all things, will not speak anything Holy Spirit has not given them to say.

What is amazing to me is that there are those who truly feel that they have a right to direct–moral conscience–in others, when what they really end up revealing is their lack of trust in God. Not one of us–is the only person to whom God speaks. I pray He is speaking to all of His children and all of His children are listening. But I also recognize that not every person who proclaims to be a Christian, actually is–they just use the banner to entice others into foolishness.

Prayer changes things and people when they are receptive to hearing God’s voice. Pray for peace in the land, unity through Holy Spirit, and joy in the heart of every person who loves The Lord. Pray for the exposure of those who are disguising themselves to be Christians, but are manipulating the masses for their own purposes. Pray for the end of bigotry and hatred in the hearts of those who have grown cold from the lack of love in the hearts for The Lord. Pray that all who have lost loved ones will allow God to comfort their hearts and fill the void with His Love. Thank God for all who have received His love and are constantly seeking Him for direction in all things as we continue this journey called life.

We can still change things in the world, but we first learn The Word and then just do The Word!

Emptiness!

Emptiness!

How deserted lies the city, once so full of people! How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations! She who was queen among the provinces has now become a slave. Bitterly she weeps at night, tears are on her cheeks. Among all her lovers there is no one to comfort her. All her friends have betrayed her; they have become her enemies. Lamentations 1:1,2 NIV (read the entire chapter)

Many of us know how we feel when we reach the end of a drink and there is nothing more to replenish it. Remember when kids–who emptied the bottle of pop or juice–after the last swallow– would turn it upside down and shake it–disappointed by its emptiness.

How many people remember a piece of cake or pie–the last piece–and they thought they would have an opportunity to eat it, but when they went to get it–it was gone; someone else had those same thoughts. And because our taste buds were ready for that–something–nothing else will pacify it.

When I look around our society, I feel the emptiness–the void–that keeps encroaching and widening by hatred and bigotry, divisive because love has left the scene and the emptiness it leaves is felt by the multitudes.

Dare I look into a person’s face walking the street and see the emptiness in their eyes where hope no longer has a place to hide deep in their soul. Blank stares are met with wonder–how did we get to this place?

“Where am I and what am I doing here and does anyone care that I am empty and need to be filled beyond capacity with love–God’s love–overflowing so light can be seen again, dispelling the darkness that pervades my soul?”

There is more than one person, wandering aimlessly in our midst–trying to figure out what happened and why they have no joy or peace. The answer is really quite simple. Our soul longs for the direction and instructions from God because apart from Him, there is no joy or peace. When the love of God ceases to exist within, other foul spirits take up residence and cloud our minds and soul, keeping us from the inviting light of love, leading us to think the darkness is how it should be, but oh how empty it leaves us!

So, in our midst are multitudes of people who thought that ignoring God’s Word and rejecting His love would bring them a measure of happiness, but when they gave into the fleshly dictates–discovered just how empty they were.

When people are empty–they try anything to fill the void–they turn to drugs and alcohol, arrogance and deceit, manipulation and lies, bigotry and hate, perversion and subversion–anything–to make them feel whole again, except–a visit to the fountain. At the fountain of love where Jesus waits–to fill us so we’ll want no more–there is peace and joy and we can have our fill and return again and again, never having to know emptiness again, but will we go?

What the soul craves is not the dictates of this world, but the promise of eternity and how to enjoy life where we are. Come to the fountain and be filled! Come to Jesus, right now, repent of everything that’s not like Him, and allow to Him to replace all the earthiness–desires of the flesh–with Love!

There is no one like Jesus who can fill us till we want no more and never have to thirst again or know emptiness that debilitates and destroys. Hallelujah!

Know Who To Trust!

Know Who To Trust!

Let those who fear the LORD say: “His love endures forever.” When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD; he brought me into a spacious place. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? The LORD is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes. Psalm 118:4-8 NIV

For those who truly reverence The Lord and stand in awe of His goodness and mercy, we can say, “His love endures forever.” For those who don’t know, it’s time they understand what it means. “Fear” in this passage does not mean to be scared or afraid of–it means to hold in high esteem–reverence–The Lord. There is no need for anyone to be afraid of God, but there is a need to know and understand how He will allow negative consequences to fall upon us when we choose to ignore Him.

Though there are those who indignantly proclaim that the bible is simply an ancient book of myths, those who believe God–know better. The bible is a blueprint for living.  In it we find records of God’s interactions with the people He loves and instructions to keep us from falling into the pits and snares set by the evil one. If people want to believe the bible has no significance, they have every right to believe just that. They also have every right to receive the consequences of their unbelief.

Throughout history–as recorded in “the history books” that people trust, we see how The Word of God aligns with the events recorded by others. There is no mystery or magic involved with the bible. It simply provides a historical perspective from another view. That’s what history is–a record of events as reported from the perspective of those recording it. Historical accounts of anything will vary based upon perspective and the ability to publicize the account. It’s like a police officer getting accounts of an event by witnesses who were positioned in various locations of the event. Their account will vary, but the primary tenets of the event will be the same. Although some might say, someone lied; they didn’t lie–they simply told what “they saw” from their vantage point.

In spite of all the media attempts to persuade us about–anything–we must learn to trust our relationship with God for–everything. The rescue we need in our society won’t come from mere mortals who perpetuate violence and hatred. It will come from The Lord when we decide enough is enough and repent of our evil ways and seek His direction in all things. God is able to provide us with clear insight and direction, but are we willing to trust our relationship with Him to obey?

I am praying and have been praying for the bigotry and hatred to cease, but it won’t stop until people are willing to look into their hearts and acknowledge what’s there. “For out of the abundance of the heart–the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:24). Is there hatred or love overflowing our hearts? Will we be acquitted by the words we speak or condemned by the words we speak?

Bridle our tongues, Lord that we may only speak what we hear You say!

Transform Us, Lord!

Transform Us, Lord!

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.  Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:1-10 NIV [Please read it all for insight into  David’s heart after he committed adultery with Bathsheba]

Before we can expect to see any change in any of us, we must be willing to admit where we have fallen short and then seek God’s forgiveness. If we think we have never done anything wrong, we close the door on the transformation that only God can achieve in us.

None of us are perfect–though we strive for perfection as God defines it–not us, so there are areas in us we need to submit to God.

The first area in our lives that we need to submit to God is our “stinking thinking” so we can stop holding our noses. Yes, our thought life is what gets us into trouble and until we submit our thoughts to God, nothing will change in our lives. Why? Whatever we think about–extensively–is what we’ll act upon.

David’s adulterous act occurred first, in his thoughts–when he watched Bathsheba bathe on the roof top–had he been out with his army, he never would have been tempted. But then, he created a bigger mess having her husband killed. When the prophet Nathan pointed out to him that his deeds were not hidden from God, David repented and we are told that God saw David as a man after His own heart. In other words–when David acknowledged his sins and sought forgiveness–God was pleased. However, that does not mean that we should commit sin and repent in order to please God, but we do have an advocate when we fall short and He is always available to us. Our deeds are not hidden from God!

The second area in our lives that we need to submit to God is our tongue. We must watch what we say at all times. If we think first, then speak–chances are we’ll not say things we need to retract or back pedal later. We are admonished to be quick to listen and slow to speak. James warns us that the tongue–the little member–can ignite fires and wars–simply because we will not control it.

The final area–that should be first–is our heart. If we submit our heart to God and allow His love to saturate our being, we’ll focus our thoughts on Him, and we’ll hear Him when He corrects us, and we’ll learn to speak what He speaks. If we never submit our hearts to God, we’ll never focus on the things He would have us to focus upon and if our thoughts are not aligned with His, we’ll never speak what He speaks because we won’t hear Him. We are in need of transformation and this psalm is a perfect–transformational prayer.

Lord, we are in need of help, forgive us for all the wrong we’ve done and lead us to the path where You want us–submitting to Your will in all things. Transform us, Lord so we’ll be more like You–knowing how to love unconditionally all of Your children–without bias or fear or retribution from others. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

Practicing Living The Word!

Practicing Living The Word!

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curseRejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:6-18 NIV

This is how we know–who’s practicing their faith in Jesus Christ–by living according to The Word!

The gifts–are spiritual gifts–poured upon those who are called and anointed to minister The Word of God in various leadership roles and others. There are people in churches who are not part of the leadership team, but they are gifted to encourage and know how to love, all.

What does it mean to other a person above yourself? Mothers can probably best relate to this simply analogy. When there’s a limited amount of food for a family to eat, most mothers–even though they cooked the sparse meal–will not eat until all others in the family have eaten. The love of a mother surpasses understanding because it is an inherent gift from God. So from godly mothers–we learn how to put others before ourselves.

Everything we do–whether in a spiritual setting or in a secular setting–in church, home or office–we do as a service to The Lord–promoting Him and not us.

We live with hope based upon our faith and encourage others to hope in Him–who provides us with all things.

We are faithful in communicating with Him about all matters that concern us and then we listen–patiently–to what He has to say to our hearts or through His Word before we do anything.

We have no problem sharing what we have with those in need because we know–as Believers and doers of The Word–it is our responsibility to take care of the poor and the needy.

We welcome strangers into our midst as members of the family–loving them all–not turning them away or making disparaging remarks about them.

We know how to smile through the negativity projected towards and tell those who do it–we love them–sincerely, but we do not respond in kind to evil.

We know how to rejoice with others in times of great joy and comfort them as they mourn, allowing empathy to rule the day.

We know how to live in harmony with others without trying to drown them out with our opinions–or expectations–for them to conform and be like us. We embrace diversity and find ways to make harmonious living work like the strands of music orchestrated by the finest musicians.

We are not so proud of who we are that we belittle others or look down on them because they are not us. Believers–whose faith is in God, not mortal beings–do not think we are above others, but know it is because of Him that we can encourage others to become acquainted with Him. The difference between the unbelieving and the believing–the gift of love received from God!

We do what is right in the presence of everyone because we know God sees everything we do and will correct us when we are wrong.

When we have received the peace of God through Jesus Christ, we know how to live in peace and promote peace as a way of life.

In observing what people do and say, we can rightly assess who is practicing living The Word. For those who are practicing, know they have not reached perfection, but they are relentless in their attempt to do what is right before God–not man. If we don’t see any effort or attempt by others to practice living The Word--perhaps they have not come to a place where they realize–the only Savior is Jesus!

Let’s practice daily–being doers of The Word–in all we do–being the living letter for all to see just how good God is!