The Person Who Prospers!

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither–whatever they do prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3)

One of the insults hurled at any many televangelists is that they are “fleecing” people and misleading them with their prosperity messages. Well, I cannot speak for all of them, in fact I cannot speak for any of them, but I do know–the message of prosperity and how to accomplish it–is found in The Word and as long as they are preaching and teaching The Word, I find no fault with them.

When I listen to those who do find fault with anyone preaching about prosperity (and everything else in The Word), observation of those who are complaining are those who are barely surviving–in their personal life and in their church life. For it is envy that prompts their animosity towards others who dare to say anything about prosperity. And it is envy that clogs up their ears and blinds their eyes when they do not hear those they preach against–also teach obeying God’s Word, totally. They do not hear the message of repentance, love, and obedience for they have closed their minds to hearing the “whole matter” and judge those things they do not understand.

It is not a sin for God’s children to prosper and when we are obedient to His Word–it is a promise to us–that we should prosper in everything we do. What does it mean to prosper–when we obey? We end up having more than enough–for our needs and to help others.

Now we know that the wicked also prosper and we only have to look at the events occurring in the world to see how. The drug kings–both legal and illegal–prosper when they sell their wares. The illegal drugs keep people dependent and poor, committing criminal acts to support their habits. The legal pharmacies are just as bad when they overprice medicines needed and end up scamming insurance companies and leaving the elderly making choices between eating and taking their medicine. We see the wicked in high places of authority, making deals with the devil that ultimately create chaos and disaster for others. We see the wicked in families and churches who say one thing, but live a lie–scamming their families, neighbors and friends–trying to make themselves to be something when they are not. But God has a solution for the wicked and their wealth–it is laid up for the righteous–those who obey God no matter what.

But then the Word also says, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 1:3 NKJV). So now, we see that prosperity “in all things” is God’s desire for us–in our finances, our health as long as our soul–our will to obey Him in all things–prospers.

When people complain about the prosperity of those who preach and teach the Gospel, I’m led to believe that they did not believe God from the beginning–of the Word. Throughout the bible, we find promises of prosperity (along with repentance and obedience). One of my favorites is Joshua 1:7,8 and then there is the entire list of things that are ours when we obey found in Deuteronomy 28 as well as the curses for disobedience. It’s all in there.

The bottom line is this–we should not be “best buds” with those who deliberately live in opposition to God’s Word or hang out with them unless it is an effort to be a witness to them about God’s goodness. And we most certainly should not take up their habits, but be strong and courageous in obeying God’s Word and stand back and see how He causes us to prosper in all we do that honors Him. That is the person who shall prosper in all things–when they are living The Word–for all to see.

We Exalt You!

“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.” (Psalm 57:5 NIV)

We lift You up O God,

As far as our arms and thoughts can reach,

We lift You up O God

As we read Your Word, inspiring us to teach.

We lift You up O God

As The Creator, Author and Finisher of our faith,

We lift You up O God

No matter what any other has to saith.

We lift You up O God

As a standard by which we stand

We lift You up O God,

Desiring Your will in our lives, according to Your plan.

We lift You up O God,

At all times especially in this hour,

We lift You up O God

Praising You for Holy Ghost power.

We lift You up O God,

There’s none like You in all the earth,

None who planned our lives before our birth,

None who loved us enough to die for us,

None who forgives us and forgets our sins,

None who deliberately planned our success,

None who is always there, in spite of our mess.

There is nobody like You, O Lord,

No one who should receive our praises

No one who should stand in a place of reverence

No one who could raise us like You raise,

No one who would ever earn our deference,

Like You Do, O God, Our Redeemer, Our Salvation,

Our Refuge, Our Strong Tower, Our Deliverer,

Our Healer, Our Counselor, Our Provider,

Our Standard of living for all times,

It is to You O God we give the glory,

It is to You O God we give the praise,

For You have done so much for us,

And we will bless Your Holy Name!

Hallelujah to Our Risen Savior!

How We Do It!

Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.”(Psalm 37:3-5, 7,9 NIV)

There are a number of people who have many questions about a Believer’s faith and why or how we do what we do. The answer for those who truly have a relationship with God is in The Word. This particular Psalm is one of my favorites and I recite and meditate on it to remind me how I know my Father determines when I please Him.

First of all, I must trust Him to do all He says He will do. God is not a man that He should lie, so I can place my total confidence in Him, even when I don’t understand everything He asks me to do. I just do it. Writing this blog every day is in part out of obedience to Him. I don’t know why He wants me to do it, I just do.

Making a conscious decision to allow God to direct our paths is only possible when we trust Him. He created the universe and set all things in motion so I know He has a plan to get me where He wants me to be–I just have to follow Him.

With everything I do, I think about whether or not God will be pleased. Not that I’m perfect, but when I do things that line up with the Word, I can’t go wrong. When He is pleased with what I do–by faith, I know He’ll give me the desires of my heart because His Word is true. Without faith, it is impossible to please Him.

As impatient as some of us are, we must learn to rest in Him, knowing He never tires or sleeps, but is always keeping watch over us and His plans for us. We must learn to expect the fulfilled promises in His timing, not ours. We simply praise and worship Him, while patiently waiting and when we least expect it--He’ll show up and show out! That’s how my Daddy does it! Hallelujah!

We acknowledge the evil in the land, know how to identify the spirit behind it, and know how not to be influenced by it, by submitting to God and watching the devil flee. We should never be concerned about the success of those who are duped by Satan, for their success will not last and we’ll be standing by watching their fall. We can pray for God’s mercy to embrace them and for them to repent, but what they get out of life–is completely up to them. We can either do things God’s Way or our way–influenced by an enemy who hates us and God.

I’ve learned that there is nothing like pleasing God and reaping the rewards for being obedient. That’s how we do it–by learning to trust and please Him!

Wait For It!

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:13,14 NIV)

How many times have we heard the phrase–wait for it? Usually, the phrase has more to do with some spectacular event about to unfold and because it was spectacular, we’re never disappointed. And we won’t be disappointed as we wait to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living–this side of heaven.

How will we see the goodness of The Lord? When every born-again believer truly walks in their calling–whatever that might be and do the greater works that Jesus said we would do–the entire world will see the goodness of The Lord in everything we do!

Are we not created in His image? Are we not His children? Are we not able to do all He has put on our hearts to do, to His glory? When we become living epistles, read of men, others will see The Lord in us because we won’t be able to hide the light of His love under a bush, but we shall shine brightly, as a beacon, drawing all the lost to The Lord by the love we show them.

Showing others love does not mean we compromise The Word of God by condoning sin in any matter. We must encourage people to live according to The Word, not in opposition to The Word.

Within the next few weeks, I am re-distributing a book on Amazon that will sound an alarm in the hearts of many and be a wake-up call to the Body of Christ. Some will hate the book (and probably me), some will love it, and some will be wary of the intent. The intent of the book, quite simply is to remind all of God’s Word, what He has said about sin, and our what our response should be to those who propose to promote sin rather than godliness. And we can do this–showing love–not displeasing God in order to win people to us.

Our ability to win souls should never be about winning someone to be in our cheering section, or church, but encouraging them to repent, be forgiven, and develop a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Are you ready? Okay, just wait for it and wait for The Lord to see His goodness–through us–to overwhelm the land!

Knowing The Ways!

“For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.” (Psalm 1:6 NKJV)

When I rise and when I raise up,

When I sleep and when I fall tired,

When and why I laugh,

When and why I cry,

When and why I raise my hands in praise,

When and why I drop my head in guilt,

Whatever I do, say, see, or hear,

Whatever moves me–to love or doubt,

There is nothing I can do or think,

That He does not already know about.

He knows all about me and should

Since He is The Who created me

And chose me before I was ever born,

Knew while I still a thought in my parents’ minds,

One day, they would be gone, and I would be left behind.

But because of His love and the path He planned,

Even when I fell short, I could count on His Loving Hand,

Bringing me back where I belonged, so He could teach

Me all I needed about right and wrong so I could preach

His Word as He taught, and walk in His anointing, ordained

By His love, saved by His grace, kept by His mercy,

Forever grateful for His favor, unearned, but given,

Like wisdom and faith, without measure, my choice in choosing,

Following Him and allowing Him–to have me in using,

All He’s given to promote, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Just like He knows about me, He knows about you, and you, and you! Hallelujah!

Trusting in The Name!

“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O LORD, do not abandon those who search for you.” (Psalm 9:10 NLT)

You are the great I Am,

The Mighty Counselor

Rose of Sharon

Lily of the Valley

Jehovah-Jireh, our provider

Jehovah-Rapha, our healer

Jehovah-Nissi, our banner

Jehovah-Elohim,Our Lord, God

Jehovah-Adonai, Lord of Lords

El-Elyon, Most High God

Jehovah-Roi, Our Shepherd,

El-Roi, The God who watches over us

Jehovah-Shalom, Our Peace,

Jehovah-Tsidkenu, Our Righteousness,

El-Shaddai, God All Mighty,

Prince of Peace, Our Deliverer and Savior,

You are everything we need,

Known by many names, but yet the same God,

Who created all things, without You, Nothing could exist,

And we will trust in the name of our God!

The relationship–has to be personal–not distant or disconnected–we have to know who He is our lives and trust Him to be Him and do what He does, best–for all of us!

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.

What The Lord Does!

“He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever.He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry.The LORD frees the prisoners.The LORD opens the eyes of the blind.The LORD lifts up those who are weighed down.The LORD loves the godly. The LORD protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.The LORD will reign forever. He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations. Praise the LORD!” (Psalm 146:6-10 NLT)

To fully understand where I’ve started in quoting this passage of this Psalm, one would have to start from the first verse. Personally, I don’t think it requires much by way of explication, but for those who may not know or have forgotten, here’s the reminder:

He has created all that was created and without Him, nothing was created.

He is not absent-minded and He keeps every promise He ever makes to all who believe Him.

He opens blinded eyes, both physically and spiritually and when we seek Him, He gives us the motivation and inspiration to rise above our circumstances.

He loves all who live according to His Word because He has a plan for all to achieve.

His protection extends to the those who live among us because of our faith in Him, when they don’t believe. He rains on the just and unjust alike. His covenant with us, is the umbrella, that shelters those in our presence.

He speaks to us and through us, in our obedience to Him, those who are without, will have all they need.

Whenever the enemy rises and dares to show his ugliness, The Lord has an army, bold, brave, and courageous, rising up to extol the virtues of The Lord and to remind the enemy he is already defeated.

The Lord our God will reign forever for He is the same yesterday, today and forever–He never changes His mind or His Word towards those who love Him and obey His Word–to love like He loves and live like we’re living for Him.

Hallelujah! This is what The Lord does!

Be encouraged today to praise Him no matter what life looks like; it’s always better with Him by our side!

Christian Literature that praises Him for all His goodness and leads into His Word. Something for everyone!

http://www.amazon.com/Mary-M-Hall-Rayford/e/B00BAW31CQ/  

All for under five dollars.  Read, enjoy, and review!

According To His Truth!

“Teach me your ways, O LORD that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you. With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever”(Psalm 86:11,12 NLT).

How long has it been since we asked God to teach us–His ways–according to His truth?

This is probably why our society is in the shape it is today! We have not asked God to teach us anything, but have been willing to listen to any and everyone who has something to say that–sounds good. And then we wonder why–we don’t hear God speaking to us. If we don’t know His voice, how can we hear Him?

The only way we’ll ever understand when God is speaking and when people are speaking (their version of truth) is by knowing what He has said in His Word. This cannot be said often enough. If we know His Word, we’ll know His voice because He will not say anything contrary to His written Word! This is why Jesus said through John, “My sheep know my voice and another they will not hear (or listen to, or obey).”

Until we determine, collectively, to hear and obey His voice–our prayers are in vain. It is not that He does not hear us, but that we cannot hear Him or choose to ignore Him when we hear Him because sometimes–what He has to say–we just don’t want to hear.

In verse six of this Psalm, the psalmist is asking God to hear his prayer and then goes on to tell Him all of the wonderful things He is to him. Is that what we do or do we just ask–selfishly for those things we want?

Prayer–our communication with God–should not just be about asking for things, but praising Him for who He is to us and our gratitude because He is who He is!

If we want to see a change in our society–change worth having that eliminates the hatred and violence–then those of us who know Him and will hear His voice when He speaks–need to know how to pray, hear, and respond;  know His voice and obey!

Prayer changes things, but only when those who are praying are willing to hear and obey and then do things, according to His Truth!

 

Showing Off!

“How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you” (Psalm 31:19 NIV).

When we have reverential fear (respect and reverence) for God–He will make sure that all who know Him are blessed abundantly (more than enough) and He will do it in front of all those who mock Him and those who believe Him.

God loves showing off–He makes the unbelieving believe by what He shows them in how He uses those who believe. He uses the foolish to confound the wise. The uses the weak and gives them strength to overcome the tricks of the enemy. He heals those who have been told by unbelieving man, “there’s nothing else we can do.” And they are so right. But God–can do all things and do them well.

God can and will perform miracles when miracles are least expected. We see it every day–“those things that occur that man cannot explain.”

God can and will do everything He promises in His Word for those whose faith does not waver, no matter how the enemy attempts to cloak success in unbelief and doubt. When God says do it; we simply believe and do it. The measure of success–is not on us–but on God. Our role is simply to obey. Hallelujah!

If we want God to “show off” in our lives, we must believe that He is (everything He says He is) and He will (do everything He says He will do).  How do we do it? By knowing what He has said, developing a right relationship with Him, and obeying His voice! No magic–just untainted belief in the knowledge of the Most High!

Now, watch Him show-off for your benefit to His glory!