Triumph Over Evil

6 Such people will not be overcome by evil. Those who are righteous will be long remembered.
7 They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
8 They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly.
Psalm 112:6-8 (NLT)

Welcome to the sixth installment of the study of Psalm 112. In this article, we shall study on the characteristics of the godly when faced with evil in their lives.

Let me get this straight. While evil has no right to come into our lives, it does not mean that it won’t. Here is an example. If you are living in your own house, you should realize that the house and everything in it belongs to you and your family. No one has the right to go in and take anything without proper consent from the legal owner who happens to be you. Yet, you will still want to lock your doors. Why? You must have known that there are people out there who do not respect your rights. We call them thieves. They will get into our houses and take anything they want. We install locks and security systems to protect our rights against those who seek to violate them.

Likewise for the evils that happen in our lives. Satan is a thief. He knows he has no more right to oppress us. Yet that will not stop him from doing so. It is up to us, the legal owners of the blessings God has for us to defend our rights. It is our responsibility to install the equivalent of locks and security systems to protect our rights. How shall we do that? The above verses will tell us how.

The first part of Verse 6 tells us that we will not be overcome by evil. The bad news here is it implies evil will happen in our lives. If you think that being a Christian will cause you to be protected from any form of troubles in your lives, you are still in living in fantasy. It is time to wake up and face the real world. Throughout the Bible, believers faced challenges in their lives. The apostles faced persecutions from the religious people. King David lived in caves before he became king. Moses had to run like a refugee before he was in position to lead his people out of Egypt. Joseph experienced slavery and imprisonment before he became rich and powerful in Egypt.

So, the bottom line is, the greater your future is, the more intense Satan is going to attack you, the more evil or challenges you are going to face. However, that is not the end. God has promised that we will not be overcome by evil. In God’s mind, he has given to us everything we need to overcome the evils in our lives. All we need to do is to trust in him and face our challenges boldly. No matter how difficult or impossible you situation is screaming at you now, God has decided that you are going to win. What is your choice? Are you going to believe in what the situation says or will you choose to believe in what God says? Your decision will determine the outcome of your situation.

If you are serious about winning, just remember what God says, you will not be overcome by evil. You are destined by God to win.

The second part of the same verse tells us that those who are righteous will be long remembered. This means our faith in God will leave a long lasting legacy. The story of you overcoming your bad situations through your faith will be repeated for generations to come. Your descendents will remember you proudly as a conqueror, who has defeated the negative circumstances with your faith. You will be their inspiration. Don’t you think this is the best gift you can give to your descendents?

Verse 7 tells us that do not fear bad news and we confidently trust the Lord to care for us. Again, the bad news is, we will have bad news but the good news is our God is greater than the bad news. So, we confidently trust the Lord to care for us.

The world we live in today is full of bad news. Most people responded by organizing pity parties and talk negative. We, Christians are different. We have a God who loves us and cares for us. Our complete trust in him helps us not only to survive but to triumph over bad news that comes to us. Through him, we are able to prosper even in the worst recession and be healthy in the worst plague. All we need to remind ourselves is our God is greater than the bad news.

Verse 8 tells us about our behavior when we face our foes. We confident and fearless and can face our foes triumphantly. We are confident and fearless because we have believed beyond doubt that our God is always with us and he is greater than everything our enemies can throw at us. There is absolutely no reason for us to be afraid of them. We shall triumph over them. They are the ones who should be afraid.

Knowing this truth gives me the confidence to live my life boldly. If Satan is to appear before me with his scariest costume and roar, I will not run and scream like the characters in horror movies. Instead I will look into his eyes and say, “Is this the best you can do, Satan? Know your own position. As the son of God, I outrank you and have greater power than you. I am going to get you, take back everything you have stolen from me and demand heavy war reparations from you. I am your greatest nightmare and I am going to make your life a living hell. You don’t have to wait until Judgment Day to experience hell. Run Satan run. You can run but you can never hide.”

Then I imagine Satan scream in fear and run as fast as he could. I like being a Christian.

The Godly Are Generous Lenders And Fair Businessmen

5 Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly.
Psalm 112:5 (NLT)

Welcome to the fifth installment in my study of Psalm 112. In the above verse, we shall look at one of the characteristics of a godly person. It is our nature to lend money generously and conduct our business fairly. Good things will happen to us when we do the above.

Please note that God did NOT say we MUST do the above. He is only saying that we will do that. As Christians, we share the nature of our father, God. Good things will always come to us when we act in accordance to our nature. After all, God’s nature is now our nature. We are not blackmailed into doing good deeds. We do good deeds because it is our nature to do so. This sets us apart from the religious people.

Let us look at the first part of the above verse. One of our characteristics is to lend money generously. In order to fulfill this, there must be 2 conditions:
1. We must have generous hearts
2. We must have a lot of money.

Generous hearts.
Why do we need generous hearts to lend generously? The phase “lend money generously” is not about commercial loans. Commercial loans are business transactions meant to bring profits to the lenders. There is nothing generous about them. When the bank lends you money to buy a property, it is not being generous. It is doing a business to make a profit.

When we lend money generously, we do it to help those who need resources to help them to go through a difficult period in their lives. At the same time, we expect the loans to be repaid at low or no interest so that we can use them to help more people. Here is an example. We lend money to some farmers to buy seeds and fertilizers to start their farming. After their harvests, they are to return the money and we will use them to give out more loans. This way, we are maximizing the utilization of our resources to bring the maximum results.

Generous hearts are needed for the above venture.

A lot of money.
We cannot lend what we don’t have. As Christians, we need to be very rich in order for us to fulfill the desires our God have for us. Therefore, being rich is a necessity for us. It is not an option.

Someone commented in this blog that giving $2 is also helping the poor and it is not necessary to be rich. This is the result of religious bondage. In the religious mind, giving $2 is good enough to fulfill their obligations. They have no desire to be richer to order to give more. Like their ancestors, they would rather people suffering from sickness than to have the Sabbath broken. It is preferable to see people suffering from poverty than to ask God for great wealth to help them.

This tells us that you cannot be religious and be godly at the same time.

The second part of Psalm 112:5 tells us that we, the godly conduct our business fairly. In other words we do not cheat the people we do business with. When we do business, we add value to the people we deal with. We do not over-charge our customers for our products or services. The value we add into the lives of our customers must be more than the money they pay to us.

However, this does not mean we cannot make any profits. Let me give you some examples.

If I am to buy a painting worth $10,000, bring it to Africa and trade it with a tribesman for an animal skin that is worth $1,000, I am making a huge loss. At the same time, the tribesman is not benefiting from this trade either. How can he benefit from a $10,000 painting? Furthermore, that painting will not last for long in his hut. This tribesman has given away a valuable animal skin for something that has no value to him. This is a lose-lose situation. Both of us are making loss. I am not conducting my business fairly. I have cheated him.

Here is a better trade. Instead of using a $10,000 painting for the trade, I give him drugs, which consists of medicines, antiseptics and vitamin supplements worth $500 in exchanged for his animal skin worth $1,000. I am making a huge profit and so is he. The drugs that he got from me enable him and his family to live healthier and longer lives. When he has better health, he can hunt for more animal skins and get richer. So, the $500 worth of products from me has helped the tribesman to gain more animal skins. Both sides are winning and making profits. This is conducting business fairly.

Therefore, do not think that if you conduct your business fairly, you cannot make profit and be rich. When we conduct our business fairly, we create profits for ourselves and our customers. When our customers see the profits in dealing with us, they will definitely come back to us with more business. We can only get richer in conducting our business fairly.

When God wants us to conduct our business fairly, he must want us to be rich and successful in our business.

Light Shines In Your Darkness

4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.
Psalm 112:4 (NLT)

Welcome to the fourth installment on the study of Psalm 112. This verse presents the first negative word in Psalm 112. When I first mentioned the term “negative” on certain parts of the Bible, one religious guy wrote in to object on my usage of words. How dare I call any part of the Bible as negative? I suspect he must have restrained himself from condemning me to hell. He had even suggested that I must avoid certain parts of the Bible if I think they are negative. However, he has neglected the truth that there are negative words in the Bible and I am not avoiding them. I choose to trust in God and read them in the right context.

In the above verse, we have a negative part: “darkness”. Why do we still have darkness? Let me clarify this. The moment we choose to put our trust in God, we will have full rights to live in prosperity and health as our souls prosper. Sickness and poverty have no right to come to our lives. However, just because they have no right, it does not mean they will never come.

There are a lot of Christians living in poverty and sickness. This does not mean they are living according to God’s will for them. God is no respecter of persons. He will never select a group of Christians to live in health and wealth and another group to live in sickness and poverty. His greatest wish for every Christian is to prosper and be in health as our souls prosper. If we are not as rich or healthy as we wish to be it is time to use our faith to enforce our rights. While darkness can happen to the godly, it does not mean it has the right to do so.

Let us define the meaning of darkness. What is darkness? There are a few results of it.

Darkness causes us to lose our directions in life.
When you are in total darkness, you will not know where to go. Every direction looks the same. Many people lives in hopelessness because they do not have any direction for their lives. God designed us to live with a vision and a direction for the future. We need a clear direction to move forward in order to live a fulfilled life. Those who live without direction are like the living dead. They may be breathing on the outside but deep inside their minds, they are dead.

Darkness makes us vulnerable.
When we are in darkness, we can never defend ourselves. We cannot see our attackers nor find any place to hide. We are at the mercy of anyone who wants to harm us. If you have ever been to a pity party, you will find the above situations to be familiar. Most people in this world behave this way. In their minds, they are at the mercy of their environment. If the economy is bad, they are worried of losing their jobs. If the economy is good, they are worried of not being able to afford the high prices of things. No matter what happens around them, there is always something to worry and complain about. Don’t you think it is terrible to live this way?

The good news is, our darkness will not remain for long. The first part of Psalm 112:4 says light shines in the darkness for the godly. God will not allow us to stay in darkness for long. He will send light. He is our light. As Christians we are sealed with the Holy Spirit the moment we believed in him. If you find yourself experiencing the characteristics of darkness as explained above, it is time for you to make up your mind to fight it off. You need to be determined to read the Bible and listen to faith messages to see the light. This blog is a good source for you to see the light that God is shining on you.

When you do that, the darkness in your life will cease to exist.

The second part of the above verse tells us the characteristics of a godly man. They are:
1. generous
2. compassionate
3. righteous

Let us study in detail on these characteristics.

Generous
People who are generous love to give. They give out a lot. This tells us that they must be very rich. This characteristic conforms with the earlier verse that tells us that the godly are wealthy. It is the will of God for the godly to be very rich in order for us to be very generous.

Compassionate
The godly cares for the poor and the suffering. Our compassion for them is not limited to empty talk alone. We want to help them to overcome their poverty and suffering. This is the reason we want to have exceeding and abundant wealth from God. The more resources we have at our disposal, we can do more for the poor and the suffering.

Righteous
As Christians, our righteousness is based on Jesus’ works at the Cross. As I have explained earlier, we rely on Christ-Righteousness and not Self-Righteousness. This means our righteousness is secure and unaffected by our personal weaknesses. No matter what happens around us or what mistakes we have made, our position with God can never change.

Wealth And Good Deeds Of The Godly

3 They themselves will be wealthy, and their good deeds will last forever.
Psalm 112:3 (NLT)

Welcome to the third installment on my study of Psalm 112. In this article, we have come to a verse that religious people would love to add in the magic word “spiritual” on it. Why? God promised wealth to his people and the word “spiritual” is not there. This means God wants all believers to be wealthy. In the mind of God, it is natural for us believers to live wealthy lives.

This is the opposite of what religious churches believe in. According to their religious doctrines, the riches from God can cover anything as long as that thing cannot physically exist. Since physical wealth like money can physically exist, it is not from God. The idea of asking God for money is a blasphemy to them. If you show them the above verse, they will add in the magic word “spiritual” to it.

Let us move to the next part. Why do you think God wants us to be rich? If you think God makes you rich for you to have a good life like living like a king, you are right but there is more. He expects good deeds from us and he promised that the result from our good deeds will last forever.

Please don’t get me wrong. God has no problem with us wanting to live good lives. I remember when I shared that I want to be rich to help the poor, some religious people were skeptical and they questioned whether my true motive is to live like a king, as though it is a sin to do so. Here is my reply to them: I have no problem on wanting to live like a king. If I want to live like a king, I will use my faith to receive all the money I need to finance this lifestyle. I don’t need to use helping the poor as an excuse to be rich.

I would like to highlight to you the 2 parts of riches. They are:
1. The right to be rich.
2. The application and purpose of our riches.

Our rights to be rich are guaranteed by Jesus’ death at the Cross. It cannot be changed. If you are a Christian you have the right to unlimited riches because at the Cross, Jesus died poor for you to live rich. There is absolutely no need for us to come up with excuses like wanting to help the poor to manipulate God to make us rich. God has already decided in the above verse that it is his will for us to be rich. All we need to do is to agree with him and build up our faith in order to increase our ability to receive wealth from him.

We also need to have specific application and purpose for our riches. While there is nothing wrong wanting to live like a king, we need a much larger purpose if we are interested in receiving greater wealth from God. This purpose must surpass our own selfish desires. It must be able to reach out to bless the people around us. Only then, will we become God’s channel of blessing to the world. When we function as channels, we will have God’s blessings coming to us before we distribute them to others. To put it in a simple way, we will receive a lot of money and give out a lot of money.

God promised us that our good deeds will last forever. There will be rewards for our faithfulness in obeying God. When we become God’s channel of blessings, not only are we able to live like kings, we will also be eligible for rewards on Judgment Day. On that day, while religious people trembled in fear of punishments, we the believers of God can wait in expectation on rewards.

Isn’t it great to trust God?

Your Children Will Be Successful

2 Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.
Psalm 112:2 (NLT)

This is the second installment of the series on Psalm 112. In the first verse, we learned about the characteristics of a godly man. A godly man fears the Lord and delights in obeying God. In the above verse, we shall look into the first benefit of such a person.

This verse tells us that our children will be successful everywhere and our entire generation will be blessed. Our faithfulness to God will not cause our blessings to be limited to ourselves alone. It will also affect our children and the rest of our descendents. Do you want proof on this?

Look at the Jews today. Despite their relatively small population, the Jews are very successful in every field. Every field you look, may it be banking, investment, film making, music, science, law etc, you can find some Jews at the top. What makes them so successful? Do they have better brains? There is no scientific evidence to show the brains of the Jews are better than the rest of ours. Some of these successful Jews have even become atheists. They have no relationship with God. Yet that did not hinder their success. They are only relying on the blessings of their ancestors. Along the line of their ancestry, there must be at least one of the ancestors who were faithful to God. Now, these Jews are reaping the benefits.

Do you want your children to be successful everywhere? If you do, you have to start with your relationship with God. Our position with God will guarantee the success of our children. I have a 3-year-old son myself. There is nothing I wish more than him to grow up in prosperity and health as his soul prospers. This is one of the reasons why I am so determined to follow God.

I have been building up my faith and sowing not just for my own prosperity but also for the prosperity of my son. While he is still small, I can still protect and provide for him but one day he will grow up. I will not be protecting and providing for him forever. The day will come where he will be independent and make his own decision to trust God. Should he develop his faith in God, success and prosperity are at his disposal. However, should he miss and stray, he will still have my blessings to help his through until he finds his way with God again. No matter what is going to happen in the future, I decree that my seed will never beg for bread. My seed will never live in lack in Jesus’ name.

The second part of the above verse tells us an entire generation of godly people will be blessed. This tells me not only my son is blessed. The entire line of my descendents will be blessed as well. Knowing that my decision today can affect the entire line of descendents, I am more determined than ever to build up my faith in God and obey his will.

Will you do the same? The religious people may threaten us with hell, spread lies and slanders about you if you choose to obey God instead of their doctrines. If you feel tempted to get into their bondage in order to relieve yourself from their persecution, ask yourself this question:

Are you going to sacrifice the blessings of your descendents just to gain acceptance from the religious people?

When we consider the cost from an eternal perspective, their threats and lies will mean nothing to us.

In conclusion, stay faithful to God and your descendents will be blessed.

Fear The Lord

1 Praise the LORD! How joyful are those who fear the LORD and delight in obeying his commands.
Psalm 112:1 (NLT)

I am starting a series again. This time, I shall write on Psalm 112, which happens to be among the most quoted psalm among the Word Of Faith circle. In this article, we shall study in depth the meaning of Verse 1.

It begins with the proclamation of praise to the Lord. Have you wonder why we need to praise the Lord? Does the Lord have problem with his self-esteem that he will feel insecure if he does not hear praises from us that he demands us to praise him? The answer is no. Throughout the Bible, the act of praising God has always been spontaneous and not forced. People praised God because deep in their hearts they knew of his faithfulness in delivering them from any troubles and blessing them with riches in every area in their lives. This is the real praise.

I remember one religious guy in this blog mentioned people who praised God when they were poor and sick, in his attempt to prove that God is the pervert who spread disease and poverty to his people. Let me address this issue. When we were in a bad situation, we praise God despite the bad situation. We do not praise God because of it. What is the difference?

When we praise God despite the bad situation, we believe that our God is greater than the bad situation. We believe he is able and willing to deliver us. This is an act of faith. We believe what God said is true even if the situation around us says the opposite. God will be pleased with our faith and our trials will not last for long.

However, if we praise God because of the bad situation, we are accusing him to be the pervert who caused it. We responded by pretending to be thankful for him to take time to create troubles for us. This is a blasphemy. Praising God because of bad situation is an insult to God. Religious people are experts in this line of heresy.

Therefore, we should praise God in all times, good and bad. When we praise God in good times, we are believing God for the good times to get better. When we praise God in bad times, we are believing God for the bad to turn into good. This is the truth about praising God.

Next, Psalm 112:1 speaks of the joy of those who fear the Lord. My emphasis here is “fear”. This is also one of the most abused words in the Bible. What is the fear of the Lord? Do we fear the Lord the way we fear monsters? If you are afraid of frogs, do you imagine God as a big frog in order to fear him? If God is to pay you a personal visit and say “hi”, will you scream and run away in fright like the characters you watch in the horror movies?

If you are to search the Bible, you will find that none of those people who had contact with God behaved like the characters in horror movies. They feared God but their fear was not the same as the horror movie fear. What exactly is the fear of God?

Let us examine the following verse:

10 “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God
and serve only him.’”
Matthew 4:10 (NLT)

The above were Jesus’ words when he was tempted by Satan to worship the latter. Jesus quoted the Scriptures and said, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”. If you check the footnotes in your Bible, it will tell you that Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 6:13. Let us see what it says.

13 You must fear the LORD your God and serve him. When you take an oath, you must use only his name.
Deuteronomy 6:13 (NLT)

Notice the difference? Deuteronomy 6:13 never said anything about worshipping God. It speaks of fearing the Lord. Somehow, Jesus interpreted fear as worship. Therefore, to fear God is to worship God.

So back to Psalm 112:1, worshipping the Lord brings joy. The subsequent part of the verse says the other source of joy is from the delight in obeying his commands. Please note the word “delight” before the “obeying his commands”. This means we obey God willingly and joyfully. We are not forced, threatened nor blackmailed into following God’s commands.

This is the opposite of the practice of religious churches. Religious preachers seemed to think that they are doing God a favor when they threatened their people into obedience. The truth is God is only pleased when people obey him willingly and delightfully. He will never be impressed with people who were blackmailed into obedience.

We have completed in our study of praise, fear and obedience. The subsequent verses speak of the benefits of praise, fear and obedience, which we shall study in the next installment of this series.

No One Is Righteous

9 Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin.
10 As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous— not even one.
11 No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God.
12 All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.”
13 “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.”
“Snake venom drips from their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “They rush to commit murder.
16 Destruction and misery always follow them.
17 They don’t know where to find peace.”
18 “They have no fear of God at all.”
Romans 3:9-18 (NLT)

In my previous article, I have described the tendency of religious people to pick negative verse from the Bible to neutralize its positive meanings. One of them wrote in to protest and suggested that I should avoid certain passages in the Bible as though I am unable to face the truth. The above is one of the passages he suggested I should avoid. I am doing the opposite now. Not only am I not avoiding it, I am going to write an article on it.

Let us begin with the background. In the above passage, Paul revealed that all of us were born under the power of sin. Whether you are a Jew or a Gentile, you were born as a sinner. This is an unfortunate truth. Being born as sinner means we were under the bondage of sin. Sin was our master and it is able to keep us from being righteous. We have no power to break the power of sin over us by our own strength.

This is why the Scriptures says no one is righteous. None of us have the natural wisdom to seek God on our own. We would have been slaves of sin for life unless there is outside help. Thank God, he sent his Son to die for our sins. Through him, we are forever free from the power of sin. We are righteous because of what Jesus has done for us. Please note that I am referring to Christ Righteousness and not self-righteousness.

What is the difference? When we are Christ Righteous, we rely on Jesus as our righteousness but when we are self-righteousness, we rely on our own works to be righteous. This is the type of righteousness religious churches have been promoting. In their views, you must obey all their doctrines and rituals to be righteous. If you disobey them, like believing God for your prosperity, they will not hesitate to condemn you to hell. Such is the nature of self-righteousness.

Let us move on to the subsequent verses.

19 Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God.
20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
Romans 3:19-20(NLT)

This time the writer was referring to the Law of Moses. This law is not for Christians. According to above verses, the Law was designed to tell the world that they need a Savior. We can never be made right by doing what the law commands. The Law serves as a mirror to show us how sinful we are in the natural. Mirrors can only show the truth. They cannot help us to clean up our lives. Only Jesus at the Cross can do what the Law cannot do – remove all our sins once for all. As Christians, we are right with God because of what Jesus did and not because of our ability to keep the Law. This is the message in Romans 3 and I have no intention of avoiding it.