I Don’t Mean No Harm, but…

Have you ever received some news and it just drained you? I mean, your entire day was nonproductive. Although the situation had nothing to do with you directly, it was just draining.

This happened to me the other day. I was having a conversation with someone and they began to talk about someone else. I stopped them in the midst of their sentence:

“I mean no harm, but I don’t really care.”

Yes, I said that I did not care. Why did I say this? It was not that I had no compassion or no concern, but the conversation had no action plan. I have resolved to guard my heart. The Bible says it like this:

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

If you do resolve to protect your peace, who else will? If you do not resolve to protect your mind, who else will?

I simply do not have any room for any conversation or any activity that does not glorify my Savior. If the discussion does not have an act of faith to redeem, to re-establish, to reconnect, to restore, to re-deliver…I will unapologetically have to say: “I don’t mean no harm, but…”

I have entered a season in my life where I have to be more intentional about my mental space. I could have gone into a deep sunken hole, after the loss of my mother, but what good would it do? I realized I had to change my mindset because it is very easy to get into a sunken place and remain there. I am certain that you may feel this way as well, surrounded by many circumstances and tragic life stories, but listen here. My God has faith in me to complete the work that He has predestined for me to do. God has made me the salt of the Earth. What about you? Here is another perspective:

1 Thessalonians 5:16 (NIV)
Rejoice always

This one scripture has 2 words, but they are so important and so powerful to the life of a believer. Why? As a Christian, we are supposed to be the most relaxed, the most grateful, the most optimistic people on this earth. Again, I ask why? Even in our darkest days, we can draw strength from a higher source – a source that the world does not have. The joy of the Lord IS our strength.

Psalm 28:7 (NKJV)
The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.

If we operate in the fullness of God, we respond to circumstances differently than the world does. It takes faith to obtain strength from an entity you cannot see. It also takes an unacknowledged source of faith to operate in anxiety; but the two cannot exist together.

So what are you going to do? Put your hope God, the reality of His promises and watch how your mindset can shift as well.

Psalm 42:11 (NIV)
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

I feel bipolar most days. One day I am encouraged and the next I am hiding my tears from my family, but you know what? I trust my God. I believe in my Savior. I have taken hold of the peace he has left for me. An although I grieve for my mother, I know she is doing well. I made my mind up. I am purposed to allow God’s glory to be revealed through me.

Now, what about you?

NO!

Mercy: Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.

That’s the dictionary’s definition of mercy. To make this more simpler, mercy means not giving you the punishment you deserved although you were guilty.

God says that we all have sinned and fallen short of His glory (Romans 3:23). If we keep this in mind, there should be an eye-opening realization that every day we are alive is an act of God’s mercy. Why is it then so difficult to extend the same measure of grace and mercy to others that we have been given?

We deserve nothing from God. God does not owe us anything. We owe Him everything and yet we give Him pieces of us. We read His word when it is convenient. While waiting for Him to open a door we eagerly seek Him, faithfully attending service, giving, praying and communicating. As soon as things are back to “normal” or comfortable, the passion and drive to seek Him dries up- until we are faced with another burden.

  • Mercy kept you while you and your family slept last evening.
  • Mercy saved you when others sought to kill you.
  • Mercy gave you a job to provide for your family, and may I add a job where you didn’t meet all of the qualifications.
  • Mercy said NO! I will not give up on you.

If mercy did not give up on you, don’t you DARE give up on yourself or anyone else.

The judgment of God found us guilty but mercy withheld the punishment. Just as He has been merciful to us, we ought to show the same. ESPECIALLY when we confess to have the characteristics of Christ (Galatians 5:22).

Thank you Jesus for just GIVING us mercy. You took the fall for our crap and I’ll forever praise your name. I owe you a debt that I cannot repay; however I will spend the rest of my days proving my gratitude for all that you have done.

Rejoice the soul of Your servant, For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You. (‭Psalms‬ ‭86‬:‭4-5‬ NKJV)

A Cry For Help

Father in the name of Jesus. I thank you for granting us the opportunity to approach your throne of grace. We do not take this opportunity for granted. It is through your grace that we have obtained an inheritance that is promised to us, if we accomplish the work that you have impressed upon us to do and that expresses the reason why we exist.

Holy Spirit- my heart aches. It has been aching for some time. The very moment I find some sort of way to get through and press through, something else happens. Undoubtedly, we are not the only ones experiencing loss on many levels but we are the ones who were called to share with those who have no hope, why we still have hope even in the midst of brokenness.

I ask that you strengthen those who have loss loved ones. Please don’t forget about me. I need YOUR strength. Give them unspeakable and unexpected and unexplainable strength that can only come through you; and to us who are searching for the words to say, give us the words of compassion to encourage the hearts of your people.

Everything we do must be for your honor and your glory. May your word rescue and restore, redeem and renew, relieve and revive, refresh and reveal.

We recognize that you are a loving and a kind Father. We also recognize that you are God and that you are in full control. You created us in your image. You created us with feelings and emotions, which means we are not desensitized to the hurt that we see happening everywhere, although our ultimate goal is to rest in your arms, in perfect peace.

We also realize that You owe us no explanation; but if you will sir, lead us and guide us, most precious Holy Spirit, to the word of our Father, so that we understand clearly what He is doing in this season and what He requires of us- so that we may continue to run with patience, the race – our own individual races that are set before us.

My lack of understanding never changes my love for you. I love you for you. I honor and magnify you in everything that I do. Create in me a clean heart. To create means that it did not exist. Create in me a clean heart and a renewed spirit.

I humbly ask that you would accept this prayer Holy Spirit, and translate it on my behalf as only you can. In Jesus name, amen.

“Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in trouble; my eyes are tired from so much crying; I am completely worn out.

But my trust is in you, O Lord; you are my God. I am always in your care; save me from my enemies, from those who persecute me. Look on your servant with kindness; save me in your constant love.” Psalm 31:9, 14-16 GNT

He is Right There

  • The thoughts that you had.
  • The verbiage that you spoke with negative intentions.
  • The revengeful actions you took.
  • The conversations you participated in, which were predicated on heresy.
  • The temptation that you gave into anyway…
  • The dispassionate effort you give to be a living sacrifice.
  • The complaints that you make- not recognizing the blessings that you have.
  • The confusion and discord that you caused.
  • The unseasoned, graceless words you spoke (Colossians 4:6).

Would we be entangled in any of these things…if God was right there, standing on the right side of us?

“I always put the LORD in front of me; I will not stumble because he is on my right side.” Psalms 16:8 CEB

If we place Him (and His word) in front of us, we would not succumb to the things aforementioned.

Whose leading who?

Advancement

Advance: To accelerate the growth or progress of something; to move forward.

From the point of introducing who God is in the book of Genesis, to the revelation of Jesus and who Jesus is, in the book of Revelation, the entire focus or main theme of the Bible centers around the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

How do we advance God’s Kingdom? By revelation, inspiration and manifestation of His word through us. It is then our responsibility to demonstrate in love, how the word of God word is alive and how our lives were transformed by it.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)

God’s word is alive and active, but only if we activate it. Jesus is our example of advancement. He believed what His Father told Him about His future and Jesus acted upon it.

There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. His delight is in the fear of the Lord, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; But with righteousness He shall judge the poor and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Isaiah 11:1-4 (NKJV)

Jesus’ actions were depicted by first compelling 12 assistants, who also believed in what Jesus said His Father told him. Once He trained and empowered the 12, Jesus then told them to advance the Kingdom of God:

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:15-16 (NIV)

Jesus believed in His future. If you do not believe in your future, you do not believe in advancement. So, what’s stopping you from advancing? I can tell you.

It’s not lack resources; it’s not having the connections. It’s not the lack of opportunities because of where you live. It is you. You are stopping yourself from advancing. What you think of yourself prevents you from fulfilling your dream and purpose.

But even when we finally move ourselves out of the way, we can only go as far as our intelligence. In Christ, you can go as far as God goes (ooh it’s too early to be this excited – Jeeesuusss). How far can God go? He told us right here:

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)

Isn’t that powerful? God can go above and beyond what we can imagine – according to His power working in us. This means we are limitless. That is how we can be the lender and not the borrower, above and not beneath.

As children of the highest God, we should be:

  • Advancing in our spiritual live.
  • Advancing in our business.
  • Advancing in our relationships.
  • Advancing in our education.
  • Advancing in wisdom and knowledge.
  • Advancing in compelling souls to experience this limitless life that we now have access to.

So, tell me again, what is preventing you from advancing?

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I’m So in Love with You

Have you ever loved someone? Have you ever told someone that you love them SO much? What does “so” much love look and feel like to you? The delivery of a new born baby? A spouse? A relative?

God has told us and shown us how He loves us SO much! There’s no greater love.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 NKJV

God SO loved the WORLD. Look at the context of this scripture. We often quote it but we do not take the time to fully understand the magnitude of God’s love.

God loved the world SO much.

When we say we love someone SO much, it means very or to the extreme. God did not just love…He loved us with extreme and intense love.

Here is what messed me up. The scripture says that God loved the world.

  • It did not say God loved the children of Israel.
  • It did not say God loved the Jews.
  • It did not say that God loved the Christians.

He LOVED THE WORLD! God is saying: “I am so in love with you that I am giving you the best of me.”

OH GLORY!

There is no discrimination in God’s love. This is proof that God hates sin, not the sinner. He desires that we all experience His love, insomuch that He was willing to give His Son, Jesus, to prove His love for the world, so that the world, through Jesus, could be saved.

Jesus was willing to sacrifice His life to prove to us that He loved us just as much as our Father.

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

John 15:13 NKJV

What are you willing to give up, to sacrifice, to detach from, to prove to God that you appreciate His love for you?

God is not mad at you, He is madly IN love with you!

God Saves the Best for Last

Let’s be clear this morning: The testimonies, examples of faith, and daily living experiences that we read and study in the Bible were written with intent and purpose. In fact, there are many things that the Spirit of God did not lead the writers to transcribe. We were given just enough to journey through life.

“Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.” John 21:25 NLT

The examples in the Bible are intentional and deliberate. For example. In John the 2nd chapter, the Bible shares Jesus’ first open miracle of which He performed at a wedding. Most have heard (or used) this story in some capacity. In summary, Jesus, his family, and disciples attended a wedding. The wedding attendants were turnt up so much, that no one realized that the wine was low. They ran out.

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Mary, Jesus’ mother, turns to Him and says: “They have no wine.” Now, I don’t know if she was just telling Jesus, just out of conversation about the evening’s event…you know, we all have done this before, right? You have been at an event with someone, and you people watch. You checked out the scenery, you observe what people are wearing, you talk about the food and the cake too; but I’m inclined to believe that Mary wanted Jesus to “do what He do.” Yeah, she knew who Jesus was. She was there when the angel spoke to her. She was there when her cousin little John was filled with the Holy Spirit in the womb, and Mary raised the Son of God up to adulthood (oh that’s powerful right there- I’m going to leave that alone).

Jesus’ response is interesting as well. He says: “So, what do you want me to do, Woman? It’s not time for my glory to be revealed.” In other words, it was not yet time for people to know who Jesus truly was. But, you know how mother’s are.

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She was basically telling Jesus He was gone do something. Mary tells the servants to do whatever Jesus says to do and Jesus turns water into wine.

Jesus turns water into wine. Jesus – the word made flesh, the Son of God…chooses His first miracle to keep the party going. He didn’t open any blind eyes. He didn’t cast out a devil. He didn’t raise anyone from the dead. He turns water…into wine.

If the word is so intentional, wouldn’t this be controversial? Wouldn’t God know that people would use this scripture to mean that it is okay to drink alcohol?

Oh but I thank God for His omniscience and the Holy Spirit for its revelation. This situation is a metaphor. Here we see something that we take so common, something that is vital and important to life, being translated, transfigured, and transformed into the highest of quality.

Come on, here!!!!

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That is who you were. You were the water. Filled with life, but something or someone knocked you down. They didn’t appreciate your value. They didn’t recognize your vitality. You were unchosen, looked over, talked about, cast down and a castaway. No doubt some people thought you weren’t good enough. Others gave up on you doing anything positive with your life. Some said you would be nothing. But GOD!

“A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!” John 2:10 NLT

Just as the master of ceremony above said that the wedding party saved the best wine for last, God saved (you) the best for last. He gave His best. He sent Jesus to perform a miracle in our lives. Jesus took our watered-down situation and MADE us sit together in heavenly places with Him and called us royalty.

You are a winner. What you have gone through has qualified you. Some will say you’re great. Some will say nothing at all. Some will say you’re right. Some will say you’re wrong. Some will still view you as plain ole water. But thanks be to God, who has given you the victory. Walk in that victory. God has given us the strength through Jesus, to be great in Him.

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57 (NKJV)

Go be great! The best view comes after the hardest climb.