The ability to focus takes determination and commitment. There will always be things to do, something to think about, and things to fight for our attention. You have to be determined to block everything except what is most important at that time. During these 21 Days, choose daily the things you need to focus on and make them the center of attention. Divide them up blocks of time for your day so you can make the most of that day. Don’t just randomly pick from the list, be intentional. Use your time wisely. Open and close each day with a set and achieved goal. Decide for 21 days what are reoccurring things that you will continually focus on, and what are those unique things that need specific days to accomplish.
It’s my opinion that these 21 days can be the foundation for how we build the rest of the year. A year can be a crazy ride because you don’t know today what August is going to bring. You can’t predict your summer. All you can do is prepare now for the unexpected events in 2020. I’m not trying to be negative, but the truth is, both negative and positive things are going to happen this year. Get a head start on all of it by establishing 21 days of focus.
The need for prayer has never been more imperative than now. I’m not talking about a few words spoken in passing; I mean God’s people lifting up their voices with all their might with the purpose of a complete breakthrough. The church is under attack, our marriages and families are being targeted, and the enemy is not letting up at all. The attack on our Nation is not from another country, but rather from the kingdom of darkness. There is a war going on, and we must not neglect the weapons we have to engage in it.
Before you call it quits on your marriage, tell me how many hours you’ve invested trying to save it. Maybe you’ve stayed up all night worrying about a particular problem, but have you prayed during the night for victory? I would encourage you that the bigger your situation is, the harder you need to pray. There is nothing you can get through until you pray through. Your perspective will change, your passion will be revived, and you’ll feel a fresh anointing when you pray. It’s not a suggestion; it’s a necessity.
I will never apologize for preaching and showing mercy. Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” No one will get it all right and live mistake-free. So, the mercy that I show to others is the same mercy that will be shown to me in my shortcomings. Who doesn’t want or need that? Mercy is not denouncing living a Godly life; it’s being honest enough to admit that at our best, our righteousness is as filthy rags. I choose to focus on people’s potential, not their weaknesses.
I personally believe that God’s grace didn’t just save us, but it is still saving us. Grace cannot be applied until mercy is shown. Mercy looks beyond the errors of an individual, so grace can bring salvation and continue to save.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
While others may choose to judge and condemn, I’ll be standing on the side of mercy cheering and rooting for those who have messed up to try again!!! NO APOLOGIES!!!
Preaching should be encouraging, faith-building, Biblically sound, uniting, and, most of all, anointed. Using the pulpit as an agenda is dangerous. Even rebuke and reproof should be done in love with the goal of improving, not provoking to anger. A preacher of the Gospel must be confident in their calling, but not arrogant in their delivery. It’s not about growing a tribe, but building the church. Yes, God will reveal things to those who preach the Word, but no one minister or organization has the exclusive rights to all truth.
I still believe that Jesus is our greatest example of teaching the Word of God. He made sure that whoever He was talking to, could understand what He was saying. There were only a few times when Jesus was upset and shared His feelings. On one occasion, He looked at His disciples and warned them about a specific group of people. Jesus said, “Beware of the Pharisees.” These people were Holier than everyone else and were incredibly condescending to anyone that was not a part of their group. Jesus was teaching His disciples to be preachers of the Gospel, and He was letting them know, I don’t want you to ever sound like the Pharisees when you share my Word. They have more tradition than they have a revelation.
Young or old, if you a preacher of the Gospel, I encourage you to preach the Word with love. For Jesus said, “By this shall ALL men know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another.” We have an incredible responsibility to equip and build up the body of Christ. Use your voice to be a builder, not a divider.
When a church or any movement is experiencing revival, they will inevitably feel the attack of the enemy. The devil hates it when God’s people begin moving in a Holy, anointed progression. He will strategically plan a way to try and stop what is going on. The problem is, there’s not a lot he can do. We are the church, and Jesus said the gates of hell could not prevail against it. So, what can the enemy do to hinder it? He can only do what he has always done, and that is to try and destroy us from the inside out. He can’t defeat us, but we can bring defeat to each other. Our unity is what helps bring revival, and when we cease from being united, we will eventually be defeated.
We need to be aware of how the enemy is going to attack. He will try and cause division between the members. Hurt feelings, gossip, and sowing discord is the only successful strategy the enemy has. When one brother gets offended at another, and a sister begins to harbor feelings about another sister, the attack is on. We cannot afford to start fighting each other. That’s what the enemy wants us to do. We have to understand what is going on and turn our fighting toward the enemy and not each other.
None of us are perfect, and at times we’re going to say things we don’t mean. We all have bad days and mood swings. But let us work hard on protecting the unity of our church or group. Learn to forgive and work hard on putting things in the past. If you feel like someone has an issue with you, stop waiting on the other one to make the first move and go ahead, make it yourself. Put aside your agenda, keep your problems off social media, and protect the body of Christ.
We need each other.
We desperately need to build up one another.
We need to choose love over everything.
Give your brother or sister the benefit of the doubt.
Stop chasing rumors and aggressively pursue unity.
It’s interesting to have theological conversations with people who base their decisions on emotions versus the Bible. Some don’t have a choice because they have no Biblical knowledge whatsoever. I’m not trying to be rude, but unfortunately, they’ve had no teaching or training in the Word of God. Therefore, all of their decisions are based on what they feel about God instead of what they know. It doesn’t make me angry; honestly, it makes me sad. We have so much work to do as the body of Christ. The gospel must be preached, and those of us that have a knowledge of God and Bible understanding, we must be busy. I know not everyone will accept it, but our job is to share it.
In this fast rhythm of life, people are so busy; many are not taking the time to build an authentic relationship with Jesus. They seem to be lovers of pleasure, more than lovers of God. Sound familiar? Yes, that’s a scripture about how it will be before the Lord returns. Because of that, so many see God through their opinion of life. Someone told me recently, I think God wants me to have fun, and if I just do my best, I’ll be fine. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Proverbs 16:25
No matter what you think about God or your opinion about what will happen in the end, everyone will be judged according to His Word. Don’t be fooled by a feeling or misled by your emotions. Build or rebuild a relationship with Him right away. Don’t be caught up in some crazy wind of false doctrine that is blowing. Be faithful to the things that will cause you to grow. Find a church that preaches sound doctrine and a pastor that can interpret the scriptures. Get involved in serving and helping others. Create a safe lifestyle for you and your family. The return of our Lord is very soon; make sure you know what it takes to be ready to go with Him.
One of the most important things you can do is also one of the hardest to achieve. Be quiet. Being right doesn’t always mean being loud. The loudest one in an argument is not necessarily the winner. I’ve also discovered that helping someone doesn’t mean you give them tons of advice. Sometimes listening to someone is more important than talking. Don’t get me wrong, having something to say is valuable, but what you say, how you say it, and how long you say it is an excellent act of wisdom.
I think you will find in the Gospels, that even though Jesus spent a lot of time teaching, He also spent a considerable amount of time listening. Nobody had more to say than Him, but we find Him sitting down with people and listening to them. He taught His disciples, but He also let them talk as well — what an incredible example for all leaders to follow. You don’t just lead people by talking; you can also influence them by listening.
So, practice it and achieve it. Let it be a goal of yours to listen more the next time you’re in a conversation with someone needing help. Be slow to speak, but in a hurry to listen. Somebody needs someone to talk to. Be that one.
To lead means precisely that; you lead, guide, direct, and point. You take someone or several where they can’t get to without your directing them. What an incredible responsibility and load for a leader to carry. If you think about it, a leader can only take you in one of two directions. Forward or backward. The leader can either move you ahead or turn you around and take you back in the direction of where you’ve already been. To make the ones you lead better, the leader has to direct them forward. Real Increase is in progress, not digression. Even though moving people ahead can sometimes be uncomfortable, it’s imperative.
I think it’s also essential when an individual or a group chooses a leader; they need someone that will take them where they haven’t been. It can be devastating for a company, church, or any organization to appoint a leader that takes them in the direction of their past. The past should only be a reminder, not a destination. You need someone that can see and lead you beyond the point you are currently. A leader needs to hear your desires and have a plan to get you there. And I can promise you, that place is somewhere you’ve never been or seen.
So, leaders, if you’re going to lead, then move them forward. If you need a leader, make sure the one you choose is looking ahead of you, not behind you.
I had a conversation with a young lady that recently graduated and is a therapist. She has such a strong passion for this field and has a heart to help hurting people. She has spent several years in school, furthering her education and qualifications to fulfill her burden for this type of work. I applaud her and others that work in such a needed area in our world. She asked me about something the other day that I felt like I should write about. She had a situation come up where she found herself caught between her education and her conviction. As her pastor, she contacted me, wanting to know if she was being displeasing to God by some of the things she wasn’t able to say as a therapist. I knew I couldn’t ask too many details because of confidentiality, but I understood the situation and why she would be worried. She said, as a Christian, I knew what I believed and what this person should hear, but as a therapist, I wasn’t able to say it. She asked, will God judge me for that?
The person she was helping had been mistreated because of a lifestyle decision they made many years ago. I understood where she was coming from, and I assured her that no matter if we disagree with someone’s lifestyle choices, no one should be mistreated or abused. I also told her that our responsibility to those who don’t know Jesus is to love and not judge. So many are bound by things, and they need freedom, not someone blaming for why they’re imprisoned. I also think some judgmental Christians, (I know that’s an oxymoron), have caused compassionate Christians to have a bad name. Compassion doesn’t mean compromise. The last thing I told her was, you never know the impact you can make on this person by showing them, love. Romans 5:5 tells us; Now hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. There is an incredible love of God that comes from people that are filled with the Holy Spirit. There is a difference.
I wanted to write about this because I know others are in similar conditions. Maybe some that are wanting to go into a particular field, but are afraid they can’t stand on what they believe. The advice I gave this young lady, I believe, can fit with others that might be struggling with some of the same things. I think it would also be good if we had some open communication on this subject. We need Christians working with hurting people, no matter what choices they have made. If you’re stuck between education and conviction, feel free to comment at the end of this blog, or ask a question. I am praying for you, and we need more people like you to make a difference in this world. I know the enemy would love to stop you from allowing God to be a part of any equation in people’s lives. But you know that only in the name of Jesus can chains of sin be broken. I know you can’t jeopardize your job, so I am praying for you to be able to let your light shine in the midst of these challenges.
Here is a list of the advice I gave on this subject. You are more than welcome to add to it.
1. Be caring because no one deserves to be mistreated for lifestyle decisions that I might not agree with.
2. Our responsibility to those who don’t know Jesus is to love and not judge.
3. Being compassionate doesn’t mean you’re compromising.
4. You never know the impact you can make on someone’s life when you show the love of God.