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Archive for March 18th, 2013

from JO’s sermon tonight:

throughout life, people are constantly sticking labels on us, telling us what we can and cannot become.  sometimes this is good;  people speak faith into us, encourage us.  but then there are times that people put negative labels on us.  you cannot stop the negative comments, prevent the negative labels, but you can choose to remove them.  Walt Disney was told by his art instructor that he wasn’t creative, Lucille Ball was told that she didn’t have any acting skills;  the common denominator in the success of these people is they chose to remove the negative labels.  the same way today, people put labels on us;  that’s the way the enemy works.  he would love to put labels on you to keep you from reaching your highest potential.  he doesn’t fight you for where you are, he fights you for where you’re going;  he knows God has amazing things in your future, so he’ll try to discourage you, intimidate you, make you feel inferior.  words are like seeds;  if you dwell them long enough, they will take root and become what was said.  wrong labels can keep you from your destiny;  don’t go the next 20 years allowing one negative comment to hold you back.  you are not who people say you are, you are who God says you are.  people will label you not good enough, too slow, too old, too many mistakes;  God labels you strong, talented, valuable, more than a conqueror.  make sure that you’re wearing the right labels.  many people don’t know any better;  they wear the negative labels like they’re the truth.  they become so ingrained in their thinking, they end up becoming what people say they are instead of what God says that they are.

are there labels that are holding you back today?  what a coach said, counselor said, even negative comments spoken by your parents?  this is the time to remove every negative label.  people don’t determine your destiny, God does. the only power that label has over you is the power that you give it;  if you will remove it, in other words quit thinking about it, quit acting like it’s the truth, then that label will have no effect on you.  I know a gentleman who overheard his junior high teacher telling his mother that he was a slow learner;  for 30 years, he wore that label around, just kind of floundered through life.  one day I told him, “you gotta remove that label.”  if you’re gonna reach your highest potential, you gotta say, “no thanks, I am not wearing that “slow learner” label anymore.  that may have been her opinion, but I have another opinion, it’s from my Creator, and He says I have the mind of Christ, that I am full of wisdom,  that I can fulfill my destiny.”  don’t let negative labels hold you back.  the same God that can help you make a C can help you make an A;  why don’t you remove that label (of being a C student)?  the same God that can help you get by in life can help you excel in life.  are there labels that are holding you back:  divorced (“I’ll never meet anyone new”), overweight (“I’ll never get in shape”), addicted (“I’ll never break these bad habits”)?  whatever label you’re wearing,  you’re going to become what that label says, you’re giving it the power.  this is why some people can’t break an addiction;  they’re wearing that label, “addict.”

the real battle is taking place in our mind;  if you think you’re an addict, you’ve already lost.  you’ve gotta change the label;  God says you are free, clean, healthy, whole.  don’t go the next 20 years wearing that addict label, put some new labels on today.  don’t sell yourself short, remove any labels that are holding you back.  who told you all you can make in school are C’s and not A’s?  a counselor?  they didn’t know what God put in you.  who told you can never succeed, own a nice house, get married, accomplish your dreams?  those labels did not come from your Creator.  just because somebody spoke them over you doesn’t mean it’s the truth.  you have the power to remove those negative labels;  some of you have been wearing them way too long.  things like:  “you’ll never go to college, nobody in your family ever has”;  take that label off, you can be the 1st.  “you’ll never get out of that neighborhood, all the odds are against you”;  that’s what they told my father, he removed the label and God took him places that he never dreamed of.  we serve a supernatural God;  He can do what medicine cannot do, He’s not limited by your education, background, the family you come from.  He’s not moved by the things people have spoken over you.  He’s not up in heaven all frantic trying to figure out how to get you to your destiny.  He knows the end from the beginning.  He already has solutions to problems you’ve not even had;  He’s all-powerful and all-knowing.

people may have tried to push you down, but if you’ll just remove those labels and get in agreement with God, He’ll push you up.  He’ll take you where you could not go on your own.  you don’t have to figure it all out, all God asks you to do is believe;  when you believe, all things are possible:  doors will open that never should have opened, God will take you from the back to the front.  don’t let negative labels hold you down.  people will tell you, “you’re all washed up, you’ve made too many mistakes.”  if you wear that label. it will keep you from the amazing future God has in store.  God says, “My mercy is bigger than any mistake.  I can still get you to your destiny.  I’ll give you beauty for those ashes, I’ll pay you back double for the unfair things that have happened.”  you wouldn’t be alive unless God had another victory in your future.  why don’t you take off the washed-up label, take off the failure, guilty, condemned labels, and put on some new labels:  redeemed, restored, forgiven, bright future, new beginning.  people will tell you, “you’re too small, quiet, don’t have a good personality, you come from the wrong family”;  don’t you dare go through life wearing those labels, you have been made in the image of almighty God.  God did not make any mistakes;  you are the perfect size, you have right personality, gifts, looks, skin color.

Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

you are not an accident;  God designed you precisely for the race that’s laid out for you.  remove those labels:  too big, too small, unattractive.  put on this new label;  fearfully and wonderfully made.  one label far too many people wear is:  average, ordinary, nothing special about me, I’m just one of the 6 billion people on the Earth.  listen, you were never created to live an average life.  you have seeds of greatness on the inside, you were created to be a history-maker, you’re not supposed to live and die and nobody even knew you were here, you’re supposed to leave your mark on this generation.  God has an assignment for you that nobody else can fulfill.  God needs you;  He needs your gifts, smile, love, passion.  you are a part of  His divine plan.  you have something to offer that nobody else can offer;  nobody has your exact personality, looks, there is something unique about you.  don’t wear that “average” label;  if you think you’re average, then you’ll be average.  if you think you’re ordinary, then you’ll live an ordinary, get-by life, and never do anything great.

there is nothing ordinary about you;  you have the fingerprints of God all over you.  the Creator of the universe breathed His life into you.  He crowned you with his favor.  you have royal blood flowing through your veins.   you have a destiny to fulfill, something greater than you’ve ever even imagined, but if it’s going to happen, if you’re gonna become all God’s created you to be, one of  the first things you’ve gotta do is take off the average, ordinary label and put on these new labels:  masterpiece, valuable, one of a kind.  this is what David did.  when the prophet Samuel came to anoint one of his father’s sons as the next king of Israel, David’s father, Jesse, didn’t even bother to bring David in from the shepherd’s fields where he was taking care of the sheep.  Jesse thought, “I know it’s not David, he’s too small, young, not that talented, not as smart as his brothers.”  David had all these negative labels put on him by his own father.  Samuel looked at the other 7 sons, said, “not this one, not this one…” he finally ran out, and said to Jesse:

1 Samuel 16:11 (NIV)

11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”

Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

God doesn’t label the way people label;  people look on the outside, God looks on the heart.  God knows what you’re capable of, God can see the seeds of greatness that He’s placed in you.  it’s so easy to let what someone has spoken over us to keep us from really believing in ourselves.

1 Samuel 16:12-13 (NIV)

12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.

Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David…

right there, David had to make that decision that I’m asking you to make, he had to remove the negative labels.  he’d heard them 1000 times:  “too small, too young, you don’t have what it takes.”  David’s brothers, even though they saw Samuel anoint David as the next king, they still tried to stick their negative labels on him.  when David was out where the army had gathered:

1 Samuel 17:28 (NIV)

28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”

what was Eliab doing?  sticking a label on him:  inferior, not good enough, intimidated.  David could have said, “yeah, right, what was I thinking?”  David could have accepted that label and let it hold him back, but this time David had a different attitude.  he said, “Eliab, what you say about me doesn’t change what God said about me.  you’re still labeling me weak, defeated, inferior;  you don’t realize I’ve gotten rid of those labels, and the Creator of the universe, the God who breathed life into me, put some new labels on me. they say:  giant-killer, more than a conqueror, destined for greatness, king of Israel.”

(NB:  the Bible does not show David saying these things, but instead shows this reaction:

1 Samuel 17:29-30 (NIV)

29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” 30 He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before.

I assume that JO is making an educated guess as to what David might have been thinking based on his later actions.)

you may have had negative things spoken over you, even by people that should have been encouraging you

Isaiah 54:17 (AMP)

17 But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment* you shall show to be in the wrong. 

(*that means every negative label)  notice, God’s not going to do it, YOU have to show it to be in the wrong, in other words you have to remove the negative label.  nothing that was spoken over you has to define you, even if it was from people who raised you.  nothing that’s happened in your past has to keep you from your destiny;  even if you’ve made mistakes, or gone through unfair situations, you can show it to be in the wrong by shaking off the self-pity and moving forward with your life.  will you dare do like David and remove the negative labels?  quit dwelling on what your momma said, what a jealous sister said, what a cranky coworker said, you are not who people say you are, you are who God says you are, they cannot stop your destiny.  remove the old labels, I’ll give you some new labels to wear:  giant-killer, history-maker, world-changer.  has somebody told you you can’t accomplish your dreams?  you’re not talented, too big, too small, you don’t have the experience?  no, God didn’t put the promise in them, He put the promise in you.  along the way, there will always be negative voices trying to label you, but God would not have given you the dream unless He had already equipped you;  you already have what you need.  what may seem like a limitation, too tall, too short, God can use as an asset;  God knows what He’s doing. He has designed you specifically for the race that you’re in.  you may kinda feel like you’ve been cut from the team, the experts have told you what you can’t do, don’t have, here’s what I’ve learned;  the experts can be wrong.  experts built the Titanic, and it sunk;  amateurs built the ark and it floated.  don’t let the experts talk you out of what God has put in your heart.

sometimes people will put a negative label on you, not because of anything you’ve done, but because of the pain and heartache they’ve experienced.  hurting people end up hurting other people, bitter people are quick to stick on those negative labels.

Genesis 35:18-29 (NLT)

18 Rachel was about to die, but with her last breath she named the baby Ben-oni (which means “son of my sorrow”). The baby’s father (Jacob), however, called him Benjamin (which means “son of my right hand”). 

Benjamin grew up to be a great leader;  out of his family line came the kings of Israel.  God had a great destiny for Benjamin to fulfill, an assignment, but God knew that if he went through life wearing that label “son of my sorrow,” he would never become what he was created to be.  so God stepped in and said, “no, he’s not wearing that label, he’s not a son of sorrow, defeat, disappointment, this child is a son of destiny, he has seeds of greatness, his name will be son of strength.”  God knows how powerful labels are.  maybe someone has tried to label you average, slow learner, not talented, too may mistakes, no, God is saying the same thing to you that he said to Benjamin, “I am changing your name, placing a new label on you, no more “son of sorrow, mediocrity, broken dreams,” I’m renaming you to “son of strength, daughter of destiny, child of influence, greatness, victory.””  remove the old labels and start going by your new names:  masterpiece, valuable, one of a kind, more than a conqueror, history-maker, those are the labels that we should be wearing.  people can call you many different things, but you are not what people call you, you are what you answer to.  they can call you slow, lazy, too old, all washed up, that’s alright, just don’t answer to it, answer to victorious, talented, history-maker.  if you’ll do that, today is going to be a turning point, the bondages from the past are no longer going to have any effect on you, you are going to rise up and become the son of strength, the daughter of influence, the child of victory, blessing, favor, greatness.  you will overcome every obstacle, defeat every enemy, and become everything God’s created you to be.

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