Have you ever heard a message that actually spoke directly to your personal situation? Well, I had the opportunity to listen to an enlightening message that spoke directly to my heart and spirit. It seems that God has a way of orchestrating divine appointments that meet the spiritual needs of his people.
I was visting Montgomery, Alabama to celebrate my mother's 60th birthday. The Lord blessed us all and my mother was elated at the gathering of friends and family to celebrate her life. One of the spiritual treats was the opportunity to visit my mother's church; NCC @ Safe Harbor , pastored by Pastor Hart Ramsey. As we entered the sanctuary there was praise and worship setting the hearts of the people for the word that would soon come from their Man of God. We took our seats and started to join our brothers and sisters in a collective effort to express to our Lord and Savior that we loved Him and full-heartedly wanted to invoke His presence among us.
The pastor entered the sanctuary and began to expound on Luke chapter 6 specifically focusing on the the man with a withered hand. He spoke with clarity and simplicity ensuring that the youngest listener would be able to comprehend the Rhema word he was declaring. Oh how my soul began to rejoice within. Anytime a preacher hears another preacher declaring the word of God it ignites something on the inside to begin to agree with the word and hang upon every word spoken.
The pastor began talking about the awesome gift of "Grace". Grace the unmerited, underserved favor of God upon the life of a believer. He spoke about the different manifestations of God's grace specifically tailored for God's people. This man of God expounded on the fact that God has no desire to destroy a person who struggles, but he desires that the person seeks Him for the grace and deliverance that he needs. He noted that before we come into Christ, God sees nothing but our sin and unrighteousness. However, when we receive Christ, God only sees Jesus and the blood that was shed for us.
Pastor Ramsey directed each of us to walk in the grace of the Lord, but not to walk in sin willingly just to experience the grace of the Lord. He explained that when a person walks willingly in sin, he or she literally removes themselves from God because God cannot commune with sin. He told us to pray for the grace of God and extend the grace of God to others.
How many times do we ignore the grace that the Lord has extended to us even when we least deserved it? Now the connection with the man with the withered hand. He had a condition that he could not hide and everyone was knowledgeable about that issue. In the midst of religious people, Jesus told the man to lift it up! Lift up the issue in the presence of Jesus with the expectation that He was going to address the issue and bring about resolve. What issue do you have that is a struggle? Jesus invites us to show Him the ugliness of our lives without shame or rejection. I believe anything that the Lord reveals, He intends to heal.
This man of God shared his own testimony of when people tried to shut him down as it related to ministry, but he overcame those persons by allowing the overwhelming grace of God to defend and cover him. Also, he shared how he addressed a situation with his father at the age of 40. Well, he and I both shared a common issue with our fathers and I too addressed that same issue with my father at the age of 40 concerning him originally not receiving me as his child. When I heard that man of God speak to that issue it brought relief and deliverance that I was not the only one who had experienced such rejection and the affect it could have upon someone who sought to fulfill the will of God for their lives.
I thoroughly enjoyed the spiritual food that was prepared for all in attendance at NCC Safe Harbor. I am so thankful and elated that my mother is receiving a well prepared spiritual diet on a weekly basis. We honor God for the gift of grace that He willingly extends to all who ask for it.
Pastor Ramsey, your message and your personal testimony spoke volumes of encouragement and life as I sat under your anointed teaching. The final words, in summary, spoken by the Man of God was Stand-up! Stand-forth! with the grace of God.
- Kevin M. Jackson, M.A., M. Div.
- Kevin M. Jackson, A 1994 graduate of Savannah State University with a B.S. degree in Biology and a Masters degree in Urban Education from Norfolk State University and a Masters of Divinity from Liberty University. Elder Jackson is a Chaplain in the United States Navy. He worked as a Science educator for over 14 years. Mr. Jackson is the author of two books; When God Speaks and Life Lessons For My Sons. He is the father of Ephraim, Elim and Elisha and several spiritual sons. Elder Jackson is married to Nila Nash Jackson.