What are you looking for?

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Genesis 6:8

Job said, “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” Job 3:25

Many will remember the parable of the wise elder who sat on the edge of town and watched people come and go. One day a new family approached the town and asked the wizened elder what the people in the town were like. The elder asked them in return what the people were like where they had come from. The family complained of how mean, rude, hurtful, and offensive the folks from the town they left were. The elder sadly informed them that in this town they would find the people much the same. A short time later, another family came up the path and asked much the same question. The elder’s same reply was met with a gushing response of how loving, kind, generous and thoughtful the folks were that they had just left from. With gladness, the elder assured this second family that they would be happy to know this town was filled with others just like that.

This parable makes a clear case, you will find what you’re looking for.

What did Noah find? What did Job find?

They found what they were looking for.

What are you looking for?

In relationships? At work, career? In financial planning? In the Spirit? In the Word? In emotional, psychological, mental wellness?

If you look for something to complain about it, there is no doubt you will find it. If you look for an opportunity to grow, you will find it? If you look for something to be jealous about, you will find that? If you look for a reason to rejoice you will find one?

As we close this first month of 2020 (a new decade for the 0 apologist), I challenge you to take time and reflect, meditate on a deeper level; what is it that you invest the most time looking for? In 2020, may you find something worth looking for.

8 Steps to Recover from Failures

Let’s not sugarcoat this fact, we all fail. Sometimes. We don’t have a problem telling anybody that we’re not perfect; but, it’s hard to even form the words, “I failed.” While there are varying degrees and types of failures, none are so important to have a template to guide our recovery from than the failure of sin.

Sin is missing the mark. We are challenged by Paul’s words to PRESS for the mark. Anything less than hitting that mark is sin. In contrast, we don’t hear much talk at church about failure. There is a human & church folk tendency to parade our pretty sins; the ones we really think are strengths that initially appear to be a weakness. I get it why we don’t talk about failure much is, we don’t want to glorify sin. But we must discuss failure, specifically how to recover from it. Because one thing is certain, just as much as death and taxes, where there is flesh there will be failure.

Jesus knew we would sin. He told Peter as much. But His prayer request was that when Peter failed, his faith would not fail.

A great way to avoid a failure of faith is to have a clear plan of action for when we mess up and find ourselves sorry that we let God down.

Paul let us know and all the believers at Corinth a simple 8 step plan to recover from failure. It is found in II Corinthians 7:11.

It was the first time, as an adolescent that I saw an 8 step plan in my personal study of the scripture. At the time, my family was attending a church pastored by Pastor Clifford Readout, who teaches extensively on the 8 Steps from Death to Life. If you’ve never heard that powerful lesson on salvation, you should.

Here are the 8 steps for Recovery from Failure:

“For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.” II Corinthians 7:11

1. Godly Sorrow – There’s a heaviness that accompanies genuine repentance that our world and carnal nature thinks is wrong. It is the correct human response to Holy Ghost conviction, as was shown in Acts 2:37.

2. Carefulness – The meaning here reflects an earnest diligence. A picture of the earnestness is given in Luke 1:39, when Mary found she was expecting and went with haste/carefulness to see Elizabeth. Immediately and without delay. The diligence is to be the same care shown towards the doctrine as mentioned in Jude 1:3. A thorough treatment of the matter. Partial or delayed treatment of failure will only compound it.

3. Clearing of Self — But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: ( I Peter 3:15). The “clearing of our self” and “an answer” is the same root word. Our answer points to the grace and mercy of God. It’s not defending our mistake, it’s a humble, yet confident, answer of the certainty of our forgiveness.

4. Indignation – The same displeasure that Jesus showed when He rebuked those in Mark 10:14 who tried to prevent the children from coming to Him. It’s the righteous indignation of a Phinehas (Numbers 25:7) directed at the sin in our own lives. Strongly refusing to allow it to gain a stronghold or any returned entrance. We must intentional sabotage any future desire for that sin in our life (Romans 13:14)

5. Fear – This was also one of the characteristics of the Book of Acts church (Acts 5:5 & 11). This same root word of our word “phobia” indicates a constant and even trembling fear, both at the awesomeness of God and the frailty of our flesh. This awe of Him should cause us to tremble, not the fear of man. So often we allow the fear of man to rule our lives, but the right Godly fear will allow us to live above that (Matthew 10:28).

6. Vehement Desire – A picture of this desire, is a baby that wants milk. All of us, who have witnessed that desire denied, have seen what “vehement desire” looks like. It’s the same hunger we had as a babe for the milk of the Word (I Peter 2:2).

7. Zeal – This root is also translated as jealous, and shows the vital importance of faithfulness to a vow that is expected in a marital vow. In fact the same root appears in II Corinthians 11:2 when Paul mentions his desire to be zealous/jealous of the New Covenant Believers at Corinth to present them in purity to Christ.

8. Revenge – Not only is the enemy not going to take me out or capitalize on the frailty of my flesh, but I’m going to help someone else overcome this same frailty or failure. In doing that we become more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37), by being one who births other conquerors.

We will have experiences of failure in our flesh. Jesus was the only perfect human. So when we fail, we have this template from the Word to guide us in recovering from any fall.

Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Jude 24 & 25

Full Court Press

The coach called a timeout, like many have done before. It’s purpose was to regroup and give the whole team strong encouragement to get on the same page strategically. The coach called for the strategy of a full court press. Here at POGH, I was that coach calling a timeout this past Sunday. Unintentionally, but consistent with the sports analogy I directed our team to a PED. We invite the entire Body of Christ to join us in this PRESS!

As we enter 2018, it is time for the church to go on a full court press. Six months ago I shared two key words I felt from the Lord for His Body; they are “Teamwork” and “Urgency.” Now, specific instructions are added to those words.

This hour demands that the Church dramatically increase our urgency!

Specifically, in three areas:

PRAYER – It’s time for the travail of intercessors to be heard throughout the land! God’s people, called by His Name must pray the effectual fervent prayers that avail much. Daily we must break through in prayer! Intercede for your children. Intercede for our country. We must have a great outpouring! It will not come through programs, marketing, or intellect – the sovereign move of God will be birthed in prayer as it always has been. Would you PRESS in prayer like you never have before in your life!

EVANGELISM – Why should the Kingdom of God be the best kept secret in our city? I am calling every believer to personally invite 5 people to church every week. Tell them why they should come. The story of what Jesus has done in your life has great power! Would you join in this PRESS and reach out to your world? 100 Believers who will do this can reach 26,000 people in one year. 26,000 mothers and fathers, sons and daughter, grandparents and grandchildren.

DISCIPLESHIP – It is certain that the outcome of the first two aspects of this PRESS will result in the demands of discipleship. The Church is compelled to come alongside our newest brothers and sisters and mentor them in the faith. This will require what we often call sacrifice. However, like all sacrifices in the Kingdom of God, the blessing you will receive will exceed the one you give. The relationship and revelations you will receive as you guide a new believer through a study from Genesis to Revelation will exceed everything you give.

The timeout has ended. The time to execute the strategy the Spirit is declaring to the Church is beginning. It will be most effective if the whole TEAM engages in the URGENCY of this PRESS! We can. We shall. We must. FULL COURT PRESS in Prayer, Evangelism, and Discipleship.

King Me, Part II

Drafted two months ago – but not posted! Sorry for delay!!

Philippians 2:5-9 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Mark 10:42-45 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. 43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. 45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

John 12:31-32 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

John 13:3-4 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; 4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

I Kings 8:41-43 Moreover concerning a stranger, that is not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for thy name’s sake; 42 (For they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched out arm;) when he shall come and pray toward this house; 43 Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for: that all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as do thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name.

King Me is not about us, it really is all about Him! “King Me” has nothing to do with you getting stuff. It has everything to do with being empowered by God to lay your life down and serve others, even strangers. Living out the concept, “King Me” will mean that He increases while you decrease. When He is lifted up from the earth He will draw all men to Him! It is still the means of incredible moves of God. On the foundation of crucified lives God is building His church today. A church without a cross is a church without power! Where there’s a Cross, Resurrection power can operate!