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GO ANOTHER WAY SCRIPTURE: MATTHEW 2:1-12; EPHESIANS 4:12

IN OUR TEXT WE ENCOUNTER THE WISE MEN FROM THE EAST, MAGI OR AS MSG SAYS SCHOLARS WHO COME LOOKING FOR JESUS. THEY ASK WHERE IS THE ONE WHO IS BORN KING OF THE JEWS. THE TESTIFY OF HAVING SEEN HIS STAR IN THE EAST AND CAME SEVERAL HUNDRED MILES TO WORSHIP HIM. WHEN HEROD HEARS THIS THE TEXT SAYS THAT HE AND ALL OF THE PEOPLE ARE TROUBLED. NIV SAYS DISTURBED NLV SAYS WORRIED AND THE MSG SAYS TERRIFIED. HEROD CALLED ALL OF THE CHIEF PRIEST AND TEACHERS OF THE LAW TOGETHER AND ASKED THEM WHERE IS THE MESSIAH OR CHRIST TO BE BORN.THEY TOLD HIM BETHLEHEM OF JUDAEA. THEN QUOTE MICAH SHOWING THAT THAT ALREADY KNEW WHERE HE WAS TO BE BORN ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF GOD.

AFTER SHARING WITH THE WISE MEN WHERE THE WORD SAYS THEY COULD FIND HIM, SECRETLY HE MEETS WITH THEM AND FINDS OUT FROM THEM WHEN THEY FIRST SAW THE STAR AND THEN HE SENT THEM TO DILIGENTLY SEARCH FOR THE YOUNG CHILD, SUCH THAT WHEN THEY FOUND HIM, TO COME BACK AND LET HIM KNOW SO THAT HE TOO COULD WORSHIP HIM.


WHEN THEY LEFT THE KING THE STAR REAPPEARED AND LED THEM TO THE CHILD. THEY VISIT THE NEW BORN CHRIST. THIS SCENE OFTEN DISPLAYED AT CHURCHES AND FRONT YARDS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. IT'S THAT OF JESUS IN A MANGER, SURROUNDED BY THE ANIMALS AND THE WISEMEN. HOWEVER AT CLOSE LOOK WE SEE IN THE V.11 THAT THE WISE MAN FIND JESUS NOT IN A MANGER AND STABLE BUT INSTEAD IN A HOUSE. IF THE TRUTH BE TOLD, THE WISE MEN COME ABOUT TWO YEARS AFTER THE BIRTH OF CHRIST AND FIND HIM AS A TODDLER IN THE HOME OF JOSEPH AND MARY.

THEY BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP THE LORD AND GIVE HIM GIFTS OF FRANKICENSE, MYRRH AND GOLD. AND BEING WARNED IN A DREAM, THAT THEY SHOULD NOT RETURN TO HEROD THE BIBLE SAYS THEY WENT BACK HOME ANOTHER WAY, BY ANOTHER ROUTE. WHEN HEROD FOUND OUT THAT THE WISE MEN FOOLED HIM HE SENT OUT A DECREE TO KILL ALL YOUNG BOYS TWO YEARS OLD AND YOUNGER.

HEROD NEVER INTENDED TO WORSHIP THE LORD. HE WAS ONLY BEING DECEPTIVE. HE WAS JEALOUS AND ENVIOUS. HE WAS EVEN JEALOUS OF A LITTLE BOY. HE LIED TO THE WISE MEN. HIS REAL INTENT WAS TO MURDER AND DESTROY THE NEW BORN KING. BUT KNOWING HIS HEART, GOD TOLD THE WISEMEN TO NOT GO BACK TO HEROD, BUT INSTEAD GO ANOTHER WAY.


MIGHT I SUGGEST TONIGHT THAT HEROD REPRESENTS EVERYTHING BAD IN OUR LIVES THAT WE NEED TO LEAVE BEHIND. AS WE PREPARE TO CROSS OVER INTO 2013, I COME IN THE SPIRIT OF AN ANGEL TONIGHT TO TELL YOU NOT TO GO BACK TO HEROD.

DON'T GO BACK TO BE DECEIVED. YOU ALREADY KNOW THAT HEROD ONLY WANTS TO DECEIVE YOU. HE KEEPS DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER. DIFFERENT TRICKS BUT THE SAME DECEPTION. HE DOESN'T MEAN YOU ANY GOOD. DON'T GO BACK TO HEROD. HEROD IS JEALOUSY AND ENVY. YOU DON'T NEED TO GO BACK TO THAT. INSECURE AND HATEFUL. DON'T GO BACK TO THAT. IT WILL ONLY DESTROY YOU AND CAUSE THAT WHICH YOU LIVE TO BE DESTROYED. DON'T GO BACK TO HEROD. HEROD IS A LIAR. HE IS THE FATHER OF LIES. HE'LL SAY WHATEVER HE NEEDS TO SAY TO GET WHAT HE WANTS. HE PROMISE YOU ANYTHING, SHE WILL TELL YOU WHATEVER YOU WANT TO HEAR. DON'T GO BACK TO THAT LIAR. HE'LL DECEIVE YOU IF YOU LET HIM, HE'LL LIE TO YOU IF YOU LET HIM. DON'T GO BACK TO HEROD. HE'S A MURDERER. HE'LL DESTROY YOUR DREAMS AND KILL YOUR JOY. HE WILL MURDER YOUR AIMS AND ANNIHILATE YOUR AMBITION. DON'T GO BACK TO HEROD. HE MEANS YOU NO GOOD AND ONLY IS THERE TO STEAL, KILL AND DESTROY YOU AND EVERY GOOD THING OUT THERE FOR YOU.


DON'T GO BACK TO HEROD. YOU CAN'T TRUST HIM, BUT YOU KNOW THAT ALREADY. YOU'VE ONLY DECEIVED YOURSELF AND LIED TO YOURSELF. YOU KNOW JEALOUSY AND ENVY IS NO GOOD FOR YOU. STOP TRYING TO CONVINCE YOURSELF THAT HE'S NOT REALLY OUT TO DESTROY YOU. YOU HAVE GONE BACK LONG ENOUGH. 2012 HAS PROVED IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN. YOU CAN'T BACK. HEROD IS THE DEVIL AND THE SPIRIT OF EVIL.

DON'T GO BACK. NOT TO HEROD. SURROUNDED BY FOLK WHO KNOW THE TRUTH BUT WON'T FOLLOW IT. GOT FOLK WITH HIM WHO KNOW WHERE TO GO BUT WON'T GO. THEY KNOW WHAT TO DO, BUT WON'T DO IT. YOU CAN'T GO BACK TO THAT. FOLK WHO DON'T WANT NOTHING TO CHANGE. WON'T LET GO OF THE STATUS QUO. CAN'T ACCEPT CHANGE. ALWAYS WANT TO KEEP EVERYTHING THE SAME. YOU CAN'T GO BACK THERE. THAT WAS LAST YEAR. 364 DAYS AGO. DON'T GO BACK TO HEROD.

HE DOESN'T WANT YOU TO GROW. CAN'T ACCEPT YOU GETTING STRONGER, OR BEING BLESSED. DON'T GO BACK TO THAT. GOD HAS MORE FOR YOU AND WANTS TO SHOW YOU SOMETHING NEW. BUT TO GET IT, YOU'VE GOT TO GO ANOTHER WAY. HEROD ONLY ACTS LIKE HE WANTS TO DO THE RIGHT THING. HE ONLY PLAYS LIKE HE WANTS TO HELP YOU. HE'S JEALOUS AND ENVIOUS. HE'S A DECEIVER AND LIAR. HE ONLY WANTS TO STEAL, KILL AND DESTROY YOU. DON'T YOU DARE GO BACK.


I KNOW YOU WANT TO CHANGE. I KNOW YOU WANT THINGS TO GET BETTER. I KNOW YOU WANT TO SEE THINGS TURN AROUND, BUT THEY NEVER WILL IF YOU GO BACK. YOU CAN'T GO BACK. THEY SAY INSANITY IS WHEN YOU WANT SOMETHING TO CHANGE, BUT KEEP DOING THE SAME THING. IF YOU WANT TO MOVE FORWARD AND SEE THE MOVE OF GOD IN YOUR LIFE. IF YOU WANT YOUR BREAKTHROUGH AND SEE ALL THAT GOD CAN DO FOR YOU, THEN DON'T GO BACK. NOT BACK TO THAT. THERE ARE THREE THINGS I WANT YOU TO FOCUS ON AND THAT IS YOUR EXPECTATIONS, YOUR PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE AND YOUR COMMITMENT TO EDIFICATION. LET ME PLAINLY AND BRIEFLY SPEAK TO EACH POINT AND I'LL GO TO MY SEAT.

BELOVED, FIRSTLY WE HAVE TO CHANGE OUR EXPECTATIONS. THAT IS, IF YOU KEEP LOOKING FOR THE SAME THING YOU'RE GOING TO FIND IT. WE SERVE A BIG GOD WHO HAS MADE GREAT PROMISES AND IS ABLE TO DO BIG THINGS. BUT WE SO OFTEN ONLY EXPECT HIM TO DO LITTLE THINGS. FOR TOO MANY OF US WE ARE TRAPPED AND BELIEVE THAT THIS IS IT. THAT OUR LIVES ARE AS GOOD AS IT GETS. THAT OUR CHURCH AND OUR COMMUNITY AND OUR PEOPLE ARE NEVER GOING TO CHANGE OR GET BETTER. SO MUCH SO THAT ALL TOO OFTEN WE STOP EXPECTING GOD TO DO A NEW THING. WE STOP LOOKING FOR NEW MERCIES, STOP EXPECTING GOD TO DO A NEW


THING. STOP LOOKING FOR NEW BLESSINGS OR BELIEVING GOD FOR A NEW DAY. WITH GOD, OUR FAITH IS SET IN MOTION BY WHAT WE EXPECT GOD TO DO. SOME OF US NEVER SEE GOD DO THE MIRACULOUS BECAUSE WE DON'T EXPECT HIM TO GIVE US ONE. OR BECAUSE HE DIDN'T DO WHAT WE WANTED TO DO WHEN WE WANTED HIM TO DO IT AND SO WE STOP EXPECTING HIM TO DO THE MIRACULOUS. BUT LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING, HE MAY NOT HAVE HEALED ME WHEN I ASKED HIM TO BUT HE STILL IS A HEALER. HE MAY NOT HAVE COME WHEN I WANTED HIM TO BUT HE STILL COMES RIGHT ON TIME. IM LOOKING FOR A MIRACLE, I EXPECT THE IMPOSSIBLE. I RECEIVE THE INCREDIBLE. WE HAVE TO HAVE GOD SIZED EXPECTATIONS.

SECONDLY, WE HAVE TO STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE. WE ARE TOO QUICK TO BE SATISFIED WITH JUST GETTING BY. SURVIVING AND EXISTING. THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH GETTING BY. THANK GOD FOR BEING ABLE TO. BUT LET ME TELL YOU THAT JESUS CAME THAT WE MIGHT HAVE LIFE BUT ALSO TO HAVE IT ABUNDANTLY. WE ARE CHILDREN OF THE MOST HIGH GOD. WE HAVE ROYAL BLOOD IN OUR VEINS. WE ARE DESCENDANTS AND HEIRS OF THE KING OF KINGS AND HAVE MANSIONS THAT HAVE BEEN PREPARED FOR US. WE'RE NOT JUST ANYBODY. WE ARE CHILDREN OF THE KING, BEARERS OF THE HEAVENLY GIFT, ENDOWED WITH THE POWER OF GOD.


OUR DESTINY IS NOT TO JUST MAKE IT OR GET BY. NO THAT'S NOT WHO WE ARE. WE ARE THEY WHO ARE THE HEAD AND NOT THE TAIL. WE ARE THEY WHO HAVE BEEN WASHED IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB. WE ARE THEY WHO HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE PROMISES OF GOD AND ACCESS TO THE THRONE OF GOD. WE'RE NOT CALLED TO BE ORDINARY OR JUST TO EXIST. NO WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERERS THROUGH HIM THAT LOVED US. WE ARE CALLED TO EXCELLENCE. CALLED TO EXCEL, CALLED TO VICTORY AND EVERLASTING LIFE. WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD. GOD HAS BEEN TOO GOOD TO US FOR US TO ACT LIKE HE'S NOT THERE. GOD IS TOO STRONG FOR US TO KEEP ACTING LIKE HE'S SO WEAK. GOD IS ABLE. OUR GOD IS AWESOME. HE'S TOO GREAT AND DOES TOO MUCH FOR US TO TREAT HIM THE WAY WE DO. GIVES US EVERYTHING BUT WE TREAT HIM LIKE HE'S A BILL COLLECTOR. QLIKE HE HAS TO BOTHER US BEFORE HE GETS WHAT HE DESERVES. GOT TO BEG US TO COME TO CHURCH. HE GIVES US EVERYTHING WE'VE GOT WATCHES OVER US 24 hrs A DAY 168 hrs A WEEK AND WE ACT LIKE WE CAN'T GIVE HIM THREE TO FOUR HOURS A WEEK AND COME TO CHURCH EVERY SUNDAY. GIVES US LIFE, BREATH, STRENGTH AND ABILITIES, BUT WILL PUT HIM BEHIND A LOTTERY NUMBER OR A PACK OF CIGARETTES. FAR TOO MANY OF US WILL SPEND HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS TRYING to MAKE SOME. GRATEFUL CHILD HAPPY, BUT WON'T GIVE GOD $10 A WEEK. NO WE CAN DO BETTER. WE JUST HAVE TO WANT TO. BUT TO DO IT WE HAVE TO GO ANOTHER WAY. WE CAN'T GO BACK.


THE ONLY WAY WE CAN KEEP FROM GOING BACK IS BY FIRST EXPECTING OUR LIVES TO BECOME WHAT GOD SAYS WE ARE AND NOT WHAT HEROD SAYS WE ARE. SECONDLY WE HAVE TO STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE. NOT SETTLING FOR JUST GETTING BY OR BARELY MAKING IT. OR JUST DOING A LITTLE SOMETHING. NO OUR GOD IS CALLING US TO HIGHER GROUND. BUT THIRDLY, IF WE REALLY DON'T WANT TO GO BACK, WE HAVE TO WORK AT BUILDING EACH OTHER. THAT'S WHAT EDIFICATION IS. CAUSE IF NOBODY EVER TOLD YOU, WE CAN'T DO IT BY OURSELVES. WE CAN'T BE A CHURCH BY OURSELVES. CAN'T BE A FAMILY BY OURSELVES. WE CAN'T BE A COMMUNITY OR A PEOPLE BY OURSELVES. THAT'S WHY WE CANT TEAR EACH OTHER DOWN. WE HAVE TO BEGIN TO WORK HARDER AT BUILDING EACH OTHER UP. WE CANT FO BACK TO THAT CRAB BASKET MENTALITY. WE KNOW WHERE THAT LEADS. WE'VE BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT. WE CAN'T GO BACK TO THAT. AREN'T YOU TIEDOF SEEING US TEAR DOWN OUR CHURCHES AND TEAR DOWN OUR FOLK AND TEAR DOWN OUR COMMUNITY. WE CAN'T GO BACK TO THAT. WE HAVE GOT TO GO ANOER WAY.

WE'VE GOT TO CHANGE OUR EXPECTATIONS. STOP EXPECTING THE WORSE AND EXPECTING SO LITTLE AND SETTLING FOR CRUMBS. WE HAVE TO LIFT OUR HEADS AND OUR EXPECTATIONS. WE HAVE TO STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE. WE BELONG TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD. WE ARE DESTINED FOR


GREATNESS AND EQUIPPED TO DO GREAT THINGS. WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE ALL SUFFICIENT GOD. THE ONE WHO GIVES US POWER TO GET WEALTH AND CALLS US TO PROSPER AND BE IN GOOD HEALTH. AND YES, WE CAN BUILD EACH OTHER UP. WE DON'T NEED TO GO BACK TO WHEN WE WERE NIGGERS. KILLING NIGGERS. NO WE ARE MORE THAN THAT. WE AFE CLIMBING JACOBS LADDER...

EVERY ROUND GOES HIGHER AND HIGHER. BUT THAT IS ONLY IF YOU EXPECT IT TO. GOD IS A GOD OF EXCELLENCE AND HE IS CALLING US TO HIGHER GROUND. BUT TO GO UP WE CAN PULL EACH OTHER DOWN. NO WE'VE DONE THAT LONG ENOUGH. WE'VE GOT TO PUSH AND PULL. NOT PUSH ME DOWN AND THEN HER DOWN. NO, WE HAVE TO PUSH YOU UP SO THAT YOU CAN PULL ME UP. PUSH AND PULL... A NEW PARADIGM. A NEW EXPECTATION.

We have to go another way...

Be blessed

Rev. Johnny R. Calhoun

GO ANOTHER WAY  
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