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Summary: There was no way they could restore the temple to its former glory; it would be nothing in comparison to King Solomon’s temple. It is at this point that God began to teach them, it is not about how impressive the Sanctuary is.

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TITLE: HOW DOES IT LOOK TO YOU NOW?

SCRIPTURE: HAGGAI 2:3-7

Our scripture text this morning is a difficult book to find in the Old Testament. The easiest way to find it is to go to the end of the Old Testament and turn back a couple of books because Haggai is the third book from the end of the Old Testament. This is an exciting text tucked away in the History of the Old Testament. It holds a wonderful History Lesson as to the lives of God’s people and a testament to God’s love toward the same. There is a positive lesson in these short Five Versus as we celebrate this Wonderful Pastor and his Beautiful Wife as on the occasion of the Conclusion of their Second Year serving as servants for this branch of Zion – the NEW HOPE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH of Boley, OK. I consider it an honor and privilege to celebrate with this my brother and my friend. We have been like brothers since meeting one another almost 12 years ago.

Let’s examine our text and discover what God is saying to us on this day of Celebration. I want to place my focus this afternoon and TAKE NOTE OF THE MIDDLE OF THE THIRD VERSE - “AND HOW DO YOU SEE IT NOW.” The NIV says it like this - “How Does IT Look To You Now?” I lift that as our thought this afternoon.

• That is a good question to ask as you close your second year of this Pastorate and begin to move into your third year of Spiritual Leadership

• How Does IT Look To You Now?

• Look back at your Installation Service until Now

• It probably looks a little different than it did then

• Not talking about pounds we gained or lost

• Talking about what we have Gained and Lost Spiritually

We can ask this question in relation to moving forward and beginning your Third Year. “How Does IT Look To You Now?” I suspect it looks different now than it did when this marriage between Pastor and Congregation began two years ago. And it should look different. How does this new chapter look to you now? Are you looking forward to greater things at the conclusion of this day of celebration?

• What are you expecting after this day of celebration?

• Do you expect to do wonderful and exciting things at New Hope going forward?

• Do you expect to take this ministry to another level in this community?

BEHAVIORAL SCIENTISTS - have discovered that we usually see things that we are prepared to see and that this is all centered in a network of nerve cells called the "RETICULAR ACTIVATING SYSTEM." And everybody here today has a "Reticular Activating System."

The Reticular Activating System works like this. Once something has been brought to our attention and we have been prepared to see it, we’ll see it virtually everywhere we go.

• For example, if you decide to buy that new car and you make up your mind that you are going to buy a certain brand, a certain body style, and a certain color

• All of a sudden you’ll see those cars everywhere

• You’ll see them on the roads, in TV advertisements, in newspapers and magazines

• They’re everywhere

• Now what has happened?

• They were always there, but the moment you were prepared to see them, your Reticular Activating System kicked in and suddenly you saw them everywhere

It happens in other areas of life as well. WE SEE WHAT WE ARE PREPARED TO SEE. If we are prepared to see FAULTS and DESPAIR than that is what we’ll see. If, on the other hand, we have prepared ourselves to see PROGRESSION and OPPORTUNITIES - then that is what we are going to see. People often say to me – Pastor, do you always see the Good in every situation? That is what I am prepared to see. No matter what it looks like, when we understand that God is ultimately in control then we should be able to see his hand of Mercy moving in all situations.

• I grow so tired of hearing Preachers talk about “God is Getting Ready to Do Something”

• God is Getting Ready to Move on Your Behalf

• God is Getting Ready to Bless You

• With this mentality we can fall into seeing Negativity and what’s not right around us

• That’s why all we see is God not doing anything, but Getting Ready To

• When we understand that God is not getting ready to do something – that He already is

• God is not Late – God is not Tardy – God is not Lost

• God is moving even now, in spite of what the eye may see

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