Pastor Keion Henderson is the lead pastor of The Lighthouse Church in Houston, Texas Lighthouse is an organization that serves the body of Christ through our 5 pillars. We always ANTICIPATE a move of God in every experience, so we constantly set a great ATMOSPHERE, and we ACCEPT everyone through love. We believe the best way to impact people is by being AUTHENTIC to who we are and by taking ACTION to move everyone towards greater.
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Pastor Keion (00:00):
Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of Take Action. I am Pastor Keon and listen, we’re going to dive right into the word of God. Philippians chapter three, verse 13, and I’m going to read it. It’s a text that you’ve heard before, but we’re going to see if we can get new water from this old. Well, the Bible says, brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind me and reaching forward unto those things which are before me. And then you know the last part of it, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. It wasn’t until recently that I came to this sort of epiphany that one of the things that every person can do in spite of economic situations, in spite of race, in spite of gender, in spite of ethnicity, in spite of religion, in spite of geographical positioning. By that, I mean it doesn’t matter where in the world you live.
It doesn’t matter if you were adopted. It doesn’t matter if you were born to a single parent. It doesn’t matter if you came into a situation that was ideal, maybe both of your parents were there, maybe you were affluent, maybe you never saw divorce. What I’m saying is it doesn’t matter what circumstances you were born in. Here’s the one thing that I have discovered that every human being can do with the proper level of cognitive ability and sanity and help. One of the things that we all can do are you ready? One of the things that we all can do is improve.
You can be black and improve. You can be white and improve. You can be Indian American and improve. You can be Native American and improve. You can be Asian, you can Chinese, you can be Mexican, you can be Puerto Rican, you can be from an island. You can be Australian. You can be Canadian. It doesn’t matter where you were born. You can always improve. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Baptist Church of God in Christ, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, fire baptized, non-denominational, inter denomination, seventh Day of Venice. It doesn’t matter what religion or doctrine you subscribe to. It doesn’t matter if you have a master’s degree or AGED.
It doesn’t matter if you can pass a background check or you can’t, it doesn’t even matter. If you are hearing this message and you are locked up behind prison bars as I speak, you can improve and see, that’s the great equalizer because there are not many things that we all can be. We won’t all be famous. We won’t all be civil rights activists. We want to all be, at least I know I wasn’t. We want to all be valedictorian of our class. We want to all be in fraternities and sororities. We want to all be star athletes. We want all be individuals with high IQs. We won’t all be fashion forward individuals. We won’t all be anything. We won’t all be ministers. We won’t all be doctors, we won’t all be lawyers, but we all have the ability to improve. But what I’ve discovered about the process of improvement is that it is not a moment in time. It is a process. Therein lies the struggle because although we can improve, staying steady during the improvement becomes the difficult exercise.
See progress, and I’m going to give you a definition of progress. Somebody may ask, well, how do I know that I’m progressing? Well, first of all, progress is the proof or the revelation that no matter what the circumstance was, you stuck with it. And I just want to pause there and have everybody give themselves sort of a non-pro and arrogant pat on your back that no matter what you have gone through in your life, you stuck with the process. Now that if you were in this room right now, we’d be shouting all over this room because as I sit in here literally alone by myself teaching this word to you, I am of the opinion that some of you all are overfilled with some sort of gratitude or joy that you stuck with it no matter what. If I’m talking to you, just type in the chat, I stuck with it, I stuck with it, I stuck with it. Just let everybody know just watching on this YouTube feed right now or on Facebook or if you will be watching this in our app on our website later on, I want you to declare in the atmosphere for anybody who can hear you, anybody who can see you, anybody who can feel you or anybody who will see your name in the chat right now, I want you to type, I’m still here. I’m still here. I made it. I improved.
I stuck with it. It literally means when I say you’ve progressed, it literally means that you have subscribed, yielded, or have you’re okay with the arrested development. That’s what I want to call this arrested development because all of us didn’t improve because we decided to. Some of us did it because we were arrested, that we were stopped in our tracks, that we were observed, that we were pricked, that we were challenged, and as a result of that progress or that process, we made progress. Now, if you are honest, and I believe I’m talking to an honest family today, the fight that process brings to us sometimes makes us want to stop and quit where we are and stand still and never move forward because the process can be painful. So God in his, as my pastor would say in his infinite wisdom, sometimes in his infinite wisdom, God has to bring about the process that produces listen, the progress that is sometimes painful.
I’m going to say it again, God, in his infinite wisdom, that means his eternal non-ending, non challenged wisdom, God in his infinite wisdom sometimes has to bring about the process that produces the progress and sometimes it’s painful. How many of you can raise your virtual hand and admit sometimes it’s painful. I want to be a better person, but it’s painful. I want to love those who use me. It’s painful. I want to keep my mouth closed. When I feel something in my spirit telling me to clap back, it’s painful. I want to protect somebody’s character that would assassinate mine if they had the opportunity to. It’s painful, and the writer of our text is No stranger to the painful policies of life. You’ve heard of our writer, his name is Paul, and lemme just give you his resume. Okay, let’s get it out in the open, okay? Yes. He was a murderer. Yes, at around the age of 30 he was converted into a Christian. Yes. He literally was arrested for preaching the gospel. Yes, he was a felon. Yes, he was all of that. And he went to prison not for murder though, man, let me drink some water because I’m about to get excited.
Paul has been murdering people for years. For years he’s been a murderer and he never went to jail once for murder. He ends up going to jail for the first time, not for murder, but for ministering. Just let that sink in. He’s thrown in prison, not for murder, but for ministry thrown into prison for ministering the word of God. And by the way, while he’s in prison, he wrote one of the greatest books ever written. Now, I don’t know who this is for, but the next time you get into a prison experience, I don’t want you to hang your head. I want you to grab your pen because God is going to give you a revelation. I feel the Holy Spirit, he’s going to give you a revelation in the dark that you could not see in the light.
How many of y’all are in a dark moment right now in a dark moment of the soul, in a dark moment of your life, in a dark moment, on your job, in a dark moment, in your relationship, in a dark moment? And I am telling you, in the darkness is where God is about to give you the clearest sight you’ve ever had in your life. Thank you, holy Spirit. Paul has been arrested at least three times. At least three times. We know that Paul has been arrested. Now, the first time you remember in Acts chapter 16, he praised until there was an earthquake and the prison shook. The second time he was introduced to the Roman prison system is where he would spread the gospel from a prison cell. You can find that in Acts chapter 28. And then Paul goes on to have ministry spanning over three decades, over 30 years of ministry and none of it would have happened.
Listen, if he had not been arrested. See, all things really do work together for the good of them that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose. But if you don’t want the process, you won’t enjoy the progress. And sometimes the process is prison and pain. Oh, when God gets done with you, you’ll say, like the writer, it was good that I was afflicted, that I might learn the statues of God. There are some things that don’t happen until you are arrested. That’s why I’m calling it arrested development. Sometimes it won’t happen until your hands are behind your back. It won’t happen until your head is in between your knees. It won’t happen until you have drawn the curtains to keep the sun from coming in. It won’t happen until you’ve blocked everybody on your phone because you don’t want to talk to anybody.
It won’t happen until you promise yourself that you’ll never fall in love again. It won’t happen until you promise yourself that you won’t ever trust anybody again. And right in that place where you’re making all of these promises, God says, keep on making those promises and I’ll keep on developing you because while you are deciding what you’re not going to do, what you are not realizing is that I’m working in you so that I can show you what you are going to do. And listen, Paul never murders again, but he never knew. He never knew that inside of his arrest would be the biggest change in his life. Recently I was invited to speak at an event and the event that I was invited to speak at, first of all when I got to the airport, they had no transportation there. And when I got to the point where I was looking for the transportation, I called, they said, we’ll be there in five to seven minutes. I waited 15, 20, 25 minutes, no transportation. I called my assistant and said, Hey, the transportation isn’t here. She calls the transportation. The transportation gives her a different story. They tell her, oh, we got a flat tire. Now, they haven’t called me in 30 minutes to tell me that they have a flat tire. So I’m sitting at the airport waiting.
I called an Uber and the destination from the airport, the Uber is $158. So now I’ve got to pay for my own Uber. And when I get to the Uber, the man says to me, I cannot believe who this is getting in my car. He says, I am so tired of seeing your face. He said, every time I come into my house, your program is on my television. He says, my wife watches you every single day. And he said, cannot take a picture with you so I can show my wife that I had picked you up and maybe it’ll get me out of trouble. And so he takes a picture with me later on because I’m in the city where one of my best mentors is. I get a chance to go to his house and spend five hours being developed and trained in the art of business and in the art of ministry.
Listen, I had two options. I could sit there and complain about the fact that the people who brought me there didn’t have transportation. And by the way, the time I got to the hotel, they had not paid for the hotel room, had the reservation on days that I would not be there. So I ended up paying my own hotel room. Now obviously I didn’t speak for the event because that’s too many strikes, but here’s what I’m actually saying. I got a chance to make the day of a man in a Uber and got a chance to spend copious amounts of hours with my mentor developing me because sometimes God has to allow certain things to happen because he knows you wouldn’t take the journey otherwise somebody ought to just clap right there. I would not have gotten on that plane. I would not have gone to that city unless I had what was perceived as an opportunity. And so sometimes God has to prove he has to smuggle opportunity into what you perceive as an opportunity because he knows what you’ll accept, but he also knows what you need. And so sometimes he has to hide what you need and what you accept. But he doesn’t deliver what you accept. He delivers what you need.
And now here I am being blessed and are a blessing to somebody else all because it was good that I was afflicted and through that affliction I was able to be purposeful and impactful as opposed to disgruntled about what didn’t work. Are you hearing what I’m saying? So what I’ve learned is that the church has or had a history of believing that Christianity was or is measured by ritualism and ceremonies. Whichever one you want to say was or is that you have to be so blameless in order for God to be able to use you.
The only issue with this reasoning is that we are reading from the pen of a convicted felon, which is a signal here it is that God can use anybody, that God can literally use anybody or anything to accomplish his salvific purpose. He can use anybody or anything. And lemme tell you something, and I don’t want to bust anybody’s bubble, but real religion is not about the fact that you don’t wear makeup. Real religion is not about the fact that your dress touches your ankles real religion. And when I was growing up, real religion was, did you have a slip under your skirt? No, that’s not real religion. Real religion isn’t about the fact that you have no tattoos on your body. Real religion is not that you can sing. The second, third and fourth stands to a hymn and you are not more saved than somebody else because you know the customs of Christianity.
You’re not more saved than anybody else because you can distribute the holy communion. You’re not more saved than anybody else because you know the Lord. Prayer. You’re not more saved than anybody else because you know my God shall reign forever. None of that makes us more saved than the other. In fact, Paul said, and those who think like this, he said he calls them dogs and evil workers. That’s what the word says. He calls them dogs and evil workers. Now why listen, why would Paul associate dogs with evil workers? You know why? Because in Paul’s day, dogs in the east at that time mostly had no masters. Have you ever gone on vacation and you just see dogs running around the streets? They have no masters. In other words, just because you know how to do the holy dance. So just because you can speak fluently in unknown tongues, just because you take the Lord’s supper or have a denominational affiliation doesn’t mean you know God.
He’s saying you, those of us who judge according to this, he says, you are like a dog. What he’s meaning is you have no master. You have no master. You have no master. This is not about how long your skirt is. This is about do you have the master. This isn’t about no tattoos on your body. This is do you have a master? He’s not talking about how long is your hair? What color is your hair? Did you wear baseball cap? Did you walk during the prayer? Did you put your finger up? That’s all religiosity. He says, I don’t care any about, I don’t care about all I want. Do you have a master? I don’t care anything about any of that. Who’s the master?
Who’s the master? Who’s your master? And let me tell you, be careful how you answer that question because I’m a jealous God and I have no other master before me. He says, I don’t care about your ritualism. I don’t care what your denominational affiliation is. This is God talking through Paul. That’s I don’t even care what your past was because I throw those things into the sea of forgetfulness. I want to know, am I your God? Am I your master? And do you trust me in the process? Which means that if I have you to take an invitation to get on the plane, to go to a place where you thought you would be compensated only to make somebody’s day and to spend hours being trained, do you trust that something happened in that trip that I’m going to use to push you to the next level of your destiny?
Who cares if you know amazing grace? How sweet the sound has saved the wretch like me, I once was lost, but now I’m found was blind. But now I see through many dangerous tos and snares, I’ve already who caress. If you know all of that and you don’t know the master that it is talking about, who caress if you got five buttons on your suit and who caress? If you’ve got a pocket square in your jacket and who caress? If you have your church socks on and your loafers, who cares If your Bible is so big that it had to have a forklift to get into the church? Who caress, who caress. If you got a hymnal in the trunk of your car who caress? Who cares? Who cares? Who cares? He wants to know, am I your master?
I want to know if I’m your master. Verse three says, beware of those who mutilate the flesh for we are the circumcision. See, what he was talking about is ancient Jewish belief. Belief that you had to be circumcised in order to be saved. And at 99 years old, God told Abraham to be circumcised as a part of the covenant between him and the Jews. And anyone who was not circumcised was breaking the covenant with God. He then circumcised Isaac on the eighth day, and that’s why Isaac is a type of Christ, because Jesus Christ was also circumcised on the eighth day. But here is the caveat. As the Gentiles became grafted in the diaspora, some of the Jews believed that the Gentile Christians needed to follow the Jewish law completely, which also included circumcision. They wove salvation and circumcision in together making salvation contingent upon circumcision.
But what they didn’t know, help me Holy Ghost, is that Jesus would end the ceremony when he was circumcised on the eighth day because the thing about Jesus is he did everything once so nobody else would have to. He was circumcised once, so nobody would go to hell for not being circumcised. He died once, so you would not have to die but inherit everlasting life. And so circumcision is cutting away the flesh. And Matthew 16 and 24 says, if a man comes after me, he must first what? Deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. The eternal work of Jesus Christ is the arrested development that says that just like Paul, I once was blind, but now I see.
Speaker 2 (26:37):
Hey everybody. My name is Pastor Keon Henderson. I am the founder of an organization called Take Action. Now, people are always direct messaging me and texting me and saying, pastor, what are you doing? How can I be a part of what you’re doing? And I know everybody doesn’t want to be a part of the local church, but what if I told you I had a way for you to partner with me so that we can affect change throughout the world? Hence, take action now. A 5 0 1 3 nonprofit organization committed to advancing individual agency and social progress by protecting, strengthening and uplifting the underserved and disenfranchised throughout the world. We’re doing humanitarian things, teaching entrepreneurism, teaching home ownership and institutional inequities, cultural deficits. We have our ear to the ground and we need your help to make a difference whether it is making a sizable donation to the estate of a young woman who lost her battle with cancer via the internet, and we were able to make a difference there.
Or whether it is in a underserved community in the Caribbean islands where the children were playing amidst rocks and glass and we came in and broke ground recently on the park so that athletes and cheerleaders and young people in that community can have a safe place to stir up the gift inside of them. Whether it is paying the utility bills in cold climates for seniors, or just helping basketball players get the proper uniforms of football players. It’s just us making a difference through financial literacy and technological empowerment and mentoring services. This is what we do, and all I’m asking you to do is become a partner with me right now, and I want you to go visit Take action now.org. Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.