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       Senior Pastor Phil Roland


              Pastor Ray Scott


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          Have you ever been to a place in your life when all your options have been played out? You've knocked on and opened all the doors and they all ended with nothing? Has despair been your constant companion morning, noon and evening? Have you ever experienced being out-of-control and the silent rage that comes with deep depression?

          That was my emotional and spiritual state from 1969 until 1971. It was then I surrendered myself and my vocational life into the Lord's Hands. In July of 1971 Lois and I began our journey of faith that brought us 48 years and 2600 linear miles to the present, still Pursuing God and His Kingdom.  He has led us all the way.

          Looking back, I can see we were sent here to lead people to Jesus and His healing and peace. Over the years we have encouraged, exhorted, admonished, counseled and comforted the broken hearted. May I say that Pursuing God is not for the faint of heart. If you want Him in the center of your life you will give up everything in the pursuit. The world will try it's best to lure you back with it's allure: addictions of all kinds, money, position and power. . .

          You will only come close in your Pursuit of God when you've been successful in rejecting all distractions that take you away from Him. What's in your heart? The enemy will use your vulnerability to test you. Stand firm. Keep your eyes on Jesus. You will gain the prize.  

Pastor Phil  <><<


Cinco de Mayo - May 5, 2009- Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland




Psalm 27:1-9


"Some in our culture pursue and follow with abandon worldly acclaim. Others pursue the acquisition of wealth. Still others crave the approval of others. Essentially, we are not satisfied until we find the Lord and make Him the object of our lifelong pursuit.                                  Pastor Phil  <><<


Augustine, 4th century church father. . .

"our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee."


PURSUE - To Persistently and Aggressively follow after. . .

follow (someone or something) in order to catch or apprend something

He is the Way, Truth and the Life. . .


7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me. 8 When You said, "Seek My face," My heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek."

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.    Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)


12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.   Jeremiah 29:12,13


Five Lessons About Pursuing God from Jesus' Life. . .

I.  JESUS WAS TOTALLY GOD'S - Hebrews 10:8,9

8 Previously saying, "Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them" (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first that He may establish the second.


          A. He held nothing back. His life was all or nothing.

          B. Jesus came to bring Salvation to all men

                    1. Nothing held him back

                    2. Neither physical Brutality, Rejection, Ridicule, Abuse

                    3. Remained focused on the task ahead

          C. As followers of Jesus each of us is given a purpose: a goal

              "When asked for the secret of his success, William Booth said:

                I will tell you the secret. God has had all there was of me. There have

                been men with greater brains than I, men with greater opportunities. But

                from the day I got the poor of London on my heart and caught a vision of

                all Jesus Christ could do with them, on that day I made up my mind that

                God would have all of William Booth there was. And if there is anything

                of power in the Salvation Army today, it is because God has had all the

PURSUING GOD, cont. p. 2


                adoration of my heart, all the power of my will, and all the influence of my



Second Lesson About Pursuing God from Jesus' Life. . .


24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.


          A. He didn't pursue marriage and family

                    1. The church (us) was to be His Bride

                    2. We are to be His Brothers and Sisters

          B. He remained focused on his goal - Phil 3:13,14

               Jesus pressed for the prize of his high calling

                    1. He was disciplined like an Olympic runner

                    2. Focused on doing His Father's Will

          C. Let us pray with Him:

               "Your Will be done (in me) on earth as it is in heaven."                     


Third Lesson About Pursuing God from Jesus' Life. . .


46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

          A. Jesus was the mystery of God in human flesh - John 10:30

                       30 I and My Father are one."

                   1. John says He was present before the beginning - John 1:1

                    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and

                          the Word was God.

                    2. Is, always was, always will be,

          B. The cry of separation on His Cross mirrors our cries

                    1. God doesn't answer Jesus' Cry of Desolation

                    2. Often He doesn't respond to our desolate cries of "Why?"

          C. He hears every cry of your heart as did the cries of His Son

Fourth Lesson About Pursuing God from Jesus' Life. . .


17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.


          A. Jesus prayed on His Way to the Cross - Mark 14:34,34

                    34 Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.

              Stay here and watch." 35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and

              prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.

1. He prayed anguished prayers knowing what was ahead

                    2. He prayed earnestly. . .He prayed expectantly

PURSUING GOD, cont. p. 3


          B. Like Jesus we are to pray persistently - Matthew 7:7-8

                    7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will

              be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks

              finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

1. The Greek Verb Tense here is Present, Active, Indicative

                    2. Roland's application paraphrase. . .

                        "For everyone who keeps on asking receives, keeps on seeking

                         finds, keeps on knocking the door keeps opening."

                    3. Jesus Persisted in prayer. . .so must we


Fifth Lesson About Pursuing God from Jesus' Life. . .


    3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You,

    because he trusts in You.

          A. Corrie TenBoom's  Post WW2 Message to war torn Europe

                    1. Look Within and be Depressed

                    2. Look at the World and be Distressed

                    3. Look to Jesus and be at Rest.

          B. God’s Perfect Peace will be found in the place of your focus.

                    1. Keep your eyes focused on Him, Jesus did

                    2. You are not defined by your circumstances

                    3. You are defined by Jesus

                    4. He has defined you by His death on the Cross and

                      called you “beloved.” – Ephesians 1:6

                                       6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us

                          accepted in the Beloved.









Psalm 27:1-9

1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell.
3 Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war should rise against me, In this I will be confident.
4 One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple.
5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.
6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.
7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
8 When You said, "Seek My face," My heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek."
9 Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation.


Proverbs 21:21 (NIV)
21 He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.


Proverbs 15:9 (NIV)
9 The LORD detests the way of the wicked but he loves those who pursue righteousness.


1 Corinthians 14:1 (NIV)
1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.


James 4:8 (NKJV)
8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.




1 Peter 3:10-11 (NKJV)
10 For "He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. 11 Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.

Romans 14:19 (NKJV)
19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.


April 30, 2019

Proverbs 21:21 says, “He who pursues righteousness and mercy finds life”. The word used for ‘pursue’ is a Hebrew word that also means ‘to hunt’. We are to hunt after righteousness and mercy, to pursue it with all our hearts, to even run after it. Notice something else— it doesn’t say that the one who pursued righteousness is blessed, but the one who pursues it. In other words, we are never to stop pursuing God. The pursuit of God and His righteousness is something that must never become an action of the past tense. One of the greatest mistakes believers make is that they pursued God— but only in the past tense and not anymore. They lost their zeal and passion to pursue God. Having pursued Him in the past alone doesn’t bring blessing. But pursuing God in the present does. Make it your aim, your plan, your occupation, your joy to pursue God. Then you will find life and you will be blessed. For the one who continually pursues God and His righteousness will continually be blessed with new life.

From Message #802 - The Divine Hunt
Jonathan Kahn, Daily Sapphires, Tuesday, April 30, 2019



Albert Einstein was once asked by a student, “Dr. Einstein, how many feet are there in a mile?” To the utter astonishment of the student, Einstein replied, “I don’t know.”

The student was sure the great professor was joking. Surely Einstein would know a simple fact that every schoolchild is required to memorize. But Einstein wasn’t joking. When the student pressed for an explanation of this gap in Einstein’s knowledge, he declared, “I make it a rule not to clutter my mind with simple information that I can find in a book in five minutes.” Einstein was not interested in trivial data. His passion was to explore the deep things of the universe. His passion for mathematical and physical truth made him a pivotal fixture in modern world history.



Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NKJV)
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
14 I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.


The hardest part of pursuing the Lord is when you're at your lowest, despair has flooded your heart, everything in you says, "Give it up!" The amazing part of pursuing Him is that in the blackest night and when you feel yourself in the deepest hole, the realization rises up in your heart that God is there and can help you.