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FAITH: Do not fall into the great hole of stagnation

Brad McKenzie

This past Wednesday evening, as I left my church office, I was caught by the crisp breeze, clear night sky, and the scent of soil and dew in the air.  This delightful moment brought me back to my up bringing in central Oklahoma.

It reminded me of days during my teen years when I had no idea how good the simple life was and how much I would long for those days again.

In transparency, my heart grieves over the world we live in today, a world that has changed so drastically in just a short time.

My heart hurts at the current world and national situation and what could potentially be the world where my children are adults.  When my thoughts want to be drawn to fear or when I wake up in the middle of the night praying, I cannot help but to go back to the Word of God for help!

‘The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”’  Lamentations 3:19-24 NLT

One of the most difficult parts of life is the uncertainty of the unknown.

When we are young, we look forward to the future because of the great potential and hope for good things to come.

As we get older and live through some difficult days, we do not have to completely lose our positivity about the future, but we do tend to become a bit more realistic about what is possible.  At this point however, many are struggling to find the potential for brighter days as events continue to unfold.  Yet, I remind all of us of the great, merciful and gracious faithfulness of God and the reality we can do nothing to change His love for us.

I want to continue to encourage all of us to lean into God, His Word, and to continue to gather with His people!  We cannot afford to allow ourselves to fall into the great hole of stagnation, apathy, and even apostasy.  We must discipline ourselves to not listen to every person who says they have a special word, for often we only listen to the ones who say what we want to hear.  We must continue to be people of God’s word and ask Him to give us the knowledge and wisdom we need to face the future unafraid.

I leave you with this today!

‘I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. ‘  Philippians 1:3-11 ESV

Don’t let the message of the world become the truth in your heart!  God is for us, and that’s enough for me!  You are Valued and Loved, Pastor Brad

 

Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.