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FAITH: Being unaware of one’s own actions does not mean other will also be blind to them

Rev. Brad McKenzie

Recently, I heard someone talk about the distance from our nose to our mouth. They gave this example. A person could not brush their teeth for four or five days, and even though their nose is just a couple of inches from their mouth, most of the time they would not smell the halitosis anyone just a few feet away could easily smell. This is a great reminder of how often and easy it is to personally be unaware of something in our lives which is blatantly obvious to others.

One of the prayers I have consistently brought to the Lord over the past year is the desire of my heart for Him to reveal to me habits, actions, behaviors, and words which do not please Him and have the potential to cause frustration, annoyance, harm, or tension to another person. As I get older, I am becoming more aware of myself, yet I realize there are still many things about me and in me I need to continue to address to be the follower of Christ I desire to be and am empowered to be by the cross and empty tomb.  This is the reality, even when Christians are daily seeking the Lord and surrendering to His transforming power, there are always parts of us He wants to refine, change, and make more like Him!

“O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Psalm 139: 1-6

It should be a great comfort to us know how much God not only loves us, but also knows us, every part of us.  Just as in relationships with people, there are some who know us best and in knowing us well can help us in times of need and stress.  The God and creator of the universe knows your name!

‘Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way everlasting!’ Psalm 139:23-24

When you and I submit to God’s knowing and transforming love, it leads not to condemnation, but to true lie, even everlasting life!

How could allowing the Lord to search us and change us make a difference in the world?  First, the church and followers of Christ must start showing the world what true humility, reconciliation, and forgiveness looks like.  As well, when He searches us and knows us, we are then empowered to truly produce Holy Love in our world, a world so badly needing Jesus!

In closing, I leave you with the lyrics of a song we sang in church growing up, especially when the pastor made an invitation at the end of the message.

Search me, O God, and know my heart today Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray

See if there be some wicked way in me Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free

Search me, O God, and know my heart today Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray

Listen, see if there be some wicked way in me Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free

Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine

Take all my will, my passion, self and pride I now surrender, Lord, in me abide

I now surrender, Lord, in me abide

May it be so!  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.