FAITH: Hold tight to God’s Word

Published 12:45 am Saturday, November 27, 2021

Rev. Brad McKenzie

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” Revelation 3:14-22

As a pastor, I deal a lot with death.  The past few months there has been many celebrations of life and many opportunities to talk straight with folks about life, death, and eternity.  I have found in my ministry times of death are amazing opportunities to share the gospel and give opportunities for the living to consider their present path and where they go from here.

As we enter into the season of Advent this year, I want to share with you from the Book of Revelation and thoughts on being prepared.  “Get Ready!”  Will be the theme for this special season.  This is the point of followers of The Way of Christ and the congregations they attend celebrating and acknowledging the season of Advent.  We participate in Advent as we prepare for the coming of Christmas day.  This is literally the meaning of the word, it means coming.  It is also a call to get ready for not just the coming of Christmas Day, but the final coming of Christ.

Last week, I had the honor to preside over the celebration of life service for Noma Carlton, my wife’s 93 year old paternal grandmother.  She was an amazing woman of God and celebrating her life was easy, well easy because of who she was, but still many tears, including my own.  Although our family continues to miss Mamaw, we know the truth of God’s Word and believe with our whole selves she is with the Lord.  This is the victory of our faith!

Monday night I received a call from a member of our former church telling me her father had just suffered a heart attack and died.  We continue to be close this family and were shocked and grieved along with them.  I will be doing his celebration of life service today and will grieve and remember with his wonderful family.  Wednesday, my son and I spent the whole day together playing games and being outdoors.  We spent several hours cooking pork chops, boudin, sausage, and bacon over an open camp fire and just having a good time in nature.  During this great time, my wife called to tell me of another loss.  A couple we have been friends with for years, we were in each other’s weddings, the wife, age 40, died suddenly that morning of a heart attack.  She was a pastor of a Nazarene church in Oklahoma and was just an amazing example of a Godly person.  Then just several hours later, we received word my District Superintendents mother had a heart attack and died unexpectedly.  She was 84 years old and was married to a retired pastor and General Superintendent.

I report all of this to say, hold tight to God’s Word, family, and the blessings in your life.  Be reconciled with all, confess your sins, and get ready, tomorrow is not guaranteed.

‘ “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. ‘  Revelation 3:15-16

Get Ready!  You are Valued and Loved, Pastor B

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