Greetings on another SoCal Day where the breeze is cool and the daylight is bright! The view outside of my office window right now is blue skies with fluffy white clouds. The temperatures may not be very high… at least for Southern California, yet, compared to many parts of the country… we are experiencing a heat wave. We could still use some more rain!
I’ve just returned from a Pastors’ Breakfast gathering with those of our leaders pastoring the churches who have been most affected by the fires and rains these recent months. We met in Ventura and had some time to reflect, listen to one another, share about our needs and concerns and pray for each other. I am most grateful for these selfless pastors who are so quick to minister and serve. May the Lord bless these leaders on the Central Coast and along Hwy 126.
ENCOURAGEMENT: But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (II Peter 3:8-9) It is quite evident that for years, during the time of Peter’s ministry, many people were asking him, “Brother Peter, how much longer? When is Jesus returning for His church?” And, of course… for nearly 2,000 years the church has been asking these very questions. “When… when… when…?”
As I read, and re-read the scripture, I have found that all of God’s promises are true. Every prophecy in the Old Testament was fulfilled at one time or another. The statements made in the New Testament have all been fulfilled. EVERYTHING, except for one. His return for His church! And I know that He is coming again. I don’t know when… but I believe it to be very soon.
Right here Peter reminds us that He is “slow” or “patient” with us because He doesn’t want anyone to perish. Earlier in this chapter he spoke on scoffers who would speak evil schemes… and that many would “forget” the ways of God and lead people astray. In other writings we find that the end of times would show itself in fires, earthquakes, floods, and Jesus Himself said that the Gospel will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
We are all fascinated with the things we don’t know nor understand. It’s just the way we are. We’d all like to know how much longer. When will it be? Remember, it was hundreds of years that passed when Isaiah prophesied saying, ”A virgin will give birth to a Son and she will call His name Immanuel,”… then, Jesus was born. The Lord is slow in His return because He doesn’t want anyone to miss out.
As I look around, it is our reminder. Church, it is our calling. We must take seriously the message of salvation everywhere we go. Jesus may be about ready to come. Have you been reading the news… following the activities of the world? And we already know that the Word of God is now in every country of the world. Peter has challenged the church, you and me, to “make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him.” What a great challenge and reminder we need to hear today. “Come Holy Spirit, we need you!”
DISTRICT MATTERS: Tonight the SDMI are sponsoring the INSPIRE weekend with all youth workers under the leadership of our SDMI Chair: Pastor Kathy Cannon and her team of leaders. I look forward to spending a few moments with them. Hope to see some of you there tonight.
- L.A. First Spanish: Last weekend I was privileged to be part of the Campaña de Santidad (Holiness Campaign) led by Pastor Juan Fajardo and our guest missionary and preacher Leonel De Leon. It was great to see a number of our Spanish speaking churches take part in these revival services. May the Lord be praised in and through us!
- Newhall: Pastor Josh Johnson invited one of the JNI (NYI) youth workers leadership band from across the district to come and lead in their Revive Weekend where he had also invited Pastor Mark Bernhardt to be the special preacher. On the night that I was able to attend, they baptized three young men. God is on the move!
- Oxnard Spanish: This past Sunday I was honored to preach in the Oxnard Spanish Church where Pastor Vicente and Veronica Maldonado are serving. What a special time I enjoyed in worship and sharing in God’s Word there with them. May the Lord bless this group as they continue ministering for Jesus!
- Prime Timers Retreat: Pastors and Leaders… please pass along the information to your Prime Time Leaders that the next Three District Retreat is April 23-26, 2018 at Murrieta Hot Springs. We will have material on this retreat coming your way very soon. Leslie and I have been part of this retreat for the past two years and we look forward to it once again.
- District Women’s Retreat: This Friday through Sunday, February 2-4 is the District Women’s Retreat at The Oaks. I believe there are a few spots open if any of you ladies are interested in coming. You can contact Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- NTS Offering: This Sunday has been designated as the day our churches receive an offering for our Nazarene Theological Seminary. Can you give us a hand? http://www.nts.edu/seminarian-offering/
I love you and I look forward to our next encounter. May Jesus bless you today and this coming weekend.
Greg A. Garman
Los Angeles District Superintendent
Church of the Nazarene