The Best is Yet to Come!

The Best is Yet to Come!

I had the privilege over the weekend to preach at the 225th anniversary celebration of the Bracken Association of Baptists.  It was a meaningful experience with a strong attendance and more than half of the churches represented.  There was good music, historical information, ministry displays, recognition of associational achievements, and most certainly, delicious food!

When celebrating an anniversary and remembering our history, it’s easy to talk about what God has done in the past.  So many associational leaders relish the great successes of the past and wish things could be like they used to be.  This is something I hear from time to time as I work with Baptist associations in Kentucky. 

I shared a message from Isaiah 43:18-19, challenging us to forget the past and expect great things from God in the future. You see, God had performed great miracles for Israel that they were told to forget because they were living on past blessings. Their memories, both negative and positive, made them prisoners of their past.  Their memory limited their faith and only looked back on what God had done. They didn’t have any room for looking forward to what God could do. 

If we’re not careful, this same thing will happen in an association.  We talk about the good ‘ole days and become prisoners of our own making.  We find some associations existing on the crumbs of spiritual nostalgia. God wants us to expect great things from Him today, and tomorrow. Yes, participation may be less than it used to be, giving may be down, and people have too many other things going on.  But God is able to make a way in the midst of the wilderness and desert, not in the absence of.   

It should comfort the hearts of associational leaders that God has done some awesome things before.  But He wants to provide for us and prove Himself once again in new things.  hHimHiWilderness I challenge each of Kentucky’s associations and associational mission strategists to live expectantly that God will do something new in the association. 

If we can’t forget the past, we become oblivious to the new things that God is doing all around us. Some translate verse 19 of Isaiah 43 as “can you not perceive it”?  The perceptions of someone who struggles with letting go of the past literally become dulled – keeping them from “seeing” the good things the Lord is doing all around them.

The prophet Isaiah issued an invitation from God to get on board with what He’s doing.     

I believe the best is yet to come in many of our associations because of renewed vision, new leadership, and a trust in God to do great things today.  I also believe that the new things God is going to do through associations will be so great that the old achievements and successes will pale in comparison and seem insignificant. 

Can you see it?

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