First, let me say thank you. As we approach Thanksgiving, my list of things to be thankful for continues to increase greatly. One of those things I am most thankful for is you, our church. Over the course of the past three years it has been a true pleasure to serve alongside you in this ministry here at First Baptist Church. Your generosity and care for me and my family is greatly appreciated. I am grateful for your generous financial gift on Pastors Appreciation Day as well. Without your support, nothing we do here would be possible.
I am also thankful for the ways we have been seeing God move in our youth ministry over the past weeks and months. Faith is growing, students are committing themselves to the work of the kingdom, and God is using our time together to deepen our love of Him and of each other. Family night has been a particular blessing to me, as we gather each Sunday night for food, fellowship, great teaching, and wonderful conversation. Seeing our families come together and connect with one another fulfills a vision I have had for this youth ministry from the time I arrived here of reaching whole families with the gospel of Jesus.
Recently, as I visited my hometown for my grandfather’s funeral, I had a conversation with my brother about thankfulness. We hear all the time the voices of self-help gurus and motivational speakers parroting the advice of Scripture to take some time and make lists of the ways that we are thankful. They parrot this advice because, well, it’s just plain good practice. When we focus on the things that we are thankful for, the world just feels like a better place, our spirits are lifted, and most importantly, our attitude toward God and all that He has provided for us is transformed. In fact, if we can constantly remember that all that is good comes from God, and give thanks for those things, we can live a life that is full of meaning beyond the ordinary gripes of the everyday.
Our God is good to us. And because He is good to us we can be good to one another. Psalm 118 tells us:
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Let Israel say: ‘His love endures forever.’
Let the house of Aaron say: ‘His love endures forever.’
Let those who fear the Lord say: ‘His love endures forever.’”
Let us join the chorus. Let us, this Thanksgiving, give thanks to the Lord, for “His love endures forever.”
Soli Deo Gloria!