Thank You

The church at Rome, the church at Ephesus, the church at Philippi, the church at Colossae, the church at Thessalonica, Timothy, Titus, Philemon and the list goes on of churches and people that the Apostle Paul gave God thanks for.  It wasn’t placating, unmerited, flattering gratitude, for we see that the church that caused him such great heartache, the church at Corinth, received no such encouragement.  This is of course the difference between flattery and genuine encouragement; the former is a lie and is usually designed to manipulate, whereas the latter, encouragement, is an exposed grateful heart that is sincere and empty of such foolishness.

This week we will be (Lord willing, and I believe He is) ordaining Ron Anstey to the Gospel Ministry.  I wrote for the bulletin insert a warm and encouraging blurb on Cap (my nickname for him).  It was sincere and I am thankful for Cap and for God putting him in the ministry with me.  It was unusual in our church to see such a write up on a member.  However I would like to say that we should be encouraging each other; we should thank God openly for what we are each contributing to the cause of Christ.  We should be grateful for the growth and dedication that we see in each other.

In the New Testament we see that over and over again Paul was encouraging those that were around him, he was genuinely grateful to God for these ministries and men and women.  With that in mind, I was thinking about my church.  Emmanuel Baptist Church is an awesome, imperfect, welcoming, stumbling, loving, graceful congregation of believers in Jesus.  I thank God for you Emmanuel!  I thank God that He is calling men such as Ron out of you and establishing them in the ministry.  We have been blessed with such a deep and wide pool of leadership in this church, that if I were to start listing them, I am sure that I would leave someone out, but I thank God for you all.  We are being outfitted by God to affect this community and this very world for Christ.  We are seeing such growth in grace in this place!  To God be the glory!

As I sit here this morning I can’t help but think that we are not alone.  There are other men and ministries that I thank God for as well.  I thank God for Perry Jones, for Tim Bagwell, for Mariano Proto, Mike Small, Erik Devitro, Paul Clow, for the other pastors in our fellowship, for Tabernacle Baptist for taking my daughter for school over the last 4 years and doing school as a ministry and fir others that God has blessed me with in the ministry.  I thank God for my brother Tracy Davis, a pastor that prays for Emmanuel and me every week with his church in Lisbon NH.

My life would be less without these men, women and ministries in it.  We should be thankful!  We should give God glory and thanks, that He would surround us with His people.  So, thank you Lord for all that you have done and are doing in this ministry and in my life!

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