Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. I hope this letter finds you all doing well in our Lord and enjoying this Thanksgiving holiday by His grace alone. It is customary to share with family and friends around the dinner table “What are you thankful for?” While I am not present to celebrate with you, I wanted to express a few things I am thankful for:
I am thankful for a congregation that believes in the Gospel and the reality of this glorious truth and it’s impact in your lives (1 Thess 2:13). Our church will only continue to grow and to develop as we dive deeper into His Word. In addition, the impact His Word has on our lives will increase which is only possible through the Gospel and the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
I am thankful for a congregation that has a large and high view of God, Christ and His Word. I praise the Lord for your steadfastness in being obedient to His Word and submitting your entire life to God’s Will–namely, that you be holy, righteous and demonstrate your faith through good works.
I am thankful for a congregation that believes in sin, the effects of sin and the desperate need for the God the Father to send His Son to save us from our sins, to call His own to submit their lives to the Son who gives new life through the new covenant that has been secured through Christ’s blood.
I am thankful for a congregation that honestly desires to glorify GOD and magnify Him through your eager desire to pursue holiness and faithfully believes that the Holy Spirit brings everlasting change (cf. 2 Cor 3:11, 18; Phil 3:21; John 1:1-14; Heb 8:8-13) to an everlasting glory in His Son.
I know there are more things to be thankful for and I do not have the space or time to list all of them. Even though we have officially been in service for three months, I remain excited about our potential and the possibilities that exist for the church. I hope we are all committed and united and that our greatest goal is to make disciples of all peoples and all nations which strongly encourages us and challenges us to live faithfully, to love others with God-centered focus and to evangelize. As we trust in God and faithfully cling to His promises and His Word, we will continue to grow and to strive together. I know the road ahead is long and hard but I wanted to exhort each of you to strive ahead in building long-lasting relationships in the church and among the body of believers. The process in building our community is literally brick by brick or if you will, soul by soul. Let us build our community through intentional and careful discipleship which is grounded in God’s love and our love for God and to people. I personally challenge you to spend your time together at dinner (or lunch) to share with others your thankfulness and to listen to others sharing.
I hope you all have a great thanksgiving vacation. I leave you with these words from Paul to the Thessalonian church. “Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints” (1 Thess. 3:11-13).