Thursday, January 14, 2010

Blessed be God

One of the ways that Paul frequently opens his letters is in thanksgiving for the church he is addressing: I thank my God always in every remembrance of you; we give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you; we give thanks to God always for you; we are bound to always give thanks to God for you, brethren, as it is fitting because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other. Paul loves his people, is thankful for them, and nearly every one of his letters begins with that sentiment, overflowing thankfulness and recognition of the growing grace of Jesus in their lives. And I want to do the same right now: people of Trinity, on behalf of your elders, I want to express to you how thankful we are for you. We regularly hear about your obedience, about your sacrifices for the kingdom, we see your growth in grace, we see your faithfulness in countless ways with your children, in your employment, in the community, in hospitality, in mercy, in evangelism, in joy, and you make us proud. And thank God for you regularly. Many of you know that we meet on Thursday mornings, and you should know that we regularly thank God for you, for the blessings that God is pouring on you and upon all of us here at Trinity. Your love for one another is readily evident; the fact that it takes several verses from the pianist to call you back to your seats during the passing of the peace is glorious. You obviously love one another. And more than that, you should know that Trinity has a growing reputation for this very thing in this community. God is blessing us, and this is of course no reason for pride or arrogance, but it is every reason for thankfulness and praise. Of course, God has only just begun to work His goodness in our lives, and as far as churches go, Trinity is still a toddler congregation, still learning to walk in many ways. But well done, thanks for your faithfulness; you are a testimony of God’s grace. Blessed be God for His goodness toward us in Christ Jesus our Lord. And this goodness of God calls us further up and further in. So “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:1-2)

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