God is faithful to complete the work that He starts in his people (Phil 1:6). Are you thankful?
He is active in bringing about his perfect, powerful plan for the good of those He has called into loving relationship with Himself (Rom 8:28-29). Are you thankful?
And part of God’s perfect, powerful plan is to use imperfect, broken people to make disciples (Matt 28:16-20). Have you ever noticed that the Great Commission is delivered to at least some who were struggling with doubt? Are you thankful?
Broken, doubting, imperfect people are not a problem for God or his gospel. The gospel is the power of God for salvation to all who believe it (Rom 1:16). Are you thankful?
In his kindness, God leads people to repentance (Rom 2:4). And that kindness is most often communicated through imperfect people who let their light shine before men so that others will glorify the Father in heaven (Matt 5:16). Are you thankful?
These people treat others as more important than themselves, having the attitude of Christ who made Himself nothing, trusting that the Father will do the exalting (Phil 2). Are you thankful?
Here are three snapshots (out of many, many more) of God’s people showing his kindness, preferring others, and sharing the gospel at our church. I hope these fuel your thanksgiving and prompt you to think of ways that you have seen the goodness of God in land of the living (Ps 27:13).
The 4th and 5th graders had been discussing Jesus’ teaching: the Sermon on the Mount. As they asked and answered questions, things got more and more serious—more and more real. A student shared that her grandfather didn’t know Christ. And she shared that her dad was deeply invested in sharing, and showing, that the Good News was good. She saw her dad living out his faith. And it made her want to do it too. So the students bowed and prayed to God. Together, these 9-10 year-olds asked God to save a grandparent and encourage a parent in his work. This stopped being a lesson about God and turned into a time to seek his face. Wow! I am thankful.
At 8:15 on a Sunday morning, some of our wonderful kids volunteers for that day called with an unexpected issue. They weren’t going to make it. So I sent out a text to a parent asking, “Could you fill in at the last minute?” This parent not only said, “Yes!” but also brought her daughter to serve too. And this mother-daughter dream-team made a difference that morning. They saw a need, and rather than feeling inconvenienced, they saw an opportunity to serve God’s church. They didn’t serve grudgingly, but joyfully as for the Lord (2 Cor 9:7). I am thankful!
Our church has a great team of elders, deacons, and staff. Did you know that some of our elders and deacons (and their spouses) reguarly teach Sunday School to the kids? The “kiddie-table” is a place of honor for them. We are on the same mission: to make disciples. Recently, one of our staff-members was leading in a kids-event that went a little longer than expected. That was not a problem for him. Instead, it was an opportunity to love kids and review the gospel. I walked in to see him using the extra time for extra ministry: he had them laughing, smiling, thinking, and reviewing the Word of God. It was beautiful. I am thankful.
I stopped this list of snapshots at three for the sake of space. I could have listed three-hundred. God is working. He is working through his people. He is working through his people here at Sandhurst. I am thankful.