Day of Thanks
On this day when we remember all God has done for us over the past year, this verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:18 comes to mind. It says “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” There are many things to be thankful for. God is still in control. Romans 8:28 is still true: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him…” God’s church is still growing and still leading people to Jesus. God is teaching us new ways to be the church and fulfill our mission, even in the midst of a pandemic. James 1:3-4 says: “Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” May we always focus on these truths!
Let’s Go, Part 1
Every period of time we live in will bring new and unique challenges and opportunities. Today we find ourselves being constrained in our ability to gather and denied the small gestures of handshakes and hugs – small things that mean so much. In the spirit of the church as described in Acts, we find new ways to express and display our love and caring for one another. It is our church home, First Christian Church, who enables us to think and demonstrate love, even when we are limited in what we once did to show that caring. It is in these challenging times we fully realize that “church” is not a building, it is the assembly of believers, whether gathered together or separated into smaller groups. As we read in Acts 4:32, “All the believers were one in heart and mind.” As we gather, we become more like those before us in the first century church. “They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.” Acts 2:46-47
Let’s Go, Part 2
We all read stories of robberies – women’s purses stolen from a shopping cart, car thefts and house burglaries. We get outraged at such behavior. But God says, we can unknowingly be guilty of robbing Him to. Malachi 3:8-9 says, “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ In tithes and offerings.” It takes money for the church to be the church. It is needed for staff, building debt, children and adult programs, outreach efforts in person and online and to support missions locally and worldwide. Let’s all strive to never rob God by failing to give back to Him, so His kingdom can grow.