Faith Baptist Church of State College, Pennsylvania

Thanking God

Consider when thinking of Paul the apostle, many thoughts come to mind…the self-righteous Pharisee of the Pharisees, the zealous persecutor of the nascent church of Jesus Christ, the “road to Damascus” experience, the missionary journeys into the Gentile world, his testimony before the Athenians, Felix, and Agrippa, and his epitaphial declaration of, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.” (I Tim. 6:7)

Recently, I have been refreshed by Paul’s spirit of thankfulness to God for his brethren in Christ. Paul’s epistles overflow with this spirit. He thanks God for the faith of the church in Rome which was being proclaimed throughout the whole earth (Rom. 1:8). He thanks God for how the church at Philippi was participating in the Gospel “from the first day until now” (Phil. 1:3-5). He thanks God for the faith, love and hope which was being evidenced in the church at Colossae (Col. 1:3-5). He thanks God for his dear brother, Philemon, who demonstrated refreshing love toward his brethren (Philemon 4-7). In the two letters to the young church at Thessalonica, his heart bursts in thanks to God for their faith, love, and hope (1:2,3- both epistles), for their acceptance of the Word as the Word of God (2:13), for their firm stand in the Lord (3:9), and for their being chosen of God for salvation (II Th. 2:13).

Similarly, I would like to use the balance of this writing to express my thanks to God for my dear church family as well as friends of Faith Baptist.

First, I thank God for your demonstration of Christ-like love to Pastor Nick, his wife and their children. Thank you for how you have worked hard at helping them to acclimate to this part of the Lord’s harvest field. Your labor of love has been manifested in many ways and most recently seen by all that you did to make Pastor Nick’s installation service a wonderful day for all. Thank you, one and all, for organizing and implementing such a delightful service and meal. Your warmth of fellowship not only gladdened my heart but also made an enriching impression upon Pastor Nick’s family. Before departing, one of Nick’s uncles commented to me that his heart was moved by the love of this church family for Christ and for one another. I thank God for a church family that loves in such a manner.

Second, I thank God for your evidenced commitment to meet with the “God of all Grace” in prayer. How it blesses my heart to pastor a flock that regularly and gladly gathers to meet with God in the company of one another. Wednesday night after Wednesday night my heart is filled, with thanks to God, rejoicing in the delightfulness of praying with my dear brethren in the presence of our Gracious Father.
I thank God for a church family that makes time to pray especially in light of the hectic-ness of living in the information age. With all of our time-saving gadgets to maintain; with all of our entertainment devices to indulge, with all of our information resources to access, and with all of our bloated schedules to keep, we yearningly attempt to “downsize” our commitments. Thank you for not “opting-out” of corporate prayer. I thank God for a church family that seriously strives to be a “house of prayer.”

When thinking of my dear church family, I thank God!

In Christ,
Pastor Drew