In his second letter to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul begins by saying “I am bound to thank God always for you all…” I’ve always loved that little snippet of Scripture because of its plain message – I am bound, obligated, indebted to give thanks. It’s the least I can do in light of all that our wonderful God has done for me. I wanted to take a few moments and list out some of those things for all who will read.
1. I’m thankful for the free gift of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus. I am a sinner. I deserve hell for my sin, but God has given me the free gift of a personal relationship with His Son Jesus, and I am altogether different because of Him. My spirit, my life, my future are all different because of what Jesus has done in my life.
2. I’m thankful for the Bible, God’s perfect Word. The Scriptures are infallible, relevant, and always fresh. Furthermore, they are sufficient for life. I’m being shaped by God’s Word daily.
3. I’m thankful for my family. That begins with my wonderful wife – my sidekick, fellow adventurer, companion, encourager, sweetheart, and advisor. Angie is awesome! And my daughter amazes me afresh each day. She’s bright and beautiful, a gift of the grace of God.
Then there are my parents, my brother and his family, all of my in-laws who mean the world to me, my two grandmothers who are still living, and my two grandfathers and a great-grandmother who are at home with the Lord but also helped shape my life.
4. I’m thankful for my church. I have an awesome church family. They love us and we love them deeply. They receive the Word with eager ears and attentive hearts and we serve together with a common love for our community and the world at large.
5. I’m thankful for my church staff. My fellow leaders are pretty great. Justin leads the youth ministry with great energy and creativity. David leads the kids with passion and conviction. Terri keeps us all organized and sane (most of the time). Nell handles finances like nobody’s business (literally). Howard and Tom take care of the buildings as though they own them.
6. I’m thankful for the volunteer/lay leadership of our church. They are all ministers and servants. God has blessed us with godly Deacons in Bentley, Nick, Lou, Tim, Randy, Darrell, Jeff, and Jason. We have some musical wonders in Kip, Tamara, Georgie, Nell, Bill, Katie, the choir and the guys who fill in here and there. Awana, Nursery, Sunday School, greeting and “ushing” all happen (and then some) because people give their time – and I love them for it!
7. I’m thankful for God’s provision. He’s been far better to us than we deserve. In fact, I deserve nothing better than hell for my sin, but by God’s grace, He’s been willing to grant me far more. He’s good… all the time!
8. I’m thankful for friends. Ministry can be lonely, but God has surrounded us with friends with whom we can laugh, cry, and pray. They are awesome.
9. I’m thankful for heroes and mentors. For my Father-in-law, Danny Kirk, one of the wisest mentors I have ever known. For Grady, Donny, and a list of others. Then there are the people who don’t know me, but I know them – W. A. Criswell, Rick Warren, Jack Graham, Billy Graham, David Jeremiah, Charles Spurgeon, and many others.
10. I’m thankful for the future. Because God is good and faithful, it is bright for all of eternity!
I’m thankful and a blog can’t even express it all. What about you? What are you thankful for?