Always Thank God
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints” (Col 1:3-4).
At a recent local pastors’ prayer gathering (which I have been blessed to be a part of for over ten years), a fellow pastor challenged us all from Colossians 1:3-4 to be thankful for our flocks.
Now, you might not think such a challenge would (or should) be needed in a group of conservative, Bible-loving pastors. But it was and it is. We pastors are mere flesh-and-blood. We fall into the same traps, sometimes, or just getting our daily “to do” lists done.
There’s always the next sermon. The next counseling session. The next visit. The next email to write. The next event to promote. The next planning meeting. The next phone call or text to make. The next conflict to resolve. The next worship gathering to plan.
And if pastors are not careful to guard our hearts, it can become no more than a routine job which robs us of our gratitude. And no gratitude = no joy. And often, no gratitude = no love.
Perish the thought! Nothing worse can hardly be conceived than a loveless, joyless, thankless pastor. Woe be to the flock under his care!
So, during this week of Thanksgiving, may I just pause, and thank and praise God for the dear Church family that I have the immense joy and privilege and duty to shepherd in the faith?
I thank God for Corydon Baptist Church. Every. Single. Member. And every single child of a member. I know them each by name (3 John 15). I pray for them regularly, and call to mind their sweet faces. Even the member who may be causing some grief at the moment, I am so thankful for; because I know but for the grace of God, I am also quite capable of causing others grief.
I thank God for the genuine sense of family among us at CBC. All churches talk about being a family. And no doubt many are, by God’s grace. But we seem to have been given a special grace at CBC, to actually live as family. Day by day. It thrills my heart as a pastor to see our members loving and living and serving Christ as true brothers and sisters, who stick by one another through thick and thin. Who ask forgiveness and grant it. Who overlook offenses in love. Who hold one another accountable to pursue holiness. Who pray, laugh, cry, and feast together. CBC is a family. Thank God.
I thank God for the love of the Word here at CBC. The attention given to the absolutely authoritative, sufficient Word of God is evident among us every Sunday. As you recite the Word. Listen to the Word. Sing the Word. Pray the Word. Read the Word. Train your children to sit under the Word. And then you meet together during the week to study and discuss the Word together. Many of you read the Word systematically together throughout the year. You counsel the Word to one another. You memorize the Word together. I thank God for a church full of true disciples who abide in the Word of Christ (John 8:31).
I thank God for a missionary heart at CBC. O dear flock, surely you see it too? Holy Spirit God has been and is giving us the very heart of Jesus for the lost world. A missionary heart! It is evident in your giving. In your praying. In your going. In your sending. And we’ve not yet begun to give, pray, go and send. The best is yet to come! CBC understands, by grace, that Jesus will have the prize for which He died – an inheritance of nations (Psalm 2). And we are eager and excited to play a part in the work of God to save a people for Himself from every tribe, tongue, people and nation. Haven’t we seen just how awesome it is to know and serve a God who can do abundantly, exceedingly above all we ask or think? We must thank and praise our God!
I thank God for a flock that stands firm for God’s truth in the face of a growing cultural storm. Throughout the COVID debacle, this church proved fearless. We feared the Lord, and put our trust in Him. And now, as so-called churches buy into worldly philosophies such as Critical Race Theory and Marxism, we stand uncompromisingly upon the truth that in Christ, there is no Jew or Greek. As our culture (and false churches) embrace the abomination of homosexuality and gender madness, our membership stands unapologetically on the truth of Holy Scripture. As our world (and many churches) are swept away by feminism and misogynism, CBC holds the line handed down to us by the saints of old. And we do so lovingly, truthfully, gracefully. We seek to pick no fights. We simply, humbly, believe the whole counsel of God as revealed to us in the Bible. We believe God knows best. Period. Thank God.
I thank God for a church full of the generations. Our elderly saints are so sweet. So faithful to Jesus and His Bride. So willing to serve in whatever ways they are able. So prayerful. We have a church full of godly grandparents! And we have a church full of young families. Fighting by the sanctifying grace of God for pure marriages. Gospel-centered homes. Raising godly offspring. Women so diligently pouring themselves in managing their households and nurturing their children. Men so faithfully working hard to protect and provide and teach and lead their households. Single men and women guarding their hearts and serving the Lord so well. Children learning to obey their parents in the Lord, and to love and respect their elders. Surely you join me in thanking God for blessing us generationally in Christ our Lord!
I thank God for a church that loves me and my family so well. Your love is unmerited. It is all of grace. I have seen you caring for my wife and children. I have seen young men honor and protect my daughters. I have a palpable sense of your weekly prayers for me and my family. God guards and delivers and blesses and uses us for His glory, through your faithful intercession. You have served us in some many ways. We could not ask for more. Michele, Keileigh, Ethan, Meaghan and I thank God for you all.
Most of all, I give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for qualifying us all to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Col 1:12-14).
O dear Corydon Baptist Church, give thanks to the Lord; for He is good, and His love endures forever!
by Keith McWhorter