Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I trust that this day finds you well and that you are experiencing the joy of the Lord. I absolutely love this time of the year with it being Thanksgiving and with Christmas just around the corner. Truly, there is much to be thankful for! We can be thankful for all the material blessings we enjoy, our families, our nation and all the freedoms we have, along with a hundred other blessings that God richly provides for us. But let’s not forget about all the spiritual blessings we have been given.
The apostle Paul explains it this way in Philippians 1:3-6: I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Wow! If you are a Christian, then you have a “partnership in the gospel.” What a privilege it is to serve our Lord and Master day by day! What a comfort it is to know that the God who initiated our salvation, is the same God who will complete and perfect our salvation. Indeed, we can rejoice and be glad in this.
Being a Christian does not mean you won’t suffer (Philippians 1:29, James 1:2-4, 2 Corinthians 1:3-7). It just means you have the resources and help that you need to deal with it. In short, you have Christ! You have hope! And you have the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct you through the valley. Brothers and sisters, this is good news!
Sunday night at Pastor Richard Peck’s installation service in Mount Union, we sang a song that I wanted to share with you. If you have 5 minutes, click on the link below, and let the lyrics minister to your heart. (I apologize for those of you who don’t have email or access to the internet). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zundjUFazfg
The title of the song pretty much says it all: “Yet not I, but through Christ in me.” That is the essence of the Christian life. It is not I, but Christ living in me (Galatians 2:20). It’s not what I bring to the table, but the life and power of the Almighty God working through me (Zachariah 4:6).
Luke 8:26-39 tells the story of a demon possessed man who was healed by Jesus. After being healed, the man wanted to be with Jesus, but Jesus told him, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you. And he went away proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him” (8:39). Dear friends, this is what we should be doing. This is what we must be doing! Telling the world of all that our Lord and Master has done for us.
Here are a few quick questions to ponder, and which I pray will spur you on in your pursuit of Christ.
Is there evidence in your life that you have “been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13)? Do you carry with you the fragrance of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15-17)? And is there growing evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in your life (Galatians 5:22-23)?
Before I close out this letter, let me remind you of the great privilege of being a Christian. You are an ambassador of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20)! You are a soldier in the army of the Lord (2 Timothy 2:3)! You have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19)!
God has been so amazingly good to us. May we not grow weary of doing good (Galatians 6:9) and may we make the best use of the time, because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16).
Until next time, Pine Glen Church family, have a wonderful Thanksgiving and may God richly bless you!
In Christ Jesus,
Below you will find some of my favorite pictures from the last couple months.