November is the month when we need to be reminding ourselves that every day should be Thanksgiving!
We celebrate Thanksgiving Day only once a year, but in the lives of believers thanksgiving should be an everyday engagement. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thes. 5:18). There is our goal!
My personal striving, in Christ, to obey Paul’s Thessalonian charge has brought to mind many things that are happening here at Grace Church for which I am deeply grateful to God. Chief among them is the fellowship in the gospel we experience as blood-bought believers; it surely is a remarkable thing to be part of the body of Christ!
I thank God for the spiritual exercise we had last spring as we prayed through our pledges and gifts for Project Refresh.
I thank God for the rich Bible instruction offered here regularly: ABFs, FLOCKS, and various types of small groups, not to mention our qualified, capable, and committed preaching team (and praise God for our rehearsal of the heart of Reformation theology in last month’s Sola series, marking 500 years since Martin Luther nailed those Ninety-five Theses to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany). What a privilege we have week-in and week-out to preach the same gospel as the Reformers, the Church Fathers, the Apostles, and Jesus Himself!
I thank God for the experience of Christian community that is being cultivated in our Kerdos College & 20s ministry led by Dan Brendsel.
I thank God for the gospel teaching, shepherding, and modeling that our youth are receiving from Nick Conner.
I thank God for our ministries to children in Sunday school, AWANA, and the nursery, and for Janice Gilmour who so capably coordinates these efforts.
I thank God for the ministry to and from our Grace Church women directed by Andrea Rupple.
I thank God for the fruit we are seeing in our sports ministry under Jeff Goodman.
I thank God for the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel that is happening through community outreaches, special needs events, and personal evangelism among family and friends.
I thank God for our deeply committed elders, deacons, and staff who offer ministry leadership and support in countless ways.
I am thankful for God-honoring, Christ-centered, Spirit-led worship services
Sunday by Sunday, and for the instrumentalist, vocalist, planners, and technicians whose God-given gifts help these happen.
My list could go on and on, but it sums up to a heart-felt gratitude to God for His manifest presence among us—a gratitude that fuels an ever-growing hunger to see more and more evidence that He is active here.
During this month of November, I encourage you to give extra attention to thanksgiving, not just on Thursday the 23rd, but everyday, all day!
“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving” (Eph. 5:4).