Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thanksgiving - 2016 - I Am Thankful For The Wonderful People Who Make Pastoring A Joy

Temple Baptist Church - 11-20-2016
1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

A.  I will never understand why the Lord called me into the ministry but will be eternally grateful.  As we begin Thanksgiving week, I saved this message for the last.  God has been so good to me.
1.  I also never thought of coming to Laurens, SC and pastoring Temple Baptist Church.  What a joy that it has been over the past 29+ years!  I am sure glad that the Lord knows what He is doing. 
2.  A perfect church for an imperfect preacher became a perfect match.
B.  I have been at Temple for almost half of my life and have never once regretted coming here.  I hear the horror stories and know that there some pastors and churches that get hurt but I have been blessed.  We have grown old together.
1.  I want to thank you for being good to my family!  This church has stood by us and with us through “thick and thin.”
2.  I want to thank you for loving my family!  So many pastors never receive what we have received from you.  You are not only our church but also our family and friends.
C.  In our text, Paul expresses three things: his hope, his joy, and his crown of rejoicing.  I want to look at these three things and make application to our church.
1.  The pastor’s hope is continuance.  3 John 1:4  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
a.  Hope defined:  noun – a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.  "he looked through her belongings in the hope of coming across some information” archaic - a feeling of trust. 
b.  The same hope as looking for that Blessed Hope of the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is a sure hope.  I expect our church to finish right!
c.  Paul’s hope and my hope are the same.  I do not hope that this church continues steadfast in doctrine and holiness, I expect it!
2.  The pastor’s joy is unity. 1 Peter 1:22  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
a.  The greatest of the remaining gifts is charity or brotherly love. 1 Corinthians 13:13  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
b.  Charity or brotherly love produces unity.  1 Peter 4:8  And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
c.  Unity is a labor of love.  Ephesians 4:2-3  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;  (3)  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
3.  The pastor’s crown of rejoicing. 
a.  The rejoicing of His appearing.  1 Peter 5:4  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. (Often called the pastor’s crown.)
b.  The rejoicing of His accounting.  Hebrews 13:17  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.  (I want to give an account of each one of you with joy!)
Conclusion:  Thank you, Temple Baptist Church for loving my family!

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