It’s “a week of gratitude” here at This New Life, so we’d like to offer our readers a brief devotional each day as a way to say “thanks.” We especially want to express our appreciation to those who regularly give of their time and treasure to support the work of the Lord, both here and around the world.
Moreover, we who are in pastoral ministry, parachurch work, and/or theological education depend on the generosity of faithful givers like you to make our living (1 Cor 9:14). We seek to do so joyfully, ever remembering with deep affection and appreciation your partnership in the gospel (Phil 1:5). You are indeed precious to us!
John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, once said, “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” He was right, so I’d like to take a moment to thank you for the difference you’re making in our lives.
All over the world, believers support the Lord’s work in a variety of ways—some through intercessory prayer, some through verbal encouragement, some through volunteer service, some through financial giving, and some through a combination of these things.
“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” – John F. Kennedy
Both the seminary where we work and the church where we serve depend on all these types of support. Simply put, we couldn’t be doing what we’re doing if you weren’t doing what you’re doing. So, thank you! Your support means the world to us.
At the seminary, one of our recent graduates was used by God to prevent a teen suicide in Berks County. In fact, this graduate has been thrown into numerous counseling situations over the past six months where he’s been able to deescalate tense situations involving drugs, alcohol, family strife, and physical abuse—not to mention the police and the mob—while providing genuine hope and healing to all parties involved.
At the church, we’ve seen a growing desire in many believers to understand the Bible better and reach out to the local community of which we’re a part. We’ve seen an openness to renewing our corporate worship and deepening our personal discipleship. We’ve seen believers get excited to embrace the vision that God has for us and step into the future with faith. The journey has been exhilarating.
These kinds of stories abound among our parishioners and students, and they wouldn’t be possible without you.
Your partnership in the gospel reminds me of the story of the Palm Sunday donkey. Maybe you remember the account: “The Lord has need of it,” says Jesus. And the disciples bring it back for the Lord. But what kind of a Savior admits to having a need? One who’s meek. One who’s kind. One who’s happy to let his followers participate in a miracle.
Think of it—Jesus multiplies the bread, but the twelve get to distribute it. Jesus raises Lazarus to life, but the disciples get to unwrap him and set him free. Jesus wins our salvation on the cross, but believers get to proclaim it so the world can hear the good news and respond in faith.
Jesus always does the heavy lifting, but each of us has a part to play in his kingdom work. Thank you for playing your part. You are, quite literally, helping to change the world. As Max Lucado has said:
“All of us have a donkey. You and I each have something in our lives, which, if given back to God, could, like the donkey, move Jesus and his story further down the road.”
Because of your generosity, the gospel is going further down the road in our day. May God richly bless you for it!
Dear Lord, thank you for the precious people in our lives who help us fulfill our calling. Pour out your blessings upon them, and let them know how valuable they are to you and your work. Continue to grant them both the means and the desire to support your work, advancing the good news of Jesus Christ around the world until he comes again. Amen.