Thanks to God for my Redeemer,
Thanks for all Thou dost provide!
Thanks for times now but a memory,
Thanks for Jesus by my side!
Thanks for pleasant, balmy springtime,
Thanks for dark and stormy fall!
Thanks for tears by now forgotten,
Thanks for peace within my soul!
Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered,
Thanks for what Thou dost deny!
Thanks for storms that I have weathered,
Thanks for all Thou dost supply!
Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure,
Thanks for comfort in despair!
Thanks for grace that none can measure,
Thanks for love beyond compare!
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I am thankful for our living faith that produces good works! We give thanks to God for his love indwelling that prompts extraordinary efforts of labor. This supernatural labor of love is manifest in various acts of spiritual service. As our God leads, we serve the poor, volunteer our time, help the sick, give our riches, feed the hungry, visit those in prison, share the gospel with the resistant, etc. Self-sacrifice and considering others more significant is consistent with Christian love; taking up our cross daily as we love others no matter the condition of the other reflects God’s love. We endure trials by God’s grace. Paul described Timothy as our brother and God’s fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ to strengthen and encourage others working out their shared faith so that no one would be unsettled by the trials and tribulations, even persecutions in its varied forms inherent in this life. In fact, he said, “we were destined for them.”
We in Christ strengthen and encourage one another! The apostle Paul was strengthened by the prayers of many and knew he needed the prayers of the saints as he trusted God through his many trials. The genuine believer, the regenerate heart, those born again or born anew from above will undergo trials, even persecution in this world for identifying as loyal to Christ, readily sharing the gospel, exposing darkness, etc. The compelling need to overflow the gospel is “the essential fruit of the believing life.”
We rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope. I am so very thankful that God’s love sustains you and me by the power of the Holy Spirit. God initiates and sustains this great salvation! Because of God’s mercy we have been justified through faith and have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. It is good to be reminded by the gospel fact that we have gained access by faith into God’s saving grace in which we now stand. Our good works, those necessary spiritual disciplines, self-sacrificial behaviors to help and love others are not only the essential fruit, but because God has given spiritual life to all who genuinely believe, we are filled with the Spirit of Jesus and enabled to recognize and respond to his wonderful transforming mercy and abundant grace that prompts us to desire, behave, and work-out this great salvation according to God’s will.
James tells us that faith without works is dead! Therefore, wherever genuine faith is present, it works. “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” At the time of salvation you have the favor of God. I read recently that “favor is closely related to grace in the Bible” and the answer to how to get God’s favor is, “believe in the Lord Jesus.” I pray that as you read this today, that God has illuminated your eyes to see, your mind to understand, and a humble heart to receive this inexpressible gift, Jesus. When we trust Jesus as Lord and Savior we have supernatural peace with God, our sins are forgiven, and we are no longer under the condemnation of God. We have been brought near to God through the shed blood of Jesus! In Christ we humbly stand in the favor of God through the finished work of Jesus on the cross, demonstrating God’s sovereign mercy for us who believe. Absolutely exciting!
The Apostle Paul makes it clear that it is God’s will that we be sanctified: avoid sexual immorality, learn to have self-control, live holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen. The concept of sanctification is the continuing work of God in your life after you’ve been saved by God’s grace through faith. “Sanctification is a process by which one’s moral condition is brought into conformity with one’s legal status before God.” As we choose to engage in spiritual disciplines, refrain from fleshly desires and resist worldly temptations we definitely please our Father in heaven. Moreover, God rewards those who earnestly seek him, and yes our good works are pleasing to God, especially as we reflect an actual likeness to God and glorify him through all we do.
Beloved, before Jesus, we were darkness, but by God’s grace we now are light in the Lord and called to live as children of light. Paul tells us to find out what pleases the Lord. We can understand what the Lord’s will is. ”Be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Thanks for roses by the wayside,
Thanks for thorns their stems contain!
Thanks for home and thanks for fireside,
Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!
Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow,
Thanks for heavenly peace with Thee!
Thanks for hope in the tomorrow,
Thanks through all eternity!
Sisters are meeting to pray. First Baptist 1912 Arnold Way, Alpine, 0900
You are invited to join sisters in Christ for a time of encouragement and prayer. You know, I know, God designed us to need each other, to love one another, to pray fervently for God to be near and direct our lives by his Spirit. Friday mornings are a time to reflect back to God this truth as we cry out in humble prayer. As the Spirit leads, go enjoy our God through fellowship with family in Christ.
Brothers are meeting too! Alpine Youth Center. 2153 Arnold Way, Alpine, 0730.
If you haven’t been in a while, the brothers would love to see you! There is a supernatural joy experienced when brothers come together! I am always filled with joy when I can experience brothers loving God together. Joy comes when perseverance is evident, hunger and thirst for God is expressed, and brothers love one another because of God’s supernatural presence.
 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
 Ibid 3:2-4
 Thomas, R.L. (1978). The expositor’s bible commentary. Gaebelein, F.E (ed). 1 Thes. Zondervan.
 Romans 5.3-4
 Ibid 5.1-2
 Galatians 5:6
 Romans 5:1, 8:1; Ephesians 2:13-16
 1 Thessalonians 4.3-5
 Erickson, M.J. Christian Theology, 1985. Baker.
 Ephesians 5.8-9
 Ibid 5.18-20