Thanking God glorifies him but also changes us. Thankfulness increases joy, gives us perspective and allows us to trust God more deeply. I’m so thankful to God for BAC!
Jesus Christ is the continual centre of our thankfulness. Do you daily thank God for sending his one and only Son to die in your place? Do you daily thank him for his resurrection as Lord and King? Do you thank him for the gift of the Holy Spirit indwelling in you?
Who in your life has been a blessing to you? Do you thank God for them? Tell them today: I thank God for you!
In the hardest of circumstances, taking time to thank God opens us up to see the good that God has done and is doing. When a friend is struggling it may be helpful to ask: What can you thank God for in this tough situation?
Today in church we will have an ‘open mic’ during the intercessions to allow anyone to come forward and share a prayer of thanksgiving to God. We want to be a thankful church. Please stay a while for our thanksgiving morning tea spread!
By asking “how can I pray for you?” we can take our encouragement of each other to a deeper level. It will help our hurting friends focus less on their problems and more on the God carries us through our hardships. In invites them to consider how God might be growing them and refining them through whatever difficulty they face.
Having asked the question, make sure you pray for each other! Keep a piece of paper in your bible with a list of people you are carrying in prayer right now. Break it down into days of the week (a prayer diary) so that your key loved ones, unsaved friends, church and pastors are carried by you in your regular prayers.
The spiritual giant JC Ryle wrote it well:
He loves me best who loves me in his prayers. This is for our soul’s health. It enlarges our sympathies and expands our hearts. This is for the benefit of the Church. The wheels of all machinery for extending the Gospel are oiled by prayer.
Today is a good day to celebrate God’s glory and goodness to us as a church. As we have our annual meeting we are reminded of God’s amazing blessing to us over the last 12 months.
We praise God for those who have come to faith, grown in faith and joined our Christian community over the last year.
We praise God for the provision of so many hard working and godly leaders who serve in a variety of ministries for the glory of God.
We praise him for the provision of buildings, finances and every resource for the proclamation of the gospel.
We praise God that he is the centre of our lives and the centre of our church. That we can come together to worship the Triune God and make his offer of free grace available to all. We rejoice at the opportunity and access to the Bible which is his powerful Word.
We praise God that we are no longer lost and separate individuals but part of God’s called out people belonging to him.
What a privilege!
The resurrection of Jesus is the historical event at the centre of a Christian understanding of universe and God’s purpose to rescue us. Some key questions every Christian should be grappling with include:
Why did Jesus rise from the dead? How was it different to a resuscitation?
How is the resurrection related to Jesus ascension as King at the right hand of God?
Where is Jesus now and is he still fully God and fully man?
What is the connection between Jesus’ resurrection and our life after death?
What is the historical evidence for Jesus’ resurrection?
I encourage you to dig deeply into this topic with tough questions. You will find your confidence in the Bible strengthened and your hope in Christ expanded.
Every Christian should have a deep understanding of the purpose of the death of Jesus. We should have ready answers for questions like:
Why did Jesus die? Why Jesus? Why death?
What does Jesus’ death have to do with my sins?
Is the power of Jesus’ death available for anyone? Who is it effective for?
How far back had God planned to send his son to die? Can you show me from the Old Testament?
Am I learning and growing in key doctrines that unpack the cross? e.g.: atonement, propitiation, justification, sacrifice, redemption, substitution.
Apart from the Bible, great starting points for digging deeper here are John Stott, “The Cross of Christ” and JI Packer, “Knowing God”. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind!