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As a Christian, for what are you grateful?

I am grateful to the Lord because back in 1983, Alamogordo, New Mexico, I obeyed the Lord Jesus, associating my life with His in faith and water baptism – exactly like the Lord called on me to do. Paul wrote in Romans 6:3-4, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (KJV), and this is exactly what I did.

I am also grateful to the Lord because I learned the church of which I was a member (the Nazarene Church) came into existence well-over eighteen-hundred years after the time of Christ. Eighteen-hundred years too late. I also learned the Lord’s church came into existence merely ten days later than when Jesus ascended to the Father (Acts 2). As great as the Nazarene Church was to me in the early years of my life, the Lord’s church is far more influential because of who Originated it.

I am grateful to the Lord because I serve as a preacher in His kingdom. With this role wherein I serve, I have a heavy responsibility placed on me to do at least two things. First, live the life of Christ as revealed in Scripture. Second, be faithful to teaching that which He said He wants taught. Peter wrote, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11). I do not have the liberty to go too far, or not far enough. I must stay with the Lord with a “thus saith God” in my preaching and teaching. I could faithfully serve the Lord in any number of roles, but I chose to serve the Lord in this role.

I am grateful to the Lord for His mercy. As I look back over my life as an adult (nearly forty years), I am humbled by “where I was” and “where I am now.” The baggage I brought to the Lord is more than some have experienced, but perhaps not as much as you. Still, I carried a full load. To this day, I have many regrets associated with that baggage, but in the Lord’s mercy, He remembers it no more. Gratitude beyond measure I have to the Lord for that!

I am grateful to the Lord, as I mentioned a moment ago, for the responsibility placed on me. It is my prayer He is pleased with what I am doing. I am grateful He has given me the ability to write, to think quickly and deeply, to challenge error, but to do so with compassion, understanding and without a threatening disposition. I am grateful to the Lord for a thick-skin. Time and again people try to penetrate, but I know my standing in the Lord’s presence. I know my strengths, and I know my weaknesses. I know what is true about me, and I know what is false about those things said concerning me. For me to be offended, as one sister said, one would need to use a two-by-four against me. I refuse to be troubled by that which is not the truth. In fact, it is only truth that I want to penetrate, and especially the Lord’s truth.

For what are you grateful?  RT