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Brothers and sisters,
Happy Monday to all! As we worshipped yesterday, we focused on how great God is and how great is His redeeming love for us. We considered from 1 Thessalonians 5 and Ephesians 5 how to live a life of true thankfulness, especially in this crazy year of 2020. We need to seek to be truly thankful at this time of year and all the time and not just go through the motions of being thankful without real gratitude. Thankfulness does not mean we deny our pain or minimize the bad stuff we are going through. It does not mean that we do not recognize evil as evil. But in the realities of life, we can give thinks even as we grieve and mourn and weep. This happens at the funeral of every believer that we know and love. We grieve because of the separation we will have to endure, but not as those with no hope. We know there is resurrection in Jesus. We know it is better to be away from the body and present with the Lord. So even during sorrow and pain we can give thanks. We are not denying the difficulties but knowing God works even during our pain. We weep and give thanks at the same time because in everything, everything, everything, God is working for our ultimate good and His glory. There can be weeping, grieving, struggling and thankfulness all at the same time. In Jesus we can truly give thanks in everything because God is using the good and the bad to make His people more and more and more like Jesus. God is working in everything to bring glory to His name. Believers filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit remain thankful knowing God is working out everything for His glory and our ultimate good.
If you miss our Sunday services and would like to watch them or perhaps share them with someone you know, you can find video of the services at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3rJ-oFvSS-9W-iWf6Wcvnw.
Remember to keep praying continually for each other.
Happy Thanksgiving to all! Love being your pastor!
Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church