Life is all about the grace of God. We do not deserve anything except hell because of our sinful state. But in His grace, God has provided salvation for all men (John 1:12; 3:16; Ephesians 2:1-4, 8-9; Titus 3:5). Then, in and through His grace, He provides so many undeserving gifts everyday of our lives (John 1:16-17; Ephesians 2:4-7). How easy it is to dwell on all the bad around us that we forget to focus on the grace of God which is transcendent over all (Romans 5:20). So with that in mind, my goal for Friday’s blog is to share with you from a pastor’s heart some of the “grace coupons” in ministry that I’ve been able to “clip” over the past seven days. So here we go!
- Worshipping on Sunday at Boones Creek Bible Church! One of the many true blessings of a Sunday at BCBC is joining with our congregation as they sing. With raised voices, uplifted hands and glowing countenances, praise is abundant! Many Sunday mornings on my way to church I find myself saying, “I can hardly wait to sing with my brothers and sisters in Christ today!” Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God (Colossians 3:16).
- Seeing ladies cry out in prayer, singing, and worship as they joined together for three hours in the presence of the Lord at BCBC. You can read a bit more about it on my wife’s blog post Friday Favorites.
- When I was an earlier teen, my dad pastored a church here in south Johnson City, TN. Words cannot describe what a grace blessing it is to be living and pastoring in the same area that has always been so special to me. When we moved here from Bluefield, West Virginia, two men, Stacey Tester and Ralph Gouge, came from Johnson City to assist us. They made a huge impression on me. Stacey and Ralph have since gone on to Glory, but today, I have the privilege of participating in the funeral for Dixie Gouge, Ralph’s precious wife. Furthermore, Ralph and Dixie’s daughter and three of their children are part of the BCBC family. Also, I saw Ralph and Dixie’s son this week which was the first time since we moved away. As we sat in the Gouge’s living room and reminisced about our time here and about my parents, I thought, “Lord, how good you are to me, and how good to be still connected to my dad’s ministry in such a blessed way!”
- Joy in ministry is often mixed with sadness and sorrow as even mentioned above. Yesterday I stood by the bedside of a dear man whose body is riddled with Alzheimer’s. His wife has faithfully stood by his side and cared for him with love and great compassion for several years. With Bernice on one side and me on the other, we shared Psalm 23 and then sang several songs: In the Sweet By and By, When the Roll is Called Up Yonder, Heaven Is a Wonderful Place, Until Then, I Have Found a Hiding Place, and others. As a pastor, I am so grateful for the opportunity to minister the balm of God’s Word and the blessed encouragement of song that gives encouragement for today and expectation for the future. It is all by His grace!
- Finally, there’s the blessing of preaching and teaching the Word of God!! Currently, I am preaching through Revelation . . . the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. How timely; how sobering; how hope-filled!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ . . . . To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:3, 6)