Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 11, 2013

"For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers." Ephesians 1:15-16

Paul lived with an attitude of gratitude. It shaped his ministry, it influenced his writing and it sustained him through his sufferings.

His gratitude formed around his understanding of what he deserved from God - judgement; and what he had received - grace. Once that realization got into his consciousness it never left. Instead, it grew and flourished and deepened.

On this Veteran's Day I want to zero in on a specific area of his thanksgiving. Paul was thankful for the saints, those people of God who had gone before and those who stood with him in the work of the ministry.

Are you? When was the last time you thanked God for those saints who have gone before you? When was the last time you thanked those ministry veterans or those well-seasoned saints who have shaped your life? Paul was very aware of the place he occupied in the history of the Church. He knew that he stood on the shoulders of many faithful men who had gone before and he appreciated that he stood shoulder to shoulder with the current generations of saints. And, he also knew that future generations of the faithful would stand on his shoulders.

Today as you stop to thank God for the many brave veterans who have fought to defend our freedoms, those who came home and those who died on foreign soil, will you also take a moment to thank God for those saints - veterans of the faith - who have defended the faith through praying and serving and sacrificing to build churches or strengthen churches so that the hope of salvation could be shared with a new generation?

Will you commit to become one of those for the next generation? Will you stand on the shoulders of the saints and shoulder to shoulder with you pastor and the saints at your church? 

Steve Green sang this song years ago, but on this veterans day will you make it your prayer?

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift though all we've left behind
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find