Over the past few months, the Lord has graciously stirred me to consider various aspects of my life. I have been reminded often of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 4:7 when he wrote: “For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” I have been amazed as I’ve considered all I have and thought, “what have I done to EARN any of this?” I’ve thought about my marriage, kids, church, hobbies, and community involvement. And I continue to be stunned by God’s favor and kindness to me. “What do you have that you did not receive?” I just keep hearing those words over and over again in my mind. And gratitude springs up virtually every time.
One of those moments was Sunday morning. I usually park in our new parking lot south of our church building. As I walk to the church building, I spend time praying. Last Sunday, I marveled at God’s kindness to our church and me as the pastor. I prayed for our Easter gathering and just marveled….”God, You have been kind to us.”
Then another moment happened…at 8:15 or so, I usually gather with our worship/sound team to pray for our services. Someone on the team mentioned that Sunday might get a little crowded, and they noticed that we added a few seats and two extra rows. I said, “here’s a crazy thought for you. When CLF started in 2003, we had fewer people in the church service than in our children’s ministry today.” Another moment: “What do you have that you did not receive?”
And then church started. Both services WERE packed. 2nd much more than 1st, but they were full. And it was fun. People sang. We heard the gospel. People responded. The church rejoiced. In 2nd service, people were standing because there weren’t enough seats. People sat in the lobby and couldn’t see the stage. At the end of the 2nd service, I made my way to the lobby like I always do, and I thanked families and couples for sitting out there. One response was, “we were excited to give up seats so others could join our worship service.” What an act of kindness! What a kindness of God to give CLF people like that! “What do you have that you did not receive?”
Then as I left the church, I received a text that stunned me. In the 2 services on Sunday, there were over 550 people combined, and we had 70 more in our children’s ministry. It was the largest church service in our history! CLF members and attendees invited their friends and family members. They entrusted our leaders to help them declare the gospel to the dearest people in their lives. “What do you have that you did not receive?”
This coming Sunday:
This week, we will overview 1 Timothy 1-3 as we jump back into our 1 Timothy series.
From the Cheap Seats:
- The Freddie Freeman love-fest continued last night. The dude hit a bomb in his first AB against his former team. Unreal. Here’s a video: https://www.foxsports.com/watch/play-59b50a9ce0001a6.
- Watch this slide from Rafael Devers…what in the world?!?: https://www.mlb.com/redsox/video/xander-bogaerts-singles-on-a-line-drive-to-left-fielder-trevor-larnach-ra?t=replay-review
- Another moment of gratitude…all this rain…and we’re still playing baseball at One Champion Field! “What do you have that you did not receive?”
Enjoy your week.