Summary: Thankfulness -- As Paul remembered his support by the believers in Thessalonica, and how they are part of his ministry, we also must live a life of gratitude for our support system.
THE PASTOR’S POINTS
sermon ministry of
CEDAR LODGE BAPTIST CHURCH
A fellowship of faith, family and friendships.
Russell Brownworth, Pastor
A Lord’s Supper Meditation
August 10, 2003
1This letter is from Paul, Silas, and Timothy. It is written to the church in Thessalonica, you who belong to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May his grace and peace be yours. 2We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. 3As we talk to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and your continual anticipation of the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
4We know that God loves you, dear brothers and sisters, and that he chose you to be his own people.
1 Thessalonians 1:1-4 (NLT)
Paul gave thanks constantly to God for the folks in Thessalonica. The word is eucharisteoô, actually expressing gratitude (Strongs Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries, Strong, James (1822-1894).
We call this observation of Jesus’ body and blood The Lord’s Supper; some denominations call it the Eucharist (the thanks or gift).
The whole idea behind this table is the thankfulness we must express from our hearts for Jesus’ gift of eternal life each time we remember our Lord in this event.
In the case of Paul’s friends in the Thessalonican church, the thanksgiving was for the way they had joined him in serving Jesus. Paul mentioned faithful work, loving deeds and the continual anticipation of the return of Jesus. People like that make a difference in the world.
One lady who watches children for an occupation says, "My long hours working as a childcare provider often tempted me to complain about my job. Although I didn’t know what work God wanted me to do, I was sure it must be something other than "just" babysitting. Then one day, a father who came to pick up his toddler commented, You taught Kasey to pray. She says grace at home now, and my wife and I are thinking of attending church. God’s direction suddenly became clear. Now, when others ask what I do for a living, I smile and say, I ’just’ babysit for the Lord." ( Linda Clare, Eugene, OR. Heart to Heart, Today’s Christian Woman.)
People who make a difference also make memories. Some of the most memorable people to have crossed my life’s pathway are the ones who exhibit a remarkably thankful spirit, coupled with faithful, loving deeds.
My mental notebook is filled with pictures of extraordinary kindnesses…memorable people who line my memory’s wall will love, and help me anticipate the coming of Jesus.
Aside from the obvious choices I could talk about, Mom and Dad, Elizabeth, there are some who stand out as examples of those for whom you’d express eucharisteoô;
Missy Coleman had the kindest way with an inexperienced preacher. She knew how to mention my strong points and tell me everything was going to be alright! Missy had a smile that showed 400 teeth and a softness that was a safe place for any stray dog in the night. She knew how to love (and cook!).
M.C. Burnett is with the Lord now. I’ll introduce you to him when we get home. M.C. smiled! The kindest heart beat behind that smile. You won’t get anyone in Madison County, Florida to tell you different. Kind deeds, faithful service with a smile!
Our brother Ed Suggs is in that category. Your letters and cards will tell it much better than I. You’ve known him longer. My best memory of Ed to date is as the Carpenter of Bethlehem. We could hardly get him to talk…but he reminds me of another carpenter, faithful worker, loving deeds, waiting for the fullness of time.
It’s a strange thing when a whole church gets full of people like that. But, today, standing at the ready to express our eucharisteoô for our Lord’s faithful work on the cross, we point to the memorable acts of kindness done in His name by His people. Remembering makes us humble and glad; it makes us ready for service, and for Him to come back that we might join Him in glory.
Preachers will stand and talk about Jesus and church today…it is Sunday. Some (probably many) will talk about church growth, going visiting, staffing the programs. Better than methods, programs and budgets, we should simply give thanks for what He has done.
Today the world despises Christianity as an institution or a voting block, but they are dumbfounded at people like Missy and M.C. and Ed and Jesus….those who exhibit the fruit of God’s Spirit, giving themselves sacrificially, so others might live.
22But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)