2020 December news letter article
Hello F.B.C. Family!
The year is winding down, and while many of us may be disappointed at current rates, numbers, orders, and mandates, I hope we all found a few things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season! Truthfully, in these more stressful times, I think we have ample more opportunity to be thankful as we see how at work God is! I truly believe that the more out of control life gets, the more overwhelmed we may be, these moments are the chances to see how when our strength fails, God will always prevail. I want to share a quick story of how this lesson powerfully convicted me!
You may be familiar with a preacher named, David Platt. He’s written some really powerful books, preached incredible sermons, and a lot of his work revolves around his burden for evangelizing the lost. He has a stark critique of American culture that, if we are honest, is not all that inaccurate or overly harsh. The lesson in particular that made such an impact on me was David Platt talking about something we all should be familiar with: praying a blessing over our food! Now don’t worry, he wasn’t saying we shouldn’t pray a blessing before we eat. On the contrary, he was trying to emphasis the significance of what is so easy to take for granted! That is, a prayer of blessing over food begins with profound thanksgiving for God’s providence. David Platt drove this point home by saying that the people who are best at praying blessings over food are folks who have wondered where their next meal would come from. God provides for many of us, a job, income, and opportunities that give us resources to provide food, and so it seems to diminish how much God has done. But as David Platt traveled across the world, on mission to share the Gospel and minister to others, he saw the profound thanks that people would give to God when they recognized that by no other hand than His, are they fed. Platt was convicted and came back to tell his church of this, and I share it with you all as we have just passed this season of Thanksgiving, so that we might examine our hearts and understand more fully how truly dependent we are on God!
While Platt’s comments were more specific to food, meals, and blessings, I think the principle can be applied to so much of our life. When we diminish the role God plays, then the thanks we give Him is undermined. My prayer, as we approach the last month of 2020, is to examine my heart and my life, and ask God to give me clarity to see how I missed opportunities to rely on Him and give Him His full credit. I want to be more thankful for the moments God has blessed me with in SONquest and IMPACT, that came less because of our “preparedness” and more because of His blessing and protection. I want to be more thankful for our ability to worship together, that is less dependent on technology and more dependent on His Spirit. I want to be more thankful for the disruptions to routine and habits that leave me taking so much for granted and be thankful for all that God is doing to challenge us to grow and extend beyond our comfort zone!
So church, join me in looking back on 2020 to see all that God did for us, and is still doing for us, and giving Him thanks! Then we can share what we have seen with others, and build community that is blessed by hearing how God is at work in our community and how we can push others to grow with God as well!
Rev. Luke T. Long