As a pastor there are times you get very sentimental about what you do. What the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12, 19-20 helps describe how I feel about you, the people who make up North Anderson Baptist Church. I realize I am not your father, many of you are older than I, but I feel like I have “fathered” you over the years. Not that you are children either, but I hope I have cared for you, like Paul speaks of in this passage by “encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into His Kingdom and glory.” God has brightened my heart with hope and joy because of you. I can say of you that you are so special to me that I can humbly present you to the Lord Jesus when He comes as my glory and joy.
Like Paul, who was encouraged by those he ministered to in chapter 3:7-9 and in 12-13 that I can say God has encouraged me because of your faith, standing firm in the Lord as you live faithfully for the Lord. Part of a pastor’s life is praying for those God gives you that they may be strong in their faith and continue in the joy of the Lord. I enjoy so much seeing the love of God overflow in your lives and expressed to one another. What a picture of our Savior you are! My prayer is that you will continue to grow in the love of Jesus and walk blamelessly and holy in His presence until the Lord Jesus Christ comes in all His glory.
With a grateful heart,