Grateful Hearts

By: Waylon Bailey

Martha and I have hearts filled with gratitude over the 25 years we have served as pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana.

You outdid yourselves yesterday. We enjoyed the time together under the pavilion.

These have been joyful years, and we are thankful for them.

Here are some of the reasons why these years have been so joyful.

First, the blessings of God. I think we followers of Christ misplace some of our reasons for joy. We look at peace or prosperity and assume this is what brings joy.

I am convinced these have been joyful years because we have seen God at work. In Acts 15, the believers in Jerusalem thrilled at the stories of the Gentiles who turned to God. To know the Holy Spirit had come upon the Gentiles gave them reason to thank and praise God.

Second, I marvel over the kindness you have bestowed on our family over the years. We have felt loved, appreciated, and cared for.

Third, I rejoice over all the wonderful people I have worked with now and in the past. We are blessed with a happy place to work and people who serve for all the right reasons.

Fourth, it’s hard not to be joyful when your church is centered around God, Scripture, and people. As I reflect over our worship and service together, I see a church with the right emphasis about God and people.

Fifth, I am joyful that the church is looking forward and not back. As long as the Holy Spirit is active in the church, our best days are those ahead.

Finally, we rejoice together over Christ and Him crucified. When Christ is the agenda, the church will not have any other agendas. That lack of extraneous agendas helps make the worship pure and the service meaningful.

Have a great week!