Nov 27 – Thanksgiving Day is almost upon us and our Pathfinder club members and leaders are preparing the food baskets to be delivered to several local families in need. If you have a youth interested in becoming part of our Pathfinder club, you can contact the church for more information.
This week we had a very special speaker: Pastor John Wolfe, the brother of our own pastor Terry Wolfe. His sermon title was “Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart”, and his scripture was Psalms 116:12-17, which begins “What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.” Pastor Wolfe then asked us how many of us would be traveling to distant destinations during the holidays and how many were expecting family to come for a visit. He reminded us that whether we are staying home or traveling away, each of us has prayers for safety – either our own or for our loved ones – and each of us will be thankful for God’s protection along the way.
Pastor Wolfe told the story of an eleven year old girl named Carrie who was awarded a medal for saving the life of a seven year old by pushing her out of the path of an oncoming tow truck, but as a result Carrie was seriously injured by the truck and sustained permanent brain injuries. Later, Carrie’s parents sued the parents of the seven-year-old for millions of dollars, saying that their child’s negligence had compelled young Carrie to save the child’s life while putting her own at risk. Pastor Wolfe commented “I am grateful that Jesus ‘pushed us out of the way of danger’ and won’t sue us later”. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Jesus gave His life willingly, with a grateful heart! As He hung on the cross He looked down through the ages and saw the endurance of His saints and the lengths to which Satan would go to try to destroy them, and He was grateful – even joyful – that He was able to make that sacrifice.
Jesus was our example, and we are saved by His grace, but how often do we give grudgingly? The Bible tells us that “God loveth a cheerful giver”, 2 Cor 9:7. And “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” 2 Cor 9:6. And aren’t we always supposed to give thanks: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Pastor Wolfe closed his message with another story. This one was about a woman who wrestled with the idea of giving thanks for the bad things that happen to us. She had been diagnosed with a terminal disease. She had prayed for healing, but now she prayed for acceptance of God’s will. She asked, “how could it be possible that God wants us to be thankful for the bad things?” However, she continued to pursue an attitude of thanks and gratitude, and eventually she could honestly say “the more I thank Him, the closer I grow to Him.” The sparkle never left her eyes, even as her body grew weaker. Remember our opening text? In the middle of that text is Psalms 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” So today and every day, give thanks with a grateful heart because Jesus gave all for us!
We invite you to visit the Community Services Center located on the church property – open every Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. We appreciate your donations and support as 146 people in our community were served during the month of October. Cherie Downs manages the center and we appreciate the 92.5 hours of time given by our volunteers as they gave away 1,563 items. If we can be of assistance to you, please call the church at 683-5713, or Elder Eck Ulrich at 683-3343. Check us out at www.avaadventistchurch.org and follow us on Facebook! May God bless and keep you!