I find it very difficult to ever compare myself in any way to the great men and women of our Faith who have gone before us. It is even more disconcerting to begin to claim that one may have even the slightest understanding of the heart expressed by the powerful Apostle Paul. With that said, however, I do feel that I have a small appreciation for what he meant when he said these words to the Philippian Believers…
Philippians 1:3-5 VOICE - Whenever you cross my mind, I thank my God for you and for the gift of knowing you. 4 My spirit is lightened with joy whenever I pray for you (and I do constantly) 5 because you have partnered with me to spread the gospel since the first day I preached to you.
As a pastor, I am very grateful for the privilege of serving this congregation; and in this way I am somewhat like the Apostle Paul because I am thankful for you, and my prayers are filled with joy (at least for the most part). :-)
In circumstances that have been difficult and filled with despair, to moments of celebration and hope, you have been a source of strength and support. You have demonstrated not only your love for the ministry and the history of this great Work, but you have also given of your time, energy, and resources to bless my family and I. Truly, you have gone above and beyond the notion of a Church Member to that of a Family of Faith. You are a blessing to my life and I am deeply grateful.
The birthday celebration last week was amazing: my office was decorated, the barbecue was astounding, the generous gifts were humbling, the fellowship was uplifting, the cake was delicious, the Hawaiian shirts were beautiful, the cards and kind wishes were encouraging, and in everything…I was blessed. Yes, I know a little of what the Apostle Paul meant, “I thank my God for you.”
Dr. Tobey Montgomery