This Christmas season I want to take this opportunity to give thanks for you and to offer a holiday greeting.
Many times we forget the sacrifice God’s servants make in order to follow Him. Paul said Priscilla and Aquila “risked their own necks.” Your sacrifice may not be the same as that of Priscilla and Aquila. However, each of you has made a sacrifice. You may be separated from family. You may have experienced a financial hardship in order to attain your Bible school or seminary training. You might have uprooted your family in order to remain faithful to your calling. I am thankful for your sacrifice.
I am also thankful for your obedience. No one enters the ministry because of the money, popularity or prestige of the job. You would not be in the ministry where it not for God’s calling upon your life. The ministry is not always easy, but you have been faithful.
I am thankful for your gifts. Each of you has been given a unique skill set and spiritual gifts. Be grateful for your uniqueness. God did not make anyone else in the world quite like you. I once heard someone say, “No two snowflakes are ever the same.” (I wonder how they know!) Our experience tells us no two people are ever the same.
I am thankful for the unique qualifications you possess for your place of service. God qualifies and prepares His servants for the places(s) where they serve. For instance, when Moses led the Israelites through the desert he was uniquely qualified. He was qualified to cope with Pharaoh and qualified to cope with the hardship of the desert. He grew up in the home of Pharaoh so he was qualified to deal with Pharaoh. He was trained for desert life because he spent forty years living in it.
Some of you are serving in difficult situations. Some are serving in remote locations. Some are facing the challenges of a large congregation. Others are facing the challenges of a traditional small congregation. Others face the rituals of a small rural congregation. For some the challenge is difficult people. I am thankful that God has His hand on you and has prepared you for your place of service.
Finally I am thankful that God is with you. During this Christmas season we are reminded that Jesus is “Immanuel….God is with us.” (Matt. 1:23) You might seem to be in a hopeless situation. God is with you! You might be facing hostility and conflict. God is with you! You might be experiencing growing pains. God is with you! You might not understand what God is doing in your place of ministry. God is with you!
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE SHEPHERDS CONNECTION