Sacrificing a Thank Offering
Thank God! Today is the 12th anniversary celebration of the founding of our Church, and also marks the first anniversary since we moved into our new assembly hall. When we look back, we recognize how much the Lord loves and cares for the Richmond Peace Evangelical Church. From the following perspectives, we can contemplate the blessings He has bestowed on the Church, and greatly praise and thank Him.
God has the grace of selection and salvation. 12 years ago God gave the vision of establishing a church to Brother David Ng and a group of like-minded brothers and sisters. He called on people from many different backgrounds to join in. Through opportunities afforded by Gospel services, Bible-study classes, home visits and personal testimonies, the Lord bestowed the grace of salvation to many, so that a little flock at the start grew to a church of over 240 parishioners.
God has the grace of leadership and providence. When the Church was first established, it met in the garage of Brother Ng. Later, services were moved to a school and then a community center. In 2003, the faithful Lord led us to search for a piece of property on which to build our Church. In the end, He allowed us to complete all construction works in a debt-free state. We know for sure that the $3,500,000 building cost is a clear testimony of God¡¦s blessing.
God has the grace of instruction and discipline. For these many years, God has sent and used His servants to shepherd the Church. He directed the pastoral staff and the elders and deacons to complement one another, teach the Biblical Truth, serve each other, and build up the Church in love. For the sake of His name and the benefit of the Church, God disciplined members who sinned just as a father would discipline the children he loves, so that we would acknowledge His righteousness and holiness.
God has the grace of protection and commission. Because of the disturbance of Satan, the corruption of false Christians, the words and deeds of Christians still belonging to the flesh and the ignorance of new believers, the Church faced many trials and tribulations. Yet God protected us through storms large and small. As well, the Lord uses us as His witnesses in this community, and also commissions faithful members to service, just as today the Church will officially endorse 5 members to take up the duties of elders or deacons.
Thank God, for He has grace that can never be fully described! Let us praise and thank Him together!
There was a young man who was a diligent jogger and each morning he would run pass a stand selling donuts at the street corner. When he did so, he would put down 50 cents and leave without ever taking a donut. It became his daily routine. This happened morning after morning as several months went by. Then one day when this young man ran up to the stand and was about to lay down his 50 cents as usual, the hawker stopped him and tried to talk to him. Smiling, the young man said, ¡§You probably want to ask me why I never take a donut.¡¨ But the hawker replied, ¡§I just want to tell you that from today on a donut sells for 60 cents.¡¨
Dear brothers and sisters. Will we be like this hawker, taking for granted the grace received personally or by the Church from God, and even viewing it as something immutable? In the Old Testament the Israelites would sacrifice Peace Offerings to God. These offerings were also called Thank Offerings. The Peace Evangelical Church has experienced so many blessings from God through the years. We should in truth regularly sacrifice Thank Offerings to God.
¡§He who sacrifices Thank Offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God." (Psalm 50:23)
By: Daniel To