I had the wonderful privilege of growing up under the ministry of one pastor, Dr. C. Douglas Jackson, at the First Baptist Church of East Point, Georgia. I don’t suppose that I could recall any specific sermon he preached, but I know that I was well nourished on the Word of God! There were numerous spiritual lessons I learned in those early years in church. One was that the Word of God was exactly what it presented itself to be, the Word of God! I learned that the Bible could be trusted, relied upon, and believed in, that it would not fail in any of its promises or provisions for my Christian life. Dr. Jackson believed and preached the Word.
Another lesson I learned was how to develop an attitude of gratitude. I learned to accept the reality that while life might throw me some difficulties that God’s promise in Romans 8:28 was true. All things do eventually work out for good, for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Learning to practice what I later understood as the “principle of praise” has made a significant difference in my life. The principle of praise is simply thanking God for everything that happens in your life, whether good, bad or indifferent from the human point of view. As Dr. Sam Cathey would say, “This takes things out of your hands and puts them into God’s hand.” Dr. Jackson would often express this principle by saying, “Thank you, thank you, a thousand times, thank you!” Did everything in our church always go his way? I doubt that it did, but from him I learned the importance of having an attitude of gratitude.
So, to all of you at Tabernacle Baptist church I need to say, “Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you!” You have been so kind and gracious to me and I have learned to love you and appreciate so much your ministry to me while I have had the privilege of serving as your Interim Pastor. The time of my departure is at hand, but I will never forget the work we have done together at TBC. God has worked, you have prayed and obeyed, and now the potential for the future is unlimited!
I started a book recently by Robert J. Morgan, “God Works All Things Together for Your Good, Living in the Promise of Romans 8:28.” He opens with this insightful comment, “Problems can last a long time, but they can’t last forever. Promises can and God’s promises do. Of all His promises, Romans 8:28 is arguably the most encompassing in Scripture; it encapsulates all other promises from Genesis to Revelation. … The Scripture teaches that we have a God who turns problems inside out – all our perils and perplexities. … He engineers blessings out of burdens, and He knows how to wrangle gladness out of sadness.” This has been my experience at TBC, and I believe it will be the result of the revitalization we have worked so hard on for two years.
This coming Lord’s Day, Lord willing, we will continue our study of First John. We’ll be back in chapter 2, verses 15-17, on the subject, “World of Greed or Will of God?”
FAMILY WOW (Worship on Wednesday) - continues this week with our study of Hebrews.
As always, I am looking forward to what God will do at Tabernacle this coming Sunday! Please be present with your Bibles in hand as we worship the Lord together!
Blessings, YFJS, Bro. Tom