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First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.” (Romans 1:8, NIV)

The Apostle Paul said this, or something similar, in every one of his New Testament letters.  He appreciated the church.  That Latin word, “appretiare” means to estimate the quality of something.

Why did Paul have such a high estimation of the church?  The reason is because the good news of Jesus was spreading around the world.  When we hear of the early church’s growth, we immediately think of the Apostles’ preaching and miraculous stories from the Book of Acts.  And these certainly played a vital role in the advance of the message of Jesus.  But the lion’s share of the gospel work was done by people we’ve never heard of.  Wives who shared their faith with their husbands and children.  Employers who shared their faith with employees. Neighbors who shared their faith with neighbors.  That is how the gospel reached the ends of the earth.

People like Paul were influential – but it was the church that changed the world.

In that same vein, I am thankful for you.  I hold you in the highest regard because you give each week in the offering, you set up for events…and stick around to clean up afterwards, you serve in the children’s ministry, you pray for requests that come across your Facebook feed.  You share your faith and bring your friends to church.  YOU are doing the work of the gospel and changing the world.

Thank you.  My influence is limited.  But together, we have unlimited influence in Denton County.

Our church staff and Elders want to say “thank you.”  And what better way in Texas to say thanks than with barbecue and sweet tea?!  I hope you’ll join us after church this week (Jan. 15) at 11:30 (that includes all you folks at Robson Ranch, too!).  Just bring a side dish or a dessert to share.  We’ll be done in plenty of time to go home and watch the Cowboys win!  (By the way, if you’ve been thinking about visiting New Life Church, I can’t think of a better Sunday to join us!)

Hope to see you then!

From my heart, thank you…

Pastor Jim

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