Thankful for You

But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:13

Beloved,

I grew up at All Saints Lutheran Church in Palatine, IL. My family was faithful to attend church as long as I can remember.  When I was confirmed in 8th grade, my parents gave me the choice of whether I wanted to continue to attend church.  I did not give it much thought, but just continued to go to church.  It may have been my close relationship with my mother or it could have been innate sense that I was just supposed to go to church. Regardless of the reason, I have always enjoyed going to church even before I made a decision to follow Jesus Christ. I have always loved the church. 

I am thankful that God has always instilled in me a love for the local church.  As I have grown in my Christian walk, my love for the church has only deepened.  The more I learn about the church and the more I live in fellowship of the church, the more my love grows for the local church. In my current role as a pastor, I meet a lot of people who do not have the same love for the church. It seems that I have at least one conversation a week trying to convince people of the value of the local church. And the most surprising thing is that most of these conversations take place with Christians. 

Although the view of the church has fallen on hard times, I am so thankful to be part of the faith family at Park Baptist Church. We get a great reminder every week to express our thankfulness by singing,

I'm so glad I'm a part of the Family of God,
I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I'm part of the family,
The Family of God.

I am so glad that I am a part of the family of God at Park Baptist Church. The church is my family. The people of Park are my spiritual brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers.  And as a part of God’s family, we always have a reason to rejoice in thankfulness. Paul writes, “We ought always to give thanks to God for you.”

Beloved, I am thankful for you. You have been chosen for salvation, sanctified by the Spirit, and given faith to believe by the grace of God. I pray this Thanksgiving you will be grateful for the family of the Park Baptist Church.


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Steven Brazzell

Charlotte, NC