Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6-7)
On September 8th, 1860, in Lake Michigan a steamship by the name of Lady Elgin collided with a smaller vessel leaving it badly damaged causing the ship to break apart. The ship was carrying 300 passengers and as the ship broke apart many struggled to make it to the lifeboats. Edward Spencer, a college student at Northwestern and an excellent swimmer, tied a rope to his waist and swam in the frigid waters saving 18 people from death. He exerted all his energy before he passing out. He woke up in his bed with the first words to his brother William, “Will, did I do my full duty? Did I do my best?”
Edward did his best. The energy he exerted and the exposure the frigid waters left him bound to a wheelchair. One of the saddest things in Spencer’s life was that of all the 18 people he rescued, no one thanked him for what he had done for them. As I read that story, I was moved by Edward’s desire to do his best for the Lord Jesus. His desire to do all he could for Jesus was captured in the hymn, Have I Done my Jesus?
I wonder, have I done my best for Jesus, / Who died upon the cruel tree? / To think of His great sacrifice at Calv'ry! / I know my Lord expects the best from me. / I wonder, have I cared enough for others, / Or have I let them die alone? / I might have helped a wand'rer to the Savior,/ The seed of precious Life I might have sown./ How many are the lost that I have lifted? /How many are the chained I've helped to free? / I wonder, have I done my best for Jesus, / When He has done so much for me?
I want to do my best for Jesus because He has done so much for me.
As I read this story, I was also reminded how important it is to say thank you to those who have given so much to us. Ellen and I were so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love Park Baptist Church has shown us over the last month. We feel so incredibly grateful to serve this church. Words cannot adequately express how much you mean to us. You show us love in so many ways. Pastors receive more encouragement that any other profession and I want you to know how truly thankful I am for all that you do for me and for my family. We love you and want you always to know that we are abounding in thanksgiving to the Lord for His gift in allowing us to call you family.