Thanksgiving is a special time to celebrate and give thanks for all God has done in our lives and for His Kingdom. I have much to be thankful for, such as my family and friends.
But above all, I am thankful to God for salvation and for calling me His child. There is no greater gift, no greater blessing, in this world than living in the joy of knowing Christ Jesus my Savior.
North Carolina Baptists, during this Thanksgiving season, I want you to know how deeply grateful I am for you. This year I saw God working through you as individuals and as church families, and we truly experienced God’s presence, power and abundant grace.
I am thankful that even during difficult financial times North Carolina Baptists continue to give sacrificially. Churches across this state are stepping up and accepting the 1 Percent Challenge, which means they are committing to increasing their Cooperative Program giving by at least 1 percent next year. We are able to accomplish much more for the Lord’s Church by working together through the Cooperative Program.
I am thankful that North Carolina Baptists prayed so faithfully this year for spiritual awakening.
For many months leading up to our annual meeting, churches joined together in praying for God to awaken the hearts of believers to His Kingdom purposes. You prayed for believers to return to God in personal holiness and to re-commit their lives to sharing the gospel and glorifying God. I have heard so many wonderful testimonies of how God worked during this time of prayer.
I know that many churches have committed to continuing in prayer for spiritual awakening, and I am thankful for this dedication to pursuing God’s heart and crying out to Him in prayer.
I am also thankful for how North Carolina Baptists serve others. Our North Carolina Baptist Men volunteers responded to disaster relief efforts in our state and beyond, including assistance to hurting people in New York and New Jersey during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
You also helped provide for a very important need by building more than 350 wheelchair ramps in N.C. through Operation Inasmuch and Rampin’ Up.
I give thanks that more churches are involved in our Great Commission Partnerships in Boston, metro New York and Toronto, as well as in the Eastern European country of Moldova.
More people are hearing the gospel because of your obedience to helping fulfill the Great Commission.
It is only through the power of God’s Spirit that we are able to accomplish anything for our Lord’s Kingdom.
I am thankful to God for allowing North Carolina Baptists the blessing and privilege of serving Him this year. I pray that as we look to 2013 we will continue steadfast in our pursuit of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” Ephesians 3:20