Exhortation August 19, 2012

After further delays and snags, this week we received the deed to our new building. Soon we will mark this milestone ritually by publicly immersing Dr Atwood in Gatorade. As we have said and will continue to say, this is a tremendous gift from God, and we should be very thankful for it.

In Scripture, thankfulness is not merely a feeling. It is not merely a verbal “Thank you.” We show thankfulness for the Lord’s gifts by using them faithfully and fruitfully.

We would not honor Jesus if we turned our building into Fort Trinity, a place for us to hide from the needs of the community around us. We ought not become complacent and lazy. We must resist the temptation to assume that we have somehow “arrived” as a church.

Having a building does not in any way ensure that we will be faithful. The Jews turned God’s house of prayer into a robber’s den, and we are fully capable of doing the same. Positively, we show our thanks by making our building a place of hospitality, where Jesus welcomes His people, the stranger, the orphan and widow, to His table, a house of prayer for all nations, a source of life-giving water to refresh the nations.

As you confess your sins this week, ask the Lord Jesus to go before us and to guard us from all ingratitude and all abuses of this gift. Ask the Lord Jesus to use the building to expand His gracious reign here in Moscow.

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