Thankful to God for These People

March 26, 2006

John Wesley  in 1787 (near the end of his life) mused on the future of Methodism: “I am not afraid, that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid, lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case, unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit and discipline with which they first set out.” [L. Tyerman, Life and Times of Wesley (Harper & Bros; 1872), III.519]. 

After spending several days in England, I’m reminded of how thankful I am to God for raising up the ministries of faithful men, and blessing them.

I am thankful to God for the ministry of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who went to be with the Lord 25 years ago this month.  Reading and re-reading some of his works in preparation for the conference I just returned from was nourishing and re-freshing.

I am thankful to God for the faithful ministries of both pastors and other Christians at that conference who have known and served the Lord for far longer than I have.

I am particularly thankful to God for Fred and Elizabeth Catherwood, and their long faithfulnesses stretching back almost 6 decades in so many areas of God’s work.  Time would fail me if I began even to recite what I know of their work for God.

I am thankful to God for the ministry of Tim and Lucy Chapman, as they prepare to plant a new congregation.

I am thankful for the incredible ministry God has given Bruce and Lyn Winter over the last 20 years at Tyndale House in Cambridge.

I am thankful to God for many friends I saw there (old and new).

I am thankful to God for the ministry of John & Noel Piper, and the warm fellowship we shared (and the always-sharpening, hyphenated-adjective-filled  comments that John shares!).

I am thankful for fellow pastors here at CHBCAndy Johnson working as a Trustee of the IMB, Thabiti Anyabwile going to care for a congregation in Grand Cayman, and Michael Lawrence faithfully feeding the flock here in DC.

I am thankful to God for Mary Mohler’s kind care for 140 of our church’s ladies on the women’s retreat this weekend.  My wife said that Mary did a wonderful job speaking to them.

Finally, I am thankful that evangelical Christians do NOT only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power.  I am thankful to God for how all these I’ve mentioned hold fast the doctrine, spirit and much of the discipline which God gave to those early Methodists.

Who are you guys thanking God for today?