Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


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Thank God for your Work of Faith

  • Jim Townsley
  • Nov 16, 2007

The ministry is filled with trials and disappointments, however it is also filled with special blessings and pleasant surprises. It is important that you and I recognize the blessings and thank God for them. Some of those blessing come in the form of faithful believers. Building a strong church is not possible without the aid of many dedicated people and it is vital that the preacher acknowledge the good deeds that are done by these men, women, and youth.

The importance of acknowledging faithful Christians reminds me of a cute certificate I saw in a school which stated, "I Caught You Being Good." We must catch people doing good and acknowledge their dedication and faith. If all our preaching is berating our members for their carnality we may neglect the faith of some and our negative preaching may become self-fulfilling. A little encouragement can go a long way in challenging people to do even greater works.Paul recognized the Thessalonians for their works of faith when he said, "We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; 1 Thess. 1:2-3 Though every church has many members who daily face tremendous struggles, there are those of great faith who are examples of a Spirit-filled life. Paul was careful not to overlook those who were faithfully serving the Lord. Just as the early church is noted for men and women of faith, we should look for and encourage our members to follow their example. Consider the following men and women of the early church. We must learn to recognize the faith of some who are no less dedicated than those in the early church. Every new church must have members who are encouraged to follow the example of these early believers.

Consider Epaphroditus Philippians 2:25-30
Paul calls him, "my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants." Further Paul describes his dedication for the church family, "For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. For indeed he was sick nigh unto death:" The church was encouraged to hold him in high esteem, "and hold such in reputation: Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me." The man Epaphroditus was such a dedicated believer he risked his own health and life for the work of the Lord. A man with that kind of a testimony should be recognized for his labor and service to the church.

Consider Dorcus Acts 9:36-37
This godly woman died and was surrounded by other believing women who were weeping and testifying of the good deeds she had done. These women stood over the lifeless body of Dorcus stating how she had made them clothes and ministered to their needs. Every church needs a Dorcus and those exemplifying the spirit of Dorcus must be recognized from the pulpit as well as in private.

Consider Aquila and Pricilla Romans 16:3-4
There are over one hundred men and women mentioned in the Bible as co-laborers with the Apostle Paul. No two people were more involved in church planting than this dynamic couple. These servants of God laid down their own necks for the sake of Paul. Paul was a great servant of God, but we must never lose sight of the fact that there were many others who labored along his side and were equally dedicated to the Lord's work. Every church planter must acknowledge and praise those who sacrifice and support the work of the ministry.

Consider the Churches of Macedonia 2Corinthians 8:1-3
The Bible states that through great trial of affliction and out of deep poverty these churches abounded with the riches of their liberality. The Bible further states that they gave beyond their power and were willing of themselves to give their all. We must not forget the sacrifice of the poor and their ability to honor the Lord by their giving and by their service. Poor people very often are the backbone of strong churches. Never underestimate service of the poor and those who are outcasts to society.

The Bible states that the Berean believers were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Acts 17:10-11 In addition, there are others mentioned in Hebrews eleven that had "trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth." Heb 11:36-38 We can add to the list many since the time of the early church and throughout the ages who have given themselves to the ministry of the Word of God and church planting. Many of which, have faced persecution and even martyrdom.

We must not lose sight of the fact that many dedicated servants are needed to build the church of God. The preachers goal is to recognize the faith of some and challenge others to join in this great work. We must not overlook those faithful men and women of God who seldom get credit for their labor of love.