Thankful to be Partners (11/25/21)
Mark Barbee

Are you a pawn or a partner?  The difference between these two words has everything to do with the difference between the way Satan sees people and the way God sees people.

Satan wants to use people to deny and discredit God.  He doesn’t care about people, only about his agenda.  Satan’s goal is to steal people away from God and destroy them.  On a chess board, pawns are expendable.

God, on the other hand, appeals to people to be his children, his partners.  Jesus illustrated this perfectly by being God’s right hand on the earth.  In a lesser, more imperfect way, God invites us to be his partners in his great plan of redemption.  He lifts us up, saves us, and uses us as instruments of his praise and glory.  The more transformed we are, the more glory he gets!  Not only does he offer more abundant life here, but he prepares us for eternity.

Would you rather be a pawn on Satan’s chess board, or a king or queen for Jesus’ kingdom?  This is one of many things we can truly be thankful for; being partners with God in supporting his kingdom and reaching people for Jesus.  We are not all on the front line of the battle, but we can support those who are.  That is why supporting the church means outreach to hundreds of people locally, and thousands of people around the world through the various missions we support.

Far from being pawns, Jesus called us his friends if we live in obedience to him (John 15:14).  The great song “I Am a Friend of God” comes to mind.  “He calls me friend.”

This Thanksgiving time, take time to give thanks for all these blessings and so many others in our individual lives.  We can also be thankful that the Holy Spirit lives in each of us as believers and guides us to fruitfulness for God’s service.  Perhaps everyone at your table can take a moment to be thankful for one thing!

Lord, thank you for the good news of Jesus our Savior.  Thank you for saving us from lives of confusion.  Thank you that we can build our house on the rock of truth.  Thank you for keeping us safe from storms that rage around us. 

Thank you Lord, for our church family, for people that pray for us when we have needs.  Thank you for our natural family- whether they be near or far.  Repair our relationships where needed.  Be with those who are away in the military or are just geographically distant. 

Thank you that through Christ we are all your children.  Thank you that as obedient children we can be your friends.  Bless this Thanksgiving time in Jesus’ Name, Amen.