Rejoice Always?

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Paul knew how to end a letter!  I imagine when Paul said his final goodbyes to the Church of Ephesus, the Church of Corinth, or the Church of Thessalonica the Christians in those communities of faith were emboldened to share the love of Christ at any cost.  

RBC family, my time with you is short.  The words I can share with you are precious and laced with the sadness of leaving.  They are not different however from any of the words I have preached, taught, shared in hospital rooms or on living room couches.  I want you preach the gospel through your actions and through your words.  I want to love recklessly.  I want you to expand the word family as wide as you can.  I want you to forgive quickly.  I want you to welcome the stranger in your midst.  I want you to have fun.  I want people to know you are a member of Royston Baptist Church by the way you care for everyone you meet.  I don’t want Royston Baptist to be the best kept secret in town anymore.  

Paul gives some good advice, rejoice always.  Please rejoice alongside us.  Rejoice that God is in control of your future as a church,.  Even though you may be sad, rejoice.

Pray without ceasing.  The Barlows covet your prayers—for our boys as they begin life in a new place., for Susan as she considers taking a new job, for me as I transition to a new place of service.  Pray also for RBC—for the new pastor God is calling, for the transition, for the pastor search committee, and for all the staff that must pick up more responsibility.

Give thanks in all circumstances.  I know you can, and I am praying you will!

I love you!  I have been honored to call myself Pastor of Royston Baptist Church.  I can’t wait to see what God has next for you and I am praying for you as you discern,