We Thank The Lord For All Of You
By Rich Carmicheal
"We always thank God for all of you…" (1 Thess. 1:2).
Those of us in the Herald office have many reasons to give thanks to the Lord as we consider readers such as you. Here are some of the reasons that come to mind:
• We are thankful to the Lord for your encouragement for the Herald ministry.
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing" (1 Thess. 5:11). Encouragement is very important for life and ministry, and the encouragement that friends such as you send to the Herald office greatly helps the staff carry on in this work. Whether this encouragement comes by way of letter, email or phone, your words of encouragement are always very much appreciated. Our hope is that the Lord will likewise continue to use the Herald ministry to "encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word" (2 Thess. 2:17).
• We are thankful to the Lord for your ministry.
One of the blessings of the Herald ministry is the knowledge that many Herald readers have a servant’s heart and are actively involved in ministering to others. We are reminded regularly that the Lord is not only at work in you, but also through you. Some of you are preaching, teaching, leading Bible studies, visiting prisons, praying, distributing Gospel literature, meeting the physical and spiritual needs of others, sharing the Gospel through your actions and words, and serving those around you in a host of other ways. We rejoice at what you are doing for the Lord, and we are thankful that Herald of His Coming can strengthen and encourage you in that work. As we consider the ministry of friends such as you, this verse comes to mind: "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him" (2 Cor. 2:14).
• We are thankful for your financial support.
We praise the Lord that He gives the Herald ministry the privilege to distribute revival and salvation literature free of charge as this enables many people to receive what they otherwise could not afford. This is possible because of the generosity of Herald friends who offer financial support. Thank you for allowing the Lord’s provision to flow through your heart and hands. We are reminded of the words of 2 Corinthians 9:11-12: "You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God."
• We are thankful for your heart for prayer.
The Herald staff also rejoices to know that many of you are faithful in prayer, and that you uphold this ministry in your prayers. We are thankful because we know that any spiritual impact this ministry is privileged to make is directly related to the prayer support that friends like you give. We are encouraged that a good number of readers take to heart the various prayer calendars, prayer briefs and other prayer points in the Herald in order to pray for various nations, peoples, and needs around the world. We appreciate your prayers because we know that God works through the prayers of His people (Acts 4:31; 2 Cor. 1:10-11) and that "…the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5:16). We are also blessed by the opportunity to pray for you as you send prayer requests to us, and we "…always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel…" (Phil. 1:3-5).
• We are thankful to the Lord for your testimony.
We are also filled with gratitude before the Lord as we learn about the wonderful things He is doing in your life. To this end, we are glad to devote page twelve of each issue of the Herald to highlight some of the testimony letters we receive. We rejoice over you as did Paul over the Corinthian believers: "I always thank God for you because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in Him you have been enriched in every way…" (1 Cor. 1:4). And we can also share in the confident expectation that "…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil. 1:6). Our Lord is faithful, and we give thanks and praise to Him for allowing Herald of His Coming to play at least a small role in what He is doing in and through your life!
• We are thankful to the Lord for the way you reflect Him.
One of the greatest blessings of this ministry is the opportunity to interact with readers, donors, workers and volunteers who clearly display the character of God in their lives. These friends are often marked by levels of generosity, sacrifice, compassion, spiritual maturity and wisdom that can only be explained as coming from the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18 describes these friends well: "…who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." The Lord is good, and what a privilege it is to see His reflection in many Herald friends.
• We are thankful for your hunger for the message of the Lord.
The fact that the appearance of Herald of His Coming is not fancy does not seem to distract most Herald readers since they are primarily interested in the content. Most Herald readers are hungry for solid food and, in fact, appreciate the economical way the paper is printed. We are thankful that you are blessed to receive messages from past and present godly speakers and authors that greatly encourage and challenge you in the areas of repentance, revival, prayer, holiness, and evangelism. We thank the Lord for allowing Herald of His Coming to serve as one of His humble messengers to the Church today. And we praise the Lord with you that His Word does not return to Him empty, but accomplishes His desire and achieves the purpose for which He sends it (Isa. 55:11).
• We are thankful for your longing for the return of Christ.
As this ministry seeks to help prepare the Church for the Second Coming of Christ, it is good that many readers are also focused on His return. The fellowship that we enjoy through the Herald ministry provides us with the opportunity to "…encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Heb. 10:25). As that Day draws nearer, it is imperative that we "make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him" (2 Pet. 3:14). We can remind one another and others to heed the words of Jesus to "…keep watch, because you do not know what day your Lord will come" and to "…be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him" (Matt. 24:42,44).
• We are thankful for your desire for the spiritual well-being of others.
We are reminded time and again in the Herald office of the heart that Herald readers have for the spiritual well-being of others. For example, we receive numerous requests to pray for unsaved family and friends, as well as for those who need to return to the Lord or need to receive strength and encouragement from the Lord. Also, many of the friends who give financially to this ministry do so not for their own benefit, but for the benefit of others who are able to receive because of these gifts. And then there are a good number of readers who help distribute the Herald’s salvation and revival materials, as well as the readers who use Herald materials in their sermons, Bible studies and prayer meetings. Paul’s words in 2 Thessalonians 1:3 come to mind: "We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing."