Today we celebrate our twenty-third anniversary at Lancaster Baptist Church. We stand amazed and humbled at all God has accomplished in our midst through these years, and today we joyfully offer the sacrifice of praise for His goodness.
I’m reminded of David’s sacrifice in 2 Samuel 24. Humbled at God’s greatness, David determined, “neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24). What a privilege it has been for me to pastor a church family who recognizes that God is worthy of our sacrifice and realizes it is a privilege to pay the price in their offering of service.
As we look forward to the future, awed at God’s work in the past, our overwhelming realization is that God is worthy of our continued sacrifice. So we will…
Pay the price in prayer.
What a joy it has been for me as a pastor to see our members grow and develop in their prayer lives. Time and again our church has seen God’s blessing as a direct result of prayer. Our men’s prayer meeting on Saturday evenings is one of my favorite times of the week. I love to hear our men intercede for God’s power in their own lives and families and in our church. Their fervent, effectual prayers truly avail much. Various times throughout the year (such as this past week leading up to Anniversary Sunday and Spiritual Leadership Conference) our church family forms a twenty-four hour prayer chain and prays round the clock for God’s work to be accomplished.
Let us never become complacent in God’s blessings and neglect to pray. He promises to answer our prayers, and we’ve seen how His answers far exceed what we ask or think. May we continue to make prayer central and focal in our lives and in our church.
Pay the price in giving.
Twenty-three years ago, the small group of less than twenty people meeting in a building that was in foreclosure could never have imagined the campus God has given us today. But over the years, our people, as the Macedonian believers in 2 Corinthians 8:3, have given “beyond their power.” They have given generously and joyfully of their time, their finances, their skills—their lives. And we praise the Lord for a campus that is used daily as a tool to reach people for Christ and build lives for God’s glory.
Still today, our campus is developing, and we are excited about the Anniversary Sunday offering we will give today. As we continue to grow in our giving, God continues to use our offerings to build lives here in Lancaster and through church planters and missionaries around the world.
Pay the price in faith.
The price our people have paid in prayer and giving bears testimony to their faith. They have trusted God to answer their prayers and meet their needs. They have exercised great faith in following their pastor’s vision. Their faith is evidenced by their faithful soulwinning in our community. And how we all rejoice at how God has blessed that faith! Today, many changed lives bear testimony to God’s answer to the faith of His people.
Our church has known the winds of adversity as well as the thrill of victory, and through it all we have seen the faithfulness of God. It is God’s faithfulness that encourages our faith and calls us to press forward claiming the promises of God for the future. I believe the greatest days of Lancaster Baptist Church are still before us.
Thank you, Lancaster Baptist family, for willingly paying the price to sacrifice to the Lord. What a privilege it is to know and serve Him. Let’s determine to keep our eyes on God’s greatness as we continue to pay the price in prayer, giving, and faith. God is worthy—to Him be the glory!