To Jason, Jim, Grady, Jim, Rick, Kyle, Greg, Chris, Erich, Charlie, John Mark, Jordan, David, Scott, Terry, Larry, Buddy, and Patrick:
You are not a salesman, you are a mediator of God’s Holy Spirit. You are not a motivational speaker, you are a faithful proclaimer of God’s Gospel. You are not a therapist, you are a Christian minister. Self-help tips are not the tools of your trade; it’s the inspired Scriptures. You are not a church chaplain, holding the hands of church people as you go about church business; you are a powerful spokesman for God, confronting sin and calling our Lord’s people to repentance. You are not a comedian, you are a comforter to those who dwell in dark places. Your call did not come from a family member or a spouse or a professor or a mentor, it came from the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth. Your passions are not motivated by financial gain or popularity or prestige, but by the burning desire in your bones to seek and save the lost. Your goal is not to fill pews and collection trays, it is to forcefully advance the Kingdom of Heaven in the hearts and lives of your hearers and in your community.
You guys are so cool.
You give it up every day. Every day. You live it. You breathe it. You assimilate it into every cell of your being and it radiates through every one of your words and deeds to bless with God’s grace every person you meet. It’s incredible, really, how powerful you are. Very powerful. A critical cog in God’s salvation plan for all mankind, a vital link in his eternal chain to reconcile the world to himself and redeem the heavens and earth. You reside in the company of Isaiah and Ezekiel, Amos and Hosea, John the Baptist and Peter and Paul.
It is our God who works in you. And the cool thing is that you know that without a doubt. It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purposes.
I love you guys. All of you. You inspire me to be better.
I pray God’s richest blessings for you and your great ministries in 2011.