“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). This is the Gospel. This is the message of Christmas. This season, as all seasons, focuses upon Jesus Christ and His mission for us. It is not about gifts. It is not about family gatherings. It is not about poinsettias. It is not about holiday music. It is not about time off from work/school. It is not about extra hunting opportunities. It is not about Saint Nick. It is all about Jesus, the God-Man, who came to save His people from their sins! Christmas exists because Christ exists! And the good news of His birth and work should prompt us to exalt Him accordingly! Kinda like we did this past Sunday! What a day it was as our Music Ministry led us in worship of the King! There were moments when I thought I would leave my front pew to join the worshippers in the choir and on the platform. To me, it was one of the best Christmas celebrations of which I have been a part! Thank you choir, orchestra, and technical support personnel for your faithfulness in leading us. (I’m looking for some of you back in the choir loft when January rolls around!) And thanks to Jeremy for his preparation and guidance for the worship event. I am so grateful I get to serve with him here at Temple.
Of course, the Christmas season is not complete, and I hope you will take time to join us this coming Sunday as we again worship Jesus, the King. (Note: Our Morning Worship Services will return to our normal schedule as we gather together this week.) Moreover, make plans to be at one of my favorite worship services of the year – our annual Christmas Eve Candlelight Service!
As this year moves to its end, we recognize the retirement of my friend and co-laborer, Loy Seal. For thirteen years, Loy and his wife, Deborah, have faithfully served and ministered here at Temple Baptist Church. (Including their work at Cook Baptist Church, they have been in Ruston some 21 ½ years!) We especially have been blessed to have them on our leadership team, and we want to express our gratitude to them this week. Please take a moment out of your hectic holiday schedule and drop by a reception in their honor this Sunday at 4 p.m. as we appropriately thank them for their ministry. We love them! Let’s show them!
Finally, I want to say how much my family and I appreciate you, the Temple family. You give, you serve, you minister in Jesus’ Name. Every day, I see the grace on your faces and the works in your lives. You constantly live out the Great Commission and give to see the Gospel circumnavigate the globe. (To date, you have given over $140,000 to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering alone!) Leslie, my kids, and I are so grateful we get to do life and ministry with you. Thanks always for letting us be a part of what our Lord is doing in and through Temple Baptist Church. You are loved dearly! Merry Christmas!