gty.org/resources/sermons/80-339

Certainly for me, my 40 years here at Grace Community Church, have been a little bit of heaven. I said that in the early service, and I meant that. I don't think any man could have a more faithful wife than God gave me. I don't think anyone could have more faithful, loving children than the Lord gave me...more delightful and precious grandchildren. And I don't imagine that anyone could have a more blessed congregation to serve for all these years than the Lord has given me. I really feel I have lived a little heaven on earth. I am actually expecting serious suffering soon because I have overfilled my cup with the goodness of God. And you have been all that a pastor could ever imagine a church could be, and beyond.

I have heard all the sad stories. I have seen some of them. I lived through some of them as a pastor's kid...difficulty, the challenge, the heart break, discouragement that comes in ministry. But for whatever reasons and for whatever purposes in my life, the Lord has blessed me with what I would consider to be a Thessalonian church. You are my glory and my joy. And it has never been any other than that.

Oh there have been moments when it was trying and challenging and difficult and a few scattered moments when I thought maybe I ought to stop doing what I am doing. But they passed very rapidly. It has been for me heaven on earth. And I really believe that's what the church should be. This is the closest we're ever going to get to heaven in this world and the church should be the closest thing to heaven on earth, and it certainly has been for me....

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