Thank you for all your new year good wishes.
My family has a strange Christmas tradition. I don’t know of any other family which has the same custom. If you do, please let me know. The tradition is this – we receive a second round of presents on Boxing Day. These are gifts from the tree. Yes, that’s right, the tree. The Christmas tree gives small presents to everybody in the family.
Penny was taking our tree down this week and found a gift from the tree which we had missed giving to my sister’s granddaughter. You will see it in the photograph at the top of this newsletter. I have since posted it off to little Hollie. She will receive her gift from the tree. I’m sure both she and the tree will be very happy.
One of my New Year’s resolutions is to be more consistent with my Bible reading and study. So far, so good. I know this isn’t exactly on Earth-shattering goal, but I want to make sure, as I go into another year of my Christian life that I don’t take this wonderful treasure for granted.
There were times when the word of God was lost. Whether that loss was physical or theological, nonetheless it was disastrous. Two examples come to mind:
“Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the LORD.”” (2 Kings 22:8)
The kings secretary didn’t even realise the significance of it. He just called it, “a book”. Then there’s the example of Ezra:
“Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.” (Nehemiah 8:5–6)
The tragedy of the ignorance of gods people is at least moderated by the reverence they show when it is finally given an airing.
Could this be the year when you develop a deeper reverence and devotion to God’s word more than ever before? Whatever other aims, dreams, goals you have, I would submit that this would be by far the most important.
The hidden tree present will soon be in the hands of its intended recipient. God has given the gift of his Word to you and me. It is in our hands. Let us be grateful.
I hope you find this week’s resources helpful.
God bless, Malcolm
The week ahead
If you’d like to pray for me I’d be very grateful. Here are some of my plans:
- I have been given the privilege of leading the first London city Bible discussion of 2021 on Monday lunchtime.
- The next Tuesday teaching tip class in the series, “The heart of communication”
- The next “What we are reading episode” – not sure which book it will be yet
- The next few daily quiet time coaching episodes on Abraham
- The Sunday sermons for Watford and Thames Valley in the new Abraham series: “Adventures in faith with Abraham”. This week – Genesis 13 and 14. The topic is meekness. The way in which Abraham models the compassion and courage that goes with a truly godly meekness.
- A meeting with the wonderful location leaders of the Thames Valley church on Monday night.
- The next gathering of the Apollos group on Saturday.
- A birthday lunch with Penny’s mother on Sunday
Until the next time,
God bless, Malcolm