Newsletter. Episode 71. 29 November 2020

Just a short one this week. It’s been especially busy with Christmas church service preparations as well as clearing the decks for a couple of days holiday next week.

Thankfulness has been on my mind. I was baptised into Christ 36 years ago this month, and I baptised my wife into Christ 36 years ago next week. You can imagine that gratitude is a feature of my prayers at the moment. This Sunday’s lesson for the Watford Church (links in next week’s newsletter, but it will be on my website in the very near future) is on the passage Luke 17:11-19

“Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distanceand called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”      When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.      One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.     Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”” (Luke 17:11–19 NIV11)

The passage is about more than thankfulness, but it is not about less than thankfulness. Jesus, by implication, commended the one leper for coming back to thank him. What is it that put that man in a position to be recognised by Jesus for his gratitude? First, it was an experience of the compassion of Jesus. Second, it was an experience of the power of Jesus. Then, it was the experience of the consequences of his obedience. His heart was touched, and he returned to thank Jesus, even though he was no Jew himself.

My devotional suggestion this week is to take some time to cast your mind over evidence of the compassion of Jesus in your life, and the power of Jesus in your life. Write it down. Make a record and pray prayers of thankfulness. I’m confident your spirit will be refreshed.

The week ahead

If you’d like to pray for me I’d be very grateful. Here are some of my plans that you could include.

  • A sermon for the Watford Church on Sunday 29th November. Topic: thankfulness.
  • A new Tuesday teaching tip class – “How to connect with your audience – part 2”.
  • The next “What we are reading episode” – The self-learning blueprint
  • The tenth quiet time coaching episode from the series based on Pete Greig’s book, “How to pray”. We will be looking at spiritual warfare.
  • Working on a teaching series for January and February 2021 on the character of Abraham and those connected with him in the Scriptures. 
  • Developing the Christmas services for the Watford and Thames Valley congregations.

Until the next time, 

God bless, Malcolm