The Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you and your loved ones!
Recently one of our alumni celebrated his 50th birthday. He chose to take half a day to commune with God. During that silent retreat, he decided to list 50 reasons why he is grateful to God on his 50th birthday!
I was deeply touched as I read Stephan Smithdorff’s golden list! Let me draw out 2 reasons from his list. First, Stephan thanked Jesus for saving his life from a self-indulgent, wasteful life, to giving him a purpose and belonging! The second reason was God’s call to him to serve among the least unreached people. God used Stephan for the past 25 years to serve with Operational Mobilization (OM) among the unreached peoples in numerous countries. In the last 12 years, Stephan and his wife, Keiko, also our alumnus, and their 3 children, have been residing in Japan, serving the Lord among the unreached.
Rev Edmund Chan in the recent Intentional Disciple-Making Conference underscored the importance of gratitude as one of 5 key points for every disciple of Jesus Christ. As we deny ourselves daily to follow Jesus, our hearts must be overwhelmed with thanksgiving to our Master for his gift of salvation and for the Holy Spirit’s power that enables us to walk in obedience and humility.
I am truly grateful that my heavenly Father encourages me daily to follow him and to depend on him for my sustenance as I go about serving him. I am grateful too for the example of Jesus Christ my Lord who inspires me in my daily walk to look to him and draw strength from him, moment by moment:
Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was sat before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)
Are you grateful to Jesus for your salvation and for God’s work daily in your life as he transforms you bit by bit, into the image of his beloved Son?
As I write this letter, a chorus from my Sunday School days keeps ringing in my ear – Thank you Lord for saving my soul, thank you Lord for making me whole, thank you Lord for giving to me, Thy great salvation so rich and free.
Let us bring our offerings of praise and thanksgiving daily to our great and loving God and to our Saviour Jesus Christ who has rescued us out of darkness and brought us into his glorious light!
Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the holy One,
Give thanks because He’s given, Jesus Christ, His Son,
And now, let the weak say I am strong,
Let the poor say I am rich,
Because of what the lord has done for us,