TO THE ARMY
THE OFFICE OF THE GENERAL TO
SALVATIONISTS ACROSS THE WORLD
is the twenty-first in a series of Pastoral Letters from the General
to every Salvationist across the world.
Pastoral Letters are intended to be distributed unchanged and entire
to all Salvationists and may be shared also with others interested in
the sacred purposes for which God raised up The Salvation Army.
in the Name of Jesus Christ.
comes to all Salvationists with my strong, ongoing affection in
Christ for you, and with my prayers for your effectiveness in the
sacred calling that God, in his supreme wisdom, has placed upon the
peoples known as Salvationists.
been laid upon my heart that I am to take a step of obedience under
God by reaching out to you all through Pastoral Letters written from
time to time. I write therefore in order to obey the One who has
created us all, and with a longing that what is written will affirm,
encourage and inspire you.
themes for these occasional Pastoral Letters continue to be the
themes God reveals. His holy will is made known in many ways. I
pledge myself to be mindful that his will is often revealed through
interaction with members of the Body and not only or always in the
seclusion of the place of prayer.
It is my
deep hope that each Pastoral Letter will be read wherever
Salvationists are to be found, whether in private or in public
settings. The chosen themes may prompt discussion, prayer and - as
appropriate - action.
it is my great honour and privilege to be in touch with you through a
Helen Clifton joins me in sending greetings to you just where you
are, thanking God for your fidelity to the gospel and for your
service in his great Army of Salvation.
writing this Letter from my office in our home because recently I
have undergone further surgery, this time for a heart bypass
procedure. This took place unexpectedly six weeks ago and I thank God
that I am making good progress and am able to keep up with all
official matters through the kindness of the Chief of the Staff who
meets me in our home regularly to discuss key matters of business and
policy and also through the great help of my personal staff at
Helen Clifton is taking wonderful care of me but is also facing her
own health challenges at this time. So your prayers are very, very
precious to us both and to our family.
of this Letter, as with Pastoral Letter 20, is gratitude. It is a
theme that can never be exhausted. It is a natural theme for us at
this time for we feel indebted to so many for loving support. Many of
you have sent messages of prayer and encouragement. These have
blessed and helped us so much.
I want to
record heartfelt thanks to Almighty God for his unfailing love to us
all. You will know of those times when you have experienced the
loving closeness of our Heavenly Father. Sometimes he is so near to
us that we can almost reach out and touch him. May you each be drawn
closer and closer to God in this wonderful way.
and thank God because he is able to save us from our sin and from the
overarching rule of self and selfish ambition. Acts 4:12 tells us
that there is no other name by which we can be saved. God the Father
has given us Jesus, God the Son, to be our only Saviour. Our hearts
fill up again with gratitude.
still further cause to be glad and grateful to God. He alone can make
us holy. He alone can purify us and sanctify us through and through.
In the words of the old chorus, not only is he 'able to save',
but he is 'able to keep' - to keep us pure and victorious day
by day from falling to temptation. Our part is to consecrate
ourselves to God without reserve. He then does his part in cleansing
us through and through, again and again.
closing this Letter, I salute you and thank God for you. I commend
each of you - just where you live and serve - to the infinite
care of the Father, to the safe and loving hands of Jesus, and to the
cleansing and enabling power of the Holy Spirit.