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TO THE ARMY
THE OFFICE OF THE GENERAL TO
SALVATIONISTS ACROSS THE WORLD
is the twentieth 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.
you each one in the sacred Name of Jesus. His Name is without equal.
Only under his Name can salvation for our souls be found. Let our
hearts leap upward with gratitude.
write to you, London is going through a mid-summer heat-wave - or at
least a heat-wave by London standards! We are grateful for every
comfort in this sophisticated western city, yet we remain mindful
that not every Salvationist has such things. I thank God for the Army
world that shares more and more regularly, more and more effectively,
as a global family. We remember constantly our Lord's teaching that
we should carry one another's burdens. We are partners in a holy
mission and must be watchful of each other's needs.
many prayers in all kinds of places and settings. You also hear them
where you are. I am moved by the prayers I hear being offered by my
fellow Salvationists. God is helping us to be more and more a
prayerful Army. At the heart of prayer is thanksgiving. We come
before our Heavenly Father in a spirit of humble gratitude.
Philippians 4:6 teaches us to come to God in prayer with a grateful
heart. As we pray, we must offer thanks more than offering requests.
The Holy Spirit helps us as we pray and in this way we can get the
you' is a phrase on every Salvationist's lips, many times each
day. We affirm one another in this way and at the same time we honour
the God we all adore and obey. When we know how to thank God, we will
also know how to thank our fellow believers. Similar courtesy can and
should be offered to the unbeliever so that others see the courtesy
of Christ in us.
Gospel (in chapter 17) tells us about the ten lepers healed by Jesus.
Only one healed leper went back to Jesus to express gratitude for his
healing. One in ten! Only a tenth! Just 10%! It is difficult to
understand why the other nine offered no gratitude. It costs very
little to say 'thank you'. I am asking God to make us more and
more a grateful Army, an Army that constantly gives thanks for every
help and blessing.
know the Old Testament account of Hannah and her longing for a child
(see 1 Samuel 1:9-28). She offered a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God
for her son, Samuel. He became a great man of God.
Corinthians 15:57 the Apostle Paul declares gratitude to God for
spiritual victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. We join Paul in that
burst of thanksgiving. Try to read the words for yourself and perhaps
say them aloud as you read. You can say 'me' instead of 'us'
and in that way make the verse very personal. It is a verse that you
could include in your prayers every day. What a great way to begin
and end a prayer.
As I end
this Pastoral Letter I offer deep gratitude to God for your
faithfulness. I thank God for you! You are my comrade,
my sister or my brother in Christ. God bless and keep you in
know the Lord's loving touch today.
you to his matchless grace.
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