The message that follows marks the end of our 15th year of writing and sending out the Orange Moon devotionals. Wow, time flies when you're having fun! (or as Kermit the frog once said, "Time's fun when you're having flies!).
Seriously, Frances and I are grateful for your friendship and fellowship over the years. We're also thankful for the new friends who have joined us recently. You're all a blessing to us, and I remain humbled and honored by your friendship and fellowship.
Another bit of an anniversary will take place next Tuesday, Lord willing, when we send out the 4,000th Orange Moon devotional. Now that really feels weird, and for those of you who have been with us from the beginning, I'm amazed by your endurance and patience! :)
When thinking about all of you, I know how the Apostle Paul felt. "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now" (Philippians 1:3-5). Thank you also, and we look forward, Lord willing, to many more years of fellowship in our wonderful Savior. Blessings, Glen
Ten received the healing touch of the Lord Jesus Christ. One responded with heartfelt recognition and gratitude.
"Ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: and they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when He saw them, He said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger." (Luke 17:12-18).
"Where are the nine?" I'd love to climb onto my personal high horse of criticism and judgmentalism to join the Lord in His rhetorical indictment of the healees' ingratitude. Sadly, however, I have too much a personal history of failure to truly appreciate all the Lord Jesus Christ has done for me. I've too often been among the nine rather than with the one. "Where is Glen?" Far too frequently, the Lord could have justifiably raised the question about me. So, I'll leave the aforementioned pony in the corral, and seek rather a place of repentant acknowledgement and renewed expression of thanksgiving.
Perhaps you join me in recognition of need for a greater appreciation concerning the Lord's abundant and gracious generosity. We cannot change the past, of course, and none of us know how much longer our opportunity for thanksgiving in this present lifetime will continue. So, we have this moment to join our hearts in gratitude:
"Heavenly Father, eternity won't suffice for sufficient gratitude to You for all Your doings on our behalf. We are way behind in our thanksgiving, and even as we attempt to catch up, You add more provision, protection, cleansing, and the gift of Your loving presence in our lives. You overwhelm us in an abundance "exceeding, abundantly above all we ask or think." No eloquence can adequately express how grateful we should be. No emotion can attain to the feeling warranted. No awareness begins to comprehend how blessed we are in the Lord Jesus. We have only this moment's realization of the hymnwriter's sublime affirmation, "Out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again." In this moment, therefore, we would simply say and feel and acknowledge, "Thank You, Father. Thank You so very much...
In the Name of He who purchased our redemption by His blood, along with every blessing of both this life and forevermore, our Lord Jesus,
"Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving."