News from Scott and Alan, 1st September 22
We have said before that little did we think when we started writing devotions for the initial six week lockdown that we would still be doing them now. As you are aware the case for last year we have posted some of our ‘best of devotions’ to allow us to take some time off. Now that it is September we are both back on the horse as the saying goes and when talking we have decided that we are no longer going to preface the devotions with how long it has been since Boris announced lockdown, instead from today we will simply preface the daily devotions with the date they are posted. As you will know that today is the 1st September 22 and likewise that is the preface of the devotion.
We hope that they have been of benefit to you and they will continue to be.
Yours in Christ
Scott and Alan
1st September 22
Read — Acts 8v3-8
Message - Scott Woodburn
“First posted Year 1 Day 336 - 23 February”
As chapter eight begins the church is experiencing great persecution at the hands of a man called Saul (v3) and yet the story of the Gospel doesn't end. The Lord governs all creation with a wise and providential hand and even the persecution of His church is used by the Lord for good.
How can this be so? The persecution in Jerusalem scatters the church here, there and everywhere and wherever the believers ended up, they preached the Word (v4). Philip ends up in Samaria and immediately set about preaching Christ (v5). The Samarian response was wonderful. The crowds listened intently to what was being said and the message was confirmed by signs and wonders (v6).
Unclean spirits were driven out and the paralysed and lame were healed (v7). The Gospel had arrived in Samaria and the result was great joy (v8). Today, if we could somehow put joy into a bottle we would make an absolute fortune. This year was supposed to be radically different from 2020 and yet in the past week our lockdown has been extended. When we do meet, we keep our distance and talk about Granny who has received her vaccine. Every day seems like the last one. Homeschooling tests our patience and family bond. We grow angry when we see the number of cars heading for Newcastle and wonder if we are the only ones taking Covid seriously. Oh what we would give for a bit of joy!
My friends the joy in Samaria came as a direct result of the Gospel. The problems those men and women faced didn't suddenly disappear. Those healed of demons and physical ailments still had to get on with life. Work needed to be done. Families needed to be fed. Leaky roofs needed to be fixed but still, Gospel joy had come.
I pray today for that same joy to return abundantly to our lives. Even in the midst of our problems may the extraordinary gift of the Gospel ring in our souls. Christ has made an end to our sin and His resurrection is a certain guarantee that we too will stand again on this earth. We have been blessed by the gift of the Holy Spirit who strengthens our legs for days like these and even if the world is turned upside-down we know that nothing can pluck us from Christ's hand.
Christmas may be an increasingly distant memory but brothers and sisters "joy to the world! The Lord is come!"
Q41 Where is the moral law summarily comprehended? The moral law is summarily comprehended in the ten commandments.