The Lantern

The Timely Nature of Praise and Thanksgiving

“Were not all ten cleansed? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?”
Luke 17: 17-18

For any of a mind that faith must be expressed in certain “appropriate” ways, consider Luke 17:11–19 (NIV). Jesus heals the ten, very unclean lepers who had called out to him from a distance, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” He then tells them to show themselves to the priests and miraculously cleanses them on the way. Only one of the ten returns “praising God in a loud voice,” while throwing himself at the feet of Jesus and thanking him. Luke then adds, as if for ultimate effect, “and he was a Samaritan.” Jesus looks around and says, “Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” And then Jesus says to him, “rise and go; your faith has made you well.” End of story? Not hardly.

The Kingdom of God Is in Your Midst!

Jesus springs yet another surprise in verses 20–21. When the Pharisees ask him when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus ends his answer with, “the kingdom of God is in your midst,” and based on what they had just witnessed that kingdom would embrace Jews and Gentiles alike.

We now know what the followers of Jesus were only just finding out, that he would suffer, die to set us free, raise again, ascend to the right hand of the Heavenly Father, and then send the Holy Spirit to advance his kingdom and bring healing to the nations through his children, the body of Christ.

Praise and Thanksgiving: Always Timely!

Offering praise and thanksgiving to God is always timely. The cleansed Samaritan who hurried back to Jesus to worship him certainly knew this. God is the glory and the lifter of our heads (Psalm 3:3) and is our hiding place who surrounds us with songs of deliverance (Psalm 32:7).

This is a vital reality we continue to learn from the church in China. The focus for so many of God’s children is on worshipping, praising, and thanking him. There is much we can learn from our brothers and sisters in this regard. You will notice the section usually titled “Ways to Pray” has been changed to “Ways to Praise!” for this issue. Each praise item listed calls us to rejoice and give thanks to our Heavenly Father for the amazing ways he is moving in situations that are, or have been, so desperate that the temptation would be to give up. But that’s not what our brothers and sisters decided to do!

A song by Andraé Crouch entitled “Take a Little Time”has been a blessed reminder to me that it is always timely to have a thankful heart.

Kerry Schottelkorb

Ways to Praise!

  • Thank the Lord that more Christians read the Chinese Bible than most other translations of the Scriptures. Please see “The Chinese Bible: History, Challenges, and Recommendations” by G. Wright Doyle for more details concerning the history of the Chinese Bible and to learn more about the Chinese Union Version (CUV). Praise God “for giving Chinese the Bible in their own language, to strengthen and grow what is now one of the largest Christian churches in the world and one with the potential to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.”
  • We are praising the Triune God of Grace for amazing reports from the church in China about how, during the three years of covid lockdowns in China, a fresh level of commitment, new and diversified ministry activities, resilience, and growth characterized many local church experiences. For more details, please see the posts in Chinese Church Voices, “Rising Strong: A Journey of Faith and Growth Amidst the Pandemic” and “God at Work During 3 Years of Isolation.” Praise the Lord along with the people of God in China, while praying for his sustaining and persevering grace for his people in the mainland.
  • Praise the Lord with us that God is pursuing Chinese Muslims, reaching them through dreams and visions and through those who are called to serve and proclaim the gospel in word and deed. Please see “An Exploration of Islam in China: More Context from the ChinaSource Archives,” which will provide numerous links to posts on the history and present day ministry to Muslims in China, while providing greater understanding about how to share the gospel effectively with our Muslim neighbors.
  • Please join us in thanking God that despite severe restrictions, resources like Bridge Education Services (BES) “envision a day when every Chinese family has access to a viable Christian education within their community.” For specifics see “Christian School Education in China.” Please continue to pray that “the church, and the education and discipleship of its youth will continue to grow” and that “God will continue to open new doors.”

News and Notes

ChinaSource Team News

  • On March 10 Kerry Schottelkorb preached at Home of Christ Church 6 in Newark, California.

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ChinaSource Team

ChinaSource Team

Written, translated, or edited by members of the ChinaSource staff.          View Full Bio

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