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Sunday, December 1, 2019

Paul Brand

Paul Brand was a brilliant medical doctor who did pioneering work in the treatment of leprosy. He
received the Albert Lasker Award, was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by the
Queen, served as the only Westerner on the Mahatma Ghandi foundation, and had medical procedures
named after him.

Brand grew up in India, where his parents were missionaries. At the age of nine he was sent to
boarding school in England. Five years later, while a 14 year old student there, he received a
telegram informing him that his beloved father had died of blackwater fever. Brand cherished fond
memories of his father, a man who had a great love for people and a great love for the natural world
around him.

A short time after he received news of his father's death Paul Brand received a letter from his
father. It had been posted prior to his father's death but took some time to reach Brand as it came
by ship. Its words impacted deeply upon the young son. Paul's father described the hills around
their home and then finished with these words: "God means us to delight in His world. It isn't
necessary to know botany or zoology or biology in order to enjoy the manifold life of nature. Just
observe. And remember. And compare. And be always looking to God with thankfulness and worship
for having placed you in such a delightful corner of the universe as the planet Earth." *

There is another letter from a Father concerning which I want to encourage you to read and reflect
deeply. It's a letter from the Father who put YOU "in such a delightful corner of the universe, the
plant Earth." Actually, He created the world and the universe (Genesis 1:1).

This "letter" - the Bible - is actually a volume of 66 books with one central theme: the salvation
of man through Christ to the glory of God. Every book of this "letter" contributes to that theme.
It tells how:

God created man and woman in His own image but how we have marred that image through our sin
(Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:23).

Even though we have sinned, God still loves us. He loves us so much that He gave His one and only
Son to die for our sins so that we can be saved and become His children (John 3:16; Romans 8:15-17).

Here's a wonderful statement from the Letter: "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that
while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

In His letter we learn how to have our sins forgiven and receive the gift of eternal life: place
your faith and trust in Christ (Acts 16:30-31), turn from your sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31),
confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized (immersed) into Christ for the
forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). Then, continue to walk in the light of His "letter" (His Word) and
the promise is that He will continue to cleanse us from sin (1 John 1:7-9).

The Father sent you a letter. It's worth reading, studying, and doing what it says. It reveals the
Father's love and how you can abide in His love for an eternity.

-- David A. Sargent

* Source: Reported in Philip Yancey, Soul Survivor (Hodder & Stoughton, 2001) as cited in on "thankfulness."

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