- A Public & Private Life"
The life of
each Christian is divided between public life and private life.
Our goal, whether privately or publicly, ought to be to glorify
God and not self. Jesus mandates that we render both public and
private exhibitions of our dedication to Him. In Matthew 5:13-16,
Jesus addresses our public life. He beckons us to be the salt of
the earth. Salt has two basic features: it gives flavor and it preserves.
In this sin-cursed world we must give off a flavor of righteousness
and seek to preserve its existence as just 10 righteous souls could
have done for Sodom and Gomorrah. If we don't live the Christian
life amidst this crooked and perverse generation then we are like
salt that has lost its flavor. We are good for nothing.
encourages us to publicly live as a light in the world. We are to
provide the contrast to the darkness that already exists. Paul admonished
the Philippians to "be blameless and harmless, the sons
of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation,
among whom ye shine as lights in the world" (Phil. 2:15).
The Christian life cannot be lived in isolation or inside the walls
of a church building. It must reach out so that God may be glorified.
Lest we get
the idea that the sum total of our service is to be done in public,
Jesus tells us later in the Sermon on the Mount that there must
be a private aspect of our lives as well. We are not to engage in
actions of service for the purpose of drawing attention to ourselves.
"Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen
of them ... when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before
thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and the streets, that
they may have glory of men" (Matt. 6:1-2).
further notes that prayer should not be done for the purpose of
public approval. The private aspect of prayer is dealt with in the
words of Jesus in verse 6, "But thou, when thou prayest,
enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to
thy father which is in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret
shall reward thee openly" (Matt. 6:6). If one is truly
interested in glorifying God and not self, then he will not care
about getting personal credit for his actions. Rather he will say,
"To God be the glory."
It has been
well said that the true barometer of a person's spirituality is
discovered, not by examining how he behaves in public when everyone
is watching, but in how he behaves in secret when only God is looking.
As children of God, let us so live both publicly and privately as
to glorify God and praise His name.
Campaign Updates: Ted arrived
home safely on Wednesday. The updates are posted on the Ghana web-site
and can be reached by going to either the churchs homepage
Just click on the Campaign 2002 link (like at the top of this
article) that you will find on either page.
Thank you for your prayers and support.
A full report and photos will be posted soon. Ted
to our guest speakers, Daniel Stearsman,
Jim Beltz, & Chris
Steele, who did an excellent job while Ted was in Ghana.
me serve You every day
And feel You near me when I pray . . .
Hear my prayer, dear God above,
And make me worthy of Your love!
Little prayers for little things
Fly heavenward on little wings,
And no prayer is too great or small
To ask of God who hears them all.
Make us more aware, dear God,
Of little daily graces
That come to us with sweet surprise
From never-dreamed-of places.
Helen Steiner Rice