October 17, 2017

Two Phases of the Christian Life

By William C. Sexton

There are a number of phases to the Christian's life, and I feel that we are inclined to overlook a part of the whole. We have, I believe, a tendency to forget some very important aspects of his life. With this in mind, I would call your attention to two aspects - one of which we may neglect, and the other of which we may even be unaware!

1. The Active Aspect: Each Christian is to be active in his service to God. This some seem to take very lightly, and place little emphasis on it. However, the inspired men who wrote the New Testament point to the fallacy of claiming to believe while being inactive (Jas. 2:14-18). Only when one exerts himself, actively performs harmoniously with the word of God, is he acceptable to God. To be fruitful in the mission for which he is called, the Christian must be active; to be prepared for the heaven preserved for him, he must be laboring (Rev. 14:13).

2. The Meditative Aspect: Each Christian needs time to be alone, to be reflective, to meditate upon the thoughts of his heart too, in addition to his activity. In this busy world of the Twentieth Century, we are likely to be carrying on in the midst of a crowd and never taking time out to meditate. This, I suggest, is a danger of our day; this, I suggest, is the cause of many falling by the way-side; this, I suggest, is the reason many have mental break-downs.

I call attention to a practice of Jesus, which we would do well to imitate. A casual reading of the Four Gospels will impress one with the fact that Jesus frequently withdrew himself from the masses and talked to the Father; he spent much time meditating. Look at Luke 6:12: "And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer." This is only one of many references in the New Testament. Can we not learn a lesson from this and follow in His steps? Have you taken time out from your busy schedule to reflect on what is so beautiful and simple in God's creation? Do so!

Every person has the same amount of time-just 24 hours in a day. 'One has to arrange his time so as to spend some time in meditation. If we did take time out to reflect and meditate, I am sure that such would be reflected in our spiritual strength and in our expressions. Would we not show more appreciation for God and the crown of His creation, man? Would we not find the song of praise on our lips and in our heart, more frequently? Would we not employ language more in harmony with God's word? I have no doubt but that we would.

There are many things in this world to be displeased with, to be sure; however, are there not many things also for which we Christians can rejoice? We need to think some on the positive, so as to have the fuel to move us over the mountains of difficulty.

May we take time to meditate on those things that are holy, as Paul encourages us to do (Phil. 4:8-9). There is much to do. However, preparation for activity is made in meditation. "Take time to be holy! Speak oft with thy Lord!"

May 20, 1971