12th April 2013

The Public Christian

“Public roads were abandoned, travellers went by backroads. Warriors became fat and sloppy, no fight left in them. Then you, Deborah, rose up; you got up, a mother in Israel. God chose new leaders, who then fought at the gates.”
Judges 5:6-8 (MSG)
 

A debate has been going on among Christians for centuries. Should we get involved in public life? Some may say yes, even to the extent of being militant about it. Others may say that, because we are not of this world, let’s not be active in its affairs. 

The scripture above shows how difficult things had become in Israel. Roads were badly maintained and some were not safe. Those who should have led the charge into a better society put themselves first instead of serving the nation. Many were visibly overweight and careless in their personal life. They seemed defeated even before they began. Drifting whilst fighting amongst themselves, the leaders were leading the people nowhere.

Into this situation God sent a remarkable woman, Deborah. She was not afraid to rock the boat, to get things moving. You can read the whole story in the book of Judges chapters 4 and 5. The point is that her faith was not compromised by her involvement in the life of her nation and community.

According to the New Testament, Christians help whenever they can: for example, Dorcas. Her charitable work was well known, and, when Dorcas died, many mourned for her as they remembered the impact she had made on their lives (Acts 9:39).

Our acts of public service show the love of Jesus demonstrated in the things we do. Be it from holding a door open for someone else to serving in an official capacity, it is all about how Jesus has transformed us into loving, caring individuals.

Some say religion should be a private thing, and some go so far as to say that we are in error because we believe in God. The Bible would disagree. Ours is a public faith, an outward expression of our inward confession that Jesus is Lord over all of our lives. 

“Live such good lives”, wrote Peter, so that others, “though they accuse you of doing wrong…may see your good deeds and glorify God” (1 Peter 2:12 NIV UK). 

Prayer
Father, help us to demonstrate publicly the love of your Son towards others as we do good deeds wherever you lead us. In Jesus’ name.
Amen

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ancientbibleAbout the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.  This weekend James is speaking in our Irvine and Glasgow congregations.  You are welcome to attend any of our Church congregations located throughout the UK.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Contact:
Email:  admin@daybyday.org.uk

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