The Secret Place

“The heavens declare the glory of God” Psalm 19:1

Returning to Perth by air this week I was again struck by the beauty of the upper surface of the clouds. From beneath, clouds are shades of grey and reasonably level. From above, where the sun is upon them, they are pure white and shaped like bundles of cotton balls. Off on to the horizon and beyond this beauty exists but for the most part it was unseen by any person and possibly even less recognised as God’s handiwork. Largely hidden from the eyes of people, day after day and for millennia, God has been expressing Himself in such beauty. It is only in the past hundred years that people have been able to see the clouds from above yet it has been unrelentingly showing off the glory of God.

For even less time we have been able to see the beauty and variety of creatures that live below the seas at depth. Some had been caught in nets or found dead on the shore but multitudes of new creatures of extraordinary appearance are now being discovered in the depths of the oceans. For millennia these creatures have been expressing the beauty and wisdom of God without any person observing them. Perhaps more than at any time since God brought “every beast of the field and every bird of the air … to Adam to see what he would call them” (Genesis 2:19) we are closer to discovering all the living creatures that God has created. All that time since the creation these creatures have expressed God’s glory even though many have not been seen by people until recently.

As we look up into the night sky we marvel at the majesty, beauty, wisdom and power that has created all that exists in the heavens. Mankind has discovered more distant heavenly bodies with each new telescope and marvelled at their beauty but they have all been present since the creation expressing the glory of God, whether seen by people or not.

We may be inclined to think that God is only glorified by things seen by people. However even the things unseen by people glorify God. Jesus told His disciples, “When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:6).

People who follow Jesus do reveal and express the glory of God publicly but perhaps the time we glorify God most is in the secret place for there we have no need to play the hypocrite. There we can be honest with God since nothing is hidden from Him. Like all the things of creation that are rarely if ever seen by people it is perhaps our time alone with Him that glorifies Him most. It is when we are alone with God that we worship Him from a pure heart. “Do all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Send Me … Please!

The things that you have heard … commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

When in my teens I was asked to teach Sunday School. As I remember it the qualifications were that I was old enough and had been taught in Sunday School most of my life. At the time I believed that I was a Christian but I later discovered that I wasn’t. I knew nothing of Biblical requirements to teach others. I was given a class of boys about 10 years younger than myself. One of those boys was my brother. He knew me at home, at play and something of my social life. We didn’t get along at all. Perhaps he saw what Jesus saw in the Pharisees, “they say, and do not.”

That church was careless in the selection process for a Sunday School teacher and those boys may bear a terrible outcome. To this date, decades on, my brother is quite indifferent to the Gospel.

Not having been born of God I was easily attracted to the things of the world. I was out late three or four nights each week and very late Saturday night. It wasn’t unusual for me to role up at Sunday School to teach my class with no preparation and only a few hours sleep. As I reflect on that now I am absolutely mortified.

In the two or three years that I lived like this my role was never reviewed and no one ever spoke to me about the way I lived. Not only my own brother but several other boys suffered. Their parents may have thought their sons were receiving faithful Biblical teaching.

This has been a perpetual lesson to me ever since I received Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. The church had the responsibility to ensure that the sons and daughters of the church were being taught by faithful men and women. If we fail this, we fail our children in a most awful way. I sometimes wonder if any of the parents of the boys I taught have wondered why their sons did not follow the Lord.

We need to be sure that the children of our church are receiving faithful teaching from godly people. This is not just the responsibility of parents but the whole church family.

Please be in prayer concerning who the Lord would have teach our children in Sunday School and please let Him know that you are available for Him to ask should He wish to do so.

Only faithful men and women can train others to become faithful men and women.