“Live well in secret” – S.Ferguson

In Christ Alone - SFergusonI continue to share with you a few nuggets from Sinclair Ferguson’s edifying book In Christ Alone. 

This quotation is taken from chapter 34, “Where God Looks First”, where Ferguson is stresses the importance of our personal and private devotion to God.

These are thoughts that I need, and that I trust you need to keep in mind too.

First, they learned [our spiritual fathers of the past] that it is in secret, not in public, that what we really are as Christians becomes clear. It is not my visible service so much as my hidden life of devotion that is the index of my spirituality. That is not to despise my public life, but to anchor its reality to the ocean bed of personal fellowship with God. I may speak or pray with zeal and eloquence in public. I may appear to others to be master of myself when in company. But what happens when I close the door behind myself and only the Father sees me?

…How easily in our culture we are deceived into thinking that it is what is seen in public that really matters. How curious it would have seemed to the apostles that the services of worship in which we can so easily be visible spectators are so much better attended than our meetings for closed-eye prayer. Will the bubble of our visible success ever burst?

…Just as abuse of or inattention to the body reveals itself in older age, so does the abuse of the spirit. Inevitably it manifests itself in stunted, ill-disciplined, or twisted character. The Father has a way of rewarding us openly – one way or another (Matt.6:5-6). Therefore, live well in secret; be molded by Scripture; learn to pray; and control your thought life by God’s grace (Kindle version).

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