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Sunday, February 13, 2005

Living The Christian Life by J.C. Penny

It is plain that if you and I are to live a Christian life at all it will be in our world as it is now-today! Perhaps we have prayed "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," so often that subconsciously we feel some­thing miraculous is going to occur without our doing much about it, and that we will awaken some fine morning to find that kingdom benevolently enfolding us. Not so, my friends, not sol We will have to do a great deal about it, for if we live the good life of faith, it will be in the environment wherein "we live and move" and have our everyday being. The farmer must live it upon the farm, the merchant in the store, the mechanic in the shop, and the banker in the bank. Every man's life, no matter where or how it may be lived, presents both the opportunity and the demand for forthright, consistent Christian living.
It will not do to say, "My. environment, the people with whom I am compelled to associate, the place where I work, make it impossible for me to be the kind of Christian I would like to be." Jesus gives to all who will seek it the power either to rise superior to environment, or to move out into a better one. Remember, the apostle Paul said there were "saints" in Nero's very household.
Just before leaving the upper room for the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed for His disciples. This is what He said: I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world. . . . They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. . . . As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world" (John 17: 15-18). Plainly, then, the Christian is designed to live in this world, work in it, laugh and weep in it, succeed and fail in it, but is not to be worldly, i.e., like those who are not Christians.

from the book
page 44