Six things Christians should tell themselves every day
Here below are J. I. Packer’s ‘six things we should tell ourselves every day’ which Duncan mentioned this morning!
I don’t think I ever heard Jim Packer preaching as Duncan did, but I did encounter him one sunny July day on the East Sands at St Andrews in the mid-70s. I was there on a Scripture Union Seaside Mission team, taking part that day in a drama about the Bible story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. I was playing Philip and was clad in a dressing-gown and in what I would now consider a racially insensitive touch my face was blackened by coal.
For some reason J.I.P. and I were standing together after the Beach Service. He looked at me, and said:
‘I have never seen a more convincing Ethiopian eunuch!’
and I’ve never quite been able to interpret the mix of irony and perhaps gentle sarcasm in that remark.
I gave a coal-dusty smile in response.
So to the six thoughts. Personally, I would say a ‘yes, but…’ to points 3 and 4, for heaven is not ‘another place’ but rather a different dimension which we can catch glimpses of in daily life – ‘Heaven in Ordinary’ as the poet George Herbert put it. In a physical sense, this earth is our home, and each day is to be fully embraced in such a way that something of heaven is glimpsed in us.
Six things we should tell ourselves every day
Calling this “the Christian’s secret of a Christian life and of a God-honouring life,” Packer says that we should take the following truths and “Say [them] over and over to yourself first thing in the morning, last thing at night, as your wait for the bus, any time your mind is free, and ask that you may be enabled to live as one who knows it is all utterly and completely true.”
- I am a child of God.
- God is my Father.
- Heaven is my home.
- Every day is one day nearer.
- My Saviour is my brother.
- Every Christian is my [sister or] brother too.