Christian Living

If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.—John 13:17

Transformation is the essence of the Christian life. Knowledge, service, worship, and praise are only tools to be used to this end.

The process of transformation of character is an individual matter. As no two parts of the human body are exactly alike, and as no two stones for Solomon’s Temple were chiseled as duplicates of each other, so each member of the body of Christ, each member of the spiritual temple, is prepared by the Lord for a unique future role.

While there have been hundreds of books written on how to live the Christian life, none of these can serve as a universal "how to" guide. Even the Law which God gave to Moses did not cover every detail of life. Its principles had to be interpreted and applied on an individual basis. The best that can be said is that writings on how to be transformed are only an examination of the principles that each individual needs to adapt to his own life.

It is with this understanding that THE HERALD undertakes this current issue on the theme of Christian Living. Each author probes one or another aspect of the application of the Bible to personal experiences.

Love finds its expression, not so much in great deeds of sacrifice, but in little daily manifestations of one’s feeling of affection for another. The opening article, That Which Is Least, examines the attributes of love listed by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13, showing how these can be applied in the small and mundane matters of life.

Of all the characteristics which God desires in his people, perhaps the most important is unquestioning obedience. "To obey is better than sacrifice" were God’s words through Samuel to Saul, the first king of Israel (1 Samuel 15:22). In Obedience and Sacrifice, the author harmonizes these two requirements for those who would be acceptable to God.

The article entitled Prayer looks at the various aspects of how a Christian communicates with God and the advantages received from developing a regular, full, and deep life of prayer and worship. Few symbols of prayer are more recognizable than Albrecht Dürer’s famous etching The Praying Hands. The story behind this etching follows the article on prayer.

While the development of character is the prime responsibility, it does not diminish the desire of God for his servants to be active in a life of service as well. Acceptable Service gives a number of suggestions of how we can employ our time and talents in spreading the news of our Creator and his glorious plan to those around us.

For a Christian’s day to go well, it must start well. If the earliest thoughts of the morning hour are spent in getting our hearts into a spiritual frame of mind, the experiences of the day will be interpreted in line with such morning devotions. A Quiet Time With God suggests a seven-minute spiritual warm-up for each day of our lives.

Few chapters in Holy Writ are more specific to the application of Christian principles to daily life than the twelfth chapter of the book of Romans. Our verse-by-verse Bible study feature entitled The Sanctified Life examines all the verses of this chapter.

Those who have preceded us into death often have left behind valuable lessons from their Christian lives. Our "Echoes from the Past" feature entitled Doing God’s Will is taken from notes of Benjamin Barton, a faithful saint who died in 1916.

While there are hundreds of other topics of importance in the process of spiritual transformation, space limits us to just these few. We trust that this admittedly small sampling of the Bible’s principles for transforming our lives may encourage us to put them into practice. In the words of David, after all had been provided for building the temple, "Who then is willing toconsecrate his service this day unto the LORD?" (1 Chronicles 29:5).