The Inner Chamber
"When thou prayest enter into thine inner chamber" (Matthew 6:6).
Have you ever thought what a wonderful privilege it is that everyone each day and each hour of the day has the liberty of asking God to meet him in the inner chamber and to hear what he has to say? We should imagine that every Christian uses such a privilege gladly and faithfully.
"When thou prayest," says Jesus, "enter into thine inner chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret." That means two things. Shut the world out, withdraw from all worldly thoughts and occupations, and shut yourself in alone with God to pray to Him in secret. Let this be your chief object in prayer, to realize the presence of your heavenly Father. Let your watchword be: Alone with God.
This is only the beginning. I must take time to realize His presence with me and pray to my Father who seeth in secret, in the full assurance that He knows how I long for His help and guidance and will incline His ear to me.
Then follows the great promise: "Thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." My Father will see to it that my prayer is not in vain. All through the occupations of a busy day, the answer to my prayer will be granted. Prayer in secret will be followed by the secret working of God in my heart.
As the Lord Jesus has given us the promise of His presence and shows us the way to the inner chamber, He will assuredly be with us to teach us to pray. It is through Him that we have access to the Father. Be childlike and trustful in your fellowship with Christ. Prayer in fellowship with Jesus cannot be in vain.
Blessed Father, I confess each sin, I bring to Thee my every need. I offer my prayer to Thee in the name of Christ. Amen
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19).
The public profession which Jesus requires of those who believe His gospel.
He tells His apostles to "baptize" those whom they received as disciples. It is very difficult to conceive, when we read this last command of our Lord's, how men can avoid the conclusion that baptism is necessary, when it may be had. It seems impossible to explain the word that we have here of any but an outward ordinance, to be administered to all who join His Church. That outward baptism alone often confers no benefit, the case of Simon Magus plainly shows: although baptized he remained in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity" (Acts 8:23). But that baptism is a matter of entire indifference, and need not be used at all, is an assertion which seems at variance with our Lord's words in this place.
The plain practical lesson of the words is the necessity of a public confession of faith in Christ. It is not enough to be a secret disciple: we must not be ashamed to let men see whose we are,and whom we serve. We must not behave as if we did not like to be thought Christians; but take up our cross, and confess our Master before the world. His words are very solemn: "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me ... of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels" (Mark 8:38).
Let us observe the obedience which Jesus requires of all who profess themselves His disciples. He bids the apostles teach them to observe all things, whatsoever He has commanded them.
This is a searching expression. It shows the uselessness of a mere name and form of Christianity; it shows that they only are to be counted true Christians who live in practical obedience to His Word, and strive to do the things that He has commanded.
~J. C. Ryle~