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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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A GREAT PAIR OF HANDS

Someone observed that a Christian is a mind through which Christ thinks, a heart through which Christ loves, a voice through which Christ speaks, and a hand through which Christ helps. We know from reading the Bible that the church has ears (Acts 11:22) and that Christians who announce the good news of the Gospel have beautiful feet in the eyes of God (Romans 10:15). Scriptures like 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and Romans 12:1 teach us our bodies belong to God and are to be presented to Him as living sacrifices. The world preaches and practices that the body is an ornament to be decorated. But the Bible teaches that the body is an instrument to be dedicated to God and His service.

An incident in the life of the church at first century Antioch of Syria reminds us that the church must offer a helping hand when the need arises. After the prophet Agabus warned of a coming g famine, Luke records that "the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul" (Acts 11:28-30). What a remarkable church! A church where every member was determined to extend a helping hand to people whom most of them would never personally meet or know living some 300 miles away!

Cory Collins in a church bulletin article entitled, "It's All in the Hands," told about an unusual art exhibit at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas entitled, "The Adrian E. Flatt, M. D., Hand Collection." It began as bronze-coated casts of the hands of Flatt's fellow-surgeons aimed to demonstrate that there are no typical or standard surgeon's hands. Each surgeon uses the hands which are uniquely his/her's to improve human lives. The exhibit, now expanded, includes famous people from all walks of life (athletes, entertainers, politicians, etc.). Collins asks, "What makes a great pair of hands? It's not what they look like, but what they accomplish. Among the most precious are the hands of mothers, nurses, grandparents, teachers and friends. I'd like to see a monument to them ! My favorite hands are the ones into which nails were driven for me. . . .my Savior's." Jerry Rice, the great record-setting NFL wide receiver, has a great pair of hands that can catch a football as well as anyone alive. But his hands are not as great as the hands of Jesus. Those hands were pierced as part of His service to and for us on the cross as He died for our sins (John 20:20, 25, 27). Our hands can be great, too, if we use them in loving service to God and our fellow-man. What does God see when He looks at your hands?

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ