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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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DRESSING UP THE DOCTRINE!

A little boy asked his father, "Dad, did you go to Sunday school when you were young?" The father replied with a great deal of pride, "Never missed a Sunday." The son's quick response was, "Bet it won't do me any good either!" While some people are much better at professing Christianity than practicing it, Christians who demonstrate with their lives what they declare with their lips have a powerful impact on those around them. Every authentic Christian is, in the words of the apostle Paul, 'light in the Lord" and their responsibility is to "walk as children of light" (Ephesians 5:8). How a child of God lives and talks and behaves on Monday has as much to do with effectively spreading the gospel as what the preacher proclaims on Sunday! As D. L. Moody once said, "Where one man reads a Bible, a hundred read you and me." A skeptical world is always watching to see if Jesus is making a real difference in you and me.

How can people who worship Jesus with the saints in church on Sunday make a difference when they go to work and are surrounded by sinners on Monday? Two passages from the pen of the apostle Paul, written to first century Christians who were slaves, contain principles which stress the importance of Christians making sure they take Jesus with them when they go to their jobs "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed .... Exhort servants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things" (I Timothy 6:1; Titus 2:910). Wow! Who'd have "thunk 0!" Slaves on the job in first century Ephesus (and employees in 21' America) could, by their behavior, make the name and doctrine of God look good! By being respectful, cooperative, honest, dependable and trustworthy employees, they made the name and doctrine of God attractive to other people! In Paul's words, they "adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things." Good employees dress up the doctrine of God! As the New International Version says in Titus 1: 1 0b, they "make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way." What a powerful thought! Christians who take Jesus on the job on Monday can do what the preacher tries to do in the pulpit on Sundaybut without the sermon! A good attitude on the job can attract lost people to God! How is your behavior dressing the doctrine of God on your job?

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ