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A WEBSITE DESIGNED TO BE A RESOURCE OF CHURCH BULLETIN ARTICLES

 

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

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EXCELLENCE IS WITHIN REACH!

A sign in a store window read: NO HELP WANTED.  As two men passed by, one said to the other, "You should applyyou'd be great." Some people are great at doing nothing.  Jesus spoke of the frightening possibility of Christians who are useless to God in Matthew 5:13 when He said if the salt loses it flavor ....  It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men."  On the other hand, He reveals the power and potential of Christians who live excellent lives by saying, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."  The works that gain the attention and respect of a world skeptical of God and Christians are described by Jesus as "good" works.  The Greek word translated "good" in Matthew 5:16 is kalos.  It does not refer so much to inherent quality or goodness as it does to attractiveness.  The unique power of an excellent Christian life is that it can make God more attractive to sinners!

John W.  Gardner said, "Whoever I am or whatever I am doing, some kind of excellence is within my reach." First Timothy 6:1 reminds this is especially true for Christians.  In that verse the apostle Paul gave this directive to first century Christians who were slaves "Let as many bondservants 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." Paul is not celebrating or commending slavery; he is reminding Christians who were slaves that the way they performed their work as slaves could bring glory to Godor could cause His name and His doctrine to be blasphemed! In Colossians 3:2224 (another passage directed to Christian slaves) Paul says, " Bondservants, obey in al I things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as menpleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God.  And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ." Words from Martin Luther King, Jr., remind us excellence is within our reach "If a man is to be called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.  He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great streetsweeper who did His job well.'" Excellence in your service to God is well within reach.  Are you giving God your very best?

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ