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



Do you ever have days were you just can't seem to get "caught up?" For many of us, everyday is like that!  We live in a busy world that seems to get busier by the year.

The Christian life is like that in some ways. Oh, there are some things that we complete. We are only baptized once (if we did it right, cf. Acts 19:1-6). We only get married once (unless there is death or unfaithfulness, Rm. 7:1-4; Mt. 19:9). But most other Christian duties continue. We never reach a point with them where we can say, "There, I've finished with that. I'll move on to something else." What are some of these things?

STUDYING. The Psalmist said, "But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night" (1:2). The Bereans searched the Scriptures "daily" (Acts 17:11). God promised to bless "...the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors" (Prov. 8:34). The best way to start (maintain) this good habit is to read the Bible at the same time, in the same place, and according to some pattern. Good habits can be hard to break, too. The aging and imprisoned Paul wanted Timothy to bring his books and parchments (2 Tim. 4:13). He still had some studying to do-and so do we.

SHINING. We don't get to take any days off from setting a good example from others... no "cuts" for God's students, no "vacation days" for God's workers. Jesus said, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Mt. 5:14-16). This is true on days that we feet well-and days we don't. This is true when things go our way-and when they don't. This is the case when we are around our friends-and when we are around total strangers. This is important for Sunday-but also for Saturday night. This is true for the preacher and shepherds-but also for the hearers and the flock.

SERVING. The Bible says . but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve" (Lk. 22:26) and "...by love serve one another" (Gal. 5:13).  We never reach the point where we are to be served rather than to serve. For an observant Christian, there are constant little acts of service that we can render those around us. It may be some-thing as small as getting a spouse or co-worker a cup of coffee or water. It might be helping them carry something heavy out to their car. It could be running a errand, assisting on a project, doing an unpleasant task for them, or picking up the check at lunch (especially if you know they may be in the "last-week-of-the-month-pinch"). Our families-especially our children-give us ample opportunities for service. A listening ear, a pitching arm, a "look at me daddy" eye, a lifting hand, a willing foot, a soft hug, a firm swat, a second helping, a fourth strike, a fifth stanza of a favorite song, a hundredth push on the swing, a thousandth answer to a "why? question."

SUPPLICATION. Since we are to "pray without ceasing..." (I Thes. 5:17), prayer is a duty that is never finished. We "ought always to pray and not to faint" (Lk. 18:1). David prayed evening, morning, and noon (Psa. 55:17); Daniel opened his window, kneeled "...three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God..." (Dan. 6: 10). Jesus prayed all night (Lk. 6:12). If these great men needed this much prayer, we do, too.

Gotta go... got some work to catch up on!

Allen Webster
Glad Tidings of Good Things
Vol. 8/October 2, 2003
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