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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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LET YOUR SERMON BE SEEN!!

Margaret Thatcher, the very effective former Prime Minister of Great Britain, said on one occasion, "Being in power is like being a lady. If you have to remind people that you are, you aren't." Thatcher's words also have an application to living the Christian life. The most effective way to convince others of the truth of the gospel is not simply to defend it with talk but to demonstrate it with transformed living. Titus 2:7 authorizes Christians to "show off' their Christian lives- "in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility." Note the text twice says "showing," not just saying. Sermons are not just preached by preachers in pulpits with words on Sunday. Every child of God preaches a sermon-Monday through Saturday-at home, at school, in the neighborhood, on the job, not merely with words but by the way we live. You may compliment the preacher's sermon on Sunday or you may condemn it. But by your life all week long you, too, have been preaching a sermon by the way you have lived. The New International Version of Titus 2:7 says: "In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness." The simple fact of the matter is you are setting an example. As someone observed, 'None of us is entirely useless. Even the worst of us can serve as bad examples." Good or bad, you are setting an example, you are being watched, and you are preaching a sermon and making an impression on those around you.

Titus 2: 1 -10 reveals 3 reasons why we should strive to preach by our lives the same thing we proclaim with our lips: (1) "that the word of God may not be blasphemed (vs 5b); (2) that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you (vs 8b); (3) that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things" (vs 10b). It is sobering to realize that by the way I live I can make God and His Gospel look good--or, if I fail to live rightly, I can make them look bad. In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus calls on us to preach sermons that can be seen: "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." D. L. Moody told the truth when he said, "Where one man reads a Bible, a hundred read you and me." Your sermon is being seen and read. What is it saying?

Dan Gulley,
Church of Christ
Smithville, TN