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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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Should It Be Rare to be Well Done?

Josh Billings said, "One of the rarest things that a man ever does is to do the best lie can." That's one of the reasons why Jesus is the rarest of men. Mark 7:37 reminds us that Jesus Christ exemplified excellence. In that verse the Bible reports that the people who witnessed Jesus' works of healing were 11 astonished beyond measure" and gave this assessment: "He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak." Jesus never half-did anything. The deaf ears He healed could hear perfectly. The blind eyes He healed could see with perfect vision. The paralyzed people He healed could walk and leap and run. It was not rare for the things Jesus did to be well done. It was the norm. He did His best work for us at the cross and by rising from the dead. Because He offered perfect service to God and a perfect sacrifice I-or sin, we have forgiveness of all our sins and access to every spiritual blessing when we obey His gospel (Colossians 2:13, Ephesians 1:3). Whether He was healing bodies or healing souls, Jesus gave God and us His best and His all.

We live in a world where consumers demand excellence in everything from cars to clothes to houses to hamburgers. Should we expect God to demand any less? Four hundred years before Christ the Lord complained through the prophet Malachi about the sub-standard, slip-shod offerings His people were making: "'And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?' says the LOW) of hosts" (Malachi 1:8). The service and worship these people were offering to God wouldn't even pass the quality control test of men, let alone the Lord. Why should we expect God to accept what even men would re - ject? Paul Harvey once reported that a woman called up the Butterball Turkey Company's consumer hotline and asked about the advisability of cooking a turkey that had been in her freezer for 23 years. The customer service representative told her it might be okay to eat if the freezer had maintained a below-zero temperature the entire time., but even so, the flavor would have deteriorated so much that it wouldn't be very tasty. According to Harvey, the caller responded, "That's what we thought. We'll Just donate it to the church." How about it? Do we offer to God the best of our time and talent and treasures, or does He get what we can't use and don't want? Slip-shod, second-best Christianity won't get it. We serve an excellent God. It ought not to be rare for our service to Him to be well done.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ