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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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What Does Your Sign Say

Signs are important. For instance, one sign seen in a non-smoking area said: "If we see you smoking we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action." Another sign at the optometrist's office said, "If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place." Then there is the story of a guy named Dennis who, as a result of poor planning, needed some same-day dry cleaning done. He remembered one store on the other side of town with a huge sign that said, "ONE HOUR DRY CLEANERS." He drove far out of his way to drop off a suit. After filling out the tag, he told the clerk, "I need this in an hour." She said, "I can't get this back to you until Thursday." Dennis said, "I thought you did dry cleaning in an hour." She replied, "Oh, no. That's just the name of the store."

What does your sign say? Jesus gave the world the right to scrutinize His followers and to expect they would preach with their lives the same message they preach with their lips. Read Matthew 5:13-16:  You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 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." Churches and people who claim to love God but live like the devil are most certainly setting an example and preaching a sermon — a bad one.
D. L. Moody reminds us that many people who never darken the door of a church building or pick up a Bible may still read God's book. Moody said, "Where one man reads a Bible, a hundred read you and me." All of us hang out a sign by the way we live. What does your sign say? How does the Bible read according to you? An anonymous writer provokes us to consider what people read in our lives:

"The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
Are read by more than just a few. 
But the one that is most read and commented on
Is the gospel according to you.
You are writing a gospel, a chapter each day,
By the things that you do and the things that you say.
Men read what you write, whether faithless or thief
Say, what is the gospel according to you?
Do men read His truth and love in your life,
Or has yours been too full of malice and strife?
Does your life speak of evil, or does it ring tale?
Say, what is the gospel according to you?"
Does your life agree with your lips?

Dan Gulley
church of Christ
Smithville, Tennessee