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Southside is a loving, vigorous, and growing congregation in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Our vision is toward the future: Our Children, Our Ministry, and Our Outreach. Our goal is to embrace all people in our hearts and fellowship as we strive together to support Christ’s mission on earth.
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Are you making Christ real to others? by John Gray



Christians are --- “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (Eph 2:10). These last four words --- “to do good works” epitomize the behavior that glorifies God and makes Christ real to others. Granted, there are obstacles in our daily lives that can encumber our minds and hinder our spiritual progress, but only if we let them. Nonetheless, Christians are called to live lives that are --- “holy and pleasing to God” (Rom 12:1).

Faith must be proven by actions. Christians are a chosen people, belonging to God so that we may declare His praises (1 Pet 2:9). To “declare His praises,” it is essential that we spend time in His Word so we can learn how to behave in Christian fashion. However, knowledge alone is not enough; we are called to do more than to know and believe. Christians are to be --- “doers of the Word” (Jam 1:22). As the apostle James informs us, we are deceiving ourselves if we think we are spiritual by only hearing the Word. Hearing is not the same as doing --- “Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead [by] itself.” (Jas 2:17).

Folks, it is easy to show love to those who walk as we do. It’s not always so easy to be kind to those who ridicule our beliefs, show contempt for our Savior, or make a mockery of the principles that Christians hold sacred. Yet Christ taught us to love our enemies, and to pray for those who persecute us. Recall how He dealt with the woman caught in adultery. Her captors wanted her dead; our Savior showed compassion even though He was the One who would die for her sinful behavior (John 8:11).

Christian behavior includes heeding Jesus’ call for us to be His witnesses to --- “the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). We are to share the gospel, which Paul defined as the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (1 Cor 15:1-4). The validity of our witness is in how we live our lives.

We are to --- “offer your bodies as living sacrifices” (Rom 12:2). This, ultimately, is the essence of true Christian behavior – surrendering our hearts and yielding our bodies to Christ so He might continue God’s work through us. We are to be beacons of light in a dark world.

 From Mike: Some have the attitude, "Look I have a hard enough time taking care of me and mine so don't lay the responsibility on me about others! As far as "good works", I do the best I can so that will have to do! God understands!" Yes He understands but He expects more.

John's third paragraph is a strong reminder for me. Christians are under attack from a great many in our society so loving our detractors is a challenge for me, especially our elected leaders. I remember the church sign that offered this thought: "Love everyone and let God separate them!" A great idea to practice.

Hopefully, as you read John's article you conducted a realistic inventory of yourself and didn't rationalize your failings. The Holy Spirit will helps us if we allow him to guide us. As John says, "Think on these things"!


Mike - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




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