Know Your Bible

VOL. 5                           May 21, 2006                           NO. 18


    In our daily affairs, we as Christians should reflect a Christ-like image. The way we live should always project to others that we have dedicated our lives to Christ. Jesus says in Matthew 5:14-16 that we are the light of the world and when we let our light shine in front of others, we glorify God.

    Sometimes when I think of a reflection, the image of a house of mirrors at the carnival comes to mind. I’m sure you know the one. Mirrors are lined along the walls, and you go by each one studying how each misshapes your image. The thought of the house of mirrors makes me think of how the reflection of Christ in us could also be misshaped when other see it.

    Let us take a moment to picture our reflection as in one of those mirrors. Would we be that mirror that gives the reflection of being short and squatted? If so, we reflect the image that we are holding back, not trying to present ourselves in the complete likeness of Christ. If our reflection looks like this, we probably are not giving our all in being like Christ and following His word. We are not putting forth much effort in growing in grace and the knowledge of our Savior as we are taught to do in 2 Peter 3:18 .

    Or maybe our reflection is like that of the wavy mirror, whose image goes in two separate directions. We would have people of the world see us in one way while our fellow Christians see us in a different way. And, likewise, we would not have one see us as we are with the other. We would portray two false images instead of the one true image of Christ. This image would be like the reflection of Peter while he denied Christ in Matthew 26:33-35, 69-75. Peter wanted to know Christ and follow him, but he was afraid to show his loyalty in front of the people of the world who were not followers.

    Another image would be that of one seen through a broken mirror. In this reflection, the full image can be seen but it is divided by cracks. If our image is cracked, we appear to be Christ-like but we actually have many weaknesses. These weaknesses will eventually cause us to fall apart and crumble. In Acts 4:34-35; 5:1-10, Ananias and Sapphira showed this image. They were so willing to sell their property but after receiving the money, they coveted, lied, and let their weak image break.

    Hopefully, we are the only true image projected in this house of mirrors. Do we have that smooth, clean, and intact image of a Christian? In our everyday life as a Christian, do we reflect clearly that we have determined to be Christ-like in every way? We each need to examine ourselves and make sure the image we are projecting to others on a daily basis is one like Christ. When we become baptized, we have committed ourselves to Christ as his follower. So how does our reflection look? If it is smudged or cloudy, we may need to use a little Windex.

---Verlin Cox

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Read this little bit of fiction (or is it?)

    When he was a baby, they were so proud to take him to worship. Everyone "oohed" and "aaahed" and played "kitchy-koo." They never missed a service at church. As a little boy, they taught him to behave during the worship. They helped him regularly with his Bible class lessons.

    When he turned eight things changed a little. His father took a job that meant lots of extra money for the family, but less time for worship. His father always insisted on his going to Bible classes and worship with his mother. His son had to learn to love the Lord and hopefully would obey the gospel and be a fine Christian. But the father found it increasingly difficult to go with his family.

    When he became a teenager he began thinking that one day he too would be successful like Dad. He would bring home lots of money, drive fine cars, and dress in expensive clothing. He learned by observation how important these things were to his father.

    At fifteen, he still had not obeyed the gospel. By and by his father received several promotions and raises. He became a chief executive in his firm. Attending services at church became less important than meetings with clients, associates, and other businessmen. Soon Sunday found him at 8 a.m. on number one tee at the local country club. His son always wanted to go and, if nothing else, caddy for his Dad. He really admired his father. By now his interest in Bible study was zero. He found excuse after excuse not to attend worship.

    Mother also felt the pressures of her husband's new responsibilities. There were parties to attend and organize. There were social clubs she was expected to join. She found that she actually enjoyed all of this immensely. She had important friends and was very popular in society. She also found less and less time to worship. She had turned down the opportunity to teach a class of children -- no telling how many times.

    At eighteen he entered college. He never attended another worship. He never obeyed the gospel. One night during a frat party he took a "chug-a-lug" dare and became exceedingly drunk. The story in the paper began with, "A tragic accident involving several young people took the life of a prominent business man’s son..."

    It was a sad funeral. The question is: Who was to blame?

---Dudley Ross Spears

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    A young man was out on his manhood quest one Fall day trying to decide what task he would undertake to prove his manhood when he came upon a tall mountain, toped with the first snow of the year. This will be my test, thinks the young man to himself as he started to climb.

    The climb was hard and long but the young man completed his task. Then as he rested on top of the mountain he heard a soft voice..."help me", it said. The young man looked for the voice, and there he found a rattlesnake dying in the snow. The snake pleaded with the young man to save him from the cold, but the young man said, "No, mister snake, for if I pick you up you'll bite me and I'll be the one that dies". "No! No!" said the snake, "I shall not harm the one that is to save me. If I do, surely I shall die in this cold." The young man gave this some thought and decided to help the snake. So he picked up the snake, put him in his shirt, and started his long climb down the mountain.

    When they reached the valley below, the young man removed the snake from his shirt and placed it gently on the ground. Then the snake struck and bit the man. "Why did you bite me?" pleaded the man before he died. The snake just looked at him and said, "You knew what I was when you picked me up!"

"Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God': for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He himself does not temp anyone. But each one is tempted, when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust." (James 1:13,14)

    Be sure that temptation will come from the enemy to test our faith and knowledge. Be always on the alert because you can never know when or where it will come. The enemy will never let you see the end of the path he shows you.

"For if we go on sinning wilfully after receiving the knowledge of truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,..." (Hebrews 10:26)

---Author Unknown

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"Know Your Bible" is e-mailed weekly by the church of Christ which meets at 112 Roberts Avenue in Wise, Virginia. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in next week's mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and we will remove your address promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page and further instructions will be given as to how you may contact us.

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