Kathy Bernard - Publisher

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father Who is in heaven."  – Matthew 5:16

THERE is a story of a priest who moved to Houston, Texas to become the pastor of a church there.  Some weeks after he arrived, he had occasion to ride the bus from the rectory to the downtown area. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change.

AS he considered what to do, he thought to himself, 'you better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it'. Then he thought, 'Oh, forget it, it's only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount? Accept it as a gift from God and keep quiet.'

WHEN his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door of the bus in indecision, and nodding to himself mentally, he handed the quarter to the driver and said, "Here, you gave me too much change."  With a smile, the driver replied, "Aren't you that new priest in town?  I have been thinking lately about going back to church.  I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change." When the priest stepped off the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole and held on and looking up to the heavens said, "O God, I almost lost a soul for a quarter."

WHAT an awesome responsibility we have as disciples of Jesus Christ!  Are you a true witness of your faith?  Some of us do not realize that unbelievers and faltering Christians are watching and what they perceive from us can set an example they may erroneously follow.  Do not blithely go about your daily duties without putting into action the appearance of Jesus.  Remember that we must be a catalyst in assuring that no soul should perish on our watch. Allow God to use you to witness for Him.

BE attentive how you present yourselves.  We can never know if something in our manner or action is detrimental to the Christian image necessary to bring others to salvation.  Matthew 18:6 tells us ”But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea”.  

BE cautious of how and what you say for words are powerful tools.  A kind and understanding word can make others think of higher possibilities.  Job 4:4 reads ”Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees.”  And so, we must constantly be on guard lest we become responsible for someone falling away from a budding belief in our heavenly Father. 

KNOW that many learn through the examples we show in our demeanor.   Be alert for there are those who see any deviation from the truth and Christianity we hope to portray.  “Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind, presenting a Christ-like image, ), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a roaring  lion, seeking someone to seize upon and devour.”  1 Peter 5:8

OUR works should leave an imprint on those we meet, a memory of something unforgettable and special, yet readily accessible to all.  Carry an attitude of joy, and of love, with a beacon of hope and a sense of eternal victory, so all who see this in us will strive to attain it for themselves.

GIVE generously without expecting a return.  Love without condition.  Spread joy with a word, a touch, or a smile.  Let no man see in us an evil spark of temper or a yearning for things contrary to the things Jesus taught.    Leave others optimistic and feeling better about themselves.

NONE of these qualities can show unless we are in good standing with God.  It is only from our friendship with Him that His radiance can shine through us.  Those we come in contact with will muse, “I cannot put my finger on it but there is something about that person”. 

AND so, we must constantly examine ourselves daily, being cognizant of sin disguised as benign yet is the darkness of unrighteousness and the work of Satan.  Be alert and attentive lest the very act of living present new threats of sin.  Keep a clear perception and stronghold of rightfulness.  Do not be content to live in straw houses cemented with the mud of ungodly ignorance.    Keep in mind “ the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from sin”. 2 Thessalonians 3:3

DO not find a rationalization for actions and ignore what the Holy Spirit is warning us against in moments of temptation.  It is the small things that endanger us, things we minimize as minor acts but can leave a hole within our souls that we do not realize is there.    This tiny opening can be a wedge to allow admittance to bigger sin.

PAY strict and particular attention to the conscience.  Self-knowledge means knowing the pitfalls of sin that we may be contemplating.  Do not worry; the Lord has placed something within all of us Who will warn of adverse actions if we will quietly listen and take notice of that inner voice called the Holy Spirit.

BE prayerful in all things for prayer is the nuclear bomb for the Christian.  Held in a faithful hand, it is more lethal than even Satan’s wiles and it can produce strength and courage to walk away from ungodly works. 

THE prayerful carries an aura of holiness that others can emulate.  Used often, prayer gives strength and insight and most importantly a spiritual closeness that goes beyond understanding.  Let faith precede you so it can be recognized.  1Peter 2:5 states "you are like living stones, being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”
JOHN 13:15 teaches, ”For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you".  Therefore, we must stand tall for we are the ambassadors of the living God. Be proud, for we are under the authority of the risen Christ.   These are credentials no man can seize and destroy, for we have been stamped with an eternal seal that can never be broken by any man.

"Live a life filled with love for others,   following the example of Christ,  who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins.   And God was pleased,  because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him." - Ephesians 5:2

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