Titus 3:3-8 (NIV)

3 At one time1 we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness2 and love of God our Savior3 appeared,4 5 he saved us,5 not because of righteous things we had done,6 but because of his mercy.7 He saved us through the washing8 of rebirth and renewal9 by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us10 generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace,11 we might become heirs12 having the hope13 of eternal life.14 8 This is a trustworthy saying.15 And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good.16 These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

Matthew 7:18,20 (NIV)

18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.1                            

20 Thus you will know them by their fruits.                            

DEVOTION -Gale A. Richards (Iowa)

I remember one time when I was a young teen and my mother asked me to go to a local store and get a few things for her.  Then she looked at my tattered clothes and said, “Change your clothes and get cleaned up first.  What would the clerks think of me if they saw you looking like that!”  Mother believed that the way I appeared in public was a reflection on her parenting.

Although early Christians had to be careful not to talk openly about their faith for fear of persecution, they did reflect their faith in their behaviors and attitudes.  By their examples, many others were brought to Christ.  Things haven’t changed much in this regard.  Those we meet along the way notice our habits and attitudes,  They draw conclusions about our beliefs based on our outward demeanor and behavior.  If our words claim Christianity yet our behavior and demeanor testify otherwise, people will conclude that our actions reflect the truth about us.

Today I am old enough to be retired, but I still remember that my behavior, my way of living, casts a reflection on those whom I love and those who love me.  I can say with words that I am a Christian, but actions that reflect true Christian love speak louder than anything else.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: My actions and words can show God’s love to others.

PRAYER: Dear God, teach us to praise you not only with the words of our mouths but also with our actins.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: TEENAGERS

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