Monday, April 26, 2010

Modest Clothing

By David Pharr

A sign in front of a church building invited: “Come As You Are. God Has No Dress Code.” We assume the intended meaning was that casual attire would be welcomed at their services. But is it true that “God has no dress code”?

James made it clear that there must be no discrimination in our assemblies over whether one wears the fashionable clothing of the rich or the shabby raiment of the poor (James 2:1-4). We know that “man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). In the world it may sometimes be true that “clothes make the man,” but this should never be the viewpoint of spiritually minded people.

On the other hand, in some respects God does have a dress code. When I saw the sign, I wondered how that congregation would react if someone shows up in the near naked outfits seen in many public places. There may be some churches where shorts are acceptable attire, but the Lord’s dress code is “modest apparel” (1 Tim. 2:9).

There is also a dress code for the heart. “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man (person, D.P.) of the heart...For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God adorned themselves…” (1 Pet. 3:3, 4). The text speaks especially to women, but the principle of “adorning” the inner self applies to all. In Heaven’s sight, men and women are measured by character, not by clothing.

We are sometimes asked to define exactly what is modest clothing. It is expected that measurements and styles should be listed. Frankly, such efforts are never absolutely satisfactory and the Bible does not specifically say what to wear. The key to deciding what is modest is within. In the text above, Peter shows that one must get his heart right before selecting what is modest and appropriate for the body. One who has a heart adorned with purity, humility, honor, goodness and virtue will not choose clothing that is provocative, suggestive, ostentatious or lewd.

- David Pharr; Seeking Things Above; - via The Central Message, the weekly bulletin of the Central church of Christ in Paducah KY. Jim Faughn serves as an elder and preacher for the congregation. He may be contacted through the church’s website: h

Monday, April 19, 2010

Generous Giving

The story is told of a farmer who was known for his generous giving, and whose friends could not understand how he could give so much and yet remain so prosperous.

One day a friend said: "We can't understand it. You give far more than any of the rest of us, and yet you always seem to have more to give."

"That's easy to explain," the farmer said. "I keep shoveling into God's bin, and God keeps shoveling back into mine, and God has the bigger shovel."

- Source Unknown

For What Will This Church Be Known?

• For its love of selves or its love of lost souls (I Thess. 2:8)?
• For its spreading gossip or its spreading the gospel (Mark 16:15)?
• For its rudderless drifting or its strong leadership (I Peter 5:1-4)?
• For its low ideals or its lofty goals (Col. 3:2)?
• For its knowledge of the world or its knowledge of the Word (Acts 17:11)?
• For its financial limitations or its generous giving (2 Cor. 8:1-6)?
• For its comatose Christians or its many active members (Eph. 4:16)?
• For its selfish pursuits or its selfless serving (Gal. 5:13)?
• For its internal strife or its brotherly love (John 13:34-35)?
• For its different positions or its defense of the truth (I Peter 3:15)?
• For its cold shoulders or its warm fellowship (I Peter 1:22)?
• For its living below God’s expectations or its living above the world (I John 3:3-6)?
• For its helping itself or its helping the needy (2 Cor. 9:12-13)?
• For its innovations in worship or its spiritual and true worship (John 4:24)?
• For its accolade of men or its glorifying of God (Eph. 3:2)?
• For its stagnation or its vibrancy (2 Peter 3:18)?

Actually the question is, “For what will you be known?”
Because, if you are a member of this church, then the church will be known for these things to the extent that you are!

- Doug Smith; via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY. Lance Cordle preaches for the congregation. He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Four Things About God and True Worship from John 4:24

By Edd Sterchi

God is Spirit.................................God deserves true worship
and those who worship Him..........God desires true worship
must worship...............................God demands true worship
in spirit and truth............................God defines true worship

Edd Sterchi preaches for the Jackson church of Christ in Jackson, MO. He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

New Testament Christianity

By Ron Thomas

Are you a hyphenated-Christian? What is that, you ask. A hyphenated-Christian is a person who wears the name "Christian" with an identifying qualifier before it. For instance, are you a "church of Christ" Christian? If one is a member of the church of Christ, that person is a Christian. There is no need for an additional qualifier. There is no other identifier for those who belong to Christ than the name "Christian." Charles Spurgeon, a well-known Baptist preacher of the nineteenth century, once said, "I say of the Baptist name, let it perish, but let Christ's name last forever. I look forward with pleasure, to the day when there will not be a Baptist living. I hope they will soon be gone. I hope the Baptist name will soon perish; but let Christ's name endure forever" (Spurgeon Memorial Library, vol. 1, p. 168, as quoted by Leroy Brownlow in
Why I am a Member of the church of Christ, p. 33). To have the name of Christ is to have the only identifying name a person needs. A hyphenated Christian does not exist in Scripture. If we could all live by the sentiment that Charles Spurgeon expressed, then we would be more inclined to just go by the Bible. Wouldn't that be good?

- Ron Thomas serves as preacher and an elder for the Highway church of Christ, Sullivan, IL He may be contacted via the congregation's website:

Signs of the Times

In a bookstore: The Prodigal Son, A Run-away Best Seller (Eastside Family News, 4/30/06)

In a school: "In Time of National Disaster the Ban on Prayer in this Building is Temporarily Suspended." (Blythe Banner)

- Preacher Talk, Cecil May, Jr., Faulkner University, Montgomery, AL, Dec. 2006, Vol. 22, No. 3.

"I have too much respect for the idea of God to make it responsible for such an absurd world." (Georges Duhamel)

Saving grace makes a man as willing to leave his lusts as a slave is willing to leave his galley, or a prisoner his dungeon, or a thief his bolts, or a beggar his rags. (Thomas Brooks; from Leadership Magazine)

Life Lessons

• Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
• Your job won’t take care of you when you’re sick. Your friends and parents will, so stay in touch.
• Make peace with your past, so it won’t mess up the present.
• If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
• Burn the candles; use the nice sheets; eat off the good china. Today is special and you are not promised tomorrow.
• No one is in charge of your happiness but you, always choose life.
• Your children only get one childhood.
• No matter how you feel...get up, get dressed, and show up.
• Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

- via The Central Message, the weekly bulletin of the Central church of Christ in Paducah KY. Jim Faughn serves as an elder and preacher for the congregation. He may be contacted through the church’s website:

One's Conversation and Preparation Indicate the Nature of the Trip

When they told the old servant the master had died and gone to heaven, he replied, "I'm afraid he didn't go there at all." "But why do you say that?" someone asked. "Because I always heard him talking about his trips. Whenever he was going anywhere he would talk about it for a long time, and do a lot of getting ready. But I never heard him talk about going to heaven. I never saw him getting ready to go there. No, I just don't think he is going to heaven at all."

- Borrowed; via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the
Dongola church of Christ, Dongola, IL. Gerald Cowan serves the congregation as minister. He may be contacted at

Monday, April 5, 2010

If You Missed Wednesday Night Services, You Missed a Great Time

By Edd Sterchi

It was a great time of great praise to a great God. We spent time singing and praying to God and it was truly wonderful. It was a time of reflection, honor, and glorifying. It was great worshiping our Creator together.

It was a great time of great fellowship with great people. The feeling of family was evident and abundant. We visited, laughed, consoled, and showed much love and concern. It was great encouraging and being edified.

It was a great time of great study from God’s great Word. We took a look into the Book and examined some passages that benefitted us in many ways. It was truly great learning truths from the Truth of God’s word.

Yes, we sure had a “great” time last Wednesday. Hope you can join us this Wednesday for another one.

Edd Sterchi preaches for the Jackson church of Christ in Jackson, MO. He may be contacted at or through the congregation's website: