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Scripture:  II Corinthians 3:2  "You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men."

An epistle is a written message or letter of communication.  The Apostle Paul uses this as an example and tells us that our lives are like written epistles.  Even though our lives are not written with ink on tablets or paper, they are human letters that are written by the Spirit of God and are being studied by men.  Our families, associates, and those we minister to are reading our lives on a daily basis and the truth of our witness is being manifested when we are the least aware of it.  Those about us are closely observing our actions to see if our deeds line up with the words we speak.  It is remarkable when someone takes notice and mentions something good that you did, especially those things that you cannot even recall yourself.  Yet, it is important to recognize that our negative impressions leave a mark just as well, for every event of our life is a letter of communication to the world that chooses to read us.

Often when you purchase a book, the outside cover will have a picture and some brief excerpts that depict the contents of what is on the inside.  This part of the book is meant to entice you to purchase and read the book.  Sometimes, however, the outside is misleading as it turns out to be more interesting than the entire book itself.  This is what happens to our testimony when others look at us from the outside.  They see us on Sunday in the choir, teaching Bible Study, and doing all the right things.  We convince them that we are great by our outside cover.  We entice them into believing in us, but the real proof of our lives come as they read the chapters of our lives and watch us face life's daily challenges and disappointing circumstances.  The reality of our responses becomes our true witness.

God wants to work through us because we are His workmanship that He created in His image.  He knows that others will be looking at us, and He wants us to be a living communication of His glory.  Colossians 1:27 says, "Christ in you, the hope of glory."  God is glorified when our lives communicate His character to the world and He is pleased when our inner man lives up to what is represented on the outside cover of our life.  We are His epistles and our lives will speak volumes.  When people read our lives, the Lord wants them to see His life in our life; His Spirit within our spirit; His peace controlling us; His love flowing through us; His joy flooding our soul; His kindness and patience working in us; and His light shining through us.  In other words, He wants us to not only 'talk the talk' but also 'walk the walk' because we will be read and known by all men. +++

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