Our Daily Bread 21st January 2023 for Saturday
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Our Daily Bread Ministries is a Christian organization founded by Dr. Martin De Haan in 1938. It is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with over 600 employees. It produces several devotional publications, including Our Daily Bread.
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TODAY’S TOPIC: COFFEE BREATH
Bible in a Year: Exodus 1–3; Matthew 14:1–21
Bible Verse: Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2
Today’s Scripture: Ephesians 4:1–5, 25–31
INSIGHT – 21ST JANUARY 2023 OUR DAILY BREAD:
On his third missionary journey, Paul spent three years teaching the believers in Ephesus (Acts 19; 20:31). Some six years later, concerned for their spiritual well-being and maturity, he wrote from a Roman prison (Ephesians 3:1; 4:1; 6:20) reminding them how God had so richly and graciously blessed them (1:3).
After extolling the privileges, position, and possessions they had because of Jesus (chs. 1–3), the apostle instructed them to “live a life worthy of [their] calling” (4:1), an exhortation that Paul similarly made to the Philippian (1:27), Colossian (1:10), and Thessalonian believers (1 Thessalonians 2:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:11). The Ephesian believers were to be like Christ in how they treated one another—humble, gentle, patient, forbearing, loving, encouraging, kind, compassionate, and forgiving (Ephesians 4:2, 29–32). By: K. T. Sim
I was sitting in my chair one morning years ago when my youngest came downstairs. She made a beeline for me, jumping up onto my lap. I gave her a fatherly squeeze and a gentle kiss on the head, and she squealed with delight. But then she furrowed her brow, crinkled her nose, and shot an accusatory glance at my coffee mug. “Daddy,” she announced solemnly. “I love you, and I like you, but I don’t like your smell.”
My daughter couldn’t have known it, but she spoke with grace and truth: she didn’t want to hurt my feelings, but she felt compelled to tell me something. And sometimes we need to do that in our relationships.
In Ephesians 4, Paul zeroes in on how we relate to each other—especially when telling difficult truths. “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (v. 2). Humility, gentleness, and patience form our relational foundation. Cultivating those character qualities as God guides us will help us “[speak] the truth in love” (v. 15) and seek to communicate “what is helpful for building others up according to their needs” (v. 29).
No one likes being confronted about weaknesses and blind spots. But when something about us “smells,” God can use faithful friends to speak into our lives with grace, truth, humility, and gentleness. By: Adam Holz
Our Daily Bread 21 January 2022 (Reflection & Prayer)
- When has someone gently confronted you? What do you think is most important when you lovingly address a weakness you see in others?
- Father, help me to humbly receive correction, and help me to offer it with love, grace, and gentleness.