Monday, February 28, 2011

The Core Of The Problem

By Bill Crowder

Read: Romans 3:10-18
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. —Romans 7:18
Bible in a year:
Numbers 20-22; Mark 7:1-13

One of my favorite television cartoons as a boy was Tom Terrific. When Tom faced a challenge, he would put on his thinking cap and work through the matter with his faithful sidekick Mighty Manfred, the Wonder Dog. Usually, those problems found their source in Tom’s arch-enemy, Crabby Appleton. To this day, I remember how this villain was described on the show. He was “Crabby Appleton—rotten to the core.”

The fact is that all of us share Crabby Appleton’s primary problem—apart from Christ, we’re all rotten to the core. The apostle Paul described us this way: “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God” (Rom. 3:10-11). None of us are capable of living up to God’s perfect standard of holiness. Because of our condition of being separated from a holy God, He sent His Son Jesus to give Himself to die on the cross for the punishment we deserve, and then rise again. Now we can be “justified freely by His grace” through faith in Him (v.24).

Jesus Christ has come to people “rotten to the core,” and makes us “a new creation” by faith in Him (2 Cor. 5:17). In His goodness, He has fixed our problem completely—all the way down to our core.

I know I’m a sinner and Christ is my need;
His death is my ransom, no merit I plead.
His work is sufficient, on Him I believe;
I have life eternal when Him I receive. —Anon.

We need more than a new start— we need a new heart.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Perfect Peace And Rest

By David H. Roper

Read: Psalm 71:19-24
You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, shall revive me again. —Psalm 71:20
Bible in a year:
Numbers 12-14; Mark 5:21-43

The psalmist had seen “great and severe troubles” (Ps. 71:20). Yet hovering in the back of his mind was the thought that God would “revive” him again. The literal meaning of this phrase is “bring him to life again.” He elaborated: “[You shall] bring me up again from the depths of the earth [the grave]. You shall increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side” (vv.20-21). If the troubles didn’t end in this life, certainly in heaven they would.

This thought—that someday we shall be in God’s presence and enjoy Him forever—crowns many of the psalms and is an assurance that helps life’s present troubles fade away (see Ps. 16,17,49,73).

Perhaps no one but God knows the trouble you’ve seen, but this is not all that shall be. Someday, your Father will “increase [your] greatness”—you will be clothed with unspeakable glory. There will be comfort “on every side.” His presence and love will bring perfect peace and rest.

Richard Baxter writes, “O what a blessed day that will be when I shall . . . stand on the shore and look back on the raging seas I have safely passed; when I shall review my pains and sorrows, my fears and tears, and possess the glory which was the end of all!”

When all my labors and trials are o’er,
And I am safe on that beautiful shore,
Just to be near the dear Lord I adore
Will through the ages be glory for me. —Gabriel

When God wipes our tears, sorrow will give way to eternal song.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What Really Matters

By Joe Stowell

Read: Matthew 16:21-28
For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? —Matthew 16:26
Bible in a year:
Numbers 9-11; Mark 5:1-20

Several years ago a friend of mine visited an exhibit of relics from the infamous Titanic voyage. Exhibit visitors were given a replica ticket with the name of an actual passenger or crew member who, decades earlier, had embarked on the trip of a lifetime. After the tour group walked through the exhibit viewing pieces of silver dinnerware and other artifacts, the tour ended with an unforgettable twist.

A large board listed the names of all the passengers, including their status—first class, second class, crew. As my friend looked for the name of the person whose ticket he was holding, he noticed a line across the board dividing the names. Above the line were the names of those who were “saved” and below the line all those who were “lost.”

The parallel to our life on earth is profound. It really doesn’t make any difference how the world ranks your status. The only thing that ultimately matters is whether you are “saved” or “lost.” As Jesus said, “What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Matt. 16:26). Perhaps you’ve already trusted in Christ for your salvation. But what about your fellow passengers? Instead of sizing them up by the externals, talk to them about their ultimate destination.

It’s not what I achieve that qualifies,
It matters not if I gain wealth or fame;
The only thing I must be certain of
Is “Have I put my trust in Jesus’ name?” —Hess

In light of eternity, what one believes is far more important than what one achieves.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Variety Of Creation

By David C. Egner

Read: Job 12:7-13
In [God’s] hand is the life of every living thing. —Job 12:10
Bible in a year:
Numbers 7-8; Mark 4:21-41

Have you ever stopped to consider the amazing features God placed in the animals He created? Job did, and one of the most interesting he wrote about is the ostrich. Despite its apparent lack of good sense and its eccentric parenting skills, its offspring survive (39:13-16). And despite its membership in the bird family, it can’t fly—but it can outrun a horse (v.18).

Another remarkable creature is the bombardier beetle. This African insect shoots two common materials, hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone, from twin storage tanks in its back. Apart, these substances are harmless; together, they blind the beetle’s predators. A special nozzle inside the beetle mixes the chemicals, enabling it to bombard its foe at amazing speeds! And the little guy can rotate his “cannon” to fire in any direction.

How can this be? How is it that a rather dull-witted ostrich survives despite a seeming inability to care for its young while the bombardier beetle needs a sophisticated chemical reaction to ensure its continued presence on earth? It’s because God’s creative abilities know no boundaries. “He commanded and they were created,” the psalmist tells us (148:5). From the ostrich to the beetle, God’s creative work is clear for all to see. “Praise the name of the Lord” (148:13).

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful;
The Lord God made them all. —Alexander

The design of creation points to the Master Designer.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Greater Compassion

By Bill Crowder

Read: Isaiah 49:13-18
Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. —Isaiah 49:15
Bible in a year:
Numbers 4-6; Mark 4:1-20

I first met my wife, Marlene, in college. I was majoring in pastoral studies, and she was working on a degree in elementary education. The first time I saw her working with children, I knew what a natural fit this was for her. She loved children. It became even more obvious when we got married and had children of our own. Seeing her with them was an education in unconditional love and acceptance. It was clear to me that there is nothing in all the world like the tender love and compassion of a mother for her newborn child.

That’s what makes Isaiah 49:15 so remarkable. It’s here that God told His people, who were feeling forsaken and forgotten (v.14), that His compassion is even greater than a mother’s: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.”

Sometimes we face struggles in life, and we are tempted to think that God has forgotten us. We may even believe that God no longer loves us. But God’s love for us is as expansive as the open arms of Christ on the cross. And the tender compassion of our heavenly Father is more dependable and more enduring than the love of a nursing mother for her infant. Be comforted—His love never fails.

God will not forget His children
Nor will He forsake our care;
His compassion is enduring—
Even when we’re unaware. —Sper

God’s love for us is as expansive
as the open arms of Christ on the cross.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Who’s The Audience?

By Philip Yancey

Read: Psalm 50:7-15
Whoever offers praise glorifies Me. —Psalm 50:23
Bible in a year:
Leviticus 26-27; Mark 2

I  used to view the worship service  in church as a time for entertainment. Speaking of folks like me, Sören Kierkegaard said that we tend to think of church as a kind of theater: We sit in the audience, attentively watching the actors onstage. If sufficiently entertained, we show our gratitude with applause. Church, though, should be the opposite of the theater. God is the audience for our worship.

What matters most takes place within the hearts of the congregation—not onstage. We should leave a worship service asking ourselves not “What did I get out of it?” but rather “Was God pleased with what happened?”

God took pains to specify details of animal sacrifice for the ancient Israelites in their worship. Yet He said that He didn’t need their animals: “I will not take a bull from your house, nor goats out of your folds. For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills” (Ps. 50:9-10). What He wanted was their praise and obedience (v.23).

By focusing on the externals of worship, we too miss the point: The Lord is interested in a sacrifice of the heart, an internal attitude of submission and thanksgiving. The goal of worship is nothing less than to meet and please our God.

Lord, may our worship and our praise,
From hearts surrendered to Your ways,
Be worthy offerings of love
For all Your blessings from above. —Sper

At the heart of worship is worship from the heart.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dreams Or Choices?

By Joe Stowell

Read: Philippians 1:1-11
Approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense. —Philippians 1:10
Bible in a year:
Leviticus 23-24; Mark 1:1-22

I’ve received a lot of good advice in my life. Near the top of the list is this wise observation from a friend: “Life is not made by the dreams that you dream but by the choices that you make.”

He’s right—your life today is the sum total of all the choices you’ve made up to this point. The apostle Paul gave similar advice in Philippians 1:10, when he said to “approve the things that are excellent” (1:10). In any given situation, we have a whole continuum of choices—ranging from really rotten choices, to the mediocrity of average choices, to choices that are good, and then to those that are excellent. God wants to move us across the continuum, past our natural impulses, all the way to excellent choices.

Often it’s challenging to make the most excellent choice, especially if there aren’t many others joining us. Sometimes it may feel as if our desires and freedoms have been suppressed. But if you follow Paul’s advice, you’ll notice some really positive outcomes—like being pure and blameless and fruitful (v.11).

Make the choice to live a life filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). Then revel in the result!

The little choices we must make
Will chart the course of life we take;
We either choose the path of light,
Or wander off in darkest night. —D. De Haan

Make an excellent choice and watch the ripple effect of blessing.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


By Marvin Williams

Read: Matthew 3:1-12
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! . . . Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance. —Matthew 3:2,8
Bible in a year:
Leviticus 21-22; Matthew 28

Medical studies have shown that even though people who have had heart-bypass surgery are told that they must change their lifestyle or die, about 90 percent do not change. Typically, 2 years after surgery the patients haven’t altered their lifestyle. It seems that most would rather die than change.

Just as doctors preach a physical message of change to prevent death, John the Baptist came preaching a spiritual message of change. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matt. 3:2). He was preparing the way for the ultimate manifestation of God’s reign—the Messiah, Jesus.

Repentance means to change one’s mind and attitude about God, which ultimately changes a person’s actions and decisions. Those who repent and accept Christ’s provision of forgiveness from their sins through His death on the cross will escape spiritual death (John 3:16). Repentance involves confessing sin with godly sorrow, and then forsaking sin. John the Baptist was calling people to turn from one way of living to ways that honor God.

Today, the Lord is still calling us to repent and then to respond with the “fruits worthy of repentance” (Matt. 3:8).

Repentance is to leave the sin
That we had loved before,
And showing we are grieved by it
By doing it no more. —Anon.

Repentance means hating sin enough to turn from it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Buried Treasure

By Randy Kilgore

Read: Leviticus 19:9-15
Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law. —Psalm 119:18
Bible in a year:
Leviticus 19-20; Matthew 27:51-66

Growing up in rural Missouri where American outlaw Jesse James (1847–1882) had lived, my friends and I were convinced he had buried treasure nearby. We wandered the woods in dreamy hopes of digging up a saddlebag or other treasure. Often we’d run into an elderly man chopping firewood with a giant axe. For years, we watched this mysterious “axe man” trudge the highways in search of soda cans, his own kind of treasure. Redeeming the cans for cash, he’d retire to his run-down, roofless, unpainted shack with a bottle in a brown paper bag. After his death, his family found bundles of money stored in his ramshackle home.

Like the axe man who ignored his treasure, we Christians sometimes ignore parts of Scripture. We forget that all of Scripture is ours to use; that each passage has a reason for its inclusion in the canon. Who knew Leviticus held so much buried treasure? In an efficient seven verses in chapter 19, God teaches us how to provide for the poor and disabled without stripping them of their dignity (vv.9-10,14), how to run our businesses ethically (vv.11,13,15), and how to embed respect for Him into our daily life (v.12).

If a few verses can contain so much treasure, think of all that can be ours if we dig into our Bibles every day.

For Further Study
Mine the treasure in Leviticus 19, and then search
for more treasure in other parts of Leviticus to put into
practice in your Christian walk.

Every word in the Bible was placed with a purpose; any part you’ve not read is your buried treasure.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Heat And Holiness

By Julie Ackerman Link

Read: Isaiah 43:1-13
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned. —Isaiah 43:2
Bible in a year:
Leviticus 17-18; Matthew 27:27-50

Why is it taking my hair so long to get dry? I wondered. As usual, I was in a hurry, and I didn’t want to go outside into the wintry weather with wet hair. Then I realized the problem. I had changed the setting on the hairdryer to “warm” instead of “hot” to accommodate my niece’s preferences.

I often wish I could control the conditions of life as easily as I can change the setting on my hairdryer. I would choose a comfortable setting—not too hot, not too cold. I certainly wouldn’t choose the heat of adversity or the fire of affliction. But in the spiritual realm, warm doesn’t get the job done. We are called to holiness, and holiness often involves “heat.” To be holy means to be set apart for God—separated from anything unclean or impure. To refine and purify us, God sometimes uses the furnace of affliction. The prophet Isaiah said, “When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned” (Isa. 43:2); he didn’t say if. And the apostle Peter said that we should not be surprised by trials (1 Peter 4:12).

None of us knows when we’ll be called to walk through the fire or how hot the furnace will be. But we do know this: God’s purpose for the flames is to purify us, not to destroy us.

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flames shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine. —Keen

The only way God hurries holiness is by turning up the heat.

Monday, February 14, 2011


By David C. McCasland

Read: John 15:9-17
You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. —John 15:14
Bible in a year:
Leviticus 15-16; Matthew 27:1-26

The social networking Web site was launched in 2004 as a way for college students to connect with each other online. It is now open to people of all ages, and currently there are an estimated 500 million users. Each user has an individual page with photos and personal details that can be viewed by “friends.” To “friend” a person means opening the door to communication and information about who you are, where you go, and what you do. Facebook friendships may be casual or committed, but each one is “by invitation only.”

Just before Jesus was crucified, He told His disciples: “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:14-15).

Unselfishness, oneness of purpose, and confident trust are the hallmarks of true friendship, especially in our relationship with the Lord. Christ has taken the initiative by giving His life for us and inviting us to know and follow Him.

Have we responded to the Lord Jesus’ invitation of friendship by opening our hearts to Him with nothing held back?

Friendship with Jesus,
Fellowship divine;
O what blessed, sweet communion—
Jesus is a Friend of mine. —Ludgate

Jesus longs to be our Friend.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Exalt Him

By Dave Branon

Read: Psalm 46
. . . I am God; I will be exalted. —Psalm 46:10
Bible in a year:
Leviticus 14; Matthew 26:51-75

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations” (Ps. 46:10). These words from a song sung long ago at the temple in Jerusalem remind us of one of our main tasks—worshiping our awesome God.

One way to do that is to meditate on His many attributes. Exalt God, for He is faithful, eternal, all-knowing, just, unchangeable, gracious, holy, merciful, longsuffering, impartial, and infinite. Our God is perfect.

Exalt God also by realizing that He is all-powerful, almighty, personal, righteous, unsearchable, wise, triune, accessible, self-existent, glorious, and compassionate.

Another way to worship God is to contemplate His names. Exalt God, for He is Creator. He is Love. He is Redeemer. He is Shepherd. He is Savior, Lord, and Father. He is Judge. He is Comforter. He is Teacher. He is I AM. Our God is the Mighty One.

Dwell on His identity. God is our shield. Our stronghold. Our light. Our strength. Our sustainer. Our rescuer. Our fortress.

Meditate on God’s attributes. Contemplate His names. Dwell on His identity. Adore Him. Respect Him. Honor Him. Love Him. Exalt Him. Use the rest of your life getting ready to worship our awesome God forever.

O worship the King,
All glorious above,
And gratefully sing
His power and His love. —Grant

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. —Psalm 150:6

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Volcanic Activity

By Cindy Hess Kasper

Read: Ephesians 4:29-32
An angry man stirs up strife, and a furious man abounds in transgression. —Proverbs 29:22
Bible in a year:
Leviticus 13; Matthew 26:26-50

It erupts. It melts everything in its path. Its blast is as powerful as a nuclear explosion!

Well, maybe not—but a temper can feel as intense as a volcano when it is aimed directly at another person in a family. The moment may be quickly over, but it can leave emotional devastation and bitter feelings behind.

It’s sad that the people we love the most are often the target of our hurtful words. But even when we feel we’ve been provoked, we have a choice. Will we respond in anger or in kindness?

The Bible tells us to rid ourselves of bitterness and anger, and to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).

If you are struggling with chronic anger that is hurting your relationships, surrender this vulnerable part of your emotions to Christ’s strength (Phil. 4:13). Ask God to forgive you for an uncontrolled temper and to show you how to moderate your emotions and to teach you how to honor others above yourself (Rom. 12:10). Seek out help from others to learn how to deal with your strong emotions in appropriate ways.

As we earnestly seek to love others and to please God, we can win the victory over a volcanic temper.

Spirit of God, please change my heart,
And give me a new desire;
I want to be a man of peace,
Not controlled by anger’s fire. —K. De Haan

Losing your temper is no way to get rid of it.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Will I Have To Tell?

By Anne Cetas

Read: 2 Corinthians 5:12-21
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. —2 Corinthians 5:17
Bible in a year:
Leviticus 11-12; Matthew 26:1-25

Jim was sharing the gospel with Kerri. He told her she was separated from a holy God because of her sin, and that Jesus had died and risen for her salvation. She kept coming up with one reason not to believe: “But if I do receive Him, I won’t have to tell other people about it, will I? I don’t want to do that.” She said that didn’t fit her personality; she didn’t want to have to tell others about Jesus.

Jim explained that promising to witness about Jesus wasn’t a requirement before receiving Him. But he also said that once she came to know the Lord, Kerri would become His ambassador to the world (2 Cor. 5:20).

After talking a little longer, Kerri acknowledged her need for salvation through Christ. She went home excited and at peace. Funny thing happened—within 24 hours she told three people about what God had done in her life.

Because we have been reconciled to God through Jesus, we now have “the ministry of reconciliation,” according to the apostle Paul (v.18). We are His ambassadors, and therefore we implore people “on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (v.20).

When we’re thankful, we want to share what God has done.

I love to tell the story,
For some have never heard
The message of salvation
From God’s own holy Word. —Hankey

There’s no better news than the gospel— spread the word!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Standing Ovation

By Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Read: Acts 6:8-15; 7:54-60
Look! I see . . . the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God! —Acts 7:56
Bible in a year:
Leviticus 8-10; Matthew 25:31-46

Susan Boyle spent most of her adult life living with her cat Pebbles, caring for her aging mother, and singing in church. She certainly didn’t look like a musical superstar. That’s probably why the audience laughed at this unassuming middle-aged woman before she performed in a talent show. Undeterred, Susan faced the unfriendly crowd, sang beautifully, and went on to receive a standing ovation.

Stephen was confronted by a hostile crowd in the days of the early church (Acts 6–7). A panel of religious authorities listened to lying witnesses accuse him of blasphemy (Acts 6:13). Stephen responded by speaking the truth of God’s Word, which reinforced his faith in Christ. At the end of his speech, he said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” (7:56). Then the crowd stoned him (v.58). Jesus, who was watching from heaven, welcomed Stephen home.

Most Christians aren’t confronted with this much hostility. Yet we all need to “stand fast in the Lord” when the pressure is on (Phil. 4:1). We can’t let others silence our voice for Christ. Speaking up for Jesus does not always win the crowd’s favor here on earth, but it does ensure His approval in heaven, where it matters the most.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long;
This day the noise of battle—the next the victor’s song.
To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be:
He with the King of glory shall reign eternally. —Duffield

If you meet opposition, maybe it shows that you are doing something that counts.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Of Weeping And Rejoicing

By Bill Crowder

Read: Romans 12:9-16
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. —Romans 12:15
Bible in a year:
Leviticus 6-7; Matthew 25:1-30

Golda Meir knew both struggle and success during her life. As prime minister of Israel, she experienced many episodes of conflict and loss, as well as the periodic joy of successes and victory in the life of the fledgling State of Israel. She said of joy and sorrow, “Those who don’t know how to weep with their whole heart, don’t know how to laugh either.”

The apostle Paul called us to a life of both weeping and rejoicing—but with a twist. In Romans 12:15, the apostle challenged us to look outside our own experiences to the needs of others. He said, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”

If we rejoice only in our own victories, we miss the wonder of celebrating the power of the Lord, who desires to accomplish His purposes in and through others as well. If we mourn only our own losses, we lose the opportunity to “be there” for those who are hurting by showing them compassion.

Life is filled with the extremes of joy and sorrow, victory and defeat. But we have been given the privilege of entering into those moments in people’s lives to see the grace of God at work. Don’t miss it!

Lord, give me sensitivity
To people in their grief and pain,
To weep with them and show Your love
In ways mere words cannot attain. —Sper

Looking to the needs of others honors Christ.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Space Scouts

By Dennis Fisher

Read: Ephesians 6:1-4
You, fathers, . . . bring [your children] up in the training and admonition of the Lord. —Ephesians 6:4
Bible in a year:
Leviticus 4-5; Matthew 24:29-51

Many of the first astronauts were once Boy Scouts. The scouts were good at capturing the imagination of young boys and instilling discipline to reach their goals—even if it meant reaching for the stars.

On July 20, 1969, the Boy Scouts were busy celebrating at a conference. During the gathering, the scouts were delighted to hear from former Eagle Scout Neil Armstrong, who sent them greetings from space. One of their own had grown up to realize a wonderful dream!

In some ways, the Christian home can be like a loving, spiritual scout camp. The Bible encourages parents to provide a positive growth environment for children in the home. Parents are exhorted to “bring [children] up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). “To bring up” refers to nourishing children by providing resources for their physical, mental, and spiritual needs. “Training” includes concern about all aspects of a child’s development. And “admonition” speaks of providing direction by well-chosen words uniquely suited to each child.

Let’s strive to make our home a place where loving discipline enables the children in our charge to reach their potential for God’s glory.

They are buds of hope and promise,
Possessed by Him whose name is Love;
Lent us here to train and nourish
For a better life above. —Crosby

What you put into your children’s hearts today influences their character for tomorrow.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Overcoming Bias

By David C. McCasland

Read: Colossians 3:8-17
There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, . . . slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. —Colossians 3:11
Bible in a year:
Exodus 39-40; Matthew 23:23-39

A Washington Post article reported that recent studies into the nature of prejudice found that almost everyone harbors biases, and these attitudes affect even those who actively resist them. A University of Kentucky psychologist says that much of our self-esteem comes from feeling better about ourselves than about others because of the group we belong to. Prejudice is not easy to overcome, even within the family of God.

Paul’s words to the believers at Colosse instruct us today, saying that our speech and behavior toward fellow Christians should reflect our oneness in Christ. “[You] have put on the new man,” Paul said, “where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all” (Col. 3:10-11). Instead of superiority and favoritism, we should demonstrate compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience toward each other (v.12). And above all, we are to “put on love, which is the bond of perfection” (v.14).

In the body of Christ, no race, nationality, or class is better than another. Through the cross, Christ has made us one, and we are to treat each other with honesty, dignity, and love.

It matters not what race or gender,
Rich or poor, or great or small,
The God who made us is not partial—
He sent Christ to die for all. —D. De Haan

Prejudice distorts what it sees, deceives when it talks,
and destroys when it acts.

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