Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Re-post From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

A Shared Bond

When I needed a locksmith to get into my car, I had a pleasant surprise. After he arrived and began opening my little Ford’s door, we began chatting and I recognized his warm, familiar accent.
It turned out that my rescuer was originally from Jamaica—a land I’ve visited often and have grown to love. This changed a negative event into a positive one. We were in a small way kindred spirits because of our shared love for that beautiful island nation.
This struck me as a reminder of an even greater camaraderie—the joy of meeting someone new and discovering that he or she is also a believer in Christ.
In some places, this is not unusual because there are many believers. But in those lands where there are few believers, the joy of meeting someone else who loves Jesus must be even greater. It’s thrilling to share together the amazing reality of the freedom from sin we have through Christ!
For all who know Jesus, there is a shared bond, a oneness in Christ (Gal. 3:28), a joy of fellowship that can brighten even the darkest day. Praise God that He brings a bond of unity to all who know Him as Savior.
What a miracle it is, dear Lord, that You can
bring together people of all tribes, tongues, and
nations to be like-minded in Christ—to share
a bond of love and affection for Jesus.
Christian fellowship builds us up and binds us together.


In the days of Jesus and Paul, there was a religious and social divide between Jews and Gentiles. So great was this divide that Jews avoided contact with Gentiles as much as possible, even erecting walls in the temple courtyard to keep themselves separated. However, both Jesus and Paul spoke of the gospel as crossing all social and national boundaries. Jesus sent the apostles to “all the nations” (Matt. 28:19) and “to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8), and He broke down the “wall of separation” (Eph. 2:14).

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Family Trademarks

The Aran Islands, off the west coast of Ireland, are known for their beautiful sweaters. Patterns are woven into the fabric using sheep’s wool to craft the garments. Many of them relate to the culture and folklore of these small islands, but some are more personal. Each family on the islands has its own trademark pattern, which is so distinctive that if a fisherman were to drown it is said that he could be identified simply by examining his sweater for the family trademark.
In John’s first letter, the apostle describes things that are to be trademarks of those who are members of God’s family. In 1 John 3:1, John affirms that we are indeed part of God’s family by saying, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” He then describes the trademarks of those who are the children of God, including, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God” (4:7).
Because “love is of God,” the chief way to reflect the heart of the Father is by displaying the love that characterizes Him. May we allow His love to reach out to others through us—for love is one of our family trademarks.
Father, teach me to love with the love of Christ
that others might see Your love reflected in my
care and concern for them. May Your love
drive and dominate my responses to life and to others.
Love is the family resemblance the world should see in followers of Christ.


In 1 John 4:9, John’s words parallel those of Paul in Romans 5:8, which reads: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Notice that with both Paul and John the emphasis is on how God’s love has been proven through the sending of His Son to us. Paul’s perspective, however, is rooted in our unworthiness while John’s focus is on the gift of life in Christ.

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