Our Daily Bread Devotional For June 21, 2023 : Topic – Step by Step
Bible in a Year:
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
Today’s Scripture : 1 Peter 4:7–11
Peter’s instruction in 1 Peter 4:7–11 includes basic but essential truth about believers in Jesus and spiritual gifts. One way to view spiritual gifts is to see them as channels for dispensing the multiple expressions of God’s favor to people in the church and the world. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (v. 10). God gives the gifts; believers receive them and utilize them as “stewards”—those who have household oversight with attendant responsibility and accountability. Rather than the itemization of gifts seen in Paul’s writing (Romans 12:3–8; 1 Corinthians 12:4–11), Peter mentions the two major categories under which all gifts fall—speaking and serving (1 Peter 4:11). The abundance of God’s grace requires many outlets. Understanding these things can promote unity and prompt us to ask God to use us to serve Him.
Message : A dozen teams, each including three people standing shoulder to shoulder, prepared for the four-legged race. Each outside person bound to the person in the middle by colorful rags at their ankles and knees, every trio locked their eyes on the finish line. When the whistle blew, the teams lunged forward. Most of them fell and struggled to regain their footing. A few groups chose to hop instead of walk. Some gave up. But one team delayed their start, confirmed their plan, and communicated as they moved forward. They stumbled along the way but pressed on and soon passed all the teams. Their willingness to cooperate, step by step, enabled them to cross the finish line together.
Living for God within the community of believers in Jesus often feels as frustrating as trying to move forward during a four-legged race. We often stumble when interacting with people who hold different opinions from us.
Peter speaks of prayer, hospitality, and using our gifts to align ourselves in unity for life ahead. He urges believers in Jesus to “love each other deeply” (1 Peter 4:8), to be hospitable without complaining, and to “serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (v. 10). When we ask God to help us communicate and cooperate, we can lead the race in showing the world how to celebrate differences and live together in unity.
Reflect & Pray
When have you struggled to work with someone who was different from you? How has God helped you?
Mighty God, please help me communicate and cooperate with others as I learn to love like You.