Our Daily Bread Devotional For September 3, 2023 : Topic – The BLESSED Mask
Bible in a Year:
You show that you are a letter from Christ . . . written . . . with the Spirit of the living God.
Today’s Scripture 2 Corinthians 3:1–6
Relationships are difficult—even with other believers in Jesus. What matters is faithfulness to God and love for each other. The apostle Paul experienced tension with other believers, as seen in his relationship with the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 1:23–2:4). He asks rhetorically whether he must commend himself again to the church (3:1).
He’s not saying he needs to boast his way back into the church’s good graces. This church once gladly welcomed him on his missionary journeys (Acts 18:1–18). Now, he’s concerned that the Corinthian believers think so little of their relationship that he’ll have to vouch for himself—or get someone to vouch for him—all over again (2 Corinthians 3:1). But Paul sees no need to do so, trusting that the life-change in the Corinthian church should be testimony enough for them—and the outsiders who see them—to realize his love for the struggling church hasn’t changed (2:4).
Message : As the mask mandate requirements during the pandemic loosened, I struggled to remember to keep a mask handy for where they were still required—like my daughter’s school. One day when I needed a mask, I found just one in my car: the one I avoided wearing because it had blessed written across the front.
I prefer to wear masks without messages, and I believe that the word on the mask I found is overused. But I had no choice, so I reluctantly put the mask on. And when I nearly showed my annoyance with a new receptionist at the school, I caught myself, partly because of the word on my mask. I didn’t want to look like a hypocrite, walking around with blessed scrawled across my mouth while showing impatience to a person trying to figure out a complicated system.
Though the letters on my mask reminded me of my witness for Christ, the words of Scripture in my heart should be a true reminder to be patient with others. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “You are a letter from Christ, . . . written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:3). The Holy Spirit who “gives life” (v. 6), can help us live out “love, joy, peace” and, yes, “patience” (Galatians 5:22). We’re truly blessed by His presence within us!
Reflect & Pray
What are your words and actions saying to others? How can you represent Christ in what you do today?
Dear Jesus, with each person I encounter today, help me to share what it means to live for You.