By Dave Branon

As the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness . . . longsuffering. —Colossians 3:12

Pastor, where are the Our Daily Bread devotionals?” The words came harshly—almost in anger. The latest edition had not yet been placed in the rack outside the church auditorium. This led at least one reader to confront the pastor about their absence. Although it was not his responsibility to distribute the booklets, he felt terrible about the way this parishioner had reprimanded him for not making sure the devotional guides were there on time.

When I heard this, I was struck by the irony of this situation. Devotional booklets are meant to encourage Christian growth and godly grace. And as followers of Christ who read devotional materials, we hope we are moving toward spiritual maturity that leads to “tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering”—qualities Paul says we should “put on” (Col. 3:12).

Our spiritual disciplines—reading God’s Word along with accompanying study or devotional materials, prayer, and worshiping together—should not be ends in themselves. Instead, those actions are means to becoming more Christlike, more godly, more Spirit-led. Our spiritual practice should lead to having the “Word of Christ dwell in [us] richly” (3:16). That will show in everything we do and say.

I want my heart to be in tune with God, In every stage of life may it ring true; I want my thoughts and words to honor Him, Exalting Him in everything I do. —Hess

Bible study is not merely to inform us— it’s meant to transform us.

Devotional forwarded to you by:


NCCP Ecumenical Ministry – Church of the Risen Lord

University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC


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