GOD’S STANDARD OF UNITY ENCOURAGES SPIRITUAL MATURITY.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Ephesians 4:3-7, 11-13.
Verse of the Day: “Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace” (Ephesians 4:3).
“How’s the homework coming?” Dad asked.
“Pretty good, Dad,” Melinda said. “I’m doing a report for history.” She squinted her eyes at her dad the way she always did when she wasn’t wearing her glasses. “Did you know that sailors in the British navy used to get really sick on long sea voyages until some doctor told them to start taking fruit and stuff along with them?”
“Is that so?” Dad said, trying not to smile at his daughter’s enthusiasm.
“Yeah,” Melinda went on. “See, they were getting scurvy because they would be at sea for months and months without any fresh vegetables or fruit, so they wouldn’t get any vitamin C. They’d start to get really weak, and their teeth would fall out.”
“I get the idea,” Dad said.
“But when they started taking lime juice and oranges and lemons on their ships, they stopped getting scurvy.”
Later that evening, Melinda and her family read from the Bible after dinner. While Mom brought a carton of milk and a plate of brownies to the table, Dad asked Melinda to read from the last chapter of Second Corinthians. When she was finished, he said, “Those verses remind me of your report, Melinda.”
“They do?” Melinda couldn’t see any connection.
“Sure, they do,” Dad said. “You told me how sailors used to get sick on ocean voyages because they didn’t get enough vitamin C, right?” He waited until he saw Melinda nod. “Well, the same thing can happen to us spiritually.”
“It can?” Melinda said.
Dad nodded. “You see, Melinda, just as God put vitamin C in oranges, and vitamin K in potatoes, and vitamin B in milk, he gives many different gifts to his people, who are supposed to exercise those gifts in the church. If we don’t exercise our gifts-or if we separate ourselves from other Christians—we’ll end up with a kind of spiritual scurvy.”
“That’s why the unity we’ve been talking about in our devotions is so important,” Mom added. “Because unity with other Christians helps us become spiritually healthy and mature.”
Melinda nodded. “That reminds me,” she said. “Would you please pass the brownies and the vitamin B?”
They all laughed for a moment, and Mom passed the milk to Melinda.
TO DISCUSS: How do you think unity with other Christians can help you become mature and fully grown in the Lord? Be as specific as you can.
TO PRAY: “Lord, we need a shot of your spiritual vitamins. Remind us that regular times with you can keep us spiritually healthy.”