Tim’s Daily Bread Devotional 6.8.21

By June 8, 2021Daily Bread

Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.

Today’s Scripture:

Colossians 3:12-17 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord[a] has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ[b] dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.[c] 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today

What do I wear today?  At some point in the morning that is a question you may ask yourself.  There may be several factors that go into the decision:  Where am I going?  Who will I see?  What will I be doing?  What is the weather?  What have I worn recently?  How do I feel?  What is easiest?  What fits?

Roman Philosopher Epictetus said, “Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly.”  That is the message of Colossians.  If you are a follower of Jesus, then dress like one!

The writer of Colossians tells us what to wear every day, no matter the weather, no matter the occasion, no matter how we’re feeling, no matter where we’re going or what we’re doing or who we’ll see.  He writes:  “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”

Notice that he interrupts his list of things to wear with a sentence about forgiveness.  Between patience and love he inserts these words:  “Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”  But, look closely and you’ll see that it’s not an interruption at all—it is more detail about an article of clothing: patience.

There are two words in New Testament Greek which are usually translated “patience.” The word the writer uses here is macrothumía.  This word has to do, not so much with things and circumstances, but more with people.  The King James Version of the Bible translates macrothumía as “longsuffering.”  The Greek word is made up of two words:  macro, “long” and thumos, “temper.” So, the Colossians 3 is telling us to clothe ourselves with long-temperedness.  Christian is to be “long-tempered.”

Of the two words for patience, this is the one used of God.  Throughout scripture, God is described—in one way or another—as being patient.  It is always, of course, patience with people.  Three times in the Hebrew Scriptures God is described as “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6, Numbers 14:18, and Psalm 86:15).  II Peter 3:9,15–“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you…Therefore, beloved…regard the patience (the macrothumía) of our Lord as salvation.”

So, just to make sure that we understand what he means by patience and that we know the importance of this one, he writes:  “Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

Compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness and love:  I have all these garments hanging in my closet.  What will I choose to wear today?

There is a lot of theology woven into hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “Where Charity and Love Prevail”. I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul.

Where charity and love prevail,
there God is ever found;
Brought here together by Christ’s love,
by love are we thus bound.

With grateful joy and holy fear
His charity we learn;
Let us with heart and mind and soul
now love him in return.

Forgive we now each other’s faults
as we our faults confess;
And let us love each other well
in Christian holiness.

Let strife among us be unknown,
let all contention cease;
Be His the glory that we seek,
be ours His holy peace.

Let us recall that in our midst
dwells God’s begotten Son;
As members of His body joined,
we are in Him made one.

No race or creed can love exclude,
if honored be God’s name;
Our family embraces all
whose Father is the same.

I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!

Grace and Peace,


Dr. Tim Bruster
Senior Pastor

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