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Bearing Good News

Daily Devotional for January 20, 2018

Read: 2 Kings 2:23-24; James 3:5-11

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Bible version changes do not affect the Key audio or "Today's Key Verse," below.

Josie and Peter were silent on the ride home from Grandma's house.

"All right," said Mom, "I know why Grandma was upset, but I'd like to hear from you two what happened."

Peter hung his head. "Josie and I were making fun of one of our teachers at church. We were laughing about the clothes Mrs. Pritchard wears and the way she talks."

Josie blushed. "Grandma said we had no business making fun of the Lord's servant and that our conversation reminded her of a story from the Bible about bears attacking some people because they were mocking the prophet Elisha."

Peter nodded. "She said God didn't like them making fun of His servant, so He sent the bears to punish them. And that making fun of one of God's servants is like making fun of God. She was really upset."

"I understand why she was upset," said Mom. "I'm not sure that was the best story to use as an example, but it's a good reminder that God cares about those who tell others about Him and takes it seriously when people speak badly about them. If we make fun of someone who tells others the good news of Jesus, it's like we're making fun of Him."

"Do you think God's going to send bears after us?" Peter asked in a quivering voice.

Mom smiled and shook her head. "No, Peter, I don't think God's going to send bears after you. After all, you're one of His servants too! What you did was wrong, but you know Jesus as your Savior, and He took the punishment for your sins on the cross. That means you belong to Him--just like Mrs. Pritchard."

"So what should we do now?" asked Josie.

"Well, are you sorry for making fun of Mrs. Pritchard?"

Both Josie and Peter nodded. "And for upsetting Grandma," Josie added.

"Then I think you need to tell Jesus what you did and ask Him to forgive you," said Mom. "And the next time you're tempted to say something mean about another Christian, remember that you both love and serve Jesus and that He wants you to treat them with respect."

Peter smiled. "I will--I'll remember the story Grandma told us and remind myself that we both bear the good news of Jesus!" Bonnie L. Kinne

HOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you show respect to other Christians? Or do you think it’s okay to make fun of them if they look or act differently from others? God wants you to show love and respect to everyone, but the Bible stresses the importance of loving and respecting other Christians—after all, they belong to Jesus and serve Him just like you do! Respect other Christians as fellow servants who bear the good news of Jesus.

TODAY'S KEY VERSE: Ecclesiastes 10:12 (KJV)
The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious.

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