Our Daily Bread
- View SourceREAD: 1 Corinthians 1:17-25
The message of the cross is . . . the power of God. —1 Corinthians 1:18
A case before the US Supreme Court focused on whether a religious symbol,
specifically a cross, should be allowed on public land. Mark Sherman, writing
for the Associated Press, said that although the cross in question was erected
in 1934 as a memorial to soldiers who died in World War I, one veteran’s group
that opposed it called the cross “a powerful Christian symbol” and “not a
symbol of any other religion.”
The cross has always been controversial. In the first century, the apostle
Paul said that Christ had sent him “to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of
words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. For the message of
the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being
saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:17-18). As followers of Christ, we see
the cross as more than a powerful Christian symbol. It is the evidence of God’s
power to free us from the tyranny of our sin.
In a diverse and pluralistic society, the controversy over religious symbols
will continue. Whether a cross can be displayed on public property will likely
be determined by the courts. But displaying the power of the cross through our
lives will be decided in our hearts. —David McCasland
Christ takes each sin, each pain, each loss,
And by the power of His cross
Transforms our brokenness and shame
So that our lives exalt His name. —D. De Haan
Nothing speaks more clearly of God’s love than the cross.
- View SourceREAD: Psalm 22:1-8,19-26
Those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live forever! —Psalm 22:26
Do you know which psalm is quoted most often in the New Testament? You may have guessed the familiar and beloved 23rd Psalm, but actually it is
Psalm 22. This psalm begins with David’s poignant, heart-breaking words
that were quoted by Jesus on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You
forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34).
Imagine the situation David must have found himself in that caused him to cry
out to God in this way. Notice that he felt forsaken and abandoned: “Why are You so far from helping me?” (Ps. 22:1). He also felt ignored: “O
my God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear” (v.2).
Ever been there? Have you ever looked up into the heavens and wondered why
it seemed that God had abandoned you, or was ignoring you? Welcome to
David’s world. But for every plaintive cry David expresses, there is a
characteristic of God mentioned that rescues him from despondency.
Through it all, David discovers that God is holy (v.3), trustworthy
(vv.4-5), a deliverer and rescuer (vv.8,20-21), and his strength (v.19).
Do you feel forsaken? Seek the Lord. Rehearse His character. And “let your heart rejoice with everlasting joy” (v.26 nlt). —Dave Branon
Lord, sometimes I feel as if You don’t care about
my life. When those times come, please remind me
of Your character as You did David. Help me to
lean on You again and know that You are there.
Even when we don’t sense God’s presence, His loving care is all around us.