Our Daily Bread
READ: John 1:6-13
Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! —John 1:29
A writer for The Washington Post conducted an experiment to test people’s perception. He asked a famous violinist to perform incognito at a train station in the nation’s capital one January morning. Thousands of people walked by as he played, but only a few stopped to listen. After 45 minutes, just $32 had been dropped into the virtuoso’s open violin case. Two days earlier, this man—Joshua Bell—had used the same $3.5 million Stradivarius for a sold-out concert where people paid $100 a seat to hear him perform.
The idea of a person not being recognized for his greatness isn’t new. It happened to Jesus. “He was in the world,” John said, “. . . and the world did not know Him” (John 1:10). Why did people who had been expecting the Messiah give Jesus such a cold reception? One reason is that they were surprised. Just as people today don’t expect famous musicians to play in railway stations, the people in Jesus’ day didn’t expect Messiah to be born in a stable. They also expected Him to be a political king—not the head of a spiritual kingdom.
The people in the first century were blinded to God’s purpose in sending Jesus to this world. He came to save people from their sins (John 1:29). Receive God’s surprising gift of salvation that He offers freely to you today. —C. P. Hia
Amazing thought! that God in flesh
Would take my place and bear my sin;
That I, a guilty, death-doomed soul,
Eternal life might win! —Anon.
God broke into human history to offer us the gift of eternal life.
- READ: 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.