Our Daily Bread
READ: Colossians 1:19-29
You, who once were alienated . . . now He has reconciled. —Colossians 1:21
In the days of Adam and Eve, peace was lost. As soon as they ate the forbidden fruit and realized their nakedness, they started blaming each other (Gen. 3:12-13) and introduced conflict to God’s peaceful planet. Sadly, all of their descendants, including us, have followed their bad example. We blame others for our own bad choices and become angry when no one will accept the guilt. Blaming others for our unhappiness breaks apart families, churches, communities, and nations. We can’t make peace because we’re preoccupied with placing the blame.
Christmas is the season of peace. The Old Testament tells the story of how God set the stage to introduce the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6). Jesus came to break the cycle of sin and blame by making peace for us with God “through the blood of His cross” (Col. 1:20). Instead of blaming us for all the trouble we cause, He bore the blame for all of us. He is now recruiting followers who, having received His forgiveness, want others to receive it as well.
When we accept forgiveness from God, we lose our desire to withhold it from others. And when we live in peace with God, we are eager to make peace with others. We can both give and receive the gift of peace this Christmas. —Julie Ackerman Link
At Christmastime we celebrate
The coming of the Prince of Peace;
Though now our world is locked in strife,
One day He’ll make all conflict cease. —Sper
Jesus took our place to give us His peace.
- 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.