Our Daily Bread — Einstein and Jesus


Read: John 9:1-7

Bible in a Year: Psalms 89-90; Romans 14

Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world.” —John 8:12

We remember Albert Einstein for more than his disheveled hair, big eyes, and witty charm. We know him as the genius and physicist who changed the way we see the world. His famous formula of E=mc2 revolutionized scientific thought and brought us into the nuclear age. Through his “Special Theory of Relativity” he reasoned that since everything in the universe is in motion, all knowledge is a matter of perspective. He believed that the speed of light is the only constant by which we can measure space, time, or physical mass.

Long before Einstein, Jesus talked about the role of light in understanding our world, but from a different perspective. To support His claim to be the Light of the World (John 8:12), Jesus healed a man who had been blind from birth (9:6). When the Pharisees accused Christ of being a sinner, this grateful man said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see” (v. 25).

While Einstein’s ideas would later be proven difficult to test, Jesus’ claims can be tested. We can spend time with Jesus in the Gospels. We can invite Him into our daily routine. We can see for ourselves that He can change our perspective on everything. —Mart DeHaan

Lord Jesus, You are the one constant in this chaotic world. Thank You for being the one true Light that the darkness can never extinguish.

Only as we walk in Christ’s light can we live in His love.

INSIGHT: In comparison to the other gospels, the gospel of John is sparse in recording Jesus’ miracles. John records only seven miracles, but he does so for a specific purpose. In John 20:30-31 he writes: “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” Several of the miracles that John recorded pair with a significant statement about Jesus’ identity. After He fed the multitude with five loaves and two fish (6:1-13), He claimed to be “the bread of life” (v. 35). He said He was the “light of the world” (8:12) and then healed the man born blind (ch. 9). People believed in Jesus as the Messiah in response to His miracles (6:14; 9:38). J.R. Hudberg

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – You Shall Eat


A powerful story emerged from the bombing raids of World War II where thousands of children were orphaned and left to starve. After experiencing the fright of abandonment, many of these children were rescued and sent to refugee camps where they received food and shelter. Yet even in the presence of good care, they had experienced so much loss that many of them could not sleep at night. They were terrified they would awake to find themselves once again homeless and hungry. Nothing the adults did seemed to reassure them, until someone thought to send a child to bed with a loaf of bread. Holding onto bread, the children were able to sleep. If they woke up frightened in the night, the bread seemed to remind them, “I ate today, and I will eat again tomorrow.”(1)

I love this story and the image it sets boldly in my mind. But I first heard it as a young woman in the throes of an eating disorder, and I just could not relate. For a growing number of lives around the world, the thought of bread is far from a source of comfort. Eating disorders are a rapidly escalating epidemic no longer seen primarily as an American phenomenon as once thought. According to one psychologist, “[R]eports have emerged of an increased incidence of eating disorders in the Middle East, Africa, India, and various countries in southern Asia, including Hong Kong, China, Singapore, and South Korea.”(2) For many individuals, the thought in the night that they will face food again in the morning is terrifying.

There was a time long after recovery in a clinical sense of the word when fear of food was still what centered me. I realized this in my aggrieved reaction to a seminary professor’s pronouncement. “Heaven is a feast,” he said in class, “and God is the one preparing it.” Later he added a similarly troubling thought for me, “The image of the banquet is central to our communing with God.” His words were devastating, largely because I suspected he was right. The table is intricately connected with the faith Christians profess in remembrance of the one they follow. The ministry of Christ and the call of God is resounding and specific: “Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find” (Matthew 22:9). I had for so long wanted to understand these ideas figuratively: the kingdom as a vast table at which Christ wants us to sit for the sake of words and talk, nothing more than decorative bowls of plastic fruit in front of us. No need for real food.

However we approach the rich imagery of biblical language, these images of banquet, feast, and table are clearly intended to bring something powerful to mind and body, and the great lengths I went to put these images away should have been something of an indicator for me. The psalmist writes, “The poor will eat and be satisfied… All the rich of the earth will feast and worship!”(3) But in my malnourished imagination of God’s house and kingdom, food was exactly what I had been trying to avoid. To commune over food with people, much less at the table of God, was something that expended everything within me. The table was a symbol of stress and discipline, a daily battle from which I wanted to be released—not invited. Yet how often God invites us to face the one thing we cannot, the very thing that brings us to surrender and live. God prepares a table in the presence of our enemies, and at times the enemy is us.

Though I had convinced myself that food would one day be a problem fully behind me—even if this meant waiting for eternity—God seemed to be shouting an invitation to the table today. My presence was requested at the banquet; I was invited to the feast. It was an invitation that both startled and confused me: “If you listen willing, the good of the land you shall eat” (Isaiah 1:19). It drove away the hope to which I cleaved on bad days and woke up with each morning: God doesn’t care about food; God doesn’t care about my battle with it. But one day it will be no more. Yet this lie Christ graciously purged from my altar. Slowly, cautiously, my eyes were opened to life and land, to bodies and to bread, to healing and to his assurance of real food from a generous creator.

On the night Jesus was betrayed unto death, he took bread and broke it and gave it to those he loved. Holding onto him, like children with bread, we are given peace in uncertainty, mercy in brokenness, something solid when all is lost. In his unsparing hospitality, we are all invited to the table: Come, take and eat.

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(1) Dennis Linn, Sleeping with Bread (New York: Paulist, 1995), 1.

(2) Richard Gordon, Eating Disorders: Anatomy of a Social Epidemic (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2000), 80.

(3) Psalm 22:26, 29.

Alistair Begg – Is Your Attitude Accurate?


You, O Lord, have made me glad by your work. Psalm 92:4

Do you believe that your sins are forgiven and that Christ has made a full atonement for them? Then what a joyful Christian you ought to be! How you should live above the common trials and troubles of the world! Since sin is forgiven, can it matter what happens to you now? Luther said, “Smite, Lord, smite, for my sin is forgiven; if You have forgiven me, smite as hard as You will.” And in a similar spirit you may say, “Send sickness, poverty, losses, crosses, persecution, what You will. You have forgiven me, and my soul is glad.”

Christian, if you are thus saved, while you are glad, be grateful and loving. Cling to that cross that took your sin away; serve Him who served you. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”1 Do not let your zeal evaporate in some little exuberant song. Show your love in meaningful ways. Love the brethren of Him who loved you. If there is a Mephibosheth anywhere who is disabled, help him for Jonathan’s sake. If there is a poor tried believer, weep with him, and bear his cross for the sake of Him who wept for you and carried your sins.

Since you are forgiven freely for Christ’s sake, go and tell others the joyful news of pardoning mercy. Do not be contented with this unspeakable blessing for yourself alone, but publish widely the story of the cross. Holy gladness and holy boldness will make you a good preacher, and all the world will be a pulpit for you to preach in. Cheerful holiness is the most forcible of sermons, but the Lord must give it to you. Seek it this morning before you go into the world. When it is the Lord’s work in which we rejoice, we need not be afraid of being too glad.

1) Romans 12:1

The Family Bible Reading Plan

  • 1 Samuel 4
  • Romans 4

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg



Charles Spurgeon – The tabernacle of the Most High


“In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:22

Suggested Further Reading: Colossians 1:15-27

At last they come to these stones. But how rough, how hard, how unhewn. Yes, but these are the stones ordained of old in the decree, and these must be the stones, and none other. There must be a change effected. These must be brought in and shaped and cut and polished, and put into their places. I see the workmen at their labour. The great saw of the law cuts through the stone, and then comes the polishing chisel of the gospel. I see the stones lying in their places, and the church is rising. The ministers, like wise master-builders, are there running along the wall, putting each spiritual stone in its place; each stone is leaning on that massive corner stone, and every stone depending on the blood, and finding its security and its strength in Jesus Christ, the corner stone, elect, and precious. Do you see the building rise as each one of God’s chosen is brought in, called by grace and quickened? Do you mark the living stones as in sacred love and holy brotherhood they are knit together? Have you ever entered the building, and seen how these stones lean upon one another bearing each other’s burden, so fulfilling the law of Christ? Do you mark how the church loves Christ, and how the members love each other? How first the church is joined to the corner stone, and then each stone bound to the next, and the next to the next, till the whole building becomes one? Lo! The structure rises, and it is complete, and at last it is built. And now open wide your eyes, and see what a glorious building this is—the church of God. Men talk of the splendour of their architecture—this is architecture indeed.

For meditation: Here, two days before the laying of the first stone of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Spurgeon gave a timely reminder that the word “church” is a description of Christian people, not of any building in which they gather. Are you a living stone, built into the spiritual household of God (Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:4,5)?

Sermon no. 267

14 August (1859)

John MacArthur – Showing Kindness


“Love is kind” (1 Cor. 13:4).

Kindness repays evil with good.

Two men going opposite directions on a narrow mountain trail met each other head on. With a steep cliff on one side and sheer rock on the other, they were unable to pass. The harder they tried to squeeze past one another the more frustrated they became. The situation seemed hopeless until one of them, without saying a word, simply laid down on the trail, allowing the other man to walk over him. That illustrates kindness, which doesn’t mind getting walked on if it benefits someone else.

The Greek word translated “kind” in 1 Corinthians 13:4 literally means “useful,” “serving,” or “gracious.” It isn’t simply the sweet attitude we usually associate with kindness; it’s the idea of being useful to others. It’s the flip side of patience. Patience endures abuses from others; kindness repays them with good deeds.

God committed the supreme act of kindness when He provided salvation for lost sinners. Titus 3:3-5 says, “We also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us.”

Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light” (Matt. 11:29-30). The word translated “easy” is translated “kind” in 1 Corinthians 13:4. Jesus was saying, “Trust in Me and I’ll redeem you and show you My kindness.”

Since “you have tasted the kindness of the Lord” (1 Pet. 2:3), you should be anxious to show kindness to others. That’s what Paul wanted the Corinthian believers to do. He knew they had the capacity, but they needed to repent of their selfish ways and allow love to dominate their lives.

Suggestions for Prayer

The evil world in which we live gives abundant opportunity for you to express kindness to others. Ask the Lord to help you take full advantage of every opportunity to do so today.

For Further Study

Read Matthew 5:38-48, noting the practical expressions of kindness Jesus instructed His followers to pursue.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Whatsoever You Desire 


“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:23,24, KJV).

How big is your God? If the Holy Spirit were to withdraw from your life and from the fellowship of your local church, would he be missed? In other words, is there anything supernatural about your life or the local church where you have fellowship with other believers?

A skeptic, contrasting the actor and Christian worker, gave this evaluation: The actor presents fiction as though it were true. The Christian worker all too often presents truth as though it were fiction.

A militant atheist attacked Christians with this accusation: “You say that your God is omnipotent, that He created the heavens and the earth. You say that He is a loving God who sent His only Son to die on the cross for the sins of man and on the third day was raised from the dead. You say that through faith in Him one could have a whole new quality of life, of peace, love and joy; a purpose and meaning plus the assurance of eternal life. I say to you that is a lie and you know it, because if you really believe what you say you believe, you would pay whatever price it took to tell everyone who would listen. What you claim is without question the greatest news the world has ever heard, but it couldn’t be true or you would be more enthusiastic about it. If I believed what you believe, I would sell everything I have and use every resource at my command to reach the largest possible number of people with this good news.”

Unfortunately, the critics and the skeptics have good reason to find fault with us. It is true that, if we really believed what we say we believe, we would be constrained, as the apostle Paul, to tell everyone who would listen about Christ, mindful that there is nothing more important in all the world that we could do. At the same time we would claim our rights as children of God, drawing upon the supernatural resources of God.

Bible Reading: Mark 11:20-26

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will seek to know God better by studying His Word and meditating upon his attributes so that His supernatural qualities will become more and more a part of my life for the glory and praise of His name.

Presidential Prayer Team; A.W. – Just Keep Asking


Oswald Chambers is quoted as saying “Men ought to always pray and not lose heart” but he was repeating Jesus in Luke 18:1 when teaching His disciples with the parable of the persistent widow to always keep praying.

So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her.

I Samuel 1:7

Hannah is another example of a woman who prayed persistently. She desperately wanted a child, but couldn’t have one. Every year, she went with her husband Elkanah to sacrifice at the temple and pray for a son. In today’s verse, you find that Elkanah’s other wife Peninnah, who had several children, taunted Hannah because she was barren. Despite her sorrow and hurt, Hannah kept praying. Eventually, she was given Samuel, who became a prophet, along with two more sons and two more daughters.

Hannah kept asking because she believed God would answer. Is there something you’ve prayed for in the past but have stopped because you lost hope or others ridiculed you? Don’t give up. Just keep asking – starting today. Pray, too, for Christians to stay persistent in their intercessions for the nation and its leaders.

Recommended Reading: Luke 11:1-12

Greg Laurie – What’s Your Jericho?


“You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days.” . . . But it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner.”—Joshua 6:3, 15

When God commanded the Israelites to march around the city of Jericho, they did it. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of Jericho were probably laughing. What a bunch of fools! Look at these guys! Maybe they were throwing things at the Israelites or dumping garbage on them. Who knows? But every day, they would march around the city.

Why did God let them do that? I think one reason is that He was giving the inhabitants of Jericho an opportunity to repent. These people were wicked. They were into every kind of idolatry, perversion, and sin. God had patiently endured the evil of the Canaanites from the time of Abraham to Moses, a period of 400 years. They had plenty of opportunities to repent before Jericho fell. The Canaanites knew the Israelites were coming. Their reputation preceded them.

Another reason I think God told the Israelites to march around the city was so they would see what a formidable obstacle it was and that they couldn’t handle it on their own.

As believers, we have our Jerichos in life, so to speak, problems that loom large and things that we can’t handle on our own. And sometimes the Lord will have us march around them so we will see that we cannot rely on ourselves.

The greatest difficulty for many is to get to the place where they are willing to admit that the whole thing is simply too big for them, where they are willing to say, “I can’t do this on my own.”

Do you have a Jericho right now? Maybe it’s an incurable illness. Maybe it’s an unsolvable problem. Maybe it’s a hopeless marriage. Maybe it’s a prodigal child. As you think about it, you don’t know how you will resolve this conflict. That, in effect, is your Jericho.

Max Lucado – God Has Done It


The rich young ruler. He’s rich, powerful. Just ask him. He knows where he’s going. But today he has a question. Calling on this carpenter’s son for help must be awkward. “Teacher,” he asks, “what good thing must I do to get eternal life” (Matthew 19:16)?  How much do I need to invest to be certain of my return?

Jesus’ answer is intended to make the young man wince. “Obey the commandments.”

“Hey,” he grins, I’ve obeyed all of these.”

Jesus gets to the point. “If you want to be perfect, go sell your possessions, give to the poor and you’ll have treasures in heaven” (Matthew 19:21). The statement leaves the young man distraught. It wasn’t the money that hindered the rich man—it was the self-sufficiency. God does for his children what they can’t do for themselves. This was the message of Paul: “For what the law was powerless to do—God did” (Romans 8:3).

From The Applause of Heaven

C.S. Lewis Daily – Today’s Reading


TO MARY WILLIS SHELBURNE: On why we are not to know what is coming next.

3 August 1959

I have your letter of 30 July. It has puzzled me. I understood that you were going to the doctors for heart trouble. How and why do the psychiatrists come into the picture? But since they have come, I am glad to hear they are nice.

I sympathise most deeply with you on the loss of Fr. Louis. But for good as well as for ill one never knows what is coming next. You remember the Imitation says ‘Bear your cross, for if you try to get rid of it you will probably find another and worse one.’ But there is a brighter side to the same principle. When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.

We are all well here though I am frantically busy: and though I get no more tired now than I did when I was younger, I take much longer to get un-tired afterwards. All blessings and sympathy.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III

Compiled in Yours, Jack