VIDEO Moldy Bread

And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

Muhammad Ali once told college students, “Stay in college…. until you are through. If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they sure can make something out of you.”

Have you ever felt like moldy bread, down for the count? It can be depression, grief, adversity, or fatigue. Most of us know the feeling of being dispirited. But Christ can do something with you! 

He didn’t come as a scholar in Athens, an emperor in Rome, or a wise man in Babylon. He came in poverty. His first bed was an animal’s feeding trough. That tells us something. No matter your background or circumstances, you are significant and loved by the King of kings who entered our world humbly.

But one thing Jesus isn’t—moldy bread. He is the Bread of Life! Those who come to Him will never suffer spiritual hunger. Those who trust Him will never thirst for grace. Because He lived in humility, He can lift you to eternity! 

We need the true Christmas, “Bread of Life”; we need “Jesus a Saviour”…. Let us embrace the Gospel…. Let us believe and rejoice… [and] heartily welcome the “glad tidings.” Charles Bullock

John 6:35-40| In-Depth Study: Gospel of John

I Heard the Bells

Why, my soul, are you downcast? . . . Put your hope in God. Psalm 43:5

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” based on an 1863 poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, is a truly unusual Christmas song. Instead of the expected Christmas joy and mirth, the lyric forms a lament, crying out, “And in despair I bowed my head / There is no peace on earth I said / For hate is strong and mocks the song / Of peace on earth, good will to men.” This lament, however, moves forward into hope, reassuring us that “God is not dead, nor does he sleep / The wrong shall fail, the right prevail / With peace on earth goodwill toward men.”

The pattern of hope rising out of lament is also found in the lament psalms of the Bible. As such, Psalm 43 begins with the psalmist crying out about his enemies who attack him (v. 1) and his God who seems to have forgotten him (v. 2). But the singer doesn’t stay in lament—he looks up to the God he doesn’t fully understand but still trusts, singing, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (v. 5).

Life is filled with reasons for lament, and we all experience them on a regular basis. But, if we allow that lament to point us to the God of hope, we can sing joyfully—even if we sing through our tears.

By:  Bill Crowder

Reflect & Pray

What concerns are you experiencing in this moment? From the testimony of Scripture, how can God offer you hope in this season of life?

I cry to You, Father, as I struggle under the burdens of life. Remind me that my help comes from above, from the Maker of heaven and earth.

The Lord of Our Life

Is it your heart’s desire to please the One who saved you? Luke 6:46-49

The word Lord should not be used carelessly. It’s unacceptable to speak of Jesus as Lord in our conversations and prayers but then to contradict the claim by defying His will and His Word. A lot of believers probably think that statement doesn’t apply to them. But we should all realize resistance can be subtle—perhaps by qualifying our obedience with conditions like “I’ll follow the Lord if …” or “I want to do what is right, but …” 

When Jesus is identified as Lord in the Scriptures, it signifies that He is the sovereign ruler over life and all creation. When we assert that He’s our Lord, we’re claiming that He is our Savior and Master, which means we submit to Him in all things. If we attest to this verbally but don’t actually do what Jesus says, then are we really serving Him? 

None of us can obey Christ perfectly, but once we’re born again, submitting to Him should be our heart’s desire and our practice. After all, He purchased us with His precious blood and now rules over us for our good. So, though we may struggle at times, our lives should be characterized by obedience to our Lord because we are His. 

A New Name

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” (Revelation 2:17)

This intriguing promise is one of seven promises in Christ’s letters to seven representative churches—promises made “to him that overcometh.” Although there are various opinions as to who constitute these overcomers, 1 John 5:4 would indicate that “whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”

On this assumption, all who have been truly born again through faith in Christ will someday be given a new name by their Lord. No one will know what his new name will be until he receives it, and even then it may remain unknown to everyone else.

It would be reasonable to assume, however, that each new name will reflect the Lord’s evaluation of the character and service of the one who receives it. We have the primitive examples of Abram, Sarai, and Jacob being given new names by God, perhaps to serve as types of this coming investiture. Abram became “Abraham” (meaning “Father of Multitudes”), Sarai became “Sarah” (meaning “Princess”), and Jacob became “Israel” (meaning “Prevailing Prince with God”). See Genesis 17:5, 15; 32:28.

Whatever each of our new names will turn out to be, our Savior will also know them, of course, and this will perhaps be how we will be addressed by Him from then on in the new earth. This should be a great incentive to godly living and faithful service here on this present earth, for we surely desire to receive a good name there from our Lord on the future earth. HMM

No Persuasion Necessary

They…sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the Lord gave them rest round about.2 Chronicles 15:15

There is nothing eerie, nothing queer, nothing contrary to the normal operations of the human heart about the Holy Ghost. He is only the essence of Jesus imparted to believers. You read the four Gospels and see for yourself how wonderfully calm, pure, sane, simple, sweet, natural and lovable Jesus was. Even philosophers who don’t believe in His deity have to admit the lovableness of His character.

You must be sure of all this to the point of conviction. That is, you must be convinced to a point where you won’t try to persuade God.

You don’t have to persuade God at all. There is no persuasion necessary. Dr. Simpson used to say, “Being filled with the Spirit is as easy as breathing; you can simply breathe out and breathe in.” HTB039-040

Jesus, breathe Thy spirit on me,

Teach me how to breathe Thee in,

Help me pour into Thy bosom

All my life of self and sin. HCL251

God Is Not Father of All

Where they were told: You are not My people, they will be called: Sons of the living God.Hosea 1:10

Jim Packer said: “You sum up the whole of New Testament teaching in a single phrase if you speak of it as a revelation of the Fatherhood of the Holy Creator. In the same way you sum up the whole of the New Testament religion if you describe it as the knowledge of God as one’s Holy Father. Father is the Christian name for God.”

There are those who claim that the teaching given in the Old Testament is quite different. There, they say, God is viewed as being the Father of all. But is He? Consider this: “Israel is My firstborn son … ‘Let My son go'” (Ex 4:22-23). There are many such passages. The Old Testament as well and the New Testament shows God as the Father, not of all men and women but of His own people, Abraham’s descendants. Galatians 3:26 tells us that God is not the Father of all, but only of those who know themselves to be sinners and have accepted His Son into their hearts. When we have done this, Paul says, we belong to Christ and are ourselves Abraham’s offspring.

Divine sonship is not ours because we have been born into this world; it is ours because we have been born again into another realm—the kingdom of God. Sonship is a gift, a gift of grace. It is not a natural sonship but an adoptive sonship. God takes those who receive His Son and makes them His adopted children, to see and share His glory into which His one and only Son has already come.


O Father, once again I want to record my deepest thanks that because of Your Son I am an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ. How wonderful. How truly wonderful. All honor and glory be to Your precious name. Amen.

Further Study

Rm 9:4-12; Jr 31:9; Hs 11:1; 2Co 6:18

What makes people children of God?

What does “Abraham’s children” mean?

Enlarge Your Tent!

“Enlarge the site of your tent,

and let your tent curtains be stretched out;

do not hold back;

lengthen your ropes,

and drive your pegs deep.”—Isaiah 54:2

W hen God comes to a life in power, it is always a time of rejoicing and expectation for the future! Isaiah described this experience as similar to that of a child born to a previously barren woman. The child’s arrival changes everything! Life cannot continue as usual! Whereas the dwelling place might have been large enough for two, it must now be made bigger. The child’s presence causes the parents to completely rearrange the way they were living.

Isaiah proclaimed that when God comes, you must make room for Him in your life. You must “enlarge the place of your tent” because God’s presence will add new dimensions to your life, your family, and your church. You do not simply “add Christ on” to your busy life and carry on with business as usual. When Christ is your Lord, everything changes. Whereas before you may not have expected good things to come through you or in your life, now you should have a spirit of optimism. You ought to expect your life to become richer and fuller. You can anticipate God blessing others through your life. You can look for God to demonstrate His power through your life in increasing measure.

As a Christian, how do you make room for Christ in your life? You repent of your sin. You allow Christ the freedom to do what He wants in you. You watch eagerly for His activity in your life and in your family and in your church. You live your life with the expectancy that Christ will fill you with His power in the days to come and will “stretch” you to do things in His service that you have never done before.