Devotion: Monday, July 23, 2018

A Biblical, Christ-filled word to bless your lives. 

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, reflections from His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verse is from Mark 6, where the Bible says,

35 And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. 36 Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37 But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.”

He gives so that you can give!

It is better to give than to receive, right? Well, not exactly. It is actually best to receive from God all that He has in store for you so that you share what you have in His name with others!

It is truly an amazing thing to realize that God saves you and me for a purpose. He wants us to repentantly receive our restoration in Jesus as the gift of grace that it is, and then begin to live that graced life IN HIM for those He sends into our path. This miracle speaks to the very heart of God for humanity, yes. But it also speaks to God’s joy of extending the fullness of His love to others through “redeemed sinners, broken-healed-healers” like us.

There’s something different then about addressing the needs of others, whether food, clothing, housing etc. as gifts from God delivered or provided through the working hands of those who trust in Him. That perspective values grace, work, relationships, and the miraculous reality that God can feed us in ways we don’t anticipate or can’t even understand.

Unfortunately, there are times when people read a story like this and immediately politicize it. After all, the text says that “they ate and were satisfied.” So, let’s do likewise. Yes, that crushing, hungry crowd was satiated by a few fish and loaves that were blessed by Jesus and delivered by the disciples’ hands. But to see some policy demand to governmentally feed one another the “way that Jesus did” misses the point. The “feeding” that day is about seeing the fullness of who Jesus is for us and for the world in which we live. Only in our relationship to Him can we find the satisfaction that we truly need, both for body and soul.

If there is a life lesson to be learned here, it might be this. When it comes to the needs of those around you, don’t underestimate what God can do with you in the midst of that situation. You can bring His Word, you can bring the resources of your hands (hands that He created for you to use), and you can bring the wisdom that you have received in living a life of trust in Christ through your own challenges and successes. Yes, you can be the one that delivers what you have indeed received from His gracious hands. It’s an awesome thing to think about when facing the challenges of the day!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, let me be awed daily by your provision for me in body and soul. And give me wisdom to be involved in the lives of others so that they might see God’s hand in their lives too. AMEN.