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Thursday July 19 – You give them something to eat!

Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the crowd away …to find lodging and get provisions.” But He said to them, “You give them something to eat.” – Luke 9:12-17

Scripture reading: Luke 9:10-17

It’s often been said that faith and religion make people unrealistic, unaware of the real needs of our time and of this world. The disciples, too, were inclined to think that Jesus was for spiritual needs, while the crowd should look elsewhere for physical needs. The Lord Jesus, however, shows that His kingdom encompasses all of life. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and its righteousness and all these things will be added to you as well,” He has said. That’s the lesson He teaches the disciples (and the crowd) here too: “You give them something to eat!”

Unbelievers seek their bread in their own ways, strikes, revolution, with socialists and unions, if need be. They work to eat. Believers, however, eat to work! They receive their bread from God in Christ, which enables them to seek His kingdom and church. That’s what the Lord Jesus shows here in the miracle of the multiplication of bread. He manifests Himself in His divine power, just as His Father shows His almighty power in every season by growth and prosperity: you plant one potato and you harvest ten of the same plant; you sow one grain of wheat and it will harvest thirty, sixty, or hundred fold! It’s a rich blessing, every year again, to see how God provides, much or little, yet always enough!

Today as well, Christ mobilizes and activates His disciples to pray and work: you give them something to eat! He uses them also with Word & Deed to share the gospel and bring relief of people’s needs!

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for your daily bread and thank God for your place and task in His Kingdom, and for His provisions from day to day.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. William den Hollander (Sr.) is minister-emeritus of the Bethel Canadian Reformed Church of Toronto.

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