Grapes on the Vine, God's Abundant Provision for His People

A daily devotion for February 1st

Give Them Something to Eat

As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, This is a remote place, and it's already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food. Jesus replied, They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat. We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish, they answered.

Matthew 14:15-17

The scene is by the seashore in the evening hours; the crowd has been listening all day and they are hungry. Philip comes to Jesus and tells him to send the crowds away so they can go and buy themselves some food. Instead, Jesus tells him to give them something to eat. And what was Philip's reaction? The Gospel of John tells us he said, It would take more than half a year's wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite! (John 6:7). Philip is counting on his human resources. Here is the Lord Jesus, whom he had just seen do wonderful things, standing in front of him, but he did not reckon on him at all. His reckoning was on the normal resources of life. If Philip had been an atheist and Jesus had said to him, Give them something to eat, he would have said the same thing exactly. In other words, there is no difference between the believer and the unbeliever in the way he acts in this situation.

How often and how easily we do this! God tells us to do something and we start immediately saying, Have I got the training, the background, the skill, the necessary knowledge? Have I had the course? Can I do this? Have I got the personality? I am not implying that you don't have to do some planning, because God does direct us to do certain things and not to do other things. But the point is, who do you reckon on when you do decide to do something? Is it you, or God in you?

That is the difference between the Old and the New Covenant. The Old Covenant says, everything comes from me, it all depends on me. If I don't have what it takes, it can't get done. On the other hand, your attitude can be that everything depends on God. He has called you and asked you to be his agent by which things get done. This is the New Covenant. The Old Covenant produces what Paul calls in Galatians, the acts of the flesh. That is what the Old Covenant is: the flesh at work. Thus it produces the works of the flesh which he says are evident: The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like (Galatians 5:19-21a).

Thank you, Father, for the wonderful truth of the New Covenant, that everything comes from you.

Life Application

Who is your source when you decide to do something -- yourself or God within you?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

Authentic Christianity

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