The One Year New Testament
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30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. 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.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” 38 And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. 41 And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And they all ate and were satisfied. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.
The feeding of the 5,000 (see also Mark 8:1–10) is a reminder of when God miraculously fed Israel in the desert centuries earlier (Ex. 16:31; Deut. 8:16). The same God who provided for Israel is now providing for the needs of this hungry crowd through his Son.
God always provides what is best for his eternal purposes, and often his provisions do not come in the ways we would expect. Perhaps he is providing for you by giving you the opportunity to study, to work hard, or to live a very modest life that requires daily dependence. Nothing is without divine purpose, and everything will make sense someday. We can trust Christ for our daily needs because we have already seen God provide for our deepest needs in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When believers are trusting in God’s control and care for our lives, it radically impacts our attitudes toward work, career, challenges, opposition, scarcity, sacrifice, the future, and even life itself.
2 Corinthians 4:7-18
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.
13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
The gospel (the good news of God’s grace for us in Jesus) enables us to deal with difficult momentary experiences because it assures us of God’s permanent promises. When we experience afflictions in this world, we are certain that we will not be crushed, because Jesus was crushed on our behalf (2 Cor. 4:8; cf. Isa. 53:5). When we are persecuted, we know that God will not forsake us, because Jesus was forsaken in our place (2 Cor. 4:9; cf. Mark 15:34). Even when we experience death we should not fear, because Jesus took the penalty of death on our behalf and gives resurrection life to his people (2 Cor. 4:10–11; 2 Tim. 1:10).
Difficult circumstances should not have the final say in the life of a Christian. During the most difficult times, as we believe and speak the gospel (2 Cor. 4:13), God’s grace will spread to more and more people, and he will be glorified (v. 15).
76 Let your steadfast love comfort me
according to your promise to your servant.
Thoughts For Prayer
Remember that all of God’s promises have been secured for you by Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 1:20). Keep a list of promises that stand out to you in the Bible and pray through them when you are facing challenges to your faith.
Missions Prayer Requests More
April 21, 2021
Supported Workers: Parkside Church: Westside
Country: United States of America
There is a fresh sense of hope and excitement as they are catching glimpses of the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. Please pray for wisdom and guidance as they begin to think through what safely "reopening" will look like in the coming weeks and months. Part of this process will include resuming ministry for younger children. Please pray that this transition would go smoothly, that it would be a blessing to families, and that the number of volunteers needed to make it happen will be provided. Parkside Westside is grateful for our faithful prayers.
Honduras (Latin America). Population: 9,136,431, Believers: 23.0%. Foreign mission agencies can still play a key role in training and development, specialized ministries, and in holistic projects, for which there are many openings. Pray for humble sensitivity and for a legacy of raising up and empowering Honduran leadership and initiatives.
From Operation World DVD-ROM 2010, www.operationworld.org
The One Year New Testament Copyright Tyndale House Publishers, used by Permission. NIV Bible copyright International Bible Society.