Bread In The Desert Places
Scripture For Meditation — Mark 6:34-44; Ps 36:5-8
In the first of today’s scriptures, we see an elaboration from Mark’s account, of the story that we read earlier in Matthew 9:35-38.
Mark’s account picks up from where Matthew stopped his reporting of the events as things unfolded—
“When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late.
Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat.” (Mar 6:35-36)
The disciples’ attitude to the situation very much mirrors what many believers would probably also do, faced with the same circumstances—
There was a great multitude that had gathered; the day was far spent, the location was desolate and isolated, the people were hungry, resources were limited and provisions were scarce!
They came to Jesus with their considered solution to the dilemma (Mar 6:36) —
“Send the crowds away to go into the country and villages round about and buy themselves something to eat.”
But they failed to reckon with the heart of compassion of the Shepherd, and the Lord and the Husbandman of the gathered harvest.
The master will never send the hungry who have come unto him away, without their hunger being satisfied!
Hear His response to the disciples’ request:
You give them something to eat!
And that is the same thing that He is saying to us today.
Sometimes we can look at the masses of unsaved people before or around us and baulk at the enormity of resources needed to reach them in comparison to the often meagre resources that we have, and send them away to fend for themselves without their needs being met.
Troubled marriages, broken lives, frustrated destinies, depressed minds and bound souls, dysfunctional families and the like, and we send them away to go sort themselves out.
But Jesus is saying to us today:
YOU give them something to eat!
Get them to feed on the abundance of my goodness and the delicacies of my steadfast love and unending faithfulness!
What food do we have to feed them with?
As we host the community at the picnic in the park outreach today,
let’s look at them from God’s perspective, through the eyes of the Lord of the harvest and the heart of compassion of the loving Shepherd.
Apart from the physical food that we are offering to them, our spiritual gifts can be the food that many will really need to be fed with, as they wander in helpless hopelessness looking for a fix for their problems.
Let’s look and pray to be used by God to reach out to those weary souls that need a touch from Him —
That person that needs a word of knowledge that shows them that God knows their issues; the one that needs a word of wisdom that shows them the way of hope; a word of Prophecy that brings encouragement and comfort; and perhaps that individual that’s in need of a healing touch or miraculous intervention in their lives that shows them how much God truly cares about them.
Or just maybe all that is needed is simply to feed them with the joy of the Lord and the manifestation of His love expressed through us to them.
Pray that God will use us; use you to be a vessel of Grace to reach that one needy person today as the gifts of the Holy Spirit manifest through you.
That truly will be the most amazing and profitable thing that would happen today; when God feeds that hungry soul through you!
Pastor Wale Ola
Scripture For Meditation — Matthew 9:37-38; John 4:35
Yesterday in our devotional, we saw how Jesus’s heart was moved with compassion when He saw the lost souls that had gathered before Him —He likened them to sheep without a shepherd.
Continuing in the following two verses that we are meditating on today, Jesus brings His disciples into the narrative by using another analogy to describe the gathered multitude—
He saw them as a ripened harvest field.
That’s yet another way He expects us to look at and see the unsaved masses around us — a ripened harvest of souls ready to be brought into the Lord’s barn.
In other words, your workplace, the place of your business , the bus or train we ride on, the school we attend, the gym you go to, the neighbourhood that we live in, the friends that we hang out with, are all potential harvest fields.
But as Jesus observed to the disciples who were listening to Him –
The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few!
What should this statement mean to you as a disciple of Jesus Christ?
There was a real danger of the ripened harvest going to waste, because there were not enough workers available to do the work to bring them into the barn as they should.
A great work of spiritual harvest is needed to be done, but the laborers were few. The problem has persisted to this day, it seems; the need is always greater than the work-force.
There is a great multitude of unsaved souls out there, whose life’s experiences and situations have primed them ready for the good news of the message of salvation! Will we allow the harvest to go to waste as the ripened fruits rot in the fields?
What are we to do?
We are to do as Jesus instructed His disciples —
Jesus enjoined His disciples to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest!
The word “send” as used in this context, properly means to thrust out, plainly implying the exercise of some degree of force, for it is an employment that is not normally pleasing to the flesh.
Who are these “labourers”?
The labourers are Gospel ministers; whose calling is a laborious one; whose business is to labour in the word and doctrine; to be constant in prayer; to show themselves willing workmen; who preach the word in season, and out of season; and diligently discharge the calling of the Great Commission to bring souls into the kingdom — These type of people have been few in all ages and generally speaking, unfortunately, there have been more loiterers than labourers.
Are you a loiterer or a labourer?
Pastor Wale Ola
• The first assignment is to pray for more labourers to be made available and ready for the work, and then for them to be sent out to bring in the Lord’s harvest. But we can only really pray this in sincerity if we pray with an ear open to hearing Him tell us, “You go into the harvest!”
Are you willing to pray like Prophet Isaiah did (Is 6:8)—
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
• Pray also, that he would send forth more skillful, faithful, wise, and industrious labourers into his harvest.
• Pray that he would raise up diligent workers in the conversion of sinners and the edification of saints; that He would give them a spirit for the work, call them to it, and succeed them in it
• Pray that he would give them wisdom to win souls; that he would thrust forth these labourers to bring in the harvest;
• Pray that He will increase the workmen so that more work can be done.
• Pray especially for the outreach on Saturday, that God will bless the harvest field, open the hearts of those He has prepared as His harvest, and prosper the work of the labourers to bring in the harvest.
• Pray that God will give us good weather and grant us favour with the people, and that they will be drawn to His presence as we gather in Jesus’s Name.
Theme — Sheep Without Shepherd
Scripture For Meditation — Matthew 9:35-36; John 10:14-16
What do we see when we look at the hordes of unsaved folk all around us everyday?
At work, in our neighbourhood, at school, on our daily commutes, maybe even in our families.
Very often as Christians, we tend to see them as “the unwashed masses” — a group of ungodly reprobates that we do the best that we can not to mingle with, or at most to preach at, as we let them know just how far from God, and how close to the damnation of hell they are!
But not so our Lord Jesus —
“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” Mat 9:36
Jesus looked at the multitude and the heart of compassion of the Shepherd reached out to them; He saw them as sheep without a shepherd!
Wandering without direction, in danger of being devoured by wild beasts, hungry, weary, untended and desolate; continually exposed to danger.
That is the true state of the unsaved folk around us, devoid of the loving care of the Shepherd of our soul, Jesus Christ; but do we see them the same way He sees them?
He didn’t judge them neither did He despise them; His heart was moved with pity and compassion as He looked at the multitude.
As a Bible commentator quipped:
Oh, that we might know more of that yearning for the spiritual welfare of the lost and dying. How we need to pray constantly:
Let me look on the crowd, as my Savior did,
Till my eyes with tears grow dim;
Let me view with pity the wandering sheep,
And love them for love of Him.
As we wait on the Lord in fasting and prayers this month, let this be our heart’s cry for the lost — that they might find a shepherd in Christ just as we did.
Let’s pray especially for the Picnic in The Park outreach this Saturday, that the Lord will gather these lost sheep unto Himself and into His sheepfold.
Pastor Wale Ola