Memorize: “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat” (Mark 8:2).
Devotional Reading: Mark 8:1-9
From available records, the level of poverty in our world have risen unacceptably to a very high level, many are dying of malnutrition and hunger. Although the world produces enough food to feed all 7.8 billion people who live in it, yet, many live in abject poverty.
Therefore, hunger kill more people than AIDS, malaria or tuberculosis put together. In our reading text, a crowd came from far and near to the wilderness to hear Christ preach the Word. Having spent three days with Him, they were hungry. Jesus had compassion on them and arranged for their feeding by a miraculous multiplication of 7 loaves of bread and few small fishes, ignoring His disciples’ advised to look away and send them to their homes and get food for themselves since they may not have enough to feed them all. Like Christ’s disciples, we often see problems and impossibilities when ministering to people and many of us look away.
Sometimes, we say in our hearts, and sometimes with our voices, “Send the people away”, “There’s not enough money”, or “There aren’t enough teachers for the youth or children programmes; send them away”. All around us in the entire world, there are people who are physically hungry, physically disabled, oppressed, lonely, grieving, scared, etc. Our duty as Christ’s followers is not to look away, but to have compassion on them as our Master had. This compassion can be cultivated by simply meditating on their plight, we can also pray for them. We cannot claim to be Christians when we see the agonies and pains people go through around us and remain unmoved towards them. Such a stance will amount to walking at cross-purposes with the mission of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.
My encouragement for us today is that we should not look away from the poor and needy, build orphanage houses for destitute children, start a foundation for different good causes. Start a scholarship scheme for children that cannot afford a good school, just try and be a blessing and sow into the life of someone. So many people need to be comforted, housed, provided with food, helped with education etc.
Jesus said in Matthew 25:35-40; For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: and they asked him, when did we do these for you? Vs 40; And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
There are great blessings in helping the poor, sick, widows, and homeless, binding the wounds of the wounded, giving hope to the hopeless, putting smiles on the faces of the sorrowful and proclaiming liberty to the captives.These are part of priorities and heart beat of Christ.
I pray that God will strengthen His love in your heart today and make you rise up to the needs of those in genuine hardships according to his grace and provision for you coupled with the leading of the Holy Spirit in Jesus name.
Prayer point: O LORD, please give me a heart of love and empower me with resources to be a blessing to those who are genuinely in need in the name of Jesus.
Key Dose: Remember that it is better to give than to receive, also, “A Giver NEVER Lack”.
Pastor James Ademuyiwa
Senior Pastor (IHPCT)