Holy One, you have graciously given me your love and blessings this day. I end my day by singing your praise. Remember those this night who have no family, no home, and are hungry. Bless those who are battling cancer with your strength, love and peace. Bless those who are being martyred and persecuted for your names sake. Help those of us who have the freedom to worship not to take that freedom lightly. Now, as the sun has set, Loving God, grant me rest. Restore me to life once again. In the mighty name of Christ. Amen.
Daily Archives: April 19, 2021
Psalm 119:20-30 (ESV)
20 My soul is consumed with longing
for your rules at all times.
21 You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones,
who wander from your commandments.
22 Take away from me scorn and contempt,
for I have kept your testimonies.
23 Even though princes sit plotting against me,
your servant will meditate on your statutes.
24 Your testimonies are my delight;
they are my counselors.
25 My soul clings to the dust;
give me life according to your word!
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me;
teach me your statutes!
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word!
29 Put false ways far from me
and graciously teach me your law!
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your rules before me.
John 6:22-29 (ESV)
I Am the Bread of Life
22 On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23 Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
“This is the work of God, that you believe” (John 6:29).
There is one thing that the crowd who followed Jesus had in their favor: they were persistent. Many of them had witnessed him healing the blind, the lame, and the diseased, and all of them had been miraculously fed just the day before. And now, when Jesus disappeared from their sight, they sought high and low for him until they found him on the other side of the lake. And as we will see over the next few days, their persistence paid off in ways none of them expected.
When the people found Jesus, they asked him how he had gotten to the other side of the lake, since all the boats had been accounted for. But Jesus chose not to answer that question directly. Instead, he told them more about who he was. Up to this point, the people had been drawn to him by his miracles. Now it was time for them to start looking beyond these signs to the truths that they pointed to. He wanted to lead them to faith in him as the Son of God and the Bread of Life. The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves was just a prelude to the deeper miracle of the gift of his own body and blood, which could give eternal life to all who believed.
“This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent” (John 6:29). These were hard words to hear. The people still wanted earthly signs so that they would not have to face the challenge of faith. It’s not hard to sympathize with them, either! Faith is not always an easy journey. When life is good and we are getting lots of earthly signs of God’s love, it’s easy to believe. But it’s in the stormy seas of life that our faith can grow.
This is where true persistence pays off. Whether you are in good times or hard times, press on to grow in your faith. Never stop asking questions and using your God-given faculty of reason to see the truth of every situation you are in. As you do, your faith will grow and mature.
Jesus, strengthen the gift of faith that you have given me. Help me to persevere in seeking you in all things. Amen.