Scripture reading for August 5th: Amos 7-9, Matthew 15
Key Scriptures: Matthew 15:32-37 “Then Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with Me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” And the disciples said to Him, “Where are we to get enough bread in such a desolate place to feed so great a crowd?” And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” And directing the crowd to sit down on the ground, He took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks He broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. . . .”
Jesus had compassion on the crowds of people that had followed Him and were with Him in the wilderness to hear God’s Word. He was concerned for their welfare and asked the disciples to feed them physically as He had given them a spiritual feast of God’s Word. There were few resources, but Jesus took what they had and blessed it, giving thanks and breaking it to give to the disciples. They, in turn, broke it again and gave it to the people! The bread and fish multiplied in their hands and all needs were met! They even had left-overs!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your great compassion and desire to empower Your disciples by Your Word. Help me to obey You and feed the people real ‘bread’, the Word of God!
Amos 8:11 “”Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God, “when I will send a famine on the land–not a famine for bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the Words of the Lord.””
Scripture reading for July 1st: Acts 21:1-17
As Paul traveled to Jerusalem, he and his traveling companions made stops to visit the brethren in the churches which Paul had a part in starting. At Tyre, the group stayed with disciples there for seven days. Through the Holy Spirit, they warned Paul not to go to Jerusalem. (Acts 21:4) However, this did not deter them from traveling on.
When the reached Caesarea, they stayed a few days with Philip the evangelist. Philip was one of the original seven deacons (Acts 6:5) and he had four daughters who were prophetesses. “After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.” (Acts 21:10-11) This caused all the people there and with Paul to plead with him not to go to Jerusalem!
“Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.” (Acts 21:12-14) Paul knew what the Holy Spirit had told him. The prophecies only confirmed what he knew was the Lord’s will. He was willing to suffer as Jesus had for him and die if necessary!
Several lessons are for us here. First, prophesy is not always directive but informative and confirming what God’s will is. It is also not always good news for our flesh, but is often warning and preparation. We must hear from God ourselves first!
Second, God uses suffering and imprisonment to further His plans and reach people. His servants must be willing to suffer. We can’t always have it like we want it! In the end, we must say “The Lord’s will be done”! It is our privilege to suffer and even die for the Name of our Lord Jesus if that is required for God’s will! We must be careful that our personal feeling and others opinions don’t sway us from obeying God! God’s will is always best, even if it’s difficult!