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The Upper Room Devotion for Friday, April 26, 2024, was written by Jim Harris of Virginia.



13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Matthew 14:13-21 NRSV


Author's Thoughts

My church operates two food panties. One is for USDA food and requires income verification. The other provides food donated by local grocery stores. I expecially enjoy serving in this pantry because we feed anyone who come seeking food. We do not ask their income, why they need the food, or any other such quesions. We ask how they are doing and try to brighten their day with loving smiles and words of encouragement along with the food.

In the Gospel stories of Jesus feeding the multitudes, there is no record of Jesus asking the people if they needed food or if they were believers. He simply asked his disciples to feed the people. As I serve in the food pantry, I know that I am quietly preaching a sermon on the love of Jesus. Some of the people we have fed now help us with this ministry, even though they are not members of our church. Standing with them to feed others is one of my great joys. I am grateful to be able to minister in this way, no questions asked.


Author's Prayer

Dear Lord, as you have poured out your grace on us, so may we freely share your love and grace with others in every opportunity. To God be the glory. Amen.


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