More Than Enough

Bible:

Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” John 6:10-14 ESV

You visit the earth and water it;
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide their grain,
for so you have prepared it.
You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy. Psalm 65:9-13 ESV

Reflection:

There was once a little girl who lived with her mother, and they were very poor. One day this girl went into the forest and met an old woman who gave the little girl a magic porridge pot. When the little girl told the pot to cook, it would fill up with sweet porridge until she and her mother had all they wanted, and then she would tell the pot to stop cooking, and it would stop. Now the girl and her mother had plenty to eat every day, until one day the little girl went out to play, and her mother told the porridge pot to start cooking, but when she had enough she didn’t know how to tell it to stop. The pot kept cooking more and more porridge until it overflowed and filled their house, and the houses of all their neighbors, and the street, and the whole town, until finally the little girl came home and told the pot to stop cooking. Anyone who wanted to come home again had to eat their way home, but no one in the town went hungry for a long, long time!

This is just a funny story, but it’s a little like what Jesus really did for the many, many people who had gathered to hear him that day. He took five loaves of bread and two fish, and gave thanks to his Heavenly Father, then broke them and started giving them to people to eat. All the people–five thousand men and also many women and children–ate as much as they wanted, and then when Jesus told his disciples to gather up the leftovers, there were twelve baskets of bread and fish left over! Jesus didn’t just give the people a little food, but he gave them so much that there were lots of leftovers!

The abundant gift of food Jesus gave the people is a picture of God’s overflowing, generous love for the world. God sent Jesus into the world to show how much he loves us, and the greatest way that Jesus demonstrated God’s love was when he gave his life for us on the cross. Jesus died so that our sins could be forgiven and we could have life with him always. This is the greatest love the world has ever known, and it’s ours forever through Jesus, our Savior.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the overflowing love you’ve given us through Jesus. In His Name, Amen.

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Much More than They Needed

Bible:

A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. And Elisha said, “Give to the men, that they may eat.” But his servant said, “How can I set this before a hundred men?” So he repeated, “Give them to the men, that they may eat, for thus says theLord, ‘They shall eat and have some left.’” So he set it before them. And they ate and had some left, according to the word of the Lord. II Kings 4:42-44 ESV

Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:20-21 ESV

Reflection:

Have you ever been at a Chinese wedding banquet? If you like Chinese food, it’s really a wonderful thing to experience. There is lots of food for everyone, and many different kinds of dishes. It’s a matter of honor for the host to put out more food than anyone could possibly eat! A good Chinese host will have all kinds of leftovers, whether it’s a wedding banquet or a dinner for friends. Other cultures have similar customs. When people from many cultures around the world are hosts to others, they will make all kinds of food and continue to urge their guests to eat more and more. There will be more food than all the guests could possibly eat, and lots left over.

God is that kind of host. When Elisha received a gift of 20 small barley loaves of bread and some fresh grain, he told his servant to give it to his guests who were with him. But his servant was worried. There wasn’t nearly enough food for one hundred men! It would be embarrassing for Elisha to not have enough food to serve. But Elisha had heard God’s word on the matter, and he knew that there would not only be enough for everyone to eat, but that there would be some left over. He knew that if God was the host, he would be the best kind of host and provide everyone with more than enough. And that’s just what happened. All the men ate as much as they wanted, and there was still more food left!

God not only provided more than enough food to Elisha’s guests, but he also provides more than enough love and grace for us. No matter how bad our sins are, God has even more grace and forgiveness. Jesus’ death on the cross has our sins completely covered, and there’s more than enough love and forgiveness for us and for all people. We can always come to God for help and for grace, and be sure that there’s more than enough for us.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us more than enough love through Jesus, our Savior. In His Name, Amen.