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Is Anybody Hungry?

Daily Reading: Mark 8

Scripture Focus: I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away. (Mark 8.2-3)

Devotional Thought: In the gospels, we read of two instances when Jesus fed a multitude of people. On this occasion in Mark 8, Jesus said that he had compassion on them. It is so encouraging that Jesus identifies with and reaches out to the physically hungry, but I see something interesting in the latter part of verse 2: “They have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat.” I wonder if that describes us sometimes. Are we walking with Jesus and going without "eating"?

There are many people in and around the church who have a testimony of knowing the Lord but who seldom if ever open the Bible. They neglect the gift of prayer. They don’t realize that there are multiple opportunities to learn and grow. They are trying to survive on a Sunday morning service once a week – if that! They go “away hungry to their homes.” Jesus knows that they “will faint on the way,” and he has compassion on them.

“Some of them have come from far away.” I have friends like that. They have turned toward Jesus from a life deep in sin and far from the church. How sad that they do not feast at the table of his love! They are unable to draw close to God because they neglect the things of God. They have no spiritual strength because they take no spiritual food. Jesus teaches me not to judge them but to have compassion on them. After all, I came from far away, and I sometimes neglect my spiritual diet.

Am I trying to follow Jesus without taking advantage of the abundance of spiritual food he provides? And, do I have compassion on the "hungry"?

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for having compassion on me. When I was wandering – hungry and weak – you fed me with spiritual food. Help me, O Lord, to eat my fill at your table and then to rise with compassion for the spiritually hungry. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 6.1-5

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