Great Plains Daily Devotional for 7/24/2019

Today please be in prayer for

Kevin Rea
Hiawatha: Trinity UMC
Topeka District
Jerry Petering
Denton, KS UMC
Highland UMC-Presbyterian
Topeka District
Kelly Sipes
Holton: Evangel UMC
Topeka District
Hector Sanchez
Holton: Evangel UMC
Topeka District

Today's Lectionary Text

John 6:41-51

The Jewish opposition grumbled about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They asked, “Isn’t this Jesus, Joseph’s son, whose mother and father we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus responded, “Don’t grumble among yourselves. No one can come to me unless they are drawn to me by the Father who sent me, and I will raise them up at the last day.  It is written in the Prophets, And they will all be taught by God. Everyone who has listened to the Father and learned from him comes to me.  No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God. He has seen the Father. I assure you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life.  Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that whoever eats from it will never die.  I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever, and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
 

Today's Devotional

Yesterday, we started a brief devotional series about Jesus and His life-giving sacrifice for our salvation. I shared Tuesday about Jesus being our advocate who defends us despite our sinful, guilty nature. He shed His blood so that we might have life.

Today, we explore Jesus as our sustenance. Our Savior declares that He is the “bread of life.” We Americans tend to think of bread as a side item to a meal, something nice to add but not essential to the dining experience. But I learned during a trip to the Holy Land earlier this year that bread is held in much higher esteem regarding its place in the meal in Jewish culture and with Christians and others of Arab descent. Our tour guide explained that bread is a staple of life. Not only does it nourish, but it also holds symbolic value.

This passage from John reminds us of the link between bread and sustenance. We are reminded that God gave the ancient Israelite people bread to eat in the form of manna, literally bread that was sent down from heaven. It nourished the people as they awaited their entry into the Promised Land. The bread provided life.

In verse 51, Jesus proclaims that He is the “living bread that came down from heaven.” Again, bread provides life, this time for eternity.
We commemorate this point when we celebrate communion with the consecration of the wine (juice) and the breaking of the bread.
 
   — Todd Seifert, director of communications
tseifert@greatplainsumc.org

Prayer for Reflection

Gracious God, we thank you for continually providing for our needs. Just as Jesus serves as our advocate with you, we know he also sustains us through the sacrifice of His body and the spilling of His blood on our behalf. Help us always to be mindful of the great gift of the bread from heaven.


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