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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the service of man, that he may bring forth food from the earth.”—Psalm 104:14 (NKJV)
News spread quickly of a small church in Alaska that grew big. No, not in church planting, but in planting food. Church members rolled up their sleeves, dug in, and established seven gardens in one year. These gardens range from organic produce to picturesque flower beds, providing both therapeutic activities and food for local shelters. The gardens offer practical benefits by donating food to those in need and spiritual benefits as the outreach emulates the nature of Yahweh Jireh, the God who provides.
If we look deep into today’s verse, we see a God who miraculously provides food for His creation through the process of planting and growing. For God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, herb that yields seed and the fruit tree that yields fruit . . .” (Genesis 1:11 NKJV). He also said, “See, I have given you every herb . . . and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. . . . And to everything . . . in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food” (Genesis 1:29-30 NKJV).
But if we look deeper into Psalm 104:14, we see the words “for the service of man.” This speaks not just of man’s labor within the earth’s ecosystem, but also our duty to responsibly care for and allocate His miraculous provision in a ministerial way.
One sweet story comes to mind: a little boy with five barley loaves and two fish. It was certainly not much to feed a multitude of people (close to 5,000), but this small act of care produced much in Jesus’ hands (John 6:1-14). What God had provided for this little boy was used to serve more than just him; it physically fed those in need and has spiritually fed countless people across generations.
Whether it is food or some other provision of God, each day we are blessed with what the Lord provides. Not just the tangible items, but also mobility, compassion, wisdom, time, resources, and spiritual gifts. The list is endless! The very same providence Jesus used in His earthly ministry is available to us in one degree or another to illustrate the love of God. It’s practical Christianity.
Like the church gardens in Alaska, when we are planted in the house of the Lord, we will flourish and yield fruit (Psalm 92:13-14). And the Good News of Jesus Christ will indeed spread quickly.
DIG: Read Matthew 25:35-40.
DISCOVER: How does this verse speak to you in terms of giving?
DO: What is something God has provided for you that you can share in some ministerial way?
Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.