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He Makes Us New

Today's Devotional

Read: John 6:5–13 | Bible in a Year: Job 1–2; Acts 7:22–43

Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted. John 6:12

As a traveling executive, Shawn Seipler wrestled with an odd question. What happens to leftover soap in hotel rooms? Thrown out as trash for landfills, millions of soap bars could instead find new life, Seipler believed. So he launched Clean the World, a recycling venture that has helped more than eight thousand hotels, cruise lines, and resorts turn millions of pounds of discarded soap into sterilized, newly molded soap bars. Sent to people in need in more than one hundred countries, the recycled soap helps prevent countless hygiene-related illnesses and deaths.

As Seipler said, “I know it sounds funny, but that little bar of soap on the counter in your hotel room can literally save a life.”

The gathering up of something used or dirty to give it new life is also one of the most loving traits of our Savior, Jesus. In that manner, after He fed a crowd of five thousand with five small barley loaves and two small fish, He still said to His disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted” (John 6:12).

In our lives, when we feel “washed up,” God sees us not as wasted lives but as His miracles. Never throwaways in His sight, we have divine potential for new kingdom work. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). What makes us new? Christ within us.

When have you felt you possessed little value? How has Jesus given you new life?

When I feel worthless, dear Father, help me see my new life in You.


Stating there were twelve baskets of leftovers (John 6:13) is a remarkable detail in an account that begins with the seeming impossibility of feeding the crowd. The disciple Philip notes that it would take “more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” (v. 7). Even if they had the means to buy that much bread, it would likely have been impossible to find that much available from local villages and towns, which wouldn’t have been expecting so many buyers.

The miracle has some parallels to the account in 2 Kings 4:42–44. There, during a time of famine (v. 38), God multiplied twenty loaves of barley bread. Like the disciple Andrew (John 6:8-9), Elisha’s servant questioned putting a small amount of food before so many. But in both miracles, there was enough for all—with leftovers (2 Kings 4:44; John 6:12–13)!

By |2023-06-24T02:33:26-04:00June 24th, 2023|
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