Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wednesday, May 18 - Kathryn

Today's reading from the Chronological OT/NT Reading Plan is Psalm 64, Psalm 70, John 6:1-21

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I was rather excited to see this passage, I just preached on it the other Sunday!  It's still very fresh in my mind.

I hope you don't mind, but this is an excerpt from my sermon, focusing in on the boy in our reading in John.

Our passage tells us that a small lad, a boy, probably no older than some of our kids, had his lunch. Five loaves and two fish. And still the disciples reason what that is among so many. But again, Jesus ignores the doubt, thanks his Father for his provision and commands the disciples to disperse the food. Everyone sits, waiting in anticipation for Jesus to again serve, as he said he came to do and indeed they are served. Everyone eats to their fill. And, as there usually is at every meal, there is leftovers. So not only is every filled, but there is more than enough.  

Wow! We've all heard this story so many times that we often glaze over it. But this is a huge miracle! This boy probably came like so many others to see the wonders that always seem to follow Jesus. We are all drawn to the strange, abnormal and wonderful. Jesus was all of those. And he was well prepared, he brought something to eat. But when there was a need, even though it was a great need, he gave what he had out of his hands. He gave his lunch to Jesus. But now he didn't have anything to eat. Ah, but he remained in the crowd, so it's safe to say that he was a part of those receiving the blessed food. He probably had more to eat than what he came with. That's the way God is. You cannot outgive God. 

Luke 6:38 says Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you mete with it shall be measured to you again.
 Give to God and He'll give back what you gave and more. If you use a half cup measure He'll use the same but that little cup will be overflowing with more than what you gave. Don't be afraid to give to God when He asks you. You'll end up with more back.

How many times do we say: I don't have enough, that's too big a need, I'm not smart enough, I'm not fast enough, I'm not ...enough. I'm not enough. Jesus came to show up the big and mighty and used the poor to say “I am enough”. Give to him yourself and watch him make you bigger than you ever thought you could be. Give what little you think you have and watch it be more for Jesus.

You see He wants all of us. He wants our prosperity and our poverty. He wants our health and he wants our pain. Look at what he accepted from the boy. Scripture tells us it was 5 barley loaves. In reading up on this text I found out that barley is the food of the poor. It's no surprise that poor people followed Christ. And it's no surprise that among all of them, all they could find were 5 barley loaves and two small fishes. But even out of this little boys meager, poor meal, he gave it. God wants the same from us. He wants the poor parts of our lives. Our griefs, our pains, out brokenness, because he can use them to bless others. This world is fraught with pain and brokenness. This broken world is just looking for answers and a hope. If we are as liberal with our brokenness as Christ wants us to be with our prosperity, we can share that hope with others, because Christ has shared his hope with us.

Even Jesus was asked by God to give everything. Something that we are asked to do. Something that we all hold within our hands. He was asked to give his life. He knows all about giving all you have. He did it. And think about who he gave it for? He gave it for you and for me. Certainly helps to put all things that we are asked to give in perspective, doesn't it? We need to be prepared to give our lives for Christ. Because he gave his for us, we should willingly do no less.

Sometimes God asks us to sacrifice for Him through death, yes, but more often than not, he asks for us to sacrifice for Him through our lives. He just doesn't want the things we have, our money, our homes, even our families, He wants our lives. He wants us, our hearts, our dreams, desires, our heartbreak, our anger, our frustration. He wants us to give him everything.

A few weeks ago our church hosted a missions banquet in which a missionary spoke on behalf of her husband and herself. They have three young children. The youngest is three. They are taking their whole family, leaving everything they've made for themselves here in America, their business, their home, their family, friends, security, doctors and going to Haiti. They are giving up everything. When I heard her speak about the struggle she experienced when God placed the call on her life, I thought of this text. That little boy could've said “no, I'm not going to give my little lunch. It's mine! I am going to keep it for myself. I am going to eat it and be satisfied. Who knows what Jesus wants to do with it. Maybe he wants to eat it and leave me hungry.” But he didn't say that. Well we don't know what he said, but we know what he did. He did give his lunch to Jesus and that takes a step of faith. He could've gone hungry, but instead he was fully satisfied, along with everyone else.  

Jesus took something so very little, blessed it, multiplied it and used it to bless others and the little boy who gave it! And there was so much more leftover! The little boy sacrificed, but he ended up with more than he gave!

What is Jesus asking you for? What is he waiting for you to give so that he can bless it? So that he can bless others and yourself through your very own sacrifice? What does Jesus want from your hands?  

Tomorrow's passage: 2 Samuel 21-22, Psalm 18, John 6:22-40


TammyIsBlessed said...

Great sermon Kathryn!

I love it how Jesus so often does His miracles through people and their willingness. Willingness to obey, willingness to give, willingness to step out in faith. All of which require belief. Believe and act - hmmm, sounds familiar ;)

Dana said...

Awesome post! Great reminder to give! It can be so hard to give everything, but he will always bless you for it, whether in this life or the next.

Jody said...

Great post! Jesus takes and mulitplies whatever we give and pours it back into us and those around us. Great message. I would love to have heard you preach it!

Pamela said...

Excellent post. Thanks for sharing your insights. Sometimes the familiar stories almost pass us by without any consideration because we have heard them so many times but imagine the actual size of the crowd and it is so amazing to think that one boy's lunch fed them all and there were even leftovers! Amazing.

During our last staff meeting, the kindergarten teacher did a devotional on the calming of the storm and the bible storybook she was reading from said that Jesus spoke to the storm and they listened to His voice because they had heard it before...when he spoke the wind and rain into being. It gave me such a vivid picture in my head that came to my mind again as I read these verses.