And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children. (Mat 14:19-:21)
On another occasion, there were four thousand people. The loaves and fishes had meaning to the hungry thousands of people who ate them. The loaves and fishes had meaning to the disciples who participated in the distribution of the food. It broadened their thinking beyond what their eyes could see at the moment. It helped them to envision their God as being unlimited in ideas of how things could be. I have read this passage many times and thought about the huge gap between what the disciples thought and what Jesus knew to do. It remains that way today. Many times, what we need is not a million dollars but a fresh way of looking at things.
We like to be trouble-free but that is not God’s way. There will never be a time in your life when you will be trouble-free. But we will always have a God who is never surprised and has the answer to every problem we have.
I love the story I heard from the CEO of the Chris-Craft Boat Corp in 1954, or so. Our president and military planners were planning on the invasion of France and that included taking the beaches at Normandy. How could they get men and materials off the big ocean-going ships and get them onto the beaches? They designed a special landing craft they called the LST: “Landing Ship, Tanks” -designed to transport tanks and other heavy equipment as well as troops. Chris-Craft Boat Co. was assigned as one of the major builders of these assault boats.
The CEO, young son of the founder of the company, had been frozen to his job by the government while the sons of many people in town were facing the blazing guns of the NAZI army. The heat of that controversy grew until it was hindering the boat building. The CEO was a Christian and he prayed earnestly about it. One night, the Lord spoke to him and told him to pay the workers with silver dollars instead of printed checks. He had to special-order the silver dollars and put everything in little paper bags. On pay day, he brought their pay into the pay area in a wheel barrow filled with paper bags and gave them their pay with a voucher slip. Not much was said except, “strange.”
That night, the CEO’s phone began to ring. The stores were calling him and saying, “What do you mean, paying your workers in silver dollars? Our cash registers are jammed and won’t close! You’ve created a problem for us! But within another couple of hours, another realization overtook the merchants. The Chris-Craft boat company had been putting money in their cash registers all this time and if this money were not here, their stores might have to close. In two hours, the merchants and then other people in the town understood the true picture. They went back to work on Monday with a willing heart. Sometimes, what is needed is a new idea and God gave the whole town a new idea.
McGee said: “I formerly thought that taking up the "fragments" meant that they picked up what we would call the garbage; that is, someone bit into a sandwich, then put it down when he saw a bigger one, and the half-eaten sandwich would be a fragment. However, I realize now that here were twelve baskets of bread and fish which were never touched.
It is difficult for us who live in the midst of supermarkets to understand that many of the world's population went to bed hungry last night. Most people in that day never knew what it was to have a full meal, but twelve baskets of food left over indicates that everyone had a full tummy.” (McGee)
In serving the Lord, it would help us if we can realize that salvation is of the Lord and He is the God of the harvest. What we need to do is to exercise the gift God has put in our hands. A deacon in the Highland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN ran a restaurant and always had food left over. He kept a list of the times of people who could use that food. After he closed the restaurant, he took an hour or so and personally delivered the food to needy families. He never told anyone about it. Somehow, the story got out and people began to know what he was doing. The example was printed on the minds of people who knew it. The sermons in shoes are sometimes the most powerful sermons ever preached. Ω
READ THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
FEBRUARY 13, 2017 – MONDAY
A.M. Leviticus 15-17
P.M. Matthew 27:1-31
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MEMORY VERSE THIS MONTH:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. (Hos 4:6-7)
SONG FOR TODAY:
Solo & Group (5:49) : The Holy Hills of Heaven Call Me (Gaither Group)
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