Before I go into what the Holy Spirit was showing me this morning, let me just note that you should never EVER teach a child's bible lesson thinking you won't learn anything. *cough* And I know a certain friend of mine is going to love this because we were just talking about it the other day. The Lord knows how to get us ready! :)
My daughter and I were studying John 6:5-14. This is a pretty well known section of scripture in which Jesus feeds five thousand people (not counting women and children). With such familiar stories it is easy to gloss over things and miss the details. The first thing I want to point out is this:
9"There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?"
This "lad" had more than likely been following Jesus around like the rest and seen all of the miracles He had been performing. He knew there was a need for food and he had some. Did he stop to think that he only had a few loaves a couple of small fish? I don't know. But either way, he took the step of faith and handed 'em over.
So how does this apply to us? Well, the Lord has given us all gifts, talents, and material things that we can use to "feed" others. However, we often let ourselves think that the thing(s) we have to offer aren't good enough or are too small to really matter. Boy, that is such a lie.
Let's continue on to what happens in John 6 and see what God does with this young boy's small offering:
11And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.
EH? FIVE THOUSAND men along with all of their wives and children (I imagine there was more than a handful of teenage boys present) ate AS MUCH AS THEY WANTED. Huh.
What do you think your Father can do with that extra two dollars you give every month to help destitute families? What about the coat you gave to the needy when you noticed it hanging in your closet and realized you hadn't worn it since you bought it? Sure you struggled with your flesh for a bit cuz it was such a pretty coat--but then you gave yourself a good talking to and off it went anyway! Do you think that your words of encouragement to a depressed person have been unheard by Him? How about the prayers you offer up every day for that lost loved one? Take this example to heart. Realize that it isn't about you and that God is just waiting for you to start stepping out in faith and share what He has given you to share so He can glorify Himself and knock your socks off in the process!
12So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost." 13Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.
So, not only did the people get all they needed, there were TWELVE baskets full left over! When the Lord blesses us, it isn't just intended for us to keep and hoard. It's supposed to OVERFLOW to others. Do you think that the leftovers went unused? Doubt it! So that nothing is lost. Let's not waste what He has provided!
In the parable of the sower in Matthew 13 we read this:
8But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
The next time you feel silly giving someone a pair of socks, remember what HE can do!
More to come....