Friday, July 8, 2011

Bread Given Away

When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. When it was already quite late , His disciples came to Him and said, "This place is desolate and it is already quite late ; send them away so that they may go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat." But He answered them, "You give them something to eat!" And they said to Him, "Shall we go and spend two hundred denarii on bread and give them something to eat?" And He said to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go look!" And when they found out, they said, "Five, and two fish."  (Mark 6:32-38)

“You give them something to eat!”  What was Jesus thinking?  You can hear the disbelief in the disciples’ protesting reply: “Shall we go and spend two hundred denarii on bread and give them something to eat?”  Either Jesus did not grasp the desperation of the situation, or he was grossly overestimating their financial accounts!  

In fact, Jesus was well aware of the situation.  However, he identified this as a teachable moment.  He wanted his disciples to tap into riches that perhaps up to this point they were unaware that they had at their disposal.  “You give them something to eat…How many loaves do you have? Go look!”  

How many loaves of bread do you have?  How many fish?  How do you rank and rate the things…the resources God has placed in your life at your disposal for his purposes?  Often, we underestimate what God has placed within us.  We might feel that because our gifts and talents are different from those in others we esteem that somehow ours are less important, or less valued for God’s kingdom.  Not so!!   When God called Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, Moses immediately began to feel insufficient for the task.  He was ‘slow of speech’ (Exodus 4:10) and felt small because he was not like others.  Still God used him mightily!  His hands, his feet, his voice, his heart…these were the ‘loaves and fish’ God had given to Moses, and God required Moses to use them.

Take an inventory of your life.  Consider that your personality, your experience, your wisdom, and your spiritual walk; these are loaves and fish that God has given to you.  Note the varied talents that God has given to you (and He has given them to you, whether you acknowledge them to be so or not).  God has given you ‘five loaves and two fish’ to be used for his Kingdom.  They are you, and God has given them to you without repentance.  (See Romans 11:28)  

Your successes and failures – these too are ‘bread.’  They are your testimony of the living Christ working in you in all you experience and do.  They are not bread meant solely for your own consumption.  Indeed, they are bread that God means for you to give away.  “You give them something to eat.”

Scripture to Claim
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”  (Luke 12:48b)

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