Thursday, October 13, 2016

How Many Loaves Do You Have?

Jesus had taken his disciples away to a secluded place via a leisurely boat trip to recuperate from their missionary journey. However, the crowds figured out where they were going and managed to get there first. So much for rest in a secluded place.

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When Jesus went ashore He felt compassion for the people because He knew they were seeking the truth, but had no one else to guide them to it. He began to teach them. The disciples grew impatient for their alone time, and were probably hungry too, so they called Jesus aside and suggested He send the people to nearby villages so they could get some food (and go away).

Jesus told the disciples to provide the food for everyone themselves. They quickly did the math and figured it would cost two thirds of a year's income to do that and wondered out loud where that money would come from.

As He so often did, Jesus answered the question with a question. "How many loaves do you have?" (Mark 6:38) When the disciples stood there eyes wide and mouths gaping He added, "Go look!"

The disciples obeyed and found a total of five loaves, and also two fish. Commentators tell us these were probably like bread rolls and sardines, but even if they were full-sized baguettes and twenty pound trout, what would that have done to feed 5000 men?

But Jesus fed everyone. After giving thanks for the food He kept breaking off pieces for the disciples to pass out until everyone ate and was satisfied. (Do you think the Lord's arms were tired?)

When God asks us to serve Him He doesn't want us to wait until we are rich, trained, have a lot to share, or think we are capable. He asks, like God asked Moses, "What is in your hand?" (Exodus 4:2). He wants to know what you already have that you can use for Him, not what you hope to have someday. If you are waiting for "someday" be forewarned: someday seldom arrives. God wants you to start to serve Him today, right now, with what you have not what you hope to get.

How many loaves do you have?

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Here are some ways you can serve right away:

  • Visit a shut-in half an hour a week.
  • Babysit for a young mom so she can take a much needed nap.
  • Invite people over to share whatever you can afford to make, maybe a pot of chili.
  • Sort through your closet and give your unused clothes to a refugee family.
  • Accompany a sick person to a doctor appointment so a family member doesn't have to take more time off work.
  • Mow grass, rake leaves, or shovel snow for someone.
  • Offer to fold and pass out bulletins at church.
  • Or if you have money but no time, give to a missionary.

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  1. Love this: "God wants you to start to serve Him today, right now, with what you have not what you hope to get." Also thanks for the great tips on applying this principle! God bless you and your ministry!

    1. I've been visiting a friend in a retirement community for 5 + years. She passed away yesterday at 95. I was blessed by our weekly visits more than she, I'm sure. I'll miss her. No training required!

  2. This is so good!
    We are prone to thinking we need to have more of this or more of that go serve God well.
    I believe this comes from us comparing our lives to other Christians around us. It is a huge mistake to do that, cause it keep us from what God has for us!

    1. When we give out of what we have it is amazing to see what God can do for others, in ourselves, and for His glory!

  3. I went through a period where my house was destroyed by renters and it took months of hard work, room by room, before we could even live in it. I kept thinking, "As soon as this house is ready, I'll do ...." I had to get my focus off of ME and what I LACKED to see what I already HAD, ie, ways I could be of service to others without having them in my home (just like the list you gave). Thanks for the reminder and the practical suggestions - we all need this! :)

    1. I'm so sorry about your house. That would be so hard. ... you are right. We all need the reminder. I think that's why I write!

  4. That little voice we often hear telling us we are not good enough is a lie of the enemy to keep us from doing what God is asking us to do. Thanks for the reminder to step out and do!



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