July 24, 2011

Mark 6:37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”

When the disciples recognized this legitimate need, Jesus told them to meet it. He knew as well as they that they didn’t have the resources in themselves to do that, but He needed to teach them that God has no such limitation. Even today He does the same thing. There are some who bemoan the need and say it can’t be met, but they are looking at themselves and ignoring God. God isn’t much interested in answering whims, but He is very good at meeting needs! In the first place, Jesus asked the disciples what they did have. When they had yielded that to Him, He proceeded to multiply it to fit the need. He will do that, and does that, even today, but we have to be willing to give Him everything we’ve got. Saying “God will meet the need” while we are holding back what we have, is saying “God can’t meet my need if I give what I have away.” That’s not faith! This is not advocating either poor stewardship or presuming on God. There are plenty of people who do each of those! We are not to run around giving everything away just for the sake of giving it away, but we are not to hang onto anything either. We are not to try to force God to act by putting ourselves in precarious situations, but we are to listen carefully and strive to do everything He tells us. This whole principle applies to spiritual supply as well. God tells pastors to feed His sheep (John 21:15-17), but those same pastors have to rely on Him for the food. If they try to generate it themselves, not only will they run out in no time, what they produce will be dry and tasteless. However, they have to be willing to spend the time in prayer and the Word to receive God’s supply, or that supply will be intermittent at best.

Since I am a pastor, constantly confronted with spiritual and physical need, this applies to me all the time. I have discovered the joy of being a channel of God’s supply, but far more spiritually than physically. I am not to be anxious about that, but recognize that there are different ministries. I am simply to be careful that I trust God in both areas and that I’m faithful in my obedience in both areas. I need discernment to recognize what is truly a need, and also whether people have hearts to receive God’s supply. Jesus Himself coined the phrase, “pearls before swine.” (Matthew 7:6) Recognizing that issue is part of good stewardship. However, I must never be stingy, either physically or spiritually, but trust God for His abundant supply.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the privilege of being a channel of Your supply. Thank You for the Word You have given me for this morning. It’s one that is greatly needed by many. I pray that You would give all of my listeners hearing ears, so that the Word may sink into them and do its full work. We all need to learn to let go of the past, while being grateful for Your blessings, and live in joyful appreciation of what You are doing now and anticipation of what You will do in the future, in full faith and trust. I ask You to work that in each one of us, today and each day, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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