There are times in my life where God gives me opportunity to minister but because of inconvenience or poor priorities I chose to do my own thing. In meditating on Luke 9:10-17 I am convicted by many thoughts. The disciples, earlier sent out by Jesus, returned from ministering in teams of two and reported to Him all that happened. They were tired and hungry and Jesus recognizing this took them away to care for their needs. But the crowds were of a different opinion and need. They raced around the Sea of Galilee to intercept the Son of God and His men at their remote landing.
Instead of escaping 5000 men and the uncounted women and children, Jesus welcomed them, taught them and healed the sick. He set aside the needs of His team and perhaps His own wants to minister to the crowd God brought to Him. I wonder what thoughts ran through the minds of His men!
John 6:5-7--Therefore, when Jesus looked up and noticed a huge crowd coming toward Him, He asked Philip, “Where will we buy bread so these people can eat?” He asked this to test him, for He Himself knew what He was going to do. Philip answered, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread wouldn’t be enough for each of them to have a little.”
In Luke’s account, the disciples appealed to Christ to send away the crowd to surrounding villages to find food and lodging. But Jesus said, “You give them something to eat.” (Luke 9:13) In John’s account Jesus tests Philip. After Philip’s response, Andrew informs Jesus of a small boy’s five barley loaves and two tiny fish. “But what are they for so many?” (John 6:9).
If God brings people to us that He wants us to minister to, will He not also provide us the resources and strength we need to accomplish the ministry? The disciples looked at their surroundings and discounted the opportunity to get involved meeting needs. There were too many hungry people in a remote location with insufficient food. Add to this their own fatigue and hunger. Too often, I’m like the band of twelve. It’s easy to find reasons not to minister. It’s easier to note obstacles than to apply faith.
God does not call us to be reporters or independent operators. He calls us to be responsible and exercise faith. He does not see problems but rather opportunities. When we understand this and get involved doing His will, we experience the extra twelve baskets of food the satisfied crowd couldn’t eat!
God brings us to a standard of life by His grace, and we are responsible for reproducing that standard in others . . . If we trust to our wits instead of to God, we produce consequences for which God will hold us responsible.—Oswald Chambers inMy Utmost For His Highest
©2005 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)