Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

John 6:1-13 ~
Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Feast was near.

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, "Eight months' wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!"

Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?"

Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. 11Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted." So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

Many times in my life I feel inadequate, inept and not quite good enough. I'm not thin and beautiful. I'm not well-known. I don't excel at anything. I'm pretty average and I can begin to wonder how the Lord could ever use me at all.

Yet, when I read this story, the thing that inspires me is that Jesus used a little boy and his five plain, rustic loaves and two little guppies to feed five thousand people. He didn't look around for someone with a more glamorous lunch. He didn't scoff at the little boy's offering. He took it, blessed it and used it to feed an army of people.

Jesus didn't feed the crowds just enough to tide them over until they could get a more substantial meal. He fed them until they were full and there were still twelve baskets of food left over.

He took that meager offering of the little boy and multiplied it. This boy who showed up to hear Jesus, offered up the bit he had, and went down in history as the child who gave his all to Jesus.

Do you know that the Lord does the same with us?  I may not have much to offer, yet He uses it to do His work. No one outside my little circle may ever know who I am, yet the Lord knows me. He is working in my life and taking my meager offering to further His kingdom.

He will do the same for you. Offer Him what you have. Give it willingly. He will take your gifts and talents and multiply them and do something wonderful through you!

Will you gladly give Him your loaves and fish today?