Summary: Have you stood on the edge of possibility, looking at the vast expanse before you and feeling utterly inferior or incompetent for the task? Have you ever wished that you had more to offer?
Introduction: When was the last time that you found yourself standing at the dead end road of life wondering how you had got there and where God was? Have you stood on the edge of possibility, looking at the vast expanse before you and feeling utterly inferior or incompetent for the task? Have you ever wished that you had more to offer? Maybe that’s how the disciples felt as evening fell on the grassy plains of Fisherville to the East of the Sea of Galilee.
I. Faith Can Feed Us: Jesus Showed Compassion
i. Jesus was taking a break with his disciples
ii. A sample of the times – Passover; the mission trip; John the Headless
iii. The crowds were already there
iv. Define compassion
v. Appl.: Sometimes the path to the soul is through the stomach. Perhaps this is why we gather canned goods and clothing – to meet the felt needs so people might listen to their spiritual need.
II. Faith Can Test Us: Jesus Question to the Disciples
i. God did it with Abraham.
ii. God did it with Moses
iii. God did it with Joshua
iv. God loves to meet us on dead end roads in life, carrying not an answer, but a question: What are you going to do next?
v. Illus.: Micah gets frustrated sometimes – he can’t do all the things that he wishes he could. Sometimes he gets stuck, and when he does I like to ask him if he’s tried everything. Usually he says yes, at which point I reply that he hasn’t, because he hasn’t asked his dad.
vi. Appl.: The test of faith is always meant to produce the same result, increased faith.
III. Faith Can Make Little, Much: They Were Satisfied
i. Someone had to make a sacrifice, in this case it was a little boy who had to give up his lunch.
ii. The disciples presented it to Jesus with a grain of faith – that although microscopic in the face of the problem, it was all they had, and they were willing that the Lord should use it.
iii. The Lord blessed the little offering and then broke it, as he doled out the food it miraculously became sufficient, more than sufficient. It satisfied.
iv. Appl.: In God’s hands our little sacrifice willingly made can be made more than sufficient. Our sacrifice can bring satisfaction.
Conclusion: Some of you are hungry; hungry for God, maybe hungry for food. You ask the question, does God care that my family is in need and I haven’t got the funds to cover the rent? The answer is yes. God is concerned about every aspect of your life; why God allows things to occur in the way they do is often beyond me, but it is impressed on us that we ought to bring these needs to our compassionate God and wait in faith for his provision.
It is in the darkest times that God’s light shines the brightest. Some of you are standing at the dead end right now wondering where God is. He is there with you, and he has a question for you. His question is, what are you going to do now?
Some of you have looked around your little corner of the world and seen a world of hurt, pain and need, you’ve found yourself wondering where God is, and why he doesn’t do something. He is there with you, and he is saying, ‘Will you sacrifice all you have, never mind that it is nowhere near sufficient, in my hands it will more than satisfy?’