Summary: God given ability and availability lead to abundance. Do you know your spiritual gifts and are you using them?
FEEDING FIVE THOUSAND
When built for the White Star Line in 1912 the Titanic was the marvel of her age. At nearly 883 feet in length, Titanic was longer than the tallest structures on Earth at the time. Over 1800 people left England on the “unsinkable ship”, but only 675 arrived. After hitting the iceberg on April 14, 1912 it took the Titanic just two hours and forty minutes to sink. While the Titanic was sinking in the North Atlantic another ship was being built. The SS Medina was not nearly as large or grand as the Titanic. It made no claim to being unsinkable. For years it carried onions between New York and Texas. During World War II it was converted to a troop ship and carried soldiers across the ocean. It was bombed and torpedoed but the ship refused to sink. On one crossing it was the only vessel in it’s convoy to reach it’s destination. After the war it was sold as scrap but rescued and converted into an Italian cruse liner called the Roma. Years later it again was sold for scrap but rescued again to become the MV Doulos. For many years it held the record as the oldest active passenger ship in the world. Since 1978 she had welcomed over 20 million visitors in 450 ports in 90 nations. Many lives have been changed and countless have come to Christ through it. A few months ago she was finally decommissioned, more than 95 years after being built.
God is in the business of taking little ordinary things and using them for His glory. While it may be the great “Titanics” which make the headlines – it is the faithful Doulos that are making the difference. The same is true of people. God often chooses the smallest and weakest to demonstrate His power. God wants to use you not only be a history watcher but a history maker. So what can you do?
John 6:1 Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. 3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Feast was near. 5 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?" 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, "Eight months' wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!" 8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, 9 "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?" 10 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. 11 Jesus 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. 12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted." 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten
If we want to be world changers we need to remember 3 things:
1. ABILITY - Jesus multiplied what He was given (5-9) -
This miracle is recorded in all 4 gospels. This incident happens on the far side of the lake down from the town of Bethsaida on the north east bank of the Sea of Galilee. This is the town where Philip was from. Jesus asked Philip where they could go to buy enough food to feed all the people. Philip, who knew the area, saw the task as impossible - and he was right!. They did not have the physical resources to do what Jesus asked them to.
Have you ever been in a situation where, like Philip, you faced an impossible task? It says here that Jesus said this “only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do”. Jesus already knew what He was going to do. Isn’t that a relief. Sometimes like Philip there are in life things that seem like mountains before us. You look at the situation and realize that it is impossible. At times like that it is easy to concentrate on what you don’t have instead of on what you do.