Summary: A Sermon about God’s provision that will outweigh man’s provision. For people who need encouragement in a tough world.
Three attitudes concerning God’s provision
Feeding of the 5000
The citizens of Feldkirch, Austria, didn’t know what to do. Napoleon’s massive army was preparing to attack. Soldiers had been spotted on the heights above the little town, which was situated on the Austrian border. A council of citizens was hastily summoned to decide whether they should try to defend themselves or display the white flag of surrender. It happened to be Easter Sunday, and the people had gathered in the local church.
The pastor rose and said, "Friends, we have been counting on our own strength, and apparently that has failed. As this is the day of our Lord’s resurrection, let us just ring the bells, have our services as usual, and leave the matter in His hands. We know only our weakness, and not the power of God to defend us." The council accepted his plan and the church bells rang. The enemy, hearing the sudden peal, concluded that the Austrian army had arrived during the night to defend the town. Before the service ended, the enemy broke camp and left.
Missionary statesman Hudson Taylor had complete trust in God’s faithfulness. In his journal he wrote:
Our heavenly Father is a very experienced One. He knows very well that His children wake up with a good appetite every morning... He sustained 3 million Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years. We do not expect He will send 3 million missionaries to China; but if He did, He would have ample means to sustain them all... Depend on it; God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.
Talk about provision of God.
Listen again to these words:
God’s work done in God’s way will never lack
The problem is not God; the problem is our attitude towards the provision of God.
Let’s explore them:
I. Man’s provision (man relying on his own strength)
V5. When Jesus then lifted up [his] eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?
V6. And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.
V7. Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.
Jesus asks the question to test his disciples.
Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?
Have you ever wondered why Jesus asked this question? He was about to teach the people that God’s provision is always better than our best efforts.
And this he said to prove him
Notice: Phillip answers that
Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.
Two hundred pennyworth was a lot of money.
One pennyworth was one days work pay. That meant that you had to work for two hundred days to get this kind of money.
There is more, notice a few words here.
If they by any way could buy 200 pennyworth of
bread it would still not have been sufficient.
In fact it would only have given them little.
That is precisely what man’s provision does.