What Do You Have?
January 24, 2021
When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food." But Jesus said to them, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat." And they said to Him, "We have here only five loaves and two fish" (Matthew 14:15-17).
The Foundation for Economic Education (August, 2019) states “The poorest 20% of Americans are richer on average than most European nations. The privilege of living in the US affords poor people more material resources than the averages for most of the world’s richest nations.” We have an 18% poverty rate in the US, but most of us are not in that category. And yet many believe we have little or nothing to offer others, even God, when it comes to ministry.
Jesus and the disciples sailed about 4 miles across the northern coast of the Sea of Galilee from Capernaum to Bethsaida. A crowd followed them - some by boat, most by walking or riding donkeys, ox, or carts. They brought their sick and disabled with them. The crowd numbered over 5,000 people. Jesus asked Philip to find food. He discussed this with the other disciples. Andrew found a boy who had 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. That’s all they had? No.
God commissioned Moses to go to Pharaoh and demand the release of the Hebrew people from slavery (Exodus 3:7 - 4:17). Moses made excuses as to why he couldn’t do it - “I’m a nobody”, “No one knows who You are”, “Pharaoh won’t do it”, “I’m not an effective speaker”, “No one will believe me”, etc. For every thrust, God parried. God asked Moses, “What is in your hand?” Moses said, “A rod.” God said, “Use it!”
Jesus commissioned the disciples to go to the towns and villages and prepare the people for His visit. He told them not to take any provisions with them. The only things they were allowed to take was what was the clothes they had on (Matthew 10:5-10).
What’s the lesson? As Christians living in this country we are truly blessed to serve the Lord in more ways than we can count. If it’s material resources, we have an abundance. If it’s time, we have just as much as anyone else. If it’s opportunity, we have many. But the greatest resource we have, even if we only have a rod (Moses) or the shirt on our back (disciples) or 5 loaves and 2 fish (Andrew), we have Jesus. What did David sing? The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want - I have all I need (Psalm 23:1). Jesus said it this way (Matthew 7:7), Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. And again 6:33), seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
“Lord Jesus, refocus my attention away from what I don’t have to all that I do have and can use to serve You. Remind me that if all I have to minister to others is You, that is enough to be what You want me to be and to do what You have called me to do. Help me understand that You will supply all that is necessary for me to fulfill Your will today. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”