11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts. Malachi 1:11 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/mal.1.11.KJV
Jesus had been preaching to a large crowd of people, at least five thousand men not counting their families. So, in truth there were likely around fifteen thousand or more. Some people don’t believe the Bible or the stories told within its pages, yet Jesus was trying to get His message across to as many people as He could while He was teaching His followers. They had to learn from and come to know Him as the Messiah.
When He told His disciples that they should feed these people one of them said that a years wages worth of bread would only give each person enough bread to take a bite. Then Andrew found a young boy that had a lunch with him of five barley loaves and two fish. Jesus told him that it would be enough. He thanked God for their provision and blessed the food and told His disciples to distribute the food to all who were hungry.
The entire company of people were fed and the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers! When God blesses your offering, He can multiply it to fill whatever the need may be. At this time in His ministry, God filled them with enough and then some. God can do this for us today but we can’t ask for things like luxury items or a million dollars. God will take care of a need in your life when you have given a tithe or an offering of your money or your time. He may do it in your finances or in your health but He will take care of your needs.
Another way of looking at the loaves and fishes is that all around Galilee people were fishermen and depended upon the bounty of the lake to make their living. It was likely a meager living so they used barley rather than wheat to make their bread. It was cheaper and easier to grow.
We, as followers of Jesus today, should take His message with us everywhere we go. To the market, to our job, to the restaurant where we eat, everywhere we go…our faith in Jesus should show up in our daily lives. Our faith should be evident to all of those around us regardless of who they are or where we are. God knows who we may run into and who may be receptive to our message but we have to have a message to be useful to Him.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:10-12 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/1ti.6.10-12.KJV
Begin your day with prayer and thanksgiving for the blessings that you have. Whether it be much or little, be satisfied with what you have and pray that you do not covet the things of others. In the world today it’s hard not to want the things that those around you have. But consider this: store up treasure in Heaven where it cannot be stolen.
How can you store up treasure in Heaven? By giving your time to others or giving a portion of your income to the church or some worthy cause, this is how you gain treasure in Heaven. Be careful to give only to charities that do what they say and don’t give to some charity that you can’t research their true background.
Seek the Lord with your heart and read His Word to learn more about Him. When you feel the Holy Spirit touching your heart and you feel that conviction that you need Jesus as your Savior, give your heart to Him. God has a plan for your life so plan to give your heart to Him.
Many times I have been asked to pray in church, even when I was a pastor and the facts about our Savior just overwhelmed me and I would choke up. Some people may have thought I was weak or just a “cry-baby” by doing this although none of them would admit it. But when you consider the pain and suffering that Jesus had to go through on the day He was crucified to pay for all of our sins…it is overwhelming. God loves each of us who will give our hearts to Him and repent of our old ways and His love is so overpowering until we can’t understand it.
Why would God send His Son to go through all of the suffering and pain as a man in order to pay our penalty for our sins? It’s because of His love for us and nothing else. Every time He disciplined the Jewish people in the Old Testament He was trying to get them to turn to Him for their provision and for His love to be poured out on them as blessings. Sometimes they recognized this and sometimes they didn’t so for a while they would follow Him or the person that He sent to bring them back into a relationship with Him. But as soon as that person died, they would turn back to the idols that they had rather than continue to follow God’s leading.
God has always been close to our little world and He has protected us from many dangers that we never know about. Can I prove this? Not really…unless you look at the surface of our moon and see how many hundreds of asteroid impacts have ended on its surface rather than hitting Earth. I would guess that there have been a few extinction-level impacts that were intercepted by the moon instead of impacting and setting our world back a few thousand years or more.
The love that God has for us, each of us, is so magnificent and deep until we cannot possibly understand or even comprehend it and it was because of that love that He came in the guise of Jesus to pay our debt so we wouldn’t have to. Just consider His love for each of us because He even knows how many hairs are on your head and mine! He knows when a bird falls from the sky because in the Bible Jesus said that “not even a sparrow falls without the Father knowing it”. If He cares enough to watch a small bird and know when they die, don’t you think that each of us is worth a little more than a little bird?
When you or I consider the deep and abiding love that God has for each of us, how can you not shed a tear or get choked up a bit? Not one of us deserves His love but He thinks that we do and He does care for us more than we could imagine or hope for. Give your life to Jesus and ask Him to come into your life and help you clean out your heart because your future depends on this decision. He has already paid for your past mistakes (sins) and for any future ones too, all you have to do is repent of them and ask Him to come into your life and make it useful for His Kingdom.
We live each day as if nobody sees what we do or knows what we say, yet God knows all. He sees and hears every thought, word and deed that we do each and every day. We will be judged by those words and deeds even if we are saved through Jesus Christ because many times we do these things not considering that many of them are wrong in God’s eyes. If you are to live a life that shows others that you have given your heart and your life to Jesus and that you follow Him daily then your life must show it. If you don’t want to live a Christian life following Jesus and His teachings each day then don’t give your heart to Him. There are only two choices for your life…salvation through Jesus or life without Him. One you get to live here in accordance with His teachings so that others might see Him through your life. The other, life without Jesus, you can live without ever knowing Him or going to church or serving others but your life will end with your death.
A life approved by Jesus and through His Holy Spirit is a life that never ends. You will seek Him each day, living life here as a disciple and a follower of Him so that others will see the effect of Jesus Christ in your life. Hopefully they will see the peace that He gives you in times of trouble or the strength that you get through Him when you go through testing. The greatest gift that you have is the gift of eternity with Him because your life will go on after this body and this life is over. Our life will go on to be present with Him in Heaven and we will have an immortal body that will never know pain or disease ever again. The few years that we have here on Earth are the proving ground and the testing of our faith in Him and whether we will give our life to Him or not.
Does it matter if we live a life approved by Jesus Christ? Yes! If you would like your child or your children to know Him then you must live a life approved by Him. Children will follow in your footsteps whether you want them to or not and they will see the things that you do or say and learn from them whether you intended for them to or not. They will find out your past in one way or another so be careful to show them that you may have been a reprobate in the past but you have given your heart to Jesus and you have truly changed. You are no longer that person from your youth because you are a new creation in Jesus Christ!
Being a Christian in truth and in deed means living your faith everyday, not just on Sunday or on a particular holiday. It is not something that you can put on for weddings or funerals and on Sunday and then take it off when it isn’t convenient for you. When your heart is changed by Jesus, you are changed from the core of your being. Sometimes it takes a few years for the change to become visible to everyone because it is a process. Your heart is changed but the maturity comes from studying the Word of God and prayer to give you the strength each day to walk with Him. The Christian life is not an easy road to walk on. There will be trials and days when you do stumble and make mistakes. You will sin with your cuss words and thoughts but you will seek forgiveness and help in repenting from those mistakes. As I said, it takes time.
What are you talking about now? I’m talking about the way we take so much for granted these days. Men take their wives for granted and children take their parents for granted. It just goes on and on and on. We even go to bed expecting to wake up in the morning and go to work or go fishing…taking the Lord for granted that He will allow us to have another day for our pleasure.
All of this “taking for granted”is just too much! We have never been given nor guaranteed to have a certain number of years or days to live and work and play. God allows us today to serve Him and if we do well in that area then He may give us tomorrow and the next day…possibly. Why do I sound pessimistic? Because, the farmer who built bigger barns for his produce and wanted to sit back and take it easy didn’t have the time to take it easy. His soul was required that night so he didn’t enjoy his so-called “retirement” because God said it was time for his soul to be judged.
If we would wake in the morning and thank God for waking us on this day to serve Him and give us His blessing for the day then we may live past today or tomorrow or next month. But there are many who refuse to give Him thanks for waking them up for the day. They look at it as today is given to me and I’m going to make the most of it for my enjoyment. That is not what we are put here for and it is especially not what we are called for as Christians.
Living our daily life as Christians, honoring God with our life and our income and telling others about His blessings that come to us because of His love for us NOT because of anything that we have done. The only thing that we have done to be a Christian is to recognize that we are sinners and that we need Jesus Christ to come into our hearts and make us a new creation in Him. Once we recognize that we need Him then we repent of those sinful ways and turn to Him and follow Him for the rest of our lives.
We don’t become Christians by attending church and Sunday school every week. We don’t become a Christian because our parents and grandparents are Christians. Many people have claimed to be Christians but their life doesn’t show the fruits of the Holy Spirit which comes to those who truly are! God is the only One Who knows your heart and He is the judge of believers and non-believers alike. For believers He judges your actions after you become a Christian to see the kind of fruit you have produced. For non-believers He is your judge and He asks one question, “Why didn’t you believe in my Son?”
Taking your salvation for granted is the worst mistake that anyone who thinks they are a Christian can possibly make. It is an eternal mistake which will cost you your soul and your eternity. I pray that anyone who has even a small bit of doubt about their eternity or their salvation will seek Jesus and make sure of it soon.