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.
Ephesians 4:32: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Do you think about this? Does forgiveness cross your mind when someone else does something against you? Forgiveness is not natural for us. Asking for forgiveness is something that we do, as Christians. Even asking for forgiveness is not natural for humanity because we don’t see our flaws or our sins until the Holy Spirit shows you what you have done or said. Believe me, it is hard to catch those thoughts and sometimes the actions, if we let the thought stay long enough, because thoughts become sinful action if you allow it to take root in your mind.
It doesn’t take long. Only a few seconds and sometimes, just that fast, you will act on that thought. Sometimes, the words will spill out of your mouth before you can get them back. Once they are out there is no remedy for the hurt and pain that is caused except to ask forgiveness from the one you have wronged. Sometimes asking for forgiveness can be a slippery slope if you try to do so too soon. The pain and the hurt feelings are too raw for someone to even think about forgiving you. You may want to patch things up quickly but sometimes that could be the worst decision to make.
Forgiveness is something that is completely foreign to most in our society today. Living today with our world the way it is hard to do unless you are a Christian. Even if you are a Christian, it is hard to forgive sometimes but through the work of the Holy Spirit we can. Jesus came to provide the way for us to be reconciled with God through His blood, all we have to do is accept His sacrifice for us and repent of our sins and then follow Him and we will be in His family.
In many ways it doesn’t feel right. Look around and listen to the media and other outlets and you will wonder exactly what went wrong?
In the last thirty years or so, our country has gone from being “proud to be an American” to “that’s not my President” and other ways of expressing disgust with our country. The thing that strikes me the most is the age of those who seem to hate their own country. They’ve never had to go to war or even be required to be in the service of our country. Most of them have no idea about conservation of energy or money or being careful about getting a car that uses less fuel because of a gas shortage.
Most just want to throw a tantrum and burn cities and cars and loot buildings for little to no reason at all. Yet they hate this country! If you hate the country that most people seem to be trying so hard to get into, then LEAVE!
You are probably wondering why this post started out this way. It is because most of these feelings and opinions were foretold over two thousand years ago. Unruly children, perilous times, diseases that we’ve never seen before, people who don’t really care about themselves or how they live…all of these were foretold by Jesus in Matthew 24. But these are just the beginning of troubles. We haven’t seen how it will be and hopefully, the church will be taken out of here before that time comes.
God cares for and loves His Creation, you and me, and the whole Earth, but His patience doesn’t last forever. There is a day coming soon that many people are not ready for. That is the return of Jesus for His Bride, the church. He will not be coming back to Earth until after the Tribulation but when He comes this time it will be as a conquering King! I pray that everyone who reads this is ready for His return because we don’t know the time. It could be on a Sunday morning or in the middle of the night. It could be during the day on no particular day. Be looking for Him and watching because He is coming back!
In the past year or so I think we have all felt a little broken in some way. Some, I think, more than others. Especially the doctors and nurses who are on the front lines of treating this disease that doesn’t seem to yield to a vaccine. It just keeps mutating and changing and no one knows whether the shots will work against this one or that one and if it does work…for how long? Then, after all of this, there are the everyday diseases that take our loved ones and the criminals and others who shoot people for no real reason. The brokenness of our world and our lives, to one extent or another, just seems to keep expanding from one day to the next with no ending in sight.
Where do we find solace? Can we find help in our lives that will bring some closure to this broken feeling that we have? Yes! By giving your heart to Jesus and following Him for the rest of your time on Earth you can have hope and a future regardless of what may be going on around you or in your life right now.
The news and the media that we get our news from are no help these days. Sometimes we hear good news and sometimes it is not such good news. Our families are beset with cancers and other diseases. Our children are being rebellious at times and even our job is not helping much with prices going up at the grocery store and the gas station. We look around and even on Friday, we may feel better because the weekend is here but then Monday comes and we have to endure it again.
This time that we are living in has been prophesied in the Bible. If you go to church or if you are curious, check it out in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. Jesus tells us that all sorts of problems will be happening just before the end of the age (the church age). We are living in that period of time right now and whether we choose to believe it or not won’t change that fact. All of the prophecies in the Bible have come true except for the Tribulation and the Rapture (taking away) of the church. The Rapture will happen first and when that day comes many will be blessed but there will be many more that will be left to live through the Tribulation period of seven years.
I pray that anyone who reads this will seek to find a Bible-teaching church and make sure of your salvation. Read the books of John and Acts and Romans. Pray that God will touch your heart and draw you to become a follower of Jesus. The problems and the diseases that are being reported today are just the beginning. It will get much worse during the Tribulation so make sure that your soul and your heart belongs to Jesus Christ before that day comes.
Many people worldwide wonder at the passage where Jesus says, “Depart from Me, I never knew you!” Some in the church even ask, “Will that apply to me?” It depends on your relationship to Jesus and with Him. Do you read His Word? Do you tell others about Him? If you were put on trial for being a Christian how much evidence would there be to convict you of it?
Lots of questions but all of the answers can be found in God’s Word. Jesus taught that “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Every person that the Holy Spirit convicts of their sins will be drawn to Jesus. Whether they accept Him as their Savior and Lord is their decision. Some will accept Him gladly. Some will get an iron grip on the church pew and stand there fighting with God until the invitation is passed. Some who do this may not get another chance to accept Jesus.
God loves the whole world, saints and sinners alike. But He will not save the whole world even though Jesus paid their price on the cross. Why? Because many will refuse to accept His offer of salvation. Many people have accepted Jesus as their Savior but there are many more that have rejected Him. Do you know Him?
Some people think that they have sinned too much for God to even want them. Do you think this? Moses was a murderer. Paul persecuted and approved of the stoning of Christians. The apostle Peter denied that he even knew Jesus on the night of His arrest. God used Moses to free the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. Saul, who became known as Paul, met the risen Christ on the road to Damascus and God used him to write most of the New Testament and be the apostle to the Gentiles. Jesus redeemed Peter three times after His resurrection to take care of those denials and Peter went to jail and was a preacher to the Gentiles too.
God used a donkey to show a false prophet his wrong decisions by causing the donkey to speak to him about why he had beaten the animal. Balaam would’ve been killed if the donkey had kept going like he wanted him to because the Angel of the Lord was standing there with His sword drawn. God can use a child or an old man or anyone, male or female, to be His voice to someone specific. He can use you to bring His message to someone that nobody else can talk to. Maybe they won’t even go to church but if you could show them by your life and by your testimony they will choose to give their life to Jesus.
Revelation 3:20 says this: 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me.
Come to Jesus because He did pay the price for your soul and for your sins. All you have to do is believe that He did this for you and accept Him as your Savior, then repent of your “old life” and turn to Him, seek Him in the Bible and at a Bible-teaching church so you can be a witness for Him to anyone who asks you about your hope and your faith in Jesus.