You and I are surrounded by people with needs. People who are tired, worn and empty in life. They’re hungry for meaning, hungry to be loved, hungry to be accepted, and hungry for God. Even if they don’t realize it.
What do you do? How can you help people? What if you’re just barely making it yourself? You might be inadequate to help other people!
Well, on your own, you ARE inadequate. Me, too. But, fortunately, you and I aren’t on our own, but we have the Holy Spirit of God backing us up, speaking through us, preparing the other people around us, and working in all our situations.
One time, I was praying and was really feeling the weight of trying to bring God’s Word to so many people…trying to bring a touch of God’s love to people who were rejected and outcast. I was telling Him I just didn’t have what it takes.
Then, He led me to Mark 6:37, where the disciples were in the same situation. They were out in the desert with Jesus, and multitudes of hungry people were there with them. Jesus turned to the disciples and told them to feed the multitudes.
The disciples told Jesus they didn’t have enough to feed the hungry multitudes. They had figured what it would take to meet the peoples’ needs, and KNEW they didn’t have what it takes.
What they had wasn’t enough. And, they knew it. Then Jesus asked them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”
When they knew that they didn’t have what it took to meet the peoples’ needs, Jesus told them to find out just what they DID have.
That spoke to me. We feel so inadequate, and that we don’t have what it takes to meet the needs of the people, but we really aren’t sure just what we DO have.
So, Jesus says, “Find out what you DO have.” He isn’t so interested in what you have, on your own, without a miracle from God, isn’t going to be able to help anybody very much.
What ELSE do you have? You have salvation. If you have salvation, the Holy Spirit, the Bible says, lives on the INSIDE of you. And, you have faith. You also have wisdom available to you from God’s Word and through the Holy Spirit. THAT’S pretty good!
See, YOU’VE got more than you think! You’ve got more to offer than you realize. That’s what Jesus was preparing the disciples for.
Next, He told them to speak to the people, and get them ready for what Jesus was planning on doing for them. Jesus has plans of GOOD for people.
He has good things He wants to DO in peoples’ lives.
Jesus knew EXACTLY what He was going to do. He was going to take the LITTLE that the Disciples had, and BLESS it, so that the multitudes could be fed.
When the disciples got the people prepared for what Jesus was going to bring to their lives, Jesus did the next step. He DIDN’T do it first.
That’s important. Notice, He didn’t make several baskets pf “wonder” bread, and THEN tell the disciples to go take it to the people. No, He told them to use their faith, to be obedient, and have the people get in a position where God could bring blessings from Heaven into their lives.
Jesus then, in v.41, took what the disciples had given Him, and blessed and told the disciple to bring it to the people. And, guess what?
Everybody, including the disciples, ate until they were full! Not only that, but they had twelve baskets full of leftover bread and fish!
What you have to do is have a heart for people and their needs. That’s where it begins. Caring about people other than yourself. You go to Jesus, you bring their needs to Him. You care about them, and you KNOW He cares.
Next, offer yourself and all that you have to Jesus. Even though it seems like a lot. Or, even though it seems pitifully small.
When you’re hungry, five loaves of bread and two good sixed fish seems like a lot. When you’re realizing that needs of people around you, what you have seems like almost nothing. Not even worth offering!
The disciples used their faith! You’ve got to use YOUR faith! They gave Jesus what He would do SOMETHING GOOD with it. You’ve GOT to USE your faith!
What is faith? Hebrews 11:1 says that “Faith is the substance of THINGS…” What kind of things? “Faith is the substance of things HOPED for!” And, “the EVIDENCE for things not seen.” It says that right in your Bible.
The disciples were HOPING for FOOD! They had NO EVIDENCE in the NATURAL sense that what they were HOPING for would come to them. But they had FAITH!
You’ve got to listen to Jesus, and know what He’s calling you to be and do. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain by using your faith. FAITH ATTRACTS GOOD INTO YOUR LIFE.
You can either use your faith, and live by it, or you can operate in doubt and unbelief. I can tell you, though, that faith will bring good into your life. Doubt and unbelief will repel good from you. Your life is shaped by either faith or by doubt and unbelief. Faith will turn you into a bigger person, a giver. Doubt will cause you to shrink back, and become a taker in life.
You either sow seeds of faith or seeds of doubt. You’re either going to be feeding the people the bread of Jesus, or you’ll end up sending them away, tired, broke and disappointed. That’s what the disciples were GOING to do, in Mark 6:35 & 35, before they acted in faith.
What EVER you sow, Galatians 6:8 says, that what you’re going to reap. What you sow in the now, how much you sow, and WHERE you sow, these are what determine what your crops will be tomorrow in your life. When you exercise great faith and sow bountifully into the lives of others, God will send a generous and bountiful harvest into YOUR life (Luke 6:38). That’s what happened to the disciples. They gave all that Jesus gave them, and they had plenty for their OWN needs and THEN some!
Some people use their faith for a while, but then when a storm comes, they draw back, and lose faith in their faith. They stop walking a faith walk. When the storms in life come, they can pound on you and sweep you back into doubt and unbelief. But, God’s best comes and rests in the lives of those who just keep using their faith.
This is the bread of Jesus that you want to feed those around you. They have been feeding on fear, hurt and doubt for so long.
Doubt is the major cause of failure. It causes people to give up, to not try hard enough, or long enough, or to start late and to stop early.
Doubt causes people to see a pothole on the road and think it’s a canyon they can never cross.
Feed them the faith that Jesus gave you. Faith is what tells you to keep on. To win the race. To overcome. To always believe and never doubt. It ALWAYS has a solution. It causes you to hang on, find God’s answer then ACT on it. (Faith is only day-dreaming if it’s not followed through with consistent action.)
Sure, you’ve got needs, too. So did the disciples. Everyone has rocks on their road, mountains to climb and rivers to cross. But whether you let them stop you, or cause them to strengthen you is your choice. Jesus isn’t going to let you starve! He didn’t take their bread and fish and turn around and give them rocks and snakes!
When you use your faith and begin to pass it on other people, you’ll find your problems turning into opportunities to demonstrate the power of God in this life. You’ll find that God WILL meet the needs of those you care about, and the needs that YOU have. He’ll give you all you need and more than you need, because that’s the kind of God He is!