Saturday, January 29, 2011

Little is Much in God's Hands

One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to Him, "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?" Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." 
John 6:8-10a

Jesus' feeding of the 5,000, recorded in all four gospels, is one of the most well-known miracles in the Bible. A large crowd has followed Jesus for days, listening to His teaching and witnessing His healing of the sick. The Lord knows they are hungry and He intends to feed them. With the blink of His eye He could have produced 5,000 meals. But instead, He takes a young boy's lunch, blesses it and hands it to the disciples to distribute. It is more than they need. All the people eat their fill, with leftovers to be gathered. We know nothing about the boy, but I would imagine witnessing the miraculous multiplication of his lunch in the hands of the Savior changed his life forever. His sacrifice ministered to thousands of people and brought glory to God. What a wonderful example this is for us. If we are willing to give God what we have -- no matter what it is, no matter how small or limited it may seem to be -- He will take it, increase it, and use it for His kingdom and glory. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Christ's Body

"Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it."
1 Corinthians 12:27

The body of Christ is alive, and if you're a Christian you're part of it. His Spirit lives in you and works through you. You are not an accident or an afterthought. You are unique, with attributes and gifts like no one else. God has a lot to say about the body in 1 Corinthians 12. It's good to do a review of that chapter every now and then, just to reaffirm how each of us is an important member of Christ's body.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Our Watching and Waiting Father

"So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him."
Luke 15:20

There are so many lessons for us in the parable of the prodigal son. In this verse we have the poignant scene of the son returning home to his father, after taking his inheritance and squandering it in a distant country. Two things stand out. First, that the son came to the father. The father didn't go to the son and bring him back. He allowed his son the freedom to choose whether to pridefully stay in an impoverished state, or return home in humility. Second, although the father didn't chase after the son and force him to come home, he was watching for his son. He had not forgotten his child. And when he saw his beloved son coming, he ran to meet him and welcome him home with compassion and love. In the same way, God doesn't force sinners to come to Him. He always allows them freedom of choice. But if they turn to Him in humility, He immediately opens His arms and runs to meet them. He is our watching and waiting Father.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Waiting for God to Move

"Cease striving and know that I am God;"
Psalm 46:10a

Are you waiting for God to move in your life? Has He planted a desire in your heart that you long to fulfill? There have been times in my walk with the Lord where I have a burning passion to serve Him in a certain area, but the door has not been opened for me to do so. My tendency is to try to pry open the door, out of my frustration and impatience with God. Experience has taught me that to do so is a grave mistake. Let God choose your time and place. If He has you in a waiting room, then remember this verse. Quit fussing. Be still. Know that God is God and that He will use you for His glory in His time. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Best Book of All

"The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd. But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body."
Ecclesiastes 12:11-12

There are many non-fiction books on my shelf, and many more on the shelves of bookstores and the public library that I will never have time to read. They are not divinely inspired. In fact, there are some authors who, after they have written a certain work, comment years later that they wrote in error. We can weary ourselves looking for answers in books written by men and women, or we can strengthen our hearts and minds by making the Bible our source of instruction. Between its covers we find all we need for an abundant life.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Joyful Shouting!

"Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth!
         Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains!
         For the LORD has comforted His people
         And will have compassion on His afflicted."
Isaiah 49:13

For Christians, it is of great comfort to know that we are not alone and that we never will be. The Lord is living in us and working through us. He is ever compassionate and loving.  If the heavens, the earth and the mountains are told to break forth into joyful shouting over these truths, shouldn't we do the same?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

"For You formed my inward parts;
         You wove me in my mother's womb.
    I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
         Wonderful are Your works,
         And my soul knows it very well."
Psalm 139:13-14

I am "fearfully and wonderfully made" and so are you. No matter who you are or what you look like. No matter if you came from a wealthy family or a family steeped in poverty. Whether you are highly educated, or illiterate. You are one of God's magnificent creations and that gives you value. You are beautiful in God's eyes and He delights in you. Give thanks to God. For you are "fearfully and wonderfully made". 
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