“Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.” 1 Corinthians 11:28
One of the things Jesus wanted believers to do on a regular basis was to eat bread and drink wine (or juice) in remembrance of His death on the cross. Today churches do this and call the process: communion. In this passage Paul is discussing the eating of the bread and wine. He had stated that there is a wrong way to eat it. Before eating the food, a person is to examine himself.
The eating of the bread and wine, does not change a person, make him/her better or worse, or remove any sin. It is only to remind a person of what Jesus has done for him. It is representative of His body and blood. Now keep this in mind.
What does it mean to examine yourself? It is to take a serious look at your life, not just the outside surface of your life, but your inner heart and soul. What does your heart look like? What is the condition of your soul?
The whole purpose of Jesus death on the cross was to pay the price for your sins and remove them from your life. When you had sinned, you had a death penalty put on your head. You were guilty of sin and were to be punished by death. Jesus died in your place.
After dying for you, He rose from the dead and was willing to take away your sins. All that you had to do was repent of your sins and accept His forgiveness.
When you take part of communion, you are remembering what Jesus did for you. As you take the bread and wine, is there sin still in your heart and life that has been left un-confessed? If there is, you are bringing judgment upon yourself. You are rejecting what Jesus has done for you, even though you are “remembering” it.
Take a serious look at your heart and life before you take part of communion. Repent of any sin in your life. Ask Jesus to forgive you. Then you will be clean before Him as you take part of the communion, as you remember what He has done for you. Do not allow yourself to fall into judgment.
I pray today that God will reveal to you any sin in your life; that you will repent of all sin; that you will turn to Jesus and follow Him; that you will examine your life daily to keep in line with Jesus; and that you will know what Jesus has done for you.
“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will that go among so many?” John 6:9
Jesus had been teaching for an extended amount of time in a remote location. There were about 5,000 men there, not to include any women or children. As it came to evening time Jesus asked about how the disciples were going to feed the people. They did not have any clue as to how to do it. Andrew then brings up a boy with a few loaves of bread and some fish. Jesus blesses the food and feeds everyone with leftovers at the end.
Often people come up against a situation in life that needs a solution and quickly. They look around and do not see any easy solution, while in God’s eyes, the solution is right in front of them.
God can take a very little and make it a lot. Read the rest of the story, they end up with twelve baskets full of left over bread crumbs. That is more than they started with.
In my family of just ten people, we can go through a whole loaf of bread in one meal easily. How can five loaves feed 5,000? It is by the work of God. He multiplied the loaves to meet the need.
Along with taking just a little food to feed the many, Jesus also used a boy. Most people do not even look at a child as a solution to a major food issue.
Many people also look at themselves like a child. They feel they are too small to really do anything big for God. They do not see how God can possibly use them in a real way.
Compared to God, you and I are nothing. You really have nothing of value, except giving your own self. Give God your life and you have given Him the most valuable thing available. God can then use you and what little you have to do great things.
Are you a willing little child? Are you available to God? Are you willing to give God what you have to use for His glory? Seek God today on how you can be used by Him. You may be surprised at what can happen.
I pray today that God will reveal to you how He can use you; that you will be willing to be used by God; that you will trust God with what you have; that God will work miracles through you; and that God will build His kingdom through you.
“Give us each day our daily bread.” Luke 11:3
The disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. They had seen that John the Baptist had done that with his disciples and wanted it also. Jesus then gives them a simple prayer. Part of that prayer was the asking for daily bread.
When they pray, most people can come up with a long list of needs and desires to pray for. For many people, much of those prayers are of desires more than needs. For some those desires are for helping others in their time of need.
None of these desires are necessarily bad, but they may be more than what Jesus taught.
Most people want today taken care of, along with tomorrow and even the next month, or twenty years. As a human, you cannot see everything about tomorrow with guaranteed clarity. You want to know that everything tomorrow will be ready.
Asking for your daily bread, is asking for just what you need for today and today alone. In another spot, Jesus said you are not to worry about tomorrow. Asking for something you need tomorrow, is worrying about it.
Each morning you get up, you must trust that God will give you just what you need for that day. Think of Israelites when they were in the wilderness. Each morning they got up and had to get their food for the day that God provided. There was not a morning when their food was not provided, yet it was not seen the day before.
Are you trusting God for the provision you need? Or are you trusting what the world says?
You may have a large bank account today, but tomorrow that bank could collapse leaving you nothing. You may have a refrigerator full of food today, but tonight it may break down and all the food goes bad tomorrow. Trust in God for your daily provision.
Trust God for what you need. Seek that and that alone. If God chooses to give you above that accept it as a bonus gift, but don’t trust in it. Trust in the daily provision God will give you.
I pray today that you will know that God does provide for your needs; that you will trust God; that you will learn to pray to God as Jesus taught; and that you will follow God’s desire for your life.
“He replied, You give them something to eat. They answered, We have only five loaves of bread and two fish–unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” Luke 9:13
Jesus had been teaching about five thousand men in a remote countryside area. It was getting late and the people needed to eat. The disciples suggested sending the people home, but Jesus told them to give the people something to eat.
In this story, Jesus miraculously provided enough food for all the people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. Everyone was able to eat until they were full, and then there was some food still leftover.
Today, God may allow you the opportunity to feed some or many people with a miracle of provision. Later Jesus stated that you are to feed the poor. This was with physical food.
There is also another food that every believer can provide every person with an unlimited supply. That food is the Word of God and God Himself.
The Word of God is food to feed the empty soul of a person.
Every person is hungry for something. They try to fill their lives with things that they expect to meet that hunger need. Very often it is material things: better cars, bigger homes, larger paycheck, more fame, and much more.
Although all these things can be good, they do not really fill a person up. These things are like eating a snack of some junk food–they taste good, but don’t really satisfy in the end.
Jesus had once told the disciples that His food was doing the will of God. People in the world need to hear the Word of God and get to know who God is in order to be able to do the will of God.
Once a person does the will of God, they will be satisfied in a way nothing on this earth can ever satisfy.
Be sure that you are eating the correct food–the Words and will of God. Then, find ways to feed everyone else the food that satisfies for all eternity. Give the people you meet the Word of God. Introduce them to the Bread of Life-Jesus. Let them eat and never hunger again.
I pray today that God will reveal His Word to you; that you will fill up on the Word of God; that you will pass on the Word of God to others; that you will be satisfied with God’s Word; and that God will build His kingdom through you.
“Lord, she replied, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs. Then he told her, For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.” Mark 7:28-29
Jesus had been teaching in the area of Tyre. A Greek woman came up to Jesus and fell at His feet begging for Him to drive a demon out of her daughter.
Since she was a Greek and not a Jew, Jesus answered in an interestingly harsh way. He states that the children must be allowed to eat all they want first before giving food to the dogs. Jesus was basically saying that because she was not an Israelite but a Greek, she was a dog and should not be given anything yet.
The woman points out that, however, the dogs get to eat crumbs that the children fall from the table. She did not necessarily want the full bread that Jesus was giving out, she just wanted a little small crumb. All she desired was a little mercy for her daughter, nothing for herself directly.
Jesus sees this statement as one of great faith and hope. He drives out the demon immediately.
This woman knew who she was and where she stood with the Jewish people. She understood that as an outsider, she would not be allowed to share in the blessings of God fully. Yet, she had some hope that Jesus would hear her plea.
She may have been looking at all the miracles Jesus performed. She may have seen the mercy and grace He had been showing many people. Looking at all these things, she may have realized that He would most likely show mercy on her also.
Jesus was her last hope and she clung to it. She did not give up easily. When the answer sounded negative, she pointed to the way God works.
Today, when you are seeking God for something, show Him the words He spoke in the Bible. Appeal to His love and promises. Believe that He can and will meet your need. Trust God as your last and only hope.
I pray today that you will trust in Jesus for all of your needs; that you will know the promises of God; that God will reveal His love and mercy to you; that you will not give up in trusting in Jesus; and that Jesus will be your last and only hope in everything in life.
“But he answered, ‘You give them something to eat.’ They said to him, ‘That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?’ ‘How many loaves do you have?’ he asked. ‘Go and see.’ When they found out, they said, ‘Five–and two fish.” Mark 6:37-38
Many people had been listening to Jesus teach in a remote area. Since it was getting late, the disciples suggested sending the people home to get some food. Jesus wants the disciples to feed the people.
There were about 5,000 men, not including any women or children in the crowd. The disciples immediately realized the challenge. This would cost a lot.
All Jesus asked for was what they had on hand. He did not tell them to go and buy more, but to use what they had. With just five loaves of bread and two fish they fed at least 5,000 grown men. This was a miracle of God’s provision.
Two or three men could easily finish off a loaf of bread and a fish, imagine now 5,000 men and what they could eat. After they ate, there was twelve baskets full of leftovers!
Even today God works the same way. God wants you to be a servant to others and to give to meet the needs of others. God does not ask you to give anything that you do not have. All He asks is that you give of what you have been blessed with.
The disciples must have thought Jesus was crazy when He told them to feed the people with such little food. They probably expected to feed a few and then be done quickly, but that did not happen.
As you give, you must trust God to multiply that gift and to continue to provide for your own needs. Currently, we are in the Christmas season. This is a time of giving. Are you trusting God to help you in giving? Are you giving from the heart or just to look good?
Seek God for what you need to give. Ask God to use it abundantly. Trust God to use your gift. Be willing to give the little that you have. Do not just give out of your surplus, give what God wants you to give.
I pray today that God will show you what you can do for others; that God will do a miracle of multiplication in your giving; that God will bless thousands through you; that God will provide abundantly; and that God will build His kingdom through you.