Mark 8:5 Use What You Have

Five Loaves and Fish

“How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied. Mark 8:5

Jesus had been teaching the people for many hours and it was getting late. The disciples wanted to send the people away so they could get food. Jesus told them to give them food. He asked the disciples how much food they had to give the people and the disciples told Him.

Everywhere that a person looks there is usually someone in need of something. In larger cities, it is a common scene to see someone standing at an intersection with a sign asking for money, food or a job. They are often homeless and trying to survive. They rely upon people to help them out.

While some people will give a little to them, many often look to those who have a lot of wealth to provide for those who have very little. Wealthy people are expected to provide for the needs of the poor. Or they expect the government to provide for the needs of the homeless or poor in need.

Even though the wealthy may have extra to provide for others, God does not rely upon those who are wealthy. God relies upon each individual believer to provide what he has for those who are in need.

What a person has may not be a lot, but in God’s hands it can provide a lot. The disciples only had a few loaves of bread, but with Jesus, they fed over 4,000 people. Without God’s help and provision, the seven loaves of bread might have fed about 10-12 people…maybe. God was able to multiply the bread to provide for everyone.

There will come times when you meet someone who is in need of something. You may not have a lot to provide, but you may have something. As a believer, you need to be willing to share what you have with others and trust that God will provide for all that is needed for both of you.

As you give to others, God can pour back into your life. He can use other believers, and non-believers, to meet your needs. He can multiply what you have to be more than enough for both of you.

Do not be afraid to share what God has blessed you with. He has more than enough to go around.

God may be asking you today, “what do you have to share?”

I pray today that you will share what God has given you; that God will use you to meet the needs of others; that God will multiply what you have to help others; and that God will provide abundantly for all of your needs. 

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Matthew 14:13-14 To Help Or Not To Help?

Jesus healing

When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:13-14

John the Baptist was just killed by beheading because he spoke against the king. When Jesus had received word about this, He decided to go to some solitary place alone. The people followed Him to that location. As He saw them, Jesus had compassion on them and began to heal them of their sicknesses.

The Bible does not give a reason as to why Jesus wanted to withdraw from the crowds and be alone. It may have been that hearing about John made Him think about what He knew He would have to go through. He knew His purpose on this earth was to go to the cross and die. He knew the pain and suffering that would cause. In order to stay focused, He chose to be alone with His Father and stay on the course He had set out to travel.

Despite how He was feeling, Jesus took time to heal more people. He did not complain to them or run from them, but turned to them and began to heal them.

In life a person may be busy all day at work and worn out, or may have something weighing heavy on his mind. At the end of the day all that person may want to do is go home and be alone to think. However, God may set a person in front of him to minister to and help. A choice has to be made–to serve self, or to serve someone else. Jesus chose to serve the people, the other person, not Himself.

As you go through your days, there will be times  you may want to just shut down and relax. Yet, God may put a person in your path to help. You have to make a choice also. Will you help that person? Or will you turn that person away and only help yourself?

Show the compassion that Jesus had for the people and help others when the opportunity comes. Don’t turn people away. That may be the only time that they have a chance to see Jesus in you or in someone.

I pray today that you will see people with the compassion Jesus had for the people; that you will rely on the strength of God to keep going forward; that God will use you to reach many people for Jesus; and that people will see the compassion of God in your life.

Hosea 9:2 The Food & Wine Will Fail

Threshing floors and winepresses will not feed the people; the new wine will fail them. Hosea 9:2

Hosea was telling the people of Israel to not rejoice. They had been found guilty of committing many sins and rejecting God. Punishment was coming to them. Many in Israel felt that because their crops were so good, that they would be able to support themselves and did not need God at all. They are warned that everything will fail them.

Farmers go out and plant huge fields of crops for food. They expect the crops to come in large enough to be able to feed their own family and sell a lot to others for more money, so they can get wealthy and feed more people.

On the surface this looks like it would provide for needs of all the people everywhere to get enough food. However, without God, those crops will not always come through as the farmer may expect. God has to be the one to provide the right amount of water and sunshine for those crops to grow. As people refuse to follow God and give Him all the credit, God pulls His hand of favor away and the crops will not grow as well, which will not feed the people.

Not every person grows food for themselves or for a profit. People use other things to make a profit and provide for themselves. Working many different types of jobs, people strive to have large bank accounts in order to provide for all of their needs. In the same way, if they are not following God and allowing Him to be in control, the bank accounts will fail. There will not be enough money to provide for all the needs one may have.

Life consists of more than just food and drink. One needs the nourishment of God and His word in his life on a daily basis.

As you are going through your life, what are you expecting to nourish you? Is it the food you buy with the money your job provided?

Or is it God providing through your job and His grace and mercy?

Keep your eyes and life focused on God and allow Him to be the one in control. Then God will provide for all of your needs. Your hands will work and be prosperous for your needs and the needs of others. Without God, they will fail.

I pray today that you will know God’s provision for your life; that you will trust in God alone; that God will provide for others through you; and that God will receive all the credit for the blessings in your life.

Not The Wrong Number

My 18 year old son, Kyle, had this situation occur to him a few days ago. This is what happened and he wrote about it.

Yesterday I got this call from a random person.
Apparently he got the number wrong. Normally I would just ignore things like this. But he left this message saying that he was trying to contact his mom. I could tell by the sound of his voice that he was a full grown man.

So I felt it necessary to call him and inform him that he probably shouldn’t be expecting a call back from this number. He apologized and said you know the thing is. I’m about to go into surgery. Then he says so if I called you it was purely by accident.

Then I simply replied to him I don’t think it was an accident. I said this may seem a little weird. But do you believe in God? He replied to me that he did. So I said then we’re praying right now.

So I began to pray for him on the spot not knowing anything about him the mistakes that he made the regrets that he has or the victories he has accomplished. But I knew that God knew his name and knew every part of this situation.

Afterwards he thanked me and told me that I made a difference that I could never know. And I simply replied to him it’s no big deal it’s what the church is supposed to do.

As a human being I understand that it is necessary to have a healthy body you must exercise and have a proper eating habit. As a martial artist I understand that practice makes perfect. When you practice a specific skill you become competent in that skill. When you possess the competence of the skill it reaps confidence.

If you are apart of the church and the church is the body of Christ I must ask you this question. As the body of Christ do you exercise exercising is the means of tearing down a muscle so that it will build back up stronger. Christ is the coach so when he wants you to exercise do you do it? Do you as the body of Christ practice what the coach wants you to practice.
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. – Mark 16:15
So the question is do you practice what you preach? As the body of Christ do you have a proper eating habit? In other words do you monitor what you listen to what you watch where you go? What is it that you let influence you?
Now I am not the judge. But I think it’s high time we put the money where our mouth is.

Proverbs 31:10-27 The Right Wife

The passage that I have chosen today is too long to want to copy all of it here. Please click on the link Proverbs 31:10-27 and read the passage.

There are many views on who the right wife is for a man. Each person, man, woman, mother, or father, has a different view. In this passage a description is given that is often ignored.

The wife described here is not one who is a door-mat, that just gets walked all over by her husband or her children. Nor is she one described as the boss of the household.

Often wives have a career and are focused on moving on up in that career. They are focused on how to look better in this world. It may be to look better in this world for her husband or children, but the focus is still on her. The wife described here is focused on making life better for her husband and her children.

She is willing to work with her own hands to provide the best for her family, not for herself. Many marriages are built around the concept of his and her own stuff. Each one has their own checking account, own vehicles, own food, own life and are not together. Everything done is for self, rather than for the family.

This is not about women’s liberation, but about love for family. When a woman puts her family first and meets their needs first, she will be blessed in the end. Her family will see all the hard work she does and bless her. Her husband can trust her to make all the right choices in this life and for the family.

If you are a wife and are reading this today, what is your focus in your family? The first level of focus must be on God, the second is on your husband, and third is on your children. The last area of focus is to be on yourself.

God will provide for your needs as you pour out yourself into the needs of your family.

The method of meeting your family needs will be different for each wife. Seek God to know how you can best do that and be the wife that is blessed.

I pray today that God will give you the strength to work for your family; that God will guide you in what to do for your family; and that your family will see a treasure in you.

Proverbs 25:21-22 How To Treat Your Enemy

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you. Proverbs 25:21-22

It is commonly thought that when an enemy does something wrong, the first thing that should be done is to strike back and make the enemy pay for the wrong that was done. The striking back is seen as a punishment. It can be just words, or a physical strike, or some other correction. Today many will take someone to court and get them put in jail or made to pay a fine or some law suit. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth is the mentality of many people.

The idea of the “punishment” is to make the person hurt a little for what he did. Causing pain in some way, is supposed to detour the person from ever doing it again. In this process of punishing the wrong-doers, prisons have been filled to overflowing with those who have done wrong, wars have been waged between nations or groups of people, and millions of innocent people have been hurt.

God has a different plan on how to deal with the enemy. Since you are not God, you do not have the full right to punish the enemy. You are to be like Jesus. He fed the enemy and gave the enemy water to drink. Do you think that every person who ate in the group of 5,000, fully loved and followed Him for who He was? Most likely not.

Solomon says treating an enemy with food and water will heap burning coals on his head. When shown the true love and mercy of God, the person doing wrong will feel the pressure to change. He will realize the wrong that he has been doing.

As a believer, you are to be set apart from the world. You are to be different from the world. The world wants revenge, you must show love and mercy.

When someone has done something wrong to you, the best thing you can do is meet their needs the best way you can. Since their needs were not being met, maybe that is why they treated you wrong.

When you do these kind things, God will see and reward you. His reward will be greater than any person on this earth could give you.

How are you treating your enemies today?

I pray today that you will be filled with God’s love for all; that God will strengthen you to do right to your enemy; and that God will reward you for your love and mercy on others.

Proverbs 19:17 Lending To The Lord

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done. Proverbs 19:17

Banks lend money out to people with the expectation that they will get paid back with interest. It is one of their processes of making more money. The banks are not always very concerned about what is done with the money, they just want to be ensured they will get it back.

People often loan things out to friends or family. They will loan out tools or equipment, books, dishes, or even vehicles. Nearly everything can be available to be loaned out. In this type of loan, people do expect to get the item back, but not necessarily with interest. They trust that the item will come back in good condition.

Jesus had stated that one should be willing to lend to anyone, but not to expect a return. Believers are to lend out freely and not force the person to return the item. They are not expected to get what was loaned out back with interest.

The reason for it can be found in what Solomon says. When a person is kind to a poor person, he is lending to the Lord. Being kind is providing something that the person needs. It could be some material thing or just a listening ear or a helping hand.

Being kind to someone who is poor, often means that person cannot pay it back. This is where one needs to trust in the Lord.

God is watching everything that you do. He is taking note of it and will not forget it. When you have reached out and met a need of someone else, God will reward you. The methods of rewarding you may be different each time.

There are times God will abundantly meet your needs. You will end up with a surplus. Other times God will fill you with His joy and peace at being able to help meet another person’s needs. Ultimately you will be rewarded in heaven for all the good things you have done.

As you go through life, do not be afraid to help meet the needs of someone else. Trust that God will meet your needs and reward you for what you have done for someone else.

I pray today that you will trust God’s provision; that God will use you to help meet the needs of others; that you will freely lend to others; and that God’s love and generosity will be shown through your life.