Thursday, May 5, 2011

Loaves and Fishes

The feeding of the five thousand is a story we grew up with in Sunday School.  I still remember the flannel boards and getting to add a picture from the story when it was my turn.  As a child I learned what Jesus can do if we give Him all we have, but somewhere along the road to becoming an adult I seem to have forgotten that truth.  I stopped thinking with the the child like faith that God can do anything to the adult faith of I don't have anything to give.  

Take a fresh look with me at this miracle.  In John 6: 5 & 7 Jesus asks His disciples where they will get food.  Phillip responds with not what they have access to, but by stating what they  don’t have.  How many times a day to you respond to God by telling Him what you do not have?  Just as Phillip I am often aware of the needs of others around me, yet I do not respond with compassion or with what I have been blessed with, I respond with telling God what I don't have to give.

In verse 8, Andrew responds with what they do have, but still questions how God can use that among so many.

"There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?"                  John 6:8

I also respond to God’s call sometimes like that, Lord, it would take more than what I have, or Lord I don’t have what it takes.

Christ's response to us found in Matthew 14:18, Matthew's account of the same miracle.  He (Jesus) said, "Bring them here to Me."  Don't make excuses about what you do not have, bring what you do have to Him.

·      I don’t have the time to go to Peru to share Christ to lost people groups – there are lost people on the street where I live........

·      I don’t have the money to go to the Czech Republic to work with single moms  – there are single moms in our community that can use encouragement ...........

·      I don’t have the room in my vehicle to pick up 7 or 8 kids to bring to church – Lord, I have one seat in my car, show me who to invite to worship.................

·      If my house were bigger, nicer, prettier I could have the Bible Study group over – Lord, show me one couple to invite to dinner to share the Bread of Life..............

·      Lord, I am so busy, I hardly have time for my family – Lord, show me how to make better use of my time and how I can bless someone today with the time I do have.  Everyone can find 15 minutes.......................

·      Lord, I don’t have the money to adopt a child in need – I have enough to send to Compassion, World Hunger or perhaps bless a student in my child’s class........

God wants us to stop telling Him what we don’t have, He already knows, (He gave it to us) and start giving Him what we do have.

Fish and barley loaves were poor man’s food.  It was not extravagant by it’s own right, yet God used it.  Let’s go back and look at John 6:6.  Jesus already knew what He was going to do; He was going to feed the hungry.  He was testing the disciples to see if they were willing to be used.  Is He testing you in an area to see if you are going to join Him?

The day started with not enough, and ended with leftovers.  I believe the people would have been fed that day even without the loaves and fishes, God supplied manna for His children before, but because the disciples along with the lad chose to give all that they had, God chose to use them in a great way. 

I want to caution you, this is not about what you have to give to God, but about giving everything you have to God and allowing Him to use it for His glory.  Phillip said that 8 months pay would give each one just a bite, doing it in our own strength is not “filling”, but when we give God what we have, he can multiply it far beyond what we ever imagined.

I want to challenge you today, next time you are tempted to tell God what you do not have, instead give God everything you do have and allow it to be used to His glory!


  1. Such a simple principle that it worth practicing. There is a quote on one of my calendars that says "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are" and the same could apply to the principles you highlighted in your post.

    The Madlab Post

  2. Excellent post!!! I got excited reading this- such great thoughts here!!

  3. Gods ways really are higher!! It bends our minds, doesnt it? So much to ingest here, thanks for sharing :) x