7 Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!” – John 6:7 NLT
Philip and the other disciples had been following Jesus for a while now. They had seen Jesus perform miracle after miracle. Even now, a huge crowd was approaching Jesus because they knew about His miraculous work. Jesus sees this as an opportunity to test Philip. He asks Philip, “Where will we buy bread to feed these people?” Philip doesn’t answer the question Jesus asks, instead, he makes a statement about their lack. It doesn’t seem to enter his mind that the Bread of Life is sitting right in front of him. When Jesus asks us to do something for Him, what do we see? What is our answer? Don’t we do basically what Philip did? “Even if we_______, we wouldn’t have enough! (fill in the blank with whatever you think you would have to do to accomplish the mission). Most of us, like Philip, avoid the question and look at what we don’t have. Jesus will never ask us to do a work for Him without providing everything we need to accomplish the task. All he wants is our availability and all we need to finish the work is Jesus. If we do what Jesus asks us to do, the oil and the flour will not run out.
15 The widow went and did as Elijah had told her, and all of them had enough food for many days. 16 As the Lord had promised through Elijah, the bowl did not run out of flour nor did the jar run out of oil.—1 Kings 17:15, 16 (GNT)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. — Matthew 6:34 NLT
We all know that worrying does not change anything, yet we continue to be overly concerned about temporary things and situations. God has been faithful to bring us this far and no one can remove us from His hand. Worrying about the future only keeps us from enjoying today. Let the joy of the Lord abide in you and soon your worries will begin to disappear. I realize that sounds overly simplistic, but it really is true. Our attitude about today can be changed by changing our focus. Focus on Jesus and what He has done for us. Focus on what you have and be thankful rather than focusing on what you don’t have. If we trust God with eternal security for our souls, surely we can trust Him for this moment.
Psalm 145:15-21 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 4:19 NLT
This is one of those verses that just about everyone knows even if they have very limited familiarity with the Bible. We need to ask ourselves if we truly believe this verse. How many of us have ever really experienced an unfulfilled need in our lives? If we don’t count the days that we fast or the times we missed a meal because we chose to, have we ever had a day when we didn’t have three meals or at least have the opportunity to have three meals? Most of us could probably go ten days or more without wearing any of our clothes twice. If we are honest, the large majority of those reading this have never experienced a true “need” in our lives. The truth is that we in the United States could probably clothe most of the needy in our land by giving away the clothes we don’t need or wear. We could feed families on the food we throw away. When we pray that God will feed the hungry and clothe the needy, do we ever consider that He might be saying to us, “I have but you haven’t passed it on to them yet”? Maybe God has chosen not to give us any more until we use what we have got for His honor and glory by helping others.
4 Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.” — 1 Kings 17:4 NLT
When the children of Israel kept complaining about their food situation in the desert, God gave them meat in the evenings and bread in the mornings (Exodus 16:8) . The manna fell from the heavens and an east wind blew in the quail. After Elijah had told Ahab that there would be no rain or dew in the land of Israel for a few years, Ahab became angry and desired to kill Elijah. God instructed Elijah to go hide by the Kerith Brook. Even though there was famine in the land, God had commanded the ravens to bring Elijah bread in the morning and meat in the evening. Elijah had food twice a day and water from the brook. God had created the ravens as scavengers. They are able to find food and survive when others are dying from hunger. It probably doesn’t sound too tasty but God provided all that Elijah needed to survive. We may not be happy in our present position but God has provided that position to us so that we can survive. Be thankful until the brook dries up and the ravens quit bringing the food. If we are thankful and obedient, then God will open up another way to feed us just as He did for Elijah by sending him to the widow of Zarephath. The widow fed Elijah a little bread made from her last flour and oil. That little turned into an abundance. God blessed the widow for her obedience and her jars of flour and oil never ran out. Provision and abundance follows obedience.
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. — Psalm 91:14 NLT
What an encouraging thought to know that God has promised to rescue those that love Him and protect those who trust in His name. No other entity of any kind can make such a brash claim and then live up to it without ever failing. There will be times in our lives when our parents can’t rescue. our friends can’t protect us but God will be there to deliver us from every evil. Nations have trusted in other so-called gods only to find that they have no power. Man-made idols have hands but they can’t touch or feel us, they have feet but they can’ run to your assistance in times of need. They have mouths but they can’t speak to us., they have ears but they can’t hear us. Only our God, the Creator of the universe and every thing in it is able to do exactly what He says He will do and nothing or nobody can stop Him from fulfilling every promise. So, let us run to Him and allow Him to protect us and provide everything we need. He is waiting with open arms.
8 “Moreover, I hereby decree that you are to help these elders of the Jews as they rebuild this Temple of God. You must pay the full construction costs, without delay, from my taxes collected in the province west of the Euphrates River so that the work will not be interrupted. — Ezra 6:8 NLT
In Exodus, we saw that when God brought the Israelis out of the bondage of Israel, He brought them laden with gold and the treasures of the land. God had instructed Moses to tell the people to ask their Egyptian neighbors for whatever they would give. In this way, Egypt was plundered. God had sent the Israelis into bondage again when the Babylon army ransacked Jerusalem and took the people to Babylon. When the time of their bondage was fulfilled, God brought them out of Babylon to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. Cyrus had decreed that they could go in peace and do this. He gave them the bowls and utensils that had been brought from the Temple. Cyrus also decreed that their neighbors should “contribute toward their expenses” by giving them voluntary offerings of gold, silver, livestock and anything else they might need for their journey to Jerusalem. The people of the provinces west of the Euphrates opposed the rebuilding of the Temple. When Darius became king, they wrote him a letter requesting that that he, Darius, should tell the Israelis to cease and desist. Instead, Darius had the records searched and found the decree that Cyrus had written years before. He not only decreed that everything in that letter would be fulfilled but that the peoples of the provinces west of the Euphrates would not help the elders rebuild the Temple but they would bear the cost of the reconstruction using the tax money they usually paid to Darius. You would need to read the whole book of Ezra to get even a small grasp of all that God provided for His people so the Temple could be rebuilt. They received gifts worth billions in today’s economy. God never sends us anywhere or asks us to do anything that He does not provide “more than enough’ to complete the mission. “Dayenu” is Hebrew for “sufficient for us” and it is a beautiful Passover song that reminds us of just how great God really is.
19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.– Matt. 28:19 NLT
We are all very familiar with the Great Commission that Jesus gave His disciples. Luke tells us that shortly after this, Jesus ascends leaving the disciples without the only leader they had ever known. If we had been there and been one of the disciples of Jesus, what would our initial repsonse have been? If it were anything similar to what I believe mine would have been, it would have caused me to ask a lot of questions. Where do I start, which direction do I go, who is going to support me as I make the trip and who is going to take care of my family while I am gone? I don’t have any speeches prepared to present to the people, what will I say? I’m not prepared to go on some long journey to some place I have never been and I haven’t prepared my family for such a venture. I would not only be doubting my abilities to carry out this mission (which is totally true}, I would be doubting God’s ability to enable me to carry out His mission (which is totally wrong and therfore sinful). I would be doubting His ability to provide for me and to take care of me. I would be saying “God is able” but my thoughts and my actions would be saying “I don’t really believe that”.
As true believers, our response should not be one of worry and doubt but of agreement, just as Isaiah said when God asked HIm “who shall we send?” and Isaiah answers “Here am I, Lord, send me.”.