What will you do with the little or the excess you have? What if all you had was 7 loaves of bread? What if you were in a crowd of thousands and people were wondering how everyone was going to eat? What if they asked around and you knew you have food in your bag? Would you share? Would you say “it’s only a little, it can’t help everyone” and so not help anyone? What if God was asking for people willing to be a part of a miracle? He can use even the little you have to bless. Be it like the times of the Old Testament with “a little oil” and faith to get enough jars…
Elisha Helps a Poor Widow
1One day the widow of a member of the group of prophets came to Elisha and cried out, “My husband who served you is dead, and you know how he feared the lord. But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves.”
2“What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?”
“Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil,” she replied.
3And Elisha said, “Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. 4Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.”
5So she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. 6Soon every container was full to the brim!
“Bring me another jar,” she said to one of her sons.
“There aren’t any more!” he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing.
7When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, “Now sell the olive oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on what is left over.”
~from 2 Kings 4 (NLT)
or be it like today’s reading where the little was enough with God’s blessings that there was leftovers…
Jesus Feeds Four Thousand People
1Not long afterward another large crowd came together. When the people had nothing left to eat, Jesus called the disciples to him and said, 2“I feel sorry for these people, because they have been with me for three days and now have nothing to eat. 3If I send them home without feeding them, they will faint as they go, because some of them have come a long way.”
4His disciples asked him, “Where in this desert can anyone find enough food to feed all these people?”
5“How much bread do you have?” Jesus asked.
“Seven loaves,” they answered.
6He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves, gave thanks to God, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the crowd; and the disciples did so. 7They also had a few small fish. Jesus gave thanks for these and told the disciples to distribute them too. 8-9Everybody ate and had enough—there were about four thousand people. Then the disciples took up seven baskets full of pieces left over. Jesus sent the people away 10and at once got into a boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.
~from Mark 8 (GNT)
God is willing and able to take what you have, bless it, and multiply it based on our faith and obedience! Is your faith big enough to allow you to be used by God for the miraculous? God is more than enough! God is faithful! His plans for us are good!
So “Why?” you might ask. What would cause me or transform me into being someone who could do such a thing? And the short answer is LOVE! The longer answer comes from today’s reading…
1I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. 2I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains—but if I have no love, I am nothing. 3I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned—but if I have no love, this does me no good.
4Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; 5love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; 6love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. 7Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.
8Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass. 9For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial; 10but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear.
11When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child; now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways. 12What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to-face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete—as complete as God’s knowledge of me.
13Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.
~from 1 Corinthians 13 (GNT)
From God’s Word, we know that God is love! That means God = Love, so we should be able to replace it in the definition. Let’s try and check it out:
GOD is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; GOD is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; GOD does not keep a record of wrongs; GOD is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. GOD never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail. GOD is eternal.
Now as we try to conform ourselves to God’s ways imagine the day when we could replace “Love is” with “I am”, “it is” with “I am “, “Love does” with “I do”, “Love never gives up” with “I never give up”…
I am patient and kind; I am not jealous or conceited or proud; I am not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; I do not keep a record of wrongs; I am not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. I never give up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail. I am eternal.
Imagine that day. Imagine a world with everyone able to say it because that is how we are all living it! Imagine the impact. Imagine the influence! Imagine the transforming power! So let’s not grow wearing in doing good works! Let’s allow our faith to work in us that each day we become more and more like LOVE AND GOD!
God is faithful and when He brings you to it, He will bring you through it! He will accomplish His plans and purposes! Will you choose to allow Him to do it in and through you?
God’s Promise to David
19In a vision long ago you said to your faithful servants,
“I have given help to a famous soldier;
I have given the throne to one I chose from the people.
20I have made my servant David king
by anointing him with holy oil.
21My strength will always be with him,
my power will make him strong.
22His enemies will never succeed against him;
the wicked will not defeat him.
23I will crush his foes
and kill everyone who hates him.
24I will love him and be loyal to him;
I will make him always victorious.
25I will extend his kingdom
from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates River.
26He will say to me,
‘You are my father and my God;
you are my protector and savior.’
27I will make him my first-born son,
the greatest of all kings.
28I will always keep my promise to him,
and my covenant with him will last forever.
29His dynasty will be as permanent as the sky;
a descendant of his will always be king.
30“But if his descendants disobey my law
and do not live according to my commands,
31if they disregard my instructions
and do not keep my commandments,
32then I will punish them for their sins;
I will make them suffer for their wrongs.
33But I will not stop loving David
or fail to keep my promise to him.
34I will not break my covenant with him
or take back even one promise I made him.
35“Once and for all I have promised by my holy name:
I will never lie to David.
36He will always have descendants,
and I will watch over his kingdom as long as the sun shines.
37It will be as permanent as the moon,
that faithful witness in the sky.”
Lament over the Defeat of the King
38But you are angry with your chosen king;
you have deserted and rejected him.
39You have broken your covenant with your servant
and thrown his crown in the dirt.
40You have torn down the walls of his city
and left his forts in ruins.
41All who pass by steal his belongings;
all his neighbors laugh at him.
42You have given the victory to his enemies;
you have made them all happy.
43You have made his weapons useless
and let him be defeated in battle.
44You have taken away his royal scepter#
89.44: Probable text royal scepter; Hebrew purity.
and knocked his throne to the ground.
45You have made him old before his time
and covered him with disgrace.
A Prayer for Deliverance
46Lord, will you hide yourself forever?
How long will your anger burn like fire?
47Remember how short my life is;
remember that you created all of us mortal!
48Who can live and never die?
How can we humans keep ourselves from the grave?
49Lord, where are the former proofs of your love?
Where are the promises you made to David?
50Don’t forget how I, your servant, am insulted,
how I endure all the curses of the heathen.
51Your enemies insult your chosen king, O Lord!
They insult him wherever he goes.
52Praise the Lord forever!
~from Psalm 89 (GNT)