SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT FOR TODAY
Passage: Luke 9:12-17
“12 When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.”
13 But He said to them, “You give them something to eat.”
And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men.
Then He said to His disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of fifty.” 15 And they did so, and made them all sit down.
16 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. 17 So they all ate and were filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them.”
Memory Verse Jeremiah 32:27 (NIV)
“I AM THE LORD THE GOD OF ALL MANKIND. IS ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR ME?”
Jesus and his disciples had gone to rest at Bethsaida when many people went to Jesus with their problems. Jesus did not let them go but made time to teach them and also healed their sicknesses. Because of the word they heard and the fulfillment they had when they were with Jesus, the people did not hurry to leave for their homes. They were not worried about what to eat or how they would reach their homes before night falls. Simply put, they were not in a hurry to leave the presence of the Master; they were very glad to be in the presence of the Lord. This is a demonstration of faith in the Lord. They recognized that there was no place better than the presence of the Lord. This shows that truly there is joy in being in the presence of the Lord.
Unfortunately many people do not know the peace and joy which fills the hearts of those who remain in the presence of the Lord. This is largely because they do not open their hearts to God. As a result they either make time to meet with the Lord once in a while or do not make time at all to either pray, listen to or read the word of God. Some people go to church and they are always in a hurry to go out for what they consider ‘more important’. It is my prayer that all Christians will realize the joy and peace which fill the hearts of those who love to dwell in the presence of the Lord and take advantage of every opportunity to attend church fellowships, pray, listen to and read God’s word. Those who went to Jesus were not in a hurry to leave because of the spiritual blessings they received. May you receive your portion of God’s blessings as you remain in God’s presence!
Those who dwell in the shelter of the Most High will indeed rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This does not mean that those who dwell in the presence of the Lord may not encounter any problems whatsoever. What it means is that because they love to be in the presence of the Almighty He will give them rest in their moments of difficulties. As the people sat and listened to the Master the disciples realized how fast time was moving and how important it was for the people to eat. So they went to the Master and told him to let the crowd go out to look for their own food to eat. The disciples never imagined how God could provide for the over ten thousand people who had gathered to listen to the Master. So they made a suggestion to the Master without asking him how the people were going to eat. This is the question many Christians fail to ask when we find ourselves in difficult situations. We fail to ask God how to get out of the situation. Instead we prescribe our own solutions and pursue them. Sometimes we prescribe our solutions and expect God to sanction it for us. This is not the right way to go. It is better to ask God what to do or how to go about a particular challenge we may be facing. If we trust God to be the Omnipotent who is capable to doing anything he wants to do we shall consult him whenever we are faced with difficult situations!
Even though the disciples knew it was impossible to feed the many people who had gathered around the Master, Jesus showed them how God is able to make what is impossible to men possible. Jesus prayed over the five loaves of bread and the two fish presented to him by the Twelve after asking them to sit in groups of fifties. The disciples obeyed the Master without any questioning and what was seemingly impossible became possible. They were able to share the bread and fish for all the people gathered and still had excess of twelve baskets full of broken pieces. This emphasizes the nature of God as the Omnipotent God capable to doing anything he so wishes to do. It also shows that God is a prayer answering God who answers the requests of those who trust in him. This story also shows that Jesus depended on the Father during his ministry on earth and teaches us to do the same. Jesus gave thanks to the Father and the Father turned what was impossible before men into a possibility. This reemphasizes the truth that there is nothing too hard for the Lord to do. It does not matter how people may see and understand the challenges facing them. It is however true that absolute dependence on God can change what is impossible before men into possibilities.
Beloved in Christ let us believe that God can indeed supply every need of the people he has created. He does not only have control over human beings but over all creation. He can command every need of ours to come when we believe and ask him. He does not look unconcerned while his people suffer. What he requires is faith in him. If we shall all believe and consult God in every difficult situation we face he shall surely answer us. Let us not look anywhere for help but God. Let us continue to love him and remain in his presence and he will provide all our needs to our surprise.
THE WORD OF THE LORD!
Pastor Nana Kobina Baisie
Teacher/Pastor at Nadrim Mission International School, Busan, Korea.