(Audio of sermon: )
I was asked to help share on the account of the Feeding of the 5,000 and well, here it is.
My name is Devon (holds up loaf) and I AM A LOAF OF BREAD.
…but we will get to that later.
If there is one message that is clearly given in the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000, it is that God provides. And he does so in abundance.
In Mark 8 just a short while after the account of the feeding of the five thousand there is another story that is nicely titled The feeding of the four thousand. Not quite as grand yet simply as impressive.
Mark 8 says “During those days….
v4 “His disciples answered, “But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?”
Now if I were Jesus….and I do say those words with much caution… I would look at these guys and go “Are you kidding me?!? Do you not get it!? I just did that!”
How often does God provide for us, How often does He bring us out of tough situations, and yet the very next time we find ourselves in a difficult situation we question him. We question if he is capable of getting us out again. We run straight to our doubts.
(add mom’s story here.)
Say God leads you somewhere, you get a great job or you get into the college program, or you get that thing you’ve been wanting for some unknown period of time. And in all of this you thank and praise God for it.
And then something happens and you have to let it go or leave it behind and you get upset with God and you question and doubt Him asking how are we going to get through this and God is looking at you going “Do you not get it!? I just did this!” God uses the downs in our lives to provide better ups. God uses change to bring us better things. God provides and he provides in abundance.
If you have any money in your pocket I want you to pull it out take a look at it for a second.
On that dollar or that coin there are four words inscribed that we often forget are there. A four-word promise that we carry with us everywhere. On our money it is written “In God We Trust.”
Do we really trust God with anything and everything in our lives, even when times are tough.
Sometimes our amount of trust is closely related to the amount of those promises we have in our pocket. And the less we have the less we trust.
The greatest commandment is to Love the lord your God with all your heart soul and mind. And in 1 Corinthians 13 it says Love always trusts.
It is so easy to base all of our trust on the amount God provides according to our wants or needs. You know when life is hard and we feel like God is distant or he’s just not seemingly helping us with that problem that we have at that exact moment, it’s hard to trust God. It’s hard to trust.
I think that’s because for many of us all we really want from God is for him to provide.
If you open your Bibles back to John 6 we will go from there.
After Jesus feeds the five thousand he had a rather large crowd that followed him around. He left the crowd and went to the other side of the lake and the people decided to go and look for him. The crowd upon finding him ask’s in verse 25. Rabbi when did you get here? And Jesus knowing what they were really getting at answers, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.”
“And the people of God said…Ohhh snap.”
This has always been a dialogue that has stood out to me, because very often I find myself in the crowd’s shoes.
I think of my parents. I am a college student and I also have the luxury of being from Tallahassee so if I am longing for it I can go visit my parents whenever I want just a short twenty-minute trek across town. Now, I love my parents…but I REAAAALLY love my parents when food is involved.
After twenty years of my life I finally was able to move out of my house at my parents expense. For a long period of time after I moved out the only phone calls I gave my parents were when I needed something. “Do I have enough money? Hey I was wanting to go to this concert? Or Ya’ll have any lunch plans?” and if they would ask me how I was doing I would usually give these short responsive answers. I would never stay on the phone longer than two minutes.
These are my parents. They have spoiled me rotten and given me unendless love, not to mention they gave me life, and for a while all I wanted from them was food.
How many of us have this relationship with God?
We only come to him when we need him. We only call on him when we want something. Or we do whatever we want, be whoever we want to be, knowing he will forgive us. We treat God like he serves us. We use God,…. instead of letting God use us.
We have got things the other way around. And many of us don’t put much thought into it.
In verse 27 Jesus continues. “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.”
I look at a lot of my prayers and desires and see most of that is focused on “food that spoils.” In other words I want things my way over God’s way very often. We forget that Christ provides things that endure for eternal life.
When we use God, we forget what has been done for us. When we use God we lose sight of the blessing he HAS given us.
God provided us with life through his Son. And he asks us to share that love with the world. Because sometimes, God uses us to provide for others.
In John 5:24 right before the story of the 5,000 it is written “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears these words and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
We carry those words. We have the words of life.
I’ve been really bothered lately by these street evangelist that have been coming out to campus basically just condemning anyone who walks by. And because of that this thought came to me and it really disturbed me.
We let so few Christians speak for so many. People who preach hatred towards people who are attracted to the same sex or people who worship under other Religions. We let people look at Christians and see hate. See Hypocrites. We all get viewed in the same way whether we participate in that or not. I know that first hand.
Why do we let that happen? Why do we sit back and allow people to think that?
Our love should be a louder voice than their hatred. To paraphrase Francis Chan: “People look at us and say man their God is great and his ways seem right but his followers just seem so hateful. Why can’t they look at us and go You know I don’t believe in God but man those people are incredible at loving each other.” We should give them no possible reason to doubt other than their own personal belief.
If in just three days over 75,000,000 people can share a video about a guy name Joseph Kony…then our words can speak volumes. There was a quote in that video that said “Where you live shouldn’t determine whether you live or you die.”
We have a voice that speaks life and we are very quiet about it.
2 Corinthians 2:14-17 writes “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity as those sent from God.”
We are the loaves of bread.
God can take us, me this one loaf of bread and use it to feed the multitudes.
*Start handing out slices of bread.”
John 6:33 “For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. Jesus declared “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”
We know the truth, we have the words of life.
God uses us to feed the multitudes.
God uses us to provide.
Some people may take it and feed their lives with it and some will let it sit and it will get moldy and eventually they may let it go. But at least both were given that choice.
We can share the bread of life.
God provides and he does so in abundance.
It is in God that we trust this message. The God who gives life, the God who says we will never starve, we will never thirst, The God who feeds the five thousand and has much left over.
Are we using God…
Or are we letting God use us?