Pastor Don's Journal Articles
On Sunday nights at 5 o'clock in the chapel I am teaching my way through the Gospel of John. This past Sunday we looked at the "feeding of the five thousand" from John 6: 1-13. This must have been a very important story from the earliest days of Christianity because, other than the resurrection of Jesus, it is the only miracle recounted in all 4 gospels. John doesn't tell us about the instituting of the Lord's Supper on the night of the betrayal, but he does record this miraculous meal. There must be a reason.
I said in my presentation that this is really a training story, preserved in the New Testament to instruct Christians of every age, including our own, in how to participate with the Lord in the great work that He is about. It was Henry Blackaby who famously taught us many years ago in Experiencing God, to find out where God is working and then join Him in it.
Jesus invited the disciples to help devise a strategy for feeding the vast throng that had gathered to hear Him preach. And, although they at first got hung up on the cost of things rather than grasping the vision, they eventually got into the spirit of the thing and there was more than enough food for all with many baskets of left-over besides.
Andrew found a boy who had a small lunch, and he brought him to Jesus---never an inconsequential thing to do.
And the boy gave what he had to the Lord, and a miracle of multiplication took place. Nothing new was created, but what was already there just kept growing and growing as Jesus divided it.
There was an incredible need that day, and Jesus commissioned His disciples to do something about it. In situations like that we must eventually face the question of available resources and costs, but that should not be our first concern. The first question should always be: What does God want us to do?
He will provide if we are faithful, and when He does it will be "immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine" ( Eph. 3:20).
The Lord has given us an assignment in our generation that is far larger than the one that He gave the 12 on that day near the Sea of Galilee long years ago. He wants us to touch our city and impact our entire world with the gospel, giving the very Bread of Life to starving souls. He already has the plan, He knows how to get it done, and He invites us to join Him in the venture.
By giving all that we have, of course.
Once that one young boy loosened his grip on that small lunch pail the food cascaded out and couldn't be stopped before every hungry person was satiated.
More of our First Baptist members need to step up and let go of their financial resources in order to join God in what He is doing in our world, and to help us accomplish what He has called us to do. Giving so far this year has been good, but it has not been good enough. We are currently behind on our budget and, if present trends continue, we are not going to meet our goal for the year. As a result, some things we really believe God is calling us to do will not be done.
I want us all to take this miracle story of loaves and fish to heart and, even in these summer months, faithfully give our tithes and offerings so that even greater miracles can take place. Everybody needs to participate.
I got an email yesterday from someone who has been living temporarily in our area and attending our church. He has been giving faithfully, too. Now his company is relocating him back home. He wrote to thank us for our ministry to him during his stay, but also to release his church envelope number so it can be assigned to someone else.
“Thank you, Sir”. Now, who wants to take envelope 828?