Mark 6; Fruit of the Spirit, Lesson 3

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Mark 6 tells the same story that Matthew 14 tells. Here is a blog I already wrote a while back on Matthew 14.

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves [with him].  Psalms 126:5-6

As we look at Joy in this week’s SS lesson lets be reminded the greatest joy is in sharing Jesus with others. This is something we all can do. We may feel like we are not good enough for the job but please prayerfully consider the story of Jesus feeding the multitude:

And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.  And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. Matthew 14:14-17

 

Okay, what just happened here? The disciples knew the crowd was hungry but felt that they could not get the job done so they tell Jesus to send the crowd to the village markets where people were trained and better prepared to feed such a crowd. You know, professionals, people who are trained and do this sort of thing for a living.

Jesus tells the disciples to do it themselves. The disciples remind Jesus that they do not have adequate provisions. This is why they need to go to the professionals.

He said, Bring them hither to me.  Matthew 14:18

Okay what just happened? Jesus asked the disciples to do it and by George they are going to do it. Has God ever asked you to share the bread of life with a friend or neighbor but you decided to just leave it with the professionals instead? After all there are people who are trained and get paid by the church to do this kind of stuff. But Jesus asked you!

And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to [his] disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.  Matthew 14:19

Okay what just happened? Jesus gave the bread to the disciples so that they would now have plenty to share with the crowd. Likewise when Jesus asks you to share the bread of life with others, He first wants you to receive the bread of life from Him, and then you will have something to share with the crowd. The crowd did not need to go to the villagers. The disciples just needed to go to Jesus.

And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.  Matthew 14:20

Okay what just happened? Even with just five loaves and two small fishes the disciples accomplished everything the pros in the village markets could have done, by just doing what Jesus asked, and receiving from Him first what they needed to share with others.

God has big plans for our church this year. A crowded city is hungry for the bread of life. If you are a disciple of Christ then He is asking you to feed them. Don’t just send them to the “preofessionals”.  You can feed them! In 2010 everyone can take the bread of life from Jesus and share it with others. Everyone can give a Bible study this year. It’s so easy even I can do it! But first we must receive from Jesus and then share it with the multitude. Are you in with us on this?

Jesus trained the disciples by giving them the bread first to share with others. They needed training but they did not need to send the people somewhere else to get better service. This year our church will be offering training so that you can share the bread of life with others, so that they will not need to go somewhere else for better service. I am looking forward to working with you this year as you share the bread of life with others!

“It is not the Lord’s purpose that ministers should be left to do the greatest part of the work of sowing the seeds of truth. Men who are not called to the ministry are to be encouraged to labor for the Master according to their several ability. Hundreds of men and women now idle could do acceptable service. By carrying the truth into the homes of their friends and neighbors, they could do a great work for the Master. God is no respecter of persons. He will use humble, devoted Christians, even if they have not received so thorough an education as some others. Let such ones engage in service for Him by doing house-to-house work. Sitting by the fireside, they can– if humble, discreet, and godly–do more to meet the real needs of families than could an ordained minister.” {Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7: 21.2}

You can find more studies and devotionals at In Light of The Cross.

Matthew 14; Walking on Water

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

When we read about Jesus walking on the water in Matthew 14, we often think that is something He was able to do only because He was God. I remember looking at a greeting card a while back that read, “Some people say I think too much of you, just because I worship the water you walk on.” I have even joked about walking on water because years ago in Oklahoma, I walked across a frozen lake. All joking aside though, Jesus did not do anything that He did not also make possible for us to do as well. Jesus rose raised the dead but so did Peter in Acts 9. Jesus shares His victories over sin and evil with us, and lets us experience the same victories in our lives.

Notice in John 14:10 Jesus attributes His success to His relationship with the Father.  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

 

Notice in John 14:12 that when we enter into a relationship with Him and the Father that the same success is possible for us.   Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

 

In the story of Jesus and Peter walking on the water in Matthew 14, folks are quick to point out that Peter started to fall in the water when He took his eyes off Jesus, but they fail to point out that he was walking on water, just like Jesus was, so long as he kept His eyes on Jesus. Peter did walk on water! Before Jesus is recorded walking on water, earlier in chapter 14 we see Him spending quality time in prayer alone with the Father. I wonder, if Peter had spent that time in prayer, could he too have walked without falling into the water? Before we can begin to walk like Jesus we must first learn to pray like Jesus.

 

For a Desire of Ages study on how we can experience the same victories Jesus had click here.