If Jesus was who he says he was (the Messiah), his actions surely needed to match his words. This week we look into the famous incident of feeding the 5000 (which, incidentally, was counting only the men in the crowd) and examine some of the actions of Jesus as he lived a life of ministry and listened to the voice of his father.
Sometimes we have a tendency to shrug off lessons from scripture thinking they are not applicable to our lives today. The most common disconnect is we think of scriptural stories as only a “history lesson.” It is also easy to fall prey to assuming anything involving Jesus involves the supernatural, and since we are not Jesus, it does not really apply to our every day lives and circumstances. However, God still wants to move and work in and through our lives today. God desires not just that we believe, but that we actually live out what we profess to believe.
INVITATION: Consider how you might watch and see what God is up to this week, and join in his work. Are you willing to pray for God to include you in his plans this week, then watch, wait and notice and be willing to jump in? We’d love to hear your comments as the week goes on!
MONDAY: Luke 4:14-21. These verses were in last week’s study, but are worthy of another look as we consider how Jesus is the fulfillment of scripture. Jesus lived and ministered in scriptural times and Jesus is STILL moving and working in our world. He is STILL the fulfillment of what the prophet Isaiah wrote in the passages quoted by Jesus. Who do YOU say Jesus is? Do you believe He is the fulfillment of scripture, the son of God, or do you believe he is simply a good history teacher? Perhaps in your prayer time today you can express to Jesus who you say he is and allow his light to shine in your life to show you if there might be ways your actions can match your beliefs.
TUESDAY: John 14:1-4: Jesus is preparing a place for you. He has a plan and a purpose for your life in the here and now. It involves MORE than just an intellectual belief that He existed and was a good guy. Jesus wants to be involved in your life as you live the Christian journey. How might you include Jesus more in your day in day out life? He also wants you involved in what He is doing in the world - not because he needs you, but because it will be the source of abundance in your life. How can you be more aware and alert to God’s movement in your daily life?
WEDNESDAY: Matthew 14:12-13: Jesus had just found out John was brutally murdered and was seeking solitude and silence. However, crowds followed him. Ministry was not always convenient for Jesus. I’m sure his personal preference at this time was alone time with His father. He probably needed some processing time. Our own life with Jesus will not always be convenient either. We all need processing time and personal self care time. Pastor Adam shared how, even at a time of some devastating news in their family, there were still church needs, assignments to turn in for a seminary class, and people coming to him for pastoral care. Are you willing to live out a life for Christ that won’t always be convenient? Are you willing to die to self when called, for the greater call of Christ and others? Jesus clearly had good discernment. He somehow knew in this instance he was to minister to the crowds as opposed to have his alone time. What practices and procedures are in place in your life to help you grow and mature in discernment to help with your decisions in life? The more time you spend with Jesus the more you can hear His voice. Is time with Jesus a priority in your life?
THURSDAY: Matthew 14:14-16: The ministry of Jesus was often met with reluctance, even from his disciples. It is easy for us to feel reluctant, thinking we don’t have the time, talent, personality, skillset, etc. The truth is that working on your own, you DON’T have “enough.” However, life with Jesus involves allowing Jesus to live, breath and work through you. The book of Acts says: "For in Him we live and move and have our being.” Is this how you live life with Jesus? God doesn’t care about ability. He cares about availability.
FRIDAY: Matthew 14:17-18: The ministry of Jesus multiplies God’s word. When we are surrendered to God, allowing the Spirit to work through us, we are MORE than enough. How can you step out in faith today that Jesus living through you is enough for anything God desires to do?
SATURDAY: Matthew 14:19-20: Jesus’ ministry often came at a cost and went unnoticed. Giving up his loaf and fishes probably felt very costly for the young boy who brought them, and he gets no accolades throughout history for giving all he had. Likewise, Jesus gave us all he had - his very life. Life with Jesus will cost us something, but the rewards are always greater. The young boys meager offerings were multiplied, and Jesus was raised from the dead for the benefit of all. He defeated death. We still serve the God of the loaves and fishes. How might he increase your meager offerings this week? Are you willing to give what you have to him? Do you trust God that much?