Tag Archives: God is Able

October 13; You Talking’ To Me?

Mark 14:29-44; Matthew 14:1-21; Luke 9:7-17; John 6:1-15

What did Jesus mean by telling the disciples to feed the five thousand men (plus women and children) that day they were on that remote hill? The disciples suggested the people leave to go find food for themselves. There weren’t exactly Walmart stores around the corner. The people had been there all day, some had come from great distances. They were hungry. And Jesus said, “Feed them.”

You talkin’ to me, Lord?

The disciples found a few loaves of bread and some fish and brought it to Jesus. “This is all we have,” they told Him. And it was enough.

What did Jesus mean by telling us to go and make disciples?

You talkin’ to me, Lord? I didn’t go to seminary. I’m not great with words. I’m shy. I’m just a regular guy, no Billy Graham here. I wouldn’t know what to say. Send them to the preacher, or the Sunday School teacher. Or let them figure things out for themselves. I don’t have what it takes to make disciples.

In the feeding of the 5000 Jesus didn’t expect his disciples to scrounge up enough food for everyone. He asked them to give Him everything they had. They did, and the people were fed – with plenty of food left over!

Who is Jesus telling you to feed today? Are you going to let them fend for themselves, or will you expect them to go somewhere else to hear about the Savior because you are looking at your meager abilities?

Hear Jesus tell you to give Him what you have, and let Him take those meager abilities and turn you into a disciple-maker.

Yes. He’s talking to you!

Psalms 22-31; Only God

One thing I learn from hearing David pour out his heart to the Lord is that, God is the source of everything we need. Whether it’s vindication, or strength, or peace, or comfort, or forgiveness, or protection, or victory over sin, God is truly able to do above and beyond what we ask or think.

There is the accepted philosophy in our world that says we can find those things within ourselves; that thinking the right thoughts, or doing the right things will bring about the power to overcome. But I will tell you, like David does, that leaving God out of the mix is a recipe for disaster.

In fact, adding God to the mix doesn’t even help. Until we throw up our hands and admit that we need God alone, our efforts will end in defeat. David learned this truth the hard way. And so have I.

So many times in these psalms, David acknowledges the goodness and faithfulness of God. I don’t see anywhere that David gives himself credit.

Whether we are burdened with personal problems, or with the state of affairs in our nation, may we look only to God for the solution. I like what David says in Psalm 31:

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands… ( vv 14-15a)

 

Numbers 10-11; Is The Lord’s Arm Too Short?

Moses was overwhelmed with the responsibility of leading the nation of Israel. It wasn’t like he ran for office, or even applied for the position. God called, Moses answered (though somewhat reluctantly). Now in the desert with a million whining Jews, he probably wished he’d ignored God’s call.

Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease You that You put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do You tell me to carry them?… If this is how You are going to treat me, put me to death right now… (11:11-15)

Yep. Moses is wound a little tight here.

The problem with the Jews this time was about the manna. Not that they weren’t grateful. They were just sick of it. How many ways can you cook a wafer before you want to gag at the sight of it? They missed eating meat. They wanted meat.

God told Moses He’d give them meat, and plenty of it. Now here’s what happens when your nerves are shot, and you are hanging by a thread: You lash out at the first person who dares speak to you.

In Moses’ case, that person just happened to be God.

Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!’ Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them? (11:21-22)

Moses is like, Seriously Lord? There aren’t enough animals in our flocks or fish in the sea to feed these people for a month. Are you kidding me? Just kill me now.

I’m often amazed at the relationship Moses had with God. Because, isn’t it true that most of the time when we are at wit’s end, we tend to lash out at the people closest to us, the people we love and trust the most? I love God’s response to Moses’ outburst:

Is the Lord’s arm too short? You will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.

Yes, dear one, when circumstances are overwhelming, God reveals Himself. When burdens are too heavy to bear, you see how big God’s shoulders are. When problems seem impossible to solve, God provides the solution. When you feel like you can’t go on, God carries you.

How? For myself, it’s when I shut myself away and read His love letter to me. I spend time reading the Bible. I use my concordance and read verses about God’s faithfulness, His character, His provision, love, Presence, and promises. I crawl up into my Father’s lap and whisper in His ear about all the things that have me frustrated, or frightened.  I pray, and I listen. Then I trust Him, even if I can’t see what’s ahead.

So no, Moses. God’s arm isn’t too short. He is able. Sometimes we need to just step back a second and watch what He can do.

March 11 – Carry Me

Deuteronomy 1&2

Get ready for a history lesson. Moses is preparing the  Jews to enter the Promised Land by reminding them where they’ve been, and what God had done every day for the children of Israel since they left Egypt forty years before.

Moses is speaking to people who had never been slaves in Egypt. Their parents had been. But their parents were dead now. Moses’ audience had not crossed the Red Sea, had not been there when Moses received God’s Commandments, or tapped a rock and got water. They hadn’t experienced the plagues that finally forced Pharaoh to let the Jews leave their captives. So Moses wanted to give them a history lesson to be sure they understood the role God played in their journey, the role God wanted to continue to play with this new generation of Jews now ready to enter the Promised Land.

Moses tells them that, during the forty years since the Jews left Egypt, God carried them, “just as a man carries his son.” (1:31) I love that analogy.

I love watching daddies pick up their children, lift them high over their heads, and place them on their shoulders. You probably rode on your own father’s shoulders. Maybe you’ve carried your own child in such a manner.

I recently saw a video of my then 16 year old nephew, picking up his four year old little brother, lifting him over his head with ease, and placing the boy on his shoulders. The teenager picked up the boy as if the youngster was as light as a feather.

But the other thing I love about this video is the look of joy on the face of my youngest nephew, the four year old child sitting high on his brother’s shoulders. I’m sure his world looked a bit different from that vantage point. It sure seemed to be a happy place.

And that’s what Moses wanted the children of Israel to realize. First, God is able to carry them all the way. And two, when we allow ourselves to be carried by our Heavenly Father, life looks pretty great from there. We have reason to smile!

So Father, carry me. Lift me high and let me rest on your shoulders. Take me where You want me to go, but never let me forget where I’ve been and what you have saved me from. I want, not only to walk with you today, but I want to let you do the heavy lifting of my burdens, my insecurities, my fears and failures. Thank You for wanting to.