Philippians 2:13 says “For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.” Happy Father’s Day! Dads, be encouraged. Faith doesn’t make things easier. It makes them possible. Your past doesn’t define you but rather prepares you. The lid on your life will always be the mirror. Don’t go through it. Grow through it.
What is the ideal man? Heroes are not made in what they do but in who they are and courage is sometimes just showing up, leaning in when life becomes more difficult. Show up and do your best. Family becomes stronger when they know dad is not going anywhere. Leading your family in a fractured world is tough but knowing Who has the answers is the key. And understanding that God is effectively at work in you to develop the ability to fulfill your purpose brings assurance and strength that has no comparison.
This is a time of year when champions are identified and a battle ensues over who is the greatest of all time. I would like to explore what may be the greatest miracle of all time. Let’s look at John 6. In this passage we find a miracle of sharing, the ministry of serving and a mindset of staying that transformed the lives of those who were there. The miraculous feeding of the 5,000 (men) in addition to wives and children is indeed great. Jesus involved His disciples, but He had the plan. He knew what was going to happen. People ate until they were full after the blessing and distribution of the loaves and fishes. Can you say, “All you can eat”! This is important. After they ate, there was nothing lost. Jesus had his disciples gather the leftovers. There was no fragment left behind. People believed because of this miracle.
What can we take away from this account? I say we look at the young lad with the lunch. This boy reminds of my son, Silas and the lunches we used to pack for him when he was younger. There was a lunch prepared for this little boy. It was not much. It was what the boy had and it was what was given to Jesus that day. After being with the people all day, healing and ministering, Jesus’ sympathy was kindled for the people and He did not want to send them home hungry. Philip was from the area where they were and Jesus asked Philip where they could buy bread. But He really wanted to know, not what the disciples had, but WHO they could bring. Philip’s conclusion was that anything they had was of no use. But, Andrew had discovered the boy who had his personal picnic lunch - a few barley loaves, the bread of the poor, and two small pickled fish. It was a snack.
I think we don’t give this boy enough credit. Understand the symbolism. We are the boy. We, like him, have some decisions to make. In his case, he could consume the lunch or he could give it to Jesus. You can eat a meal or you can see a miracle. You can consume what you have or you can contribute it. In the hands of God, it becomes a miracle, a legacy that transforms generations. There are things you are consuming that were meant to be contributed. We are not meant to be a reservoir. We are to be a river, a conduit. I guarantee you that if you contribute the things God has placed in your hands, God’s blessing will saturate you.
We have a tendency to conceal what we have. But we are called to confess it. When we confess it, God is able to bless it. The boy confessed what he had and Philip in turn brought him to Jesus. Concealing a thing ends up costing us more than revealing it. It is a seed in your hands. But, you will never see the value if you only see the vessel. We see the small thing in our hands and worry about the value of it and if anyone could possibly need it or want it. But it has great value when confessed. That is the point God can begin to multiply it. Don’t conceal what God has called you to reveal.
Proximity is crucial You have to be close. Leaders will never see what you have unless you are close. Be at the church. Serve at the church. Roll up to the church. The boy was close. Potential has to be in proximity. Are you in position? Position matters. Where have you left Jesus? Some of us have left Jesus at the place where we stopped going. He hasn’t changed. He is about His Father’s business. He is still where you left him. You’ve got to be close.
Are you willing to be just a voice and not a VIP. We care more about those that follow us than we care about our Father who created us. What was the boy’s name? We don’t know. He was glad to just deliver his lunch. He was happy to deliver what he had for God to do something great with it. Can you forgo being mentioned in the highlight reel? You have to be willing to feed without being famous.
Your life is great because God is your creator. He does not send brokenness to destroy you but to multiply you. Adam was broken so he could be complete. God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory. Jesus healed the people that day and then He fed them. He had compassion and not resentment. He did not condemn their lack of preparation.
Then, after this ultimate show of compassion, Jesus told his disciples to gather up the fragments so that nothing would be lost. There is power in these words. Let nothing be lost. There was a miracle in the feeding of the 5000 but also in the ministry of Jesus at the end of the day. There’s a miracle in picking up the pieces so that nothing is lost. Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem from the pieces that were left over. Is your marriage in pieces? Your life? Jesus is in the ministry of finding the fragments so that nothing is lost. What is broken for you? What is damaged? Pick up the pieces so that nothing is lost.
Revival will be in finding the fragments. When we find them, think of the 12 baskets left over from 5 loaves and 2 fishes. The walls of Jerusalem were built back in record time. Today God wants to gather up the broken pieces so nothing is lost. He is in the ministry of finding the things left behind. We need to care about the crumbs. Christ sees these as blessed. Every fragment represented the blessed. You are blessed. “Gather up” means to lead together, completeness. Without the fragments we are not complete. Brokenness completes us as it did Adam. That day they left with 12 full baskets.
How do we go from few to full? Find the fragments. Wholeness begins with your relationship to Him. Bring all you have and come to Jesus. Give it to Him and watch a miracle happen and a legacy form.