Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Child With a Miracle In His Hands

Brian and I served as shepherds at Royal Ambassadors (RA's) and Girls in Action (GA's) camps this past week.  RA's and GA's are missions education organizations for school-aged boys and girls begun by the Women's Missionary Union over 100 years ago.  I have been helping out with the GA's on Wednesday nights, ostensibly because Lily is now old enough to join, and I wanted to share the experience with her.    Over the course of the last week at camp, we had the opportunity to participate in worship services every day.  The featured speaker was Pastor Russell Rogers, senior past or Trinity Life Baptist Church in Garland, TX.

Pastor Russell shared some wonderful messages.  I will be meditating on the Biblical truths shared and received during this last week for several weeks to come.  Since it is Sunday, I thought I might share a part of the message that Pastor Russell gave on Thursday evening.  The message comes from Mark 6:30-44, when Jesus feeds the 5,000.  The title of the message is "Brown Bag Special".  Pastor Russell read the focal passage, in which a little boy gave Jesus all of the food he had in order to feed the hungry crowd that had been listening to Jesus speak (We find additional information about this story in John chapter 6.  It is in this passage that we find that one of Jesus disciples, Andrew, brought a little boy to Jesus who had five loaves of bread and two fish). 

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”

37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”
They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages[a]! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”

38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”
When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”

39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.

Pastor Russell gave the following points: 
  • Jesus knew that the child held a miracle in his hands.
  • The boy gave what he had.
  • The boy have all he had.
  • Jesus used what he gave.
The boy had a choice before him.  He held enough food for himself and no one else.  If he gave half, everyone would be fully fed, except the boy, who would only get half a meal and would go away hungry.  If he gave all (which he did), then every need was met to abundance--for today and tomorrow! 

Pastor Russell said:  "Totally given means to take things out of our control and to place them in God's control." 

Finally, Pastor Russell asked us to evaluate what is in our bag; our talents, our gifts, and our possessions.  Jesus wants our obedience.  What will we give Him?

I liked that Pastor Russell emphasized the part of the child in the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand.  We often forget that the little boy is a part of the story.  I had never heard a sermon on this passage that illustrated how giving all of what he had satisfied everyone--including himself.  I liked the way that Pastor Russell spoke to the GA's, building them up where they are; their age, their gender, etc.  We often forget as adults that Jesus ministered to and through children.  This passage encourages me to remember to give my all to the Lord.  It also reminds me that Jesus will use whatever I give--no matter how feeble my efforts may be, He can take something that is small and increase it and make it abundant.

Many blessings,


P.S. Please check out Casey's Heart, a ministry to the homeless begun by Pastor Russell's son, Casey.  He shared the beautiful and heart-renching story of how the ministry began.

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