Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lover of my soul: 5000

Jesus feeds the five thousand in John 6:1-15

A short summary: Many were following Jesus for the miracles. When Jesus saw the crowd, He asked Philip as to where to buy food for the crowd. He already had a plan. A boy was found who had five loaves of bread and two fish. These were small in size. Jesus gave instructions for everyone to sit. He took the loaves, gave thanks, and had them distributed. Jesus did the same with the fish. After everyone had enough to eat, the disciples collected the remains per Jesus’ request. Everyone wanted to crown Jesus king by force, but He withdrew.

There are several points to ponder.

Jesus asked a question before supplying provision to such a large crowd. It was a leading question as if to imply that payment must be made for bread. He also included the disciples in the “we”; as if the group will be buying food. He already knew what He would do. Why ask? It was a test of faith. Jesus foreknew how and what they believe. He wanted them to be aware of what they believe. When God asks you specific questions, He wants you to know what is in your heart. He leaves the burden of responsibility on you as to how to proceed after knowing what is in your heart.

Jesus takes whatever we give Him, whether small or large, and works with and through it. In the above, He multiplied food. What is He asking of you? Are you willing to give it?

Jesus gave thanks for the small loaves and small fish. This triggered the blessing. Have you done this before? Have you tried being thankful for everything and your situation changed drastically?

Jesus requested they’d collect all of the remains. In everything we do and in every experience we have, we are to cherish and learn all we can from it.  We will need the lessons learned for the future to help us maneuver through life. Protect lessons learned in your heart and mind.

Jesus never told them what He intended to do. He just gave small, specific requests / information. He guided them every step of the way. When following Christ, do not expect to know ahead of time what your future entails. That is not how He operates. He will lead step by step. Just be comforted He is guiding you. Can you trust Him? 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Who are you following?

     A little background for II Chronicles 10-11:1-4: Solomon died after gaining wisdom and marrying many, many women. They led him away from his God and from the path that David, his father, has set. Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, became king. Jeroboam who fled from Solomon during the latter’s lifetime returned to Israel. The people sent for Jeroboam to confront Rehoboam regarding the harsh treatment given by Solomon. Rehoboam took three days to seek advice. He solicited his dad’s advisors who counseled he would cooperate with their requests. He inquired of his friends who advised he would become harsher. He paid heed to the young men for this was from the Lord. The people of ten clans rejected Rehoboam as king and made Jeroboam king instead. This fulfilled the prophecy to Jeroboam in I Kings 11:26-40.

Several points are worth pondering. 

  •  God’s promises come with conditions. He promised David the kingship. He also promised that as long as David’s descendents follow God, the kingship would not depart from the house of David. God made the same promise to Jeroboam. However, neither was able to keep and cherish the promise. David followed God during his lifetime. But Solomon did not. To keep His promise to David, God allowed Solomon to die first before taking from the house of David the majority of the kingdom. He allowed them to have just one tribe as their inheritance or as a light for David’s sake. It was the tribe of Judah. God removed the other tribes from the hands of Rehoboam, David’s grandson. Similarly, the kingdom was taken from Jeroboam’s son. Jeroboam was not faithful to God so He yanked the kingdom form his son’s hands. Has God made promises to you? Do you know and understand the conditions to fulfill them to keep the promise? 

  • Neither wisdom nor foolishness is inherited. Solomon was wise, yet his son did not demonstrate the wise trait. Wisdom is from the Lord and cannot be inherited. If we do not have wisdom, we are to ask God. He gives us according to His generosity. We are to be and remain thankful for His grace and His gifting. 

  • God has the final word. He gave His word to Jeroboam and it was carried out. He caused Rehoboam to be obstinate with the people. This led To Jeroboam being king and fulfilling prophecy. So no matter how difficult a situation is, God is still in control. Do you believe and trust Him? 

  • Finally, we resemble whom we follow or admire. A student cannot be better than his teacher. When we attend classes in university, we are studying to become a worker in a specific field. Most of our teachers have studied the same field. So I cannot become a business person being taught by engineers. As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. Do you know who you are following?