20 January 2014

What Will You Hold?

I love Jesus,
Yes I do!

I love Jesus,
How about you!

Fond memories of standing and cheering those words across a sanctuary wash over me when I think of how much I do love Him.

Yesterday, my new phrase to learn in Sena was, “I love Jesus!”

Those were the words that that started the message He had put in my heart for the widows and disabled that came for their monthly distribution of beans, salt and soap. There are some150 people, from six churches, in even more desperate need than the average Mozambican. Not everyone showed up and that creates concern, not knowing why they wouldn't come to receive the much needed food and supplies. There is no way of knowing if they are sick or injured or if they have left this world for glory. Someone will go to check on as many as possible, but it will be days before anyone will know about some.

I love Jesus because He first loved me and gave His life for me. I love Jesus because He poured out His blood to pay the ransom for my life. I love Jesus because His valuation of me, makes me a priceless treasure in this kingdom of His.

The message unfolded in the story of Jesus grieving the death of John the Baptist. He ministered, in compassion, for those who came to Him, without regard to His own heartache. They had followed him because their sick were healed, their blind could see, their deaf could hear and their mute could speak. They followed because the lepers were cleansed and the dead were raised. They followed because they saw compassion.

They followed because of the signs of His love.

That day He taught them many things. When evening came and it was getting late, the disciples had a moment of worldly wisdom. In their earthly compassion they told the Lord to send the people away so they could eat and rest. But Jesus commanded His disciplined followers to feed the people themselves. They asked in amazement, if He wanted them to spend a huge chunk of the budget to feed this 5000 men and who knows how may women and children? His response was simple.

What do you have?

How often, when we ask for a miracle, does the Lord say, “What do you have?” It seems He can work with any little thing we are willing to acknowledge exists.

Five cheap buns and a couple of sardines. But, what is that among so much need?
It is enough. Follow directions.
Have the people sit down and relax. Bless the food. Break it. And pass it along.
When everyone has had their fill, pick up the leftovers. You'll have more than when you started.

My God is the God of more than enough.

A miracle of provision, from a heart of love, produced a people seeking a king for daily provision.
This King wanted to fill their hearts so that their stomachs would never hunger.

Jesus had to slip away so that they wouldn't make Him an earthly king, by force. The next day when they found Him again, He said, “Truly, Truly, I tell you, you do not seek me because you saw signs, but because you ate of the bread and were filled. Do not work for food which perishes, but for food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”

The people then asked, “What shall we do so that we may work the works of God?”
Jesus answered, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him Whom He has sent.”

The people then wanted another sign in order to believe in Him.

There is a grief that strikes my heart when I hear people say this today. People who have been followers of Jesus and have witnessed His compassion and His love, and yet it's never enough. They refuse to believe that He is Who He says He is and that He has accomplished all that He said He accomplished. Statements like, “I know that He can, but He chooses not to...” They look at the need in their life and require yet another sign before they will believe that He is true.

Romans 3:3 & 4 tells us that even if some do not believe, their unbelief does not change the faithfulness of God. Rather, they are expected to allow God to be true and every man to be a liar. It is vital that we believe that God is true and that men who speak opposite of His word are liars.

Some people only want to follow Jesus for what they can receive in their hand, but reject the invitation to intimacy that provides what can only be received in their spirit. They fail to realize that following Jesus and seeking His hand will fill them for the moment, but tomorrow they will be hungry again. It is only in seeking Him, because He is, that they will be satisfied and never hunger.

The heart that is hungry for Him will find His Word to be life and health to them. A heart that hungers for Him will soon discover that He is the way, the truth and the life that they seek. The integrity of The Word will be revealed and they will cease to speak lying accusations of the Lord of Glory. No more will they accuse Him of not being willing to manifest His promises in their lives. No more will they deny the work accomplished on the Cross of Calvary. Instead, they will truly believe that He is and that He rewards them as they diligently seek Him.

The question to the group yesterday was simple, “Have you come here today to receive what you can hold in your hand, or have you come to receive what can only be held in your heart?”

One will fill your belly today, but tomorrow you will hunger again. The other will satisfy completely and there will always be more than enough.

With His Heart,

He has filled the hungry with good things!
Luke 1:53

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