How Did He Do That? Part 7

 
11And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 12When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.
 
 Jesus is very pointed in this passage that He wants the remnants collected up so that nothing is wasted. We tend to look at portions of our lives as “wasted”. We evaluate some of the time we use in school as unnecessary or of no value. Jesus didn’t waste a thing!
 
 

God wastes nothing!

As I look at my own life I can see this played out beautifully as I realize that everything I do as a part of my daily routine now basically began with things I never thought I’d use. Whether it’s the use of sign language to “hearing” communities, to the writing skills I employ on this blog, God wastes nothing! Many of us may fall into the trap of trying to script our lives by what we think are important talents or skills that we have to offer God and yet God will surprise us every time with what He wants to highlight as trademarks of our lives. His hand is masterful at what He chooses to bring out of us to glorify Himself! No one would have imagined that a couple of fish and loaves of bread could go so far…yet they did. No one thought Jesus would bless what a little boy had to give and yet He did! God wastes nothing…no gift, no talent, no one! What do you feel like is un-usable to God? What “small” offering, talent or skill do you possess that you keep to yourself thinking it is of no use to God?

The smallness of an offering doesn’t matter to God!

This principle can be no clearer than the instance with the widow who cast her last few cents into the offering at the temple.

1 He looked up and saw the rich dropping their offerings into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow dropping in two tiny coins. 3 “I tell you the truth,” He said. “This poor widow has put in more than all of them. 4 For all these people have put in gifts out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21: 1-4
 

We don’t want to give something small because we love the show!

We live in a society that has bought into the the belief that “bigger is better” and more substantial. It’s all about numbers and business, right? It’s about being the senior pastor or having a mega-church. It’s about wanting more when we have not been good stewards of something small! It seems to me that God is always interested in “smallness”. Why only 12 disciples? Why not 8,000? Why use a little boy when surely there were entrepreneurs in the audience! Jesus wants to be the star of the show. God will not share His glory with another!  Isaiah 42:8. God wants us to be humble in our actions, not self-glorifying religious zealots! Many in America have no problem giving the “big” things to God…but what about the small things? The things that we feel like don’t really matter…because they do matter!  We would do well to look around us and notice the small things that we want to hold onto because we feel like they are insignificant. Would anything change if we let it go? If not, then why hold onto it? What possesses you to not let it go? Freedom in Christ? Grace? Has God asked you for it? 12 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. 1 Corinthians 6:12-13

God is more interested in ALL than SMALL

God was pleased with this woman’s gift because she gave out of her “smallness”. It was out of her poverty that she gave, not her abundance! Yet whether smallness or abundance, the point was she gave all she had. It’s one thing for a poor elderly widow to give her “two cents” but quite another for a young thirty-something to give his tithe, much less his “all”.

The tendency is to come to God and ask what is the least we have to do instead of what’s the most we are able to do.

Is God wasting His time with you? Has God trusted you with opportunities to make a difference? Has God wasted entrusting you with finances, wealth, and affluence? Has God given you much while you have given Him little?  Luke 12:48b says: “Much will be required of everyone who has been given much. And even more will be expected of the one who has been entrusted with more.”

The fragments are still useful to God!

When we are dealing with God, it’s easy to buy into the mindset that God only uses “whole and holy” things. But we have to remember that God is the One Who makes things whole and holy…not us! The sin, the past, the regrets, the struggles, the failures, the “wish-I-would-have’s” are all fragments that make the stained glass windows of our souls for His glorious light to shine through! Those fragments are the things God uses to bring glory to Himself. We don’t want to give these fragments to God because we want to feel good about our gifts to Him. God on-the-other-hand wants us to feel good about our God! He wants us to revel in His grace, His power and His delight to do more than we ever could comprehend. God can and will do great things with whatever we give Him. He wastes nothing! Not even the junk in our lives! When the question comes up of “how did He do that”, may the response be “by His grace, through His power, with this offering.”

1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, 2 but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truthcommending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but notforsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death works in us, but life in you.  13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, 14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.  16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while welook not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:1-18

 
 
George Lockhart is a missionary with Vision 2 Hear and serves as the Youth Pastor at New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA
 
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