As we sat at our usual table in our favorite restaurant, Stan asked, “Do you remember the story in Matthew’s gospel, the one about how the five thousand were fed?”
“I do,” I replied. “The leftover bread is why this restaurant is called, ’12 Baskets’.”
“You’re right, my friend,” Stan replied, “but there’s a lot of important stuff in that story before we get to the leftovers, and I want to talk about one of them.”
“Okay,” I said, “what’s up?”
“As you may remember, after Jesus had blessed the food, He broke the bread and gave it to the disciples. In doing that, there’s an important lesson I think I’m to apply to my life and my faith walk.”
I didn’t respond, so he continued. “Jesus gave the bread to the disciples for the one purpose of passing it on to the crowd.”
“Jesus did not give the disciples the bread for themselves,” Stan replied, “but he gave it to them to pass on. Sure seems to me that I’m to do the same thing with the blessings that God pours out on me.”
“But don’t you think the disciples ate some of the bread?” I asked.
“Oh, I’m sure they probably did at some point,” Stan replied, “but I think the main thing for them do right then was to pass it on to the hungry crowd. I think the same thing applies to me.”
“In what way?”
“What I get from God,” Stan replied, “is not just for me. No, I think that with whatever God provides, whether physical or spiritual blessings, my role is to pass those blessings on, not hoard them for myself.”
“But,” I replied, “if God gives you something, isn’t it okay to just accept the gift and be content with His provision?”
Stan looked at me for a few seconds without saying anything, and then asked, “Is that what the disciples did with the bread Jesus gave to them?”
Bible verses to consider:
He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. Matthew 14:19.
And He took the seven loaves and the fish; and giving thanks, He broke them and started giving them to the disciples, and the disciples in turn, to the multitudes. Matthew 15:36.
If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. James 2:15-17.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for all of your provision, both physically and spiritually. I confess that too often I do not seek to share with others what you have provided to me. Please forgive me and please help me to follow every step of your lead in passing on to others what you have made available to me, but is to be passed on through me. I pray this especially in regard to the spiritual blessings you pour out on and for me. Help me to help others in their faith walk and commitment to you by sharing what you make known and available to me. Help me to bless others just as you intend. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free and gracious provision of life with Him in eternity when it’s time, along with the eternal life of knowing Him and Jesus on this side of eternity? If no, why? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing about sharing with others what God has provided for you, both in terms of physical and spiritual blessings? If you sense the need for change in how you share what God makes available to you, so it is passed through you, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?