Posts Tagged 'www.jesusspeaks.com'

God’s Provision

JESUS SPEAKS

When Jesus heard it, he departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children. (Matthew 14: 13 – 21)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Using a small meal, Jesus created enough food to nourish more than 5000 people. This miracle exemplifies God’s ability to provide for the needs of every human being. Still, the Lord’s provision is focused primarily upon what an individual needs, rather than what they might want or desire (although on occasion what we need is what we desire.) In Matthew 6: 8, Jesus says, regarding those who engage in long ritualistic prayers, “therefore do not be like them, for your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” The Lord’s provision is faithful and unfailing. He feeds us, clothes us, gives us water to drink and air to breath; in Him we live, we move and have our being. Unlike God, we cannot see the end from the beginning. If we were to receive the desires of our heart, our lives would tumble into chaos and we would experience great suffering.

This incongruence between God’s will and mankind’s desires is ever-present; we need only examine the book of numbers to discover a powerful example. After leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, God brought them into the wilderness. In the absence of human resources, the Lord provided for all of their needs. He gave them enough water to drink and caused a type of bread called ‘manna’ to condense on the desert floor; which sustained them. And yet, after some time, many grew tired of the ‘manna.’ They demanded that God give them meat to consume. Angered by their demands, God chose to give them what they wanted. A massive collection of quail abruptly appeared near the encampment. They gathered them up and began devouring them. Suddenly however, a great plague arose among the people; afflicting those who had eaten the birds with sickness and death.

As we journey through life, we must avoid the folly of those who perished in the desert; taking care to remain focused on, and revel in, whatever God has provided. He alone can fulfill our needs and protect us from our own wants and desires; which if realized, would result in harm or misfortune. Similarly, if our wants don’t align with God’s will, we must allow our expectations to change. Upon concluding our prayers, we would do well to add the words, “according Your will.” Thy will, not ours be done.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we recognize that all good things come from You. By means of Your divine power, You provide for all of our needs. Thank You for our food, for our clothing, for our jobs, and for the air we breathe and the water we drink. May we continuously revel in these simple but astonishing acts of provision. May we find time to thank You and to admire the gifts You have given us. May Your will be done in every circumstance. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Hope

JESUS SPEAKING

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I also go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know; and the way you know.” (John 14: 1-4)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Jesus says, “let not your heart be troubled;” a clear reference to the anxiety, fear, and depression that can afflict the lives of those who have lost hope. The definition of hope is, the feeling of joy and optimism experienced in the present, as it relates to the anticipation of some future good. By simply contemplating the wonders of God’s coming kingdom, those who believe can feel joy even in the darkest moments. In this scripture, Jesus reiterates His promises; those who choose to follow Him will one day inherit a place in heaven; a permanent residence where they can walk in eternal fellowship with Him. Contemplating this faithful promise can eradicate the distress of any present suffering. Therefore, hope is at the very foundation of the gospel message; without it we are lost; but with it we can endure and overcome any challenges we might encounter.

As the story goes, a large school system once had a program to assist children who were sick in the hospitals with their school work. One day a teacher was asked to visit a particular child. She spoke with the child’s regular teacher who told her, “We’re studying nouns and adverbs in his class now. I’d be grateful if you could help him understand them so he doesn’t fall too far behind.” That afternoon, the hospital teacher went to see the boy. No one had told her that the child had been badly burned and was in great pain. Upon witnessing the boy’s injuries she was upset and began to stammer. “I’ve been sent by your school to help you with nouns and adverbs.” Having completed her session, she left; feeling as though she had accomplished very little. However, the next day a nurse asked her, “What did you do to that boy?” Believing she had committed some offense, the teacher began to apologize. “No, no,” replied the nurse. “You don’t know what I mean. We’ve been worried about that little boy, but ever since yesterday, his whole attitude has changed. He’s fighting back, responding to treatment. It’s as though he’s decided to live.” Two weeks later the boy explained that, until the teacher had arrived, he had completely given up hope. Everything changed when he came to a simple realization which he expressed this way: “They wouldn’t send a teacher to work on nouns and adverbs with a dying boy, would they?”

The child in this illustration had been struggling because he had lost hope in the future. If we have lost our joy in the present, it is because we have taken our eyes off of the eternal life we have been promised in the future. We are therefore instructed by Jesus to look forward to our everlasting fellowship with Him in God’s kingdom. If we believe God, we can endure any trial or tribulation in this place. The Kingdom of Heaven is coming; and when that day arrives, we will fully know our Father. Never lose hope; never doubt in the promises of the Lord; and you to will experience “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding.”

“Lord Heavenly Father, we trust You with our lives and believe in Your promises. Increase our faith, that no matter what circumstances we might encounter, we can experience the joy that accompanies our hope of eternal fellowship with You. May we continue to spread the gospel message to others; that they too might walk as Christians, from this day forward. May they receive salvation and be edified by Your unwavering promises. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Serving Others

JESUS SPEAKING

Just before the Passover feast, on the night that Jesus was arrested, he knelt down and washed His disciples feet. We read, ‘So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? You call Me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.'” —Jesus— (John 13: 12 – 17)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

During the first century, nearly everyone wore sandals. The roads and pathways were comprised of small stones and dirt; making daily foot washing an indispensable necessity. Servants and low ranking members a house were usually called upon to accomplish this filthy task. And yet Jesus, being the Son of God, lowered Himself down and washed His disciples feet; creating an example for all those who may desire to follow Him. Being a Christian means embracing a life of humility and selflessness. Rather than seeking to be served, we must strive to serve others. And in turn, we will experience the joy derived from emulating our Lord and Savior.

There once lived an influential evangelical preacher named Gypsy Smith. One day he recounted the story of a woman who was interested in Christian work in London. She wrote him a letter stating, “I have a meeting I want you to come to speak to. It is only a small meeting and will take nothing of you.” He answered, “I cannot come, and it would be of no use if I did come. If it takes nothing out of me it will do nobody any good.” It is service which costs, and a cheap religion is not worth preaching […] Another Christian missionary named E. Stanley Jones once said, “The man is not greatest who has the greatest number of servants, but the man is greatest who serves the greatest number of people.”

Serving others represents the foundation of Christ’s earthly ministry. To follow Jesus is to embrace a life of selflessness and service. If we let go of our own wants and desires, we can more resoundingly accomplish God’s will in this place. Jesus said in verse 17, “if you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” The word ‘blessed’ generally refers to the happiness that accompanies God’s favor. And so He promises that a service oriented life will bring us more joy than a self-centered existence ever could. By serving others we can know God’s blessings.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we pray for the strength and desire to live a life of service; to sacrifice for Your kingdom and Your glory. May we lay down our selfish concerns to better represent Jesus Christ; that we too might be an example of Your love in this place. May we care for our fellows, may we serve others, and may we receive the blessings that accompany genuine Christian living. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!


Two messages a week will be sent to your email address.

Join 6,123 other followers

Archives