"Mine" Series (Week 3)
When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those
who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it (Matthew 14:13-24 NIV).
When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus (Matthew 14:26-29 NIV).
I’ve noticed that a lot of times when people talk about their faith journeys, they often point back to a time when they were invited to take part in some type of ministry, program, or service.
There’s a direct connection between growing our faith and our involvement in serving others.
Maybe you feel like God is calling you to jump in and contribute somewhere, but you’re also struggling to make that commitment. You may be missing out on something God has in mind for you by choosing to be uninvolved.
In fact, God might be using this service opportunity to move you, in a new way, toward a more real and personal relationship with Him.
There’s a great account recorded by a guy named Matthew. The disciples are hungry, the crowd is hungry, and they’re in the middle of nowhere.
Jesus basically says, “You know what? You’re right, disciples. Everyone is getting really hungry. I have an idea. Why don’t YOU come up with some food and feed all of us!” Maybe you’ve felt like God was giving you this type of challenge before.
The problem is that most of the time, instead of responding to the nudge ourselves, we’ll say, “Nah. I’ll just pray for the right person to come along and fill that need. I don’t have what it takes.”
But what Jesus says to His disciples is the same thing He says to us—bring Me what you have. The disciples did what they knew how to do, trusting that Jesus would do a miracle, something only He could do.
Here are three cool things for you and I to take away from this:
1. We can do the same things.
2. It’s not as daunting as it feels.
3. It’s a huge faith-builder.
There’s a place your faith will only go once you decide to step out of your comfort zone. Jesus starts with this faith-stretcher in order to move them to something bigger.
Because He had trusted Jesus with something that made sense, Peter was able to then trust Jesus with something that was much bigger and seemingly impossible!
So here’s the question: Where is God nudging you? There’s a direct connection between growing and serving.
Just bring to Jesus what you have, even if you don’t have enough to feed 5,000.
Get out of the boat, even if you don’t know how to walk on water.
As you head out today, I dare you to follow Peter’s lead and ask God to invite you out there.