The Bread of Life
Read John 6:9-12
"'There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?' Jesus said, 'Have the people sit down.' Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, 'Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.' "
What does this story teach us? How does it impact your faith?
The more I labored and tried to prepare for an upcoming speaking engagement, the more my sense of inadequacy grew. The women coming to a retreat I'm leading are missionaries, people with years of ministry experience and extensive knowledge of God and the Bible, I thought. (You have to understand that some of my greatest heroes are missionaries like Amy Carmichael, Lottie Moon, Isobel Kuhn, and Gladys Aylward, and I am awed by their faith and courage.) What do I have to share with them that they don't already know? I ought to be sitting at their feet as they teach!
"Oh, Lord, help!" I cried.
My thoughts were directed back to a passage from John 6 I had just been reading.
As I read those words, God said, "Just like the little boy did, offer the bread that you have. Give it to Me, and I will bless it and multiply it to feed all those you are to speak to in Thailand."
So I stacked up the folders of message notes and outlines, offered them up, and earnestly prayed, "Jesus, be very present to take what I bring, and distribute and multiply it in the marvelous way only You can, throughout each message and opportunity and need we see." I continued preparing my messages but was aware that something had changed. My focus had shifted from my inadequacy to Christ's ability.
Later, as I spoke, the "Bread of Life" showed up and fed many people.
I had seen Jesus, who said, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty" (John 6:35 nlt). Getting this fresh vision of Jesus as the Bread of Life changed my perspective on speaking, serving, and ministry. It wasn't a lesson just for this one trip but for a lifetime.
Now whenever I am asked to speak or serve, whether that is close by home or hundreds of miles away, I know I am to give all that I am to Jesus and simply bring the bread He's given me, asking and trusting that He will take it, multiply it, and give it to meet the individual needs of each heart. And He never fails!
Lord Jesus, thank You for being our Bread of Life. Give me the courage to move past my inadequacy and rely on Your ability. Amen.