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Bring What You Got

December 4, 2020

Discipleship Blog Author

Scott Long

Discipleship Pastor

Bring What You Got

One of Jesus' miracles that I always find inspiring no matter how many times I read it is the feeding of the 5,000. Jesus has been traveling, teaching and healing people as he goes along. As one would imagine, he is drawing crowds of people wherever he goes. Folks are interested in this miracle worker and gather to see him. On this occasion, Jesus had been healing people all day and, as it started to get late in the afternoon, his disciples realize that if the people don't leave they will be stuck in the dark in a secluded place with nothing to eat. So Jesus invites them to ministry, by saying, "You guys should feed them." I love the exchange that happens next.

"They said to him, "We have only five loaves here and two fish." And he said, "Bring them here to me.""
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭14:17-18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The Lord asks them to do a task that is way over their heads. In fact, it's impossible. He asks them to feed 5,000 people, and they have nothing more than a McDonald's Happy Meal. They express to him their inadequacy. "We only have this little bit of food to offer." It's peanuts compared to the task. "We are under prepared, under resourced, and overwhelmed." The Lord simply says to them, "Bring me what you got."

The Lord knew what they had. The Lord didn't need an inventory of their resources. He just needed them to be willing to feed the people as an act of ministry in obedience to Him. His solution to their impossible task was them bringing what they had to Him and watching him work. The most critical element of the miracle wasn't the amount of food, it wasn't the amount of people they were feeding, it was the power of God to use willing vessels. You know how the story turns out. Jesus blessed and multiplied the small lunch and feeds not only the 5,000, but had 12 baskets of leftovers.

When making disciples, we are doing an impossible task. Jesus is calling us to something that is over our heads. He's inviting us just like his disciples to participate in ministry that doesn't add up. The work of seeing souls cross from death to life is beyond our power. The work of walking with people and building them deep in God's word to the point that they obey all Jesus has commanded is humiliating, if you've ever tried it. The mission of sending disciples to be on mission and fish for others seems untouchable. Many of us feel under skilled, under educated, under resourced, and under attack by an enemy who tries to thwart every move we make. Many of us feel the weight of thousands of people in our city, most of them lost and dying, while Jesus is saying to us, "Feed them." "Feed them truth." "Feed them hope." "Feed them life." If we are honest, we look at the task and admit, "I don't have enough to even make a dent in this."

But Jesus isn't worried about all of that. Jesus isn't worried about the size of the task, nor what we have to offer for the task. He's worried about one thing. Will we bring what we got to Him in obedience? Some of us only got a little. Some only got a testimony. Some only got a few Bible stories. Some of us only got time to build relationship with one neighbor. Some of us only got the ability to be a good listener and pray with folks. Some of us only got the move of inviting others to church to hear the pastor preach and then asking them what they thought over lunch afterwards. Jesus is saying to each of us, "Bring me what you got and watch what I do with it." God doesn't need your ability, he needs your availability. We may not have much ability to do what God is calling us to do. But our very little in the hands of the master, can accomplish much. Bring what you got, and trust him with the rest.

Will we bring what we got to Him in obedience?

3 Steps to Bringing what you got:

  • Pray and ask God to show you what your gifts are for connecting with people.
  • Pray for God to show you who those people are.
  • Say yes to what he shows you with whom he shows you.

Grace & Peace, Scott Long