Archive for July, 2011
July 31: “UNLESS the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake but in vain. – Psalm 127:1 NASB
July 30: “Let your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,’” – HEBREWS 13:5
July 29: “He counts the number of the stars. He calls them all by their names.” – Psalm 147:4, World English Bible
July 28th: ” It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.” – Psalm 127:2
July 27th: Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in the world. – Helen Keller
Two new quotes for July 26th: “How can there be too many children? Taht is like saying there are too many flowers.” – Mother Teresa
“God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, “I love you’” – Billy Graham
“When Satan reminds you of your past, reme3ind Satan of his future.”
“God doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called.” – Michael Beckwith
“Sow seeds of love and grow rich!”
“What we do in moderation, our kids will do in excess!”
“The way to show your kids how to be loving is by showing love to them.” – Josephine Thornburg
“Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within easy reach of every hand.” – Mother Teresa
“Lay hold of today’s task and you will not depend so much upon tomorrow’s.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Matthew 14: 15-21, NASB says:
15” When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, ‘The place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.’
16 But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!’
17 They said to Him, ‘We have here only five loaves and two fish.’
18 And He said, Bring them here to Me.
19 And ordering the people to sit down on the grass, 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,
20 and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets.
21 And there were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.”
So one day after Jesus had healed the sick on into the evening, His disciples wanted Him to send the crowds away so they could get their own food. Jesus had another idea; they could feed them. But how could they feed so many? After taking the bread and fish, Jesus looked into heaven and blessed the food and broke the loaves.
This bread broken for the multitudes is a picture of Jesus being broken on the cross. He is the Bread of Life. (John 6:35 – Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.) He was broken for us, and like bread, He gives life to those who “eat of Him”, or those who take Him in and trust in Him as Savior and Lord. His life given for us is Eternal Life.
This picture of Jesus as the Bread of Life is the all-pervasive theme here, but I am led to believe that there is a smaller variation on the theme going on here also. Jesus desires for each of us Christians to be broken. (John15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”) This means giving up our old selfish ways, so that people in need of Jesus would be fed the Bread of Life. In
1 John 3:16-18, we read:
16 “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
18 Little Children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.”
It is no accident that John 3:16 tells about Jesus being given for us so that we can have everlasting life, and then 1 John 3:16 tells about how we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
Jesus broke and multiplied the bread and fish (Mark 6:41), and the disciples gave it to the people. So, Christ was broken for us; but we must also give our lives for others. When we do, God will return to us what was broken, because in breaking us, we are blessed (Matthew 14:19 - “He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves…”)
After the disciples distributed the broken food, 12 baskets of leftover pieces remained. There were 12 disciples, so the return was 12 full baskets. Allow yourself to be broken to “feed” others and Christ will bless you equally and beyond, or in “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap” (Luke 6:38) what you have given…and Halleluiah, multitudes will be fed and satisfied in Jesus!
This is God’s plan for each of Christ’s followers. Do you dare try it?
Psalm 28:7,8 also say, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him. The LORD is their strength, and He is a saving defense to His anointed.”
Giving thanks to God brings joy, which is our strength. Christ’s strength empowers you and me to “do all things through Him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13. We are enabled to obey and accomplish what God calls us to do!
So, we should give God thanks. → This brings joy.→ Joy is or gives strength.→ Christ’s strength empowers us. → We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! → Giving thanks helps us accomplish God’s will for us!
This brings us back to the verse we started with, 16 (“Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing,) 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NKJV.
Today, let’s give thanks to God in everything and see our joy increased, our spirits strengthened, and our lives made worthwhile as we do all things through Christ who strengthens us!!
*Blue highlighting added to Bible verses for emphasis.
Flower photos from Jo’s peaceful, flower-garden retreat!