I have the most awesome privilege to go and minister at the prisons on Mondays nights. The ladies there are absolutely amazing and their walk with God, understanding of His Word, and faith in His Will runs deep. When I first started going, I thought I had so much to offer and was going to help those women in powerful ways as the Holy Spirit worked. What I found was that they were much more of a blessing to me than I ever was for them. Yesterday, I talked about the value of doing hard things. In giving of ourselves, and sacrificing of ourselves to help someone else, we almost always are the ones that are truly blessed.
We are blessed (“freely given, freely give”) to be a blessing (Abraham, Genesis) and are blessed in return.
Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down (authority). People came from everywhere and Jesus miraculously healed all kinds of diseases and illnesses. Can you imagine getting to witness this? The people were amazed and were praising God! Has our iPhone/constant entertainment mentality seared our hearts and minds from amazement and praise for our great and miraculous God?!!
Kingdom Living Is Still Amazed and Praising God!
Jesus said that He had compassion on the people and didn’t want them to be sent away hungry. How I love His heart! Jesus was so considerate of others. I wonder how many times I have missed a blessing because of my lack of consideration. I wonder how many times I have sent others away instead of embracing them, and totally missing a blessing.
The disciples asked Jesus where they are going to find enough bread to feed all the people. Now, I thought when I read this, “Um, hello, JESUS is standing right there with you. He has done all kinds of miracles and you don’t think He can handle this?” And yet, how often do we fret or try to fix a problem when the King of Kings is with us as well?
They have seven loaves. Jesus miraculously multiplied them until all ate and were satisfied! And you know how many basketfulls of leftovers were gathered? SEVEN! They gave seven but received seven in return, plus, they got to bless all the people! Ya’ll, do you see it? Don’t worry about your giving! God will use it and return it to you and you’ll get to be a blessing to others in the process!!!
Kingdom Living Takes Care of God’s People and Trusts Him to Take Care of You!
It seems as if all the miracles were never enough. People, especially the Pharisees and Sadducees, constantly needed more proof. Do you? What does He have to do that He hasn’t already done to prove His love and faithfulness to us? Jesus tells them that they can look at the sky and see the signs of rain in the forecast but can’t see the signs of the times, that they have been studying, teaching, and eagerly awaiting, for generations. He gives them one sign: the sign of Jonah. He had already given this sign back in Matthew 12:39-40 to them, so it was nothing new. Just as Jonah was in the belly 3 days, He would be in the grave for 3 days and raised to life, proving to be their long awaited Messiah and King. Yet even in this sign of Jonah, there was another revelation: Jonah REPENTED, was REDEEMED, and the people RETURNED to God. This is what Jesus desired for His people.
Some of you today have been wrestling with stepping into ministering in some way to other people. You may have been avoiding it, or running from it like Jonah…..possibly more like 3 years than 3 days! If you will REPENT, God will REDEEM the time and use you to help someone RETURN to Him. Don’t wait! You will find that God has blessed you to be a blessing. He will take whatever You bring to Him and multiply it so you can give it away. He will then return it to you like it was never gone, with a big ole blessing to your soul attached to it!!!
Father, give us hearts that are compassionate and considerate of the needs of others around us. Help us not to send them away but rather give ourselves away for their benefit and Your glory, so Your people will be amazed and praise You once again. In Jesus’ name.