This miracle of “Feeding the 4000” (Mark 8:1-9) occurred shortly after “Feeding the 5000” (Mark 6:30-44). The disciples had already seen Jesus perform a great miracle of feeding. Why then, did they appear so clueless when Jesus talked about feeding the great crowd that had gathered around Him? Surely they couldn’t have forgotten what had happened with the 5000 several days earlier – or could they? I’m oftentimes amazed at how quickly we forget what the Lord has done for us. Just let a crisis or negative circumstance arise – and we forget that the Lord has bailed us out or miraculously met our need in the past, and oftentimes the not-too-distant past. But that’s not the primary issue we want to address today.
Jesus asked the disciples, “What do you have to give to the people?” And they replied, “Seven loaves.”
Question – “What do you have to give to the Lord that He can utilize to minister to other people?” Many Christians would say, “I don’t have anything to give to the Lord.” The truth of the matter is, all Christians have time, talents, testimonies and treasures to give to the Lord – that he can utilize in ministry to others.
We all have time to give to the Lord. There are 168 hours in every week – and we need to be tithing our time (as well as our money) to the Lord. We all have talents to give to the Lord. The Bible teaches that the Lord has given us spiritual gifts and abilities (1 Corinthians 12:1-11, Romans 12:1-8) and that we are to be utilizing those gifts and talents in ministry to others. Peter wrote, “God has given gifts to you from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you. Are you called to be a speaker? Then speak as though God Himself were speaking through you. Are you called to help others? Do it with all the strength and energy God supplies” (1 Peter 4:10-11).
We all have testimonies to give to the Lord. Have you ever written down or shared your testimony of what the Lord has done in your life? Take time to record what your life was like before Jesus, how Jesus came into your life, and what knowing Jesus has meant to you and done for you. Then, after writing out your testimony, ask the Lord to give you an opportunity to share it with others. You’ll be amazed at how many people the Lord sends your way for you to share your story.
We also have treasures or tithes and offerings to give to the Lord. The Lord said in Malachi 3:10, “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.’” The Lord expects us to give our treasures to Him through His church, as well as our time, talents and testimonies.
Question – “Have you been giving your time, talents, testimony and tithes and offerings to the Lord for usage?” If not, why not? Is anything more important than living for, serving, trusting and being faithful to the Lord?
As you pray today: 1) Ask the Lord to show you the time, talents, testimony and monies you should be giving to Him; 2) Ask the Lord to show you how to best utilize what He has given you for His glory. and 3) Tell the Lord that whatever is yours is really His – and really mean it.
Four thousand people were fed because the disciples were willing to give and share what they had. Many more thousands of people can be reached, discipled, fed and ministered to – if our focus is on the Lord!