Giving Thanks for the Small Things

John 6:1-11

In these verses of scripture John records how a large crowd was following Jesus. John said this crowd followed Jesus because of the many miracles he had performed on them.

It was also Passover; the festival in which God’s people celebrated their deliverance from the Egypt.

During this season Jews from both near and far made their way to Jerusalem to participate in the festivities. In Mark’s account (see Mark 6:35) it was late in the evening and the people were hungry. Jesus asks Phillip where can we buy bread to feed them? Phillip said we only have $14.50 and that is not enough to feed this crowd. The disciples wanted to send the multitude away so that they could purchase food in one of the local cities. But Jesus disagreed. Here we learn that He does not want us to leave out of his presence the same way in which we came! If we come into his presence sick he want us to leave healed! If we come with questions he want us to leave with answers! If we come all bound up he want us to leave delivered! Andrew identified a young vendor who had two fish and five barley loaves of bread which was not enough to feed this large crowd. The two fish were the size of sardines and Barley bread was the bread that was eaten by the poor. These were not loaves but they were actually small hard crusted rolls that were smaller than a dinner roll. In verse 11 Jesus gave thanks. Mark said he looked toward heaven and blessed them! He gave thanks for two small fish and five small rolls! When was the last time you gave God thanks for the small things? Thanks for the low paying job! Thanks for the few resources that you have! In this miracle Jesus teaches us that when we give thanks for the small things in our life God will stretch what we have to make sure we have a sufficiency of all things!

First things First

Matthew 6:33
First Things First

Most of us have probably heard the idiom “PUTTING THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE”. This is another way of saying, having things in the wrong order. Unfortunately, people have not appreciated the wisdom of this idiom. They put forth a great deal of effort, time, and resources trying to fulfill their dreams and aspirations but always seem to come up short. And I am sure there are a number of reason why they have not been successful. However, I believe they put the cart before the horse; things are in the wrong order!
In this passage Jesus shares with us the importance of having our priorities in order. He tells us to,

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all THESE THINGS will be added”.

What are THESE THINGS? Starting with verse 24 Jesus sheds light on THESE THINGS. THESE THINGS refer to our physical needs. See verse 25. Jesus said if we would seek him first and pursue his righteousness he will make sure our physical and material needs are met. Often time we make the tragic mistake of seeking things and not God. This is the wrong order! You have put the cart before the horse! Putting God first is a sure way of getting our needs first. I often refer to this as two for one blessing! Not only do we experience him and his righteousness, but in doing so, he makes sure our needs are taken care of! Notice, you don’t have to ask for THINGS; things are added because we have put him first! So remember, first things first!

The Fight is Fixed

I Corinthians 15:57
The fight is fixed!

During the early 60’s the sport of boxing was tarnished by what beacme known as FIXED FIGHTS! It was called a FIXED FGHT because both boxers knew who was going to win the fight before they entered the ring. The predetermined winner would take some blows and even get knocked down but he knew in the end that he would win! This is eblematic the child of God who is in a constant battle with his enemy, the Devil (see I Peter 5:8). In this passages the Apostle Paul offers thanks to God who constantly gives us victory!

Victory is not a one time experience for the child of God.

Because of him (See I John 4:4) we should expect victory in every battle the enemy brings our way! There are times that we are knocked down and facing what appears to be sure defeat, but in the end we know we are victors because the fight is fixed!

Looking for help in all the wrong places

II Chronicles 16:12,13
Looking for help in all the wrong places

Some people say that it is bad to be in need of help and to a certain degree they are right because no one likes the feeling of being inadequate. However I believe there is something that is a lot worse than being in need of help and that is being in need of help and looking for that help in all the wrong places.
These verses of scripture shares with us the tragic death of a man named Asa. It is believed that Asa had developed a severe case of gout in his feet.

According to the latter part of verse 12 his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord”. The word YET gives us insight into the mindset of Asa. The disease was great or it was in the latter stages that would usher in death. He watched his condition as it got progressively worse; day by day the pain got worse. Like Asa some people stand by and watch as their condition gets progressively worse! Their homes are getting worse! Their sickness is getting worse! Their finances are getting worse! Their minds are getting worse! Yet they have not sought the Lord for help!

The scripture infers that Asa died not because of his condition but he died because he sought help from the physicians instead of God. In other words he died because he looked for it in the wrong place!!!!! Many people are experiencing death in their personal lives because they looked for help in all the wrong places. Their dreams have died! Their relationships with loved ones have died! Their finances are on life support! There was nothing wrong with seeking the physicians but Asa’s problem was too big for the doctors but it was just right for God! Some time our problems are too big for us and the people that we have placed our trust in, but they are no match for the power of GOD. This is the reason when the need for help arises we need to look to the Lord. David understood this when he penned the words to the 1st and 2nd verse of the 121st Psalm wherein he said, “I will lift up mine eyes to the hills from which cometh my help.” MY HELP cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth!

The Sale of a Lifetime

Isaiah 55:1
The Sale of a life time!

Advertisers have a way of getting the attention of consumers. They come up with catchy advertising phrases such as 90% mark down. 50% off and additional 20% at the register! Buy one and get one free! Needless to say deals like these are hard to pass up. Centuries ago the Lord used the Prophet Isaiah to go on an advertising campaign. In this verse the prophet uses the words water, milk, and wine as Metaphors to describe those things that are necessary for spiritual life. Often time in scripture bread and milk are used as metaphors for the word of God. He has given us his word to nourish our spirit when are weak and broken. To reassure us when we are faced with insurmountable odds! Wine is used to denote joy!

Often times we make the mistake of attempting to obtain joy through THINGS and PEOPLE only to discover that when things get old and people reject us we are back in the dumps.

But the joy that comes from him goes beyond human comprehension! The joy that comes from him cannot be extinguished because of unforeseen circumstances! Isaiah said you do not need money to purchase these precious resources! God has given them to us FREE OF CHARGE! This is THE SALE OF A LIFETIME!

Gifts for the Gift


The giving of gifts has become a tradition of Christmas. This tradition was started when God gave us a gift in the form of his son Jesus Christ. He was king yet everything about him says otherwise. Instead of being born in a Palace he was born in a stable. Instead of a long flowing robe that was worn by Kings he was wrapped in swaddling clothes. His cabinet members consisted of sheep, cows, and other livestock that sought refuge in the stable where he was born. Such humble beginnings for one who Isaiah referred to as wonderful counselor; Prince of Peace and the everlasting father! He wears many hats but to sum it all up he is God’s GIFT to man! Traditionally we give gifts to those who are celebrating a birthday. We don’t know when Christ was born but Christmas has been set aside to celebrate his birth. It’s his birthday but we never consider what does he want for his birthday. After giving this some thought, I thought of 3 GIFTS FOR THE GIFT. The first GIFT we can give the GIFT is our life. He gave his life and in exchange we now have forgiveness of sin and Eternal Life. I can think no better gift to give the GIFT than our life. The second gift is that we LOVE ONE ANOTHER UNCONDITIONALLY! What a reflection of God’s Love for us that we love one another with no strings attached! He sent his son not to die for perfect people but he sent him to die for people with issues and flaws. People may have hurt and disappointed you and you feel they are not deserving of your love.But if you want make the GIFT happy love one another unconditionally. The final gift is sharing the GIFT with others!

Christmas is known for being a season of happiness and joy! But during this season there are those who are hurt, disappointed and lonely. A gift might pacify them but it never satisfies them.

Their wounds run deep and they are bearing the scars of past hurts! A gift from under the tree is not their solution! However if you share with them the GIFT that hung on the tree….the GIFT that loves them for who they are! The GIFT that has given them an invitation to come unto him…..I believe they too will have a merry Christmas!!!

Why Were The Wise Men Wise?

Matthew 2:1-2;11,12
Why were the wise men wise?
In our text Matthew like his contemporary Luke lifts the curtain of time and gives us insight into the greatest event known to man and that is the birth of Jesus. He starts out by introducing us to wise men who were seeking him that was born King of the Jews. Traditionally it is believed that there were three wise men and that is because when they found the baby and his mother they presented him with three gifts. However the bible never tells us how many wise men there were. In fact there were many wise men in the Ancient world and Bethlehem. Even though we don’t know the exact number we do know they were WISE MEN. So why were the Wise Men wise?
First they were wise because they stayed the course. They said, we have seen his star. It is believed they had travelled a great distance and followed this star for months. Since they were following his star it also mean they were traveling at night. And since they were traveling at night they had to be on constant guard for snakes, scorpions, spiders, and other venomous creatures that took refuge in deep crevices trying to keep warm at night.This coupled with the freezing night temperatures and the rugged terrain made travel slow and difficult. However despite the difficulties they stayed the course. If they would have deviated from their course they would have missed Jesus. A number of people have missed Jesus….life dealt them an unfair hand; they experienced a few setbacks and they missed Jesus…..missed his blessings; missed their healing and deliverance because they did not stay the course; but wise men stay the course because they know the disappointments are small in comparison to what God has for them! See Romans 8:18

Secondly the wise men were wise because they worshipped him. Verse 11 says that when they found the baby Jesus that they fell down and worshipped him. The word worship comes from a greek word that means to prostrate oneself in homage and respect; to reverence and adore. You see wise men worship because they know worship gets God attention! Praise is a response to an act of kindness that God has bestowed on an individual. Worship on the other hand is a derivative of the English word worth. When we worship God we do so because he is WORTHY!

The bills are past due….my health is failing… in foreclosure but God you are still worthy!

Finally, these men were wise because they went home another way. Wise men always go home another way! Earlier Herod had said let me know when you find the child so that I can come and worship him also. Verse 12 says that after giving their gifts these wise men went home another way. In other words, after being in his presence, they did not go back home the same way they came but they went home another way. What am I saying? When you get in the presence of Jesus, you won’t go back home the same way you came. You may have come into his presence sick but you can go home healed! Bound but you can go home delivered! worried but you can leave in peace! Are you a wise man or a wise woman?

Why settle for Ishmael when God has promised you an Isaac

Genesis 16:1,2; 17:17-19 “Why settle for Ishmael when God has promised you an Isaac”

Some time we settle for less instead of waiting for what God has promised. God had made Abraham a promise that he would bless them with a child in their old age! After 10 years and no child Sarai concocted a plan to give God some assistance. They had purchased an Egyptian slave girl by the name of Hagar. She encouraged Abraham to have a relationship with her and from this relationship a son was born whom they named Ishmael. Ismael is emblematic of those things that are the fruit of our fleshly efforts and not the will of God! Unfortunately, Ishmael created more problems than he was worth! After nearly 25 years of waiting and no Isaac, Abraham said, God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! In our vernacular Abraham was saying, LORD SINCE YOU HAVE NOT DONE IT BY NOW I WILL JUST SETTLE FOR ISHMAEL! And like Abraham when we become weary and fainthearted with waiting on the Lord, we will tell that we will settle for Ishmael! But don’t settle for Ishmael when you know God has promised you Isaac! The promise may be slow in coming forth but remember, GOD IS NOT A MAN THAT HE SHOULD LIE (See Numbers 23:19) Wait on your Isaac!

You Better Watch Your Mouth!

Proverbs 18:21
“You better watch your mouth”

In this verse Solomon teaches us that the words we speak can be detrimental to our well being. Solomon says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue and they that use it will eat the fruit thereof”. In this verse, Solomon teaches us that our words are like seeds and they will produce fruit. And fruit reflects the type and quality of seed that was sown. An Apple seed produces apples. An orange seed produces oranges. A watermelon seed produces watermelons. And in like manner positive words will produce positive outcomes and negative words will produce negative outcomes. And unfortunately, many people are eating the fruit of the negative words they have sown.

I am sure you are familiar with this phrase, “You better watch your mouth”. I can remember the times when my father was correcting me and I would mumble a few words under my breath. He would respond with the words, “You better watch your mouth”. His reason for saying that was my father and I was his son and because of that relationship I had to choose my words carefully.

Since God is our father and we are his children you would think that we would be more optimistic during times of uncertainty. But unfortunately it is during these times that we say things that are inappropriate for us to say as a child of God.

I’m not talking about profanity, but we say things that casts a shadow of doubt on God’s word and his ability to come through for us.

Our words are filled with defeat and doubt and as a result we get exactly what we say. But YOU BETTER WATCH YOUR MOUTH!

In Mark 11:23 Jesus says “For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall Say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that these things which he Saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he Saith.” Notice Jesus lets us know that if we speak in faith we shall have what we have spoken. If we speak victory we will walk in victory! If we speak healing we will receive healing! If we speak blessings we will be blessed! On the other hand if we speak defeat we will live a defeated life! If we say it cannot be done then it will not be done! If you say you are not going to make it then you won’t make it! So before you speak YOU BETTER WATCH YOUR MOUTH! Death and life are in the power of the tongue!