Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Cooperating with God

Image: Pixabay
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Matthew 15:21-39

TO CHEW ON: “And He took the seven loaves and fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitude. So they all ate and were filled…” Matthew 15:36,37

Where did this multiplication of bread and fish take place? In Jesus’ hands or in the baskets and trays of the disciples?

The Bible doesn’t say. But I imagine Jesus giving each disciple a similar small amount of fish and bread. It may have looked puny, inadequate to feed a dozen let alone hundreds. Then they started passing it out and they passed it out and passed it out … and it never ran out! I imagine that multiplication occurring when the bread and fish were in the disciples’ hands (for they wouldn’t have been able to carry a receptacle loaded with food enough for hundreds!)

I can imagine my reaction if I had been one of those disciples, getting my portion to hand out: “But this small amount is ridiculous. How many will this feed? These hungry people will beat me up when some get fed and others don't …”

Of course the disciples didn’t say anything like that. They had been with Jesus through enough emergencies to realize He was dependable to come through. And His work through them kept happening:

“And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, confirming the word through accompanying signs and wonders” - Mark 16:20.

God in His wisdom continues to use people to accomplish His work with Him:"
"For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building” - 1 Corinthians 3:9.

“We then as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” 2 Corinthians 6:1.

I love how the Blackabys, in the book Experiencing God, challenge us to put this principle into practice:
“God never asks people to dream up something to do for Him. We do not sit down and dream what we want to do for God and then call God in to help us accomplish it. The pattern in Scripture is that we submit ourselves to God. Then we wait until God shows us what He is about to do, or we watch to see what God is already doing around us and join Him” Henry & Richard Blackaby, Claude King, Experiencing God p. 34.

“Every conversation with God has limitless possibilities attached to it, because He is 
‘able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.’ - Ephesians 3:20” - Ibid, p. 89 (emphases added).

PRAYER: Dear Father, help me to work with You. Help me distribute what is in my hands and trust You to use it in the needed way. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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