Matthew 14:16-21 “‘You give them something to eat.’ ‘We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish.’ . . . Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.”
A key principle I teach is “less is best, more is good.” This is a powerful principle for Christians in having a vibrant walk with Christ. We tend to give Christians the impression that more of the Bible is best when in fact it is not how much you hear, read and study, but how much of it you allow the Holy Spirit to use in your life. Enthusiastic Christians take in huge volumes of Biblical truth with virtually no application. Education without application has a minimal effect on one’s walk with Christ. How many Christians would be in church on Sunday if the entrance requirement was to share what God impressed on them from last week’s sermon and how God used it in their lives in the past week. We take in Biblical truths without the thought that there is a God who wants to actualize those truths in our lives. Try this with every intake of truth (quiet time, sermons, Bible study, teachings, etc.): 1) Ask God to impress one thing in your heart. 2) Show where you fall short. 3) Ask God what you should do about it? 4) Pray this application into your day asking God to enliven it in your life. If you have more time, definitely take in more of God’s Word, but do not take in larger quantities at the expense of allowing God to sift and work in your heart.
I picked today’s Scripture because it gives a wonderful example of “less is best, more is good.” Matthew 15:33-38 describes another time Jesus intervened to feed a large group of people: “His disciples answered, ‘Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?’ ‘How many loaves do you have?’ Jesus asked. ‘Seven,’ they replied, ‘and a few small fish.’ . . . Then He took the seven loaves and the fish, and when He had given thanks, He broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was four thousand, besides women and children.” In the Matthew 15 feeding, Jesus had 7 loaves of bread and also several fish, fed less people (4,000) with more bread, and had 7 basketfuls of leftovers. In the Matthew 14 feeding, Jesus had 5 loaves and 2 fish, fed more people (5,000) with less bread, and had 12 basketfuls of leftovers. Both feedings dealt with the impossible. You would think when there were fewer people but more food there would have been a sigh of relief? Not with Jesus. In both cases Jesus knew His God was big enough. Jesus demonstrated His faith by thanking God in advance, breaking the bread, which symbolically represented His brokenness in trusting God for this miracle. In both cases God met the need, but, as a bonus in the second miracle, He made the point that more was not needed for God to be God. God could do whatever He wanted with whatever He had.
Every day you have small and large opportunities to allow God to be God in your life. The question is whether your faith is enough to trust Him to be God. Do not diminish your God by what you think. Learn to enlarge your faith each day by trusting God to be God.
Matthew 13:23 “But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience in this area: “Satisfaction” and “Identity in Christ.”