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Four Thousand Fed


The disciples are again, for the second time in Mark's gospel, faced with the task of feeding an overwhelmingly large group of people with almost no provisions on hand. And while it might be our tendency to judge the disciples for their lack of faith or for their short memory we might do well to search our own hearts first.

Have we ever faced the same or similar trial in our lives and when round two comes we immediately fall back into a position of unbelief? History has a way of repeating itself. Perhaps it's “the sin that so easily besets you” that catches you off guard even though you should have seen it coming or a place where God met your need powerfully but now you find your bank account empty, and the need is again staring you in the face. Whatever the giant in your life, you can be assured that the devil will do his best to revisit you with the same affliction, if for no other reason than to challenge your belief that God is faithful. As if to raise the question in your mind “Did God really (fill in the blank)”. Be prepared for the devil to challenge the ground that you have gained in your walk with the Lord. Guard your heart and mind with the promises of His Word and remind yourself of the things He has done for you.

The story moves on as Jesus and the disciples head out after feeding the four thousand. To my great surprise the disciples only took one loaf of bread with them! The disciples had collected seven baskets full of leftovers after Jesus performed this miracle and sent the crowd away. I can’t help but wonder what they did with it? The passage doesn’t specifically say, but I’m picturing the disciples sailing away in the boat with Jesus and the seven baskets left to spoil on the shore behind them as they listen to Jesus warn them about the leaven of the Pharisee’s. And they get stuck talking about their lack of bread!

Two thoughts.

First, don’t forget to take what God provides with you as you journey through life. I’m not suggesting that we depend on yesterday’s provisions for tomorrow’s trials. But I am suggesting that when God works a miracle there is always an abundance leftover for us. It’s there to provide for our needs as well.

Second, beware that the leaven of the Pharisee’s doesn’t spoil the provision of God in your life. What is the leaven of the Pharisee’s? Unbelief. They came out to argue with Jesus and test Him, asking for a sign. The Pharisees wanted Jesus to give them a sign from heaven. They needed proof because they didn’t believe He was the messiah. Unbelief is dangerous. It will destroy the life of God in us and it only takes a little to work its way through our whole life.

As I write these thoughts, RCN is in a time of intense prayer seeking God. Many prayers are being lifted to the Lord asking for healing. Unbelief will undercut our prayers. To give an analogy; our prayers are like balloons floating up toward God and unbelief would be the pins we use to pop the balloons as we let them go. It's time for us to have the faith of a Child and believe that God is who He says he is!

Exodus 15: “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians, for I, the Lord am your Healer”.

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