Sunday, October 30, 2005

So what do you have?

We had a guest speaker at church last night - Dan Sneed. He offered quite a bit of food for thought. His premise is that when we are faced with a seemingly impossible situation, God almost always asks us, "What do you have?"

For instance, in Matthew 15:29-38...we see the challenge to face the impossible, which in this case, is feeding anywhere from 10,000-12,000 people. The disciples tell Jesus that they don't have enough food and where on earth could they get that much anyway? So what does he do? He asks them, "What do you have?" Um, HELLO JESUS!!! We just said we don't have anything!!! That's the problem!! But they tell him they have a few loaves and fishes. Jesus takes them, prays over them...everyone opens their eyes...and there's still just a few loaves and fishes. No change. No miracle. Still not enough. Can you imagine what was going through the disciples' minds? I think I can because I'm sure I've thought the same things when it didn't look like my prayers were answered the way I hoped they would be answered. But what does Jesus tell them to do? Well, it doesn't say exactly in that passage, but he apparently instructed them to start passing out the food. I'm sure they thought he was totally nuts - or at least some of them did. But they did it. And they passed out food, and passed out food, and passed out food...until "they all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up SEVEN BASKETFULS of broken pieces that were left over." They had to act in faith. The miraculous thing didn't happen until they started doing what Jesus told them to do. And it seems that in at least some part, it happened because they responded when he asked, "What do you have?" He will always ask us to give what we have.

In Exodus 4, God asks Moses "What is that in your hand?" It was his rod. At best, a really nice stick. But when God told Moses to throw it down, he did - and it became a serpent. Then God told him to pick it up (can you imagine??)...but as soon as he did it became a rod again. It was this rod - this thing that Moses had - that God used to part the Red Sea and to draw water from a rock in the middle of the desert.

In 2 Kings 4:1-7, a widow is left with her sons. They have nothing. Creditors were coming to take her sons as slaves. The prophet Elisha asks her, "How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?" Uh...HELLO!! We have nothing!!! Sound familiar? Nothing...except a little oil. So he tells her to ask her neighbors for empty jars...not just a few - he's very specific. Then go in, shut the door, pour oil into all the jars and put them to the side. Her sons get the jars, bring them to her and "she KEPT POURING." When all the jars were full, she tells them to bring her another one...but there were none left. "Then the oil stopped flowing." She tells Elisha what happened - he tells her to go and sell the oil and pay her debts. Then she and her sons can live on what is left.

God can take what we have and turn it into something beyond our comprehension. He will never ask us for what we don't have - but he will ALWAYS ask for all of what we DO have. What "we" have will never meet the need. It isn't until Jesus touches what we have that the miracle happens.



JD said...



It's such a thought provoking sermon. Such food for thought.

It really makes you rethink your faith, the way you perceive things to be... Wow.

I'm going to have to re-read this one several times. I'm so glad you shared... I wish I could go to your church!

GiGi said...

Awesome message. One I needed to hear.