Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God

Approximate Notes for Sunday’s Message August 6, 2017; John 6:1-14

Scriptures for this Sunday: John 6:1-14

You can read these Scriptures here: {NIV and ESV}

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Updates on Kingswood’s Access Ramp:

The Ramp WILL BE available to use on Sunday, August 6, 2017

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Our life choices are signs that indicate the way we think of our lives and the way we interact with others. Our life choices give us glimpses into the realness of God in our lives and in our willingness to trust God and others to supply our deepest needs when we need help.

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In the story that John tells us, Jesus taught people in a remote area. Jesus went out there, trying to get away from everyone, because he and the Disciples had just learned that John the Baptist lost his life. They needed time to grieve and to come to terms with what had happened to John. John was Jesus’ cousin; John was also a mentor to many of the Disciples before they started following Jesus.

People followed Jesus to that area, hoping to hear him teach, hoping to find the hope and new life that Jesus brought to everything that he did. We know that “man does not live by bread alone,” but we also know that without sustenance and facilities we will not get far.

After listening and learning all day, the people who followed Jesus needed food and water; people needed basic facilities.

The Disciples, on the other hand, were anxious, scared, angry and tired. The Disciples needed rest. The last thing that they wanted to deal with was a crowd of hungry men and women. It is hard to give hope when your own vessel is empty. That is why they did the same thing that every red-blooded man or woman would do in their place: they passed the buck: “Jesus we have nothing to give them; send them away.”

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For the Disciples it was a moment of emotional scarcity; for Jesus it was a teachable moment. For Jesus it was an opportunity to demonstrate how the Disciples could let God work through them. Jesus took that opportunity to demonstrate how the Disciples could help, not only by feeding everybody, but also by helping the people to develop the means to feed themselves.

The truth is that most everybody on that mountain had at least some food and water with them. 2000 years ago, before 7-Elevens and WAWA were invented, people did not venture too far from their village without at least some food and water.

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And out of all the people gathered on that mountain, only one person, a vulnerable child, was willing to share all he had so that others might eat. Jesus used this boy to teach a lesson. On that mountain people learned that by combining their resources, they could accomplish much more than by acting alone. They learned that there is a certain synergy when two or three, or twenty, or sixty, or 5000, or 12,000 gather together.

There are only two explanations as to how the miracle of feeding the multitudes happened:

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  • This boy’s gift was inspirational to those who witnessed it. That small gift challenged others and awakened their trust in God’s ability to supply their needs. It inspired them to share their food with their neighbors. They shared their food to demonstrate their faith and devotion to God.

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  • Using his divine powers, Jesus multiplied the small gift of loaves and fishes into enough food to feed everybody. While this interpretation stretches our imagination in 2017, let us not discount the mysterious power of God.

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The truth is that neither explanation offers a complete answer. Something happened in the hearts of those who witnessed the kid presenting his food to Jesus. People allowed their hearts to be touched; people allowed their hearts to be opened to God’s possibilities. And when their hearts were opened, when people recognized what it truly meant to have Jesus in their midst, that is when a miracle happened.

All of us have a deep-seated piety and religiosity within our souls. I am talking about things that make us feel righteous and superior. I am talking about a practice that asks very little of us and does not demand a real commitment to change. I am talking about the things that make us feel adamant about one or another moral issue; especially when that issue asks nothing of us, but demands a lot from others.

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We are the ones who make the Kingdom of Heaven real by the choices we make and the actions that we take here on Earth. But such transformations do not happen without Jesus touching our very soul. Only you have a key to let Jesus into your heart. And only you can make a choice whether you want to let Jesus into your heart; everyone of us must make that choice and that decision every day.

{Illustration}

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My question for you today is, are you willing to give Jesus your loaves and fishes or would you rather hold on to what you have? Are you willing to consider new possibilities for your life? Are you willing to consider new possibilities for the life of your church? Is Jesus more at home in your heart today than He was a year ago?

{Illustration}

Celebration of the Sacrament of the Holy Communion

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