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A Multitude of Problems

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(sometimes we worry about our deficit "what we don't have, sometimes we worry to much about being efficient, doing things right instead of doing the right things -- this message helps God's people see we have everything we need to share good news with others -- "the sufficiency in Christ " -- as you approach the text think of looking at the multitude and available resources through the lenses of Philip, Andrew, and Jesus. Theologically Jesus' feeding the multitude showed the people he was like Moses in the manna way, but the subtext is that there is a good lesson that we have everything we need to bless others -- God can bless the little we have and we can feed a multitude! You can probably easily find illustrations and applications from your own life. Blessings, Chip)

KW—appoaches or set of lenses or perspectives

TS: When facing problems and opportunities (they are often one in the same) we approach them through different perspectives….

I. One perspective is looking at problems and opportunities through the lenses of pessimism.

There's a little bit of Philip and all of us.

Poor guy; Poor us! We can be doubters? Such Debbie-downers!

7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages[a] to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

In the NIV the ‘!’ works so well! I think the punctuation reflects a "we can't do it" philosophy.

We need to be careful that were not operating from the perspective of our deficiencies. In other words, we're looking at situations based on what we don't have:... why being concerned about our deficit is important, and why this worry can cripple us! List examples.


II. Another perspective is looking at problems and opportunities through the lenses of optimism.

What's your level of Andrew? Are you looking for some kind of help?

8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

Again, in the NIV the ‘?’ works well.

I think the punctuation reflects a "we can do it" philosophy.

Just as we don't want to operate from our deficiencies, we don't necessarily want to operate strictly from our efficiencies.

Why being efficient is important, and why our "efficiency" can hold us back from doing great things together for God! List examples. (our church committees can become like the department of motor vehicles if we're not careful!)


III. One more perspective is looking at problems and opportunities through the lenses of realism.

Isn't Christ's perspective the best?

We all have some Christ in us, some Holy Spirit dying to come out and manifest into our daily lives – from the smallest things to the greatest – from the worst problems to our greatest opportunities! .

10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” … 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

The punctuation continues to work in this translation.

Jesus doesn't have an exclamation point after his statement, nor does he have a question mark, he simply has a ‘.’. ('period') I think the punctuation reflects a "we will do it" philosophy.

Face it folks: Jesus' example for us is the best! He didn't operate from his deficiencies, or his efficiencies, but operated out of his sufficiency!!!

Jesus had everything he needed to do the will of God, and I believe it's the same thing for us. We have everything we need to accomplish God's tasks.

Instead of wondering about what you don't have, or the little you do have, wonder about what you have and how it can be used for God's glory – that's what Jesus did!

How we get to do it and the kingdom of God?

  • We can feed 1 mouth.
  • We can visit one shut-in.
  • We can learn one new song for this week.
  • We can create one prayer meeting and maybe at one new member.
  • We can ask one child to come to Christ.
  • We can take a couple bucks out of our pocket and buy someone a couple coffee and let them talk about what they want to and be a blessing in changeable worldview – that's how revival start; it starts from you and me doing what we're able and the blessing start.

But when you and I do it together, in covenant relationship and by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord does amazing things just like he did with a couple fish and loaves of bread.

We, Christ's Church, will do it realistically just the Way Jesus did because the Lord has sufficiently given us all things to accomplish these tasks with his blessings – period.

Let's pray…

  • What God can’t do.
  • What God might do.
  • What God does.
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