Was it a coincidence that Andrew met this specific boy among the crowd listening to Jesus?
Was it a coincidence that the boy had “five loaves of barley bread and two fish”?
And are we any different from Andrew in that he looked at the bigness of the problem
instead of looking at the bigness of Jesus?
Here’s one more God-story to help you focus today on the many ways God provides for you.
When I sold my home for a huge loss,
I knew what was left was “certainly not enough” to even rent a one-bedroom apartment.
Surely this was even too big for God.
And then God connected me with friends of friends.
David and Susan Moffitt had moved to a new home and not sold their old one.
They were letting someone live in the house, but that person would be leaving soon,
and Susan suggested I drive by to see if I’d be interested in living there.
She said, “It’s a little rough, but if any house has character, this one has it.”
So I drove through a neighborhood of older, upscale homes, down a street lined with trees,
creating the kind of entrance effect you might find as you enter the grounds to an old Southern college.
At the end of the road, I could see a white house with a white picket fence.
It looked as if it was sitting in the middle of the road, but, as I got closer,
I could see it was a visual effect because the road took a sharp turn to the right just in front of the house.
The Moffitt house was the last holdout from the parceled progress
that turned a plantation and some farms into just another neighborhood.
It was an old 1940s farmhouse sitting like a two-acre oasis in the middle of suburbia.
I pulled into the dirt driveway and drove up to the front, next to the white picket fence.
Just as I stopped the car, three deer walked out from behind a large hedge and stood a few feet away from me.
And — I kid you not — right on cue, Amy Grant’s version of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” started playing on the radio.
Later, I called Susan and told her I’d like to talk about moving into the house.
I hesitated and then asked, “How much are you planning to charge?”
She said, “Oh, we weren’t planning to charge anything.
We’re glad if we can bless you.”
- fwd: v c mathews
For most of the 2,000-year history of the Church, only priests got to personally read the Bible,
but now billions of us have access to it.
In spite of this, many believers are more faithful to reading their daily newspaper than their Bibles.
It’s no wonder why we don’t grow.
We can’t watch television for three hours, then read the Bible for three minutes and expect to grow.
Many who claim to believe the Bible “from cover to cover” have never read it from cover to cover.
But if you will read the Bible just fifteen minutes a day, you will read completely through it once a year.
This is why God instructed the kings of Israel to always keep a copy of his Word nearby:
“He should keep it with him all the time and read from it every day of his life” (Deuteronomy 17:19).
But don’t just keep it near you; read it regularly!
- fwd: vc mathews
Do you ever feel anxious when the collection plate comes around?
Paul somewhat surprisingly tells us that
“You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give.”
Not only that, but giving should be joyful, not forced:
“Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure.
For God loves the person who gives cheerfully” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Jesus spoke more about money than almost any other topic.
According to author Randy Alcorn, about 15% of Jesus’ sayings
recorded in the Bible relate to money and possessions.
Why did Jesus (and the New Testament authors like Paul) speak so often about money?
Perhaps because we seem to have so much trouble using money wisely.
Thankfully, the New Testament gives us plenty of guidance.
In the story of the widow’s offering, Jesus commends her gift of the equivalent of two pennies.
She gave “more than all the rest.” Paul clarifies that “If you are really eager to give,
it isn’t important how much you are able to give” (2 Corinthians 8:12).
So, clearly the amount given is not most important.
Then what is? It is our attitude towards giving.
Often, the Pharisees (the religious zealots of Jesus’ time) tried in vain to trap Jesus with tricky questions.
On one such occasion, Jesus’ reply was “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s,
and to God what is God’s” (Matthew 22:21). So what portion of our money is “God’s”?
In a sense, it all is, since we have been given stewardship over our money.
How much should we give to the church or other important causes?
Paul answers this question thusly:
“Give whatever you can according to what you have” (2 Corinthians 8:11).
The widow did just that; she gave what little she could afford and Jesus approved of her.
Finally, note what Jesus says about giving:
“Take care! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired … Give your gifts in secret” (Matthew 6:1,4).
Keeping your giving between yourself and God ensures
you are giving for the right reason and won’t become prideful.
As Paul says, “Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others” (Philippians 2:3).
Follow these biblical principles when giving,
and you will be giving joyfully, as the Lord wills you to do.
- fwd: vc mathews
Having measurable goals is good because life is short.
Striving to reach your goals is good.
Jesus knew why He was on earth and everything He did and said moved Him toward that goal
(to seek and save the lost). He always had time for people,
but time with His Father was of utmost importance to Him.
He needed to get direction from His Father.
We can set big goals (lifetime)
or little ones (clean the deep freeze).
We can set spiritual goals, self-improvement goals,
career, educational,fun, weight-loss, housekeeping,
decorating or cleaning goals.
I confess that I am a results-oriented person.
I set measurable goals for myself and I work hard
(with the Holy Spirit’s direction and power) to reach those goals.
Not long ago, I was going through some papers and found ministry goals
I had set for myself eight years ago.
I was amazed to see how God had honored the goals and
the faith of the team working with me – far beyond my biggest dreams.
God honors and is pleased with faith.
My husband has often said,
“If you don’t have a target or goal, any road will get you there.”
Conversely, if you set measurable goals, trusting God to provide your needs,
you can count on God’s faithfulness to reach them.
One of my deep desires is when I stand before God, He will say,
“Well done, my faithful servant.”
In my life and ministry, I have worked with and observed many people.
Sometimes I am saddened to see that many never use or
develop the talents God has given them.
” Are you adequately investing the talents
God has given you ? “
Do you pray and ask God to help you set measurable goals
for the tasks He has called you to?
Do you set priorities?
If not, let me encourage you to begin the habit of doing so.
- fwd: vc mathews
At the end of World War II, an American sub came back to Newport News, Va., to dock.
As it came into port, something terrible happened, and the sub began to sink.
The Coast Guard was immediately dispatched to go out and save the crew.
Divers swam down to the hull of the submarine to discover the problem.
As the divers got close to the sub, they heard one inventive sailor using a hammer
to tap on the hull and ask in Morse Code, “Is there hope?”
As you sit in the doctor’s office awaiting test results
When a couple who’ve put months and months into counseling gets nowhere
When dealing with a tax accountant in a bankruptcy court
When a family hears their child is missing
You can go 40 days without food and three days without water.
You can go eight minutes without air.
But you can’t go a single second without hope.
It’s an essential part of life.
When hope is gone, life is over.
Because hope is in such short supply in our society today,
people will fall for all kinds of scams.
They trust in false hopes, like psychic hotlines, palm readings, astrology, fake healers, and quack cures.
Inevitably, those false hopes disappoint.
Nothing disappoints worse than false hope.
So where do I turn to find real hope? The Bible says to turn to God.
Romans 15:13 says,
“May God, the source of hope, fill you with joy and peace through your faith in him.
Then you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (GWT).
God is the only source of hope that’ll never disappoint.
When we place our faith in HIM,
HE provides joy, peace, and hope that overflows.
You need that kind of hope.
At the end of the book of Ezekiel,
God says, “I am Jehovah Shammah.” In Hebrew that means,
“I am the God who is always there.” God is always there.
He’s in your past, in your present, and in your future.
He’s in the good places. He’s in the evil places.He is everywhere.
And you are never, ever alone.
And where God is, hope is.
- fwd: v c mathews
But the Bible says the wise man looks ahead.
We all face pitfalls as we make plans for our future, such as cultural distractions, voices of doubt, tempting shortcuts, and discouraging delays.
Just take a look at Noah. He had pitfalls after God told him to build the ark, but he overcame them — and you can, too.
Now, this doesn’t mean God will give you the goal of building an ark, but I pray he’ll give you a big goal for your next needed years.
By doing that, we’ll not only be prepared to spot the pitfalls when they come into our lives; we’ll also be prepared to apply the antidote to the pitfalls of life.
As the Bible says, only the fool fails to look ahead.
Ask God to help you establish goals for the next decade of your life.
Then you’ll be ready to learn how to handle the pitfalls that could potentially keep you from getting where God wants you to go.
- fwd: vc mathews
It’s important when the odds are stacked against you to pray a certain way that is different from the way you normally pray.
Jehoshaphat gives us a model of the three things you need to pray when you feel overwhelmed.
1. Remind yourself who God is.
Before you talk to God about the problem and focus on it,
remind yourself that God is bigger than the problem you are facing.
King Jehoshaphat realizes that three enemy nations are coming at him,
yet he stops and says, “You’re bigger than all the nations, God.
You are bigger than anything I will ever face.”
“When your people Israel moved into this land,
you drove out the people who were living here and gave the land to the descendants of Israel,
your friend, to be theirs forever” (2 Chronicles 20:6).
Jehoshaphat recalled all the ways God had worked in Israel’s past.
3. Ask God for help now.
How about a repeat performance, Lord?
Do it again! In verse 9, Jehoshaphat mentions three kinds of situations: war, epidemic, and famine.
He says, “None of this is too hard for you.
You’ve helped us in the past, so do it again!”
His prayer is built around three questions:
Are you not?
Did you not?
Will you not?
“Are you not God?” Yes, you are in charge, and you’re big enough to handle it.
“Did you not help us in the past?” Yes, you did help us in the past.
“Will you not do it again?” Yes, you will do it again!
That’s the way you need to pray when you’re overwhelmed.
No matter what the situation is, remind yourself first who God is, what he’s done, and then ask him to do it again.
Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to talk about your problem.
- fwd: v c mathews
God has a reason for allowing things to happen.
We may never understand His Wisdom,
But we simply have to TRUST HIS WILL.
Are You Not Afraid?
A man just got married and was returning home with his wife. They were crossing a lake in a boat, when suddenly a great storm arose. The man was a warrior, but the woman became very much afraid because it seemed almost hopeless:
The boat was small and the storm was really huge, and any moment they were going to be drowned. But the man sat silently, calm and quiet, as if nothing was happening.
The woman was trembling and she said, “Are you not afraid?”. This may be our last moment of life! It doesn’t seem that we will be able to reach the other shore. Only some miracle can save us; otherwise death is certain. Are you not afraid? Are you mad or something? Are you a stone or something?
The man laughed and took the sword out of its sheath. The woman was even more puzzled: What was he doing? Then he brought the naked sword close to the woman’s neck, so close that just a small gap was there, it was almost touching her neck.
He said,” Are you not afraid?”
“He put the sword back and said, This is my answer”. I know God Loves me, and the storm is in His hands.
SO WHATSOEVER IS GOING TO HAPPEN IS GOING TO BE GOOD. If we survive, good; if we don’t survive, good, because everything is in His hands and He cannot do anything wrong.
- fwd: alwyn fernandes
Because of noise the Worker did not hear his Call.
To draw Attention, the Supervisor threw a 10 Rupee Note in Front of Worker.
He picked up the Note, put it in His Pocket & Continued to Work.
Again to Draw Attention the Supervisor threw 500 Rupee Note & the Worker did the same.
Now the Supervisor picked a small Stone & threw on the Worker.
The Stone hit the Worker.
This time the Worker looked Up & the Supervisor Communicated with Him.
God from Up, wants to Communicate with Us… but We are Busy doing our Worldly Jobs.
Then, he give Us Small Gifts & Big Gifts… We just keep them without looking from Where We Got it.
We are the Same.
Just keeping the gifts without Thanking him,
We just say
We are LUCKY.
And when we are Hit with a Small Stone, which We call PROBLEMS, then only We look Up & Communicate with him.
That is why it is said, He gives, gives n forgives
And We get, get n forget.
A beautiful speech by Sundar Pichai – an IIT-MIT Alumnus and Global Head Google Chrome:
She started screaming out of fear.
With a panic stricken face and trembling voice, she started jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach.
Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group also got panicky.
The lady finally managed to push the cockroach away but …it landed on another lady in the group.
Now, it was the turn of the other lady in the group to continue the drama.
The waiter rushed forward to their rescue.
In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter.
The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behavior of the cockroach on his shirt.
When he was confident enough, he grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out of the restaurant.
If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed?
He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos.
It is not the cockroach, but the inability of the ladies to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach, that disturbed the ladies.
I realized that, it is not the shouting of my father or my boss or my wife that disturbs me, but it’s my inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me.
It’s not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me.
More than the problem, it’s my reaction to the problem that creates chaos in my life.
Lessons learnt from the story:
I understood, I should not react in life.
The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded.
Reactions are always instinctive whereas responses are always well thought of.
A beautiful way to understand…………LIFE.
Person who is HAPPY is not because Everything is RIGHT in his Life..
He is HAPPY because his Attitude towards Everything in his Life is Right..!!