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WHEN A LITTLE BECOMES A LOT
Intro: It seems that life is a series of highs and lows. We face valleys and mountains and sometimes it seems that we are not able to go one step farther. Ill. Job - Job 3:25. Our obstacle, whatever name we attach to it, is totally overwhelming in our eyes. When this happens, the general tendency is to just quit, to give up on the Lord. But, we forget just who God is! He is the Creator, the Master of the Sea, the Lily of the Valley, The Bright and Morning Star. He is the One Who was, Who is and Who is to come! He is still God and we need to remember this very important fact.
These verses picture a scene that is absolutely impossible in the eyes of man, but to God, it is merely an opportunity to display His awesome power. It is an opportunity for Him to showcase His ability to overcome any and all situations, without exception!
Today, I want you to take whatever burden you carry, whether it be personal, work, church or related to someone else: I want you to look at this burden, then look at the greatness and power of your God and finally realize that Jesus can handle it. And when this message is over, if you can wait that long, I want you to bring it to this altar, lay it on the Lord's shoulders and leave it there forever. Notice with me what happens When A Little Becomes A Lot.
I. v.1-7 THE SITUATION WAS OVERWHELMING
A. v.5 A RECOGNITION OF THE SITUATION - Ill. Jesus knows all circumstances - (Ill. Mt.10:29-31) (Pro.15:3) He knows what you face today! (Ill. Jesus also knew how He was going to handle the situation, before the situation ever materialized, v. 6. Friends, God already has the answer to the question in hand before the question is ever asked! He is always ahead of the game! Ill. The ram on Mt. Moriah, Elijah’s ravens and widow.)
B. v.6 A REQUEST FOR FAITH - Ill. All of God's people are supposed to live by faith - Hab.2:4; Heb. 11:6; Rom.14:23 (Ill. Our typical response - Faithlessness says God is dead!)
C. v.7 A RESPONSE OF THE FLESH - Ill. I can't, we can't, it's never been done that way before! (Ill. Phillip's response centered around money - 8 months wages, about $12,000.00 today! Andrew’s response was similar, it centered around what could not be done!)
The question from Jesus was, “How are we going to handle this?”, v. 5. There were four responses to that questions:
1. Let’s get rid of the problem - Mark 6:35-36; Matt. 15:23
2. Let’s raise more money - John 6:7
3. We have a little, but it will never be enough - John 6:5
4. Let Jesus have it - John 6:11
Ill. Do not listen to anything the flesh has to say about any situation - It lies! If you are in it, God has you there for a purpose, Rom. 8:28. God's way to handle the impossible is found in Phil.4:6-7. You see, God isn’t looking for excuses. He isn’t looking for self-doubts, or questions marks. He is looking for faith!
II. v.8-9 THE SUPPLIES WERE INSUFFICIENT (Ill. Andrew)
A. v.9 THE SIZE OF THE GIFT - (Ill. 5 biscuits and 2 sardines) Ill. God is able to use the little things - (Baby’s cry to speak to Abraham; a stick to part a Red Sea; a stone and sling to remove a giant; a piece of cloth at Jordan; starving widow to speak to Elijah; manna to speak to 2 million people - etc!) Your ability, or resources may be small, but God is still God and He can use anything! (Ill. “He took”! It wasn't too small for the Lord! Ill. Often, He will use the resources you already possess and multiply them in marvelous ways!)
B. v.9 THE SACRIFICE OF THE GIVER - Ill. He gave all he had. This is all God asks of any of us - Give Him all, whether it be great or small and He will use it for his glory. (Ill. The typical response - It is never the size of the gift, it is always the heart of the giver - If no one gives God has nothing to work with!) Does He need us? No! He allows us to be involved! (Ill. Your situation - Quit holding on to it and give it to the Lord along with yourself and God will amaze you!
C. v.9 THE STAIN OF DOUBT - Here is where we always lose the battle. Ill. His promise - John 15:16 - Ill. We really don't believe this! If we did, there would be no worry in our lives at all, we would take it to the Lord and let Him handle it for us!
III. v.10-13 THE SURPLUS WAS ABUNDANT
(Ill. Jesus was not disturbed by the circumstances - Ill. v.10 - You'll never have a problem greater than God’s ability!)
A. THE FALTERING WERE SANCTIFIED - Ill. He used the doubters to feed the hungry - a blessing - He does this to teach us who is in control. When it looks impossible, just keep on serving the Lord - He will reveal His purposes, in His time. (Ill. 1 Cor. 13:12)
B. THE FAMISHED WERE SATISFIED - Every need was met, possibly 20,000+ people were fed, Matt. 14:21. Jesus took the little and turned it into a lot! (Ill. Eph.3:20) Place your little in the Lord's hand and He will multiply it.
C. THE FAITHLESS WERE STUPEFIED - Ill. 12 baskets - 1 for each doubting disciple. When God does move in your situation, look out, it will amaze you and everyone who sees - 1 Cor. 2:9 (Ill. Your doubts will seem ridiculous then!)
Conc: Do you look at the things you face in life and say, “There’s no way!” Friend, as long as there is a great God Who sits on the throne of Heaven, there is a way! In fact, He says, “I am the way!”, John 14:6! If you can get it into His hands, He will handle it and make a lot out of your little. What do you need to bring to Him tonight?