Thursday, February 5, 2015

"More Than Enough"

   "When Jesus then lifted up His eyes, and saw a great company come unto Him, He saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this He said to prove him: for He himself knew what He would do.  Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto Him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks, He distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, He said unto His disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten" (John 6:5-13).

  Too little bread and too few fishes gave way to more than enough of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the degree that the disciples required a dozen baskets to accommodate the leftovers.  

    Scripture does not record what became of the overabundance.  For posterity's sake, however, it does proclaim the fact of the bursting baskets, again revealing the truth of too little food, but more than enough Christ.  The same truth accounts for much of our own experience during our present earthly sojourn.  We see lack all around us, as well as within us.  "Not enough!" screams at us, decrying too little of provision, opportunity, and enabling in our circumstance and situation.  The desperate echoes resound as we look  within.  "Not enough peace, or joy, or motivation, or wisdom, or hope!"  If perchance one suggests the presence of a few loaves and fish, we may well be tempted to moan with Andrew, "What are they among so many?"  Not enough!  Not enough! Not enough!

   "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world with end, Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21).

    The Bible does not deny that earthly lack exists.  The Apostle Paul acknowledged on several occasions the fact of necessities, and even forced fastings when food became scarce (II Corinthians 6:4-5).  Scripture does call us, however, to believe and affirm Christ as the supply for our needs regardless of appearance and evidence.  Indeed, the hard truth of the Christian life is that sometimes we need our necessities in order that our greatest requirement may be met, namely, to know our God and His ways.  Our own version of five loaves and two fish may elicit in us the faith that leads to a full and overflowing heart.  The history of the church, as well as our own personal histories, confirms that we sometimes most experience spiritual abundance when "Not enough!" leads to the Bible and Spirit-inspired confession, "More than enough Christ!"

"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
(John 10:10)

Weekly Memory Verse
   The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.
(Psalm 118:24)

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