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JimB

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The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« on: February 27, 2016, 05:27:31 AM »
Chap. 39 - "Give Ye Them to Eat"

     

     Christ had retired to a secluded place with His disciples, but this rare season of peaceful quietude was soon broken. The disciples thought they had retired where they would not be disturbed; but as soon as the multitude missed the divine Teacher, they inquired, "Where is He?" Some among them had noticed the direction in which Christ and His disciples had gone. Many went by land to meet them, while others followed in their boats across the water. The Passover was at hand, and, from far and near, bands of pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem gathered to see Jesus. Additions were made to their number, until there were assembled five thousand men besides women and children. Before Christ reached the shore, a multitude were waiting for Him. But He landed unobserved by them, and spent a little time apart with the disciples. 
     From the hillside He looked upon the moving multitude, and His heart was stirred with sympathy. Interrupted as He was, and robbed of His rest, He was not impatient. He saw a greater necessity demanding His attention as He watched the people coming and still coming. He "was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd." Leaving His retreat, He found a convenient place where He could minister to them. They received no help from the priests and rulers; but the healing waters of life flowed from Christ as He taught the multitude the way of salvation. 
     The people listened to the words of mercy flowing so freely from the lips of the Son of God. They heard the gracious words, so simple and so plain that they were as the balm of Gilead to their souls. The healing of His divine hand brought gladness and life to the dying, and ease and health to those suffering with disease. The day seemed to them like heaven upon earth, and they were utterly unconscious of how long it had been since they had eaten anything. 
     At length the day was far spent. The sun was sinking in the west, and yet the people lingered. Jesus had labored all day without food or rest. He was pale from weariness and hunger, and the disciples besought Him to cease from His toil. But He could not withdraw Himself from the multitude that pressed upon Him. 
     The disciples finally came to Him, urging that for their own sake the people should be sent away. Many had come from far, and had eaten nothing since morning. In the surrounding towns and villages they might be able to buy food. But Jesus said, "Give ye them to eat," and then, turning to Philip, questioned, "Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" This He said to test the faith of the disciple. Philip looked over the sea of heads, and thought how impossible it would be to provide food to satisfy the wants of such a crowd. He answered that two hundred pennyworth of bread would not be nearly enough to divide among them, so that each might have a little. Jesus inquired how much food could be found among the company. "There is a lad here," said Andrew, "which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes; but what are they among so many?" Jesus directed that these be brought to Him. Then He bade the disciples seat the people on the grass in parties of fifty or a hundred, to preserve order, and that all might witness what He was about to do. When this was accomplished, Jesus took the food, "and looking up to heaven, He blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude." "And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes." 
     He who taught the people the way to secure peace and happiness was just as thoughtful of their temporal necessities as of their spiritual need. The people were weary and faint. There were mothers with babes in their arms, and little children clinging to their skirts. Many had been standing for hours. They had been so intensely interested
in Christ's words that they had not once thought of sitting down, and the crowd was so great that there was danger of their trampling on one another. Jesus would give them a chance to rest, and He bade them sit down. There was much grass in the place, and all could rest in comfort.   
     Christ never worked a miracle except to supply a genuine necessity, and every miracle was of a character to lead the people to the tree of life, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. The simple food passed round by the hands of the disciples contained a whole treasure of lessons. It was humble fare that had been provided; the fishes and barley loaves were the daily food of the fisher folk about the Sea of Galilee. Christ could have spread before the people a rich repast, but food prepared merely for the gratification of appetite would have conveyed no lesson for their good. Christ taught them in this lesson that the natural provisions of God for man had been perverted. And never did people enjoy the luxurious feasts prepared for the gratification of perverted taste as this people enjoyed the rest and the simple food which Christ provided so far from human habitations.   
     If men today were simple in their habits, living in harmony with nature's laws, as did Adam and Eve in the beginning, there would be an abundant supply for the needs of the human family. There would be fewer imaginary wants, and more opportunities to work in God's ways. But selfishness and the indulgence of unnatural taste have brought sin and misery into the world, from excess on the one hand, and from want on the other     Jesus did not seek to attract the people to Him by gratifying the desire for luxury. To that great throng, weary and hungry after the long, exciting day, the simple fare was an assurance not only of His power, but of His tender care for them in the common needs of life. The Saviour has not promised His followers the luxuries of the world; their fare may be plain, and even scanty; their lot may be shut in by poverty; but His word is pledged that their need shall be supplied, and He has promised that which is far better than worldly good,--the abiding comfort of His own presence
     In feeding the five thousand, Jesus lifts the veil from the world of nature, and reveals the power that is constantly exercised for our good. In the production of earth's harvests God is working a miracle every day. Through natural agencies the same work is accomplished that was wrought in the feeding of the multitude. Men prepare the soil and sow the seed, but it is the life from God that causes the seed to germinate. It is God's rain and air and sunshine that cause it to put forth, "first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." Mark 4:28. It is God who is every day feeding millions from earth's harvest fields. Men are called upon to co-operate with God in the care of the grain and the preparation of the loaf, and because of this they lose sight of the divine agency. They do not give God the glory due unto His holy name. The working of His power is ascribed to natural causes or to human instrumentality. Man is glorified in place of God, and His gracious gifts are perverted to selfish uses, and made a curse instead of a blessing. God is seeking to change all this. He desires that our dull senses shall be quickened to discern His merciful kindness and to glorify Him for the working of His power. He desires us to recognize Him in His gifts, that they may be, as He intended, a blessing to us. It was to accomplish this purpose that the miracles of Christ were performed.
     After the multitude had been fed, there was an abundance of food left. But He who had all the resources of infinite power at His command said, "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost." These words meant more than putting the bread into the baskets. The lesson was twofold. Nothing is to be wasted. We are to let slip no temporal advantage. We should neglect nothing that will tend to benefit a human being. Let everything be gathered up that will relieve the necessity of earth's hungry ones. And there should be the same carefulness in spiritual things. When the baskets of fragments were collected, the people thought of their friends at home. They wanted them to share in the bread that Christ had blessed. The contents of the baskets were distributed among the eager throng, and were carried away into all the region round about. So those who were at the feast were to give to others the bread that comes down from heaven, to satisfy the hunger of the soul. They were to repeat what they had learned of the wonderful things of God. Nothing was to be lost. Not one word that concerned their eternal salvation was to fall useless to the ground. 
     The miracle of the loaves teaches a lesson of dependence upon God. When Christ fed the five thousand, the food was not nigh at hand. Apparently He had no means at His command. Here He was, with five thousand men, besides women and children, in the wilderness. He had not invited the large multitude to follow Him; they came without invitation or command; but He knew that after they had listened so long to His instruction, they would feel hungry and faint; for He was one with them in their need of food. They were far from home, and the night was close at hand. Many of them were without means to purchase food. He who for their sake had fasted forty days in the wilderness would not suffer them to return fasting to their homes. The providence of God had placed Jesus where He was; and He depended on His heavenly Father for the means to relieve the necessity.   
     And when we are brought into strait places, we are to depend on God. We are to exercise wisdom and judgment in every action of life, that we may not, by reckless movements, place ourselves in trial. We are not to plunge into difficulties, neglecting the means God has provided, and misusing the faculties He has given us. Christ's workers are to obey His instructions implicitly. The work is God's, and if we would bless others His plans must be followed. Self cannot be made a center; self can receive no honor. If we plan according to our own ideas, the Lord will leave us to our own mistakes. But when, after following His directions, we are brought into strait places, He will deliver us. We are not to give up in discouragement, but in every emergency we are to seek help from Him who has infinite resources at His command. Often we shall be surrounded with trying circumstances, and then, in the fullest confidence, we must depend upon God. He will keep every soul that is brought into perplexity through trying to keep the way of the Lord. 
     Christ has bidden us, through the prophet, "Deal thy bread to the hungry," and "satisfy the afflicted soul;" "when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him," and "bring the poor that are cast out to thy house." Isaiah 58:7-10. He has bidden us, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15. But how often our hearts sink, and faith fails us, as we see how great is the need, and how small the means in our hands. Like Andrew looking upon the five barley loaves and the two little fishes, we exclaim, "What are they among so many?" Often we hesitate, unwilling to give all that we have, fearing to spend and to be spent for others. But Jesus has bidden us, "Give ye them to eat." His command is a promise; and behind it is the same power that fed the multitude beside the sea.   
     In Christ's act of supplying the temporal necessities of a hungry multitude is wrapped up a deep spiritual lesson for all His workers. Christ received from the Father; He imparted to the disciples; they imparted to the multitude; and the people to one another. So all who are united to Christ will receive from Him the bread of life, the heavenly food, and impart it to others.   
     In full reliance upon God, Jesus took the small store of loaves; and although there was but a small portion for His own family of disciples, He did not invite them to eat, but began to distribute to them, bidding them serve the people. The food multiplied in His hands; and the hands of the disciples, reaching out to Christ Himself the Bread of
Life, were never empty. The little store was sufficient for all. After the wants of the people had been supplied, the fragments were gathered up, and Christ and His disciples ate together of the precious, Heaven-supplied food.   
     The disciples were the channel of communication between Christ and the people. This should be a great encouragement to His disciples today. Christ is the great center, the source of all strength. His disciples are to receive their supplies from Him. The most intelligent, the most spiritually minded, can bestow only as they receive. Of themselves they can supply nothing for the needs of the soul. We can impart only that which we receive from Christ; and we can receive only as we impart to others. As we continue imparting, we continue to receive; and the more we impart, the more we shall receive. Thus we may be constantly believing, trusting, receiving, and imparting.   
     The work of building up the kingdom of Christ will go forward, though to all appearance it moves slowly and impossibilities seem to testify against advance. The work is of God, and He will furnish means, and will send helpers, true, earnest disciples, whose hands also will be filled with food for the starving multitude. God is not unmindful of those who labor in love to give the word of life to perishing souls, who in their turn reach forth their hands for food for other hungry souls.   
     In our work for God there is danger of relying too largely upon what man with his talents and ability can do. Thus we lose sight of the one Master Worker. Too often the worker for Christ fails to realize his personal responsibility. He is in danger of shifting his burden upon organizations, instead of relying upon Him who is the source of all strength. It is a great mistake to trust in human wisdom or numbers in the work of God. Successful work for Christ depends not so much on numbers or talent as upon pureness of purpose, the true simplicity of earnest, dependent faith. Personal responsibilities must be borne, personal duties must be taken up, personal efforts must be made for those who do not know Christ. In the place of shifting your responsibility upon someone whom you think more richly endowed than you are, work according to your ability. 
     When the question comes home to your heart, "Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" let not your answer be the response of unbelief. When the disciples heard the Saviour's direction, "Give ye them to eat," all the difficulties arose in their minds. They questioned, Shall we go away into the villages to buy food? So now, when the people are destitute of the bread of life, the Lord's children question, Shall we send for someone from afar, to come and feed them? But what said Christ? "Make the men sit down," and He fed them there. So when you are surrounded by souls in need, know that Christ is there. Commune with Him. Bring your barley loaves to Jesus. 
     The means in our possession may not seem to be sufficient for the work; but if we will move forward in faith, believing in the all-sufficient power of God, abundant resources will open before us. If the work be of God, He Himself will provide the means for its accomplishment. He will reward honest, simple reliance upon Him. The little that is wisely and economically used in the service of the Lord of heaven will increase in the very act of imparting. In the hand of Christ the small supply of food remained undiminished until the famished multitude were satisfied. If we go to the Source of all strength, with our hands of faith outstretched to receive, we shall be sustained in our work, even under the most forbidding circumstances, and shall be enabled to give to others the bread of life.   
     The Lord says, "Give, and it shall be given unto you." "He that soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he that soweth with blessings shall reap also with blessings. . . . And God is able to make all grace abound unto you; that ye, having always all sufficiency in everything, may abound unto every good work; as it is written,--


             "He hath scattered abroad, he hath given to the poor:
              His righteousness abideth forever.

"And He that supplieth seed to the sower and bread for food, shall supply and multiply your seed for sowing, and increase the fruits of your righteousness: ye being enriched in everything unto all liberality, which worketh through us thanksgiving to God." Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9:6-11, R. V.

By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2016, 12:19:31 PM »
Have you ever wondered why you have great trials? Here is a thought that I find helpful. Some trials we bring on ourselves, others God allows to come to us even when we are abiding in Christ and following His leading.

     The miracle of the loaves teaches a lesson of dependence upon God. When Christ fed the five thousand, the food was not nigh at hand. Apparently He had no means at His command. Here He was, with five thousand men, besides women and children, in the wilderness. He had not invited the large multitude to follow Him; they came without invitation or command; but He knew that after they had listened so long to His instruction, they would feel hungry and faint; for He was one with them in their need of food. They were far from home, and the night was close at hand. Many of them were without means to purchase food. He who for their sake had fasted forty days in the wilderness would not suffer them to return fasting to their homes. The providence of God had placed Jesus where He was; and He depended on His heavenly Father for the means to relieve the necessity.
     And when we are brought into strait places, we are to depend on God. We are to exercise wisdom and judgment in every action of life, that we may not, by reckless movements, place ourselves in trial. We are not to plunge into difficulties, neglecting the means God has provided, and misusing the faculties He has given us. Christ's workers are to obey His instructions implicitly. The work is God's, and if we would bless others His plans must be followed. Self cannot be made a center; self can receive no honor. If we plan according to our own ideas, the Lord will leave us to our own mistakes. But when, after following His directions, we are brought into strait places, He will deliver us. We are not to give up in discouragement, but in every emergency we are to seek help from Him who has infinite resources at His command. Often we shall be surrounded with trying circumstances, and then, in the fullest confidence, we must depend upon God. He will keep every soul that is brought into perplexity through trying to keep the way of the Lord.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2016, 08:25:45 AM »
Amen, Richard! I was encouraged as I spent time with Jesus this morning reading this chapter anew. What stands out is how Jesus is willing for us to trust Him in trial.

"He will keep every soul that is brought into perplexity through trying to keep the way of the Lord." {DA 369.1}

What an assurance! By choosing to follow Christ's principles, for example, in the area of our health, it may mean that we will go through suffering that we might be encouraged to lessen by using drug medication. But the drug medication will only bring a burden on another part of the system, and will not really deal with the underlying issue. This has been my experience in how God healed me from bipolar disorder. The medications prescribed did not really deal with the underlying need for me to live a new life in Christ, and to actually change how I was eating, exercising, thinking, etc. I am so thankful that God's principles of health can bring full restoration in His timing. Patience is part of the journey! We can apply proper nutrition, exercise, water, sunshine, temperance, air, rest, and trust in God's divine power. Though the trial may be difficult, we need not fear--He has His way to bring relief, and when we choose to follow His healing plan or trust Him with out needs instead of murmuring or complaining, then we will find a precious testimony to share with others, as well! I think of how God's principles of healing are gradual, yet He has provided simple natural remedies for the healing of our systems. He wants us to know that the perplexity or trial will not exceed the grace to bear it as we abide in Him.

I was very blessed in reading the following paragraph as well:

"The disciples were the channel of communication between Christ and the people. This should be a great encouragement to His disciples today. Christ is the great center, the source of all strength. His disciples are to receive their supplies from Him. The most intelligent, the most spiritually minded, can bestow only as they receive. Of themselves they can supply nothing for the needs of the soul. We can impart only that which we receive from Christ; and we can receive only as we impart to others. As we continue imparting, we continue to receive; and the more we impart, the more we shall receive. Thus we may be constantly believing, trusting, receiving, and imparting." {DA 370.1}


What a blessing to keep sharing what Jesus teaches us from His word, from nature, and from the experience He gives us in harmony with divine counsel! We have an opportunity to be constantly receiving as we are constantly giving. Like a fresh river ever ready to impart, we need to be fountains of blessing to others as we are connected to the Living Water, Jesus Christ. But we cannot bring this about except as we are willing to die to self, to surrender entirely to Jesus Christ, and to have Him give us a new heart that is filled with all the fruits of the Spirit--so that not one is missing! Only as we are connected to Christ can we be a blessing to others. Let us today pray that Jesus will continue to show us how to impart that which we receive of Him, so He can in turn impart more!

 
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2016, 06:35:24 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean!  This is exactly the burden placed on our hearts as we share what it is that we have received while reading these wonderful revelations of the love of God for us. This is what keeps us and encourages us that even in our perplexity, we need not fear we shall not received wisdom and power to do that which God has asked us to do.

    The means in our possession may not seem to be sufficient for the work; but if we will move forward in faith, believing in the all-sufficient power of God, abundant resources will open before us. If the work be of God, He Himself will provide the means for its accomplishment. He will reward honest, simple reliance upon Him. The little that is wisely and economically used in the service of the Lord of heaven will increase in the very act of imparting. In the hand of Christ the small supply of food remained undiminished until the famished multitude were satisfied. If we go to the Source of all strength, with our hands of faith outstretched to receive, we shall be sustained in our work, even under the most forbidding circumstances, and shall be enabled to give to others the bread of life.


After 30 years of ministry, I can testify that this is true. God always provides for our needs as we abide in Christ. And, there have been many forbidding circumstances. What are we to do when facing these difficult situations? "We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Romans 5:3-5.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2016, 08:40:05 AM »
Praise the Lord, Richard, as you have been able to testify of God's faithfulness and the joy of rejoicing in His presence when in trial. May we each learn to cultivate such an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ by choosing to spend this "thoughtful hour" with Him that we can face whatever He allows for our best good from day to day. It is encouraging to remember these very words of hope from today's reading:

"The providence of God had placed Jesus where He was; and He depended on His heavenly Father for the means to relieve the necessity." {DA 368.2}

Christ is our example, and when we are brought into a time of necessity because we are following the opening providence of God, we can pray and seek our Heavenly Father for His provision. When we do so, without murmuring, fainting, or complaining, we give God the opportunity to reveal His glory (grace/character) in the situation. What a privilege we have to co-labor with Christ in uplifting humanity as the Holy Spirit words in and through us!   
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2016, 07:05:40 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean.  God's providence does not always follow our plans or our particular wants. But, it is always best for us. At times we shall be tired and want rest, but it is not always God's plan  for us. As it was with Jesus, so it may happen to us. God will provide for all of our needs as we rest in Him and follow His leading. We are here to be servants to others.

     Interrupted as He was, and robbed of His rest, He was not impatient. He saw a greater necessity demanding His attention as He watched the people coming and still coming. He "was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd."


There are things on this earth that we need to do. But, they are to take second place most of the time to helping others. When we have made our plans, we must be open to God's providential leading. We need to learn to recognize it, and His "still small voice." Then we shall have peace that passes all understanding. This is one of the fruits that come when we abiding in Christ and He in us. Such blessings God wants to given to His people!

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2016, 07:47:14 AM »
Praise the Lord for our lovely Jesus! I am thankful for your post, Richard. It also strikes me that the patience manifest in Christ even when He was "robbed of His rest" helps us to realize how we can respond (as long as we are abiding in Him), when God allows us to face a similar situation.

 The people listened to the words of mercy flowing so freely from the lips of the Son of God. They heard the gracious words, so simple and so plain that they were as the balm of Gilead to their souls. The healing of His divine hand brought gladness and life to the dying, and ease and health to those suffering with disease. The day seemed to them like heaven upon earth, and they were utterly unconscious of how long it had been since they had eaten anything. 


What strikes me is that the spiritual food Christ fed the people nourished and healed them--but the words that were "so simple and so plain"--which is much like the food with which Christ fed them.

Christ never worked a miracle except to supply a genuine necessity, and every miracle was of a character to lead the people to the tree of life, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. The simple food passed round by the hands of the disciples contained a whole treasure of lessons. It was humble fare that had been provided; the fishes and barley loaves were the daily food of the fisher folk about the Sea of Galilee. Christ could have spread before the people a rich repast, but food prepared merely for the gratification of appetite would have conveyed no lesson for their good. Christ taught them in this lesson that the natural provisions of God for man had been perverted. And never did people enjoy the luxurious feasts prepared for the gratification of perverted taste as this people enjoyed the rest and the simple food which Christ provided so far from human habitations.   
     If men today were simple in their habits, living in harmony with nature's laws, as did Adam and Eve in the beginning, there would be an abundant supply for the needs of the human family. There would be fewer imaginary wants, and more opportunities to work in God's ways. But selfishness and the indulgence of unnatural taste have brought sin and misery into the world, from excess on the one hand, and from want on the other     Jesus did not seek to attract the people to Him by gratifying the desire for luxury. To that great throng, weary and hungry after the long, exciting day, the simple fare was an assurance not only of His power, but of His tender care for them in the common needs of life. The Saviour has not promised His followers the luxuries of the world; their fare may be plain, and even scanty; their lot may be shut in by poverty; but His word is pledged that their need shall be supplied, and He has promised that which is far better than worldly good,--the abiding comfort of His own presence.


There is so much blessing in this chapter and in these sections! Simplicity is so powerful. Oh, that we could be simple in our habits and simple in our food choices, so we could continually enjoy the "abiding comfort of His presence." This is also something that relates to the way the message is shared. Often people want to hear something sensational, that will please the ears...but Christ wants to give gracious words that satisfy our genuine need of Him that is constant. Apart from Him, we can do nothing good. Apart from Christ, we have no spiritual strength. But abiding in Him, all the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives without one missing, and we will be content with the simplest food, the simplest revelation of the loveliness of Jesus. Oh, my prayer is that each of us daily would find great contentment (with a continual hunger for more) of Jesus lovely character as we are seeing here day by day in our reading of The Desire of Ages. Simple spiritual food from Jesus, often received, is our continual need. And He, by His word through His Spirit, is changing us as we behold Him.

"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63).
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2017, 07:14:01 AM »
Amen! This coincides with our Sabbath School lessons. It is the Spirit who indwells the heart when we are in a converted state. He is Christ's representative. We may be  born of the Spirit continually if we will keep the mind and eyes focused on Christ, as we are doing now. And when we are fully surrendered to Jesus, He will provide for all of our needs, as Jesus depended upon His Father who provided for the feeding of the thousands.

     The miracle of the loaves teaches a lesson of dependence upon God. When Christ fed the five thousand, the food was not nigh at hand. Apparently He had no means at His command. Here He was, with five thousand men, besides women and children, in the wilderness. He had not invited the large multitude to follow Him; they came without invitation or command; but He knew that after they had listened so long to His instruction, they would feel hungry and faint; for He was one with them in their need of food. They were far from home, and the night was close at hand. Many of them were without means to purchase food. He who for their sake had fasted forty days in the wilderness would not suffer them to return fasting to their homes. The providence of God had placed Jesus where He was; and He depended on His heavenly Father for the means to relieve the necessity.   
     And when we are brought into strait places, we are to depend on God. We are to exercise wisdom and judgment in every action of life, that we may not, by reckless movements, place ourselves in trial. We are not to plunge into difficulties, neglecting the means God has provided, and misusing the faculties He has given us. Christ's workers are to obey His instructions implicitly. The work is God's, and if we would bless others His plans must be followed. Self cannot be made a center; self can receive no honor. If we plan according to our own ideas, the Lord will leave us to our own mistakes. But when, after following His directions, we are brought into strait places, He will deliver us. We are not to give up in discouragement, but in every emergency we are to seek help from Him who has infinite resources at His command. Often we shall be surrounded with trying circumstances, and then, in the fullest confidence, we must depend upon God. He will keep every soul that is brought into perplexity through trying to keep the way of the Lord. 


We can do no good thing unless we are converted and looking unto Jesus.





Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2017, 09:39:15 AM »
Amen, Richard! What precious promises we find in our reading today!

 The means in our possession may not seem to be sufficient for the work; but if we will move forward in faith, believing in the all-sufficient power of God, abundant resources will open before us. If the work be of God, He Himself will provide the means for its accomplishment. He will reward honest, simple reliance upon Him. The little that is wisely and economically used in the service of the Lord of heaven will increase in the very act of imparting. In the hand of Christ the small supply of food remained undiminished until the famished multitude were satisfied. If we go to the Source of all strength, with our hands of faith outstretched to receive, we shall be sustained in our work, even under the most forbidding circumstances, and shall be enabled to give to others the bread of life.

I love how Jesus exemplified the very principles He designed to teach. There was only a small amount of food to begin with--five loaves and two fishes--but as He looked up to heaven, prayed, trusted God, and began to break these and impart them to the disciples, the miracle of God's provision was at work.

Jesus would have us trust Him and live generously--thinking first of His kingdom, His righteousness, and the needs of others. What a blessed life Jesus lived--but it shows us that we are not to fear for the future as long as we are willingly imparting that which God has entrusted to us day by day, that we in our sphere may bless others.

Only when we have Christ ruling the heart can we do any good thing, and He will make a way where there seems to be no way--that He may receive the glory!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2017, 05:05:33 AM »
Christ has bidden us, through the prophet, "Deal thy bread to the hungry," and "satisfy the afflicted soul;" "when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him," and "bring the poor that are cast out to thy house." Isaiah 58:7-10. He has bidden us, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15. But how often our hearts sink, and faith fails us, as we see how great is the need, and how small the means in our hands. Like Andrew looking upon the five barley loaves and the two little fishes, we exclaim, "What are they among so many?" Often we hesitate, unwilling to give all that we have, fearing to spend and to be spent for others. But Jesus has bidden us, "Give ye them to eat." His command is a promise; and behind it is the same power that fed the multitude beside the sea.   
     In Christ's act of supplying the temporal necessities of a hungry multitude is wrapped up a deep spiritual lesson for all His workers. Christ received from the Father; He imparted to the disciples; they imparted to the multitude; and the people to one another. So all who are united to Christ will receive from Him the bread of life, the heavenly food, and impart it to others.


When I read this the first thing that pops into my head is...

I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.


This is so different from the world. When I was  in college I had a friend who had a poster on his wall. On the poster was a great mansion. One side of the mansion there was a helicopter sitting on it's own landing pad. Then in front of the mansion was funeral procession made up fancy limousines. The caption below the poster was... "He who dies with the most toys wins!"   If this were true than I can think of several Bible characters including Christ who by that definition "lost".  We need to learn as Paul did to be content no matter what our situation.


Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
   
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2017, 07:26:42 AM »
Thank you, Jim, for sharing. Indeed, heaven's economy of giving is opposite the world's economy of "get, get" for self. When we live for self, we are not truly happy or content. All sin (selfishness) is at its heart unsatisfying. When we have Jesus in our hearts, we can be content no matter what the circumstances! We can rejoice in all experiences continually because of the love of God to provide for us in every situation!

    The means in our possession may not seem to be sufficient for the work; but if we will move forward in faith, believing in the all-sufficient power of God, abundant resources will open before us. If the work be of God, He Himself will provide the means for its accomplishment. He will reward honest, simple reliance upon Him. The little that is wisely and economically used in the service of the Lord of heaven will increase in the very act of imparting. In the hand of Christ the small supply of food remained undiminished until the famished multitude were satisfied. If we go to the Source of all strength, with our hands of faith outstretched to receive, we shall be sustained in our work, even under the most forbidding circumstances, and shall be enabled to give to others the bread of life.  

This is a recurring theme in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy!

The lesson is for God's children in every age. When the Lord gives a work to be done, let not men stop to inquire into the reasonableness of the command or the probable result of their efforts to obey. The supply in their hands may seem to fall short of the need to be filled; but in the hands of the Lord it will prove more than sufficient. The servitor “set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the Lord.” {PK 243.1}
A fuller sense of God's relationship to those whom He has purchased with the gift of His Son, a greater faith in the onward progress of His cause in the earth—this is the great need of the church today. Let none waste time in deploring the scantiness of their visible resources. The outward appearance may be unpromising, but energy and trust in God will develop resources. The gift brought to Him with thanksgiving and with prayer for His blessing, He will multiply as He multiplied the food given to the sons of the prophets and to the weary multitude. {PK 243.2}


I have been thinking about how God invites us to "invest"--and in heaven's economy, the best "investment" is generous giving for the advancement of the mission of His kingdom (in winning souls) and providing for the needs of others, knowing full well that God can multiply and provide more than we can ask or think. If we think we are better off trying to die with the most toys so to speak, we can be reminded of the warning from the parable of the man whose focus was on accumulation to be at ease, rather than upon finding ways to help and bless those around him:

Luke 12:16-21
16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.


When the lad brought forth his five loaves and two fishes he was being "rich toward God"--he was willing for what he had to be used where there was need. Let us pray that God will lead us to help those who have need, that in turn they may come to hunger for the bread of life, the word of God from Jesus!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2017, 07:27:45 AM »
Amen, Jim and Pastor Sean. God loves us and will provide for all of our needs as He best knows. As we abide in Christ, we will give to others what He has given to us. One does not have to be a Christian to know they are made happy when giving to others. "It is more blessed to give than to receive."

    The means in our possession may not seem to be sufficient for the work; but if we will move forward in faith, believing in the all-sufficient power of God, abundant resources will open before us. If the work be of God, He Himself will provide the means for its accomplishment. He will reward honest, simple reliance upon Him. The little that is wisely and economically used in the service of the Lord of heaven will increase in the very act of imparting. In the hand of Christ the small supply of food remained undiminished until the famished multitude were satisfied. If we go to the Source of all strength, with our hands of faith outstretched to receive, we shall be sustained in our work, even under the most forbidding circumstances, and shall be enabled to give to others the bread of life. 


I can testify that this is true. When we believe with all the heart, then God will provide that we may give.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2017, 04:10:47 AM »
The encouragement of Jesus being our provider, and how we need not fear for the future as we follow Him day by day, is truly a blessing to us as we seek to share with others the loveliness of Jesus:

    And when we are brought into strait places, we are to depend on God. We are to exercise wisdom and judgment in every action of life, that we may not, by reckless movements, place ourselves in trial. We are not to plunge into difficulties, neglecting the means God has provided, and misusing the faculties He has given us. Christ's workers are to obey His instructions implicitly. The work is God's, and if we would bless others His plans must be followed. Self cannot be made a center; self can receive no honor. If we plan according to our own ideas, the Lord will leave us to our own mistakes. But when, after following His directions, we are brought into strait places, He will deliver us. We are not to give up in discouragement, but in every emergency we are to seek help from Him who has infinite resources at His command. Often we shall be surrounded with trying circumstances, and then, in the fullest confidence, we must depend upon God. He will keep every soul that is brought into perplexity through trying to keep the way of the Lord. 

Let us receive from God that we may impart to others; let us behold Jesus and share what He means to us today! He is our all in all!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2017, 05:35:04 AM »
      He will keep every soul that is brought into perplexity through trying to keep the way of the Lord.Let us receive from God that we may impart to others; let us behold Jesus and share what He means to us today! He is our all in all!

Amen pastor Sean! I especially like last part. Which seems to go very nicely this sentence that I picked out this morning.

The means in our possession may not seem to be sufficient for the work; but if we will move forward in faith, believing in the all-sufficient power of God, abundant resources will open before us.


Reminds me of the 2 demoniacs. I can't imagine them having much to work with, in worldly goods or knowledge of scriptures but yet they shared what they knew and experienced and were rewarded.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2017, 06:26:03 AM »
Amen. I too was impressed with the same principle, but in another setting. The disciples were in full time ministry, but the lesson is for all believers. It is especially important today that we understand the lesson put forth.

    The disciples were the channel of communication between Christ and the people. This should be a great encouragement to His disciples today. Christ is the great center, the source of all strength. His disciples are to receive their supplies from Him. The most intelligent, the most spiritually minded, can bestow only as they receive. Of themselves they can supply nothing for the needs of the soul. We can impart only that which we receive from Christ; and we can receive only as we impart to others. As we continue imparting, we continue to receive; and the more we impart, the more we shall receive. Thus we may be constantly believing, trusting, receiving, and imparting.   


All who are truly converted, who have given the whole heart to Christ, are His disciples, even if we have not entered into full time ministry. Therefore, as we received blessings from our morning devotions, we are to impart that which we have been given to others. It reminds me of one of the most beautifully written passages I have ever read.

    Now sin has marred God's perfect work, yet that handwriting remains. Even now all created things declare the glory of His excellence. There is nothing, save the selfish heart of man, that lives unto itself. No bird that cleaves the air, no animal that moves upon the ground, but ministers to some other life. There is no leaf of the forest, or lowly blade of grass, but has its ministry. Every tree and shrub and leaf pours forth that element of life without which neither man nor animal could live; and man and animal, in turn, minister to the life of tree and shrub and leaf. The flowers breathe fragrance and unfold their beauty in blessing to the world. The sun sheds its light to gladden a thousand worlds. The ocean, itself the source of all our springs and fountains, receives the streams from every land, but takes to give. The mists ascending from its bosom fall in showers to water the earth, that it may bring forth and bud.
     The angels of glory find their joy in giving,--giving love and tireless watchcare to souls that are fallen and unholy. Heavenly beings woo the hearts of men; they bring to this dark world light from the courts above; by gentle and patient ministry they move upon the human spirit, to bring the lost into a fellowship with Christ which is even closer than they themselves can know.  Desire of Ages, chapter one.


When man is re-created in God's image (character), he no longer has a selfish heart, for it has been cleansed from sin by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Such a miracle! We who live in fallen sinful flesh may obtain a new heart filled with love, joy, and peace! How are we to obtain this "new heart"? By feeding upon Christ. As we drink His blood and eat His flesh, we are transformed into His image (2 Cor. 3:18), as we become partakers of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Then we are to "give ye to them to eat" that which has been given to us!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2017, 05:10:00 AM »
The most intelligent, the most spiritually minded, can bestow only as they receive. Of themselves they can supply nothing for the needs of the soul. We can impart only that which we receive from Christ; and we can receive only as we impart to others. As we continue imparting, we continue to receive; and the more we impart, the more we shall receive. Thus we may be constantly believing, trusting, receiving, and imparting.

A most interesting truth. In Heaven's way of doing things you receive by giving not taking. Do you desire to know God better then share with others what little you already know and you'll receive more light and love. It is indeed more blessed to give than receive. 
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2017, 06:10:12 AM »
Amen, Jim! I was also moved by the same paragraph today! The story of the feeding of the five thousand teaches us precious lessons of trust and reliance upon God, and how as we follow Jesus, imparting to others, rather than thinking first of our own needs, allows God to multiply what little we have! As we share what we know of Christ, and as we impart from what He has given us to help sustain the cause of God in tithes and offerings, God has abundant ways to multiply both our resources and increase our understanding of His truth!

"The disciples were the channel of communication between Christ and the people. This should be a great encouragement to His disciples today. Christ is the great center, the source of all strength. His disciples are to receive their supplies from Him. The most intelligent, the most spiritually minded, can bestow only as they receive. Of themselves they can supply nothing for the needs of the soul. We can impart only that which we receive from Christ; and we can receive only as we impart to others. As we continue imparting, we continue to receive; and the more we impart, the more we shall receive. Thus we may be constantly believing, trusting, receiving, and imparting." {The Desire of Ages, page 370, paragraph 1}  

With today being 500 years since Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany, may the Reformation continue in our lives as we allow Christ to continue to guide us to impart what we know of the loveliness of Jesus' character and encourage others to look to Him for further light and truth! As we practice the reality that it would be well to spend a thoughtful hour in contemplation of the life of Christ, others can be encouraged to also spend that time with Jesus, and they also will experience the joy of being changed from glory to glory! With God, there is always more!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2017, 10:00:41 PM »
Amen, Jim and Pastor Sean. It is a blessing to give. We receive much joy and happiness when we give or ourselves to others. The world has it backwards. Why do we fear to give? Because we do not realize that Jesus will provide for our necessities. When we trust Him (believe) with the whole heart, then we have divine power on our side. We need to do away with our self dependence and depend wholly on Christ.

    The miracle of the loaves teaches a lesson of dependence upon God. When Christ fed the five thousand, the food was not nigh at hand. Apparently He had no means at His command. Here He was, with five thousand men, besides women and children, in the wilderness. He had not invited the large multitude to follow Him; they came without invitation or command; but He knew that after they had listened so long to His instruction, they would feel hungry and faint; for He was one with them in their need of food. They were far from home, and the night was close at hand. Many of them were without means to purchase food. He who for their sake had fasted forty days in the wilderness would not suffer them to return fasting to their homes. The providence of God had placed Jesus where He was; and He depended on His heavenly Father for the means to relieve the necessity.   
     And when we are brought into strait places, we are to depend on God. We are to exercise wisdom and judgment in every action of life, that we may not, by reckless movements, place ourselves in trial. We are not to plunge into difficulties, neglecting the means God has provided, and misusing the faculties He has given us. Christ's workers are to obey His instructions implicitly. The work is God's, and if we would bless others His plans must be followed. Self cannot be made a center; self can receive no honor. If we plan according to our own ideas, the Lord will leave us to our own mistakes. But when, after following His directions, we are brought into strait places, He will deliver us. We are not to give up in discouragement, but in every emergency we are to seek help from Him who has infinite resources at His command. Often we shall be surrounded with trying circumstances, and then, in the fullest confidence, we must depend upon God. He will keep every soul that is brought into perplexity through trying to keep the way of the Lord. 


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2018, 05:13:52 AM »
He who taught the people the way to secure peace and happiness was just as thoughtful of their temporal necessities as of their spiritual need. The people were weary and faint. There were mothers with babes in their arms, and little children clinging to their skirts. Many had been standing for hours. They had been so intensely interested in Christ's words that they had not once thought of sitting down, and the crowd was so great that there was danger of their trampling on one another. Jesus would give them a chance to rest, and He bade them sit down. There was much grass in the place, and all could rest in comfort.

Here is a wonderful picture of my Savior. Not only concerned for His children's spiritual welfare but their physical welfare also. Here He is getting ready to supply their bodies with physical nourishment but look closer at the details. There is grass to sit on and not dusty rocky ground. He asks them to sit as they unknowingly at this point will witness one of the great miracles of the Bible. This reminds me of what the Bible says about our Savior....

Matthew 10:
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--39--Give Ye Them to Eat
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2018, 07:05:13 AM »
As I contemplated this scene as well Jim I am amazed that the children were not crying for drink or food. Most children's attention span is very short. It tells me that they too were captivated by the presence of this Man, Jesus.

"From the hillside He looked upon the moving multitude, and His heart was stirred with sympathy. Interrupted as He was, and robbed of His rest, He was not impatient. He saw a greater necessity demanding His attention as He watch the people coming and still coming. He was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd."

It is no different today. Like the disciples we are to receive from Christ that we may impart to others.

"In Christ's act of supplying the temporal necessities of a hungry multitude is wrapped up a deep spiritual lesson for all His workers. Christ received from the Father; He imparted to the disciples; they imparted to the multitude; and the people to one another. So all who are united to Christ will receive from Him the bread of life, the heavenly food, and impart it to others."

Something that caught my attention was the fact that when the disciples brought the little boy's lunch to Jesus and it was divided; they were the last to eat. Other's came first.

That simple acronym for the word JOY comes to mind....

J- Jesus first
O- Others next
Y- You last

Lot's of lesson's in this chapter to keep us motivated today for sharing the joy with others that comes from serving Jesus.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14