More than a story about sharing fish

God is looking for a heart that is after Him. He wants people who desire Him and His sufficiency. In John chapter 6 and the story of the feeding of the multitude, we see that all the people ate and were satisfied. We can look at this story and see the obvious. We can see that there was a need and a boy shared his loaves and his fishes. We can see this and if we stop there we can learn a little something. However, if we push through just a little we can see so much more. There are three great points that we can take away from this story.

  1. God works through people. God gives the gift. He is the One who provides the means, but He does this work through people. He works through the church. He works through you and me.
  2. When we serve God by giving generously our faith increases.
  3. Jesus is sufficient for us. He is more than enough.

If we look at the story we see that Jesus multiplied the little that was offered. This tells us that Jesus did not need the little that was offered. Why? Because He is God. He used it, but He did not need it. The power of God, the presence of God is sufficient with or without our offerings. God is more than able to meet any need because God is sufficient. More on that in a moment.

God works through people. Again, He does not require you or me, but He chooses you and I. God has decided that in His infinite wisdom He would work through the Church. He would choose the lowly and foolish things to accomplish His plans and purposes. I wouldn’t choose you and me, but God did, and it is for our good that He does.

God choosing to use us is for our good just as much as it is for someone else. When we serve others, when we give of our time, when we give of our money we grow into the image of Christ. God choosing to use us means we get to partner with God in the things He is doing. If we think about like when our parents would let us “help them” we can see this a little clearer. Our parents did not need our help and in some cases, our “help” was actually no help at all. But that used those moments to teach us and to grow us. We learned more about how it was done, the heart of our parents, and the value of service in those moments.

God being a good Father is so much more than our earthly parents. Again, He does not need our help, but He allows us to help so that we might grow. God does not need me to share these things with you. The Holy Spirit is much more capable than I and could easily communicate this message to you and He can do it better than I can, but He allows me to help so that I might grow too.

Going back to the first part of this story we can see that Jesus us sufficient. He can meet the need all by Himself. Somehow this gets turned into a prosperity Gospel message but when we look at the text we see the people got what they needed and wanted Jesus to do more so He left. That should be a message to all those who say God wants you to have it all.

Jesus is the sufficiency, not the stuff. God gives gifts. He supplies the need, but He wants us to desire Him and His ways.

Just a thought,



Take my will

In John 16:24 Jesus says that we should ask in His name so that we may receive, and our joy will be complete. Today it hit me that what I need to be asking for is for my will to be conformed to God’s will. I  want my will to line up with His. I want my purpose to be His purpose. I want to be conformed to the image of the Son. I want my pleasures to be His pleasures, my choices to be His choices. I desire to be more like Him because I am so thankful for what He has done and not done in my life. The more I seek Him the more I want Him. The more I know Him the more I want to know Him. The more I see God the more I cry out like Isaiah.

Woe is me for I am ruined
because I am a man of unclean lips
and live among a people of unclean lips,
and because my eyes have seen the King,
the Lord of Hosts.

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth with it and said:

Now that this has touched your lips,
your wickedness is removed
and your sin is atoned for.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying:

Who should I send?
Who will go for Us?

I said:

Here I am. Send me.

Service = Shalom and Holiness

If God is calling you and I to serve others how do we do that? How do we go out to reach people and show them the love of God?

I would argue that it starts with Shalom and a pursuit of Holiness.

Shalom in the Bible is not simply peace. Peace is the partly the absence of striving but Shalom is the absence of striving and completeness or soundness. It is safety, rest, favor, prosperity, happy, friendly, well, wholly. Shalom is the goal we are all after.

It is more than simply not fighting but it is living in total soundness. This means whether there is peace around you or not you are in a state of rest and wholeness. In order to go after those who are in need and love them, we need to be at peace with God and at peace with ourselves. We need Shalom!

Holiness in a basic understanding is being set apart. We need to not only be set apart but to walk in that set-apartness. We cannot hold onto the things that drag us down. If we are going to actively seek others and their good, we need to actively seek God and to be holy like Him.

How can we expect to go and serve others if we are holding onto other things in our life? Maybe it is just our desires, our plans, our wants. Maybe it is sin. Maybe there are sins in our life that we hold onto and that stops us from being free enough to go and love someone else.

This is short but that is because sometimes less is more. Sometimes it is better to go the Blaise Pascal way and let people come to the conclusion on their own, so they might be more thoroughly convinced. Today I would just ask two simple questions.

Do you have Shalom with God?

Do you pursue Holiness?


Just a thought,



Captain Productivity

If I were a superhero I would be Captain Productivity, and my power would be that I can accomplish more than most in a single hour. But like any great superhero, I need a weakness and my weakness would be a lack of compassion and flexibility.

I really don’t mean to brag but I can get a lot done in a short amount of time. I am pretty good at putting my head down and barreling through a task list. I can plow through a to-do list faster than you can make it but there is a cost associated with that.

I can do all sorts of stuff but hold me up from my tasks and I will get, let’s call it ornery. I have some spent some time thinking about this and it comes down to selfishness. “I need to get these things done” “I need to finish” “I am so busy” “I don’t have time for this” “I” “I” “I”…

James talks about this in James chapter 4. He says “What is the source of wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from the cravings that are at war within you?” and he goes on to talk about murdering, waring, and evil desires. The principle is that when you become self-focused you lose sight of what is important and why you are doing or praying for something. You can be so busy serving and learning about God that you forget to admire Him and love Him. You can spend so much time serving your family and forget to love them and show them compassion. It is really easy to do.

It is a hard and fine line to be productive but not neglect the reasons behind your doing. It is one I constantly step over. I find the hard part is not just walking the line but admitting when you stepped over it and doing what is needed to correct it. I cannot let the goal of being a good servant, a good husband, a good father, a good friend become more important than the act of being those things. It is a good thing to work hard and do good, but it is a better thing to remember why you are doing it.

Just a thought,


The Holy Spirit and Glory

I have been thinking about the Holy Spirit a lot lately. From Scripture, we know some things about this third member of the Godhead. For example, we know He gives gifts (1 Cor 12:4-11), we know that there is a baptism of the Holy Spirit, we know that He speaks only truth (John 14:17), we also know that He comforts believers (John 14:16), and on and on. While some debate the ability or manifestation today, we also know from reading the Acts that He empowered the Apostles to perform miracles, signs, and wonders.

We know these things but there is one other thing the about the Holy Spirit that I think, at least for me, is too often overlooked. Namely, that He points back to Jesus.

In John 16 Jesus tells us two functions or ministries of the Holy Spirit. First, He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Think about that for a second. The one who comforts also convicts. At first, it might seem odd but think about any person you know who is wonderful. Think of someone who is smart, wise, loving, kind, and generous. By their very nature, they seem to convict you of your wrongness. The Holy Spirit is infinitely more wonderful than we know so by His very nature He convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment. His light is so bright it makes darkness more apparent.

Second and this where I have been lately, He tells us what He hears and glorifies Jesus. The Holy Spirit constantly points back to Jesus. There is something called Erdman’s Law which in essence says that those who are most filled with the Holy Spirit are the least conscious of it. All they want is to serve Christ. That is because one of the primary functions or ministries of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Christ. So, it reasons that if He is focused on glorifying Christ then the believer whom He indwells will be focused on that same goal. The believer who has given his life over to the control of the Holy Spirit will be focused on glorifying Christ.

This glorifying has two components. The first is that we lift up and exalt or make known the name and wonder of Jesus in word and deed. The things we do point to the glory and majesty of Jesus. We sing praises to His name and lift Him high. This is done through working in all things as if for Him, in choosing to place His glory and name before ours, and in spreading the good news of His victory over sin and death. This we all know and strive for to some degree or another. However, the second way we glorify Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit is by seeking Him in our weakness.

In our weakness and brokenness, we glorify Christ because the Holy Spirit leads us to confess our need for His power. Paul writes in 2 Cor 12:9 that the power of Christ is made known in our weakness. Our inability to perform and calling on the Holy Spirit to help us turn our eyes to Christ is giving glory to Jesus. It is giving glory to Him because it is a confession of His majesty and power. Your brokenness, my brokenness points to the fact that Jesus is able.

If we truly seek to be empowered by the Holy Spirit, then we must not only give over control to Him, but we must align our mission with His. We cannot request the power of the Spirit and expect Him to fall in line with our goals. We must align ourselves with His. His goal is to glorify Jesus and make Him known. As I said we generally know this and think of it as sharing the Gospel and in worship, but can we truly do this in brokenness as well? In our times of weakness, fear, and frailty can we glorify Christ by asking the Spirit to help us turn our eyes to Him?

Just a thought,


New Year, New Word

Happy New Year Y’all! I just back from an 11-day vacation and it was wonderful. Where did I go you ask? Nowhere. We took a one-day shopping trip out Walmart and everybody picked a couple of small items from some money that was sent to us but other than that we just relaxed at home. No work, no striving, no busyness, just relaxing. It was not my first choice of how to spend my vacation because I would like to have done more but we are a little broke at the moment. The first month of having a new foster placement always drains us a little more than expected, but I am so thankful we are tight on money right now because taking some time at home with the family was just what was needed.

I am not just being all rose-colored glasses either. It was wonderful. We could not go out and be busy, so we took time to just be. To just be relaxed and present. To enjoy each other. To just be still.

It reconfirmed a few things and one of those things is my new word. Every year our family picks a word for the year because it is a little easier to live out a word than a resolution. My favorite word was stronger and that was for 2011 (I think). My least favorite was word was inspire. Stronger was great because I was both physically stronger and all my relationships were much stronger. Inspire on the other hand was a failure. Mostly because there was too much emphasis on me to do great things instead of trusting on God to build something up in me. So, this year I am going back to relying on God.

The new word is Shalom. You might be wondering why I did not choose peace and that is a good question. The word Shalom means peace but it also means so much more. Peace is the absence of striving but Shalom is the absence of striving and completeness or soundness. My vacation was more than just absence of striving it was contentment and completeness. God took care of what was needed and gave so much more. I was a reminder that what is needed is Him and His peace (shalom) in order to feel refreshed and restored. My wife and I were able to think through some things and refocus ourselves on what we want out of life and what is important.

I want, no I need God’s shalom in my life. I need His peace that surpasses all understanding. I need shalom within myself. I need shalom in my relationships. I need that because without it I run around trying to be something I cannot be. So, for 2018 I will try and be at shalom (peace and total soundness) with God, myself, and those around me. I have no idea what the year will bring but I will not try to control it either.




I was sitting on the couch reading a book and C was driving his toy car up and down my leg. He was noticing my leg hair and ankle bone. Paying close attention to everything he noticed. I’ve noticed that everything I do he does. What he notices about me he notices about himself.

It is in this moment that I realized the more he finds out about me the more he finds out about himself. Now we are different both in ethnicity and size but still being in my presence and learning about me teaches him about himself.

It is the same way with us and God. The more time we spend in His presence learning about Him the more we learn about who we are. The more time we follow Him around the more we know where to go. The more we notice about Him the more we notice about us.

Just a thought,