Leftover Lessons

In the feeding of the 5,000, which would have actually numbered anywhere between 10,000 – 20,000 men, women,and children, Jesus fed the entire crowd with only five loaves and two fish. And then we read this: 

When they all had enough to eat, [Jesus] said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over.  Let nothing be wasted.” (John 6:12)

With only five loaves and two fish on hand, Jesus multiplied those meager supplies to feed thousands on a hillside near the Sea of Galilee. Even after everyone had eaten all they wanted, there were still leftovers when the meal was done! So what is the lesson our Lord wants us to learn from the leftovers?

Here is one: God takes our little and makes it a lot, giving an abundance of blessings to all of His children. What “little” do you have to offer Jesus today? Perhaps your thinking has been much like that of Andrew, who said, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” (John 6:9 emphasis added). To be sure, the boy’s offering would have been “short rations” for a group of 20 people, much less 20,000. But in the hands of the Almighty, the loaves and fish went far beyond meeting their needs . . . this “little” went all the way to exceeding their needs. Our Lord is in the business of doing exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).

God takes whatever we offer him — our little time . . . our little talent . . . our little treasure — and multiplies it beyond anything we could have ever imagined. If God can make something out of nothing, which He did when He made the universe and everything in it, He can surely take our little and make it a lot! 

Moses had only a shepherd’s staff, but in the power of God, it swallowed up the staffs of the Egyptian magicians. David had only a sling and five smooth stones, and in the strength of the Almighty, he struck down the giant Goliath. Samson had only the jawbone of a donkey, and with the strength of the Almighty, he slew a thousand Philistines. The woman who was bleeding for over a decade had just a little faith (only enough to reach out and touch the hem of Jesus’ garment), and she was instantly healed by the power of God. 

Here is the key in the lesson from the leftovers. We must be willing to put in what God has given us in order for God to bless it. God multiplied the five talents and the two talents that were put into faithful service to Him, but He did nothing with the talent that was hidden away (Matthew 25:14-30). Remember this: God will not steer a parked car! We must be willing to put in whatever we have been given, trusting that God will use it for His glory and the good of all others.

What “little” have you been holding back lately? Surrender control to Jesus, and watch Him multiply that little you have until you have an abundance of leftovers . . . because God supplied the increase. 

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!     


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