I have often wondered what it is going to be like to stand before the Lord. I wonder whether I will hear Him say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (Matthew 25:2).
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “That would take eight months of a man’s wages!
Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?” “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.” When they found out, they said, “Five–and two fish.” Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.
~ Mark 6:31-44
What do I learn from this message?
#1 Spend Time Alone with Him.
The first step to financial planning is to be alone with Jesus and listen to what He has to say. Unless you hear God’s voice, you cannot take a second step of effective planning.
#2 Do Not Be Married to Your Plan
Jesus had a plan to go with His disciples to a quiet place. However, when He saw the needs, He had compassion on the people and responded to their needs. Be sensitive to God so that you will not miss God in your planning.
#3 Seek the Mind of Christ
His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” (Mark 6:35). This advice seemed practical and logical but it was not in accordance with what Jesus intended at that point. Some of the professional advice that came from our friends and expert may sound logical but may not be godly.
#4 Obedience is Critical to Success
The disciples argued a bit but eventually obeyed. Therefore, we too need to submit to God in our planning process. If God says to give, I give. If God says to pay off a debt, I do it. If God says to decrease the lavishness of my lifestyle, I do so.
#5 Follow Our Father’s Plan
As much as the disciples did not see how the people were going to be fed through the five loaves and two fishes, we too may not be able to see how we are going to meet our financial goal. Faith planning may require us to do it without full understanding, just like Noah’s building an ark and not fully understanding what God was going to do.
#6 Do Not Miss the Miracle
However in verses 51 to 52,
Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down.
They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.
What a tragedy! Just a few hours earlier they had seen an unbelievable miracle and had participated in the miracle and verse 52 says, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened. So do not miss the miracle just like the disciples. Take your first step, then the second step, then the third step. Be faithful with regards to what He has given you and You will hear Him say, “‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (Matthew 25:2).
Remember, Jesus did not perform miracles just to meet human needs, though that was important. He wanted each miracle to be a revelation of Himself, a sermon in action. For the most part, the people were amazed at the miracles, appreciated the help He gave them, but failed to get the spiritual message. They wanted the gift but not the Giver, the enjoyment of physical blessings but not the enrichment of spiritual blessings.
- What has Jesus fed you when you have been spiritually hungry lately?
- If you went to a solitary place with Jesus, what would you talk about?
- What do you learn from this article?
~ Adpated from “Master Your Money – By Ron Blue”.