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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood



They had a few small fish as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them. The people ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. About four thousand men were present. And having sent them away, he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha. (Mark 8:7-10, NIV)

The story of the feeding of the 4,000 begins with discontent.

The crowd of men had been with Jesus in a remote place for three days. They were hungry because the food had run out. The disciples didn’t have a solution to the dilemma Jesus posed — that if He sent the famished crowd away, some would collapse.

The disciples didn’t know what to do. We’re just like them. Perhaps you are facing a situation that is far larger than you have resources to address. You’re physically, financially, emotionally or spiritually at wit’s end.

Take a moment and look what Jesus does to address the need — both then and now.

First, He sends the disciples out into the crowd in two stages — first, the distribution of the seven loaves, and, next, the small amount of fish.

It’s the Lord’s way of showing us how He will always address the needs in our lives and others. He tells us to use what is already in our hands. We would like all the resources in advance, but He instructs us to start with the little we already have.

Our resources are always too small; but we must not sit around in idleness waiting for more of what we think we need. Our task is to use what we have, and it is the Lord’s task to provide.

Second, the Lord gives thanks. In fact, He gave thanks twice — before the breaking of the loaves and before the distribution of the fish. We carry over the Lord’s example in saying grace before our meals.

We should not skip the fact that Jesus gave thanks to God for such mundane things as eating bread and fish. It’s a lesson for us to show gratitude even in the small matters of life that we take for granted.

Third, when we obey Jesus and give what we have, then the needs of others are met. The 4,000 men are sent away satisfied.

How many opportunities to witness, to serve others in the name of Jesus, are lost because we don’t feel we have enough or know enough? We become afraid to witness to an unsaved friend, co-worker or neighbor because we think they’re not interested or we don’t have enough information to answer all their possible objections. All Jesus wants us to do is start with what we have — our own testimony. When we give our own experience away, the Lord multiplies that in the hearts of those around us.

It’s the same principle when we know someone else has a greater need than our own. When we give away what we have, then we truly see how God richly blesses.

Finally, Jesus is not wasteful. He orders a cleanup of the site, and the disciples gather seven baskets of fragments — the visible evidence of the Lord’s abundant provision.

When we follow Jesus, we always end up with more than we had when we began.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, help me not to focus on the little I have — rather, give me the courage to give away what You have placed in my hands. I too want to be an eyewitness of the miracles You do through my own life.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

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2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
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