More Than Enough

The fish and loaves fresco, Catacombs of San C...
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What do you do with leftovers?  You know, after you’ve eaten a meal, you’re full, but there is still food left over?  What do you do with it?

Well, I can remember a time when my metabolism was still in “teenager mode” and there weren’t any leftovers because I would eat all the food we prepared.  However, something has changed in those years since those days…for some reason, these days if I act like a human garbage disposal, the consequences seem to weigh heavily upon me!  So, instead, we now plan more carefully.

First, we try to estimate portions better when cooking or ordering out.  But sometimes we plan to cook more than we need and then put the extra portions in containers to freeze until needed.  Then we plan to use those extra servings at a meal later in the week.  It is great to have those extra meals ready to re-heat and serve!

Did you know that Jesus’ disciples had to deal with leftovers too?  For them it was a blessing and a lesson in faith.  You see, Jesus had headed across the Sea of Galilee after a particularly tough day.  But when He got to the other side He found a crowd waiting for Him to help them.  His heart was moved with compassion by their needs, so He healed those who were sick.

As evening approached, the disciples told Jesus that He should send the people away so they could go buy food, so they wouldn’t starve.  Jesus tells them that they should feed the crowd.  But they replied that they only had 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.  They realized that the 5 loaves wouldn’t go very far in feeding 5000 men, plus women & children.  But Jesus asked for the fish & bread, thanked God for them, broke the bread and began giving the disciples pieces of the food to hand out to the people.  The people all ate, Matthew says, and WERE SATISFIED (Matt. 14:20).  Then, just in case we wouldn’t believe that all had eaten until full, Matthew records that they gathered up the leftovers:  12 full baskets of leftovers!

What are the needs in your life today?  If you have given your life fully to God, He has promised to care for you!  Surrender your needs and resources to His will and you will find that He is the God of “more than enough!”  You too can be blessed by God’s “leftovers!”

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The Quest – Day 24

This is the devotional for Thursday, October 19, 2006 which is the 24th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 24 of Frank Moore’s very helpful book, The Power To Be Free.

Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional. Visit http://www.buildyourfaith.net to read the previous days’ devotionals or to subscribe to the “FaithBuilders” podcast.

Day 24 – Declare Yourself DOA

You must declare your self-centered nature DOA when you come to God for His help.

“Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 6:11 NIV)

Yesterday we studied David’s prayer for a clean heart. It’s easy for us to see why David needed God’s forgiveness; he broke up a home and murdered a man! You may be thinking, Well, I’ve never done anything that bad. That’s probably true. But you’re not off the hook!

We find ways to make excuses for ourselves. We want to “rate” sin. Premeditated murder ranks higher on the scale than cheating on income taxes. But God does not use our scale. Sin breaks God’s law, and it breaks God’s heart. Everyone, including believers, must guard against rationalizing sin or explaining it away.

David asked God to do two things: forgive him of his sins and cleanse him from the thing that pushed him to sin in the first place. He prayed in Psalm 51:12, “Grant me a willing spirit.” He needed something changed in his nature. He needed God to change his “want to.”

What is the nature that David needed changed? Paul, in Romans 6:11-14, said that our sinful nature becomes the source of evil desires and tries to entice us to use our bodies as “instruments of wickedness” (v. 13). This nature wants to put self first and to center the universe around personal motivations. It manifests itself in self-will, self-love, self-trust, and self-exaltation. It is self-centered, self-assertive, self-conceited, self-indulgent, self-seeking, self-conscious, self-righteous, self-glorifying, and self-proclaiming, to name just a few.

The result of this pattern is damaged and destroyed relationships, dissension and tension, loneliness and lack of fulfillment. It leaves a wake of evil and corruption.

No quest for purity is complete without dealing with the sin buried deep within us. You must declare your self-centered sinful nature DOA (dead on arrival) when you bring this problem to God and ask for His help. If you’ve encountered this problem but have not dealt decisively with it, you are a perfect candidate for Discovery 3. You can experience purity for the life you’ve longed for.

The memory verse for this week is Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

Thank you for listening to FaithBuilders podcast at www.buildyourfaith.net. For more information about our church, visit our website at www.jaxnaz.org.

If you were unable to attend Sunday’s service, focusing on Discovery 3 of the Quest, or if you’d like to hear previous messages in The Quest series, please sign up for our Faith Nazarene Church podcast. You will find the link at www.buildyourfaith.net.

Build your faith today by asking God to crucify your sin nature and then trusting Him to do it!

40 Days of Purpose – Day 9

This is the devotional for Monday, May 8, 2006 which is Day 9 of our 40 Days of Purpose. For these 40 days we will be posting daily devotions based on the material in Rick Warren’s best selling book, The Purpose-Driven Life. We invite you to get a copy of the book and read chapter 9 with us today.

Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional. Visit http://www.buildyourfaith.net to read the previous day’s devotionals or to subscribe to the “FaithBuilders” podcast.

Day 9 – What Makes God Smile?

The smile of God is the goal of your life!

“May the Lord smile on you …” Numbers 6:25 (NLT)

Since pleasing God is the first purpose of your life, your most important task is to discover how to do that. “Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.” Ephesians 5:10 (Msg)

Five acts of worship that make God smile:

– God smiles when we love him supremely.

– God smiles when we trust him completely.

– God smiles when we obey him wholeheartedly.

– God smiles when we praise and thank him continually.

– And God smiles when we use our abilities.

You may feel that the only time God is pleased with you is when you’re doing “spiritual” activities—like reading the Bible, attending church, praying, or sharing your faith. Actually, God enjoys watching every detail of your life, whether you are working, playing, resting, or eating. He doesn’t miss a single move you make.

The Bible tells us, “The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Psalm 37:23 (NLT)

Every human activity, except sin, can be done for God’s pleasure if you do it with the attitude of praise. Will you make pleasing God the goal of your life? There is nothing that God won’t do for the person totally absorbed with this goal.

Find out what makes God smile and live it out. Build your faith today!

40 Days of Purpose – Day 5

This is the devotional for Thursday, May 4, 2006 which is Day 5 of our 40 Days of Purpose. For these 40 days we will be posting daily devotions based on the material in Rick Warren’s best selling book, The Purpose-Driven Life. We invite you to get a copy of the book and read daily one of the 40 chapter of the book along with us. We are scheduled to read Chapter 5 in the book today. Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional.

DAY 5 – SEEING LIFE FROM GOD’S VIEW

The way you see your life shapes your life!

The way you view life is your life metaphor. It’s your description of how life works and what you expect from it; it influences your life more than you realize and determines your expectations, values, relationships, goals, and priorities. But to fulfill the purposes God has for you, you will have to base your view, your life metaphor, on the biblical metaphors of life. These are: Life is a test, and life is a trust.

Life is a test – God continually tests people’s character, faith, obedience, love, integrity, and loyalty. Character is both developed and revealed, and all of life is a test. When you understand that life is a test, you realize that every day is important. God wants you to pass the tests of life, so he never allows the tests to be greater than the grace he gives you to handle them.

Life is a trust – We are to be stewards of whatever God gives us. All we enjoy is to be treated as a trust that God has placed in our hands. If you treat everything as a trust, God promises three rewards in eternity: affirmation, promotion, and celebration. So we must handle the trust as accountable servants of God.

“Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones.” Luke 16:10a (NLT)

Let’s review our memory verse for this week, Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

Is it really you?

In this podcast, Pastor Bill recalls a youth camp prank that sheds light on finding out the truth about Jesus.

The Show-Me State

Are you from the Show-Me State? No, not Missouri! The Other Show-Me state! Pastor Bill explains in this podcast.