Trailblazer

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Trailblazers are people who “blaze” their way through life as they approach new, uncharted territory.  Our uncharted territory today is the coronavirus which is currently and quickly changing our world. No matter how frustrating, confusing, or scary this crisis gets, fear doesn’t have the final say.

Jesus was a trailblazer, and his disciples were given a hurdle to provide food for a crowd of over five thousand people.  Lead Pastor Ben Snyder declared that  Jesus can transform panic and paranoia into peace and purpose. Instead of telling Jesus, “We believe you can do anything,” Philip said, “There just isn’t enough to go around!”

John 6:8-9
8 Then Andrew, Simon Peters brother, spoke up. 9 Theres a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”

He was just a boy in the midst of 5,000 men, probably pushed aside by most, but he found himself near Jesus and his disciples. The boy had two small fish and five loaves of bread. He knew it wasn’t enough for the crowd, but he wasn’t ashamed to give Jesus what he had—all that he had. He had faith that Jesus could take his meager provisions and use them to feed the crowd.

John 6:10-11 (NIV)
10 Jesus said, Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

Because of the boy’s faith and trust, the people were more than fed— they were filled—and there were twelve baskets full of leftovers. The people then glorified Jesus and declared him to be the prophet God had promised.

Jesus chose to use a little boy’s open-handed faith to accomplish a great miracle that shows us the Lord does nothing accidentally or without purpose. The disciples felt what they had wasn’t good enough. Sometimes, we all feel like what we have isn’t good enough—our pasts, our talents, our gifts, even our personalities. God believes in us and wants us to offer what we have, no matter how much or how little, for his glory and the good of others.

Acts 20:35
And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

When we live closed-fisted—either because we don’t want to give or we don’t think we have enough to give—we can’t receive what God wants to give us in return. Living open-handedly—freely sharing our time, talents, and resources—opens us up to being used by God to make an eternal difference and experience the life he wants for us. Our God is a God of abundance. He doesn’t need what we have to offer; he wants us to experience the blessing of loving and serving others and to find freedom from our own struggles.

Proverbs 11:25 NLT
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

Questions:
Like the disciples, do you ever doubt that your efforts will make a difference? What could Jesus do with our lives if we gave ourselves to him? What do you need to yield to the Lord? Your time? Your talent? Your money?

Next Steps:
This story shows us how Jesus used everyday resources and simple acts of faith to show his glory. Our job is to bring what we have, with a humble heart, and God will do the rest. Pray for God to open your eyes to the area that, when given to him, has the potential to bring him glory and serve others. You never know, you could be the answer to someone’s prayer!

A Time for Prayer: Wednesday Focus
God, I confess that I wait for you to bring more so that I feel blessed, often wanting more before I even need it. In fact, I can end up assuming your blessing means more or better, rather than being what I have right now. The truth is that your blessing is also in the less. Help me to remember how much I need you, and then grow my trust in you. God, use whatever is not enough for me today to help me experience how you are more than enough. You are so generous in grace, love, mercy, and compassion – may I know that personally today. I pray specifically that you would help me see anything that I can give – words of encouragement, prayer to another, meeting a practical need – as a way I get to experience your blessing. Amen.


This post was written by Gary Schnabel, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.


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2 replies
  1. Chris Baney
    Chris Baney says:

    Gary, thank you so much for this great recap and reminder of what a God can do with our open hands especially in the midst of fear when we are all tempted to live closed fisted. I love the part when you said “ Our God is a God of abundance. He doesn’t need what we have to offer; he wants us to experience the blessing of loving and serving others and to find freedom from our own struggles.” beautiful out. I could not agree more. Thanks for sharing your gifts to make a difference in this season.

  2. Josh Whitlow
    Josh Whitlow says:

    Gary, thanks for sharing. I love the next steps you gave and especially the last sentence, “You never know, you could be the answer to someone’s prayer!” I’m praying that God uses us in a major way to make a difference in these unprecedented times.

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