They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. Matthew 14:20
Bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11
Every good gift bestowed, every perfect gift received comes to us from above, courtesy of the Father of lights. He is consistent. He won’t change His mind or play tricks in the shadows. James 1:17
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen. Philippians 4:19-20
Don’t hold back—give freely, and you’ll have plenty poured back into your lap—a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, brimming over. You’ll receive in the same measure you give. Luke 6:38
And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 2 Corinthians 9:8
The following was shared earlier in the week:
Hope is expecting that the moments to come will be filled with goodness. Faith is embracing each moment confidently for the goodness it holds. For the Christian, Christ is the centerpiece of hope and faith. Through redemption we have been established in a relationship with Christ that is meant to be a deep and abiding relationship of love. It is the consistent experience of Christ's love that makes it possible for us to expect (hope) his goodness in the moments ahead and to embrace (faith) his goodness in the present moment. Do you have the "Hope" that Jesus will always make a difference and fill all your moments and circumstances with his goodness?
It is very difficult to trust (faith) Jesus for the difference he can make in the moment we are in if we don't enter into that moment already having the expectation (hope) that Jesus always makes a difference and fills all our moments and circumstances with his goodness.
When we consider the overall story of Mathew 14:13-21 and the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000, we readily see God's goodness at work. With this in mind read through all the Scriptures above again. Now consider again the statement about "hope" we have been using: Jesus always makes a difference and fills all our moments and circumstances with his goodness. How much wrestling with the circumstances of life we have experienced in the past because we don't enter into them with this kind of hope. But the past is past and we can now go forward in "hope" because "God is Good." This is absolute truth.
The following quote from Roger D. Cotton fits in well at this point: "It is nearly impossible to think about goodness in the abstract. In Scripture goodness always involves particular ways of behaving. Because God is good, he is good to his people; when people are good they behave decently toward each other, based on God's goodness to them."
Our emphasis all week has been on our need to face circumstances with the expection (hope) that Jesus will make a differnce in them. The story of the feeding of the 5,000 clearly shows this need and encourages us in it. Today we reach what we might call the epilogue of the story or at least the miracle. In the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 we see clearly that Jesus made a difference. And we are told in in Matthew 14:20 above, that it was to the extent of there being 12 baskets of leftovers.
The quote above helps us transition from God to ourselves in regard to goodness. It is at this point that the purpose of "leftovers" becomes clear. The words of 2 Corinthians 9:8 above say it well: "And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others."
Lord, help me to trust in you and the goodness of your nature. Help me to believe that, ultimately, my entire life will be the outworking of your goodness. Thank you, Lord, that I am secure in the safety of your love and goodness. Bring me so fully into the experience of your love and goodness that it overflows from me to those around me. Amen!
Posted on Fri, April 17, 2015
by Alan Porter