He is More than Enough

He Did! Series - Part 3

he-did-capssmallerI want to tell you a story.  I want to tell you a Bible story.  Bible stories are the best kind of stories of all, do you know why?  Because they are true.

It’s important that you know that the Bible is true, because it means you can trust it.  It means that no matter how crazy or miraculous something is, it means you can trust it.  Last week we talked about one of the miracles of Jesus, the healing of the ten men.  This week we are going to talk about another one.

In this story, we see that Jesus is about to feed 5000 people.  Now, it’s important to remember that when they say Jesus fed the 5000, they are only counting the men. Only the men were considered important enough to count. So, let’s do some math…

Now let’s imagine, because we don’t know for sure, that each man brought his wife.  How many people would that be?  That’s right, it would now be 10,000.  Now let’s pretend that each family had two kids, even though they probably had more than that at that time, but since this is just an estimate, let’s say they have two.  How many is that?  You’re correct, it would now be 20,000.  That’s a huge number.

So these people all just gathered to be near Jesus.  There weren’t fliers or advertisements.  They had heard stories from friends about Jesus and how he healed people. How he performed miracles.  How he was preaching different from the guys at the temple, and they wanted to see.  These were people that needed miracles.  They needed healing, and they needed hope.  So they came to find him and they sat and listened to him talk all day.

As the day drew on, they realized that they didn’t have enough food to give these people.  I mean… who carries enough food for 20,000 people?  So Jesus asks the disciples, because he already knew the answer, where shall we buy bread for all of these people?  Can you imagine how much it would cost to buy bread for 20,000 people?

Then, this is the really cool part, a little boy steps forward with his lunch.  Five small loaves of barley bread and two little fish.  We’re basically talking about a first century lunchable.  Now, I don’t know about you, but a lunchable isn’t even enough to feed my daughter, not even close to feeding 20,000 people.  But Jesus knows that it is more than enough.

He takes the little boy’s small offering and He is about to do something huge!!!  He blesses the food, and then tells the disciples to start breaking off pieces of it and passing it around.  So basically everyone starts grabbing a cracker out of this lunchable, and passing it on.  However, it never runs out.  They keep passing and passing and passing.  Everyone ended up having more than they needed.

Jesus made sure that everything that wasn’t eaten was collected up, Let nothing be wasted.  When they collected it all, they had twelve baskets of bread.  All that from one little boy’s lunch.

So why do we tell this story?  What do you think?

Well, we tell this story for a few reasons, but there are two I want you to think about.  The first is the little boy.  He brought the little things that he had to Jesus, and it was more than enough.  He brought what everyone else thought would be worthless to God, and Jesus did great things with it.  Whatever we have to offer Jesus will be accepted, and like he said, Nothing will be wasted.

The second thing I want you to notice is that all these people came seeking Jesus with no plan to take care of themselves.  They just showed up trusting that Jesus was the answer.  That he had what they needed and they were right.  All they did was chase him down, and they would be fine.  It’s true.  They were fine.  Jesus provided for everyone, and they were right to trust him.

So, what does this mean for us today?  It means that we can trust Jesus to provide for us.  He will take care of us.  Whatever we have to bring to Him will be accepted and it will be more than enough. We don’t have to plan to feed the 20,000, we just have to find the one that can.  We can seek Jesus just like they did and He will be what we need.  He will provide for us.

Let us pray….

He Will Never Leave You

He Did! Series - Part 2

he-did-capssmallerI want to tell you a story.  I want to tell you a Bible story.  Bible stories are the best kind of stories of all, do you know why?  Because they are true.

It’s important that you know that the Bible is true, because it means you can trust it.  It means that no matter how crazy or miraculous something is, it means you can trust it.  Last week we talked about one of the miracles of Jesus, the healing of the ten men.  This week we are going to talk about another one.

In this miracle, we are going to learn a couple of really cool things about Jesus.  About who he is.  In this story, we see that Jesus had decided that they should cross to the other side of the lake.  When they got into the boat, Jesus, who was very tired fell asleep on a cushion.

Now that seems like the boring part of the story, but it’s important.  Jesus got tired.  He fell asleep.  Even with what happens in a moment, we see that Jesus was so tired he didn’t even wake up.  I know, that you are thinking… so what?  Everyone sleeps.  That’s not a miracle.

No, it’s not a miracle to sleep.  What it is is another example of how much like us Jesus is.  When we talk about miracles it becomes easy to see the God part of Jesus.  It’s easy to seem him as different from us, and we can forget that he was a lot like us too.  He got tired.  He needed to sleep.  He was 100% God and he was 100% man.  Jesus was like us, and that means he knows us and understands us.

Anyway, while he was sleeping a storm came up.  Now remember that Peter and James and a couple of other guys were fishermen, so they weren’t slouches when it came to boating, but they were afraid.  The storm was sloshing water over the sides of the boat and they thought they were going to sink.  Meanwhile, Jesus is still sleeping.

Now imagine this.  It’s storming, the water is about to sink the boat and these guys are yelling and screaming as they try to steer and scoop out water.  Jesus is sleeping.  He isn’t worried.  He isn’t scared.  He’s resting… because He trusts God.

Eventually the apostles wake him up and yell, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”  Another gospel says that the apostles shouted… “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”  Can you believe that?  Don’t you care?

It seems like they don’t trust Jesus, but they are scared.  We see that the same guys who are with Jesus all the time get scared.  We see that the same guys who sat at his feet, listened to him teach, and saw all of his miracles get scared sometimes too.  So scared that they weren’t sure if Jesus cared about them.

I know that’s happened to me before.  Sometimes I will have a life storm, where something really disappointing or scary happens, and I wonder where God is?  Why did God let this happen to me?  Doesn’t he care?

The answer is, He does care, and He has everything under control.  What you’ll see next is proof.  Jesus gets up, stands in the boat, and we all know that isn’t a good idea.  He then orders the storm to stop.  Immediately the wind stops, the rain stops, and the waves settle down and the lake is calm.  Can you imagine if you lived on the shore of the lake, and you are hearing it beat against the house and then it stopped all at once like it had never happened?  That’s just crazy.

Then he looks at the apostles and asks them why they didn’t have faith in him.  “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.  Those guys were blown away.  This had to be God in person.  They said, “Who is this, that even the wind and the waves obey him?”

It’s the same thing he is asking us.  Where is your faith?  Why don’t you trust me?  I’ve never let you down before.  I was, I am, and I will always be your God.  The Bible says that God will never leave us nor forsake us.

So when the storm seems too big, and any moment you are sure you are going to sink, I want you to remember that Jesus is in the boat.  Jesus is in the boat with you and he is in complete control of the situation.  He wants you to trust him.  He wants you to rely on him.  He wants you to know… He’s got your back, even if you doubt and get scared.

Let us pray…

Be the One that Comes Back

He Did! Series - Part 1

he-did-capssmaller

I want to tell you a story.  I want to tell you a Bible story.  Bible stories are the best kind of stories of all, do you know why?  Because they are true.

It’s important that you know that the Bible is true, because it means you can trust it.  It means that no matter how crazy or miraculous something is, it means you can trust it.  It means for the next few weeks when I tell you the miracles of Christ, that you can believe them.  You can trust that the Jesus we talk about this morning, is the real Jesus.

Now we are going to be talking about eight miracles of Jesus, but I want to make sure that you know that there weren’t just eight miracles of Jesus.  Jesus was a miracle guy, and he had a bunch of them.

In this story in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is healing people.  He’s walking towards Jerusalem and he runs into ten guys.  These ten guys are together because they are all suffering from a disease.  The disease is called leprosy.  It’s a terrible disease that happens in your skin.  These ten guys were mostly Jewish like Jesus was, but one of them was a Samaritan.

Samaritans were outcasts.  They weren’t considered the same as everyone else.  They were considered nerds, or geeks.  You wouldn’t want to be seen with one, or have lunch with one, or have anyone ever know that you knew one.  I imagine that this guy was only with these Jewish guys because they were sick.  Their suffering had brought them together.

So these guys see Jesus walking with the disciples, and they yell out, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”  So, he stops and looks at these guys that are sick, and he has mercy on them.  He sympathizes with their condition.  Because they aren’t just sick, they are all outcasts.

Their disease means that they are unclean.  No one wants to be near them, no one wants to be around them, and they aren’t even allowed to go to church.  Now back then, if you couldn’t go to church, you couldn’t be forgiven.  You couldn’t make offerings to God.  You couldn’t even pray. No priest would have gone near them, but Jesus, the greatest of priests, did.

Now, these guys were hoping that Jesus would just wave his hand and they would be all better, but instead he told them to go and visit a priest and be declared that they were to go and show themselves to a priest.  Back then if you were unclean, as soon as you fixed the problem you went to a priest and went through a “be clean” ritual and then you could go back to church and people would stop avoiding you. However, if you went back to the priest before you were ready for the cleaning ceremony you would make the priest unclean and you would get in big trouble.

So, Jesus was asking them to believe that they had been healed, to act like they had been healed, before they had actually been healed.  He was asking them to believe in the miracle before they actually had the miracle.

So, all ten, not just one, all ten headed off to see the priest, even though they were all sick and gross.  That means that all ten believed that Jesus could do what he said he could do.

As they were walking to the priest, their skin suddenly healed.  They went from being sick, gross and disgusting to suddenly clean and healthy.  Their skin became whole and unbroken, and they were so happy.

Now here’s the part I really want you to pay attention to.  Nine of those ten guys went to the priest and started the clean ceremony.  They were ready to get on with their life and get back to the way things had always been, but one of them was different.

One guy, the Samaritan, the geek, the loser, the outcast, was so happy that he went back to Jesus and praised God.  He wasn’t worried about what some priest would say about being clean.  He wasn’t worried about being allowed back into church, he wanted Jesus.  He went back to Jesus and praised God and thanked him for what he had done for him.  It says that he was so grateful that he actually threw himself at the feet of Jesus.

Now Jesus looked at this guy, and asked him, where are the others, weren’t all ten healed?  Has no one given praise to God but this foreigner?

No one said anything.  I guess they were all feeling a little embarrassed for those other guys, because they were more worried about being okay with people, and less worried about being okay with God.

Then I imagine that Jesus looked down on this Samaritan with a little smile, and offered him a hand up.  He said, “Rise and Go, your faith has made you well.”

What’s super cool here, is that the words when you read them in the Greek actually say… Your faith has made you saved.  So in one day, ten guys were healed, and one guy was saved.  All of them got healed, but one of them got the best thing of all, the promise of forever in Heaven with Christ.

What I want you to get from this story, is that I want you to always be that one guy.  I want for you to be the one that sees Jesus as better than other things.  I want for you to be the one that runs to Jesus, praising God.  I want you to have the grand prize, I want you to have forever in heaven with Jesus.

How do we get that?  Well, the Bible says that Say with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord.” Believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Then you will be saved.  To be saved means that you get forever in Heaven with Jesus, just like the one man that came back.  It means you are washed clean from all of your mistakes.  It means that you get to have a relationship with God every day from that point forward.  It means you get to be like the one that came back.

Let’s pray…

Staying Rooted in Christ

Seeds Series - Part 3

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I want to tell you a story.  I want to tell you a bible story.  Bible stories are the best kind of stories of all, do you know why?  Because they are true.  This one is a very special Bible story, because the first person to tell this story was Jesus.  Last week we explained that Jesus used to tell people stories to explain to them about God and Heaven.  The idea of God is so huge, that the only way he could even begin to explain God so that we could understand was to give examples, or tell parables.

In this story, Jesus explains that He is a vine.  He grows deep into the ground, and he is the roots that bring out the water, the nutrients and all the good things that we need to grow strong and produce a lot of grapes.  Now when he was telling this story, they understood grapes and growing, so they were all nodding.  And he said that we were also a part of the vine.  We are like the branches off the vine where the fruit grows.

He said that the branch can only grow if it is connected to the vine.  It means that He, as the vine, is the source, and that we as the branch need him to grow or produce any fruit.  Has anyone ever seen a branch that could produce fruit when it wasn’t connected to the vine, or to the roots?  Has anyone ever pulled a flower off?  Does it live a long time, as long as it would have lived if it had stayed connected to the vine?

He also said that God was the gardener that cared for the vine.  Now if you know anything about gardening you know that the gardener has a lot to do.  He waters, he pulls out weeds, and he plants new plants.  God is the one that makes the Vine grow, he is the source of the nutrients.  It is from God that we get our strength and all of the good things.

It means that we need to trust Jesus to provide for us all that we need, just like the branch trusts the vine.  Just like the flower trusts the stem.  We get to be beautiful like a flower because we trust that Jesus is there holding us up.  We get to produce fruit that is sweet and good because we trust Jesus.  He is the roots of the vine, and he is the source of the life.

So what does this mean for us?  It means that in everyday life we need to trust Jesus too.  When we get scared, we need to trust Jesus.  When we don’t understand something, we need to trust Jesus.  When we are hurt or sad, we need to trust Jesus.  We need to trust that Jesus is going to be there, providing for us in every season, just like the vine provides for the branch.

Jesus said, “Remain joined to me, and I will remain joined to you. No branch can bear fruit by itself. It must remain joined to the vine. In the same way, you can’t bear fruit unless you remain joined to me. “I am the vine. You are the branches. If anyone remains joined to me, and I to him, he will bear a lot of fruit. You can’t do anything without me.”

What that means is that we need to trust Jesus.  We need to turn to Jesus for everything.  No matter what challenge we are facing, we need to talk to Him about it.  Whether it is a good thing or a bad thing, we need to include Him.  When we are scared, the Bible says that Jesus is the comforter.  When we get sick, the Bible says that Jesus is the healer.  When we don’t know what to do, the Bible says that Jesus is the wise counselor.  There really isn’t a situation that we can’t turn to Jesus.  Even if we do something bad or naughty, Jesus forgives us.  Jesus is the answer to every problem, and that’s why he told us to remain joined to him.  To find rest in him.  To include him.

We can also trust Jesus because he came for us.  He was with God, and he saw how much we were suffering, and how we were struggling.  He saw that we were branches without a strong vine.  We were disconnected from God.  We couldn’t reach God on our own.  So he came to us, to be the vine, and through Him we can reach God.

Let us pray…