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Have you ever noticed how Jesus dealt with need?

He went to what was supposed to be a secluded place. He intended to mourn the death of one He loved dearly, John the Baptist. The crowds were as big as ever. This, in fact, is the largest crowd documented in His ministry. We call it the feeding of the 5,000 and yet the text tells us,

There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children. - Matthew 14:21 NASB

So could we guess somewhere between eight and twenty thousand?

That doesn’t really matter to Jesus, so let’s not get crazy about the number. The point is, it would be IMPOSSIBLE to feed these folks, since they apparently didn’t even bring food for themselves, or had already eaten it on the way across the lake.

In any case, Jesus looked at this multitude, far from the local markets, and decided to ensure they didn’t go away hungry. Matthew, Mark, and Luke agree that Jesus told the disciples to feed them. It the kind of thing that would be hard to forget.

I can see Matthew at a table in His old age writing down the accounts of his time with Jesus. What would I remember about that day, even if it was fifty years past. I would remember the moment when Jesus turned to me, standing with my satchel empty and said “Feed this multitude.” It’s just the kind of thing you don’t forget.

So what is Jesus’ solution to this dilemma of thousand’s to feed?

It’s His two step plan for abundance.

It will work in any life.

If you have the courage to follow this plan, you’ll see something unforgettable.

Step one: Find out what you have.

And He said to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go look!" And when they found out, they said, "Five, and two fish." - Mark 6:38 NASB

And here is the key to abundance.

Step two: Bring it to Jesus.

And He said, "Bring them here to Me." - Matthew 14:18 NASB

I just love that!

What do you have?—Bring it to Me.

You have to see this. Jesus never allowed circumstances to convince Him that He was in a tight spot.

Do you think Jesus thought they had enough in their bags to feed this crew? He knew they didn’t have a year’s supply of stores with them. They came here to be alone, not intending to deal with the crowds. This mob tracked Him down.

But He has a simple solution to the problem.

What do you have?—Bring it to Me.

Have you ever come up against a need you really wanted to meet, but you pulled back because you just didn’t have the resources to deal with such a great problem?

What do you have?—Bring it to Jesus.

I’m not saying to be foolish.

I’m not saying if you want a bigger TV or a snazzier car you should go into debt “trusting” God to feed your own lusts.

What I am saying, is when you find yourself in a tight spot—gather up what you have and bring it before the Lord. Then pray and listen for His solution.

Really, try this. (I’m going to—this message is really for me.) Lay your bills and your bank statements (or wallet, if the bank has nothing to offer) out on the dining room table (or the floor, if they have already taken your table.) Give it all to Him, your bills, your debts and your resources.

Lord, this is where I am. This is what I need and this is what I have. What am I to do?

Then listen. Have a pen and paper with you. If thoughts come to mind - write them down. They will probably not all be God thoughts, but write down everything you hear, or sense. Then pray through what ended up on the paper. Look for the life on the list. What, on the list, gives you a sense of hope.

If it’s something that sounds crazy in the natural, you might want to get some trusted godly counsel.

If you’re married, do this with your spouse, and DO NOT proceed unless you both have peace and sense life.

By the way—Jesus didn’t tell the boys to go into debt to solve this problem. The only risk involved with what Jesus told them to do is that they might have felt a little foolish if nothing happened.

So, I’m not telling you to take all your life’s savings and send it to a preacher somewhere.

I’m asking you to bring what you have to the Lord. Put it all at His disposal, and ask Him what to do next.

I’m expecting great things.

Are you?

cropped-BenHeadshot.jpgThanks for coming by.

Have a great weekend.

Ben

Press Here to Exit

Yesterday, after I blogged about prosperity, I had a great day. I meditated on the word and everything I put my hand to prospered, just like Psalm 1 promised.

How blessed is the man who does not
walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Psalms 1:1-3

So I decided to do a little experiment.

Late in the day, I decided that rather than glory in my wonderful Lord and Savior, I would feel sorry for myself. A couple of stupid circumstances that were out of my control, or perhaps I should say were the result of my inaction, got up in my face and said to me:

“Isn’t life unfair?”

Well, I decided to agree with them for a bit –
just as an experiment you understand
in the interest of science
for you, my readers

And I am happy to report back to you that the Bible is exactly correct! (who would have thunk it, eh?)

It was as though these little, stupid (can I say stupid in a G rated blog?) circumstances had a 200 horse power leaf blower and they pointed it right at my day’s prosperity.

All my joy blew out of the room.
All of my motivation seemed to be tumbling toward the door with it.
My productivity, my focus, my drive, my plan all cycloned together and exited, stage left.

The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

Psalms 1:4-5

To test my theory just a little further, I went to bed with my eyes directly on my own plight – self-pity central.

You won’t believe what happened!

When I woke up I was right there in my funk. Can you believe it? A good night sleep didn’t clear things up at all.

So here is the big secret.

The gates that lead to the presence of the Lord, where there is ample joy, pleasure, productivity, prosperity and life for all of us to enjoy, say “To enter be THANKFUL”

Inside those gates there is one of those automatic door buttons with a sign above it that says “press here to exit.” The button itself read “Self-Pity.”

The great news is that I did eventually wise up, get up off the ground where I had been rolling in – well – you know – shook myself and began to thank God for everything I could think of.

And here’s the best part – I could here His voice almost immediately – “Welcome back son, how did that work out for you.”

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by today.

See you again soon.

Ben

8

Have you noticed that prosperity has become a bad word in church? Saying “I believe that a Christian should prosper” is almost as unwelcome in some congregations a fund-raising drive.

And yet I read in the first of David’s wonderful psalms:

And in whatever he does, he prospers. - Psalms 1:3

Here it is in context

How blessed is the man who does not
walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Psalms 1:1-3

Today, I would like for you to consider what it would look like for what you are going to do today to prosper.

Many who read this will probably be writing today. What would it look like for what you write to prosper? How about this:

I pray the person or people I am writing for would read what I write.
I pray they would hear it the way I intend it,
they would not misconstrue my intentions, or misinterpret my words.
I pray it would encourage one tempted to despair
I pray it would heal a broken heart
I pray it would enlighten someone’s path
I pray it would convict a hardened heart
I pray it would turn someone from a bad choice
I pray it would stir hope

How about other work you will do today. What would prosperity look like in your endeavors today?

What would prosperity look like in a college paper?
What would prosperity look like in cooking dinner for a family of five?
What would prosperity look like in planning a computer network?
What would prosperity look like in a law office, or an operating room, or on a Naval base?
What will you put your hand to today?

Perhaps you are a Pastor, and you are preparing a sermon, or visiting someone in the hospital, or speaking to a group of friend who are mourning the loss of a loved one.

What does prosperity look like in your life?

I pray today that you would embrace this idea of prosperity, and that you would ask the Lord to prosper everything you put your hand to.

There is one other fringe benefit to this prayer. As you ask the Lord to prosper everything you put your hand to, you may find that you will have a much harder time putting your hand to things that you know He would not find pleasure in.

It is would be very difficult to spend a lot of time

walking in the counsel of the wicked,
standing in the path of sinners,
or sitting in the seat of scoffers

when your meditation is on His pleasure.

You see God prospers those endeavors that He takes pleasure in. He smiles on us when we walk in the path He has set before us. [Tweet this]

Enough said.

Don’t be afraid of prosperity.

Ben NelsonThanks for stooping by today.

Shine where you're plugged in.

Ben

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