“Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.”
When I sat down to write this Devotion, I drew a blank. Yes, believe it or not, I was speechless. I almost felt as if I had nothing left to give. I stay so busy, but doing what?
I read the Book of John, chapter 6, over and over until I realized that this very passage of scripture spoke to my very situation. I was reminded that as long as I continue to pour into others, God will continue to pour into me. His son Jesus, the Bread of Life, will always be enough for me. There it was, the message I want to share.
Let me give you a bit of background into John, chapter 6. Our focus is on the first part of this chapter when Jesus fed over 5000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. He used His Disciples to help serve the people and clean up when they were done. This is probably one of the first bible stories you remember hearing, but it never gets old.
Of course the main message from the first part of this chapter centers around the miracle Jesus performed by feeding so many people with so little food. However, what if Jesus had not only meant for this to be a miraculous sign for the crowd of people, but a very personal one for His disciples? Can we consider that in this miracle, Jesus demonstrated to them that, if they pour themselves out into others, give of themselves freely, even when they felt they have nothing left to give, He will always be enough for them?
In this chapter Jesus refers to himself as “The Bread of Life” several times as noted in verses 35, 41, 48, 51 and 55. It is significant that there were 12 disciples and exactly 12 baskets of scraps left over. One for each disciple. This shows them that when they are ministering to others, He will make sure that, as the Bread of Life, they always have enough to give.
We all have such busy lives that are divided between our family, our careers, our social life and our ministry in God’s house. Each role has value and we work so hard to keep up. I myself struggle with an equitable division of my time. I have to balance a teenage son, an aging mother, my marriage, a very demanding career, housework (without a maid I might add) and work in the ministry. It sounds like a lot, and it is. I am sure many of you can relate. I get tired and overwhelmed sometimes and want to push the pause button. But somehow I manage. Trust me, it is not by my own strength. God, through His son Jesus, The Bread of Life, keeps something in my basket to give, as long as my pouring out remains Ministry. I pour out and He pours in! I am truly never empty.
As Christians, we are all disciples of God. Each of our roles and responsibilities is a Ministry. We each have a basket full of the Bread of Life and God’s expectation is that we share the content of our basket with others in our Ministry. We each have the opportunity all day every day to minister to others in our lifestyles-how we act, how we speak, how we handle challenges and how we live.
Pouring into others in our daily walk can be exhausting, and we may need a moment to catch our breath from time to time. With so much on our plates, it is difficult to be in “Ministry mode” all day every day. But what if, the very moment you put down your basket, someone is looking at your walk? It is so important that we remember that God will always make sure we have enough to share with others.
So ask yourself, can others see your Ministry in each aspect of your life? Use today to start by ministering the gift of kindness to everyone you come in contact with today. If you usually smile, add a kind word. If you usually smile and say good morning, ask them how they are doing and listen to what they say. Just add a little extra to your Ministry today. Remember you can give and give and give. God will always be enough. Your basket will never be empty, even when you can’t understand how you have anything left to give. You just can’t beat God’s giving.