(The following thoughts are based on an incredible message by Judah Smith. The link is at the end.)
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
Maybe you've read this account in the Bible, but did you ever catch this little nugget?
When Jesus did this miracle, he used a DISTRIBUTION PROCESS (verse 19). It wasn't randomly tossing bread or a big free-for-all. Jesus used his twelve disciples to systematically made sure the miracle of Jesus reached everyone there. The Church is God's Distribution Process, helping people experience the miracles of Jesus in every part of their lives, bringing fullness where once they were empty.
Now, if you were the disciples, would be feeling gypped because you weren't able to sit down and eat?
Um, no, I don't think so.
You would have known that THOUSANDS of people were being fed from what moments ago was five loaves of bread and two fish. You would have just witnessed a literal miracle, and you'd be so PUMPED to share that with everyone!
"Look, eat! Jesus did this! He provided for you where there was nothing before! Eat as much as you want! It won't stop coming! Hahaha!"
When you're excited, how easy is it to forget that you were hungry? Only after they finished feeding everyone would their stomach rumble and remind them that they too needed to eat.
And here's my FAVORITE PART – go back and read how many baskets were left over.
Go ahead, I'll wait.
One basket of food for each disciple.
The power of actively serving in the local church is that you get to experience first-hand what God is miraculously doing in the lives of others. Anybody just warming a seat on a Sunday morning won't see what happens behind the scenes like you will. They're just smiling and saying "thanks for the free fish".
Actively serving and helping Jesus do all he wants to do at a service or a Small Group or a 1-to-1 coffee with someone… You'll see/hear/experience things first-hand that will undeniably prove to you that Jesus is always doing miracles in the lives of people.
And that will get you so excited, you won't be focused on anything else, even your own lack.
So when you stop for a breather, stand back and admire what you just got to be a part of, you'll look up to see Jesus wink knowingly and hand you exactly what you need in that moment. Maybe it's an unexpected cheque covering the amount of money/time you just spent helping someone else, or a deeper connection with your spouse because you're both involved together doing something with a purpose. Or maybe it's a basket of overflowing food that (literally) came out of nowhere.
Whatever it is, I promise you this – you will never ever forget that moment.
So the question is, are you handing out the miracle or sitting in the crowd?
Watch Judah's message here > http://thecity.org/message/jesus_is_my_provision