MATTHEW 14:14-17: “When Jesus came ashore, he saw a large crowd. He felt deep concern for them. He healed their sick people. When it was almost evening, the disciples came to him. “There is nothing here,” they said. “It’s already getting late. Send the crowds away. They can go and buy some food in the villages.” Jesus replied, “They don’t need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.” (NIRV)
OBSERVATION: “If I only…” – These are the tree words that rob us of the potential that God has already given us. How many times have we given up in life, or failed to even start something, because of these three words. I would like to have a better job…”If I only…”. I would like to get more involved in ministry…”If I only…”. I would like to finish my college degree…”If I only…”. And the list could go on and on.
When Jesus looked upon the multitudes that had gathered, He had great compassion on them. When the disciples looked at the same crowd, they saw them through completely different eyes. Jesus wanted to meet their needs, the disciples wanted to send them on their way. Jesus looked at the resources of His Heavenly Father, the disciples looked at the resources in their money bag. When Jesus said, “You give them something to eat.”, they replied – “If I only…”.
“If I only…”, focuses on our lack, not God’s provision. When the disciples looked at the five loaves and the two fish they held in their hands, all they could see was the deficit among, what some estimate to be, around 20,000 people, when you include women and children. When Jesus looked at these five loaves and two fish, He saw something different. He saw a chance for the Father to be glorified. So what did Jesus do?
- “Then Jesus directed the people to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish. He looked up to heaven and gave thanks. He broke the loaves into pieces. Then he gave them to the disciples. And the disciples gave them to the people.” Matthew 14:19 NIRV
Jesus took the resources in His hands, lifted them up to heaven (the Father), and gave thanks! Have you ever wondered what could happen if you and I did the same thing? What if we stopped focusing on our lack, and started giving thanks for what we have? If we would take that which God has already placed in our hands, lift it up to Him, and give thanks, what could He do in our lives?
The three words “If I only…”, might just become, “Anything is possible…”!
This morning I am firmly convinced that I have everything I need to do what God has called me to do today. I don’t need to wait to enter into His will for my life. I don’t need to delay taking the first step toward fulfilling my destiny. There is nothing limiting me, because everything I need has already been provided. The question is – will I lift it up to the Father, will I give thanks, and will I believe.
Lord, help me to believe that, in You, all things are possible!
In Jesus Name!