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!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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