Sunday Sermon: Transform Obstacles Into Opportunity

Sunday Sermon: Transform Obstacles Into Opportunity
January 22, 2012 Marissa

Edited by L.J. Acker

Luke Chapter 9 Verses 11-17

11 When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing. 12 Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.” 13 But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 And they did so, and had them all sit down. 16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.

When it was heard that Jesus would pass through the town of Bethsaida, some of the townspeople decided to follow Him. Despite the growing numbers, Jesus allowed the followers to join him. Instead, he spoke to them about God’s kingdom and touched those were were sick and needed healing. As Jesus continued doing this, the crowd grew larger. Afraid of a lack of food and shelter to offer these people, a disciple spoke up and recommended that Jesus send these wary, yet hopeful followers away so that they could fend for themselves.

Just like this disciple, isn’t it like us at times to doubt God’s power when we find ourselves with limited resources, stuck in the middle of nowhere, feeling lost and powerless? Some of us have faith to follow Christ into the wilderness, believing in His power to overcome our physical and material limitations, hoping that some of that will be transferred to us, but when the sun starts to fade, there’s a moment of doubt. We ask ourselves, “Will we overcome it? If so, how?”

As we read further, we discover that Jesus ignores the fearful request to send the followers away and proceeds to feed the multitude with only five pieces of bread and two fish, so much so that there is more than enough left over.

Just as Christ ventured into the wilderness, took on and taught disciples, and healed and fed a multitude, so can we when armed with the faith that God will provide through his bountiful universe. We as individuals and as a group of believers have to be in the right mind to receive God’s blessings.

Believing in the abundance of God’s universe and the power of faith that things will be OK, we don’t have to feel lost. Each moment is an opportunity to create, to expand, to multiply what little we have and turn it into a blessing for not only ourselves but for others. God didn’t create us with the ability to create without offering the freedom of choice. We can choose to be like the disciple, by letting our fears of the unknown and limitations paralyze us from helping others OR we can choose to be like Christ and take our limitations and expand them.

When’s the last time you placed your faith in God and broke past your limitations and turned them into something amazing?

 Photo credit: think4photop