(The Information & Edification Series – Batch 4)
Your Christianity is not contingent on your popularity.
Praise God for that!
Some Christians are popular. People love to just gravitate towards them and to assemble wherever they are and that is wonderful. For it can certainly be used when all those people are around them, to the glory of God. They have an invaluable opportunity to point the glory to HIM.
Then there are some Christians, who though equal in worth are not popular. Yet God still has a great work for them to do. It is also his intention to use them, to promote HIS glory.
The moral of the story is this: Whether we have beauty like Esther, influence like Joseph, affluence like Abraham or are just small in the stature of people’s estimations and all we have are a few loaves and some fishes, whatever we have and indeed have been GIVEN by God, we must use it to showcase the glory of God.
Whether people consider us to be great or insignificant, special or unimportant, whether we are liked by the masses or fail to find much favour with man, understanding that whatever we are, wherever we are positioned and whatever we have, great or little, God is able to use and wants to use it for HIS glory, we must be willing, even as the lad in Luke 9 did, to offer it all unto the Lord.
ESTHER, though blessed with beauty that caught the eye of King Ahasuerus, did not use that beauty and the favour it attracted, to promote herself but the Kingdom purposes of God, in so far as it related to her people.
JOSEPH did not allow fame to go to his head when only he had the answer to Pharaoh’s problem but used every opportunity he had to talk about God, promote God and let the heathen know, that all that he was and all the ability that he possessed was due to it having been bestowed upon him by the living God.
When Pharaoh said to Joseph in Genesis 14:15 for example: “I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.” Joseph did not seize the opportunity for self-glory then. The Bible states in verse 16: “And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.”
In Genesis 41:25, after Pharaoh had given the details of his strange and troubling dream, the meaning of which he could not decipher, nor any of his magicians and wise men, after God gave Joseph the interpretation, he declared: “The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.”
Joseph understood, that whether serving as a slave in Potiphar’s house, a prisoner in prison, an interpreter of Pharaoh’s dream or second in command over all of Egypt after having been promoted, that God was the common denominator. Wherever he was positioned, be it small or great therefore, his mission was to advance the purposes of God, not exalt himself and that is exactly what he did.
ABRAHAM was blessed with riches but he was not enamoured by them. He so set his affection on things in heaven and not on things in the earth, that the Bible states of him, “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:10). So in love was he with the Lord, that he was prepared to sacrifice his only son Isaac, who God had given him in his old age. So close was he to God, not his riches, his position in society or any other earthly thing, that God confided in him (Genesis 18:17), referred to him as “Abraham my friend” (Isaiah 41:8) and James 2:23 states that “…he was called the friend of God.”
Then there was THE LAD, someone whose name in scripture was not even identified. All he had was five (5) barley loaves and two (2) small fishes. Given how insignificant this seemed to be against the great company that had gathered to listen to Jesus and was now hungry, Andrew told Jesus, maybe despondently, “There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?” (John 6:9).
His observation seemed accurate. After all, as Philip pointed out earlier in verse 7, “Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.”
Yet, what Andrew forgot or perhaps did not realize at the time was that the power to make a meaningful impact and difference on the lives of those who were hungry was not dependent on how much or how little that little lad had but on the POWER of Jesus. All that it required was someone willing to give what little he had and Jesus would do the rest.
He seemingly forgot or was not familiar with Zechariah 4:6, where it clearly stated that it was “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”
When Jesus intervened, the Bible states:
- “And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about FIVE THOUSAND. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.”
Mark 6:41, in recounting the same story, states of Jesus:
- “And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties. And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did ALL eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. And they that did eat of the loaves were about FIVE THOUSAND men.“
Indeed, if God could use a lad with a mere five (5) loaves and two (2) fishes to feed a multitude of people, imagine what he could do with you! If he could use a donkey to achieve his purposes (as he did in Numbers 22:28), he can certainly use you and me, irrespective of our lot, our portion, our position, our popularity or our lack thereof.
The POWER to make the difference is OF HIM and not of us, so much so that Psalm 115:1,3 attests, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake…our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever HE hath pleased.”
2 Corinthians 4:7 states, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the POWER may be of God, and not of us.”
In John 15: 4-5, Jesus urged his disciples, who he knew had no real power to effect any real change or to do anything worthwhile apart from him:
- “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
In conclusion, today, there are many in the world who, like the great multitude in John 6 are spiritually hungry for the Word of God, otherwise known as THE BREAD OF LIFE, which is Jesus. You may feel, even as I have felt and still feel on most days, that you are so unqualified, unpopular and not highly esteemed, that God could have used any other one of his children who were brighter, more intelligent, more popular and more deserving than you, for the GREAT WORK that he has in mind for you to do. After all, what you have may be as small as the five (5) loaves and two (2) fishes and they seem like nothing much when compared to the overwhelming need of many.
Yet the fact of the matter is that if God has called you to a certain work, he will achieve it through you. For, you may be unworthy, yes. You may not be half as intelligent or outgoing or popular as half of his other children and you may not have half as much ability or talent but as with Moses, God’s purpose for your life remains and as it has often been said, he does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called.
All praise, honour, glory and thanksgiving be unto God the Father and to his dear Son, Jesus Christ, who has given his children gifts and has a work for every child of his to do!
If you are a Christian, God has given you at least one (1) gift or maybe even more. Whatever he has gifted you, it is equally as important as all of the other gifts and he has given you what he gave you because he wants you to use it (or them), so as to give back to him, for HIS glory.
As Paul reminds all Christians in 1 Corinthians 12:1, 4-7, 11-25:
- “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal… But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as HE will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
- For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased HIM. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
- Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are NECESSARY: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow MORE ABUNDANT HONOUR; and our uncomely parts have MORE ABUNDANT COMELINESS. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.”
(Written on 12th July, 2021)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative, edifying or beneficial, you may also be interested in the following Articles on this Website:
- Note 33 – ‘Four (4) Brief Lessons For The Body Of Christ’
- Note 158 – ‘Dispelling The Myths About Purpose’
- Note 157 – ‘Cliques – An Enemy Of Unity In The Church’
- Note 169 – ‘The Christian’s Mandate: Go”
Additionally, under the ‘SINGLE Daughters of God’ Page:
- Note 176 – ‘Favouritism Comes From Man But Favour Comes From God’
- Note 179 – ‘What I Have Learned About Obeying God’s Call In Ministry’
- Note 190 – ‘God – I Am A Great King’
- Note 240 – ‘Serve God Wherever And In Whatever You Are Called’