Deeper Relationship with God

“And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.” John 6:10 NKJV

Loaves and fish is a word that applies – Jesus takes what we bring him and multiplies it so we can have as much as we want for the situation. I want enough to eat and to bless others with. Our God multiplies. 

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of John, chapter 6 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  

A pastor told me, in relation to me losing my job, having no income and no partner, He said loaves and fish. Just keep doing what you are told until He tells you to do something else. And He will loaves and fishes.  I love the use of the phase as a verb, meaning multiply.  The business makes x and suddenly y is available to pay for my daily bread. Yes, loaves and fishes.

It is the first miracle of Jesus that is recorded in ALL 4 of the gospels.

Also – if I may interject my personal opinion.  This is just a random thought I once had and I think it is fun enough to put out there for you all to ponder.  Why did Peter and Andrew know what one boy had in his lunch?
So, later in time historians learned that Mark was a boy during Jesus’s ministry and Mark was friends with Peter and Andrew. Mark followed Jesus’s ministry as much as he could when Jesus was in the area.  It is quite possible Mark came and thought he was bringing enough lunch for Jesus, Andrew and Peter. And maybe they could stretch it for all 12 disciples?  
In the Book of Mark, written first, Mark says the disciple had a few loaves and fishes and never says where they came from. Matthew and Luke are similar, but feel more like the disciple found the loaves and fish.  John is the only one to record that it was the lunch of a child. It is historically feasible that it was Mark’s lunch that fed the 5000. Just something fun to ponder and when we get to heaven, find Mark and ask him.

In today’s reading Jesus walks on water! And I did a 4 part series on this in 2020. Let me share those links with you in case you want to get into this:

https://ifnotforgrace.blog/2020/06/16/eyes-on-christ-part-1/

https://ifnotforgrace.blog/2020/06/17/eyes-on-christ-part-2/

https://ifnotforgrace.blog/2020/06/18/eyes-on-christ-part-3/

https://ifnotforgrace.blog/2020/06/19/eyes-on-christ-part-4/

But for me – what stand out in today’s reading is verses 60-71 and my Bible calls this section: Many Disciples Turn Away.  5000 were fed including these men, Jesus walked on water and the 12 plus these saw it. Jesus explained that they cannot stay because of the miracles – so they leave?!

Oh yea. In verses 41-59 Jesus compares the feeding of the 5000 to the manna in the wilderness with Moses. In modern terms – it is ok to be unsaved, hear of a tent meeting where people are getting healed and to go for a healing. It is not ok to be healed but not let that healing also heal your hardened heart. It is not ok to only follow God because you think He is some circus freak who can perform tricks which bless you.  Get your healing – but hunger for more. Do not hunger to be only healed – but to be someone He can then use to heal others! And that requires hard work or reading and praying and spending time in the secret place for the glory of God – that required we die to our own wants and desires…. And only desire Jesus. And this is when those who walk away say (in verse 60):

“Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”

It is NOT that they did not understand – let us be clear on that.  They did not want to make the sacrifices required to follow Jesus.  In our modern world we have been lulled to sleep by compromise and do not realize it is too much! These are heard words – if you understand them. Jesus gave His life, you think He doesn’t understand what He is asking of us? Peter then lost his life, and so did most of the 12, John almost died multiple times – but miraculously lived through it and I believe he is the only one of the original 11 who was not martyred.

Jesus said to these men (in verses 63-65): “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”

As much of a riddle as this seem – it is only a riddle to those who have unbelief in their hearts. Those who have belief can understand the spirit – an even walk in the spirit. In a way, this passage is a great faith-o-meter. It can show you your level of faith, or belief. 

When my dog was struggling with being washed last week – and I said to her to surrender to the goodness – because the process of being washed was going to heal her boo-boos. And when I said it and God said: when you are struggling in the spirit, surrender to the goodness, because the process of being washed was going to heal and bring life.  It is just like this verse. If you because it will heal and bring goodness but at the cost – your belief is tied into your willingness to do what it takes. Your belief is not tied to whom you believe.

Be like Esther, say: If I die, I die.
Take the choice of the sacrifice off the table.

Be like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, say: God is able to do (fill in blank), But if he doesn’t I will still serve Him.
Take seeking Him for the blessings off the table.

What is left?  Serving God because you are hungry to get to know Him and want an honest relationship with Him. Come for the feeding of the 5000 – stay for the love and life.  Do not leave in the hard times of sacrifice – stay for the love and life. Eternal life.

God wants a relationship with you. We know, I say it every day. But even if you know and have a relationship – it is so important to remember that this God wanted this so badly He sacrificed His son, will you sacrifice your son for Him? His son loves us so much He gave up His life – will you give up your life for him?  How far will you go in this relationship? Far enough???

What about those verses that say “I never knew you” when they describe a man who thought he knew and served God? What about how that verse casts him into hell?! And what about the verse about those who compromise and are only willing to go as far with their relationship with Christ to get in – and He says only as far as you think isn’t far enough, I will spit you out?! What about those verses? Once saved, always saved? Then why is there a verse saying your name can be removed from the book of those who go to heaven?  How far is far enough? Where should we draw the line and take the risk? What here on earth do we love MORE than God, so much so we are NOT willing to let go of it?!

Let me encourage you to go deeper.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another great verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! These memory verses were selected, last year for this year.  As many of you tell me of the great attacks on your lives – the timing is perfect! But of course it is, it is God!

Deuteronomy 28:7

NKJV – “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”
NAS – “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated by you; they will go out against you one way and will flee at your presence seven ways.”
ESV – “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”
AMP – “The LORD will cause the enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way, but flee before you seven ways.”
NIV – “The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: John 6 NKJV

Feeding the Five Thousand

After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.[a] And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.

Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.

Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”

One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”

10 Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them [b]to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

Jesus Walks on the Sea

15 Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.

16 Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. 18 Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. 19 So when they had rowed about [c]three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. 20 But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.

The Bread from Heaven

22 On the following day, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except [d]that one [e]which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone— 23 however, other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks— 24 when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25 And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?”

26 Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”

28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”

29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

30 Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”

32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”

35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will [f]by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Rejected by His Own

41 The Jews then [g]complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42 And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”

43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, [h]“Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who [i]has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes [j]in Me has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”

53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is [k]food indeed, and My blood is [l]drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”

59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

Many Disciples Turn Away

60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a [m]hard saying; who can understand it?”

61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples [n]complained about this, He said to them, “Does this [o]offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”

66 From that time many of His disciples went [p]back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”

68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the [q]Christ, the Son of the living God.”

70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” 71 He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.

Footnotes

  1. John 6:2 sick
  2. John 6:11 NU omits to the disciples, and the disciples
  3. John 6:19 Lit. 25 or 30 stadia
  4. John 6:22 NU omits that
  5. John 6:22 NU omits which His disciples had entered
  6. John 6:37 certainly not
  7. John 6:41 grumbled
  8. John 6:43 Stop grumbling
  9. John 6:45 M hears and has learned
  10. John 6:47 NU omits in Me
  11. John 6:55 NU true food
  12. John 6:55 NU true drink
  13. John 6:60 difficult
  14. John 6:61 grumbled
  15. John 6:61 make you stumble
  16. John 6:66 Or away; lit. to the back
  17. John 6:69 NU Holy One of God.

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