November 28th – The Secret of a Practical Faith



There are only three places in the New Testament where Andrew, one of Jesus’s disciples, is named in his own right. This is the second of them. As you see, the scene set before you, now watch out for Andrew’s part – but don’t blink or you’ll miss it.
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming towards him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite”. Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”. John 6:5-9
Philip and Andrew are often named together, as if in their friendship they were inseparable. Where there was one there was always the other. Well here Jesus, eyes twinkling, puts a poser to Philip. Philip is bewildered and answers “We couldn’t raise enough money in eight months work to feed this lot just one meal”. Andrew, his mate, spoke up “There’s a lad here with bread rolls and fish for his lunch …”, and then wished he’d kept his mouth shut. He felt so stupid. After all, come on, can a couple of fish sandwiches feed a football crowd? He must have wished that the ground would open up and eat him! But you know the end of this event – Jesus took that small offering of bread and fish offered by the young lad (it wasn’t even Andrew’s food!) and fed the multitude with it. Don’t ever try to explain the miracle away. When we offer our insignificant offerings to Jesus, it’s simply beyond rational expectations what he does with them.
Although I personally have not seen this particular miracle, I have seen little old ladies sewing and knitting and selling their paltry offerings, and on the strength of such insignificant offerings entire third-world communities have been fed and cared for. I’ve seen children’s pennies used to heal the sick: I’ve seen one solitary Christian life buried alive in an alien culture, transform the culture of millions of people. Never be ashamed of offering your ‘poor little nothings’ to Jesus. Never say “I daren’t offer God my two-pennyworth”, because if that’s all you’ve got, then put it into the hands of Jesus and see what he does with it – even now. That’s the secret of a practical faith.
A Prayer:
Thank you Lord that I am never so poor that I have nothing to offer you, for the people in need. Thank you also that it is not what I offer you that matters, but what you do with it that makes the miracle.
Now read Judges Chapter 7.

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Thought 4 The Day

Our lord’s first obedience was to the will of his Father, not to the needs of men; the saving of men was the natural outcome of his obedience to the father. (Oswald Chambers)

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