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Ministry with Jesus starts with what you have. (Part 5 of 7)
This is a concept my husband and I are starting to call the builder budget. We live in a society that tends to look more at what we want or desire than what we have. That is operating out of a lack budget. A budget that says in order to succeed we need more. Even in ministry, or maybe especially in ministry, it is easy to get caught up in picking a number that would allow us to do what we want. Somehow it seems more honorable to think this way in ministry. I could help so many people, if only we had…
In John 6:7, Philip says to Jesus that even if they spent 200 denarii on food, it would only be enough for everyone there (the 5000 men plus women and children) to have a small amount of bread. Definitely not enough for a full meal. 200 denarii. That is 200 full-day wages. That is basically 7 months worth of pay (assuming they worked every day but the Sabbath, and saved every bit of it). That STILL wouldn’t be enough to feed that crowd.
That looks like defeat. We look around us. We see the need. Our hearts burn to minister to the need. We dream about what we could do if only we had that 200 denarii, or, even better, 300 denarii, or maybe a winning lottery ticket. And then, checking our accounts, we verify that we do not, in fact, have any of those things and we return to our normal daily routine, defeated.
BUT, Jesus didn’t ask how much they needed, He asked “What do you have?”
And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” – Mark 6:38
We often pray and even beg God to give us what we think we need. A quantity. A specific resource. A house. Some land. A building. A bigger kitchen. But, Jesus is saying start with what you have. Bless what you have. Give thanks for it. Then put it to use. Be faithful in the little things so that you will be trusted with the greater things (Luke 16:10). Build with what you have. Expansion will come through the hands of God. We plant the seeds, we maybe even water them, but He grows them (1 Corinthians 3:6). Ministry with Jesus doesn’t see what’s missing, it sees what is available, and trusts that it is enough.
For we walk by faith, not by sight. – 2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV)
Today, ask the Lord to help you create a list of what you have. Your resources. Include everything. Include your skills, your gifts, your friends and family, and their gifts and skills. Include your physical belongings; craft supplies, building supplies, a house, a car, a refrigerator, a cooler, a guitar, a Bible, a phone, etc. Ask Him to highlight the things He wants to use now for your current assignment. Ask Him to show you how He wants to use those things to accomplish His purposes. Dream with Him. Let Him show you your builder budget. And then start building!