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free lunch

Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.  (Isaiah 55:1-5, NRSV)

I’ve always heard, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Someone has to pay for it.

Well God has taken care of it. Come and feast with no money.

Wine and milk, bread and be satisfied.

Come and listen and live in the wonderment of God!

 
 

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Believe!

A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing food from the first fruits to the man of God: twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. Elisha said, ‘Give it to the people and let them eat.’ But his servant said, ‘How can I set this before a hundred people?’ So he repeated, ‘Give it to the people and let them eat, for thus says the Lord, “They shall eat and have some left.” ’ He set it before them, they ate, and had some left, according to the word of the Lord. (2 Kings 4:42-44, NRSV)

God provides for us even when we do not understand how.

Here God feeds 100 people with 20 barley loaves and fresh ears of grain. We do not know how this meager amount of food will feed so many, but God is able to do far more than we can fathom.

Believe!

 

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What is it?

The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’ Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, “Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.” ’And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked towards the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, “At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.” ’ In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. (Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15, NRSV)

What is it?

Manna literally means “What is it?”

They wondered what this substance was, as the complained about not being slaves any more because despite all the back breaking labor they got to sit by the fleshpots and eat their fill!

When we look to God and allow His way to be our way, and not remember only the good from the past we will have a life beyond all imagination.

 

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unbelievable!

Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. (Matthew 14:13-21, NRSV)

Has Jesus ever asked you to do something that you found to be unbelievable?

Well I can relate to how the disciples felt here a little bit. Now I did not feed 5000 men and then women and children on top of that, maybe about 10,000 people here got fed with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread.

But when I was at my first call and it seemed about time for me to be moving on, I submitted my paperwork to seek a call, and I received a call from the assistant to the bishop of the Southwestern Texas Synod of the ELCA. He told me he had a congregation in a small town for me to look at. And I did not turn down any conversation with any congregation any where. This small town was a town of 65,000 people. I guess things in Texas really are big. And the congregation had a membership of 1,000. Now keep in mind they were looking for a senior pastor/head of staff, and I was in the 3rd year of my first call at a congregation that was just over 20 years old and a membership of 156. We had an average weekly attendance of 75, and the population of the town we were in was 1,000. So I was going from being the only staff, to head of staff, from a town of 1,000, to a congregation of 1,000, from a small town in Ohio to a SMALL TOWN in Texas! I have nothing to give, but God worked through me in that place.

How can we feed all of these people? Maybe we all need to change our outlook and ask God, How are you going to let us be a part of how you will do this?

All things are possible for God. Nothing should ever be unbelievable!

 

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listen

My child, if you accept my words and treasure up my commandments within you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; if you indeed cry out for insight, and raise your voice for understanding; if you seek it like silver, and search for it as for hidden treasures—then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk blamelessly, guarding the paths of justice and preserving the way of his faithful ones. (Proverbs 2:1-8, NRSV)

Make your ear attentive to the wisdom of God and incline your heart to follow what you receive.

God is storing up wisdom for those who seek after His commands and hears His direction and follows where He leads.

So listen to God and store His words in your heart and follow where He leads.

 

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an understanding mind

At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask what I should give you.” And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant my father David, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you; and you have kept for him this great and steadfast love, and have given him a son to sit on his throne today. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you. (1 Kings 3:5-12, NRSV)

What would you ask for if God visited you and said to you, “Ask what I should give you.”

Solomon asked for an understanding mind to govern the people to be able to discern good and evil. Is that what you would ask for?

If more of us had an understanding mind, imagine how the world would be different…

 

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cornerstone

Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture: “See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,” and “A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:4-10, NRSV)

The cornerstone is the base of everything. It is the stone that holds the wall in place.

It gives the base for the walls to be square and to stand tall.

And if you believe in the corner stone you will not be put to shame. It is believing in what the cornerstone will do for you and your life.

So base your life on Christ and allow Him to hold you steady.

 

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