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Nov 19, 2017

Gather-Grow-Go: Abundance

Gather-Grow-Go: Abundance

Passage: Luke 9:10-17

Speaker: Pastor Chris Riedel

Series: Gather-Grow-Go Series

Category: thankful

Keywords: abundance, gather-grow-go

Where God calls us; God will provide.

Devotional

A few weeks ago, we looked at a verse from 1 Chronicles 29 where God is praised: “Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.” With this in mind, it would seem obvious that we should honor our God and follow his guidance.  In other words, walk by faith. But living by faith can be tough to master.  For those that do, blessings are the result. For example, in Genesis 12 the Lord calls Abram to “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” How would you feel if you were told to leave everything you know and love and go to an unknown place? Abram had faith and did what the Lord told him. The result? The Lord told Abram “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you…and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 

Faith can also be challenging. In Luke 9:10 Jesus was being followed by large crowds into the countryside.  Jesus commanded the disciples “You give them something to eat.” At that moment the disciples lacked faith and answered “we have only five loaves of bread and two fish…” But Jesus took the bread, gave thanks to heaven, and broke it. The food was multiplied and served the entire crowd of over 5,000 people with twelve baskets left over. 

Peter also struggled with faith as he was called by Jesus to walk on water (Matthew 14:25).  Shortly before dawn the disciples saw Jesus walking on the lake. Jesus called Peter onto the water, and Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water. All was fine until Peter saw the wind. At that point he became afraid, lost faith, and began to sink. Jesus pulled him out of the water and said “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 

The story of Jesus walking on the water is a good analogy for our lives. We can be living our daily lives in faithful obedience, and something happens to shake us off our game. We see the “wind” in the distance and we become afraid, lose faith, and begin to sink. Thankfully, Jesus is there to lift us up and set us back on our way. We can all lose faith from time to time, just as the disciples did.  The key is to remember that God is always with us, and then to pick ourselves up and start again.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, all-powerful and all-knowing God, we praise and honor Your name. Help us to live by faith, to follow Your will and embrace the guidance of your teachings. When we fall short, help us to dust ourselves off and begin again. For we know You are always with us and desire to bless our faithful obedience. In Your name we pray.  Amen. 

Written by Mark Abel. Mark has been an active member of Arcola Church for the last 10 years. He lives in South Riding with his wife Julie and children Melissa and Justin.