In Mark 6:33-44, Jesus asked the disciples to go and see how much bread there was to feed the multitudes. They came back and replied “Five, and two fishes” (Mark 6:38b, NASB). It’s interesting that Jesus didn’t ask how many fish there were. The disciples took the initiative and found that out on their own. The disciples get a bum rap most of the time…they lacked faith, they denied Jesus, they lived in fear. But here, they did more than the bare minimum, and God was able to take it and do a miracle with it. Sadly, we can get so comfortable in our relationship with Jesus and in “being a Christian” that we end up doing the bare minimum for Him. In essence, we go through the motions of what might be called “the Christian life”. We read a couple chapters from His word each day, we spend some minutes in prayer, we give our 10%, we try to witness every now and then, and then we get on with life and we believe that it’s OK. We live as if our “life” is separate from the “Christian life” we live. Does God deserve more than the bare minimum from us? Does a lost and dying world where billions haven’t heard the Gospel deserve more than our bare minimum? Do the orphans, widows, hungry, thirsty, oppressed deserve more than our bare minimum? He gave His all for us at Calvary, can we give more than just the bare minimum for Him? If we give more than the bare minimum, God may just be able to do a miracle through it and a lost world might finally hear about Jesus!
I had the privilege of being at the Southern Baptist Convention a couple weeks in Orlando. There was some great preaching, awesome music (Casting Crowns was there Wednesday night), spirited discussion about task force recommendations regarding the Great Commission, and wonderful fellowship with brothers and sisters around the country, some which I hadn't seem for nearly 20 years or more. With any meeting like this, there is much to take away from it. Here are some of my thoughts:
***In spite of our deep differences about how to accomplish the Great Commission, there is agreement that we desperately need for things to be different and to do something differently in order to accomplish the Great Commission in our lifetime.
***While there were 11,000 messengers at the session to discuss the task force recommendations, which included increasing funding from the Cooperative Program to the International Mission Board by 1%, there were only 1500 messengers at the Wednesday evening session to hear the International Mission Board report where we hear what the missionaries are doing with the resources we fought so desperately to increase and believe they really need. How ironic.
***I tired quickly of nomination speeches for convention offices that paraded church size, dollar giving, accomplishments and a host of other facts. All I wanted to hear, from just one speech, was how much somebody loved Jesus, about their walk with God, about how God was faithful in trials, and that they trusted Jesus. That's the type of leadership we need for our convention.
***It was exciting to see people stand up and applaud the work of Jesus through our North American missionaries and the lost people that were saved that came as a fruit of their labors. THAT is worthy of cheering for Jesus about.
***For all our flaws, there is no other body of Christ I would rather be a part of than Southern Baptists, because of our passion, our beliefs, our resources, our mission. God, grant us some wisdom and fervor to see the Great Commission accomplished in our generation.