Introduction Nico Bosman
We are thankful to the Lord that He has kept us and that we can gather here this morning. Many have gone out to different places. Even though we are a few, we still trust that the Lord will speak to us.
I cannot help but think about how much has happened in the last 4 – 6 weeks. I wonder if there has ever been a time that so much of significance has happened. But still, it is amazing to think that God is on the throne. He is in control.
At the same time, I can’t help but say thank you again. Maybe you have heard it and maybe you will still hear it again, but we can’t thank the Lord enough and we can’t thank the people enough.
May the Lord bless each one for what you did. God knows what you did, He saw your heart where nobody saw it and may the Lord bless you for it.
This morning I have so much to share that I don’t know what to leave and what to say. (You must pray for those who bring God’s word. You have your part to play. Don’t say, and don’t ever think, that you don’t play any part.) Pray that God would touch your heart, my heart, everyone’s heart.
I actually had Job on my heart. You and I can be a Job because of Christ who lives in us. Satan got to a meeting in heaven. We don’t understand this with our minds, but how much more can’t the devil be found among man who is dust, nothing.
When Satan was in heaven, God asked the devil: Have you considered my servant Job, have you looked at his life? The devil gave an answer – you, Lord have put a hedge around him. That thought touched me. Can God be a hedge around me to protect my life? It is possible and that is why it is recorded in the Bible.
When I went through some of my greatest agonies in life, if it wouldn’t have been for Reverend Stegen, I don’t know where I would have been today. But God spoke to me, and He said, my child I will be a hedge around you. I will protect you.
When I look back, I say thank you for those times. I couldn’t understand it at the time, but if it weren’t for those times, I might not be following the Lord in the way I should.
Remember, when you go through sickness or tribulation, do not complain but thank God and say, God if it wasn’t for all this, I would not be closer to my Redeemer, my Saviour.
Mark 6:34 – 38; 42 – 43
34 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. 35 And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. 36 Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37 But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” 38 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.”
42 And they all ate and were satisfied. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. Mark 6:34 – 38; 42 – 43
There is so much wealth in these words and it is my prayer that they will not only be words, but practical things that you can do and experience yourself.
Can Christ teach you? Can He even teach you one thing? Can you stand here this morning and say, I have something that Christ has taught me.
God says, Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, My way. After that much will follow. He revives us spiritually, that we may be alive and that all evil can be removed from our lives.
We have been taught that when there is a heart that is clean, a heart that is alive and living for God, the fruit thereof will be hands that are blessed. When a heart has been blessed because of Christ, whatever the hands of such a person touches, there will be blessing.
Let me illustrate it this way: Down in the Tugela Valley is a place called Maqhogo. There was a day when Reverend Stegen went down there. He took a young man called Mbuso. He said, come my boy I will teach you about farming.
They went to the fields in the vehicle and walked into the fields. Right in middle of the fields, Reverend Stegen said, let us bow and pray. Who amongst us can do that? We rather rebuke people and tell them they are not doing it right, but Reverend Stegen said, let’s pray.
At the end of the prayer, Rev Stegen said, Mbuso, let’s get back into the car and let’s go. They returned to the house. On the way back Reverend Stegen said to Mbuso, I have taught you what it means to be a farmer.
The fruit of that event cannot be adequately explained!
Who amongst us has blessed hands. If we do - whether I am a teacher or a businessman - that which I do will be blessed. I believe that we have not yet seen what God can do if our hearts are pure and clean. If there is revival in our hearts, our hands will be blessed.
We need to obey that which God teaches us.
Let me speak about the Gospel. Do you have a testimony? Can you stand up and say, Christ has done this and that for me. Don’t be afraid. It is the devil that makes you doubt. Just do what Christ asks you to do from a clean heart.
Another trick is where he says: look at you, look at your many mistakes, what are you going to try to say to others? Then you start doubting. When Christ tells you to do something, do it with a clean heart. If you must make something right then do it, but don’t stay seated - do it!
There is a gentleman amongst us called Keegan. Keegan spent time in jail for part of his life. These days they went to Pretoria to a maximum-security prison to preach the Gospel. What an opportunity! When he returned, at a meeting, I said to him in front of everyone, what often happens after an experience like that is ‘bees’ will try and sting you, and you will wonder why is it happening to you. It is not wrong, rather it is evil attacking you because satan wants to destroy you.
I already know that when I need to take a service, there will be so many ‘bees’ around. Even if there is nothing wrong in your life the devil will never take it easy and rest. (But if there is something wrong, make it right, then don’t stop, continue and run your race!)
What Jesus touched and broke was abundantly blessed. The Lord says, if you are obedient and do what I tell you, blessings will follow. This is found in Deuteronomy 28. Go and read it.
It is not about talking; it is about doing things. Getting things done. Don’t stand back because you say, “I am only a child”. Jeremiah said that, and God said, no, you are not a child. I want to use you.
A stream that flows gets cleansed as it flows over the rocks, but when a stream stops and forms puddles, you will find all manner of dirt in it. That is perhaps why your life is as it is because you are not flowing, not running. You think you are useless. You are not. Christ wants to use even donkeys.
If things are not right spiritually with you, you will become like a pothole. Everyone who comes past will hit that pothole. Let Christ fill that place in your life so that it will become smooth and then your life will be so different. You will marvel and say, I never thought it was possible that Christ could change my life like this.
In this portion (verse 32), Christ was in a solitary, desolate, isolated place.
They were isolated, in a deserted place. Just maybe that is what you feel about your life, but this is where Christ fed the people. Can you do it? Give people food? Or do you just look at the storms around you? Can you bring hope, salvation and new life through Christ where you are? Can you give people something – not only spiritual food but also other things?
Here Christ gave them something to eat. Can you give people something spiritual but also something practical - something to eat? You don’t have to only preach. Give them something? Is that your life?
Christ will only achieve that through your life if He is able to break the bread and fish. It is a mystery.
Often we young people think we know, we always have an answer, we always know better. We need to be broken by God. If Christ hasn’t broken you, then it is time that you find yourself before Him.
We need to bow. Although it is difficult, there is great blessing if we can bow and just do what we are told to do.
It was getting late, but the Lord knew that very well. He knew they were hungry. It is not that He doesn’t know. He knows your needs, your suffering. He knows it very well. Don’t give up.
But here are the disciples, who are with the Creator of heaven and earth and yet they tell Him that the people are hungry. Jesus knew it, but now they feel the need to tell Him that the people must go home.
We humans don’t go and ask the Lord what we should we do. Instead, we tell the Lord what to do.
The Lord Jesus is wise. He says to His disciples, you go and feed them. You have raised the matter since you are so intelligent. Now you go and do it. They don’t even realise they began this badly by not asking Him what they should do.
But the Lord helped them. He said, What do you have? Is there something you can bring to Me?
I ask you who are so intelligent, is there something you can bring to Jesus? Maybe we are what we are because we hoard the little we have, we don’t share. We say I can give nothing; I am poor. But the Lord is asking, Is there something you can give Me?
But on the day you come and say, Lord I have nothing, but here is the little I have, you will see what will happen. Don’t say you have nothing. Everyone amongst us has something. You may be gifted, even in your ability to speak. Stop gossiping. Start preaching, maybe God will bless you like Isaiah.
The day you give the Lord the little you have, you will see that things will change. Revival may even break out in your workplace.
Christ tells them what to do: You feed them. But the response is, but Lord we don’t have the money. Again, they miss the mark. Instead of, Yes, Lord, this is what we have, this is what I have, I don’t even have 1 denarii, but I can give it to you.
Do you remember the woman in the temple who gave those few coins.? The Lord said she gave all she had. Have you given anything to anyone, even today?
You have big dreams - maybe of owning a large farm like this one. For years we have been encouraged to start planting our own food, even in a small way. Have you been obedient and done even this? Are you too lazy and yet complain that you are poor.
It was a small boy who had the loaves and fish. 5 000 men were fed through this young child - just the men. Through that small child, with the little that he had, thousands were blessed.
This gave me hope that Lord, that small bit that we have, if it has your blessing, much can be accomplished through it.
When the Lord Jesus is at work in your heart, things will change. Even your work will change. If you are a nurse do patients say, we want to go to that hospital because of the way that she treats us?
Bring what you have, allow the Lord to break you - even if it is painful.
Christ is a person of order and discipline. Understand that in your life. There is no mess where He is – not even in a home.
Firstly, He said to them, go and sit on the green grass in companies. Sit down in an orderly manner. It is interesting what He teaches us. He gives us a glimpse of how things should be even in our homes.
The Bible says in verse 40, that they threw themselves into ranks of 100. They immediately reacted upon Christ. There was no arguing. Why should we do this, why must I do this work? Why can’t someone else do this work?
Friends, children, if we get to the place God wants us, things will change. Even at work. If your boss is a bit strict you should praise and thank God because there is so much you can learn, not some wishy-washy person who allows you to do what you want.
So often we don’t want that because it goes against our understanding and feelings. The people did not question Him. They sat down and what did God do after that? He blessed and broke.
He didn’t break the bread before, but as they obeyed, doing what they had been told, Christ began breaking the bread. The day you bow and do the very thing you don’t want to do, you will see what will come of it.
They sat, they took the fish and the bread. Don’t despise the little you can bring. Allow the Lord to use it even if is small.
But here is the question, is your mind pure? Your eyes - are they pure? Is your heart clean? Your hands?
May this be the day when you will finally part with that sin. Allow the Lord to deal with it.
My last point: they picked up 12 baskets full of bread and fish. There was food left over. Can you believe that of your small little garden? That you could even feed others?
Now Christ says, go and pick up and bring back all that is left over. The little that the boy had was so abundantly blessed. Those rivers of living water will flow because of obedience to Christ.
That which the Lord has blessed you with, don’t just waste it. Take hold of it and use it wisely. We have to contemplate this. The text even records how much was left over – 12 baskets.
If you have a conscience, and if Christ works, you become sensitive about things. You view things in a different way. We grow up with abundance, yet many people don’t have what we have.
Christ said, You go and pick up the leftovers. They had to do it. Nobody else.
Now I am coming back to where I started. God came to revive our lives. If we are true to that, He will revive whatever we do and whatever we touch. Don’t underestimate it.
These days my mother said she has a song on her heart. We sang it: I’m pressing on the upward way It speaks about forgetting the world, the doubts, the fears
Let us persevere and climb the mountain of the Lord so that there can be joy in heaven.
Thank you very much. Have you realised how practical the Gospel is? I think sometimes we humans have the ability to make something that is so simple complicated.
Yet, it is practical. Yes, we pray, we listen, but then we must do.
It is only when I start doing it that the Gospel becomes alive. We’ve heard this morning examples of doing. May this week be different. May we go and do things.