MONDAY SCHOOL for Pentecost, September 10, 2017. #6 – thoughts from the sermon Into The Neighborhood.
Here’s the second point. It’s not up to you. Five loaves of bread, two fish are not enough for more than just a couple people but God can take what you put in the hands of Jesus and begin to work with it. And if you give God what you have, God can take what you have given with compassion and meet the needs of many … but it’s not up to you.
Remember when the disciples had been fishing all night long and caught nothing. Apparently, they put the net out on the left side of the boat as they row around a circle and then draw the net into the boat. They worked all night long and caught nothing. Suddenly they hear this voice from shore, “Put the net out on the right side.”
How do you like it when people give you advice? “You’re doing it all wrong. Just put the net out on the right side of the boat.” Nevertheless, Peter goes, “Okay. Okay.” They put the net out on the right side of the boat and this time, even after fishing all night long, it is so full as they pull it in that the net begins to break. They did nothing when they put the net out on the right side of the boat that they hadn’t done all night long … because it’s not up to them. What makes a difference is very simple: they did what Jesus told them to do and that made all the difference.
It is not up to us. It is not our job to provide for the needs of all people, but if we simply do what Jesus asks us to do God will do that job. All we’re asked to do is to be obedient, all we’re asked to do is to be obedient. So the problems of the crowd of people are not up to you to solve. But if you are obedient God can help them. It’s not your problem but if you choose to be compassionate and listen to God and be obedient, God can help them with their problem through you … but it’s not up to you.
Do you ever feel that someone else’s problems are your responsibility?
Do you ever find yourself wishing or working to prevent anything bad from happening in your life or the lives of people in your neighborhood?
How is that working for you?
Do you find that you have a pattern of interfering when there is a problem in someone else’s life? Is it difficult to mind your own business? Or to keep silent? Are your efforts sometimes misunderstood or even sabotaged by the people you would wish to benefit?
The photo is by Milo Winter and is from https://www.flickr.com/photos/waitingfortheword/6876110952/ courtesy of the Flickr.com Creative Commons license.
This post is based on the sermon series Out of the Chair, Into the World at Kinmundy United Methodist Church.
Slides and audio for this message can be downloaded from http://www.disciplewalk.com/K_Sermons_June_Aug_2017.html
All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.