Friday, November 23, 2012

Gather the Leftovers

John 6:12-13 "When the people had eaten their fill, he said to his disciples, Gather the leftovers so nothing is wasted. They went to work and filled twelve large baskets with leftovers from the five barley loaves."

One of the best things about eating a good home cooked meal is the leftovers.  But to get the leftovers, one must ensure that the food is properly put away and stored.  It will be a great waste to leave all that good food sitting out all night to go bad.  In fact, the quickest way to frustrate a cook or dinner host is to squander the leftovers of the meal they provided.

In the prior passage, Jesus fed five thousand men (not including women and children) with 2 fish and five loaves of bread.  The disciples, despite seeing Jesus perform many miracles doubted that it could be done.  But Jesus multiplied a meal of 2 sardines and five biscuits (remember it was a little boy’s lunch) into a great dinner for a stadium full of people.

And after all of them ate as much as they wanted, he made the disciples gather the leftovers so that none is wasted.  Perhaps the disciples were lackadaisical toward the food that was left. Maybe they were moving slow.  Or maybe they did not believe in eating leftovers.  But I can hear the Lord saying don’t take my blessings for granted.  Go get my leftovers.  

Leftovers are a big deal to the person who shopped, paid for the food, cooked the meal, or in the case of Jesus multiplied the food.  No one wants their food wasted. And Jesus does not want his people to take the miracles of God for granted. Jesus told them to gather the leftovers as a testimony of what God had done, as a lesson of not to doubt God, and as provision for each disciple to participate in the overflow.

In the spiritual realm, leftovers are overflow blessings that go beyond the initial provision.  Leftovers are the miracles that remain after the first wave.  As we walk with Christ, let us be thankful and yet careful not to waste the blessings that God has provided and gather the leftovers.

God leaves leftovers or remnants of his miracles to remind you of what he has done.  Be a blessing to somebody else and know that God can make a way.  And appreciate the opportunities that you know were only from God. So as you put away leftovers from tonight's dinner, remember to handle all of God’s blessings with care.  And Gather the Leftovers.