John 6:5–11 (NLT) — 5 Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” 6 He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do. 7 Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!” 8 Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. 9 “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” 10 “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted.
Our purpose does not happen TO us, it will happen THROUGH us. Your personal responsibility will lead you to become a vessel that God can use.
This boy represents purpose fulfilled. The most meaningful thing that can happen in any of our lives is for the Master to use us. What are the common denominators for people who are used by God?
1. God uses what we PREPARE.
This boy/his mother prepared lunch and it was the thing that God used.
Throughout Scripture, God has used what people have prepared:
God asked Moses, “What’s in your hand?”
Noah prepared a boat.
Solomon prepared a temple.
Elijah prepared an altar.
A general rule: God cannot use what we have not prepared.
If you haven’t studied music, you will probably not have a music ministry.
If you haven’t learned Russian, you’re not likely to preach in Russian.
My job is to prepare, it’s God’s job to use.
It becomes my chief responsibility to prepare myself for His purpose.
As I plant and water, God sends the increase.
What are you preparing today, that God can use tomorrow?
Your passions will lead you to what you prepare.
Remember that your purpose doesn’t happen TO you; it will happen THROUGH you, so what are you preparing
Things to consider preparing:
Your spiritual health
Your leadership skills
2. God uses what we PURSUE.
The boy had to be close to Jesus for this story to unfold in this way.
Throughout Scripture, God has used what people have pursued:
Joshua stayed behind at the tent of meeting after Moses left.
Samuel slept close to ark and heard the voice of God.
Pursuit is seen in your proximity - What are you close to?
Pursuit takes HUNGER
Pursuit takes DISCIPLINE
iii. Pursuit takes FAITHFULNESS
3. God uses what we PRESENT.
The boy had to be willing to sacrifice his lunch without promise of return.
Throughout Scripture, God has used what people have presented:
Abraham presented Isaac; God used it to paint a picture of Christ.
The widow in Zarephath offered Elijah her last meal and it began a miracle.
You may have all the talent, relationships, or resources in the world, but God can never use what you don’t present.
Decide that everything you have prepared is for the purpose of presenting.
Present your BODY to Him as a living sacrifice.
Present everything you’ve been entrusted to by Him.
i. Time, Talent, Treasure, Relationships, Influence
4. God uses what He PURIFIES.
Jesus took the boy’s loaves and fish and blessed it.
Throughout Scripture, God has used what He purifies:
The tabernacle had to go through cleansing before it was used.
The disciples had their feet washed before they were sent.
2 Timothy 2:21 (NLT) — Paul told Timothy: 21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable
use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.
Your purpose and your purity are directly connected.
GOD CAN PURIFY.
YOUR JOB IS TO REMAIN PURE.
Impurity affects our ability to see and hear clearly.
Impurity affects our confidence through shame and guilt.
Impurity affects our pace because sin slows us down.