Monday, August 4, 2014

Pastor's Ponderings, August 4, 2014

Lies, ‘darned’ lies, and statistics

Mark Twain, the great American author wrote, "Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: 'There are three kinds of lies: lies, ‘darned’ lies, and statistics.'"  This slightly modified quote stresses the importance of accuracy in our counting.  Although precision with numbers is well regarded in nearly every field, we can limit ourselves when we base our reality solely on what we can count.

In the book of Matthew, Jesus had just healed thousands of sick people and as the evening approached, His disciples suggested that He send the large crowd away to get food.  Much to their surprise, He told the disciples to feed the hungry masses instead of sending them away. Like many of us, the disciples counted on what they had, enough food for one person, and decided this was an impossible task (Matthew 14-17).

Jesus took the small amount of food, gave thanks to the Father and prepared the meal.  It miraculously became more than enough to feed the gathering (Matthew 18-21).  How many of us are counting on our salary, our educational level, the money in our bank account, the equity in our home, our family members, the number of our important friends, or other resources that we can see? 

We must know that the little we have is more than enough to meet our needs when we put it in the hands of God by faith and ask for His blessings.  In the song “Ordinary People”, Danniebelle Hall wrote, “little becomes much as you place it in the Master's hand.” We should never base our hope on the things we can see which may be small, but we should turn everything over to Him and let Him bless us to meet the needs of our lives.

Please comment below and share with others how He blessed what little you had and it turned out to be more than enough to meet your needs. You can encourage others to do the same.

Matthew 14:14-21
New International Version (NIV)
14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said.
19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.
20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

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