Welcome to the Renew blog, a Six Step Bible Study.
We are a united group of Ladies from the UK, who believe in the transforming power of the Word of God for our lives. We meet every Wednesday at Create church, (part of Rising Brook) in Huntington and would love to welcome you to our group, if you live local.
We are now on our sixth week of studying the book of John but before we begin and read Rachael’s study, let’s have a bit of a re-cap.
In our first week we looked at John Chapter 1 where Jesus called His first disciples. (This study isn’t on the blog yet but we’re hoping to put it on soon). The main point we looked at was Jesus’ question to His disciples, “What do you want?” Their response was to ask Jesus, “Where do you abide?” Little did they know, this was the correct answer! Jesus then took the disciples on a journey, which we are now following in the book of John.
Our first blogpost was centred around John Chapter 2 and Jesus’ first miracle at a wedding, where He turned water into wine, which we translated as turning meaningless religion into joy. See post Say cheers to endless joy
We then watched Jesus discuss the logic of religion with Nicodemus and the Woman at the Well, followed by Him healing the Officer’s Son from afar and freeing and healing a disabled man from his religious attitude and disability. Last week we studied how Jesus was given the authority to do such things and we talked about His communion with the Father. (See post for whose glory).
This week we are looking at another great miracle in John Chapter 6. Throughout Jesus’ ministry we discover that He is continually showing and teaching His disciples HOW to do things and this week we witness a little test for Philip!
After this Jesus went to the other side of the Lake of Tiberias, which is also known as Lake Galilee. And a massive crowd of people followed him everywhere. They were attracted by his miracles and the healings they watched him perform. Jesus went up the slope of a hill and sat down with his disciples. Now it was approaching the time of the Jewish celebration of Passover, and there were many pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem in the crowd.
As Jesus sat down, he looked out and saw the massive crowd of people scrambling up the hill, for they wanted to be near him. So he turned to Philip and said, “Where will we buy enough food to feed all these people?” Now Jesus already knew what he was about to do, but he said this to stretch Philip’s faith.
Philip answered, “Well, I suppose if we were to give everyone only a snack, it would cost thousands of dollars to buy enough food!”
I love this! Jesus didn’t ask Philip if they had the money to buy the food, He asked where will we buy enough food? Philip went straight into the logical, just as we’ve seen before with Nicodemus, the woman at the well and the disabled man. Philip has seen all these miracles first hand and you’d think he’d know better by now, wouldn’t you?
I think that this is a great example of us in the natural. We’ve seen how Jesus has changed our lives, we’ve encountered miraculous wonders, received supernatural strength in situations beyond our control and have felt the touch of the Holy Spirit and yet, there are times where we can’t quite look to Jesus to meet our needs or we struggle to perceive the concept of miracles.
We still lack that faith at times.
At Create Church on Sunday, we had two great meetings. The first meeting was focussed on how we are the ‘Tabernacle’, the very dwelling place of God. We discussed ways in which our insides inform our outsides and how we need to be filled daily with the Holy Spirit in order to carry Jesus’ light into the world. When we are so full of God’s promises it becomes impossible for the negative to come out, there isn’t any in there to speak!
Then Sunday evening we had a night of sharing testimonies with one another and thanking God for all He’s done, all He’s doing and what He is about to do. It was such an amazing day!
My first question for you to ponder today is:
Who do you look to?
Who do you look to, to supply all your needs? Who is it you count upon? Yourself, your partner, your friends, your pastor, your leaders or Jesus?
But just then, Andrew, Peter’s brother, spoke up and said, “Look! Here’s a young person with five barley loaves and two small fish . . . but how far would that go with this huge crowd?”
Now it’s Andrew’s turn to be tested, a young boy comes from the crowd with all He has, to help feed everyone, did this young boy know exactly who Jesus was? I find it quite the coincidence that the Bible tells us to come to Him like children and here we have a child coming forward with all he has allowing Jesus to multiply! What happens next is a great example of what happens when you bring all you have to Him. When we give of ourselves, Jesus will take what we have and multiply it.
My second question then is this:
What would you like to give to Jesus for Him to multiply today?
I don’t believe that you need to work harder in order to bring more to Jesus. I see people all the time working harder and draining themselves in the belief that the more they give, the more they will receive. People have a tendency to believe that God will give them the strength that they need to do all that they are doing, and He will, but we have to be doing it His way and not ours. That blessing is dependant upon the heart that it’s given with. Look what Jesus goes on to teach them next.
“Have everyone sit down,” Jesus said to his disciples. So on the vast grassy slope, more than five thousand hungry people sat down. Jesus then took the barley loaves and the fish and gave thanks to God. He then gave it to the disciples to distribute to the people. Miraculously, the food multiplied, with everyone eating as much as they wanted!
When everyone was satisfied, Jesus told his disciples, “Now go back and gather up the pieces left over so that nothing will be wasted.” The disciples filled up twelve baskets of fragments, a basket of leftovers for each disciple.
He had everyone sit down! Imagine this, over 5000 people were there that day. (I say over because the Bible tells us that this only counted men). I imagine it was complete chaos, people clambering over one another to catch a glimpse of Him but Jesus wanted peace and order. Jesus wanted each and every person to see what He was about to do, for them to see the direct access He has to the Father, to see the glory be given to God.
I believe this was something that He wanted them to take away with them, this is a lesson He wanted the world to learn. We don’t have to be striving to work hard to see the miracle or receive the living bread, the nourishment that comes from heaven.
Jesus wants us to SIT and receive, REST and receive, BE STILL and receive!
Let me ask you my third question:
When was the last time you were still?
Jesus teaches us in this small portion of scripture exactly how to live a life of abundant peace.
- Bring what you have
- Look up
- Give thanks
It really is that simple. This young boy came and gave what He had to Jesus for Him to use for the good of others. It wasn’t much and I believe that was intentional. We don’t have to be breaking our necks; working hard, giving hard, but we do need to humbly bring what we have to Jesus. Our time, finance, resources…. whatever the Holy Spirit prompts you to think about here. We lift that up to God, look up and give thanks for what we have, not reflecting on what we don’t have. We then rest in His presence and receive the multiplication.
I can honestly say that this has worked in my life, although I forget that sometimes too. I can worry over things and try to take it into my own hands but then I’m still…. I study something like this and I’m reminded of times that I have let go, like when I totalled my car and the money came to buy one, like when I had five weeks to do an assignment and spent the first four of them in the word but in the last week received supernatural knowledge and wisdom to complete it!
Or like the time we were stressing over not being able to pay for our holiday, as some projects we had going on weren’t going to be completed in time and the money came via a completely unexpected source, or like the time I worried about having enough hours in the day to complete everything and the Holy spirit whispered ‘be still’, so I did and I got it all done. There are so many of these examples that I could give to you and I’m sure you have many of your own.
As I type this I’m reminded of a conversation I once had with someone. They were wondering how on earth I managed to complete so much in my week. I have three kids aged 7, 5 and 18 months. I help run this Bible study group, I help run a uniform bank, I relentlessly study the word, I help church happen, serving on teams on a Sunday, my kids have clubs to go to. As with many other women yes I’m busy but I get so much accomplished because I’m still.
I’m not saying that I’m the only person in the world that’s busy, I know that we all are and I’m certainly not saying I’m holy and better than anyone else. I’m simply explaining that my chaotic lifestyle all starts with Jesus, unless I’m full of Him I couldn’t do what I do! On the days I miss time with Jesus, my life literally topples over and I turn in to the stressed out monster that the devil loves. So the most important thing to me is to sit and place my bum on the grass and wait peacefully for my portion of bread and fish!
Look even Jesus knew that He had to have his alone time!
All the people were astounded as they saw with their own eyes the incredible miracle Jesus had performed! They began to say among themselves, “He really is the One—the true prophet we’ve been expecting!” So Jesus, knowing that they were about to take him and make him their king by force, quickly left and went up the mountainside alone.
Here’s a re-cap of those three questions:
- Who do you look to?
- What would you like to give to Jesus for Him to multiply today?
- When was the last time you were still?
This week’s Study Scripture
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
For more information on the 6 R’s Bible Study CLICK HERE to watch the how to video.
We believe that the word of God is powerful and life changing. When the word of God is applied to your life, you will be renewed!
See you all in two weeks, as it’s the half term holidays next week so we’ll be having a rest with our families.