“Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him. And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things. When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat.” But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to Him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?”
Mark 6:30-37 NKJV
A few years ago while walking in a neighborhood park I noticed a man sitting alone. I would always say hello to him and keep walking. This happened quite a bit, whenever I went to this park, he was always there, sitting in the same spot. Then one day as I walked by him, I heard the Holy Spirit say minister to him. I felt a little uncomfortable so I said if he’s still there when I come back around I will. Never give the Holy Spirit an excuse. I came back around and there he was, lol, So I approached him and said “I’m always saying hello but I’ve never asked you your name. My name is Winsome, what’s yours?” He said Jimmy. So I said “Jimmy the Lord Jesus wants me to pray with you today.”
We spoke for a few minutes and I got to know some things about Jimmy. I ministered to him and asked if he’d like for me to pray with him. He said yes. So I prayed for and about the things he had shared and then I continued my walk. On my way back around the Holy Spirit said, “you’ve fed his spirit now feed his body.” So I stopped and asked if he was hungry, he said he was, so I said whatever you want to eat just name it. He wanted a fish sandwich, so I asked where from, and he said Mac Donald’s . I told him to wait while I went to the car to get my wallet. We walked together to the restaurant and I ordered him double everything plus apple pies so he’d have enough for later. It’s 4 A.M Sunday morning, and the Holy Spirit is reminding me of this story to share with you.
I had gained Jimmy’s trust at this point. So when he was told he had cancer, he wanted me to pray for him. When I saw him after a few weeks he told me they couldn’t find the cancer. We rejoiced together in the park. Jimmy was a staple in that park, everyone it seemed knew him. But Jesus knew him best. Jesus had compassion on the multitude but the disciples saw a crowd that they wanted gone before nightfall. They knew the people had to be hungry, it had been a long day for all of them, but sending them away hungry was their plan. Jesus wanted to teach them empathy for others.
I read recently a story of a pastor in Nigeria where Christians are being hacked to death for their faith on a daily basis. This particular day when he was approached by men with machetes and swords, he knew this was it. But instead of engaging the men in fear, he and the others with him offered them food. They didn’t share Jesus, they didn’t offer to pray for them. They met a need. By this simple act of kindness, the men told them that they had planned on killing them, but because they offered them food, now they wanted to be a Christian. The Holy Spirit gave them discernment and they operated in wisdom. Had they shown resistance or started preaching, they’d probably be dead. You may read the story at the link below.
Both James, the brother of Jesus, and John the apostle had this to say about meeting the basic needs of others.
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?”James 2:14-16 NKJV
“But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”I John 3:17 NKJV
How many times have we been stirred by the plight of a family in need, but because we’re so concerned about our own lack we don’t help them? The reason why some Christians will never get out of poverty is because they’ve never thought of anyone but themselves. They’ll preach Jesus all day long, but they’ll never share what they have with others. The disciples saw a problem but Jesus saw the solution. When the question was asked, where shall we get the money to feed all these people? Jesus turned the table on them- You give them something to eat! Instead of waiting for someone else to do what is in your power to do, you do it!
The Holy Spirit will never allow us to be deceived by a con artist. I’ve met a few. But there are countless others around us who are in need of a hot meal, shoes, clothes, groceries for their family etc. they may be sitting next to you or in front of you in church. They may be a co-worker or neighbor who seems all put together. Don’t try to drown out the voice of the Holy Spirit when He’s prompting you to give that hundred dollars you’ve been saving to treat yourself to something, or that last twenty dollars you have for your own need. Give it willingly. The Lord says you’re lending it to Him. Proverbs 19:17; see also Luke 6:38; Proverbs 11:25
The Lord wants us to share the gospel, it’s the best news ever. But He has shown us that the way to their hearts sometimes start with giving them something to eat. Hungry bellies don’t hear well. Compassion opens both hearts and ears. Don’t send them away, share what you have. James says we don’t receive because we ask only to satisfy our own lusts. James 4:3. Jesus showed that the natural food was equally as important as the spiritual. People won’t care what you know until they know how much you care. To whom much is given, and we’ve been given much, much is required. The best way out of lack is by giving. How do I know that? The scripture we just read.
The loaves and fish weren’t enough to feed the twelve and Jesus, but when it was shared it fed thousands, with leftovers. We don’t have a hunger problem in America and the world, we have a vision problem. We see impossible God sees possible. We say we’ll never solve the hunger problem while we systematically dump billions of dollars of food in dumpsters every day. I just read of a church that’s suing to be able to feed the hungry daily. The city wants them to do it twice a week. Do politicians eat two meals a week? It’s not a lack of resources, it’s a lack of compassion. Jesus had compassion, his disciples did not.
Are you also seeing a problem? Or are you willing to be the solution? You may not be able to help everyone, but you can help one. Don’t help those who can return the favor. Are you even aware that someone besides yourself and your family needs help? Share what you have with someone who may be in your same situation or worse. The Lord never asks for more than what you have. You give them something to eat! You’ve fed their souls, now feed their bodies.
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit
February 10, 2022