Less Self...More Sacrifice

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28 February, 2021Pastor Mark SimpfendorferAddition by Subtraction

Do you remember this "Snickers Ad campaign. "You are not you when you're hungry." Is that you? Are you prone to becoming 'hangry'? Or irritable, or impatient, or easily annoyed. How do you react when your plans are interrupted? How do you respond when someone asks you for something that is more than you think you can give or more than you think they deserve? Deliberate discipleship is asking Jesus to deepen our trust and dependence on him and be present with compassion however life unfolds. It is asking Jesus to use us as he pleases for the purposes of his kingdom at whatever cost. It is asking Jesus to empty us of our plans and intentions to serve the immediate needs of those right before us. As Jesus works in us we discover that God meets our needs in the most unexpected ways for whenever there is less self and more sacrifice, God promises that there is always an abundance for all. We'll explore that today.

#3 in series: Addition by Subtraction

Mark 6:30-44

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”

37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”

They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages[a]! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”

38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”

When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”

39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass.40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 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 his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.

(The disciples said) "Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”

But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”  Mark 6:36-37

Interruptions are opportunities to participate in and witness the generosity of God's every day present grace in every day ordinary life.

  1.  Finish the sentence: “When I am interrupted, I _________.” (what would be your general response)

2.   If Jesus told you to “sit down” while he miraculously met your most immediate need; what would he do for you?

3.  What is the 'five loaves and two fish' that you can offer to God this week so he can bless others through it?

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