LIFE OF CHRIST
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BE AN OVERACHIEVER, AM 2/19/06
LIFE OF CHRIST #28
You and I each know at least one person who we consider to be an overachiever. They never stop working. They always need to be accomplishing something new. They have to be the best. They seem to work beyond their ability to get things done.
Many think that it’s wrong to be an overachiever. “Why should we be so committed to achievement that it drives ourselves and others crazy?”
Jesus was an overachiever.
· He walked on water.
· He raised three people from the dead.
· He fed thousands of people with a minimum of food.
· He made lame men walk, blind men see, and dumb men speak.
· He calmed storms at sea.
· He died for the sins of the whole world.
· He arose from the dead.
· He ascended into Heaven.
· He sits on the right hand of the throne of God.
“Of course, Jesus is an overachiever,” you say, “He’s God!”
Jesus wants you to be an overachiever.
But let’s define the word overachiever a little differently.
Let’s think of an overachiever as a person who accomplishes things above his own natural ability.
John 14:12, John 15:16, Acts 1:8, Philippians 4:13
Why would Jesus ever want you to be an overachiever?
· Because much can be accomplished for His glory when we trust Him.
· Because it shows how much we love Him.
· Because the needs are so great and Christ is so compassionate.
· When we overachieve properly He gets the glory.
Last time we saw Jesus take his disciples apart to a dessert place to rest awhile. However the crowds were waiting for Him. Jesus had compassion upon them and began to teach them.
The story continues this week as it gets late and there is a need for this huge crowd to be fed. Jesus feeds the 5,000 men plus women and children. This was one of his “overachievements”.
This story can teach us some lessons about being overachievers for the glory of God. Let’s consider the following principles:
· SUPPOSITION – JESUS WANTS YOU TO FEED THE MULTITUDES - Vss. 1-7
A supposition is an assumption.
There is no sense in trying to be an overachiever unless our Lord and Master wants us to be overachievers.
This miracle is recorded in all four Gospels.
We learn from comparing the accounts. Each one gives us some more information.
The other Gospels tell us that it was toward the end of the day in a desert place and the disciples encourage Jesus to send the crowd away so they can get food.
Jesus’ answers in Matthew 14:16, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.
Jesus is telling the disciples that they should feed the multitude. And of course, with His help they could have.
The disciples were stymied and could only think of going somewhere and buying food, which probably wouldn’t have been enough anyway.
Vs. 5 – Jesus tested Phillip. “Where can we buy bread, so
this crowd can eat?”
Vs. 6 – Jesus already knew what He was going to do. I think that Jesus wanted Phillip to ask Jesus to do a miracle.
Vs. 7 – Phillip’s answered that even 8 months worth of daily wages would hardly be enough to give them a little.
There is a multitude of spiritually hungry people both saved and unsaved around us. Jesus says feed them spiritually and help them physically. Mark 16:15, Matthew 5:16, Galatians 6:9-10, Hebrews 10:24-25
And like the disciples we look at the multitude and we check our resources and we begin to think that we have nothing to offer.
We look at our own abilities or lack thereof.
We look at our own backwardness.
We look at our lack of talent or brains.
We look at our lack of learning.
We look at our lack of finances.
We get discouraged and think that we can’t help one or two people, let alone a multitude!
Jesus wants us to feed a multitude, but how?
· SURVEY – WHAT DO YOU HAVE THAT JESUS CAN USE? – Mark 6:38
Mark 6:38 - He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.
Vss. 8-9 – John tells us a little more. The five loaves and two fishes that were found were a little boy’s lunch.
Just as Jesus had the disciples make a survey of what was available, I believe that He would also have us make a survey of what we have available that Jesus might be able to use.
The list I gave you to consider is not a complete one, but should get you to thinking, “What do I have that Jesus can use?”
____ A driver’s license and car
____ A singing voice for solos or choir
____ A sense of humor
____ The ability to play a musical instrument
____ A friendly disposition
____ An ability to teach
____ An ability to encourage
____ A listening ear
____ An ability to cook
____ An ability to clean
____ An ability to fix things
____ An ability to plan
____ A regular income and/or bank account
____ An ability to invite
____ An ability to memorize
____ An ability to learn
____ A concern for lost souls
____ An ability to pray
____ A voice to sing praise to God at home and in church
____ Artistic ability
____ Computer skills
____ Other? ____________________________________
I suggest you take this list home and honestly check off the abilities you have, asking God for help.
In order to feed the multitudes, in order to be an overachiever, you must begin by knowing what you have available for God’s use.
· SURRENDER – GIVE WHAT IS AVAILABLE TO JESUS – Vs. 9
In order for this miracle to take place, the little boy with the lunch had to do something with it.
HE HAD TO SURRENDER HIS LUNCH TO JESUS!
Christians who have been blessed by God with all sorts of abilities are not surrendering their abilities to God for His use. Thus, they are not overachieving. Romans 12:1-5
First, we are to surrender ourselves to God and that includes all our gifts, talents and abilities.
When we surrender our abilities we are asking God to show us how we can use them for His glory.
Let me ask you, what are you doing right now to feed the multitudes that have so many needs? Won’t you begin by praying over the survey and then surrendering your abilities to God for his use? Ask Him to show you how to use your abilities?
· SUPPLY – JESUS WILL MULTIPLY WHAT YOU HAVE – Vss. 10-11
The little boy’s lunch, so insignificant, was used to feed the multitude, because Jesus multiplied it.
Jesus can start multiplying what you have to offer once you start using what you have to offer for His glory. Romans 12:6-8
Here’s another reminder. We can’t do anything in our own strength. When we surrender our abilities to be used by God, we must use them in His power!
Zechariah 4:6 - …Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.
John 15:5 - I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
· SURPLUS – DON’T WASTE WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN YOU – Vs. 12
Jesus instructed the disciples to pick up the leftovers so that there was no waste.
God has given you many gifts, abilities and talents.
When we use them we bring honor and glory to God.
When we use them we show our appreciation.
When we fail to use them, we are wasteful.
When we use them for our own benefit only, we are wasteful.
· SUPPOSITION – JESUS WANTS YOU TO FEED THE MULTITUDES
· SURVEY – WHAT DO YOU HAVE THAT JESUS CAN USE?
· SURRENDER – GIVE WHAT IS AVAILABLE TO JESUS
· SUPPLY – JESUS WILL MULTIPLY WHAT YOU HAVE
· SURPLUS – DON’T WASTE WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN YOU – Vs. 12