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October 21, 2015

Sufficient for Every Need

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (NLT) 

Matthew’s gospel demonstrates clearly how adequate Jesus is to meet every need! Too often, even Christ followers are guilty of accepting common excuses for the status quo and the inability to make a difference. We say, “That person is too lost. It’s too late! They’ve been in that condition too long or there’s just too little number of us to change our world.” These are negative confessions of resignation to things as they are, but Jesus sees things that as they can be and has the power to affect change to make them that way!

In the ninth chapter of Matthew, we discover how Jesus responded to such excuses and brought miraculous supernatural change in each situation. In verse 9, Jesus extended the call to Matthew to follow Him. Matthew was a despised tax collector. The only friends he had were described as “disreputable sinners.” When Jesus accepted a dinner invitation from Matthew to meet his friends, the religious leaders were indignant and asked His disciples, 

Why does your teacher eat with such scum? Matthew 9:11 (NLT)

The religious folk had concluded that Matthew and his friends were simply too lost to save! They were too bad, too wicked, too far gone to recover! Have you ever thought that about anyone, maybe even about yourself? Aren’t you glad God didn’t believe that about you? Romans 5:8 tells us that 

God put His love on the line for us by offering His Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to Him. 

No one is too lost for Jesus to find! Jesus said, 

Healthy people don’t need a doctor – sick people do… For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners. Matthew 9:12-13 (NLT)

As Jesus was speaking, a leader of a synagogue came and knelt before Him with an impossible request. He said,

My daughter has just died. But you can bring her back to life again if you just come and lay your hand on her. (Vs. 18)

Most of us would say it was too late! After all, the little girl had already died. Even Jesus’ best friends assumed that it was too late when their brother, Lazarus, died. His sisters said to Jesus, 

Lord, if only You had been here, my brother would not have died. John 11:32 (NLT)

Have you ever thought that your situation was just too late for even Jesus to fix? What if only are you saying to Jesus today? If only I had been a better husband or wife, mother or father? If only I had listened? If only God had come earlier in our marriage? If only I hadn’t waited so long? With God, all things are possible! It’s never too late to turn to the Savior! No matter what you’ve done, no matter what anyone thinks of you, take a lesson from this synagogue ruler and kneel before the compassionate Christ with your impossible request.

While Jesus was on the way to the synagogue ruler’s house, He encountered a woman who had suffered for twelve years from an affliction no doctor could heal. Luke, the physician, tells us in his gospel narrative that she had spent all her money on physicians, desperately seeking help that never came. How easy it would have been for her to conclude that she had been in this condition too long for anything to change for the better! Yet, when she simply reached out to Jesus and touched the fringe of His robe, she was healed. Have you been suffering from some hurt, habit, or hang up so long that you’ve given up hope and accepted the excuse that it can never get better? Reach out to Jesus. He has the power to deliver, to restore, to heal, and to recover our lives.

Matthew wraps up this chapter in Jesus’ life, retracing His travels through all the towns and villages where He taught and healed others with every kind of disease and illness. Matthew tells us that, when Jesus saw the crowds of people, He had compassion on them and said to His disciples, 

The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord, who is in charge of the harvest, ask Him to send more workers into His fields. (Vs. 37-38)

The need was greater than the supply or, at least, it seemed like it. But, Jesus didn’t accept the excuse that we that there are too little of us to change the world! He knew that little is much when God is in it! Have you given up hope that the Gospel can change the world? The need around you and me seems overwhelming, at times, and our resources seem so limited! How can we impact change against such odds? The answer is found in what Jesus said. PRAY!

Pray to the Lord, who is in charge of the harvest.  

Prayer changes our perspective. Before we pray, we are tempted to accept the excuses that people are too lost, the situation is too late, they’ve been in this condition too long, and there are just too little of us to make a difference! But, after we pray to the Lord of the harvest, we gain a new perspective, a faith perspective that says, “With God all things are possible!” He is sufficient for every need!