[Sermon preached on 09/07/05 @ Brighton Youth Praise]
Feeding the Five Thousand (D) 30Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. 31And 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. 32So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.
33But the multitudes[d] 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. 34And 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. 35When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, "This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. 36Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread;[e] for they have nothing to eat."
37But 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?"
38But He said to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go and see."
And when they found out they said, "Five, and two fish."
39Then He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass. 40So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties. 41And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all. 42So they all ate and were filled. 43And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish. 44Now those who had eaten the loaves were about[f] five thousand men.
[WHAT DO YOU SEE?] Youth’s response
The Futility of Idols and the Trustworthiness of God
1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth.
2Why should the Gentiles say,
"So where is their God?"
3But our God is in heaven;
He does whatever He pleases. *God is in control*
4Their idols are silver and gold, *speaking of men who don’t know Jesus*
The work of men's hands.
5They have mouths, but they do not speak;
Eyes they have, but they do not see; *key phrase*
6They have ears, but they do not hear;
Noses they have, but they do not smell;
7They have hands, but they do not handle;
Feet they have, but they do not walk;
Nor do they mutter through their throat.
8Those who make them are like them;
So is everyone who trusts in them.
[Or those who don’t really know God are just like the idols. The bible indicates that those don’t know God will have eyes but cannot really see, being one of the key symptoms here from this list we are going to talk about]Perception is a very POWERFUL thing
Perception is the way you see what you see
Basically in life what we see or what we observe is the same, BUT it is the way we see or observe that makes the difference! Everyday we are face with perceptions, what the world perceives of us on how we should live and perspectives of other people that we need to fall prey to, however Romans 12:2 says:
2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
How do we know what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God?
The Bible is important. The Bible is God's perception of you, this world, the life to come and God himself. This is a book about God's perception, hence we need to go to it and shape ourselves into what is good, acceptable and the will of God, we need to go to it.
First few important words when Jesus started His ministry, "REPENT" Now let's break that word up. What does "RE" means? "Back" or to "Return. "Pent" Where does the "Pent" derive from? Penthouse, do you know that a penthouse is not cheap? A penthouse is located at the highest floor of a building. And guess who has the highest of dwelling place?
"REPENT" means "To return to God's perspective, we need to return to God's perception" The word repent in greek means "to change one's mind" but when Jesus use it, He wants us to return to the perspective of God. We all have sinned, sin means "missing the mark" in greek. We need to return to God's perspective, if we have missed the mark. Only through God's perspective, we can hit the mark. The bible is God's unchanging word.
There is this one time I was watching a Channel U trailer and they are going to air a program titled "DARE TO TALK" and their topic was "TEEN SUICIDE" there was this girl who made a comment like this "Suicide is an option for us youths" I was thinking, praying then muffled into cries of help to Jesus. If this is the perception of this generation of youths, there is definitely something wrong. We need to change that!
Before we can reach our friends or ask ourselves the Question "Can we feed 10000 people pr rather youths?" We need to change our perceptions first. How?
Three “See” or perceptions that we got to get it right:
34And 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...
1) We got to see people like sheep without a shepherd
[1 Peter 2] Talks about this.
[1 Tim 2:3-4] The passage talks about God desiring all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
[Shoe Salesman Story]
Shoe Salesman was sent to
Company brought him home, sent another shoe salesman to the
What’s the difference here? Perceptions
How do you view the people in your life?
How do you view your classmates, your cca mates, your colleagues, your friends, neighbors?
Are people just annoying?
Are they people or enemies that just keeping you from getting where you need to be?
Is your friends annoying because they do not acknowledge you to be the coolest or the hippest person to be around because they most probably think you are like “toot”
Or is she annoying because she is from another religion and she seems flourishing and a all rounder girl that’s gets all the attention, hence you perceive that she does not need Jesus in her life?
Or annoying because (this is my favorite) square and uncool, always sucking up to people
Some of you need to see people like “sheep without a shepherd”
Some of view your friends as they are too cool they don’t need Jesus
Some you view or brand your friends are like untouchable because they got it all:
- He or she is the class president
- Leader of cheer leading team
- She is captain of the netball team
- They are grass or flower of the school
- Star of this star of that
- His father is multi-millionaire
Hence they DON”T NEED GOD?
And that is your perception!
Some of you, God has intended for you to talk to your friend about Jesus, but it is your perception that is keeping you back. Because your perception that tells you that your friends are so cool that they won’t give you the time of the day. But the truth is that it is the most popular people that are most hurting!
KW, arguably the most infamous and notorious young person in my school and in my class, he is famous because of the rumors saying he has been to boys home when he was young and now he is currently in the hottest gang possible that KILLS people. At that time I was just a new Christian going about my day, being a sucker to the hot jocks and do my mediocre evangelism with friends who are really close to me. I was the kind of guy that carries bag for my friends, all my friends actually whenever we go for some fun at the basketball court.
As I was sharing the 4SL one day with one of my classmates, and he came along behind, I tell you at that time fear brush across my shoulders. He JUMPED on me and my friend and shouted “Wah HOLY HOLY ah, so pastor Ian, tell me leh, tell me more about Jesus” (All this in a joking mode and jeering kinda atmosphere.) My perception got to me “This guy is going to kill you” so I giggled my way out of my classroom and left my friend for dead with him. Anyway subsequently, every time I tried to share 4SL or some biblical truths to my classmates, he will be there and the same scenario repeats it self. It happens quite a lot time throughout our education time.
This year perhaps the earlier half, after a night session of teaching at Ps Tiak’s house, our cell went for supper at the nearby market. Behold! I see this guy in long sleeves rather smart, and really familiar, it is the Killer of my class…funny how perception can last…wrong perception. I went up to him and do the long time no see kinda thing. Next thing I know, this guy says, “Maybe you won’t believe it but I am attending church now.” Then suddenly he said, “Do you still share Christ like you do in class? Hope you are? I apologize for the way I’ve jeered and treated you. Sincerely, I wanted to know about what you were talking about always when you talk about God” Most infamous and notorious person in my secondary school. At times I struggled with the perception that he is popular and that he has it all and stuff, he wouldn’t want…… No he would and he wanted and he needed, but my perception was “Oh that’s KW, I better move aside”
No…that is a sheep without a shepherd!
Sheep are prone to wander with no shepherd
Sheep will be prone to getting lost without a shepherd
Jesus likens people today to “sheep”. Not to offend you, but sheep is not one of the smartest animals. Sheep are some of the amazing animals that respond to quality time!
I was reading from a website, shared with Danny as well. This website was titled “Ten Commandments of Raising Sheep” They were saying that sheep are some of the most loving and rewarding farm animals when you give them quality time!
Jesus likens you to a sheep!
People need leaders. Do you know what a shepherd is? He or she is a herdsman, a gatherer. You know what we need today? Young people who has a God perception that their class mates, cca mates, school mates, neighbors, friends and people in the community are sheep who needs a leader and you who are willing to say “I will be the leader!”
I am looking for shepherds in this youth ministry, people who will gather people around them.
Jesus almost went on vacation or rest with the disciples on the boat to a deserted place, multitudes came. They arrive before them and Jesus gets off the boat and looks at the people and goes “Sheep……Sheep……Oh Sheep”
Sheep? They need shepherd. “SO” the bible said He taught them many things, spending quality time. How do you see people, how do you see people in your school? How do you see? 1st See that we need to change is to see people as like sheep without a shepherd. We are Christians folks, we are called to love people and to see what our God sees.
2) We got to see what we have
37But 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?" 38But He said to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”
“Go and See” a 2nd perception we need to get right!
You must see that your gifts and talents are something that God desires to use.
The disciples came back, “well we found a kid with five loaves of flat bread and two guppies! That’s all!”
You know what happened? Jesus didn’t even say anything! He didn’t say that Oh that’s good, that’s alright, that’s cool, oh no or oh wow! All he said was “Tell the people to sit down!” “But God” “Tell them to sit down”
Now give me your five loaves and two fishes. He takes it!
Listen to what He says. Jesus says “go and see what you have!”
[JOHN F KENNEDY]
The late President of United States, Mr. John F. Kennedy said in one of his good speeches this, “It is not what the country can do for you, but what you can do for your country!”
If there is anything I can do in this youth ministry, it would be to teach each and every one of you that there is something you have, God wants to use! The worst thing a youth ministry could do is to believe that it is me or couple of people that is on stage, making all this happen.
Young people, it does not work like that. God did not set up His church for this to happen! My only job here or your leaders here is to encourage you and empower you and give you the tools to do it!
Please, if you are looking for a youth ministry where you can come be “Entertained” or you think I am your private entertainer for the evening, GO to Pasir Ris! Pastor Joyce of Riverlife church is there, she isn’t an entertainer too, so you have to make a left turn to downtown east, where some of the entertainers are.
My job is not an entertainer, so is with the leaders. My job here is to give you tools to go do, what God calls you to do!
You got something God wants, you know that?
Teen: Ian, what do you mean?
Ian: You got something God wants.
Teen: You don’t know me.
Ian: Maybe I don’t what you got?
Teen: Nothing, I don’t have a dad.
Ian: Well what happened?
Teen: I don’t know. I have never met my dad. My dad left my mom and I grew up living with my mom for my whole life…… What do you mean I have something that God wants?
Ian: You have something that God wants!
Teen: Wow…I mean I am shy and don’t even like to talk in front of people. Well so I don’t have anything there.
Ian: What else you got?
Teen: Mom don’t have enough money, she goes on two jobs just to struggle to pay for the bills.
Ian: Alright, I’ll pray for you on that one.
Teen: Thanks, we need it.
Ian: Cool, what else you’ve got?
Teen: I don’t know, not much. I don’t even get good grades.
Ian: Alright, you don’t have a brain. What else you’ve got? What you like to do?
Teen: I don’t know
Ian: I mean when you are chilling out or passing time, what do you do?
Teen: Well, I have a yellow pad and I like to draw and stuff.
Ian: What do you draw?
Teen: Characters and things in my head.
Ian: Are you good?
Teen: I don’t know. Some of my friends think I am.
Ian: Maybe God wants to use that.
YOU GOT SOMETHING GOD WANTS! If I could convince you, if Brighton Youth Ministry could convince you that you got something that God wants, we can change
You give God’s representatives what you got and guess who is God’s representatives in your life is?
ME and your leaders! Let us know what you got…and we will put it to use.
What can you offer?
What can you do?
What do you enjoy?
You don’t know what they are? Jesus says “Go and See” Go and discover what you are good at! And don’t ever say to me that you are good for nothing…SHUT UP…I mean be quiet! That is not true…You are good for something young people. You got talent or something and we will find that talent!
I am on a talent search here!
Forget American Idol, Singapore Idol or Superstar or whatever that is…Forget it
I am on a talent search,
I am not going to sell your body
I am not going to sell your voice
You are going to sell out for JESUS CHRIST and find true fulfillment
If you are willing to say “Okay God this is what I am good at.” God will use it. We can use it in this youth ministry. Go and See.
2nd perception we need to get right is that we need to realize that your giftings and talents are something God wants to use to work a miracle. What does Jesus say? Jesus says “You give them something” [Mk6:37] every body got something.
What does 2 Timothy says when Paul was writing to Timothy?
6Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. [NKJV]
6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. [NIV]
So we got the gift now what is standing in our way? The spirit of fear and timidity that speaks like this:
“No lah, I can’t sing well”
“Cannot lah kay I’m lousy, cannot be leader”
“Sure or not, me good in coming up with games”
Or worst still “I don’t know leh I don’t know”
Wait a minute! Where is all this coming from? It is evident in this verse that we are to acknowledge our gifts from God, fanning it to flame, stirring it, developing it then having power, love and self discipline to fuel it, to propel your gift into full bloom, because now it is only a flame as the bible indicates.
So why Paul told little Tim that God did not give us a spirit of fear or timidity? I mean he could just encourage him by just saying God gave us a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline. Why? Because at that time, Timothy was suffering from what youths of this age suffer…LACK OF CONFIDENCE…lack of confidence was a serious problem for Timothy. Go read about it.
Young person, “Lack of Confidence” is one of the lies Satan has been using on us, ever since he took over Destroying Youths Ministry. He needs to kill off young budding giftings in you; otherwise it will endanger his evil plan to take your friends with him.
Who wants to stop that evil plan raise your hands? Then you need to go and see what you have then step out of the road block called “lack of confidence” and give to your ministry for God, for your friends out there! Be strong in your gift!
RECAP: Perceptions we need to get right
1) we got to see people as sheep without a shepherd
2) we got to see what we have
. 41And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves
3) We got to see that He is the source
Perception that we need to change or get right, is to see that He is the source of anything that we still lack.
So Ian, do you think we have something that we still lack in this ministry to reach 10000 or just 120 by the end of this year? I will say “Ya”
Talk about other sources “then we need to bring in…”
2) Play station and X box, we need to get “Halo”
3) Bring in Sylvester and Taufik or Beckham if we have a budget
4) Play movies…Lord of the Rings and
5) Rock bands that says "God Bless" at the end of concert and we think they are Chirstians.
You see Ian, this is how they think, I mean we lack resources so we better go out there and get other resources so that we can reach young people today and young people, what they really need is this relevant scene, so that we can relate to them by
1) wear Britney spears tee shirts
2) play the apprentice, or the OC, Your mama C
3) play American idol songs
4) Hang up cool posters of current bands, cool girls, J Lo so Low
And we will look totally HIP!!!
No! That is not my source. My source is God and God only. Those are not my source! I am alright with some video games; I am alright with some Godly pure entertainment which perhaps some short programs. But that that is not my source. My source is God. He is the ultimate source for creativity and reaching young people with His gospel and His word.
God is our Source, can we feed 10000? Of course we can and we will, but our perception has to change.
Ian, how do I change my perception?
Every time Jesus broke bread in the New Testament, every time He broke bread, He was not just dealing with food; He is dealing with “perception change.” TAKE, EAT, THIS IS MY BODY BROKEN FOR YOU! He broke the bread in front of 10000 people then later He taught about “I am the bread of Life” With brokenness, comes revelation and understanding. [Altar call/Music team]
Young people, if you would learn to humble yourself before God, God will show you things you got to see and see it right! We need to “REPENT” Go back to God’s perspective and God’s perception.
Can we feed 10000? Oh yes because now we can see people like sheep, and giftings in us that God wants to use and our Heavenly Father as our source.