Aug 21, 2009
August 21, 2009
When You Come Up Short!!!
A Word of Encouragement
My Dear Friends in the Faith:
It was a hot summer day in the city of Beaumont, Texas and Y.M.C.A. was packed. Kids were swimming, running, playing, shooting basketball, and having a blast. The snow cone stand was open and the line was super long. You know, they were serving it up cold on a hot Texas day. At first, the ice was plentious and the syrup was enough for everyone. But, I watched from a distance as near tragedy struck. I noticed the look upon the young ladies face as she made the sad announcement to kids waiting in line for a snow cone, "I'm sorry but we've come up short!"
Now this is not a devotional about snow cones. But, it is one that regards the plight of the human condition. No matter how holy we are, no matter how real we think we are, and no matter how super intelligent we may seem we all come up short. Nixon came up short with Watergate; Reagan came up short with economic equality; Clinton came up short with Monica Lewinsky; and, Bush came up short with Bin Laden (we're still looking for that dude). Darryl Strawberry came up short with drug abuse; Mike Tyson came up short with Lenox Lewis when he dropped him like a bad habit; Tiger Woods came up short by just one putt; Jim and Tammy Faye Baker came up with fraud; Kwame Kilpatrick came up short with purjury, Jessie Jackson came up short with a child born out of wed lock; Michael Vick came up 130 million short for dog fighting; Eliot Spitzer, former Governor of New York came up short with a call girl names Kristen and famous hip hop artist T I (captioned above) came up short on weapons charges and is now serving time. No matter where you look we just keep coming up short.
And, if we were to be honest we come up short all of the time too! Yes, I said YOU!!! We come up short on religion and end up in hypocrisy, we come up short on moral virtue and end up in sin, we come up short on hope and end up in depression, we come up short on love and end in hatred, we come up short on forgiveness and end up holding a grudge, we come up short on humility and end up in pride, we come up short on faith and end up in doubt, we come up short on joy and end up in worry, we come up short on celibacy and end up in fornication, we come up short on marriage and end up in divorce, we come up short on relationships and end up shacking, we come up short on prayer and end up with mega-problems. But, here's the greatest news of the day. Our God specializes with people who have come up short!
The disciples have come up short in the passage. The text says, "When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, there is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would" (St. John 6:5-11, KJV).
Here's the blessed news of the day. If Jesus helped the disciples when they came up short He can and will do the same thing for you and me! So what do you do when you come up short?
First of all, you have to admit it. I once attended an AA meeting with a friend of mine who was receiving a 10 year sobriety chip. I was happy to be in the meeting to celebrate this great victory in his life, but I became offended when I noticed how people introduced themselves. They would stand up and say "Hi I'm Joe and I'm a no good drug addict." And the group would respond, "Hi, Joe!" I was floored. But, after sitting there for a moment I realized that it was religion without pretense and cover up. Can you imagine what church would be like if every Christian were to be honest about who they really were?!!! This passage tells us that both Philip and Andrew admitted their shortage to Jesus. And when they admitted it, He dealt with it for them. All too often we try and cover up our mess ups. But, when you come up short just be real with God and admit it. Okay, it's prayer time right here. If you are reading this devotional, you are human and you have thought some wrong thoughts, said some things that were wrong, gone some places where you should have never been and perhaps even did some things that you were not supposed to do. Stop right now and admit it to the Lord so that He can forgive you!
Secondly, you must let Jesus take it. Can we be real for a moment? You have some things in your life that you need for Jesus to take from you don't you? If your answer was yes here's a word for advice to you, let Jesus take it have it. Don't fight Him just let Him take it. There's a lad in the passage who has a lunch. For years I preached that the little boy gave his lunch to Jesus. But, that is not what the verse says. "...Jesus took the loaves..." Wow! Why would a gracious Lord take his loaves you ask? Jesus knows that the best place for your shortage is in His hands!!! Be careful where you put your shortage. Everyone can't stand knowing the real truth about who you are. But, when you place your short comings in the hands of the Lord you will discover that He takes people who were nothing and makes something out of them! Let Jesus take it!!!
And, lastly, you must let Jesus share it. This is soooo deep! Jesus takes the loaves, blesses the loaves and shares what has been broken. Did you hear that? Jesus shares what has been broken and blessed. One of the reasons why you are still here is because you are not a completed project just yet. You are still yet broken in many ways. But, what God wants to do with your brokenness is use it to become His blessedness by sharing you every chance that He gets. This is why a saint with a story should always tell people what the Lord has done in their lives. Got a question for you. Have you been broken? If you said "yes" I dare you to let your brokenness to be someone elses blessedness! Let the Lord share you and all that He has done for you. In other words, stop making people think that you are prefect. Tell people what God saved you from and what He's done in your life. And, remember this, if you can't tell people what you were before you met Jesus it may be because you are still what you were before you met Him. But, if the Lord has made a difference in your life, tell it!
It was a sad day at the Y.M.C.A. No more ice and the announcement by the young lady that said, "I'm sorry, but we've come up short." Just then a young lady hopped out of line and said "I'm going call my daddy!" She went into the Y grabbed her cell and made a call. Within minutes a black S500 Benz pull up with tinted windos. A nicely dressed gentleman got out and popped his drunk and there it was ice. Not just one cup for his child, but a trunk full of it! It was enough ice for everyone! You see, my friends that's what you do when you come up short. You call your Father in heaven and tell Him what has taken place. And, you may not get ice, but I can promise you He will give you grace! Yes, we all come up short from time to time, but thank God for Jesus who supplies the grace! Without Him we would never ever make it!
Your Friend and His Servant,
Dr. John R. Adolph
1 John 1:10
If we say we have not sinned we make Him a liar and His Word
is not in us.
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