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More Than Enough but Nothing Wasted

John 6:12-13
When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted." So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. (NIV)

Jesus had just fed 5,000 people from five small bread rolls and two dried fish! He had the power to multiply the food so that there was enough for everybody. The twelve trainee apostles had the joyful task of distributing the food, but their work was not yet over. Jesus then asked them to collect all the left-over fragments of food; when they returned, each of them had filled a basket.

Jesus fed the people, and there was also plenty for the disciples too. But His instruction to them to gather the remaining food was not just to feed their stomachs, but also to feed their hearts and  minds. John wanted to stress that this was a real physical miracle; so real that everybody had enough, and there was still some left over. But Jesus also wanted the disciples to know that there was no waste in His abundant provision. It was a lesson to carry with them into challenging ministry after Jesus had returned to heaven.

God never wastes anything. All the experiences, triumphs and tragedies of the past can all be used by God when they are transformed by His grace. When He works in our lives, He does a million miracles to take us from where we were, in our sin and need, to make us be to 'the praise of His glory'. Whenever God starts to work, look out to see that there is so much left over of His love and grace, because He wants us to put it all to good use. Jesus is in the business of transformation and multiplication. He can and will take even the worst of sinners, like the Apostle Paul, and turn them into saints who dare to suffer ... and even that suffering is not wasted. God will use it all.

Dear Lord. Thank You that You see everything and know how to ensure that nothing is wasted. I am sorry when I have wasted what You have given to me because I have not allowed it to be transformed. Please help me to let You do Your work in my life so that You can do amazing things with everything I surrender to You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams