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Christianity 103: Meet Needs      Luke 9:10-17, 37-43a
(HCSB)       April 15, 2012

Introduction

      It is the goal of these lessons to guide new Christians to grow in their understand of the Christian faith. It is fun to hear some expressions made by new Christians that may not be entirely correct but share the faith of the new believer. Their faith is so fresh and very encouraging. A man who had been a terrible drunk received Christ. Some man asked him if he believed Jesus really changed water to wine? He answered, “well he changed wine to food and clothes at my house.” Simple answers based on our salvation many times brilliantly answers critics. Christians should try to meet legitimate needs as the Lord directs. 

 

1.   Meet Needs As You . . Think about People’s Needs. 9:10-12 

       A.   Think about People’s Needs and . . Welcome them for Ministries. 9:10-11

       10 When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus all that they had done. He took them along and

       withdrew privately to a town called Bethsaida. 11 When the crowds found out, they followed Him. He

       welcomed them, spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and cured those who needed healing.

 

       B.   Think about People’s Needs and . . Warn them about Shortages of Food. 9:12

12 Late in the day, the Twelve approached and said to Him, “Send the crowd away, so they can go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find food and lodging, because we are in a deserted place here.”


       Jesus tried to get away with His disciples but the crowds pursued Him. Jesus put aside His training and welcomed the people and spoke to them about the kingdom. Some of the teaching He wanted to do with His disciples got accomplished at the same time. We can learn from that as we allow Him to lead us in ministry that gives training and meets needs all at once. The disciples warned the Lord of the food needs of the crowd; not knowing what the Lord had in mind. At least one of the disciples cared about physical needs while meeting spiritual concerns. It seems the Christian community always has people gifted this way and the church needs to recognize that gift.

 

2.   Meet Needs As You . . Take Action To Meet People’s Needs. 9:13-17

       A.   Take Action to Meet People’s Needs and . . Follow the Lord’s Direction. 9:13-15

       13 “You give them something to eat,” He told them. “We have no more than five loaves and two fish,” they

       said, “unless we go and buy food for all these people.” 14 (For about 5,000 men were there.) Then He told

       His disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about 50 each.” 15 They did so, and had them all sit down.

 

       B.   Think about People’s Needs and Let them Be . . Filled. 9:16-17

       16 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them. He

       kept giving them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 Everyone ate and was filled. Then they picked

       up 12 baskets of leftover pieces.


       As the disciples obeyed the Lord’s command they had to wonder how is this going to work so that this crowd can be fed? Do we ever bring into our thoughts the physical and material side of ministry rather than simply following the Lord’s direction? On one occasion I asked a group at Wednesday Prayer Meeting what does this church do by faith. One deacon answered very little if anything. Would you like to see what the church could do if they simple asked God and then followed the direction? I have on occasions enjoyed

standing back and being able to say, “God did it.” When we follow by faith we will receive a fullness only God can give.


 

 

3.   Meet Needs As You . . Trust the Lord. 9:37-43a

       A.   Trust the Lord To . . Meet People’s Needs. 9:37-

       37 The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met Him.

       38 Just then a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, because he’s my only

       child. 39 Often a spirit seizes him; suddenly he shrieks, and it throws him into convulsions until he foams

       at the mouth; wounding him, it hardly ever leaves him.

       40 I begged Your disciples to drive it out, but they couldn’t.”

       41 Jesus replied, “You unbelieving and rebellious generation! How long will I be with you and put up with

       you? Bring your son here.”

 

       B.   Trust the Lord To . . Minister According to the Need. 9:42-43

42 As the boy was still approaching, the demon knocked him down and threw him into severe convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, cured the boy, and gave him back to his father. 43 And they were all astonished at the greatness of God.


       All of us need lessons in how to trust the Lord. I think I learn by hearing stories from others in ministry as well as I do from books. Of course scripture builds a base for trust and clarifies whether stories and experiences are really of the Lord. Today there are people who build on experiences rather than faith and the lessons gained from a spiritual walk with the Lord. When we really meet people’s needs and minister as the Lord directs; needs are met and we learn anew how to trust the Lord.