WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 14, 2022
TOPIC: AVOID WASTEFULNESS
BY T. O. BANSO
“So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, ‘Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.’ Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten” (John 6:12-13 New King James Version).
The supernatural multiplication of five barley loaves and two small fish by Jesus to feed 5,000 men, besides women and children is the only miracle performed by Jesus Christ that is recorded in all the Gospels – Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; and John 6:1-14.
Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4). Nevertheless, man still needs bread for survival. That was why Jesus didn’t feed the people with only spiritual food; He also fed them with physical food. You won’t lack both spiritual and physical food in Jesus’ name.
Jesus miraculously multiplied a boy’s meal of five barley loaves and two small fish which he had given to Andrew, one of Jesus’ disciples. Andrew gave it to Jesus as the only food available, noting that it was not enough for the huge crowd.
Prior to this, Jesus had asked Philip where they could buy bread to feed the crowd and he had replied, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little” (John 6:7 New King James Version). New Century Version puts it like this: “Someone would have to work almost a year to buy enough bread for each person to have only a little piece.” However, Jesus multiplied the same supposedly insufficient food and fed 5,000 men with it, besides women and children.
But after everybody had eaten to satisfaction, Jesus didn’t allow the broken pieces that were left to be wasted. “So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, ‘Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.’ Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten” (John 6:12-13 New King James Version). The number of baskets of broken pieces gathered was also a miracle. Twelve baskets!
That instruction of Jesus to gather the broken pieces so that nothing would be wasted is very important. On another occasion when He fed 4,000 with seven loaves of bread, seven large baskets of broken pieces that were left were gathered (Matthew 15:37; Mark 8:20). Nothing was wasted.
Many people pray for abundance, and when God answers them, some squander it. After that, they return to God in prayer and fasting and run from one prayer programme to the other for another miracle of abundance! Proverbs 21:20 says, “There is desirable treasure, and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders it” (New King James Version). Also, Proverbs 13:23 says, “Much food is in the fallow ground of the poor, and for lack of justice there is waste” (New King James Version).
How you use what God has blessed you with is very important. Wastefulness is one of the reasons some don’t prosper. God doesn’t want to keep subsidizing people’s foolish misuse of the resources He has blessed them with. God is not a prodigal or wasteful Father; don’t be a prodigal or wasteful son.
Luke 15:13-14 says after the prodigal son had travelled to a distant land and wasted all his money on wild living, his money ran out, and because of a great famine that swept over the land, he began to starve. Be a good steward of God’s provision and blessings if you don’t want to starve. Don’t waste money, food, water, fuel, electricity, opportunities, etc. Use everything judiciously. Sometimes, to avoid wastefulness, you must reduce, reuse, or recycle some things.
Repent of wastefulness today. Don’t be like that steward who wasted the goods of his employer and he decided to sack him (Luke 16:1-2). Use wisely what belongs to you and what belongs to others. Don’t be wasteful just because something is not yours. Be faithful in handling what belongs to others. Luke 16:12 says, “And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (New King James Version).
Do you use your time wisely? This is very important. Some people waste time through laziness. “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep-So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man” (Proverbs 6:6-11 New King James Version). Don’t be slothful. Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger (Proverbs 19:15).
Other people waste time through procrastination. Ecclesiastes 11:4 says, “He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap” (New King James Version). Do the right thing at the right time. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. Procrastination is not only the thief of time; it is also the thief of destiny!
God gives you time to fulfil your purpose on earth. “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12 New King James Version). A time waster is a life waster. Don’t waste your time or the time of others. Good planning will help you to make judicious use of time.
You don’t have all the time in the world time to do everything. Therefore, don’t dabble in everything. Find out what God wants you to do and do it at the right time. Face the work that has been assigned to you at work, at home, or anywhere else and avoid any distraction. “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17 new King James Version).
Colossians 4:5 says you should walk in wisdom toward unbelievers, redeeming the time i.e. making the most of every opportunity. Don’t waste time. Make hay while the sun shines. Time and tide wait for no man.
Avoid all forms of wastefulness.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and was raised on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of my wastefulness in the past. I receive divine wisdom to be judicious in the use of my time and what God has blessed me with. I will not waste the time of others or what belongs to them. I shall walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time. I shall not be unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is in Jesus’ name. I pray, Father, that You will help others to stop wastefulness in every area of their lives and not squander the resources You have given them.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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