WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 25, 2021
TOPIC: DON’T DESPISE WHAT YOU HAVE
BY T. O. BANSO
“One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, ‘There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?’” (John 6:8-9 New King James Version).
Don’t despise anything good that you have, whether it is knowledge, talents, spiritual gifts, or whatever God has blessed you with. With God, little is much. Jonathan told his armour bearer nothing hinders God to save by many or by few (1 Samuel 14:6). The two of them went to the camp of the Philistines and God used them to defeat the enemy before they were joined by the rest of Israel’s army.
In 2 Kings 4:1-7, there is a popular story that shows that nobody should despise anything good he has, no matter how little it seems. In the story, the prophet Elisha asked the widow of one of the sons of the prophet what she had in the house. That was when she ran to him for help because the creditor was coming to take her two sons to be his slaves in lieu of the debt owed by her dead husband. She told Elisha she had nothing except a jar of oil.
Thank God, she mentioned that jar of oil to the prophet. It was the same oil she obviously regarded as insignificant that God used to perform the miracle that liberated her from debt and poverty. The oil in the jar kept flowing into the empty vessels she had borrowed and never finished until there were no more vessels to fill. The woman came back to report to the man of God what had happened, and he told her to go and sell the oil, pay her debt, and, together with her sons, live on the rest. Don’t despise what you have.
When the LORD called Gideon to deliver the Israelites from the seven-year captivity of the Midianites, he told God he was the wrong man for the job! “So he said to Him, ‘O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house. And the LORD said to him, ‘Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man’” (Judges 6:15-16 New King James Version).
Gideon despised himself. He felt he had nothing to offer. But there was something in him that God wanted to use. Don’t despise what you have. This is different from putting your trust in yourself instead of putting your trust in God. The focus here is appreciating what God has given you and using it. Don’t despise what you have, even if it appears insignificant and is not what the world is excited about at the moment.
When the LORD took Gideon to the camp of the Midianites, he heard a man sharing his dream with his companion. He said he saw a loaf of barley bread tumbling down into the Midianites’ camp, hitting the tent, turning it over, and knocking it flat (Judges 7:13). His companion’s interpretation of the dream was that God had given Gideon victory over the Midianites.
Gideon was that loaf of barley bread! A loaf of barley bread was inferior to a loaf of wheat bread. Yet, God chose an inferior loaf of bread (Gideon) to defeat the Midianites. God reduced Israel’s army from 32,000 men to 10,000, and finally to 300 so that the credit for the victory would not be given to the army. With just 300 soldiers, God defeated the Midianites’ strong army that far outnumbered Israel’s army.
Don’t despise what you have. Don’t look down on what God has made available to you or given you. In John 6, Jesus asked one of His disciples, Philip, where they would buy bread to give to the multitude who had come to listen to Him to eat. He was only testing Him; He knew what He would do. The substance of Philip’s response was that it would cost so much to feed the multitude and where would they get the money?
At that point, another disciple, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?” (John 6:9 New King James Version). Andrew despised the lad’s food, because it was insignificant, considering the multitude to be fed. But thank God he brought the lad’s food to the attention of Jesus.
What Andrew despised was what Jesus multiplied and used to feed the multitude, with men alone numbering about 5,000. The disciples gathered 12 baskets of leftovers after the multitudes had eaten.
1 Corinthians 1:27 says God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty. Verse 28 says, “God chose things despised by the world, things they counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important” (New Living Translation).
Don’t despise what you have. Release to God what He has given you; let Him use it the way He deems fit. Don’t be like that servant who buried the one talent (money) he was given instead of investing it like the two other servants did (Matthew 25:14-30). What is important is not how many talents you were given, but investing what you’ve been given. Trust God to use for His purpose what He has given you.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that 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 resurrected 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 will not despise what You have given me. I will give it back to You to use for Your purpose; I will use it by faith to Your glory.
(For over 600 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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