WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 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).
Many times, people don’t value what they have. Many people value what they lack than what they have. Therefore, they try everything, godly or ungodly, to get what they lack. Also, some people don’t value what they have until they lose it. As a child of God, appreciate what you have. Value what God has given you. Don’t despise what you have, no matter how little or insignificant it appears to be.
This should start with your appreciation of God in your life. Don’t despise God; value your relationship with God and everything that relates to God. Unfortunately, many people despise God even those who claim to have a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.
In Malachi 1:6, God accused the priests in Israel of despising His name. Also, in 1 Samuel 2:30, God told Eli the priest that those who honour Him He would honour, and those who despise Him shall be lightly esteemed. Proverbs 3:11 says we should not despise the chastening of the LORD or detest His correction. Don’t despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering (Romans 2:4).
Don’t despise God or your relationship with Him. Honour Him. Don’t despise the things that have to do with God, including His Word and prophecies. It is a lack of understanding of this that makes some people value money more than the Word of God! Money cannot do everything. Also, 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 says we should not despise prophecies; we should test all things and hold fast what is good.
This subject extends to your relationship with the servants of God. They are gifts that God gave to the body of Christ. Don’t despise them. You need them. While correcting the Galatians for their changed attitude to him, Paul wrote, “You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first. And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus” (Galatians 4:13-14 New King James Version).
Writing to the Corinthians concerning Timothy, a minister and his son in the ministry, Paul said, “And if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do. Therefore let no one despise him. But send him on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I am waiting for him with the brethren” (1 Corinthians 16:10-11 New King James Version). He also told Timothy not to allow anyone to despise his youth, but to be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity (1 Timothy 4:12).
Don’t despise any servant of God no matter the condition in which he is. Don’t make fun of any servant of God as those forty-two youths in Bethel did, mocking Elisha. He cursed them in the name of the LORD and two she-bears came out of the woods and put them to death (2 Kings 2:23-24).
Unfortunately, some church members honour guest ministers but despise their pastors who labour over them always. They become familiar with their pastors because they see them often. This is not right. It is also wrong to despise your biological parents (Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16; Matthew 15:4, 19:19; Mark 7:10; 10:19; Luke 18:20; Ephesians 6:2; Proverbs 23:22). Don’t do that no matter what happens.
Some husbands and wives despise their spouses until they lose them. Don’t despise what you have. It could be your skills, knowledge, talents, spiritual gifts, money, or whatever God has blessed you with even if you consider it small. With God, little is much.
Jonathan told his armour bearer that nothing hinders God to save either 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 Philistines before they were joined by the rest of Israel’s army.
In 2 Kings 4:1-7, the Bible tells us a story that shows that nobody should despise what he has, no matter how little it seems. In the story, 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 place of the money her dead husband owed. She told Elisha she had nothing except a jar of oil.
Thank God she mentioned that jar of oil to the prophet. It the same oil she regarded as insignificant that God used to do the miracle that delivered her from debt and poverty. It kept on 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 she and her sons should live on the rest. Don’t despise what you have.
When the LORD called Gideon to deliver the Israelites from the 12-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 talking about putting trust in yourself instead of God. I am talking about 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 that 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 interpreted the dream to mean 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. Barley was the food for slaves, the very poor, and horses. It was despised, yet God chose this 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 victor would not be given to the strength of the army. With just 300 soldiers, God defeated the Midianites’15,000 strong army!
In 2 Chronicles 25:5-12, Amaziah was not satisfied with his army of 300,000 select troops, choice men who were able to go to war. They could handle spear and shield. But apparently, Amaziah didn’t believe he could win the war against Edom with them. Therefore, he decided to hire 100,000 experienced fighting men – mercenaries – from Israel, a kingdom God was not pleased with at that time.
Amaziah had already paid the mercenaries 7,500 pounds of silver for the services they would render. When Amaziah told the man of God sent to warn him not to go to war with these mercenaries as Judah would be defeated, he asked him what would happen to the money he had paid for the services of the mercenaries. The man of God answered, “The Lord is able to give you much more than this!” (Verse 9b New King James Version). God was able to give him more than the 7,500 pounds of silver (one hundred talents of silver) he had paid. Obedience to God was more important than the money he had paid.
Amaziah forfeited the money he had paid the mercenaries, and God gave him victory with the 300,000 soldiers that he felt were insufficient to win the war. “Then Amaziah strengthened himself, and leading his people, he went to the Valley of Salt and killed ten thousand of the people of Seir. Also the children of Judah took captive ten thousand alive, brought them to the top of the rock, and cast them down from the top of the rock, so that they all were dashed in pieces” (verses 11-12 New King James Version).
With God, what you despised can become something significant. What you consider insufficient can become sufficient. Amaziah’s underrated or despised army won the war. Don’t despise what you have. Don’t look down on what God has made available to 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 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 them.
At that point, “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). Andrew despised the lad’s food because it was insignificant considering the multitude to be fed. But thank God he brought this to the attention of Jesus.
What Andrew despised was what Jesus used to feed the multitude with men alone numbering about 5,000. The disciples gathered 12 baskets of fragments after the multitudes had eaten to their satisfaction.
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. Don’t despise what you have. Release to God what He has given you; let Him use it the way He deems fit. Trust God to use for His purpose what He has given you.
You may be concerned about your weaknesses but consider the grace of God which can make these insignificant. Trust in the grace of God. Don’t despise yourself because of what you cannot do especially when God has commanded you to do it.
The apostle Paul said this about the thorn in his flesh which he prayed to God thrice to remove: “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 New King James Version).
The grace of God will make you sufficient where your inadequate abilities, money, or other resources would want you to despise yourself. Someone could have what naturally is required to succeed yet fail. Paul said, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5 New King James Version). Trust in the grace of God. Don’t despise what you have.
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 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, thank You for being my most invaluable possession. Thank You for the relationship I have with You through our Lord Jesus Christ. Forgive me in any way I have despised You, Your Word, prophecies, Your servants especially the pastor You have given me. Forgive me in any way I have despised my parents, spouse, and anything that You have blessed me with. Help me, Holy Spirit, to, henceforth, honour God, His Word, and everything that God has given me.
(For about 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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