Look, sometime in your life, somewhere you’ve probably run into a waiter or waitress with a stinky attitude; maybe even two or three. But a lot of times you can’t blame them totally, if you see the way a lot of them get treated in a day’s time. They’re not America’s best treated people unfortunately. Maybe that’s why I’ve made it sort of a personal crusade to brighten their day a little bit by remembering their name, smiling, saying thanks and sometimes even goofing off with the server a little bit. Sometimes, when they come back during the meal they ask, “How is everything?”, and I’ll say, “Oh, wonderful! You’re a great cook!” It’s always fun to watch their response. Usually they just stop cold for a minute. Sometimes they’ll laugh; sort of embarrassed, you know, and they’ll say, “Oh, I don’t cook it!” I know that. They’re delivering what someone else created!
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Only Delivering.”
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Luke 9:13. The disciples are about to be part of the miracle of feeding 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish. But the way Jesus involves them will show them a lifetime lesson-for them, and for us. They had just pointed out the problem: it’s time to eat, there’s a huge crowd, and there’s no food in sight. “Jesus replied, ‘You give them something to eat.'” Right! Well, they did their best. They found that one little lunch.
Verse 16: “Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke them. Then He gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.” Question: Did that miracle come from those disciples? No way. They could have never produced food for 5,000 people. But they did hand it out…like that waitress with my lunch that she didn’t cook. No, that miracle that day came through the disciples.
That’s how it works with anything you accomplish for Christ’s kingdom. When the Corinthian church was getting all focused on Paul and Apollos and making heroes out of them, Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:5 that they were “only servants through whom you came to believe.” And that’s the power preposition of serving Jesus-through! It comes through you, not from you. Jesus creates it and just delivers it through you.
Which makes two attitudes toward assignments for God totally inexcusable. The first one is pride. Its God’s working. And when you forget that, He’ll just work through someone else who doesn’t steal the glory that belongs to Him alone. If I tell the waiter how great this meal is, he can’t really say, “Thank you. I did it myself.” The credit belongs to the cook. The server only delivered it. When it comes to God, you better make sure the right person is getting all the glory.
But the second unworthy attitude is pleading inadequacy as a reason for not doing what God wants you to do. I order an omelet; the waitress doesn’t say, “I can’t cook that!” Her capabilities aren’t the issue here; it’s what the cook can do that counts! Your ability, your adequacy is not the issue in serving Christ: it is His ability through you!
You do what those disciples did the day they were powerless to meet the needs of that hungry crowd-just make yourself available to God to send His resources through you. Make your hands, your feet, your eyes, your ears, your mouth, your personality, your possessions available to the Master. At that point you know what happens? It gets super-naturalized; something through which Jesus can love people, reach people, and change people.
There’s something that God is preparing right now that He wants you to deliver to someone. Next time you feel like bragging about it or copping out, remember-you don’t cook it. You just deliver it.