• Doug Burroughs

Another Word on Renewables (How to do more with less)

re·new·a·ble| rəˈn(y)o͞oəb(ə)l |
adjective 1 (of a contract, agreement, etc.) capable of being renewed: the 30-day truce is renewable by mutual agreement.
2 (of a natural resource or source of energy) not depleted when used: a shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
noun (usually renewables) a source of energy that is not depleted by use, such as water, wind, or solar power: production costs for the renewables are higher than for coal, oil, or gas.


There is a lot of talk about renewables these days, especially in energy circles. The push behind this is where do you find something that won't run out, that is continuous and never depleted?


Jesus had something to say about renewables and the kingdom of God is full of examples. His viewpoint, and indeed the nature of the kingdom, is that renewables start not with the resource in the natural, but with the kingdom that is behind the creation.


(Note: what I am about to teach requires an open heart and mind to who Jesus is, and what He brought in His kingdom. Miracles and mindsets will be explored.)


Let's set the scene here and then pick up the Biblical recorded dialogue:


The disciples had not just witnessed, but recently participated in two jaw dropping miracles: the feeding of over five thousand people with five loaves and two fish, and more recently the feeding of over four thousand people with seven loaves and a few fish. Think of it, food, being a non-renewable item, was multiplied en masse, in a world ruled by Newtonian physics. Once consumed, it does not come back. Yet, here Jesus blessed the bread and it multiplied in applications over and over again!


Now, the disciples get into two boats with Jesus. It records that they have one loaf of bread between the two boats. And it is here that we pick up the dialogue.


Mark 8:14-21 (ESV)

Now they had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”
And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread.
And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread?
Do you not yet perceive or understand?
Are your hearts hardened?
Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember?
When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.”
And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”

Now I broke up the scripture on purpose, to slow us down to consider each of the areas. Let's look at them now.

And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”

Jesus was still thinking through His encounter with the Pharisees where they demanded a sign from Him and His dealings with Herod's overreach governmentally. His statement means this, "Beware the religious influence and that of political influence. One seeks defamation and murder and the other seeks withdrawal and non engagement until it suits them, managing image and control over real engagement.

And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread.

Talk about a Three Stooges moment. It happens to all of us, we "think" we heard correctly and rather than release curiosity and ask a couple of questions, we come to conclusions and head off on tangents. They were clearly far afield from what Jesus was communicating, so He changed the subject to accommodate them and this "teaching" moment.

And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread?

Dialogizomai is the word here for discuss. It means to weave in a discussion a logical, reasonable path. They started with a problem and ended no where. The used human reason, you know, what James spoke of in his epistle, "James 3:15 (ESV) This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic." If you begin with the problem, pray from the problem and reason from the problem, you will only end up with more problems, even unintended. If you begin with the wisdom from above, where the solution lies, you will have a different outcome. James 3:17 (ESV) But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.


Do you not yet perceive or understand?

Do they not yet have a mind that is renewed that has the ability to see into the kingdom of God, or are they not yet able to synthesize, or put it all together, what they are seeing, experiencing and being a part of?

Are your hearts hardened?

Is your seat of understanding and engaging with God hard, callous, dull, and has lost the power of understanding?

Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember?

Why aren't you observing, listening and remembering? In other words, you saw but have no insight. You hear but don't really listen for understanding, and you don't keep these things in your mind to be able to call them back to you? He is reminding them of the power of the testimony. We can gain insight from the miracles we encounter. Remember, they are called signs and wonders - they point to something to make us reconsider our point of view in life. We can understand the things we have heard about or are taught and we can call to mind, as an aid, the workings of God in other areas.

See, hear, remember!

When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.”

The greater the need, the greater the provision! Five thousand with fewer resources produced more abundance than four thousand and greater resource. God is not limited by need because He always lives in abundance. He doesn't see problems, He sees opportunities.

And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”

He again asks, "Can you not add things up?" The truth is that lack does not exist in the kingdom. Through a renewed mind, we should be able not just to see, hear and cogitate on the things of the kingdom, but to be a broker of that greater reality into this lesser reality. In short, we are able to both pray, "Your kingdom come and your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven", and to demonstrate that reality in our daily lives in Jesus.

What does this mean to us?

How's that budget for gas going right now? For some of you, it isn't a nuisance, but an encroachment on your ability to make a living. Well, could God make you car consume gas differently? Could He "make the gauge needle be stuck" on full? What about money, do you remember the story I told you about Chuck Parry and need two hundred more than what they had in their wallet? What else is short? Where else are the opportunities for God to move? It will take a renewed mind and an ability to see, hear and remember to enter into a different head and heart space the next time there is more month than money! But you can do this, you were born for the impossible! This is why you were created and were saved into His kingdom! The impossible must bow to the kingdom in Jesus' name!

The best renewable is the One that created everything in the first place, a relationship with God and a commission in His kingdom!





 






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