Steven Furtick - Navigating Not Enough
Remain standing. Once you've hugged enough, put those hands together and welcome our eFam all over the world. Hey, everybody. We're about to be out on the road this week for Elevation Nights…Miami, Florida; Tampa, Florida; Knoxville, Tennessee; Atlanta area; Birmingham. Then we're going to Texas. I'm going to get Tim Riggins, and then we're going over to Lubbock, Dallas, and Houston. Elevationnights.com. There are still some tickets in some locations. Don't buy it from a scalper. Don't support that nonsense. We really want to see you there. We're expecting God to do great, amazing things. Clap your hands if you're expecting it. God is good. God is so good, so faithful.
Well, today, this message I have to share with you is one that everybody in the room needs. Sometimes I'll say, "This message is for somebody. I don't know who this is for," but today I know. It's for all y'all. So, look at somebody and say, "You too". (Not the band.) It's going to be good. I'm going to read from Matthew 15:29-38, a familiar story with a twist, and not for the sake of being clever, but for the sake of something that I believe God wants to speak to you today in a fresh way.
Matthew 15:29: "Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, 'I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.' His disciples answered, 'Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?' 'How many loaves do you have?' Jesus asked. 'Seven,' they replied, 'and a few small fish.' He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children".
I'm calling this message today Navigating Not Enough. We've all been there. We will all be there at some point, so I can't think of a more important class to teach today than Navigating Not Enough. Let's just pray one more time for the Holy Spirit to guide us into truth.
Lord, you said that you would do that, that you would lead us and guide us and remind us of the things that matter and teach us the things we need to know. Do that just now for these people, for everybody who will hear this message is navigating something that is not enough, but you are more than enough. So, bring us to that place and space and presence of mind to see you as you are. We give you praise. In Jesus' name, amen.
I made a list in my phone. I'll read it to you. "Time. Money. Sleep. Energy. Friends. Confidence. Opportunity. Authority. Freedom. Flexibility. Discipline. Experience. Joy. Peace. Wisdom". I stopped there with 15 because it's Matthew 15. I thought it would be cool to do 15. Fifteen things that I just said that someone in this room feels like they don't have enough of right now: time, money, sleep, energy, friends, confidence, opportunity, authority, freedom, flexibility, discipline, experience, joy, peace, and wisdom.
Everyone will have to navigate an area of "not enough" in their life. In a way, that comforts me to know that for all of the things I don't feel like I have enough of, there are some things you don't have enough of with your needy self either. It kind of evens the playing field. So, don't be intimidated. Not in here anyway. The ground is level at the foot of the cross. We're all here because we need Jesus, and Jesus is complete. Jesus Christ is complete, fully God, fully man. At the sound of that truth echoes back another truth: in him I am complete. He is enough. I am enough.
Yet there's no shortage of needs in this room. Everyone will have to pass through, in different moments of their life, different facets of this same neighborhood called not enough. We have to talk about how to navigate that, because I have found that not only is the "not enough" thing a battle that never goes away, but it is a battle that never fully gets in balance. What I mean by that is when I read that list of things, there have been seasons in my life where I worked my way into enough of one of them, only to find another one screaming, "Hey! Now that you've got enough money, you don't have any time". Yeah. I thought about this in the area of discipline. I try to be a disciplined person in my life. I need that to stay on track.
Yet I noticed the times in my life where my discipline is really keyed in, sometimes I get so rigid I lose my empathy. I'm doing really good with my disciplines, but I'm mad at everybody else that they aren't as disciplined as me, and now I'm judgy. So, it's good. You know, I've got my macros and my workouts and my Bible time, but it creates a whole other "not enough" over on this side. I don't really want to stay in this too long. I just wanted to set up the idea of not enough.
I realized when I made the title Navigating Not Enough, and God kind of led me to call this message that, that in that title Navigating Not Enough, I am the best one to teach this class because the two biggest fears in my life are both in that title: not enough and navigating. I told you two weeks ago that I have no sense of direction, and I still don't. There has been no supernatural miracle since then. The idea of this passage here… I looked at one verse, and I want to show you again what the disciples said.
Again, a pretty familiar Scripture that I'm sharing with you today. What they said to Jesus when he said, "I want to feed all of these people" I can get with, because in verse 33, they answered, "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd"? We're going to stay with that question for a moment because it's very important. "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd"? Here are my two primary fears in life all in one Bible verse. The first one is the fear of running out, which runs deep for me. I don't know if there's any scarcity mentality in your life or some kind of deficit-oriented way of thinking where you wake up each day at zero.
I don't know if you ever do little fire drills to try to figure out how you could sell everything and live underground or live in a tent somewhere if it came to that. The fear of running out… I cannot explain to you how important it is that my phone is completely charged. Ninety-three percent is not 100 percent. I cannot run out of battery. What would I do if the phone died? I would die. It's a fear that runs from everything from iPhones to sermon material. A lot of times, when I preach too long, it's because I was scared I'd get up here and have nothing to say. So then I went and messed around and studied too long and kept you three hours, but my heart is in the right place.
I don't want you to show up hungry and collapse when you leave because I was watching the game instead. So, I really, really, really relate to this thing of "Where could we get enough"? the fear of running out. Then, what makes it even worse… "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place"? Did you notice that? So, now not only do I not have enough (that's my first fear in life), but I don't know where I am. I need to know where I am, and if I don't know where I am, I need to be with somebody who knows where they are. That's where you're like, "But the disciples had Jesus, so it really didn't matter, because if you've got Jesus, you've always got enough".
Isn't it interesting how confidently you say that about them back then? But if we followed you back into your neighborhood of "not enough…" You know, when you get a little older, you don't even really know if you can depend on your body in the same way that you could. I know I'm not old or anything like that. I'm still vital, but… Y'all, I thought I pulled a muscle when I woke up this morning. I was like, "Oh no"! For about five minutes, I was like, "Who's going to preach"? The worst part was I pulled it yawning, not lifting weights. I wasn't doing yoga or anything. I just yawned, and something popped…just to remind me.
You know, two extremes we get into… When we look at what we don't have and what we need, there is an extreme we go into, which is denial. "No, I'm good. I'm good. I'm good". Until you completely crash. Then the other one is despair where you are so aware of what you don't have that you don't realize what you do have. So, yes, the disciples have Jesus. Yes, he has all knowledge. Yes, he is omniscient, and he was and is and will be all of those things for you, but it does not change the fact that they are in a remote place with limited resource.
Now, that's who I want to speak to today. You are in a remote place with a limited resource. Either of those is scary. Just to be somewhere that is remote… I'm not talking about just physically. You know that. I'm talking about emotional states you've never experienced. I mentioned stages of life you've never experienced. It could even be beyond the psychological. It could be beyond the chronological. It could be that you are dealing with a series, a combination, or a sequence of things that you've never experienced quite like this.
So, I don't have enough, and I don't know where I am. I don't know enough to get where I need to go to get what I need. I don't know where I am, and I don't have what I need. Those are my two biggest nightmares in life, so I decided to preach about it. Navigating Not Enough. If you are under the age of 20, you will never know the terror of navigating by map. Not an app called Maps. Not an interactive, satellite-guided device. Like, a map, map. I went into the gas station yesterday, and I was going to buy one to bring out here and unfold it like an icebreaker for the crowd and say, "Do y'all remember these? Everybody who pulls a muscle when you yawn, do y'all remember these"? They didn't even have a map at the gas station.
What has the world come to? I can't get a map at the gas station. Elijah asked me before he went to college, "How did you used to do it? How did you get anywhere"? I said, "Son, it was traumatic. Your mom isn't great at directions, but she was better than me". When we first moved to Charlotte, it was the biggest city I'd ever lived in. I would go have appointments with people all through the highways and the byways and the mean streets of Weddington, Waxhaw, and Mint Hill. I kid you not. There was not a single meeting I took that I would not end up on the phone with Holly. She would be at the house, and I'd be on the road, and she would be guiding me. The "Holly Spirit" would be guiding me. We just celebrated 21 years of marriage.
I don't know if we would have made it five if we would have kept having to go that way. The thing about us communicating in this way is she had never lived here either, so it all sounded good while she was telling me what to do from the house with the map from two years ago. It changed everything. You know, people say, "I would have loved to have been a disciple and follow Jesus". I wouldn't…back then. You wouldn't either. You might eventually have loved it, but not in the moment. I want you to think about this. They're in a remote place. They're healing people. Who knows how long he's going to keep doing this? It has been three days, and he doesn't seem tired yet, because he's fully God, and now he pulls them to the side.
This is verse 22. It's all well and good as long as he's doing the work, but then he called the disciples to him and said, "I have compassion for these people. They've already been with me…" Now that phrase been with me in the original language of the Bible doesn't just mean they hung out; it means "They've been cleaving to me. They've been staying with me. They've been hanging with me. They've been pulling on me. They've been pressing toward me. They've been receiving from me". Touch somebody really quickly and say, "Stay with him". If you feel crippled in an area of your life, if you feel lame in an area of your life, if you feel blind in an area of your life, if you feel like you're mute in an area of your life, I have some good guidance for you.
Stay with Jesus. Good things happen when you stay with him. I don't think it's a coincidence that they stayed three days. (I read something in the Bible about three days. I was just thinking about that.) It's really wonderful to think about how… You know this thing we say: "Where God guides, he provides". Have you heard that one? I fully attest to that. I fully believe in that. My life is a trophy of the grace of God, that everywhere he has led me he has provided for me. Where God guides, he provides. But the thing that leaves out if you just put it on a bumper sticker… "Where God guides, he provides" …is that, a lot of times, we are guessing about where he's guiding us. I know you don't want to admit it, especially the men, because you don't want to admit you're lost. You'd rather drive in circles for seven years.
I'm not like that. I would call Holly in a heartbeat. I had a girl who could read a map, and I was determined to tap into her full resources. There's no male ego on me. I don't want to be lost. I'm too scared for that. If you get lost enough in your life, you will humble yourself to the point where you'll say, "Well, I don't normally like to ask for help. I don't like to admit I've never done this before. I don't like to say I was wrong. I don't like to ask somebody that I need them to show me in this area of my life". Sometimes we just aren't hungry enough yet, lost enough yet, but there's somebody in this room, and you are.
You are navigating a "not enough" in your life in this season that has brought you to the precipice. Although you have pressed into Jesus, you are in danger of collapsing on the way. That's what Jesus said. "I don't want you to collapse along the way". I have good news for you. The Bible says that Jesus has compassion. If God gave you a new car, would you praise him for it? Paid off, a nice one, a fast one, a sexy one. Yeah. Would you praise him for a new car? If God paid off your house, would you praise him for it? If God said, "I'm giving you my compassion," there would be nothing greater you could praise him for than the compassion of a Christ who is fully God…fully God enough to meet all of your needs; fully God enough to stop a storm; fully God enough to heal somebody who couldn't walk and they go dancing out; fully God enough that the one who couldn't speak left shouting. He is fully God enough to do all of that and fully man enough to, after all is said and done, pull his disciples to the side and say, "I have compassion for what they lack".
I don't know if there's anybody in here who's in religious rehab. You grew up with a God who was waiting to crush you underneath the weight of what you were not yet. But we meet a Jesus in Matthew 15 who has compassion for what you lack. So, the Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. That does not mean I will never lack, but it means that in every area where I lack, the Lord is faithful and loyal to me. He will never leave me in my lack and turn a deaf ear to me when I call him. Let's praise God not for a car, not for a house. That's fine. I've got a car. I've got a house. But that he has compassion, that he looks on my weakness with compassion, that he looks on my lack with compassion. I don't know.
I just noticed that this week. I noticed that Jesus said (verse 32), "I have compassion for these people," and the disciples answered the request Jesus made about feeding them with logic and calculation, like men often do, like mankind often does. "Where can we get enough bread? There's no DoorDash on my phone. We don't have an app". You know, some people would say Jesus is better than a GPS, but I don't think he is. When you use a GPS, you get to select the destination, but when you follow Christ, he will get you where you need to go. He'll get you there turn by turn, step by step. He'll do better than reroute you. He will pick your big behind up and carry your dead weight if that's what it takes. But one thing about this Savior.
Imagine a GPS that you didn't get to tell it where you want to end up. That's Jesus. Peter has this boat. Right? They're going all around, ministering to people, and Peter is the one who is driving, but the one who is driving the boat doesn't get to decide where it docks. I don't think you heard what I just said. I'm describing what a life of following Christ feels like sometimes. I'm driving this boat. I'm living this life. I'm making decisions. I'm the one having to make these moves. I'm the one having to show up for these things, but ultimately, I don't get to decide where this boat docks. Jesus does. God does. Maybe that brings you great comfort or, if you're a control freak, it really starts to mess with you, especially when you end up in a remote place. Jesus starts healing people, and he shows no signs of stopping. He wants the people to be fed, and he pulls the disciples to the side and says, "I have compassion for these people".
The disciples answered (verse 33), "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd"? I need to slow this down, and we can study it. Go to verse 32 again. Jesus said, "I have compassion for these people". Look at the disciples in verse 33. "Where are we going to get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd"? It's all about how you see it. The disciples see crowds; Jesus sees people. Do you know how many times I've been getting ready to preach, and it's like I've done everything you're supposed to do that they taught me how to do in that overpriced education they gave me out there in Louisville, Kentucky… I've got a Scripture, and I've got four commentaries that I read, and I've got a research brief that I hired somebody who's better at Greek than I am to do, because, hey, I have some deficiencies myself.
I've got some stories that might be funny, and I've got some one-liners that might be repeatable, tweetable, X-able, or whatever it's called now, and then I realize I have everything I need except to remember the needs of the people I'm preaching to. Follow me. The disciples are worried about bread. Why? Because Jesus has something they don't have. It might surprise you what Jesus has that they don't. He doesn't have any bread either. They have seven loaves; he has zero. So, they actually have more of the physical product, if I could put it that way, than he does. But he says something. He says (verse 32), "I have compassion".
Sometimes when we think we're lacking provision, what we're really lacking is priorities. Sometimes I don't see the situation correctly so I call it "Not enough". But if I would see it like Jesus sees it, it would instantly become more than enough for what he has called me to do. When I lose my perspective on God's priorities, I will always be running low on provision because it will never be enough. This is why I would really encourage you to put a limit on how much you compare yourself to other people. Some of the "not enough" that you feel is not because of an actual amount you have or don't have; it is because of the act of comparing that you involve yourself in that would say, "Because they have this, and because I have that, and because they do that, and because I do this…"
Do you see how you have replaced the compassion of Christ with the comparisons of man? When you replace compassion with comparison, when you step outside of your calling, whatever that may be… When you step outside of what God has given you and assigned you to do in your life, you begin to see things as crowds, not people. You begin to see life as a race to be run rather than a journey to be enjoyed with Jesus. Sometimes I've been praying to God about not enough bread when what I really didn't have enough of was sight to see what he sees how he sees it. Is this good to you? It strengthened me, because I realized that sometimes it's not the bread that I don't have. It's not the time that I don't have. It's the way I'm spending the time chasing the thing that God never called me to go after anyway.
My time is a limited resource, my money is a limited resource, but if I never learn to put God first in any of those areas, how can I come to him about a need he tried to meet through a priority that I refused to set? I'm here to encourage you that sometimes "not enough" is a fact. It is. I met a lady last weekend. She came up to me in tears. She said, "I listen to your sermons. I love God, but I need a job". We prayed on the spot. I didn't tell her, "Well, I'll go home and pray about whether God wants you to have a job". "You need a job? You have a God? I pray that God would give you the greatest job. I pray that he would open a door for you right now before you get home today". I don't know if he will, but I prayed for that. I love how she said that. "I love God, but I need a job". You do need God and a job. For all of y'all "All I need is God" things… And a job.
How many can testify? The light company, the power company… They don't really respect that Holy Ghost currency, do they? She said, "I love God, but I need a job". Sometimes it's a fact. When I said "Sleep…" If you have a child under the age of 73 or 74, there are going to be some sleepless nights. Right? But what you don't want to do is let one need feed another need, feed another need, until you let a situation that is not enough turn into an identity that you are not enough and eventually start to believe that God is not enough, and you die in a desert or a wilderness of want. You don't have enough money, but if you don't trust God with that and move forward in that, then you definitely won't get enough sleep. And if you don't get enough sleep, you won't have enough energy. And if you don't have enough energy, you will not have enough opportunities. And if they come, you'll kill them.
You'll yawn at them and pull a muscle. (I'm going to call back as many times. I'm going to use what the Devil meant for evil this morning, and I'm going to preach it. I've been afflicted, y'all.) "I don't have any friends". Well, if you let it define you, and you begin to navigate according to what you don't have… Jesus said something interesting. He said, "I have compassion". When you tap into that… When you tap into the compassion Christ has for you and the compassion he has for others, bread is no problem to God. I was just thinking how different this passage would have been… You know, they fed 4,000 people, verse 38 says, and they started with seven loaves. I think it's amazing that Jesus saw people and they saw a crowd. It made me start to wonder when it said that they fed 4,000 people.
Why did we always say that it was the feeding of the 5,000? How many of y'all have heard the story that Jesus fed 5,000? Why do we always call it that? Like, why don't we count the women and the children too? Well, they didn't at this time. That's how they did it at that time. Why do we call it 5,000 where it says 4,000 here? How many of you were wondering that when I read it? You were like, "Four thousand? I thought it was five. What happened to the other thousand"? You're not going to believe this when I tell you. This is the second time Jesus did this. So, now you're really judging the disciples, because in Matthew 14, there were 5,000 people and 5 loaves of bread, and Jesus fed all of them, and there were 12 baskets left over. A chapter later… I'm not talking about that happened in Matthew 3. That happened in Matthew 14. What chapter is this?
Okay. How many of y'all are good enough at math to say, "That's not that long"? And how many of you are good enough at math to put this all together? They fed 5,000 with 5 loaves. Now it's only 4,000, and they have 7 loaves. This should be easy. This should be simple. It's just simple math. Holly came to me this week. She was like, "You need to see this". Every once in a while, she'll bring me a trend or something, just something that's going on in pop culture, just to make sure I'm aware. I can be kind of clueless sometimes. She's like, "You need to know a few things today". She'll tell me about gas prices or wars or Taylor Swift attending football games…important things. She started showing me something called girl math. You've heard of this? I have too because Holly showed me. Girl math. She was like, "Watch this clip".
It was a lady saying, "Okay. If it's 'buy one get one free,' and I don't buy it, I basically lost money. #girlmath". "If I spent $38 online at Sephora, but it's free shipping if you go to $40, and I buy $20 of mascara so I qualify for free shipping, I basically saved money and got the mascara for free. #girlmath". I'm watching this like, "Why, woman, are you showing me this? This is triggering to me". All kinds of stuff. Then Abbey goes, "If I put the money on my Starbucks card six months ago and spend it, it's basically free because I already put the money on the card. #girlmath". I'm like, "Well, let me teach you some dad math. Until you are paying rent in my house and buying food…" Anyway… I don't really know anything about girl math, and I'll probably get criticized or something. I'll get called a sexist or a misogynist or some toxic masculinity something over this.
But I didn't come to talk about girl math. I do know something, though, about God math. That's the class I came to teach. Do you know anything about God math? This is not a trend; this is the truth. Can we talk about God math for a minute? God math is when you have seven loaves to start with and seven big basketfuls when you're done feeding a crowd. That's God math. I know something about God math. I don't know about this girl math or man math or boy math or dad math or mom math, but I know something about God math. Do any of you know anything about God math in your life? Maybe not. Where everybody else walked away from you, but God stayed with you, and you found out that if it's just you and God, that makes a majority, that's God math.
I want to teach a class about God math, because the Bible says he fed 4,000 with seven loaves. Anytime you have something left over that is greater than what you started with, that's God math. They fed 4,000 men besides women and children. Did you see that? They didn't count the women. They didn't count the children. But God doesn't count like people count, and I'm glad he doesn't count like people count. If we were doing my math, and I'm standing at a Red Sea, and all I have is a staff, then the sea is greater than the staff, but if God put me in front of that sea, and he spoke a word over my purpose, then guess what happens? The staff becomes greater than the sea. That's God math. If Moses were here, he would teach this class with me. Can Moses be my adjunct professor today?
Come on. I need an assistant teacher, somebody who knows something about God math. Maybe we could call on David who had a nine-foot giant and a little, tiny rock, but in the hands of one who is committed and called and chosen and anointed and oiled and raised by God, by faith in God… One little rock. It couldn't have been that big. What, about two inches around? Yeah. Two inches around, nine-foot giant. Watch two inches versus nine feet. That's what happens when you get God math in your situation. Or maybe we need to call on Joshua who's standing in front of a 12-foot-thick wall called the wall of Jericho, and all he has is a trumpet to deal with a wall. Anytime you have a trumpet versus a 12-foot-thick wall, you have a problem unless you have a God who is greater than the problem.
One trumpet can collapse a 12-foot wall. That's God math. That's not man's math. When you get in man's math, you start saying, "They're bigger than us. They're stronger than us. It's greater than us". But when you know he is for you, who can be against you, even if the whole host of the enemy's camp rises up? I love it. There's this one story in the Old Testament. The prophet named Elisha sends his servant out to check in the morning. The servant comes back and says, "We're in trouble. There are more of them than there are of us". Elisha says, "He's not seeing this right". God is saying over somebody, "You are not seeing this right". You're on the wrong app. You keep pulling up your map. You keep pulling up your calculator. You keep doing your math, but I've got news for you. Where God guides, he provides. Watch this. If it's God's map, it's God's math.
So, when you find yourself in a remote area, and you don't know what to do or how to do it or what to do it with… If I just came for three people, I wanted you to know that if you're where he put you, then you have what you need. If it's God's map, it's God's math. So, the prophet said, "Open his eyes that he may see that there are more with us than with them". That's that God math. Yeah, all of us who are bad at man's math, let's get good at God's math. Man's math says, "There's nothing there but a cloud the size of a man's hand". God's math says, "I hear the sound of the abundance of rain getting ready to swell in your life". Yeah, that's God's math.
I want to have a class called God's math, and we only need one thing to show in the class. It's just one thing. If you want to write it down, you can write it down. We don't need a whole semester. We don't need a whole course. I don't even need but five more minutes. Show them what God's math looks like. That's God's math. It's not a hashtag; it's a prophecy. It says that whatever I'm going through is not greater than the God who knew I would be in this remote place with this limited resource. "Yeah, but I only have six more months with my kids. That's not enough". It is if you let God do the math. He can take six months and accomplish more than you could in six years.
Come out of man's math. Come out of little boy's math. Come out of girl's math, women's math. I don't need man's math any longer because God knew what I would need for this season. I have never been in a situation that God called me to and felt like I was enough in that situation. Never. Enough is not a feeling. Enough is a place of faith that God is greater. God math. I know life has you in a place right now where you never knew you'd be. The disciples could relate. The interesting thing about this passage is they were no longer on the shores of Capernaum where they had done all of their ministry. They were now in a Gentile region, having to feed people who were strangers to the covenant they belonged to, and Jesus said, "I have compassion for these people".
What that lets me know is that God saw my situation coming before I did, and he put in me what I need before I felt the need arise. If I say this to a crowd, then it has a very limited yield, but God sees people today who are navigating a "not enough" in their life. You know that "not enough" so well it has almost become your name. For some of you, it is the shame of the mistakes you have made that is keeping you stuck in this season. By man's math, we all fall short of the glory of God, but God's math says that his grace is greater. That's the one word I want in your spirit about your God for whatever you're facing today. As simple as it sounds, if the disciples had realized that God's plan was greater, they would have never asked the question, "Where are we going to get enough"? You don't have to ask about bread when you're standing next to it.
So, let's get serious about this now. You're navigating a "not enough" in your life, and part of the problem with that is that you tried before and it wasn't enough. You tried to hold the marriage together, but it wasn't enough. You tried to bring the kid back, but it wasn't enough. You tried to start the business, but it wasn't enough. You tried to bridge it through 2020 and 2021, and it wasn't enough. Now you think that you aren't enough. By man's math, you're right. None is righteous; no, not one. But I love the compassion of Christ that we're celebrating in Matthew 15. The Bible says he will leave the 99 to find the one. From man's perspective, it doesn't make much sense to leave the greater for the lesser, but one thing I love about God is that the one who starts out with the least can end up with the most. After all, it's just simple math. It's simple math.
When the disciples had 5 loves, they fed 5,000, and they had 12 baskets left over. When they had 7 loaves, they fed 4,000, and they only had 7 basketfuls left over. Stay with me. This is important. This is the point I wanted to preach to. This is what I wanted you to leave with about God's math and about the "not enough" that you're navigating in your life right now, about the weakness that God's strength is made perfect in, about the mistakes you cannot redeem in your own human effort. That's the six. That's man's math. Seven is God's number. Seven is the number of completion. You are complete in Christ. You do not have a righteousness that comes from you. Your righteousness is not your own. It is received. It is an inheritance. It was purchased by Jesus and given by God. It is shed abroad in your heart through the Holy Spirit.
Isn't it interesting that when they only had 5 loaves, they ended up with 12 baskets? When they had 7 loaves, they ended up with 7 baskets. The miracle that started with the least ended with the most. I prophesy over your situation. I prophesy over everybody who didn't get a good education. I prophesy over everybody who didn't get a good start in life and was not shown what real love looked like. I prophesy over everybody who didn't have a guide to show you how to navigate this transitional period of your life. In the hands of Jesus, what starts as the least ends as the most. That's God's math. If you feel weak today, that's a good starting place, because from the starting place of your weakness comes a strength that is greater. I said, a strength that is greater and a power that is greater and a grace that is greater.
So, you started with 5, but you end with 12. You started cast down, but you're ending lifted up. You started in a broken home, but you're going forward made whole, because Christ has compassion, and he is more than enough for you. Less bread to begin with, more baskets to end with. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven". If you have needs, if you have weakness, if you have space, God can fill it. I love what James 1:5 taught me. He said, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God". Ask God. Whatever you lack, ask. He's able. Ask him. "God, I need somebody in my life right now to help me through this". Ask him. But as you are asking him for what you think you need, make sure you thank him for what you already have.
I want to sing an old song: "Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt, Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured, There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt". This is the God math: "There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt". Where one drop of his blood is greater than any sin you would ever commit. That's God math. Man math? You can keep the girl math. You can keep the man math. I want the God math where one drop of his atoning blood, one mention of his name… Look! There is flowing a crimson tide, Whiter than snow may you be today. Grace, grace, God's grace, Grace that will pardon and cleanse within; Grace, grace, God's grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin. God has a grace for your situation today.
Stand to your feet, lift your hands to heaven, and receive it. I want to invite somebody to receive the grace of Jesus Christ in your life today. This message was for you. A sinner in need of a Savior…this message was for you. An orphan in need of a Father…this message was for you. A backslider in need of a homecoming…this message is for you. He leaves the 99, and I don't know why he did it, but he found the one. He sees people, not crowds. That grace is calling your name right now, and you know it.
I'm going to lead you in a prayer right now to receive the grace of God. For those of you who are ready today to put your faith in Jesus Christ and receive his grace to cover your sin, I'm going to pray a line, and then you pray it. It's not a magical prayer. It's an opportunity for you to do what the Bible says. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Right now. Today is the day of salvation. Harden not your hearts. Today is the day of salvation. If you pray this from your heart and put your faith in Jesus Christ, you will be saved. Repeat after me:
Heavenly Father, I am a sinner in need of a Savior, and I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Today, I make Jesus the Lord of my life. I believe he died that I would be forgiven and rose again to give me life. I receive this new life.
This is my new beginning. On the count of three, shoot your hand up if you prayed that. One, two, three. Raise your hand right now. God bless you. God sees people.