Putting things in the hands of Jesus

Disciples and Crowds, Fish and Bread

Michael Akotia | Tue, 7th May 2019

This month we asked our friend Michael Akotia to write an article for our newsletter. Michael oversees the work of Christcentral Churches in West Africa. He lives in Ho, Ghana with his wife Mabel and their three children, John, Keziah and Grace.

“Bishop Dag Heward - Mills1 said that if you live in Africa, you will find yourself surrounded by many unsolvable problems.  There are many hopeless situations in this great continent.  He suggests that the master key to your blessing in situations like this is not found in the hands of governments or politicians but in the hands of Jesus. I believe his observation and suggestion is true the world over.

 

Let us look at the account of Jesus and his disciples feeding a crowd of 5,000 and learn from the Lord about how to handle all of life’s situations as we live to advance the kingdom of God2.

 

By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. "This is a remote place," they said, "and it's already very late. Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat." But he answered, "You give them something to eat." They said to him, "That would take eight months of a man's wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?” "How many loaves do you have?" he asked. "Go and see." When they found out, they said, "Five — and two fish."

Mark 6: 35 - 37

 

Jesus and his disciples encountered the following problems in this story;

  1. There was a crowd to be fed
  2. They were in a remote place
  3. It was very late to find food
  4. The disciples did not have enough money to buy food for the crowd

The disciples’ solution was for Jesus to dismiss the crowd! But the command from Jesus to the disciples was feed them.  To that command the disciples responded that it was impossible! “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish”. Jesus however responded differently from his disciples.  He did the following; 

  1. He put the people into groups
  2. He took the five loaves and two fish that were available
  3. He prayed over it
  4. He gave it to the people to eat.

What was the result of Jesus’ response? A miracle happened! All had enough to eat. What is a miracle? A miracle is a supernatural intervention of God that transcends all human reasoning. What was Jesus teaching the disciples, the crowd and us reading this story today?

  1. He is Lord over Creation
  2. In His hands all things are possible
  3. We should live our lives depending on Him
  4. In all things we should give thanks to God

How do we put things in the hands of Jesus?  By engaging with Jesus, through his word, through prayer and through worship. Let’s look at each one of these.

 

1.  Act on God’s Word

Look into God’s word, the Bible, for a word or promise concerning your situation, hold on to it, meditate on it (turn it over in your mind to understand it and to keep it in your mind and heart) and continue to act on it. We learn this from the scriptures like 2 Peter 1:4 ‘Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires’. Here are some promises for you to take hold of: John 6:63-64, Luke 8:15 , Romans 8:11, Psalm 118:17, Psalm 23:6, Philippians 4:19-20, Matthew 16:18, Isaiah 54:17, Numbers 6:22-27.

 

2.  Pray

In your praying against difficult situations, exercise authority in the name of Jesus and bind Satan and his demons. - Daniel 9:20-23, Daniel 10:10 -14. 

Pray in tongues to engage with the Spirit of God and God will speak to you. Act on anything God says to you. Scriptures such as Romans 8:26-27, 1 Corinthians 14:2, 14-15, Ephesians 6:18 and Jude 20 help us to understand this.

Prayer is very vital for all Christians. The church leader and reformer Martin Luther said, ´As is the business of tailors to make clothes and cobblers to make shoes, so it is the business of Christians to pray’. I am very grateful for men like ´Terry Virgo, the father of Newfrontiers, who has led us in this. Terry once said ‘Prayer is our calling. That is what we are meant to be doing.´

 

3. Praise and thank God for what He has done. 

Paul tells us the following in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, 'Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.'  There is a similar encouragement in Hebrews 13:15-16.

In leading churches in Ghana and other African countries, I have become aware of this principle of putting things in the hands of Jesus, the owner of the church, who has called me into his service to advance his Kingdom. So once a year I call the churches together so that we can spend time together with Jesus and we called this gathering our ´Devoted to Jesus conference.´  It give us a corporate opportunity to express our devotion to Jesus, hear from him, be empowered by him and be sent out by him to do his work.  As Jeremy Simpkins  appointed me to be an apostolic delegate overseeing Christcentral Churches in three West African countries (Ghana, Togo and Benin), 17 churches and church plants, Jesus has provided for me and the churches the things we needed to do his work. He has used churches and individuals within ChristCentral and other Newfrontiers spheres to meet both my personal needs and that of the churches. Jubilee Church Teesside, Hope Church Shrewsbury and individuals like Martin Charlesworth and his School of Leadership team, Luke and Faye Holliday, Peter and Margaret Gill and Jeremy and Ann Simpkins to mention but few. 

I encourage you to put your life, your nation and yout church in the hands of Jesus!

To care for the ChristCentral Churches in west Africa, we have the following projects that we have put in the hands of Jesus which you can pray for, give to financially or come to serve with your talents:

 

  • Devoted to Jesus conference, our annual gathering of the churches in August. Please pray God provides all the finance needed to run this as we equip our people to live for Jesus wherever they are. 
  • Wealth creation, an initiative that teaches people the habit of saving money, how to invest money to create wealth and how to start and build businesses.
  • Christian social action which we call ´Remember the poor´. This provides small loans to boost existing small scale business, pay fees for vocational skills training and start up capital for people who have acquired vocational skills to set up businesses. We also support basic and school education by paying school fees for needy children who are in schools
  • The School of Leadership to equip leaders. We want to be able to give scholarships for leaders who cannot afford the training fees.
  • Financial and human resources needed to plant and care for the churches.
  • Finance to sustain our weekly regular radio gospel broadcast, which reaches thousands of people, many of who are in remote places.

Let us put things in the hands of Jesus and expect a miracle!’

 

To be a part of ChristCentral Churches work in West Africa or if you’d just like to be kept up to date with all that is happening there, please contact Jubilee Church Teesside or City of Grace, HO, Ghana.

 
Notes:
  1. A Ghanaian, a medical doctor by training and the founder of a denomination of over one thousand churches called The Light House Chapel International
  2. Mark 6: 30-44

More from this series:

Elders Letters
The Tip of the Spear
Culture and Values
3rd Oct 2019
Raj Saha
Elders Letters
His Tender Mercy
An Invitation to Springtime
Luke 1: 78-79
4th Sep 2019
Soroush Sadeghzadeh
Elders Letters
Faith in an Insta-world
Apprenticeship with Jesus
1st Aug 2019
Simon Rogalski
Elders Letters
Take your chance!
Making the most of every opportunity
3rd Jul 2019

I couldn’t possibly write an Elders’ letter this month without at least making reference to that amazing night in Madrid on June 1st and Liverpool FC’s historic sixth Champions League trophy. Non-football fans…please don’t switch off! 

Gavin Rodgers