This coming Sunday is a very significant day for our family as missionaries to Taiwan because on Sunday I will be speaking to our whole church about why we are going overseas & how they can support us & our future works in Taiwan.

I will have about 30 minutes to explain why we are making this drastic & impractical change that will alter the course of our lives, from me as a blessed pastor right down to our youngest child Alison to whom Tampa has become the essence of her childhood.

30 minutes…

I don’t think it will be enough…

I’m sure you have been in that spot as I am where you are confronted with the reality of your limitations.

It may be your own personal limitations. It may be that you lack certain traits or resources or it may be circumstantial where your environment becomes your obstacles. Such as when a child is born in the slums of the Philippines, he or she has limitations. Of course there are also natural limitations in life that we can do nothing about such as the passing of time or loss of physical strength & mental capacity and so forth.

But admitting our limitations is one of the hardest things to practice in life. So many of us don’t.

I’ve seen many lives, instead of accepting their limitations, go way beyond their means to keep up their limitless lifestyles. By the way, God gives us limitations for our benefit & protection. Adam & Eve just couldn’t stand the fact that they knew less than God. They desired to know all things, even evil. The worst move they ever made.

Other times, people blame their less than ideal environment.

And as I am moving into my upper 40’s, I too desire to stay young, but it’s a battle that I cannot win nor meant to be won. When a person strives to look youthful when everything else about you is aging, things become strange. We are meant to grow old, wise & closer to the One who desires us to be in His presence eternally.

What seems to be our limitation is actually our passage way to God who is infinite.

We know this. We have learned this lesson over and over again, but still our hearts cannot come to grips with it. So our hearts start to race, we scramble & scheme to compensate or conceal our deficiencies & limitations.

For this coming Sunday, I should put together a multimedia PowerPoint presentation with video clips & statistics. I mustn’t forget compelling stories of lives changed by missions, and anything that would inspire & persuade hearts. In other words, it has to be the best message I have ever preached.

But this logic of trying to overcome limitations by turning to my finite self & my limited wisdom seems quite illogical to me.

How did God’s people of the past overcome their limitations & witness God’s infinite & limitless power?

Let’s examine one of the most well known miracles in the NT, the feeding of the 5,000.

Here’s the situation. Jesus had been teaching & healing all day, and everyone there, 5,000 men plus women & children were famished. So Jesus told His disciples, “You give them something to eat.” And their response was, “That would take more than half a year’s wages!”

We hear the echoes of the same response often.

  • “We don’t have enough money to do this!”
  • “We don’t have enough man power!”
  • “We lack what we need to make this happen!”
  • “I don’t have enough time! 30 minutes isn’t enough!”

But this story of human limitation reveals that when they brought before the Lord what they had, which was a mere 5 loaves of bread & 2 fish, when they committed them fully to the Lord, the disciples found out that it was enough to share with everyone.

It matters not, what is at our disposal. Limitations remain what they are only when we hold on to them ourselves, but the moment we commit them to the Lord, the moment we calculate Christ into the equation, 30 minutes is more than enough to change hearts & do His will.

How grateful I am for these 30 minutes!

Although the 12 Disciples were known more for their failures, in our story they do something that ultimately led them to witnessing Christ’s glory. They heeded Jesus’ Word.

Something about His Word gives us confidence, understanding, peace & faith to act.

What will help God’s people to take steps of faith are never our attention and possibly move their emotions, anything of human origin will fade. It is only God’s Word that can accomplish what we could never do. It is His truth empowered by the Spirit that can soften hearts, help people to understand God’s heart & see the glorious possibilities that lie behind their leap of faith.

It looks like rather than a missions presentation, I will be preparing another sermon, and it is my prayer that those 30 minutes will be used to faithfully convey God’s heart for the lost & what He is calling His church to do.