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By Rev. Louis Albert Banks, D.D

Luke ix. 10-17.
By Rev. Louis Albert Banks, D.D

Luke ix. 10-17.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Feb 01, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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MAKING THE MOST OF THINGS.By Rev. Louis Albert Banks, D.D
Luke ix. 10-17.This incident of the loaves and fishes is in har-moD}^ with God's providence everywhere through-out all time. God is not stingy, but neither ishe wasteful. There is abundance, but nothing isthrown away. The rain and the sunshine and thewind are made to work economically, so as to bringabout the best results on all sides. At this feastwhich Christ produced from the five loaves and twofishes, there was such an abundance that no hungryman or woman in the crowd was tempted to stintin eating, and yet Christ was careful to have thefragments gathered up.It seems to me that the great lesson is that thelarger the worker the smaller the resources de-manded. Five loaves and two fishes were entirelyinadequate to feed the multitude if Peter had beenhost, but with Jesus at the head of the table theywere more than sufficient. We often see this illus-trated in common life. A little man requires large11 161162 B l^ear's praBcc*/IRect(nG ^alfts.resources to accomplish anything, A large manwith wide horizon, with immense capacity to work,can do great deeds with almost any weapon. Afirst-class carpenter can take two or three tools,and using each of them for a dozen purposes, canproduce more satisfactory results than an indiffer-ent workman with the whole tool-chest at his com-mand.I think it is a characteristic of great men andwomen that they make a great deal more of thework to be done than of the method of doing it, orthe tools by which it is to be accomplished. SeeGideon, with his three hundred men, each with hispitcher and the little lamp inside of it. The in-genuity of Gideon was worth tens of thousands of soldiers. To bring about the victory there wasrequired either a large army, or three hundredmen, each carrying his pitcher and lamp withGideon to make the combination. The weaponsdid not amount to anything without Gideon, butwith Gideon to combine them and handle themthey were like the five loaves and two fishes in thehands of Jesus.
David in the camp of Saul, with Goliath bran-dishing his spear in the distance while the army of Israel trembled for fear, is another illustration of the same sort. A sling and a little smooth stone,such a thing as shepherd-boys play with, were very /IRaKlng tbe ^ost of tTblngs. 163small and insignificant in themselves. But with aman like David, who had fought a bear single-handed and plucked a lamb unharmed from theteeth of a lion, and whose soul trembled not in theface of a giant, a shepherd's sling and a stone werenot to be despised. David's weapons were veryordinary, but he brought very extraordinary cour-age and skill and experience to work with them.Better a thousand times have a shepherd's slingand a smooth stone with a David to handle them,than a Remington rifle with a coward behind it.It is a great thing to acquire this art of makingthe very most of all the ability we have. Thereare many people who do not give anything to thesupport of the church because their income issmall ; but how great a mistake they make is indi-cated by Christ's pleasure in and praise of thewoman who cast her two mites into the treasury.A very little money, if it is the measure of one'sability, and is given in the spirit of prayer andcheerful self-denial for Christ's sake, may be,through him, multiplied in its influence far beyondwhat we are able to conceive.Many others have no special gift for publicspeech, and do not find it easy to express them-selves concerning their own religious purposes, andhence they do not do anything in that way, andgive the Lord no public confession. One could not164 B lear'0 ipraBers/IReetlng ^al?i0.make a greater blunder than that. For who of ushas not heard the stammering words of the childor the timid Christian, spoken out of a warm heartof love, the influence of which to comfort andbless the Holy Spirit multiplied even while theyspoke as marvelously as Christ enlarged thefeeding capacity of the five loaves and the twofishes?We ought to learn this lesson in our churchwork. We should bring all the ability we haveinto the common stock of resources to help on thekingdom of God in our church. If we can sing,
we ought most cheerfully to bring it to swell thechorus of praise we offer to God in the public wor-ship. But many have musical hearts who can notsing with their lips, and that power of appreciationand that ability to shed cheerfulness should not beheld back from the Lord's treasury.There are some people who make a great deal of their sorrows and failures, but who are alwaysminifying their joys and resources for good. Thereis the same temptation in our church work to look on the critical side, and in that way we depressothers and hinder rather than help courageous ad-vancement. A little girl in Kansas has recentlygiven the telegraph companies a vast amount of trouble in a peculiar way. Her daily duty was toherd a large drove of cattle on a range throughRafting tbe ^O0t of c:bln00. 165which passed the telegraph lines. For weeks,some hours nearly every day, these lines absolutelyfailed to work, and the trouble seemed to be in thevicinity of where this girl herded her father's cat-tle ; but it was a long time before they discoveredthe cause. Finally they found out that in orderto get a better view of the herd the girl had drivenrailroad-spikes into a telegraph-pole, and whenevershe got weary watching the cattle from the groundshe would climb the pole and seat herself on aboard across the wires and watch her herd fromthat lofty station. Whenever the board happenedto be damp it destroyed the electric current andcut off all telegraphic communication betweenDenver and Kansas City. When discovered, andinformed of the damage she was doing to the bus-iness of the telegraph lines, she was greatly sur-prised, as she was utterly ignorant of the fact thather seat on the wires interfered with the workingof the lines.I have many a time seen a few grumbling churchmembers sit on the wires of spiritual life in achurch until they seemed to shut off all heavenlycommunication. It does not take many such tospoil a prayer-meeting or lower the spiritual toneof any service. Surely it is not an emdable thingto go through life noted only for our ability tosit on the wires and keep the messages of joy166 B l^ear'0 lpraser*/IReetlng ^alfts.and peace from coming to the hearts of temptedand tried men and women. Kather let us by our

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