Tag Archives: feeding

Hold the Flashlight | Bible Gleanings – Aug 7-8, 2021

Holding the flashlight made me feel like a real big shot. I spent many nights with my dad under the hood of an old Pontiac Bonneville, while he changed the oil or replaced the spark plugs. He’d say, “Shine that over here,” and I would swing that five-pound Maglite over to where he pointed. I almost never got it right, and I never fully understood what he was doing. But I was convinced that finishing the job was impossible without me and my flashlight. 

Now that I think about it, he didn’t really need me to hold the flashlight. He could have worn a headlamp or attached a magnetic light to the hood’s underside. In retrospect, I know he wanted me to observe his work so I could learn from him and spend time with him. He used me even though he didn’t need me. And he still used me, despite the fact that I did a poor job.

Friend, God doesn’t need you to do His work. God is not “served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:25). He is the sovereign Creator, the sufficient Sustainer, and the supreme Lord of the universe. He can do anything at any time without help from anyone or anything. He doesn’t need you and He doesn’t need me. 

The good news is, however, God wants to use you to do His work. Even though He doesn’t need you and you sometimes mess up, He still wants to use you as an expression and extension of His grace in this world. He wants you to hold the flashlight of the gospel, so that its saving message may shine for those who are lost in darkness (Matt. 4:16; Rom. 2:19). It may not seem like much—it may not seem like enough—to hold the flashlight and do your small part. But it is just enough for God to show you that He is enough.

Remember the feeding of the five-thousand? What the disciples offered the Lord was puny and insufficient—five loaves and two fish (Mark 6:38). However, Jesus didn’t criticize them for having only enough food to feed a handful of people. He used what they could offer, albeit small, and fed five thousand people. Additionally, since He miraculously multiplied the fish and the loaves, He did not need the disciples to distribute it among the people—surely He had the power to do it Himself. Yet, “[He] gave them to the disciples to set before the people” (v. 41b).

The Lord will use you as you are with what you already have. If all you can do is hold a flashlight, then do that.

Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.
Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English shepherd), and Dot (beagle).

Day 10: Away in a Manger

“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” —Luke 2:7

In a little town called Bethlehem, the cries of a newborn were heard from an animal feeding trough. The second Person of the Trinity, with unlimited sovereignty and power, had come to the earth as a baby—dependent on the care of Mary and Joseph. As marvelous as this is, in many ways His birth was completely normal. He was wrapped in swaddling cloths, as all infants were—to provide warmth and security. However, what was not normal was the fact that He was laid in a dirty and unsanitary manger.

Infants should be born in a place comfortable and clean, but the only place for the Son of the Most High was a manger—nothing could be lower. There were no doctors or nurses—no high-quality medical care was available to Him. There was no aroma of gingerbread and apple cider in the air—only the stench of manure and the smell of birth. This was not a bright and beautiful night as depicted by many Christmas cards and carols. The Lord Jesus was born in circumstances which were humiliating and humble.

Considering that Jesus is the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, [and] Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6-7), you expect an entrance into the world that is glorious and unforgettable! But His unexpected entrance into the world demonstrates His humility and humanity. Instead of an awe-inspiring and royal arrival observed by the whole world, the only people to welcome Jesus into the world were His earthly parents (and later, some lowly shepherds). No red carpet or triumphal band accompanied the arrival of the King of Kings, but this is the way God ordained it.

Even in His birth, Jesus was demonstrating what kind of Savior He was. He would not rise to power by conquering nations—He would not dominate His enemies and opponents by consuming them with power from on high. He would temporarily empty Himself of divine glory by becoming a man and being born in the lowliest of all places. And He would demonstrate such humility as He carried the cross to Golgotha. The apostle Paul summed it up perfectly when he said:

“Though he [Jesus] was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:5-8).


profile pic5Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie, Aries, and Dot.