Ernest Robinson - The Leftovers - Theodore Convention - 1978

Matthew 14:18, "Bring them hither to me.”  He didn’t say give them to the multitude.  Giving the fish to the 5,000 would have been pathetic, but it was “give Me first.”  The prodigal son was out feeding husks to the swine instead of giving bread to the father’s household.  The Lord blessed that bread and broke it and there was no limit to what could be done.  The secret of usefulness in God’s Kingdom is first giving our lives unconditionally to Him.  Preachers have to be built up to preach, but God breaks people down.  After all had eaten they took up the fragments that remained, twelve baskets full.  Jesus was not doing miracles to feed Himself, and the disciples would have fed on that for a long time afterward.  Those leftovers maybe served a more noble purpose than all the rest.  We can think of some of the leftovers in the Kingdom of God.  It doesn’t seem as though Mary and Martha went into the work or got married.  We think of so many young people we know.  Not all have health to go into the Work, and not all are called.  Some would very much like to have a useful home and be married but they don’t want to do it unless they find a man they could respect and honor—one that would have the fear of God, a sincere, steady saint, one that would be a useful elder in the church one day.  There are not many of them around.  They would see a young couple, happily married and having the workers there and everything in the will of God.  They feel pain and feel “I am one of the leftovers of life.”  Behind many a smile, there is a broken heart.

 

We know a father with three little children.  The mother left when he professed.  Only the God in Heaven knows what his reward will be, because only God in Heaven knows how much it costs.  Andrew Abernathy once spoke…behind the scenes there is a mother that is willing to be one of the leftovers of life for Jesus’ sake.  The father left, the older brother left…

 

Isaiah 53:3, "A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”  He feels especially at home in the hearts of the leftovers who know the feeling of secret loneliness and hidden pain.  One day we will all be very surprised when we find what a noble place in this kingdom has been occupied by the leftovers.  Respect them!  They are doing it for the sake of keeping within the will of God.  If ever you feel you are paying quite a price, stop for a moment and think of the price that is being paid by the leftovers every day, for the sake of keeping within the will of God.  A man was in prison in ancient Rome, chained to a heavy iron bar.  He had to drag it for many long years.  How he wished it were just a little bit lighter!  Later he found he was not guilty, and the judge decided to make it up to him by giving him as much gold as the iron bar weighed.  Then he said “Oh, I wish it would have been heavier.”  When we see the reward of those that have courage and have gone through the years of loneliness being made fun of, many will say, “But why didn’t you give me a chance?”  The answer will be, “But I knew you couldn’t take it.”  There are some we know who did have the chance and didn’t take it and made shipwreck.  I believe the reason why God gave them that experience was because He knew they could have taken it and it’s a terrible tragedy that they didn’t.