This week our focus continues on the subject of generosity, and our preaching series, For Richer or Poorer. In the Sunday sermon, Pastor Brad talked about lives that are changed as the result of our generosity. This is not a new idea… the Bible is full of stories of transformation that happen when God gets a hold of us and we walk the way of Jesus Christ.
5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”
6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up,
9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there).
11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”
13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
Consider this story from the boy’s perspective. What did five small loaves of bread and two small fish mean to him? Probably dinner! And probably not just for him, but also for his family. Perhaps he was on the way home from the market, sent there by his mother to buy food for the family to eat.
But now he has given it away, for Jesus to use. Jesus multiplied it, enough to feed thousands, and enough so that there is more leftover than what he started with. Isn’t it just like Jesus to take our modest offerings and use them for his great purposes?!
O God, we think so much about how we can impact the lives of others with our generosity, do not let me lose sight of the truth that one of the lives that needs to change is my own. Just like you did with this boy, I pray you will accept my modest offering, multiply it, and use it to change lives, including my own life. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.