Week 3: Day 2 Abundance

September 21, 2016

  • Day Two: Abundance

     

    Passage:

    When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

     

    Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

     

    “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

     

    “Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. (Matthew 14:13-21, NIV)

     

    Perspective:

    Put yourself in this familiar story. You’re one of the disciples, and you’ve been listening to Jesus all day, along with the crowd. The sun is setting, and you feel a rumbling—it’s your stomach. You realize you haven’t eaten all day. But all the people listening to Jesus are still here, and he’s still doing his thing, talking about the kingdom. So you whisper to Jesus—send them away! People are hungry here.

     

    His reply is shocking, even annoying: “You give them something to eat.”

     

    You think, But I don’t have anything! You look at your fellow disciple pals, and they look just as confused as you. But you ask around and somehow come up with a few pieces of bread and some small fishes, barely enough food for a little kid, let alone yourself and the rest of the mob. But you bring it to Jesus—it’s all you can do. He prays to God, blesses the food, breaks the bread. As he begins to pass the food down, you start to notice something amazing as handfuls of bread and fish keep appearing in people’s hands, including yours.

     

    In the kingdom of Jesus, 5 +2 = 5000, plus leftovers. It’s a kingdom of abundance, not scarcity. We offer the very little bit of whatever we have to Jesus, and he turns around and blesses others in ways we could never imagine. All it takes is giving up our five loaves and two fish to him, then continuing to obey as he blesses and gives generously. What can you offer Jesus today?

     

    Practice:

    What are the “five loaves and two fishes” you may need to offer Jesus this week? What are the little things in your life that you can give in service to God and others? It might be food, money, clothing, or something else.

     

    Prayer:

    Jesus, use my loaves and fish for your purposes.

     

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