Lessons Of A Lifetime

Little Is Much When Given To Jesus
Feeding Five Thousand Plus
Sunday July 5, 2020

Scripture To Consider:
“And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things. When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat.’”

“But Jesus answered and said to them, ‘You give them something to eat.’ And they said to Him, ‘Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?’ But Jesus said to them, ‘How many loaves do you have? Go and see.’

“And when they found out they said, ‘Five and two fish.’ Then Jesus commanded His disciples to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties. And when He had taken the five loaves and two fish, Jesus looked into heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all.”

“So they all ate and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish. Now those who had eaten the loaves were about five thousand men. Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent them away, Jesus departed to the mountain to pray.”                                                                                                          Mark 6.34-46

Something To Consider:
This is an amazing but true story proving that little is much when given to Jesus. It is also a powerful lesson of a lifetime of God’s miraculous provision because Jesus was again moved with compassion due to the people being like sheep without a shepherd. This is one of the few events in the life of Jesus that is recorded in all four gospel accounts!

The apostle Paul declared in Philippians 4.19; “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” I am truly thankful for the gracious supply of my God over the last four decades of being taught as a sheep by our Good Shepherd Jesus.

There have been many times when my family has held onto the words of David from Psalm 37.25. “I have been young, and now I am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.” For wherever God guides, God provides!
Something Else To Consider:
The feeding of the five thousand men plus women and children teaches us to trust the Lord not only with the abundance of things we have or have need of, but with the smallest of God-given gifts, offerings, talents and abilities. If given to Jesus, even little things are much.

In John’s gospel we are told that Andrew found a lad who was willing to share his five small barley loaves and two fish with the disciples and others. In the eyes of the beholder these may have been seen as insignificant beside the vast hordes of people in the grassy meadow that day. And yet, in the hands of Jesus this little lunch was more than enough to meet this seemingly overwhelming need!

And yet, from such small and humble means, and the feeding of so many, twelve baskets of leftovers were gathered for another day and another meal. What might one say to all this? Paul said it well in Ephesians 3.20-21. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Something More To Consider:
After blessing and breaking the lad’s little offering, Jesus gave it to His disciples, who in turn gave it to the people. That is in reality what true Christian, Christ-centered ministry is all about, taking what little we have to Jesus and Him blessing and breaking our offering in order to multiply it no matter how little or seemingly insignificant.

And, to our surprise as probably to His disciples’ surprise, Jesus chooses to involve us in the blessing of others. Therefore, little is indeed much when given to Jesus for the work of God! What will you and I give to Jesus today, this week, this year? What is it that God has given us that we can return a portion back to Him to bless and to multiply?

We are instructed in Proverbs 19.17, “He [or she] who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, and He [the LORD] will pay back what he [or she] has given.” This verse raises the question of what is our motive for our giving? Do we give to get? Do we give little to get back more? Do we give what we have to be seen of others as a generous individual?

Jesus, announced in His sermon on the mount, in Matthew 6.1; “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds [giving to the poor or less fortunate] before men [before others], to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.” In other words, according to Jesus, “Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret.” And what is done in secret, is therefore done with the right motive!

A Few Final Words:
As to our giving little to Jesus if little is what we have, then according to Jesus, “Freely you have received, freely give.” Why then are TV and radio so-called preachers and tele-evangelists always asking their audiences to give, and give, and to give more? Could it be considered logically, that if their ministry is truly sanctioned and ordained by God, would God not make sure that ministry was also properly funded? Just a thought from one attempting to learn the lessons of a lifetime that seem to be important to learn!

Again, according to Jesus, “Freely you have received, freely give.” This is what Jesus instructed His early disciples of whom He sent out to minister and to preach and teach the good news of the gospel. Is His biblical message of freely you have received, therefore, freely you are to give, an important and valid message for our time? Of course it is and therefore proves the improper motive of many in so-called church leadership!

Therefore, when searching for reputable avenues for our giving, let us be wise as serpents, harmless as doves, and secretive according to Jesus, in the giving of our little to become much in the Master’s hands. Giving to Jesus what little we have proves to ourselves and to others that little is much when given to God willingly and unselfishly.

Our Father in heaven, may we willingly give to You what little we possess, that You may in turn multiply our love offering to bless others. In Him Always, Amen!

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