Getting More Jesus – Part III
Giving What You Have
8 One of his disciples, Andrew,
Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, 9 There is a lad
here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they
among so many? 10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit
down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number
about five thousand.
11 And Jesus took the loaves; and
when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to
them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 12 When
they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that
remain, that nothing be lost. 13 Therefore they gathered
them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley
loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.
Last week’s topic was "Having fewer wants." Now if we are all honest,
we all would like to know the answer to this one question: "How can I get
God to work for me?" This is the "shy" type of honesty. Come on,
let’s really be honest. Ask the question that I know you want to ask: "How
do I get God to bless me with more money?!" Now we are really being
honest. The answer is simple — Give!!
In our text we see that Jesus had a need. Huh? That can’t be right?! But it
is. After the crowd came to Him, Jesus had the desire to feed them. Therefore,
He needed food to accomplish this mission. The only source of food (in the
natural) was a young man with five loaves and two fish (9th). I say in the
natural because we know that all power is in Jesus’ hands. As illustrated in
the Old Testament, God could have rained down manna from heaven if He wanted
to. But Jesus was out to prove a point: if you give, He’ll give back to you.
Remember last week when we mentioned how people have a tendency to believe
that Jesus does not keep account of what they give? Well here is a prime
example that He does pay attention. As we look at our text we see the first
thing He does after receiving the offering is bless it (empower it to
prosper) or make it holy (11th). The second thing He does is multiply it
(13th). However, many Christians can’t get past the first step due to their
failure to give. They fall into the category that I found myself in some time
ago — Let me explain.
I heard a minister preach a sermon on giving; in it, he stated that after
giving, the little boy in our study text received his own offering, which had
been multiplied (the twelve baskets of fragments), back. Well I looked for that
incident in all four of the Gospels and just didn’t see where that happened. I
mean, the disciples did gather the fragments, but I wanted to see exactly where
it said that the little boy received the remains. And that’s the way we are. We
don’t want to give if we can not see it come back to us. However, just because
I didn’t see it doesn’t mean it did not occur. And since we know the character
of Jesus, and since we know what scripture says ("Give, and it shall
be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running
over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete
withal it shall be measured to you again" Luke 6:38), we should realize
that more than likely that’s what happened.
Many churches are floundering today because church-goers will not give
tithes and offerings. Jesus has a need, and that need is to spread the gospel
throughout the world. Yet, church-goers only see their money going into the
collection plate, never to return. These people either don’t know or have
forgotten that Jesus keeps track of everything you give, but He can’t multiply
if you don’t give. Actually, this is His favorite type of math —
For those of you who have been tithing for years and have been getting
steady increases (multiplication), I know you know exactly what I’m talking
about. You’ve gotten increase after increase all because of what you didn’t see
— Jesus promoting you. Those of you who haven’t, it’s not too late. Take your
eyes off of what you do see and put them on what will be. Be obedient. Be a tither.
Be a giver. Be Blessed!!!! In other words, GET MORE JESUS!!!!
p.s. I invite you to send in your praise reports on how the Lord has
multiplied for you!! Perhaps we can share some of these with our other