What is the largest number of people you have had show up unexpectedly for dinner? So, what did you do? Smaller portions? Look in the freezer? Send someone to Walmart to buy pasta? What if you would have had 5,000 men and their families show up for dinner?
In the sixth chapter of John, we read about Jesus asking Philip, "Where are we going to find enough food to feed all of these people?"
Smaller portions? There appeared to be NO portions. Look in the freezer? Not in the first century. Send someone to the store? Walmart, Krogers and HEB were many years away. Jesus already knew the answer to the question, but he wanted to see what Philip would say. Philip responded, "Even if I had my earning for eight months, we couldn't buy enough food for all of these people to even have one bite."
While Philip was answering this question, Andrew was scanning the crowd. He found a boy with five loaves and two small fish, but he asked Jesus "how far will they go?"
Jesus simply told them to have the people sit down. Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When everyone had enough to eat, they gathered the pieces that were left over. Jesus instructed them to let nothing be wasted. They gathered twelve baskets of bread. What stewardship lessons do we learn from this miracle of Jesus?
1. Jesus can do more with a little than we think possible. When we trust what we have to God, He will take even a small amount and multiply it so that it meets our needs.
2. Jesus used what a willing child gave him. God wants to partner with you to meet the needs of others. However, we must be willing to serve. If the boy on that special day had refused to give Jesus what he had, the miracle would not have taken place. We may think that what we have doesn't amount to much or what we have wouldn't help God that much. We need to realize that our opinion of the inadequacy of what we have is not relevant. If we believe that what we have belongs to God and that He can use it, HE WILL USE IT.
3. God responds to expressions of our faith. Tithing is an expression of our faith. Giving is an expression of our faith.
4. Giving to God doesn't mean that we will have less. Note that the scripture says that they "all had enough to eat." That included the little boy. Even as many others were blessed by his willingness to give to Jesus, he, also, was blessed. Don't you think that the boy was more blessed seeing his lunch feed thousands of people than he was by simply having enough to eat that day?
Don't limit the blessings of God in your life or in the lives of others by a lack of giving your time, talent, or treasure that God has supplied you. When you respond in obedience and in faith as you seek to be a good steward of what God has put in your care, God will bless you and others in ways beyond your wildest imagination.