Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Our God multiplies...

I have been praying about missions, evangelism and all that God is doing in our community and around the world. I am constantly amazed that the creator of the heavens and the earth would allow someone like me to be a part of what He is doing to work His plan for all creation. When I look at the enormity of what God is doing at times I am overwhelmed and I don’t see how I can really make a difference. Then God reminds me - He multiplies!

One example of God’s multiplication is the miracle of the loaves and fishes.  Jesus performed this miracle twice. The first instance is recorded in Matthew 14:13-21, Mark  6:31-44, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:5-15. In this instance a large crowd, about five thousand men not including the women and children, had gathered to see Jesus. As the day came to an end the disciples suggested Jesus send the crowd away so they could buy food for themselves. Jesus had a better idea. He took the five loaves and two fish the disciples had and blessed them. He broke the bread and gave it to the disciples to distribute to the crowd. When everyone had eaten and were satisfied the disciples gathered the remaining bread which filled twelve baskets. The second instance of this miracle is recorded in Mark 8:1-9 and Matthew 15:32-39. In this instance a great crowd had gathered to see Jesus bringing the sick and infirm to Him to be healed. The crowd was there three days and Jesus did not want to send them away hungry but the disciples did not have enough food to feed them. Jesus took the seven loaves and few fish the disciples had, and blessing the food broke the bread and gave the food to the disciples to distribute. There were about 4000 men in the crowd, not counting the women and children. When everyone had eaten and were satisfied the disciples gathered the remaining bread and filled seven baskets.

In both cases God was able to take what the disciples had and multiply it to feed multitudes with more leftover than they started with.  Jesus taught parables about God’s multiplication throughout the New Testament – the parable of the sower, the parable of the talents, the parable of the leaven all teach us something regarding the Kingdom of Heaven and the multiplication of God. I like the way one author I read describes it – “Whatever you keep is all you have, what you give God multiplies.”

Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.           Luke 6:38

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And there put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.                                                                                                    Malachi 3:10

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.                                                                  2 Corinthians 9:10

Whatever we give to God for His will is multiplied. If we give our money, God will multiply it. If we give our time, God will multiply it. If we share His love, God will multiply it. I believe God has given us a great opportunity as a church. We have been involved in what He is doing in here in our community and also as far away as Nairobi, Kenya. As the Kelly’s transition into their role in Kenya we will be even more involved in Kenya, our community and in partnership with Bethany International in Minneapolis. God will use these connections to multiply our impact on the world around us.

So, what do we need to do? We need to commit to giving to God. We need to be committed to giving God our time, our prayers, our devotion, our love, our finances, and whatever He asks. God will take whatever we give and multiply it for His work and His glory. If we don’t give then God can’t multiply it – remember anything multiplied by zero is still zero. One of the best ways we can give is by sharing what God is doing in our lives, in our church and in our community with others. This gives us the chance to share the good news of God’s everyday impact on our lives and the lives of the people around us. It also gives others a chance to get involved and be a part of what God is doing.

In my last blog post I mentioned the costs to move the Kelly family to Nairobi. I can’t imagine how any one of us could raise those funds but God can because He multiplies. The Kellys have raised $54,245 or enough to cover 3433 miles of the trip. They’re about 500 miles off the coast of England. They need to raise another $70,000 or so to be fully funded. I believe God can multiply what we can do to help the Kellys raise the funds they need but we have to commit our part. We have all contributed financially through donations, the banquet and auction and the rummages sale. We have committed our prayers and I know we are praying because of the doors God has opened for the Kellys. We also need to be committed to sharing what the Kellys are doing and what God is doing through them with our friends, neighbors, relatives and anyone else who might be interested. I believe if we continue to be committed to praying and sharing we will be amazed at the multiplication God will perform!

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