Generous Stewards

The people were getting hungrier as the day wore on.  Jesus had been healing and teaching for much of the day.  What would they do for food?  They were a ways off from the town of Bethsaida.  Jesus and His disciples went there to spend some time alone, but the crowds found Him.  Jesus was magnetic.  The crowds flocked to Him everywhere He went.  This is the same Jesus we know, love and serve today.  Why is it that crowds aren’t flocking to Him now?  Approximately 7000 churches close their doors each year.  Could it be that the church has forgotten the ways of the Master?  He loved people with an unconditional love that could not be denied.  He preached Truth, but did it in a grace-filled way.  He didn’t shy away from the broken and the ostracized.  He welcomed sinners of every kind, but did not let them off the hook.  He called them to repentance.  He ruffled the feathers of the self-righteous.  He reached out to those who were far from God and changed their lives.  We should be doing the things Jesus did.
For example, in this story from Luke 9, we see that Jesus met the needs of those who were around Him.  The disciples didn’t get it.  They wanted to send the people into the surrounding towns and villages.  There were over 5000 people out there!  Jesus had a much better plan.  He took a little bit of food and miraculously turned it into an overabundance!  In John’s Gospel, we read that it was a young boy who gave everything he had to eat to Jesus.  He was generous and God multiplied his generosity through the power of Jesus to take care of many.  God can do the same thing with our generosity today.  If we will be generous givers, God can multiply our gifts and offerings to further His Kingdom here on earth.  More people will hear about God’s grace and His Son, Jesus.  Is there anything better that our resources and money could go toward?  May we be faithful, generous stewards of that which God has blessed us.

Luke 9:10-17 (NIV)

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

10 When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, 11 but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.

12 Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.”

13 He replied, “You give them something to eat.”

They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.”14 (About five thousand men were there.)

But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. 16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.


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