DAILY DISCIPLINE #147
By Colleen Donahue
God our Father and His Son Jesus are always in the business of supporting the weak, the tired, and the helpless. He wants us to do the same. But how is it possible when our own resources are so limited and the needs so big? We'll learn in this study about ......
The Miracle of Small Giving
Studies continued from Matthew 15: 29-39
Day 1- Jesus and his disciples had gone beyond the bounds of Palestine and spent time with Gentile men and women -- first in Tyre and Sidon and then in the Decapolis. In this part of Christ's ministry we see the scope of His care. It goes beyond his immediate family, beyond his close friends, and beyond his own countrymen. It now extends to the Gentiles (non-Jews) who are symbolic of the whole world. You and I are a part of this group within Christ's concern. No one is excluded.
Psalm 24:1 / 1 Corinthians 10:26
Day 2- First we see Christ's concern for the physical needs of men. Jesus was very practical and people were open to listen to Him because He got involved with the problems they faced everyday.
Matthew 15: 30-31
Day 3- Then we see Christ's concern for our tiredness and hunger. Men are not receptive to very much when they are tired and hungry. These basic needs will consume a person's mind if not met. These people who had been listening to the Lord were now about to walk home. Notice the Lord's concern for them. What is he afraid will happen?
Day 4- God, our Father and his son Jesus are always in the business of supporting the weak, the tired, and the helpless. To some extent we all fall into one of these categories. Can you fall back upon the strong arms of God and know that He will catch you?
Exodus 19:4 / Deuteronomy 33:27 / Isaiah 41:10 / Isaiah 46:4 / Matthew 11:28-30
Day 5- I'm quite sure we would have responded in the same way that the disciples did. "How in the world are we going to feed this many people when there is no grocery store within miles?"
We can actually reword this question to fit any number of situations.
-How can I help those facing hurricane/flood situations in the next state or country when I don't have much money myself?
-How can I help my invalid neighbor when I have no training or medical assistance?
-How can I help starving children when I am barely paying my rent?
-How can I help the single mother at work when I am barely keeping up with the needs of my own family?
Day 6- Write your own question for the situation that you face. Christ's answer was very simple.
Day 7- First the disciples had to take an inventory. They had to look and see what was available. They found that they had seven loaves and a few small fish. Now, in the same way we need to taken an inventory. What do you have to give? Could you sacrifice something so that you had a little extra money every month? Are there some clothes you aren't wearing, or books you aren't reading? Are there things stored in your attic or garage that could be used? Do you feel that what you have to offer is too small to count? Think again.
2 Kings 4:2-7 / Matthew 10: 42 / Mark 12: 41-44
Day 8- Secondly, we see that the owners of the loaves and fishes had to be willing to offer them up. Notice that the owners weren't to give them out directly to the people. They were to give them first to Jesus as an offering.
Matthew 15: 36a
Day 9- So too, you and I need to take our spare inventory (however small) and give it to Jesus as an offering. In other words, we must have a heart attitude of being willing to part with something. The offering is our part.
2 Samuel 8:11 / 1 Chronicles 29:9 / Proverbs 3:9
Day 10- If our offering is given in the right spirit and attitude Jesus will be glad to accept it. Even the smallest gift will be received with thankfulness and He will bless it.
Matthew 16: 36b / Matthew 26:26a / Mark 6:41 / Luke 22: 17-19
Day 11- After blessing an offering, Jesus will break it. He'll tear it to pieces so it can be distributed. He'll take us at our word that we meant to give it without hope of return. When we give something precious to Jesus the breaking of the offering will also break us for we are very attached to our possessions!
Luke 24: 30 / Acts 27: 35
Day 12- Finally, after taking, blessing, and breaking, Jesus will give. In this situation, He did the giving through his disciples as the "agency". Today the taking, blessing and breaking is the heart transaction between us and the Lord, but our giving will often be through the agency of the church or charitable organization.
Matthew 14: 19b / Matthew 15:36b
Day 13- The chain of distribution would have been stopped if the disciples had said, "No, there isn't enough food for everyone and so let's not even try to feed this crowd." They took what Christ gave them back and started to distribute. It's not until we start, that the miracle of giving can happen. What happened in this situation?
Matthew 15: 37
Day 14- Not only was everyone satisfied but there were actually leftovers! In the eyes of Heaven our small offerings can be the miracle that satisfies many men because Jesus has done the multiplication.
Matthew 15: 38
Day 15- It will also be a giving that will work for our good and spiritual abundance.
Luke 6: 38
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