Stewardship Bible

Duration: 365 days

THE MIRACLE OF MULTIPLYING RESOURCES

John 6:1–14

The crowd had been following Jesus, so he went up on the mountain with his disciples. He knew what he was going to do. He was going to show them that he was the source, the giver and the essence of nourishment and blessing—both spiritual and physical. Theologian and author Henri J. M. Nouwen (1932–1996) points out that this is a story about gratitude.

This radical shift of vision, from looking at the loaves and fishes as scarce products from God which ask to be gratefully shared, is the movement from wreaking death to bringing forth life, the movement from fear to love. When the story ends, with the glorious statement that the disciples “[filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten],” there is no doubt left that God’s house is a house of abundance, not scarcity.

This event, like all of the miracle stories in the Gospels, is first of all about who Jesus is. Here he is the new Moses, the Messiah, again supplying manna in the wilderness. John makes this connection explicit as he goes on to recount Jesus’ bread of life discourse. But in a non-Messianic—and, therefore, more indirect—sense, the story of the feeding of the five thousand also has something to teach about multiplying resources.

Holistic stewardship writer Guy L. Morrill (1873–1966) thinks that the principle of multiplying resources was not confined to the miracles Jesus performed with bread and fish, but is also active in the life of a steward. He says, “Money is a miracle because it increases when you give it away. There is a divine law in connection with our giving. Christ with a few loaves and fishes feeds thousands. When the woman of Zarephath responded to the request of Elijah, her scanty store became a bountiful sufficiency … Perhaps you have never thought of the miracle of money before.”

Expository preacher Stephen F. Olford (1918–2004) also calls the principle of multiplying resources a “miracle.”

The miracle of giving is that it produces a ministry of giving. When God can trust his people with money, he sees to it that they always have plenty for themselves and more for others. So the apostle quotes Psalm 112:9 to support the divine principle: “[they have freely scattered their gifts … in honor].” There is honor and reward where generosity has been exercised. God is no man’s debtor. And we are fulfilled in the enrichment of usefulness in giving because he meets our requirements, multiplies our resources, and motivates our responsibility … God alone is responsible for the measure in which these resources are multiplied, for the promise is clear and sure: he multiplies the seed that is sown.

THINK ABOUT IT

  • When you approach God, do you perceive him as a God of abundance or scarcity?
  • How does your answer affect your prayers?
  • When have you seen God perform miracles in your life?

PRAY ABOUT IT

God, thank you for your abundance and generosity to me. I pray that I will see you as you are: a God who delights in giving gifts to his children.

Daily Devotion, John, Day 18

Day 18

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, speak to us as we open up Your word today. Give us ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts to listen. Give us today our daily bread, in Jesus’ name, Amen

John 3:16-21, Nicodemus, Part 3.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 is the gospel in one sentence. Replace the words “world” and “whoever” with your name and read again. For God so loved………..that He gave His only begotten Son, that if………..believes in Him, shall not perish but shall have eternal life. This is good news. All you have to do is to believe in Jesus and by faith, you will be saved.

17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

God sent Christ into the world not to condemn but to save the world through Him. However, those who did not believe in Him will be condemned. The salvation coin has 2 sides, salvation, and condemnation. Those who believe in Christ will be saved but those who did not believe in Christ will be condemned.

19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.

Jesus, the light of the world (John 8:12), revealed and exposed. Many people reject Jesus because His life and teachings expose their. Romans 3: 10,  “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one”. They preferred to remain in darkness, rather than be exposed to the light.

21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

Whoever believes in Jesus comes into the light because He is light. Whoever walked in the light will not stumble in the dark. John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”.

In John 7: 50-51, Nicodemus defended Jesus in front of the Pharisees. In John 19:39, Nicodemus joined Joseph of Arimathea and gave Him a proper, descent, and honorable Jewish burial. He brought 75 pounds of myrrh and aloes to embalm Jesus’ body. After this encounter, Nicodemus became a secret follower of Jesus. After Jesus’ death, he declared his faith in the open. He came to Jesus by night but came out from Jesus into the light. According to tradition, Nicodemus was removed from the Sanhedrin, excommunicated by the Jews, and banished from Jerusalem.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus Christ into the world to save the world. Thank You for the gift of salvation and eternal life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.