Let's Multiply!
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode · 5 months ago

Let's Multiply!

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

God takes what we offer him and multiplies it. So what are you bringing? Also, there is always so much left over!

Well, this series has been really, really fun. I've enjoyed preaching. We've been in a lot of different places. We started with Abraham, if you remember that, and Abraham or God gave Abraham a vision to go and he's going to have as many descendants as the stars in the sky. And so he went outside. This was me envisioning. He went out inside and counted the stars and he probably got up to a couple hundred and if he was really, really smart, he probably counted a thousand. And now we know with a space telescope that there are seventy sextillion plus stars out there. And so we started by saying that God wants to expand our vision. God wants to do more than we can even understand, even comprehend in this moment. And then we talked about in the first couple chapters in the book of acts, how God uses evangelism and generosity to fuel his mission on earth. Today, through the local church, people come to faith in Jesus and the church rallies together and says, how can we help, how can we give? How can we give of our time and our resources and our talents? And more people get saved and more people are generous and more people get say that's an incredible cycle. And last week we looked at a guy named naming. He was a commander of the enemy army, the Syrian army, and he had an offering of four point three million dollars that he brought and he was like, I'm going to give this to you and you're going to heal me of my leprosy. And the King of Israel was like, I don't want your money, and Elishah's like, I don't want your money either, but I'm going to give you a blessing. I'm going to heal you. And so it's just reminder that, like whatever we give, we can never outgive God. God's gift to us, as blessings to us are so much more than we could ever earn or deserve or repay or anything like that. And so we've also had some really cool snacks the last couple weeks. I haven't that been neat? We started with bliler's donuts. Anybody like those donuts that we had a couple weeks ago? Yeah, we should. We should probably do that again. Yeah, those are really good. Then we also had a candy Bar, or a candy buffet. You know it is getting all that yummy stuff. And then we had what was last popcorn, and so does yeah, movie theater popcorn, and it was so good. And Jim and Jack, you're sitting over here. They did an incredible job planning all that. So that was really cool. I'm but today, did we forget the snack for today? Today's the Big Day, and we we forgot a snack today. Oh my good, we forgot a snack. Oh Hot, it's the it's the main day. But this is what it's all, it's all been, and we forgot a snack. Come on, does anyone have any like? CAN WE SHARE ANYTHING FOR EVERYBODY? I mean, you got anything? You look around, you know, you just in your pockets. You got any? We got a Hershey, kiss, job breaker. Here we go. Okay, there we go. That'll be fun. Will share some. Coming around. Well, you got, you got, you...

...got some sweetish fish and some bread sticks here. Bringing up, bringing up, bringing up here. Yeah, bringing up that might that might work. I might do it. You just like found that. You brought that with you today. You were prepared. Yeah, you always have it, you just in case. All right, yeah, this, what's this gonna do? This is like nothing. I could eat this in two seconds. Well, I don't know, we'll just leave it right here and pretend like it'll do something later. All right, that's not gonna work. Yeah, that's right. It's like for key. Yeah, all right. So, if you haven't guessed by now, the sermon today is the feeding of the five thousand, and the story goes that Jesus brings his disciples out to a quiet place to try and get away from the crowds. Well, the crowds don't let that happen. They show up there and there are a lot of them. There are five thousand men, plus women and children, so fifteen, twenty thousand. And the disciples are looking around like Jesus, this, will you ever stop preaching? and Jesus is like go feed them, and they're like with what? And so they look around and they get to fish and five loaves and bring it to Jesus and say here it is, here's what we got, and Jesus multiplies it, gives it to the disciples. They go and distribute it and there is more than enough left over. At the end every disciple has a basketful of leftovers after they're finish giving it to everybody and everybody's had enough to eat. The point is is that Jesus multiplies what we bring him. And so, if you have your Bible, turn with me to mark chapter six. What's interesting is the feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle that is in all four gospels, other than their resurrection, and we're going to look at Mark Chapter Today. Must have been important. It must have been very memorable. In Mark Chapter six, and if you don't have your Bible, the words will be on the screen behind me. I'm going to do something special again. Today is a special Sunday and I know it takes a second to do this, so I want you all to stand for the reading of God's words. So that means you might have to put your recliner seat down and give you a second to do that. No shame at all. No shame at all. Would you stand up for the reading of God's were says this. The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all that they had done and taught, and then Jesus said, let's go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest a while. He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his disciples didn't even have time to eat, and so they left by boat for a quiet place where they could be alone. But many people...

...recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from the many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them. and Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. And late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said this is a remote place and it's already getting laid. Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat. and Jesus said, you feed them with what they asked. We'd have to work for months to earn enough money to buy food for all these people. How much bread do you have, he asked. Go and find out. They came back and reported we have five loaves of bread and to fish. And then Jesus hold the disciples to have the people sit down in groups on the green grass, and so they sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred. There we go. So Jesus took the five loaves and to fish and looked up to heaven and bless them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the breads to the disciples so that they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share, and they all ate as much as they wanted, and afterwards the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish. A total of five thousand men and their families were fed from those loaves. Jesus multiplies what we bring him. You can be seated. Thank you for standing for that. That is the word of God, and we're talking about multiplying. Multiplying starts with compassion, because, if you caught it right, they went away. They were trying to get away, and Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat and he went back into the boat because they don't want to deal with people. Right. That's that's not what it says. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat and he had compassion on them. Jesus saw all of these people. They're trying to get away. The disciples just had this great ministry tour and he recognized they were where. They were worn out, they had spent all their energy they had they just been ministering. They need a quiet place to go, they need a quiet place to rest, they need a quiet place to pray, and God knows that we all need that. And so I'm looking forward to the beginning of this New Year. In January we're going to do a sermon series about rest, about managing our energy, managing our time. It's really important. Jesus modeled it for us. This is disciples did it for us. But sometimes, or all the time, there's inner options. There's people that show up into those spaces and it's like, what do we do with them? Can they just go away for a second? Can't we just leave them be? And that's when we need compassion. We need a feeling inside of our gut, in our soul, in our heart for people, for all different kinds of people, and...

...what helps build compassion in us is that we see people the way that God sees them. and Jesus here in this moment, he saw them like what? Like sheep without a shepherd, and if you know anything about sheep, you've heard a sermon about sheep. You know that sheep or stupid. That's how he sees people. They're stupid and they're dumb and sheep. You know what's interesting about sheep is they're so dumb that they would just follow other sheep off a cliff, like thousands, just one after another, jumping off a cliff to their death. And Sheep, if they get stuck on their back, their legs are flailing in the air, they can't do anything to turn themselves around. They need a shepherd. They need someone to lead them, someone to guide them, someone to care for them, to protect them, and that's what Jesus does for all of us. He's the great shepherd of the sheep. But without Jesus, with without him, people are like sheep. They just heard crazy, and that's why it's helpful to have compassion on somebody that responds in a certain way, like a boss that gives you the worst day ever. You're like, why does she do this to me all of the time? Why does she respond this way? Well, she's a sheep, or that family member that you just got together with the Thanksgiving and you can't wait to see again till at Christmas time, and it's like this why? Why? Why? Why? I just this go away. I could care less about you. It's like, well, maybe they're just stuck on their back with their legs flailing in the air, and they need the great shepherd to show up in their life and you, as a little shepherd, could can point them in the right directions, could kind of tip them over a little bit and say, Hey, here's somebody that cares for you, here's somebody that'll be there for you. and Jesus was that for these people, and so he saw them as a sheep without a shepherd and he began teaching them many things. Jesus taught them. He was good at teaching. He wanted to lead them, he wanted to guide them, and so we can teach people too. We can teach them about Jesus, about what Jesus has done for us. We can absolutely do that, and some of us are great at that and others of US teaching is like, I'm not doing that, I'm not a teacher. Who maybe you're not, but you have something. You have are gifted with a certain skill or ability or talent or gift that God can use to help you point people to the great shepherd. You can serve them. You, you can love them, you can take care of them, you can do something to point somebody to the great shepherd and Jesus. For him it was teaching. But GEEZ, multiplication starts with compassion. But then multiplication starts with us too, because look, it's getting laid. They're like, how we going to feed all these people?...

In Jesus said, you feed them, you feed them, like you do it. Multiplication is about you doing it, you feeding them, you doing it. And what's crazy in like you think about church or in our in our society usually, and I think we just think about this, with organizations and even businesses. A lot of times that we've lived in addition world. We think that if we just get people to come to Jesus, let's just bring them to Jesus and Jesus will be there and he'll just give them everything that they need, just one one, one, one, addition, addition, addition, addition. But Jesus doesn't say that. He says you feed them, you do it, meaning he's turning it around and in trusting you, when trusting all of us with what he has blessed, with what he has already multiplied, and he's saying you do it. So as a church we want to multiply and that's why we talk a lot about what you can do, what God has gifted you to do, and certainly we want people to trickle into church, to come to a service and show up to a group and start to serve and like what. You know that addition is always a thing, but we want to live in the world of multiplication where it's saying you, you do it, you do it, and the organization, the organism of the church, is here to help you do it. So an example of that is the Care Support Fund. It's like a benevolence fund. A lot of churches have this, but what's unique about it is, like I'm we're saying to you, there are people in your life that need you to care for them, so care for them, and now we're saying that the organization Your Church has money set aside to help you do this, to help you fuel this mission. So people could call the church, and people have called the church. They've called me right and they call me, I answer the phone and they tell me their story and sometimes it's a good story and sometimes it's I don't know story, and you just listen and you say if we can help them, then certainly we want to help them. And One person calls and one person calls and one person calls and one person calls, and if one person calls enough times, then maybe there's ten people. But if all of us care for the people in our life, that's multiplying in effect and multiplying in impact, because as it's not just reliant on one person or one place, it's in trusting you all to say you go, you feed them, you do it, which leads to the next point of multiplication, that it demands dependence on God, because when we say you do it, you do it. Then you're like with what? What? What do I have to do? What do I have to give? Really,...

...do you know? I have very little resources, very little food, I have very low capacity to do anything. Maybe my character isn't to the level at which I want it to be, or my competency about this particular thing is kind of low. Like you want me to do it. Really, Jesus says to the disciples, go and find out what you got. Get the people situated, and Jesus took the five loaves and two fish from them. Jesus takes what we have and multiplies it. So we need to be dependent on Jesus if we're going to multiply, if we're going to feed them, we need to first and always be dependent on Jesus. And then it just takes obedience. Multiplication just is obedience. Jesus, as he was blessing it and making it, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so that they could distribute it to the people. Like just distribute it right, just do it, just grab some food and go and do it. You know, that's as easy as it gets. It just is. It just is a thing. It's just as do it. It's like Nike slogan. Right, just do it. And so often in Christian world and another world too, but we just come up with all these excuses of I don't know, not right now, I'm too busy this, that the other thing, and it's just like simple obedience. Just do it, just do it, just distribute it, just distribute the Gospel, just distribute love, just distribute forgiveness, just distribute grace, just distribute it. Just do it. He just do it. Multiplication is obedience. And as we do it, multiplication always leaves us with leftovers at the end, after the disciples had distributed everything and they ate all as much as they wanted. Afterwards, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers, bread and fish, after feeding five thousand men and everyone else. Every single one of the disciples had twelve baskets of leftovers in their hands, one for each disciple, and that tells me that God, with God, there's always more than enough. There is always more than enough when you trust God, when you follow God, when you do what he's calling you to do, when you give what he's given to you, there's always more than enough. He sees you individually. They each had a basketfull of leftovers for themselves. Jesus taught that we should seek first the Kingdom of God, and everything else will be added to us. It's like if we are just faithful with the little bit that God has given us, we...

...are faithful with that, then there's so much more that God wants to multiply. When we give our money, God multiplies the rest. When we give our time, God multiplies what's left over. God always multiplies what's left over. There is always more than enough left over, and whenever we give, there is nothing is ever wasted. Whenever we give. God always uses it. He got, he always he doesn't let it all, anything, go to waste. We might not see it right away, but God is at work, he is growing the seeds that are planted. He's he's his word doesn't return void. When we share a verse, when we pray for somebody, God is always using those things and people's lives and we might see it later or it might take into eternity to understand the impact that we've had. But God doesn't let anything that we give every or go to waste. And with God there's always more than enough. We doesn't let anything that we give go to waste. And then God, he always well, how do I want to say it? It's right at the tip of my tongue. There we go. We can never outgive God. We can never outgive God. So they gave, they gave, they gave, and every single one of them had a basket full of leftovers. And, like I said, God sees you individually. Would somebody near these tables pull off the curtain or the there we go. We got somebody can can money. You come down here and do that. Just take the table cloth off and tray off. There you go. There is always more than enough for every single one of us. Like God, individually, sees what you need, knows what you need and provides what you need every single time, and so Jesus multiplies what we bring him. And the question today is a simple one. What do you have to bring them? What do you have to bring them? So, if you have that white card that you might have received when you came in today, now is the time to pull that out, and a pen if you need one. I have some down here. Will make sure you get a white card, but you're going to write on that card the answer to that question. What do you have to bring Jesus? And then after I talked for a little bit and we listen to a song for a little bit, then I'm going to invite you to stand up and bring what you have and put it in the basket. There's a basket down here and a basket...

...in the middle down there, and just as a way is say, Jesus, I'm bringing this to you. And then after that we're going to wrap up our service and our time together. So what could you write on that blank piece of paper? There's nothing special about that piece of paper, of course, but what could you write? Well, maybe you would write about your time, that you want to give your time to Jesus. Maybe for you it's like a time of day, like the mornings. I'm going to give my morning from eight o'clock to ten am to Jesus. What are you going to do in that time? I don't know. I'll figure it out later. I'll pray, I'll read my Bible, I'll do something. Maybe you can give a part of your day, a part of your morning, part of some time to Jesus. Maybe you give a Tuesday night. You're like again, I don't know what I'm doing on Tuesday night, but Jesus it's yours. Use It however you want to use it. I'm available Tuesday nights and maybe you have people over at your house for dinner, maybe you go out and volunteer somewhere, or maybe you connect with your neighbors, do a prayer, walk around your neighborhood, something, but you've given Tuesday night your time to Jesus. Or maybe maybe you want to give your talents to Jesus. Maybe you've got a gift or ability and you just want to want to use it to bless people, to serve people, to love people, to care for people and you're like, I want to do this, I want to give them my my whatever my skill or ability is. Maybe you get paid some big box to do whatever you do and well, maybe you could do it for somebody in need for free or give it to him as a blessing or something that makes a difference, an impact on their life, to let them know that there's a God that unconditionally cares about you. So you could bring them your time, you could bring them your talent, you could bring them your tent, that's a t word of saying your stuff, your house, your car, the thing that you live in, the thing that you go to sleep in, you know every day, the thing that you drive. Is there something that you can do with that to be a blessing to other people? If you offered that to God, what would he have for you to do? Or maybe it's your treasure, maybe there's something valuable to you that you want to offer to God, and we've been talking about an offering maybe to you again. You've been coming, you're prepared, you you've been planning, you've been feeling it all week long and it's just like this is a big deal for you. Given an offering above and beyond. Maybe you just write that, maybe you just write whatever whatever that is. It's been. It's been a cool thing for me to and at least it to experience to but whatever you write on that car and maybe maybe the simplest thing to write, but also the most challenging, is just your name, because ultimately God just wants you. He wants all of you, every...

...part of you. He wants you to love them, to serve them, to worship him, to live your life for him, and so maybe you just write your your name on there. But whatever it is, I want to give you a couple minutes to think about it, to write it down, and then afterwards I will instruct you and we'll come down and give it in here. You don't have to give your offering in here. You could just put that in the offering boxes or give online or whatever you want to do, but this is is specifically for this card. All Right, here's the song.

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