The Principle of Multiplication
Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. -- Luke 9:16
Have you ever wished you could multiply your money? Well, I have wonderful news for you: God can do it. In fact, God is the Master of multiplication. One of my favorite examples of this comes from Luke 9:12-17, which tells the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. You are probably very familiar with this story, but let’s modernize and personalize it a bit. You may see some things you have never noticed before.
Picture yourself as one of the disciples. One day, an enormous crowd gathers. Counting the heads of households, you come up with about 5,000 men plus women and children. That means there are probably 15,000 to 20,000 people gathered on the hillsides listening to Jesus. He preaches all morning, and you expect Him to wrap up around noon, but He doesn’t—He keeps right on teaching.
You think, He’s preaching well and everyone seems to be enjoying it. We’ll let Him go a little bit longer today. Then one o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock, and four o’clock all come and go, and He continues expounding on the Scriptures! By five o’clock, you’re beginning to hear from your associates: "The people are hungry, and all the restaurants are going to close soon!" The fact is, you’re not sure whether it’s really the people who are hungry or just your associates. But, being pretty famished yourself, you go to Jesus.
"Lord, please excuse the interruption, but the people haven’t eaten all day, and now the restaurants are closing. So, we were thinking that You might want to . . . You know, uh . . . dismiss the service." He turns to you and says, "Give them something to eat," and then returns to His teaching. You go back to your associates and tell them what Jesus said.
So, you and the other disciples see how much food you can scrounge up, and 30 minutes later all you have is two fish sticks, five hushpuppies, and a Long John Silver’s kid’s meal with a SpongeBob SquarePants action figure. It’s not looking good. You return to Jesus to tell Him the disappointing news and He says, "That’s great! Have the people sit down in groups of 50."
Have you ever watched 12 guys try to organize 20,000 men, women, and children into groups of 50? Herding cats across Texas would be a breeze by comparison. Once the people are in groups, Jesus takes the fish and hushpuppies, blesses them, breaks them in half, hands them back to you and the disciples and says, "Now go give it away." You look down at the broken piece of hushpuppy and wonder how it will stretch to feed all these people. But as you break off piece after piece, you realize a miracle is happening. This is one of the most remarkable things about this story—the miracle happened in the disciples’ hands, not in Jesus’ hands. You probably know how the story ends—everyone ate and there were 12 baskets of food left over.
Now, I’ve taken some creative liberties with this story because I want you to really see what happened. But I also hope to explain two key principles of multiplication in this story.
First, we see that something must be blessed before it can multiply. As we know from previous days, the way that our money is blessed and redeemed is by giving our firstfruits, or our tithe. Jesus, the One who receives our tithes, is the only One who has the power to bless it so that it can multiply.
The second principle of multiplication is this: Only what is given away can multiply. If the disciples had simply kept the food for themselves, it would’ve never multiplied. The same principle applies to our finances. When we give over and above our tithe, that’s when our finances have the potential to multiply.
I hope this day’s topic sheds some light on life-changing multiplication principles that could have a big impact on your finances and an even bigger impact on the kingdom of God.
Lord, thank You for Your principle of multiplication and for letting me take part in the miracle You’re doing in my finances. I pray that You will continue to multiply everything I give and increase my ability to be a giver. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
FOR FURTHER STUDY
- Luke 9:12-17; Romans 11:16; Philippians 4:19
Taken from The Blessed Life, a Gateway devotion.
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