“He said to them, ‘You give them something to eat.’ They said, ‘We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.’ For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, ‘Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.’ And they did so. And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.” Luke 9:13-17

It was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning.., no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:14-19

There is something bounteous and beautiful about the way God supplies for His own. He Who owns the cattle on 1000 hills could rain down all that lacks into every individual’s lap every day, for He knows our needs before we do, but He chooses to involve the hearts and hands of others to teach the wonder of His multiplication, the joy of sacrifice, and the exercise of generous living. Jesus, Who could do it Himself, said, “you do it,” inviting His people to participate in providing for the hungry crowds. Their leftovers were a remarkable visual aid to the satisfaction found in Christ alone. (Matthew 6:8; Psalm 50:10-12; 107:9)

Cows in field w mountains, Blacks Point, New Zealand

In God’s economy, we can never out-give Him. He is all-sufficient to supply, and the Source of soul satisfaction. He presents opportunities, His Spirit prompts the heart, but we must exercise the will to uncurl our fingers and give. What we learn in opening the fist is a gladness in surrender we can know no other way. Giving out of our plenty is a worthy practice, giving sacrificially unites us intricately to Christ. How often do I forego a want or pleasure to donate to a need or pleasure of another? What item, hour, or resource am I willing to give up in order to help or bless another? Are there spending habits that need fine-tuning or a complete overhaul so I am less constrained in generosity? How does God want me to think differently about stewardship? (Malachi 3:8-10; 2 Corinthians 9:6-10)

Good Father, engage all my faculties to bring me to the place of genuine sacrificial giving, as You have done for me. Open my eyes to needs, my heart to love without measure, and my hands to give so others are satisfied and glorify You, from Whom all blessings flow. (1 Chronicles 29:11-14; Psalm 24:1; 2 Corinthians 9:11-13)

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