Leaving a Legacy, Part Two
“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” – John 6:9
The second lesson that the story of the feeding of the five thousand teaches us about the legacy we leave is this: God can do amazing things when you give him all you have. Thousands of hungry people sat before the disciples, and they were absolutely clueless about how to feed them. All they could find was a boy who was willing to give his lunch away. And listen to what they say to Jesus, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
What an amazing statement! Here they are standing next to the Son of God and when they’re faced with a challenge of great magnitude, they can’t see beyond the resources in their own hands. But Jesus, as a gift of grace, shows them that when we give our all, he is able to multiply it to meet the need. Those five small loaves and two fish, in Jesus’ hands, became more than enough to feed the crowd.
Never judge the potential impact of your life by the resources you think you have.
The needs of this hungry world are so large that we can be tempted to throw up our hands and say, “What difference could I possibly make?” But that would be the wrong question. The right question would be, “What might God be able to do with all that I have?” Sometimes God uses our lack, our weakness, as the avenue for his blessing, because then he gets all the glory!
Imagine a little girl, perhaps eight years old, with her whole future before her. What might she become? What legacy might she leave? If that little girl places all that she is and all that she has into God’s hands, there’s no telling what she can become, nor the legacy that she might leave behind. Mother Theresa was once an eight year old girl! It wasn’t her power, wealth or fame that eventually allowed her to so deeply mark this world; it was that the fingerprints she left behind were the fingerprints of God and his love.
What might God be able to do if you were to place all your time into his hands? What might God be able to do if you were to place all your financial resources into his hands? What legacy might you leave behind?
I think of Jim and Barb, members of the first congregation I served. In a congregation of about 1,600 members Jim and Barb were the most generous financial givers. While there were plenty of people with good paying jobs in that church, Jim and Barb out-gave them all. Jim is a construction worker. Barb delivers mail for the US postal service. Not only did the legacy of their giving help build the ministry of that congregation, but their living witness deepened my personal commitment to financial stewardship. Their legacy has marked my life.
What might God be able to do if you were to place all your time into his hands? What might God be able to do if you placed all your financial resources into his hands? What legacy might you leave behind? You’ll never know the power of God to multiply whatever you give if you don’t try.
Bringing It Home:
1. When have you experienced God’s power to take what you have to offer and make it more than you dreamed possible?
2. What challenge are you facing today? Are you looking at the size of the problem, or the size of your God?
Heavenly Father, so often I have allowed myself to feel defeated or intimidated by a challenge because I’ve only looked at the resources at hand. Forgive me for underestimating your willingness to take what I have and make of it so much more. Help me to be like that little boy who offered his entire lunch — and with Jesus’ power and blessing fed a hungry crowd. I want to leave a legacy of generosity behind me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Prince of Peace, Burnsville, MN