Late in the afternoon the twelve disciples came to him and said, “Send the crowds away to the nearby villages and farms, so they can find food and lodging for the night. There is nothing to eat here in this remote place.” But Jesus said, “You feed them.” “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Or are you expecting us to go and buy enough food for this whole crowd?” For there were about 5,000 men there. Jesus replied, “Tell them to sit down in groups of about fifty each.” So the people all sat down. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers! LUKE 9:12-17 NLT
Jesus wants me to help feed His crowds
But Jesus said, “You feed them.” … LUKE 9:13 NLT
Jesus expects me to give generously from what I have
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. JOHN 6:5-8 NIV
To give generously I must…
Get a personal vision for how I give to God
But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity. ISAIAH 32:8 NLT
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 2 CORINTHIANS 9:7 NLT
Work through my scarcity mentality
Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!” JOHN 6:7 NLT
Enough is always the enemy of my faith
Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” JOHN 6:8-9 NLT
When I bless Jesus, He will bless me with more than enough
Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers! LUKE 9:16-17 NLT
Personal Reflection Guide
Find a quiet place away from distractions. Tune into your thoughts and feelings and ask God to quiet them so that you can become calm. Cast any fears or burdens on Him and ask for His peace. When you are ready, begin a conversation with God. Talk to Him about your giving practices. Reflect on your experiences in giving. What thoughts and feelings surface? Ask God to help you determine to what extent they reveal whether or not you are trusting God or yourself to provide. Discuss with Him what He reveals about your capacity to trust Him to provide financially for you. This week, pray for the financial needs of the church and what He wants you to do to help meet these needs. Also, be praying about the year-end giving campaign, asking God to provide exactly what the church needs financially. Close your time by thanking God for what He will do to meet the financial needs of the church as well as your own financial needs as you practice generosity as you give to His work.
- Why do you think the disciples thought it wasn’t their responsibility to help feed the five thousand?
- Read John 6:5-6 (NLT). Why do you think Jesus tested Phillip about feeding the crowd?
- One of the ways people are willing to hear the message of Jesus is when they see the generosity of God’s people. When has there been a time where God has tested your generosity? Share your story with the group.
- Take some time to reflect and share about times in your life when God has shown Himself to be trustworthy and good, especially when you have had financial difficulties. How does hearing each others’ stories help grow your faith and trust in God’s provision?
- Do you lean more towards a generosity or scarcity mentality when it comes to finances? Where does that come from?
- NEXT STEPS: Pray for our church’s finances, specifically that God would solidify your vision for personal giving, and that you would be motivated to take your next step, even if it feels like all you have is a few loaves and some small fish. For help with your finances—including debt management—visit sandalschurch.com/thrive.