Methods have changed over the years, but the message has hopefully remained the same. We want to introduce children to God, the Bible, and Jesus. We use many creative ways in doing so. Somewhere during all the crafts, games, songs, and skits, the great stories of the Bible are told. I dare say that is where most people receive their basic theology. Songs tell us about Jesus’ love, letting our little lights shine, and of course the B-I-B-L-E song creates lasting impressions for all of us. Many start their Christian walks by making decisions to follow Christ during these types of events.
A problem develops as we grow older, when our faith and Bible knowledge stays “childlike”. The stories we heard about Noah and the
Ark, Jonah and the whale, baby Moses, and Jesus’ miracles are wonderful, but as we mature as believers our understanding of God’s Word must grow too. A deeper understanding of the Word of God can only occur if we spend time hearing, reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on it. The account of Jesus feeding over 5,000 people is one of these stories. We learn as children about Jesus’ love, using a little boy’s lunch, and the great miracle that followed. By digging deeper into this passage we can learn Biblical truths that give us direction, and help us grow in Christ.
We can learn lessons in giving, receiving, and blessings when we are doing God’s work. First we must be willing to give wholeheartedly to the work of the Lord. The boy in this story gave all he had to Jesus. In his eyes and those around him it sure didn’t seem like much, but because of his faithfulness, and belief that Christ can truly do all things, something unexpected was about to occur. In our lives, we may feel that what we have to give isn’t much, but when we give it all to Him, heaven rejoices. What in your life have you not turned over to the Lord for His kingdom’s work? He is waiting for you.
The Lord will receive from us what is given to do His work. If you notice, Jesus didn’t go looking for food, but accepted what was offered to Him. God is funny like that. He told a group of church people one time that after a poor widow gave a couple of coins in the collection plate that she was the greatest giver. Why? Because she gave all she had. Jesus wants us to give our gifts of service, money, talents, and resources to do His work. When we have that same giving heart as the widow, God will accept it, multiply it, and allow us have it back to use it in ways we can never imagine.
It says that Jesus took the fish and loaves and blessed them, and then He gave it back to them. The disciples distributed the food, everyone ate all they could, and there were 12 baskets of leftovers! When Jesus blesses what we have entrusted to Him, it will come back to us many times over. Just think about what God can do with your offering. Probably something we could never expect, but will be amazed at what He can do through willing followers. Are you ready to accept Jesus’ blessing? Let’s follow His plan, church!
Today starts VBS at Hopewell. We have an opportunity to change lives and have our hearts changed as well. It could be the greatest adventure we have ever been on. Amen?