Offering Our Lives
Matthew 14:17-20 (NIV)
17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
18 “Bring them here to me,” He said.
19 And He directed the people to sit on the grass. Taking the five loaves and two fishes and looking up to Heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.
20 They all ate and were satisfied…
Many of us who are Christians should have come across this Bible passage before. These few verses speak of one of the miracles that Jesus did during His time here on earth where He used only five loaves and two fishes to feed a grand total of at least five thousand people. As familiar as it may be to many of us, I would just like to take today to run through these verses again to strengthen our current knowledge about offerings. As Christians, when we think about ‘offerings’, the first thought that strikes us in relation to that word would very likely be ‘tithes and offerings’, and that is completely normal and good. However, there’s really more to offering than just in the finance department alone. Sure, this miracle that Jesus did can be used to encourage people to give their offerings but of greater importance is the fact that this miracle can be used to encourage people to offer up their lives to God, not just solely in finances.
Of all the miracles that Jesus did which are recorded in the Bible, at least two of them involved Him feeding a large number of people, the first being more than five thousand and subsequently an approximate of four thousand. Going back to the miracle where He fed the five thousand, that five loaves and two fishes could mean many things but I choose to see it as our lives. Though we are not perfect and are nowhere near achieving the standard of Christ, as long as we offer that little amount that we have to God for Him to use, things will happen, good things. And these things will feed the masses, the masses being the people and the family that God has placed in our lives. Of course, it is more than a literal feeding but really more of a spiritual one, where people can see the transformation and change that you undergo and they, in one way or another, get inspired or curious as to how or why you are doing all that you are doing currently that you never did before – the acts of compassion and the gestures of love. It really starts off with the willingness to do it and as long as the body of Christ sees this need to love and to share and does it together, I am very certain that this spirit is going to be so contagious and the outcome, a beautiful sight to behold.
Today, I feel that Jesus is telling and asking us the same things He told the disciples before He performed these two particular miracles. Before Jesus fed the five thousand, He said to the disciples: “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” (Matthew 14:16) In the same way, God is telling us it’s time to put a stop to ignorance, do away with the shyness of sharing Christ and to just start testifying and evangelizing, so that the people around us are able to get real food to eat which would actually help lead them to the better and greater life God has planned for them. Before Jesus fed the four thousand, He asked the disciples: “How much bread do you have?” (Matthew 15:34) I think that in today’s context, God is asking us: “What are you willing to offer?” God can only work with what we are willing to give to Him for Him to use. He has given us a choice and the more we are willing to offer our lives, the greater the blessings for us and those around us. Don’t get me wrong by thinking I’m saying this is easy, in fact, the more we commit, chances are that it gets harder because the devil tries to stop us from being fully committed to God, but the fruits from our labor and after the refinement by trials are absolutely priceless.
Therefore, choose to dedicate your life to God once again and this time, let it be the entirety of your life.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You that You have given me a choice even though I do not deserve one. Today, I commit every area of my life unto Your loving hands. Forgive me for the things I have done that have not pleased You and make me a person who is ever so grateful for Your work on the Cross and all You have done for me in my life. I thank You Father, that You have made me Your chosen elect to carry out Your instructions in this world before You come back once again, and I commit not to shirk away from this responsibility and privilege but I will embrace it and see the urgency for the lost to know You. Unite us as one body in Christ to shine Your light so that the world will be able to see Your Mighty Hand move on this Earth like never before. I thank You once again and I pray all these in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”