Making Your Life Count

God’s rules of multiplication point towards the abundant life.
Let us seek to think the way God does about what counts. – Charles Stanley
Close your eyes and drift back to third grade math class. Most of us have vivid memories (or have tried to block out memories) of learning the multiplication tables. Whatever your math class memories entail, let’s dig back into...
the multiplication equations that matter today:
1. Any time we multiply a number times zero it is a loss, nothing...
 nada, zilch.
2. Any time we multiply a number times one it remains the same, no change, same old, same old.
3. Any time we multiply a number times two it grows, or times three it grows, or times four it grows…

Let’s start applying how big this can get. Suppose we have five piggy banks with zero dollars in them—we have lots of empty banks and no money. That’s set one. Now take those same banks and put a dollar in them so we have five dollars. That’s set 2. Now suppose we have those same five banks and double our investment—another dollar in each taking us up to ten dollars. That’s set 3. If we keep applying the arithmetic each week for just four weeks to these same piggy banks, we will have zero dollars in the first set, five dollars in the second set, and that last set of piggy banks is going to bust and overflow! Which would we rather have?

This is the key to the abundant life—giving what we have and trusting its importance, trusting that it’s enough and trusting God with the outcome. According to Christianity Today, “Abundant life is not about what we have. It’s not about what we get. Ultimately, abundant life is about what we receive as a gift from the Lord and to live knowing we are stewards of the blessings of God. At the end of the day, perhaps that is how we know we have an abundant life—when we have shared our lives with others for the glory of God.”

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?
Jesus had been teaching and healing beside the Sea of Galilee. He had amassed a huge crowd of followers and wanted to test his disciples. He told Phillip to go and buy food for the people. Phillip told him that it would take eight months to earn enough money to feed the people.

Question: After searching the crowds, how much food were the disciples able to find? What was Andrew’s response?

John 6:8-9 (New Living Translation)
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?”

Answer:
In Luke’s account of the story, the disciples realize that it’s getting late and the people need to eat. They want Jesus to send them away so they can find their own food but Jesus tells them to feed them. They gave him all they could find and waited.

 Question: 
what did Jesus do with the offering first? What miraculous thing happened?

 Luke 9:16-17 (New Living Translation)
16 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. 17 They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers!

 Answer:
 LIVE… What will you do now?

Jesus knew when he asked the disciples to feed the people, they had very little to offer. Sometimes we think that our hands are empty, void of anything “valuable” that could be offered. Or we may feel that there won’t be enough left for our needs or our family’s needs if we give from that area. What specific area in your life do you relate to this the most (time, talents, money, experiences, etc.)?

Now list all the gifts and resources God has given you. Think of each of them as piggy banks like the example from today. When you receive these gifts, what do you do with them? Are they like the banks that look “perfect” but aren’t doing anything or aren’t changing? Or are they like the banks that keep doubling and then overflowing because of all you are giving and doing with them? Why does it matter?

What does abundant life mean to you? What does it look like? Are you willing to trust how God provides abundant life and take the next step towards Him? What does that look like for you?

PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do?
Ask God to reveal to you areas of your life that you are holding back from Him. Ask Him to show you where you can give to obtain the abundant life that He has planned for you.

Watch the VideoDigging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

Click here to go deeper using the Life Group DVD by the teaching pastor or view the message, including bonus discussion questions.

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Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..

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