John 6:12-13, “When they had all had enough to eat, He said to His disciples, ‘Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.’ So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.”
Starting with only a tiny lunch of bread and fish given by a young boy, Jesus miraculously divided the food, filling everyone with more than enough. But notice that once the crowd had eaten, there were leftovers. Twelve baskets filled with leftovers. The boy’s small act of generosity had multiplied into much more.
Jesus said, “Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full.” Generosity can be compared to a tennis ball thrown at a wall. Hitting the wall, the ball rebounds back to the thrower. But in God’s economy, the rebounding tennis ball becomes a basketball. The gift given becomes a larger gift given back.
It took twelve baskets to contain the leftovers. Why twelve? Maybe the twelve disciples needed to see this truth up close and personal. What better way to illustrate the power of generosity than to have a basket for each disciple, filled to capacity. Generosity experienced will long be remembered!
The dynamic of generosity – give and you will receive – can only be understood when practiced. Make generosity a priority in your life by giving away something you possess in order to bless someone else. Do this weekly and be on the outlook for what God does in return.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of eternal life you have given to me in Jesus Christ. Help me make generosity a priority in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.