Do we want to multiply our talents? ==> Yes, everyone wants it.
Are we asking what happens if it doesn't work first time? How can we deal with failure? ==> If we don't want to confront things we're never going to multiply.
Are we saying We don't have what we need in our hands? ==> No, We're wrong, We have what we need in our hands right now but we're not recognizing it.
Are we saying I will withhold my talent and multiply? ==> No, we got to release to multiply not withhold.
Are we saying I want to be in comfort zone and multiply my talents? ==> No, you can't multiply if you're not into risk.
Are we saying I will live with my complacency and multiply my talents? => No, Multiplication happens through actions not through complacency. Do something with what you got.
Are we saying It's my talent and its about only me and its my decision to take whether multiply or not? ==> No, you are wrong, There's other people in other side of your multiplication. This is more than just for you.
Are we saying I am not answerable to anyone for my talents? ==> No, You are responsible for your talents and What God is put in your hands, you will be answerable for.
Are we saying we are faithful? ==> then where is your fruitful?
Faithfulness demands fruitfulness.
We start a new series here at Freedom church, and it's all about JESUS.
I was so excited about this series. Because I believe that when we look at who Jesus is, there is always blessing. So If you wanna go away with something, go away with the blessing, you've come to the right place. you've come to the right message.
But we're gonna look at Jesus perhaps not in a typical way that many people look at Jesus.
It's not like let's do a bible study about Jesus. We're going to look at some extraordinary sides of Jesus. in fact in sort of the Bible, it says that there were many stories about Jesus that were never told in scripture.
There is a sides of Jesus, you don't even know. So straightaway that's says to me, let's not presume, May be you've come in, may be you're searching for faith, may be you're not even sure what you believe, may be you've been a Christian for many years, there's always something to discover about Jesus.
You have to get ready and say God will you teach me something new.
This is a fascinating thing I found as well is that when we talk to people who perhaps don't have faith, they're quite happy for us to talk about God, but as soon as you start personalizing it and start talking about Jesus, it seems somehow cause offense/awkwardness, because God was made flesh through Jesus and he came to earth, to came to the cross, to pay a price for us. Because we were lost and we need a savior and it was only Jesus who came for us.
We're gonna start off in quite a sort of relaxed way. We're gonna start and look at how Jesus loved food.
When you look through the gospels, it is amazing how often Jesus is like around food. He's having suppers, dinners. He's going like to parties, he shouldn't go to. He's having barbecues, Can you imagine, the son of God doing a barbecue for you?
Feeding of the 5000
[Luke 9:12-14 As the day wore on, the twelve came to Jesus and told him, It's getting late. You should send the crowds away to the surrounding villages and farms to get something to eat and find shelter for the night. There's nothing to eat here in the middle of nowhere.
Jesus responded, "You have the food to feed them"
They replied, All we have are these five small loaves of bread and two dried fish. Do you really expect us to go buy food for all these people? There are nearly five thousand men here, with woman and children besides.
He told his disciples, Have them all sit down in groups of fifty each]
A lot of hungry people. It could be probably the biggest gathering Jesus ever spoke to. Because, when they referred to number, they referred to men. 5000 men. on top of that, they were woman and children. so this crowd, many people believe is about 25000.
From the beginning of the day, Jesus had been healing, he's been speaking, he's been impacting people. Mass crowd of 25000 people being there since the morning.
Morning is gone, and the day wore on, and the disciples were looking on and like 1'o clock turned into 2'o clock, Jesus was still preaching, 2'o clock turned into 3, he was still going, 3'o clock to 4, they were in 5'o clock. Disciples were just like watching Jesus and thinking, "wow this is some sort of serious".
Jesus is preaching to the crowd. Day is wearing on, it almost like evening. Jesus is still going on.
Disciples were having a little committee. They're thinking I wonder when he's gonna quit. I think people are hungry, may be one of us should go and interrupt him.
Imagine, going infront of Jesus when he is preaching, he's been going for few hours now. Disciples are together, they sort of vote someone, who's gonna go and tell to Jesus? I am just thinking, It could be Peter.
Imagine it, He's waiting for the pause from Jesus several time and finally he comes up and says Jesus, I think people are hungry. May be we should call it a day. We could listen all night, we're just like getting warmed up. But the people they are not used to it. So Jesus, Do you think it's time to quit.
Jesus turned around and says "You feed them".
Excuse me Jesus, what was that? there's 25000 people here and we are in the middle of nowhere. Yeah you feed them.
Its like, Peter came back to the committee. The're all thinking come on, we've got an answer, is it quit in 5 minutes? He says feed them.
They say straightaway, We've already checked and all we've got is pack lunch with five loaves and two fishes.
They said that Jesus, this is what we've got. Jesus ignores the fact that they've said. He doesn't even say is that all what you could find? It's not like that's a great effort, well done. Because, I think disciples were thinking, restaurants are closing, we need to get away soon.
Its so funny how we put these things in front of what God is about to do.
Don't rush away from what God is about to do.
Don't rush into something because it's convenient. You need to sometimes press in because God's about to do something great.
What they had to offer had no impact on Jesus.
Jesus just ignores him and said, alright get them to sitting groups of fifty.
Have you tried getting 25000 people to sit in groups of 50. It must have been absolute nightmare. But they get them seated. There's something about the order.
[Luke 9:16-17, Then he took the five loaves and 2 fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude.
So they all ate and were filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them]
That's a miracle.
If I am Peter, there's 12 of us and We've 5 loaves and I am barely getting half.
I am just imagine right now being Peter, says right Peter, this is your bit, I'm gonna pray over it and bless it, we're gonna put it in basket, you're gonna start giving out, you're gonna feed multitudes with this piece of bread.
I am just imagine, everything's going through my head right now. As I put it in the basket and I walked to the first crowd of 50. They're all looking on, it's like here we go guys here we go, break it up, break it up, small pieces, too much, too much. As it goes along and it gets less and less and you are trying to stretch this thing out, but as it goes, it seems to multiply, as it goes it seems to increase, as he gets to the end of the 50 he goes on to the next 50, there's more here and as he starts going, it increases and the overflow of what is happening is taking place in front of his eyes.
It didn't multiplied in Jesus's hand, it multiplied in his disciples hands.
We're waiting for too long for Jesus to multiply something when he said you've to multiply what I put in your hands.
The miracles happened when the disciples are obedient. This is to do with the obedience, is not to do with the understanding. This is to do with obeying what master says, it was only then they started to see the multiplication.
I'm sure all of us, we would love to say here Jesus, here's the bread and fish, just make it grow. But Jesus says I'm gonna bless it then I'm gonna give it and you've to start sharing it.
1.Multiplication requires confrontation.
Every one of us love to say that I want to live a life that multiplies. No one wants to say I just want a bit less of everything.
We wanna multiply what's in or hands. If we got a certain skill, we wanna multiply that skill. We have certain thing's given to us, we wanna multiply it.
There is something about multiplication in the kingdom of God, that's what he talking about. He's trying to teach them about the kingdom of God.
For us to multiply, we're gonna need to confront our fear. Because, when they were there, and the day was wearing on, and people looked fed up, and they were hungry, there was 25000. He says, ok what you got? I've got this small bit of bread and then I had to walk up to the need that was overwhelming in my life,and I had to stay but with it, I'm gonna start releasing it. I'm gonna need confront it.
If you don't want to confront things you're never going to multiply.
You want to multiply your life, you want to see increase, you want to see replication in your life. I've learned that Jesus is going to take you to a place of confrontation. Confrontation about why you want to multiply?, confrontation about what's the sort of motive behind the desire?
There's gonna be questions around what happens if it doesn't work first time? Can you deal with failure? When everyone says there's no way, will you make a away?
Anyone can just sit with all the cynics and say, this is all we got Jesus. They're basically saying there's no solution.
You want to multiply, Jesus comes to confront your faith.
They even said, Jesus this is all we had, 5 loaves and 2 fishes which is hard to believe amongst all the people. They then said, even if we had enough money, there wouldn't be enough food for us to be able to buy anywhere.
2.The potential to multiply in your hands.
So they were telling Jesus about all the issues and problems and obstacles when Jesus wanted one of them to say that yeah I want to believe that there is something about you being the source of blessing that you were the one that multiplies and you can take one and one and make it five.
Jesus came to them and says you feed them.
Some of the prayers that we're praying to Jesus and he's turning around and say No, you do it. Jesus, will you?, you do it. Jesus, but I can't, you do it. Jesus what you move for me, just get up and do something.
There is something powerful about this that he expects us to look at what's in our hands.
Every one of us has what we need in our hands right now but we're not recognizing it.
The loaves and fishes was all they needed for an incredible miracle to feed 25000 people. It was actually in their hands but he was waiting for them to bring it, to bless it and then to begin letting flow through their hands.
What is it that you're holding on to that you need to let flow through your hands?, what is that you think there's not enough?
What if disciples, What if Peter said I'm absolutely starving, let's have one them fish, What if disciples kept it and said well we need to keep something aside for Jesus. You never see the miracle.
What is it that God's put in your hands that you don't think is enough but it's more than enough and he's asking you to begin to release it. There is something you will see right through scripture, the widow with the oil, you will see people who just say I've hardly got enough and I'm about to die. He says, yeah but you just got to meet the multiplier, you just got to meet my Lord and Savior, you got to meet my God, He is the multiply that when you begin pouring out and it's in the pouring that it kept pouring.
So what's in your hands?
3.a Multiplication happens through releasing not withholding.
It doesn't happen just like that where as it happens when it's released.
This is a principle in life and some people that aren't even Christians understand this principle and they will give an amount of their wealth into charity, because they believe in this principle. You got to sow to see something back.
Even through multiplication in our life, you got to release not withhold. What does fear gets to do there's no enough.
We all say we're released when we got lots but when there is not enough, we want to hold. There's not enough and there's no solution but you said NO.
I want you to think as a multiplier. Your God is a God who multiplies.
3.b Multiplication happens through risk not safety.
Many people just think, it's fear that keeps us holding on. But it's not always that. it's actually the fact that we're comfortable.
We get comfortable in our lack and we just think I've just got to survive through. But I've learned to multiply and anyone sort of in a business principle will tell you that you can't multiply if you're not into risk or it be very limited.
You've got to speculate, you've got to think ahead, you've got to say that I am gonna put this in, I'm gonna cast this out, I'm gonna show this out. As we do it, we are gonna start giving the pieces of bread, they're multiplying, this is risky what happens if it goes wrong. They're multiplying, they are growing.
God wants to speak to us today and say where it is that we have just remained safe? because that's what lack does.
I've known people that actually have quite a bit but then they bolster how much they have just in case anything goes wrong. You know what happens, probably something goes wrong.
3.c Multiplication happens through actions not complacency.
You've got to take action, you want to multiply, you want to multiplication in your life, you wanna see greater things in your life, you're gonna need to take action.
Do something with what you got.
[Mathew 25: Parable of the talents]
This is connected with the multiplication, it's connected with the feeding of the 5000, it keeps coming through.
Jesus tells this story of King who's gonna go away on a journey and he entrusts his servants, his steward. He entrust them and he says there's three of them and he says to one I'm gonna give 5000, I'm gonna give the next 2000 the next one, the next one thousand. Five, Two and One. What happens as they give this, they end up sort of putting it to work.
The one with 5000 puts it to work and he doubles it. He invested, he makes it work, he takes his action. He doesn't sit back, he takes action to multiply.
Jesus is teaching us this vision, we got to get this because the church doesn't understand it. We sit and we hold is like what just in case things go wrong, lets sit and hold and do the safe thing but they invested...
Second one with two get multiplies, he gets four, he ends up with 4000.
The last one, what does he do with the one thousand, the least amount. He ends up burying it, because he's fearful of what will happen. He says at least it's safe there and then we're going to pick up the scripture here that says about when master returns.
[Mathew 25:23-26, His master replied, Well done, good and faithful servant! you have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!
Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. Master, he said I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where yo have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.
His master replied, You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed.]
That's not the result that master was looking for from one talent.
The servant with the one bag of gold didn't understand who his master was. He said, I think you were tough/hard, you are a tough boss. If we don't understand that it says in the bible that God is a good God and good father who will give good gifts to his children. He doesn't withhold. He's not a withholder.
But If we think God is somehow wanted to cheat us, He's gonna be tough on us. we're gonna hold, but when you start to understand who he is, it changes everything, it changes the way we respond.
It also says that he allowed fear to make the gift of God dormant in his life. Because that bag of gold is like the things that he's put in our life.
Every one of us that I'm speaking to you today, whatever location, wherever you are God has entrusted whether it's one bag of gold, 2 bags, 5 bags. It says all according to your ability, God entrusted you with gifts. Gifts that he put in your hands.
What you do with your gift is big priority to Jesus.
What you do with your loaves and fishes that just looked so small and the task looks so great and we're there saying I just don't know what to do. He's saying it's time to use it. It's time to put it use. It's time to multiply. I'm the God that multiplies and if only this servant understood who his master was. He would have gone out with boldness and say, I'm gonna take action. I'm not let fear intimidate me and cause me to abandon my gift.
What gift you abandoned?
What is you're sitting on I think it's not very good compared to all the others. He's saying right now, you need to put it to work, you need to start using it, don't sit on it. don't start looking at your past, don't like to start looking to where it went wrong there and it went wrong there. What he is put in your hands, you will be answerable for. I know this and priestess to myself is it's a real big thing.
He is saying what I put in you and who I've called you to be and the gifts of God in you. What would you do?
Master's gone away and coming back.
I wanna be in the place where I say look this is what I did with what you gave me and it multiplied.
I don't wanna be in the place to say Well I just sort of sat on it and kept it safe.
But through risk, through taking action things changed.
When you look at the difference between the good and faithful servant and the one that was wicked and lazy. There is one difference fruitfulness.
That's why he said to the one who multiplied, you've been fruitful, that's why he said to the wicked lazy servant because you've been unfruitful.
Stewardship void of multiplication is unfaithfulness.
I want to shout this right now? because I just feel you need to know this because I'm fed up right of Christians living a life that is unfruitful and then blaming the church or blaming where they've come from or blaming their situation or their weakness or their lack in some way.
You will not be able to blame others when you stand before the Lord your God. You will not be able to get through he takes it, so this is so serious to God that what do you entrust with you says I want to see your return, I want to see you multiply it. This wasn't for you, this was for you to multiply, reproduce. If you have great gifting in you, you should reproduce it.
No good living this life and go and you never reproduced it.
You might talk about unfaithful that shakes us up a bit.
I'm faithful I go to the church. sorry doesn't care.
I'm faithful I sort of go and serve. sorry it doesn't count.
Being faithful is fruitfulness, reproducing, making disciples, using your gifting, doing what he put in your hands.
If he put wealth in your hands is create wealth for the kingdom, create wealth for his purposes.
Whatever your gifting you've got to multiply it. You want to multiply it.
As a leader, what is my objective is to multiply other leaders. So we can impact our world.
[Mathew 25:28-29. So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.
And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.]
This doesn't make sense in Christian circles, because lets face it. If we do the Christian thing we want to like help out the guy who hasn't got as many instead taking the one bag and give it to the most. But what Jesus is sharing here, he says he will give more to those that do stuff with what he gave them. Basically, he will increase those that are fruitful and he won't invest where people aren't fruitful.
I think there are so many great churches. I know I might get criticized for this now. But I'm going to say it anyway. I'm fed of seeing dying churches where people say this is what Christians say to me, well I know things aren't looking good and we're just holding on for the next few years because we're faithful. I think, no you believed a lie, that's not faithful.
Faithful means fruitful. You can't have faithfulness without fruitfulness.
If we think that just that's being loyal right, let's not get it mixed up is being loyal, it's being dependable and all those things and those are good things but this is not actually what the Bible talks about being faithful and that's why you see people who are holding on to the end because it makes them feel, well I will, I'm being faithful.
If you're not multiplying what God put in your hands and you're not seeing the world around you being impacted by your church. You've got to ask serious questions about what you're doing.
If you're not seeing the next generation impacted by your church, you've got to ask what are you doing?
You've to ask as a father right now, if you're in a church and you're not seeing fruitfulness, you got to say what I am doing. You will be responsible. He's called you to be fruitful, because he said be fruitful and multiply.
You've got to know that you called to be fruitful and I will give to those that have. They're basically doing something what I gave them, they're good stewards,
They're faithful because they are fruitful not faithful because they attend.
Faithfulness demands fruitfulness.
I put demands in there because you've got to realize that you can't just say I was faithful.
That servant who had the one bag of gold what was he? He was faithful with his bag of gold, he produced it. he said I looked after the whole time and I stayed around this gold all my life and I can give you back what you gave me, here it is. I took no risk, I wasn't confronted by my fear, I stayed in a place of comfort, I believe that this is all I had to offer and here it is I am gonna return it to you master and he's gonna say get away from me you lazy, you wicked servant.
This is how God sees what he puts in our life because they're precious why because there are other people on the other side of your action. There's other people in other side of your multiplication. This is more than just for you. It's about others, it's about the multitudes, it's about the 25000, it's about what God is put in your hand right now with the loaves and fishes and he's saying yeah it doesn't look a lot but you got to start breaking, you got to start giving because that's when you start seeing miracles happen in your life.
So whatever you're intimidated with right now, whatever feels like there's so much need in my life right now, there's a time we say God it's time to release, it's time to trust, time to multiply, you're the God of multiplication, you demand fruitfulness. Because he loves us.