For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability they gave of their own accord, begging us with much entreaty for the favor of participation in the support of the saints. 2 Corinthians 8:3-4
Jesus intended some of His miracles to reverse any negative thinking of God’s People. Jesus was constantly urging His disciples to have faith, even just a little faith, and they would see God do amazing things. And one of the keys to that faith was to make themselves totally available to Him, with all their flaws, all their weaknesses and all their insufficiencies. When they gave their lives, they could expect Christ to respond in power.
When Jesus fed 5,000 people on a hillside near the Sea of Galilee, He did it using only the small lunch of a lad, combined with divine blessing. We can speculate on just how the multiplication took place but we would be missing the point. The point is that God took insufficient means willingly given and did the otherwise impossible. In fact, He did so again, for 4,000 people, not long afterward. Later, He asked His disciples, ’Don’t you get it yet?’ (Mk. 8:21).
Of the several vital truths Jesus communicated through this astounding miracle, the lesson about His ability to multiply our gifts to accomplish His goals energizes Southern Baptists in our commitment to missions. The Cooperative Program starts with individual believers, most of whose incomes are modest and whose gifts, while they may be faithful and even sacrificial, are small compared to the world’s need of the gospel. Each of us, in looking at our gifts to missions, might feel like echoing the question of Andrew, “What are they among so many?” If we give the inadequate to do the improbable, God will accomplish the unimaginable. The Cooperative Program involves Baptists in making a collective gift, and expecting a miracle from the Lord.
Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
Written by: Robert Simms
Cooperative Program Connection to Kingdom Life
The man sold the two-by-sixes, even though the missionary, weeks earlier had arranged to purchase them, U. S. volunteers only needed six 12-foot length to finish the church’s roof. The missionary searched the area – no wood. Discouraged, he started back when a man stopped him. The man had six 12-foot lengths with no knots or bows. Cooperative Program funds bought the wood God provided- then multiplied. Workers gathered up the scraps and made a pulpit, a Lord’s Supper table and several flat benches.