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What is This Among so Many?

An ASI volunteer was approached by someone who believes in the ministry’s mission but was concerned that what he could afford to donate would be too small to make a difference.  He admitted he wanted ‘insider assurance’ before committing his financial gift, saying something like, “I know your ministry is making a difference, and I know you deal with powerful people in DC and throughout the world. I also know that can’t be cheap. It’s not like you’re down at the local homeless shelter pow-wowing over PB&J sandwiches.”

It wasn’t like his gift was a widow’s mite; it wasn’t sacrificial to him. He’s just keenly aware of the importance of making eternal investments; of sending his treasure home to Heaven ahead of him. There are many worthy causes and while he’d love to give to all of them, he simply can’t. Our volunteer agreed there are many worthy works that reach lost souls in different ways. She compared ASI’s mission field to the Young Life Ministry at a high-priced boys’ prep school. Its mission is to win to Jesus those 7th-12th grade boys who, by virtue of their family backgrounds and social status, are on track to be world leaders within two decades.

Here’s what donations to ASI go for:

  • Congressional Staff Bible Studies – influencing the next generation of Influencers.
  • Discipling Statesmen – encouraging and teaching them God’s Word, Will, and Ways. Every congressman or congresswoman represents 708,000 people.
  • Rescuing the Perishing – not just figuratively, but physically rescuing persecuted Christians throughout the world.
  • Local Disaster Relief – providing aid and comfort to neighbors in crisis.

That led to a question about matching gifts. Matching gifts at ASI are a blessing, but rare. Thankfully, our wonderful God doesn’t match, He multiplies. He multiplies our gifts much like Jesus multiplied a little boy’s donation of the contents of his lunch basket.

In John 6:1-14 we read that a little boy offered his lunch to Jesus. When The Lord instructed His disciples to use it to feed those who had come to hear Him, Andrew asked, “What is this among so many?” The poor guy didn’t have to do the math to know it was not enough to get the job done.

Jesus knew what the disciples didn’t: this wasn’t a math problem; it was a faith equation. Our Creator God multiplies things: small amounts of oil in a widow’s cruse, small amounts of meal at the bottom of the barrel, and small loaves and fish in a little boy’s lunch basket.

Maybe the little boy’s mother had a heart to send her son on his day trip to hear the Great Rabbi with a big slab of lamb between thick slices of leavened bread. But . . . all she had were a few small barley rolls. She sent them, and Jesus multiplied them.

The fish were probably leftovers: the small ones that weren’t eaten at supper the night before. Maybe the little boy’s dad had worked hard to catch those fish . . . and hadn’t thrown them back because his family needed them despite their trifling size. He gave them for his son’s lunch, and Jesus multiplied them.

The little boy gave his lunch to Jesus with no expectations of getting anything back. He probably figured that by doing so, he’d be walking home hungry that evening. He probably didn’t care, though–giving to Jesus would make his feet fly, and his heart would sing all the way home.

There’s no such thing as a small gift. We know what Jesus did with that little boy’s gift: He fed thousands.

Every donation is greatly appreciated. God blesses the ministry because ASI makes every donation count, whether a large gift, or a widow’s mite. And just like the little boy who shared his meager meal with Jesus, when people give to ASI, their hearts can sing all the way home to Heaven.

About The Author, Steve BErger

Steve is known for his straight talk in dealing with various hot-topic cultural issues that many pastors avoid. He serves on the Executive and Pastoral Advisory Boards for Promise Keepers International, and the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast Board. Whether preaching or writing, in great joy or pain, Steve longs to be a proclaimer of the grace and hope that Jesus came to offer. Since June of 1987, he has been married to Sarah, the love of his life, and together, they have four beautiful children and four grandchildren.