Jesus & One Life

Free Bible Study Materials for Christian Discipleship
 June 2016

photo courtesy of James Emery

Dear fellow disciple-maker,

In the Bible, there is only one miracle that is recorded four separate times. It is the miracle of Jesus feeding five thousand men, besides women and children (Matthew 14:21). Jesus fed them through the faith of one young boy. Ironically, we do not know any personal facts about this boy. We don't know his name, age, where he lived, or anything about his family. The only thing we know is that over five thousand people ran out of food – everyone but one boy. He gave his one lunch consisting of five loaves of bread and two fish to Jesus, who by the power of God fed the multitudes.

The Power is from Jesus

Obviously this day turned out much differently than the little boy anticipated. Even though he trusted Jesus, he never dreamed that such a small amount of food could feed so many. The power behind this story is not in the little boy or his lunch. The power is in Jesus – the One to whom he gave his lunch. On that day, Jesus already knew what He was going to do. Eventually, everyone learned what the Lord had in mind.

In his book, Eat This Book, Eugene Peterson writes, "None of us is the leading character in the story of our life. When we submit our lives to what we read in Scripture, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories but our stories in God's. God is the larger context and plot in which our stories find themselves."

Dream of a Camp

In 1966, John and Donna Bechtel were sent to Hong Kong as missionaries by The Christian & Missionary Alliance. John had a dream to build a youth camp – but didn't have any land. The local government offered him 153 acres for $40,000. But John couldn't raise the money. Then the government officials offered him seven acres of beach property for the same price. Again, John couldn't obtain the funds.

About that time John discovered an orphanage in Hong Kong having financial difficulties. The organization was asking $240,000 for the orphanage. By now John felt totally discouraged and hopeless. His dream of building a camp was almost dead. But God was at work. Shortly thereafter John received a letter from a 14-year-old girl named Belinda Holmes. Her letter read, "Dear Mr. Bechtel, here is my ice cream money for two weeks. Please use this one dollar to buy the camp."

We have the Money

John showed the letter to the head of the organization that owned the orphanage and said, "We have the money to buy the camp – read this letter." The man was so moved by the girl's letter that his board voted to sell the property for $1.00. Suen Douh Camp (Preach the Gospel Camp) was purchased for $1.00 and through the years thousands of young people accepted Jesus. All of this happened because one dollar of ice cream money was given to Jesus.

Jesus & One Life

Just when we're ready to give up, God gives us hope. God is always doing more than we are aware of. Jesus always knows what He is going to do – whether He's working with one lunch, or one dollar. None of us is the leading character in the story of our life.

Author:Paul Schlieker

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