Basketsful: Double-entry Theology
– by Brett Johnson
I have been considering the story of the loaves and fish in regards to people who volunteer their time to serve others. After seeing Jesus multiply natural resources, the disciples headed across the lake. Later they panicked about only having one loaf of bread, and Jesus warned them against humanistic unbelief. Prior to the miracle of the multiplication, they were guilt-free when it came to asking about a shortage of bread. After the miracle, they were held to a new standard. Many of us have seen God do amazing business-miracles, just as the disciples had seen Jesus feed thousands of people. We have seen revenues grow, costs shrink, orders come in, permits granted, machinery fixed, partnerships come into being, old inventory sold, new products inspired, and even food multiplied. The problem is that we who observe don’t always appropriate the miracles for our own businesses.
This is what happened in the boat:
Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
A new level of belief
The bit that grabs me is Jesus’ question, “And how many basketfuls you gathered? —and how many basketfuls you gathered?” You have trusted God to do miracles for others; what about your business? I love it when people lay down their lives to serve; but could God be challenging us to a new level of belief to ask him for “basketfuls” to be gathered as left-over bread for our own provision, even while we are serving others?
Record your miracles
I like what our rēp consultants Dr. Joe and Donna Awender have done: every time there is a miracle in their business, they write it on a board. They also take a pebble, as a symbol, and place it in a glass jar, and when the jar is full, they put the jar at the reception desk. That way everyone remembers the miracles. Feathers Lodge near Cape Town followed their example.
A Kingdom lifestyle!
When God gave you fish and bread, He wasn’t just feeding you for that day: He was inviting you into a lifestyle of Kingdom living. That living involves a blend of staying and going, receiving and giving, sending out and being sent out. Accept His invitation to be part of the mobile band of miracle-practicing marketplace ministers. It is a life of double-entry theology, baskets for serving, and basketsful left over.
JOY! Magazine (August 2018)