When God Multiplies Our Efforts

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So [Ruth] gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah [equivalent to 6 to 9 gallons, or 2 weeks supply] of barley. Ruth 2:17 ESV

The Bible is full of stories where God multiplied the results of normal human labor so that the results went well beyond normal expectations. Jesus’ first public “sign” that He was the Messiah was to turn ordinary water into fine wine. In several of the Gospel accounts, we find Jesus multiplying the “5 loaves and 2 fishes” brought by a simple peasant boy into more than enough food to feed a multitude.  In his biography of Jesus, Luke tells us that Jesus said to Simon, “Put out into the deep [water of the Sea of Galilee] and let down your nets for a catch.”… And they came and filled both the boats [with fish], so that they began to sink. Luke 5:4b,7 ESV

These stories aren’t confined to the New Testament. The Old Testament book of 1st Kings records how God multiplied the meager rations for the widow of Zeraphath in response to her obedience, and she and [Elijah] and her household ate for many days. 1 Kings 17:15b ESV

The book of 2nd Kings tells us the story of how God intervened to bless the obedience of another widow who couldn’t pay the debts incurred by her recently deceased husband. An act of faith on her part was rewarded by God multiplying her supply of cooking oil go abundantly she could pay off all her debts and live off the excess.

God does things His way. He often prefers to quietly multiply the results of our own feeble efforts instead of providing for our urgent needs in ways that are unarguably miraculous.  He often treats us as junior partners in His enterprise and expects us to take the first step toward a solution that He will bless.

This weekend at Trinity Downtown, we’ll be continuing our sermon series exploring a time of prolonged crisis in the life of one of Jesus’ ancestors as told in one of the finest short stories in ancient literature. In a period in Hebrew history filled with apostasy, lawlessness and famine, the Old Testament book of Ruth tells an all-to-common story of loss and pain set in a village of hardworking peasants trying to live as best they can. But it’s also a story of that reveals how God often accomplishes His purposes quietly, with little fanfare, through ordinary people who overcome adversity with God’s strategic (albeit quiet) intervention. The book of Ruth reminds us that God sometimes chooses to work behind the scenes to redeem our problems and pain.

If you are facing tough times, or have hard decisions to make, you’ll especially enjoy learning how Ruth’s faith and determination was rewarded in ways that she literally could not imagine. Even to the point of her contributing her DNA into the linage of Jesus.

If you are feeling like your life is out of your control (it is) or that God has forgotten you (He hasn’t) come find out how faith in God can transform your life. Join us at our contemporary service on Saturday at 5:00 pm, and/or the traditional worship services on Sunday at 8:15 am and 10:50 am. Your kids won’t want to miss our “Kingdom Quest” pre-school and student gatherings, and you’ll enjoy making new friends and learning more about your faith in our expanded array of adult bible study classes, all held at 9:30 am on Sunday.

You won’t want to miss the Carillon Concert featuring our own Carla Barrows as Carillonneur immediately following the last worship service on Sunday. The theme for the concert will be “Give Thanks to the Lord!” Sausage on a stick and ice cream will be served as you listen to Trinity’s 25-bell Therese Mohnke Carillon, so come enjoy the music and some tasty food treats!

Please note that the western-most portion of our church parking lot will be closed starting at 7:30 am on Sunday to allow us to set up for the afternoon concert. You may park in the east side of the church or in the Education Center parking lot across Washington Avenue.

Come learn how placing our faith and fears in the hands of Jesus can lessen our stress load and bring deep transformation in our hearts. Celebrate with us the depth of Jesus’ love for us and find out how you can live a life of significance, filled with meaning.  Discover how following Jesus can help you and your family navigate around the minefields of life!

Get a fresh jolt of spiritual energy at Trinity Downtown. It will make a tremendous difference in your life.

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