Do You Believe in Miracles?!?
The 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, NY served as the backdrop for one of the most famous broadcasting calls in sports history. A rag-tag collection of amateurs made up the USA hockey team as they faced off against the best team in the world: the Soviet Union. Team USA seemingly had no chance going into the match. Yet as the final seconds ticked off the clock, the amateurs from the US had defeated the Soviets 4-3. Al Michaels famously asked his audience this unforgettable question: “Do you believe in miracles?!?” This month we wrap up our four-part series on Jesus’ multiplication teaching from the feeding of the five thousand in Matthew 14. We believe that God is calling us to multiply disciples and churches and we’ve paused to learn all that we can from Jesus’ miracle of multiplication. So far, we established that multiplication starts with followers of Jesus being motivated with a burden for others; responding to Jesus’ call to do something about it by bringing Jesus what we have; and being obedient to Jesus’ command no matter how ridiculous it may seem. As the story goes in Matthew, when the disciples saw the hungry crowds, Jesus commanded them, “You give them something to eat.” “But we only have five loaves and two fish,” the disciples responded. And Jesus replied, “Bring them here to me.” Then he instructed the disciples to feed the crowd and the disciples were obedient despite the foolishness of Jesus’ instruction since it was still just two small fish and five loaves. Now, we come to the final lesson in this story: believing in God to bring the increase. The miracles of Jesus build our faith that Jesus is who he says he is: the Son of God. With each miracle, Jesus demonstrates his power here on earth to bring about God’s will in supernatural ways that defy our human understanding. Along with Jesus’ first disciples, we know that not one of us or even all of us working together can feed a crowd of 5,000 with two fish and five loaves. But God calls us not to rely on our own abilities, but on his. Do you believe that God can bring the increase? As we look at how he calls us to multiply disciples and churches we clearly see that we cannot do so on our own strength. Despite our inadequacies, God invites his followers into what he is up to as he builds his kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. Even though Team USA’s amazing victory over the Soviets was no miracle, I love the question Al Michael’s poses: Do you believe in miracles?!? I pray we answer with all faith and enthusiasm: “YES!!!” Now let’s get in the game.
Pastor Bryce Formwalt is the Director of Mission Growth for LCMC Texas District and Program Director of Harvest Workers, an online ministry training program (learn more at www.harvestworkers.net). Residing in Georgetown, Pastor Bryce is available to coach congregations on mission. Feel free to contact him with any questions or comments: 512-942-7776 or firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2020 Bryce J. Formwalt, All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.