March 13, 2022In Sermons
The Ocean Church, English Speaking, Dar es Salaam, We are dedicated to leading people to a personal relationship with Christ

This sermon was led by Joshua Mlay and is a continuation of the series on Generosity that was started by Dr. Mujuni.  Within this sermon, Joshua Mlay explains how Christians are created to be offered and more importantly how generosity should continuously flow through our DNA. Generosity is the evidence that we are Christians and we should strive to use our time, talent, and treasure in service to God and others. Our generous acts as Christians should not be watered down to a checklist, instead we should be radically transformed in how we think, act, and live.

One of the greatest examples of living and growing in generosity can be found in the book of John when Jesus fed 5000 people. Within this passage, there is also extensive revelation on the characters of Christ followers and the lessons that we ought to learn in exercising generosity..

John 6:1-11

“Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near….. Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.”

  • If we are to grow in generosity, we need to look beyond the obstacles.

One of the first direct lessons that can be drawn from the passage is that if we are to grow in generosity, then we must learn to focus on God and not the obstacles.  When Jesus asked Philip where the additional food could be obtained, He already knew the answer but also understood that Philip needed to struggle with the question in order to understand the power of God.  Philip focused on the obstacle of not having enough resources and did not focus on God.  Relating this back to our daily walk, when we focus on our inadequacies as opposed to God and His ability to work through us, we create barriers.

When God wants to engage in generous acts, He desires to partner with us to meet people’s needs. But in order for this partnership to be effective, we need to look beyond the obstacles and trust in Him and His ability to work through us as He can do all the things that we can entrust Him to.

When God places desires in our hearts, it is because there’s a lesson He’d like us to learn or an area that we can grow in. Serving others, growing in generosity involves a cost.  When your resources are running low, trust in God.  While we may have limits, God does not. 

  •  When God calls, He enables. You may not do it with your own power but with God you can expect the incredible and miraculous. 

Unlike Peter, Andrew another one of Jesus’s disciples looked beyond the obstacles and instead chose to avail himself and what was immediately in front of him. In this case, (as shown in verse 8), he pointed to the boy with 5 barley loaves and 2 small fish. 

The lesson here is that Jesus blesses whatever you come forward with.  With His blessings, little becomes a lot.  We need not have plenty when we come before God. Instead, we can trust God to use our resources for His glory. God desires for us to participate in the work that He’s doing in the world. You may feel unqualified but Jesus’ desire is to take the little we have and multiply it.  He does not expect us to come to Him in strength but in weakness.

And it is in these moments that we are faced with two responses:

  • I can’t do it
  • I may not be able to do this but with Jesus’ help and blessings, I can do something.

Our responses as Christ-followers should be the second. If God calls us to do something, it is worth it.  If we are going to do all that God has called us to do, we must begin to generously exercise the gifts that He has given us, and offer the little we have and use if for His glory.