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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Popcorn Effect

I love popcorn. I eat it everyday. But I don't use the microwaveable bags. I prefer the old-fashioned, stove-top way for a couple reasons. It's healthier with no added chemicals, and I get the bags that say Non-GMO, so it doesn't bother my tummy. But it's also more cost effective. I can get a whole bag of kernels for under $2 and get about 6 pots of popcorn from them. It's more pop for my buck.

What fascinates me about popcorn is the amount of sheer volume that comes from just a couple handfuls of kernels. There's no need to fill the pot when making it. Simply lining the bottom of my pan with oil and kernels will do the trick. And, boy, does it. If you're not aware of this kernel phenomenon and put too many in the pot, you're gonna find yourself with an overflowing pot of popcorn. Just a couple handfuls of kernels turns into handfuls and handfuls and handfuls of popcorn! You'll always get a lot more out than you put in!

God seems to love this idea - getting more out than you put in. Isaac experienced it first hand when He planted his crops one year. 

When Isaac planted his crops that year, 
he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, 
for the Lord blessed him.
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭26:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

What a phenomenon! I can imagine how dumbfounded he was as he started harvesting his field. I wonder if he scratched his head and stepped back, trying to remember how much grain he planted. When it didn't add up, he knew that this phenomenon was the Hand of God! 

This is just how God rolls. It's a Kingdom thing. It's mind-blowing. But we see it in other places of scripture, too. How about the little boy that gave Jesus and His disciples his lunch to feed the multitude? 5 loaves, 2 fish. A meager meal for the boy to share. But I wonder if he knew about God's Popcorn Effect and that in the Hands of Jesus, a little can go a long way? If he didn't, he was about to find out. His little input created quite an output!

Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do. 

Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!” 

Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. 
But what good is that with this huge crowd?” 

"Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.
‭‭John‬ ‭6:5-13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

And here are a few more places we see God loving this idea!

The seed that fell on good soil represents those 
who truly hear and understand God’s word 
and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, 
or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters 
or father or mother or children or property, 
for my sake, 
will receive a hundred times as much in return 
and will inherit eternal life.
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭19:29‬ ‭NLT‬‬

How beautiful. We serve a God that will not only match what is put in, but will even go beyond that and multiply our efforts. He is the Lord of the Harvest. He can do anything. And when we come alongside Him and labor with Him, we will always receive back much, much more than what we put in! 

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