The Measure You Use (pt1)

A friend of mine sent me a great question the other day:

When it says "give and it shall be given unto you,
good measure pressed down, shaken together, running
over," could that be financially, spiritually,
relationally, etc.? I always only thought of it
as financially.

Here are some thoughts that came to mind.  The context of the passage is Luke 6:32-38, which says this…

“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.

Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Luke 6:27-38

Look at the verbs highlighted in bold.  Love.  Do good.  Lend.  Be merciful.  Don’t judge.  Don’t condemn.  Forgive.  Give.

Jesus is calling His followers to a particular way of living, loving, serving, & giving.  It’s not just about finances.  It’s about how we relate to the world around us in everything else, too.

What Jesus is NOT saying is, “If you do A, B, and C, I will give you X, Y, and Z in return.”  That’s a balance sheet.  That’s us trying to EARN God’s favor, something we can never do.

What He IS saying is that there is a way to live that better positions us to receive God’s blessings, not because we earned them and He owes us, but because our eyes are turned up to Him rather than on ourselves.   It’s a general principle for the way God wants to bless His children in all areas of life, IF they are positioned to receive what He wants to give.

Think of it this way.

If you want to give a child a quarter but their hands are clenched tightly around a dime, it’s not that you didn’t have a blessing for them, but that they weren’t ready to receive it.  If they open their hands and let go of the dime, it’s not that they earned your quarter, but that by letting go of what they had they were enabled to receive what you wanted to give.

Because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, all who trust Him for salvation become children of God, and God loves to bless His children.  His grace is undeserved favor and kindness to us, and He offers not just a little, but a “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over,” because that’s just what He’s like.

But what if you’re trying to live this way, but aren’t seeing the blessings you expected?
(To be continued…)


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