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Monday, August 1, 2011

Pressed Down and Overflowing

Pressed Down and Overflowing

"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 6:38 (ESV)

God rewards those who give.

God Himself is kind to the ungrateful and the evil (Luke 6:35). We glorify God when we act, even in small ways, like Him.

If we give love to others, especially to enemies, God gives us much more love.

If we give mercy, if we withhold biased judgement or condemnation, whatever good we give to others, God will give good back to us. His reward will be multiplied times more that the small that we give.

Imagine buying a cup of rice to give to a hungry child. The rice merchant himself is a kind man, and he sees my generosity and compassion. He calls me back to the counter and fills a cup full. Before giving me the cup of rice, he presses it down, settles it down with shaking, pours more rice into the cup, the cup overflowing with rice. And he hands me the cup with a smile.

If I forgive someone who has hurt me, if I give up any desire to judge or condemn someone for their offense against me, if I offer merciful forgiveness, God will reward me. He will reward me with that same forgiveness for my offenses against Him, multiplied many times over.

My goodness does not earn forgiveness...my goodness is as a filthy rage compared to His goodness. But my goodness, as weak and inadequate as it is, demonstrates my dependence upon Him for mercy and forgiveness. If I recognize and accept and depend upon His merciful, graceful forgiveness, I will gladly extend what little kindness I have towards someone who has offended me.

Image courtesy of Zsuzsanna Kilian