My wife and I had just finished a wonderful dinner at my son's home with he and his wife and two of our grandchildren. We were relaxing in the proverbial "food coma" when I asked the next logical question—"What's for dessert?"
My daughter-in-law, the ultimate "coupon-find-it-on-sale-bargain-shopper," laughed and said, "Oh, that reminds me, I want to show you something."
She went to the freezer and brought back what looked to be a normal half gallon of ice cream. While we were looking at her with quizzically expressions on our faces, she excitedly pointed to the side of the container and exclaimed, "Look at this bargain I found!" The ice cream container had these words emblazoned across a banner on each side—"Includes 2 extra scoops—FREE!"
As her husband and I "politely" started poking fun at her, my then 7-year-old granddaughter, Lillian Grace, spoke up and asked, "Mommy, can I have the two extra scoops please?" Nonchalantly, while trying to deflect our verbal jesting, her mom said, "Sure."
Lillian disappeared and a few seconds later we heard some noise from the kitchen. She then burst back into the room with a huge soup ladle in her hand. "Here mommy, use THIS scooper please! And be sure to fill it up really full!!"
In Luke 6:38, Jesus admonished His disciples with these words, "Give, and it will be given to you: Good measure, pressed down, shaken together running over will men give unto you." However, we often miss the next sentence—"For with the measure you use, it will be measured unto you."
In other words, the "scooper" you use to give with, will be the same "scooper" that it is given back to you again. Not only given back, but pressed down, shaken together and running over.
We have all heard sermons and teaching on this verse—usually in some reference to "tithes and offerings." I wonder if perhaps Jesus had more, much more, in mind as He taught this principle. Could this "giving" include more than just monetary contributions?
As we walk through our days, we are constantly giving as we go. Every situation, every person we meet, every appointment we have, are all opportunities to give.
What about giving a smile, or a kind word, or perhaps encouragement to the discouraged?
How about grace and mercy when someone "trips up" in their Christian walk? Perhaps it could be some unknown, unacknowledged act of service. How about speaking a blessing to the person behind the counter where you buy coffee or your waiter or waitress at lunch? The list could go on forever.
According to Jesus, when you "give" it will be given back to you—with the same measure (scooper) that you used. Packed full! And not just given back to you, but dropped right into your lap.
It is interesting that Jesus didn't qualify the "giving" as just giving good things.
ALL giving potentially is in some way given back to you. It might be wise to remember that when you are cut off in traffic and you're already running late. Or, when the lady with an overflowing grocery cart steps in front of you in the "Express 12 items or less" line and you only have two items ... AND you're in a hurry.
Or, when your co-worker undeservedly snaps at you without warning. How you react and respond (give) in these situations (and more) will surely come back to you—with the same "scooper" you used. Packed full—dropped right in your lap.
As you go through this week, be intentional about "giving" as you go. Keep "giving" in the forefront of your mind and spiritual walk. And, remember this—be kind, gracious and Christ-like. Use a really big scooper and fill it really full!
He will be sure that it is given back to you with the same measure—pressed down, shaken together and running over the top—dropped right into your lap.
Prayer Power for the Week of October 12, 2015
This week be intentional about what you sow and thank the Lord for a bountiful harvest in return. Ask Him to help you sow "to the Spirit" and to make you aware of opportunities to do good to all. Pray for and reach out to those who have suffered losses in this season. Remember to be thankful for all your blessings and generously share with those who are not as fortunate. Continue to pray for our military and their families, our national and local leaders, pastors, teachers and all those in positions of authority over us. Remember the persecuted church when you pray for Israel, worldwide revival and the extension of God's kingdom (Gal. 6:7-10; Luke 6:38).
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