In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus says,
”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
This passage seems to indicate there is a fundamental reciprocity in the Christian life: if we give to God, we will receive back. On one hand this is clearly true – if we are generous to God in giving of our time, talents and treasures God promises to be generous with us.
This appeals to our human sense of a fair transaction. Yet the image seems to imply something deeper. The image is of a farmer receiving his grain back from the miller. He brings his grain for processing to remove the chaff and other waste and to his surprise the miller returns his processed grain in the original container pressed down, shaken to remove air pockets, spilling over the top! The miller wants to make sure the farmer leaves with more in his bag than he came with.
The original listeners to Jesus would have understood that no earthly miller would do this – it would be bad business. So it is in the Kingdom of God: we bring our gifts shot through with chaff and flaws and receive abundantly more in return. We cannot outgive God.
Will, you this day be generous towards God with your time, talents and treasure?
Top photo credit: image of open hands filled with abundant grains of wheat, from Bigstock.com, © by Kirill Gorshkov, stock photo ID: 465205167. Used with permission.
Dave Hughes is President of the North American Region of the Sword of the Spirit. Dave and his wife Jane live in Ann Arbor Michigan, USA and they have five children and 13 grandchildren. They are members of Word of Life community and Knox Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor.
See other articles by Dave Hughes in past issues of Living Bulwark.