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A Great Time To Give

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A Great Time To Give

“A Great Time to Give”
Luke 6:37–38 ESV
“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.”
INTRODUCTION
The point of this passage is the ethical behavior of believers. Herein Jesus teaches one of the fundamental principles of nature – we reap what we sow.
Four deeds are mentioned: judging, condemning, forgiving, and giving. They are discussed to illustrate the reciprocity of our actions.
As it relates to judging, Jesus is not referring to evaluating, analyzing or even exercising appropriate discipline but rather he forbids finding fault in the lives of others. We are also prohibited from being critical and unforgiving. Such negative behaviors will only cause us to receive criticism and prevent us from being forgiven.
Judgmental, critical, vindictive people are generally miserable people. It is difficult to enjoy life when we choose to disparage and find fault in others while internalizing destructive emotions of hatred, bitterness, and animosity.
One of the greatest reasons we should be merciful towards others is that God is merciful unto us. We should remember we are judged when we judge. We are condemned when we condemn and we are forgiven as we forgive.
The original term for forgive literally means “to release.” It means to release persons who have offended you from the punitive consequences of their actions.
It is quite interesting that Jesus discusses giving in the same context in which he discusses the ethical behavior of believers. He discourages judging and condemning in the same breath that he encourages forgiving and giving.
This pericope should motivate the believer to practice graciousness towards others and generosity towards God.
Luke 6:38 ESV
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.”
,NKJ)

The Privilege to Give

The believer is commanded to give. Giving is not optional, it is imperative. However, it is interesting that we are not given a reason as to why we should give. We are simply told to give. There is nothing provided as a specific rationale other than the word of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Giving then becomes an issue of obedience – not sacrifice. says “It is better to obey than it is to sacrifice.”Our giving should be a matter of conviction not a matter of compulsion. Giving is really a choice that was never intended to be a chore.
2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
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As with other moral actions in this passage, the law of reciprocity applies to the privilege of giving – “Give and it shall be given unto you.” Remember, we reap “what” we sow. We reap “after” we sow and we reap “more” than we sow.

The Promise in Our Giving

We are not provided with a reason to give; however, we are given several promises as a result of our giving. We should remember as citizens in the kingdom of God, we are called to operate according to the principles of the kingdom. In the world, giving is a result of receiving; however, in the kingdom, receiving is a result of giving.
The world encourages us to “gain” while the kingdom encourages us to “give”. If the objective of our lives is to gain, we can never gain enough. If the objective of our lives is to give, we can never give enough. If we live to give, God will see to it that we receive; but if we live only to gain, God will see to it that we lose.
Matthew 16:26 ESV
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
,NKJ)
The promise of quality – God will give you his best! The phrase used is “good measure” which indicates a “significant” or “excellent” portion. The challenge for believers is to stop looking at what we do not have and discover contentment with God.
Hebrews 13:5 ESV
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
,NKJ)
In the kingdom “quality precedes quantity.” In the kingdom we have joy when in the world it seems we have nothing to enjoy. Ironically, there is lack in the world but there is no lack in the kingdom.
,NIV)
Matthew 6:33 ESV
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
The promise of quantity – God will give you more than enough! God will give you a “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over… your bosom”.
This figure of speech is taken from the practice of the Oriental grain merchant, who fills the basket of his customer as full as possible then presses the grain down and shakes the basket to make room for more.
The bosom as it is referred to in the KJV, did not refer to the chest but to the front of the long, wide, loose-fitting garment worn in that day. It was also called the lap. Almost all ancient nations wore these that were designed with the capacity to store and carry grain and other articles.
Ephesians 3:20 ESV
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,
There is in this text what can be called the “miracle of more”. It is amazing how God provides. Miracles are activities of the kingdom. They defy logic, challenge reason, and mesmerize the mind. Miracles fascinate us and leave us spellbound. While we are captivated by the “big” miracles, we generally miss the common miracles.
The miracle of more is “pressing down” plus “shaking together” equals “running over”.
Don’t lose hope when God applies or allows pressure on your life. Don’t be discouraged when God shakes your life up. These may be avenues God is using to create overflow in your life.
In the ancient culture of the text, the grain merchant not only filled the basket, pressed the grain down, and shook the basket; the grain merchant also provided more grain than the customer could receive. The customer always left the merchant with his baskets overflowing.
Sometimes people who know your story don’t understand your glory. They know what you’ve gone through but don’t understand how you got through. What they don’t always know is you had to go “through” it in order to get “to” it.
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Romans 8:28 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

The Prerogative of the Giver

The giver is placed in a unique position. He is not only a giver, he is a receiver. He is a recipient of the “miracle of more”. The place to really rejoice is with the phrase “running over”.
It is a present participle following two perfect participles in the same verse. That means the “pressing” and the “shaking” will end at some point but the “pouring” will not.
This verb is in the middle voice which indicates the subject in some way acts upon itself. How? There are twenty words in this verse in the Greek and only one of them is the giver’s responsibility – “Give!”
This term is also in the accusative case which is what we would call a direct object in the English. The direct object receives the action of the verb. The giver is literally the direct object of the overflow.
We are direct objects of God’s unconditional love.
We are direct objects of God’s amazing grace.
We are direct objects of God’s eternal hope.
We are direct objects of God’s unmerited favor.
We are direct objects of God’s unspeakable joy.
We are direct objects of God’s perfect peace.
The believer has the unique prerogative to establish his or her standard of receiving by determining the standard of giving. In the economy of the world, we give because we have; however, in the economy of the kingdom, we have because we give.
For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.
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