Luke 6:38 “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye meat withal it shall be measured to you again.”
Here we have two incredibly encouraging passages of Scripture. These passages also serve to proclaim the wonderful love, mercy, and grace of God. The God of the universe, the God who spoke into existence the universe along with every detail that comprises every planet of every galaxy within, the God who is solely responsible for sustaining all that He created, the God of absolutely unlimited resources says to us, "Give”and then goes on to promise in return provision based on His inexhaustible ability to do the very same thing, give. What a trade! What a God!
The first passage has this wonderful phrase. God says, “prove me now”. The second implies the same thing in the condition put forth. God’s provision through other men, in Luke, follows the act of giving. So in a sense the condition in Luke communicates the same idea as Malachi. The idea is “prove me”. God is telling usto do what He said and see if He won’t do what He said.
I may be weird, but I think this is an amazing display of love, and grace, and meekness, and kindness on God’s part. He’s God. Though it isn’t in His nature, it is within His right to demand much from His people, accept no less than absolute assent, and meet every inconsistency with fierce and swift retribution offering nothing in return for compliance. He would be just in His actions if His actions were thus. Yet the tone of both passages sounds more like the encouragement of a father to his child (the child not being totally convinced) to do something that is very much in the child’s best interest.
And it is in our best interest. That much is very clear in both passages. Picture with me, if you can, a man under a grain silo with a bag all prepared to catch grain. First off if this illustration is to be at all accurate then we would have to assume the man is getting the grain given to him for some very meager contribution on his part. Even further still we would have to assume that the contribution made by the man receiving the grain to the man pouring the grain belonged as much to the one pouring the grain as the rest of the grain being poured out. That being said, the man is now positioned, having given, so that he is ready to receive. The grain starts pouring into his tiny little bag, also provided by the one pouring the grain. The man starts to realize that more grain is coming out than he is going to be able to hold. He shouts out to the one pouring the grain, “It’s too much! What am I going to do?” The man pouring the grain replies, “make sure to press the grain down so that you are maximizing the space.” So the man receiving the grain does that, but it still looks like that bag just isn’t going to cut it. It’s getting too full too fast. So again he shouts, “I’ve pressed it down as far as I can and it still looks to be running over.” The man pouring the grain responds, “Try shaking the bag so that the grain shifts and gravity does its work to try and make more room. I have a lot more grain to give you.” So the man receiving the grain does. However, before long he is back in the same boat. The grain keeps coming and despite his best efforts to make room for it, it just keeps running over. There is grain pouring everywhere, and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. The man receiving the grain thinks to himself, “What a bargain, my meager contributions for the vast and infinitely abundant supply of the one pouring out the grain!” It is in our best interest to give.
Another neat thought about the promises we find in these passages is this. They set us up to continue giving. Isn’t that cool? Think about it, if that which is being given by others and received by you is good, and you have no room to receive it there are basically two alternatives. The first is selfish. You can’t use it so you profit from it or let it waste. I think the grain will stop pouring before long if this is our response. The second alternative is to find others to give to, which is kind of the idea of the passage in Luke. I know that people that are givers are receivers by virtue of God’s promise. So that the people that become receivers at the hands of those that are givers due to their giving are also givers. God, it would seem, directs those that give, and receive by virtue of giving, to those who also give for the sake of giving to them making them receivers, and enabling their continued giving!
So if you have looked at the picture at the top you are wondering, possibly, what any of this could have to do with a child’s shoes. Those shoes represent the truth of these passages in the life of my family. My wife was speaking with her mother the other day on the phone about whatever. My wife is a woman which basically means that she could have been literally talking about anything and everything at the same time. At some point she was talking through items we might need for the new baby coming in March, Garrison. The fact is she has had trouble thinking of things we need at all. In an effort to convey this concept, I think, she began to tell her mom about our experience with the kids we have, and with Hudson in particular. The fact is we don’t spend much on clothes for our boys, not because we wouldn’t if the need was there, but because people are constantly giving us things for them. As far as Hudson is concerned, he is two years old, and Lindsay told her mom that we have yet to buy him even one pair of shoes. Again, not because we don’t want to, but because we have so many shoes that have been given to us for him that there is no need. I think she has even had to give away things we have been given because we have been given so much. That may or may not sound silly to you, but as far as we are concerned things like that make us look at what it takes to stay underneath the “grain silo” and say, “What a bargain!”
Someone once said, "From what God gives me, I shovel some back to Him and He keeps shoveling back to me again. And I've discovered that God has the bigger shovel!!" We give, He gives more. That should help us in our willingness to give Him all, and all is what He is worthy of, not just our money, but our own selves also just like the Macedonian church, but that is a discussion for another time.
Feel free to leave a comment if you have a testimony of this truth being played out in your life. I would love to read about it and it might be a help to others in this area as well.