Directions are essential if you want to arrive at your planned destination. (Mind-blowing isn’t it!) Yet, having a map in hand doesn’t guarantee that you will arrive. You must follow the directions.
As followers of Jesus, God has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to navigate this life. It’s not enough to hear God’s Word or feel the nudging of the Holy Spirit. We have to obey.
By studying God’s word and applying it, we fine-tune our ability to discern His voice and know His will.
One of the things that made Jesus’ teaching so revolutionary was how He brought a different way to live, know, and connect with God. Initially, God gave the people 10 Commandments to assist them in knowing Him.
During His ministry, Jesus summed up those 10 Commandments with just two commandments, Matthew 22:40.
Yet, the Pharisees created 613 rules on how to observe the 10 Commandments. [i] Religion makes knowing God an obstacle course. Jesus made it simple.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29
A yoke was a person’s precepts or way of life. Jesus’ way is easy, not complicated. It cultivates joy, peace, and rest. Jesus’ yoke operates opposite of the world’s philosophy.
For example, Jesus taught:
- Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
- If someone slaps you on the cheek, turn the other cheek also.
- God says vengeance belongs to Him, not us.
As followers of Jesus, our life must be organized by scripture.
Out of our obedience to God’s word flows every blessing and the abundant life promised to His followers. When we feel like we are outside of God’s blessing, the first place we need to ask is, “how am I living.”
In Luke 6:37-38, Jesus lays out a roadmap for His followers that is systematically different from how the people have been taught to live. In these two verses, we discover a foundational principle to a life of faith. The principle of generosity.
- The watermark of believers and is to be applied to every area of life.
- Develops our dependence on God as our provider.
- Prevents us from coveting and keeps us humble.
Generosity is more about the giver than receiver. It is less about the amount we give and more about why we give. Generosity is the recognition and an accurate response to all you have received from God.
How many times have we thought to ourselves, “why is God blessing others more than me?”
We reap the harvest of the seeds we have sown. Living obediently to God’s word is hard work, but the return on investment far exceeds our sacrifices.
According to Luke 6, the first expectation you can have when you operate in generosity is a returned good measure.
A good measure depicts a scene in a marketplace. It’s a seller who doesn’t skimp on the measurement but gives a choice amount.
The second- and third-way God repays our kindness is by pressing down and shaken together. This suggests that no space is left, but that God packs it down to maximize the measurement.
When you’re generous with your life, time, kindness, resources, God returns it with a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and then lastly, to top it off, literally, running over will be poured into your lap.
God returns your kindness in more than one way.
- It’s a car that doesn’t break down.
- It’s a house that doesn’t need major repairs or His provision to repair them.
- It’s in good health.
- It’s in the prevention of getting COVID, or His healing from it.
- It’s in an unexpected refund or the funds to pay all your bills.
- It’s the seasons of joy and a joy that nullifies the seasons of pain.
- It’s in mountain-moving faith that keeps your enemies away and the strength to endure the battle.
However, God chooses to bless you, be assured that He will exceed your act.
But wait, there’s more!
There is a direct link between God’s blessing in our lives and the measurement of our generosity. You can influence and even increase the amount of God’s blessing in your life by changing the measurement that you use.
“For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
If you want to experience a greater portion of God’s blessing, then change the tool you measure your treatment toward others.
To keep this in context, the blessing is not the reason for our generosity, it’s an added benefit.
We are generous because God has been so generous with us, giving us more than we could ever ask for, and we become like Him when we do so!
When you choose to live obediently to God’s rules, they will produce results that the world can’t match.