Generosity convection

Your cereal boxes probably have this disclaimer near the top: “Some settling of contents may have occurred during shipping.” The company doesn’t want you cranky because there seems to be two inches of air inside the box

In an open-air market in the Middle East, long before shrink-wrap, glass jars, cans, or cardboard, a merchant would fill the measuring container before pouring it out to you. Sellers who wanted you to be sure that you were getting the full measure would shake the container to settle the grains, even tamping the surface down and refilling to make sure you got the full load.

Jesus spent a lot of time teaching his disciples about generosity convection, i.e., the more you give, the more you get: “Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:37,38).

It sounds so counterintuitive, doesn’t it? If I give things away, by definition I will have less. The opposite is true! God went first with his gracious gospel, fronting us his love and forgiveness. It is imperative that believers do the same, being generous with both their words of mercy and with their financial gifts.

Jesus said it, not I—God has his hand on the resources faucet of your life, and he watches your generosity as he decides how far to open it.

Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.

 

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