Pressed and shaken
The beatitudes are one of the most famous parts of scripture, and it is here that we find our passage for today. It starts with‘love your enemies,’goes on to‘be merciful’and then‘judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.’The concept of reaping that which you sow is firmly established. (Luke 6:27-37)
Then weread ‘Give and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use it will be measured back to you.’ (Luke 6:38)
Consider that - in what we do – that is what we sow - in everyday life and business, we can choose whether or not to fit the above descriptions. Luke had already said,‘bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.’(verse 28) It can be a difficult choice when you have just been cheated in a deal or verbally assaulted someone for no reason. But a choice it is!
When we make the right choice, Jesus’s promise is blessing. And not just blessing, but generous blessing that is pressed down, shaken together and running over. Isaiah put it this way, ‘a generous man devises generous things, and by generosity he shall stand.’(32:8)
Here is a challenge – how can I design my business, my life, my actions to fulfil Jesus’s words and to demonstrate great generosity?
Jesus’s desire for us is expressed by Paul in Ephesians 3:20, ‘Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.’
There it is again - that concept of blessing pressed down, shaken together, and poured out.
‘But as it is written; Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ (1 Corinthians 2:9) It seems there is much more to come than we have yet experienced. Jesus’s generosity is greater than we have yet appreciated or experienced. This is the great Christian hope - there is so much more to come, not just in this life, but even more so when we finally meet Him face to face in the place He has prepared for us.
Whilst we continue on earth, we can tap into more and more blessing as we choose the right manner of life, as we are more and more generous is every aspect of life.
Let’s experience life like the Psalmist,‘You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.’(Psalm 23:5-6)