Luke 6:35-38, New King James Version (NKJV)
35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
Do Not Judge
37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
These words of Jesus, part of His sermon on the Mount, are the most sublime ever heard! You ask, How so?
--No other leader or religion had commanded another to "love your enemies .. judge not .. be merciful., the measure you give .. you receive .. your reward will be great."
--Yet, all Jesus said is true. All He did proves this.
For instance, you give a smile, a smile will return.
--Kindness given away, in time, comes back to us.
--The time, and talents, we use for God, bring reward.
--The spiritual life proves this God-given principle!
--Even to money, "The measure you give, you receive."
--It works. God says, "Try Me .. prove Me" (Mal.3:10).
Take the life of Jesus, He "loved His enemies."
--"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
--On a cross, He gave full measure - and "He arose!"
--Jesus said, "the measure you give, you receive."
Luke 6:35-38 shows the love and kindness of Christ.
--How "God so loved the world," even all who don't love Him; and sent Jesus to "seek and save the lost."
--Calls us also to "do good .. judge not.. condemn not .. to forgive, and you will be forgiven, be merciful"
--As is our Lord. Bases our forgiveness on forgiving!
--Jesus gives us the Golden Rule, "Do unto others.. as you would have others do unto you."
--We are to do, even if others don't.
--You see the lofty principle Jesus sets for us all.
Like no other religion, Jesus sets an ideal standard.
--His followers seek to follow Him .. overlook slights and misunderstandings .. nor hold grudges, avoid sin.
--Seek to love others. Forgive them. Pray for them.
--He said, "Blessed are the merciful.. they shall obtain mercy" (Matt. 5:7). Again, "give .. receive."
--Commanded, "Judge not .. condemn not." Why?
--That we "not be judged .. not be condemned."
-—Sets the principle, "What we sow, we shall reap."
We see, "the measure we give .. we shall receive."
---It applies, Jesus says, to whatever we give!
"Forgive" is hard for some people to do for others.
--Then Jesus says, "Give, and it will be given to you."
--Giving to God, also, is difficult for some.
--What we give to God brings rewards, "it will be given to you." Forgiving and giving go together!
The God who gives to man blesses the man who gives to God. "The measure you give .. you will receive."
Of 38 Biblical Parables, of Jesus, 19 are about money.
--Allow me to share with you about money as Jesus did.
--It is so important, forgiving - our life, treasures, and talents - is a most important part of living!
--Jesus spoke of "the widow's mite," a little was a lot.
--He converted Zaccheus,.a wealthy tax man, both to be saved and to become generous. (Luke 19:8).
All through the Bible God speaks of the tithe money.
--What is a tithe? It is 10% of our income, to God.
--It lets rich and poor give alike - proportionately.
--God says, "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse .. says the Lord .. I will pour out for you a blessing that there shall not be room enough" (Mal.3:10).
--You say, "I couldn't do 10%." Well, start with 5%.
--As believers, do what you can and build up to it.
--In light of Christ at Calvary, it's a minimum to many who love the Lord - for they go beyond the tenth.
--Pay God first, and the rest usually goes farther.
Years ago I learned a little poem about use of money.
Workers earn it.
Economists learn it.
Children choose it.
Gamblers lose it.
Most of us abuse it.
We all could use it.
Greedy crave it.
Thrifty save it.
Brother, can you spare it?
God wants us to share it!
Each Sunday - not Someday - "lay by God in store."
--Give proportionately - "as God has prospered us."
--Believers are known by three great books: Hymn-book, the Good Book, and our check-book.
I say to you, the God who gives to all blesses all who give to God - whether it is time, talent, or treasure.
--Let me illustrate what I mean, by the lovely Sea of Galilee we've been on many times; water in, and out.
--From the Jordan River! It shares what it gets!
--It flows on down to the Dead Sea - which keeps all!
--There's no outflow! Its the Dead Sea, has no life!
--Some are like these two Seas - as givers who share.
--Others, well, they are the takers .. and keepers.
--That is, they use it all up, on themselves.
--We need to be good stewards of God's gifts.
To be good shoppers, not wasting money nor food.
--To be savers of some of what we receive. To give.
--To live within our income. Pay bills on time.
--Avoid credit card excessive interest charges!
--God holds us accountable for our stewardship .. and, how well we manage what God gives us and we give God!
The only biography most will ever write is best found in our check stubs. They say a lot about one's faith!
--I've kept my check book stubs for many years, as the record of paying bills, sharing special days or anniversaries or events with loved ones and friends, and part of the record of my giving to God's many causes.
--Indeed, there's a story behind each check you write.
Some believe that "Money is the root of all evil."
--Not so. Money, of itself, is not evil - it is good!
--Money is like any other tool - it is how its used!
--It is not money that is evil, but the "love of money."
--That is, the making of gold our God.
--Look what God says, "The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (I Timothy 6:10).
--A good verse to keep in mind, isn't it?
God wants us to master money, not money master us; for then greed takes over .. and when it does, it can destroy us, and also a nation's whole economy and lives!
--Sadly, the innocent suffer along with the guilty.
Jesus invites us, "seek first the kingdom of God ..."
--That is, "first" give yourself to God .. to Jesus.
--He said those who do, "all these things shall be added to you" (Matt. 6:33). We'll have all we need.
--I recall times we were so poor we "couldn't even pay attention," but we tithed the little we had. God supplied our need. I promise, God will for you!
Money will you anything except peaceful sleep, and money will take you anywhere, except heaven.
God says, "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse.. try Me now in this .. if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it" (Hal. 3:10).
--Did you hear that? God says, "Try Me .. prove Me."
--It is the one time God asks, "Try Me .. prove Me."
--Along with countless others, I've tried Him, and God has proved to me that He keeps His word. It works!
God will bless you personally - in miraculous ways.
--He will bless you materially - He will make the 9/10 left go as far, or farther, than the ten tenths did!
--He will bless you spiritually - as His obedient one.
--In fact, He will bless you physically - many ways.
But don't give just for your benefit! But for God's!
--Give in love for the Lord - His death, resurrection.
--To obey, and please Him. Jesus gave His all for us.
--To be of some help to His cause; get others saved.
--In the end, you will be a joyous beneficiary.
--"Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver" (II Cor. 9:7).
--So let each of us give to God as He leads, enables.
--As we do, "God is able to make all grace abound toward you," so you will have "sufficiency" (9:8).
Long ago, God promised, "Honor the Lord with your possessions .. and firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty" (Prov. 3:9f).
--Through the centuries that promise has never failed.
I close with our text of Jesus, "Give, and it will be given to you - good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over .. for the measure you give, it will be given to you."
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 517