"Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure--pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."Luke 6:38(NASB)
Christ's Sermon on the Mount in Matthew is geared towards its Jewish listeners, while a similar teaching in Luke has Gentiles as its target audience.
The subject of both dialogues is the gospel of the kingdom, and Jesus begins His discourse in Luke with four blessings for those who by faith follow Him, and four woes for those who reject Christ and His offer of salvation.
Jesus calls His disciples to love their enemies and to do good to those who hate them. They are commanded to bless those who curse them, pray for those who mistreat them, refuse to retaliate, give freely and generously, and treat others in a way that they would like to be treated themselves.
After these preliminary directives, the Lord Jesus sets about teaching the fundamental principles of sowing and reaping. He points out that the attitudes and characteristics we spread abroad in our life will return to us in like measure. Mercy will be shown to the merciful and judgement will be carried out on those that judge. Forgiveness will be given to those who pardon others, while condemnation will be meted out on those who criticise and condemn.
In this verse, Jesus beautifully expands the universal principle of "give and it will be given unto you." He teaches that a generous man or unselfish woman will not only benefit from the generosity and graciousness of others, but "they will pour into your lap a good measure–pressed down, shaken together, and running over!"
Giving to others, in little acts of kindness or through a generous attitude of care and concern, will often result in thoughtful deeds and a gracious attitude being reflected back upon the giver: "For by your standard of measure," He explains, "it will be meted out to you in return."
However, the universal principle of sowing and reaping does not necessarily refer to material benefits, but more importantly this is given in the context of the coming kingdom. We are urged to lay up for ourselves treasure in heaven: "Gold, silver and precious stones," as Paul calls it, "where moth and rust does no damage and thieves do not break in and steal."
Love is displayed in selflessly giving to others and the ministry in which we are engaged should manifest the sacrificial grace, compassion, and kindness that Christ has shown towards us – in that while we were yet sinners, Jesus died for US. His kindness towards us can indeed be described as "good measure–pressed down, shaken together, and running over," for by grace we have been saved and by grace we have received many precious promises which are ours by faith in Christ.
With Jesus as our pattern of godly living and the model of divine love, should not we seek to imitate His goodness and grace? NOT in our own strength, but in the supernatural strength that He supplies, through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit: "Without me, You can do nothing." Without ME, You cannot love as I have loved. BUT: "I can do all through CHRIST, Who strengthens me, in the power of His Holy Spirit."
Heavenly Father, thank You for the simple yet universal principle of 'giving to others and it will be given to you'. Thank You that You have given to me over and above all that I could ask or think, by sending Jesus to pay the price for my sin, and that He rose again to give me eternal life. Too often I not lived as You would have me to live, nor have I always sown the love, mercy, generosity, and kindness that honours You, but I pray that from today You would enable me to reflect the love, generosity, goodness, and grace of Jesus Christ. In His name I pray, AMEN.