A few days ago my friend Jon Swanson asked blog readers to explain how we read the Bible. I finally figured out my response by feeding the dog this morning.
When it’s meal time, I tell Monte to “get his dish.” He eagerly fetches the scoop we use to measure his food.
The scoop is a bit too large, so to get the correct amount we use a little less than a scoopful. Yesterday I wrote about Luke 6:38, and this morning I realized I wasn’t giving Monte “a good measure,” completely filling the scoop, pressing and shaking to settle the contents, then filling again until it overflows.
“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.”
That’s how I read the Bible.
A passage comes up in a sermon or a Bible study or some other context, and for some reason it comes up again…and again. I don’t know why Monte’s food scoop connected to Scripture today. Some would say my method’s disorganized or haphazard or a simple matter of selective perception.
I prefer to hear the Spirit’s voice, to believe there might be something I’m supposed to learn from that passage at this time. So I’ll focus on the verse and those around it. I’ll see where it leads, what it tells me about how to follow Jesus as I navigate the next few days.
For a few days I’ll zero in on Luke 6:28-45. They’re familiar verses, but still I trust I’ll see connections I’ve missed.
Today I felt a twinge of guilt, because I rarely give generously according to the standards of “a good measure.” Usually I dispense love and grace the way I feed Monte—I don’t fill the scoop as full as I could.
But I looked again and realized Jesus understands. He knows I’ll fall short, that I can’t possibly give according to God’s standards. I can’t love or forgive or sacrifice as much as Him.
The good measure comes from God—pressed down, shaken, and overflowing. I get back far more than I give. He provides generously. I don’t think His point is to create guilt because I can’t match His grace.
The point is that His economy multiplies whatever I put in the scoop.
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Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:
Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com