Luke 6:38 - [Jesus said,] "Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you."
I was pouring the twenty-ounce orange juice into my cup. It was turned totally upside down and had stopped flowing. But I continued to hold it and move the bottle up and down, while only drops of orange juice were now slowly dripping out of the bottle and into my cup. A friend of mine walked by with a chuckle and said, "I think you got it!"
I like to get my money's worth. Whether it's shampoo out of the bottle or salsa out of the pack or air freshener from the sprayer or cereal from the box or skin lotion from the pump, I like to get it all and get my money's worth.
Fortunately, we don't need to worry about getting our money's worth with God. Even moreso, praise God for his goodness, and thank God for his grace that God wants to give us far more than we need. But as always, God's giving and our receiving of God's exceeding abundance is tied to faith.
Our giving is an act of faith. That's what Jesus is telling us in today's verse. In the same way that seeking God is a way of receiving God and in the same way that obeying God is a way of trusting God, so too is giving to God and people a way of expecting God to refill our needs to overflowing.
Jesus poured out his whole self, every drop of blood, so we could be both cleansed by him and also filled and refilled and refilled again and again to overflowing with his love. Jesus tells of a woman who gave her last two pennies to the poor, implying she trusted God to refill her needs to overflowing. Scripture also recounts a widow who shared her family's last earthly meal with Elijah, implying she trusted God to refill her needs to overflowing. We hear of Stephen sharing his last breath to tell of God's love to those who were stoning him, implying he trusted God to refill his needs to overflowing. And on and on and on, for it's true. Our giving is an act of faith, so that giving to God and God's people is a way of expecting God to refill our needs to overflowing.
Which is exactly what God promises to do.
That's why Jesus said, "Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you." (Luke 6:38)
"The gospel is the story of Jesus [what God's only Son has done for us that we can't do for ourselves], spoken as a promise." - Robert Jenson