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.
Pressed Down in Good Measure
When Jesus said that whoever gives, it will be given back to them in good measure and pressed down, what He was saying was that it will be a good measure of what you have given. Then that which is measured back to you will be pressed down so that there will be more room to receive it. The idea is of a sack full of grain that is measured out, and then the grain is pressed down so that more will fit in the sack. This is what Malachi touches on when he writes that you can actually test God, the only place in the Bible I’ve been able to find when this is allowed. God wants us to test Him by being generous so He will prove His faithfulness by pouring out such a blessing that there’ll be no more room to receive it (Malachi 3:10). If you don’t have the courage to give, then ask God for courage.
Once more, the image is of a sack full of grain. If you press the grain down, more will fit in; however, if you shake it, all the pockets of air will be removed so that even more can be poured in. The key is that if you are giving generously, you’re going to reap generously, but if you give sparingly, you’re going to reap sparingly (2 Corinthians 9:6). You reap in proportion to how much you sow. I live in farm country, and no farmer that I know of is stingy with the wheat seed he or she sows. They sow as much as they can so they can reap as much as they can, but it is always much later after they sow. God doesn’t want you to give out of compulsion or guilt or by legalistic ideas of the tithe; He wants you to give out of sheer joy (2 Corinthians 9:7). Do you have enough courage to ask God if you should be giving more than you are now? Why not ask Him?
Here is the final image of grain being poured into a sack. It is poured out so generously to the giver that it’s running over. That means there’s more than enough. The sack is receiving more (in reaping) than the sack originally held (in sowing). The man or woman who is generous to the poor will be blessed (Proverbs 14:21), and the generous who give to the poor is seen by God as being generous to Him (Proverbs 14:31). If you already give, ask God for the courage to see if you should be giving more because you cannot ever out-give God–He owns it all.
A Closing Prayer
Father, please give me the courage to give more so that others will be blessed and I can be blessed by You, not just with money but for the joy of knowing that I am imitating an attribute of Yours, as You are a giving, generous, benevolent God, in which You gave the greatest gift of all: the life of Your Son for me. In His name I pray.
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