[Jesus said,] â€œConsider carefully what you hear,â€ he continued. â€œWith the measure you use, it will be measured to you â€“ even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.â€ Mark 4:24-25 (NIV)
I have been told that Mark uses phrases like this starting one to signify that Jesus was saying, â€œHeads up! Listen up! I am about to say something really important!â€ I think what Jesus said next is very important. It is a principal about how I live my life. BUT I do NOT think it is about $$$ (money)!!! How many people are going to stop reading this or at a minimum are disappointed that I donâ€™t think itâ€™s about money?
Jesus wasnâ€™t about money. He wasnâ€™t about laying up treasures here on earth, was He? (Matthew 6:19) Jesus said that I was to think about my eternal bank account. Jesus wanted me to live my life with the focus being on following His example and building Godâ€™s kingdom. When I extend grace to others as God has extended to me, God says, â€œYEAH!â€ and offers a High 5! When I remember how forgiving God has been to me and I extend that forgiveness to others, God lifts me up on His shoulders! And so God will give more. God gives and gives! He gives gifts in abundance! He gives whatever I will need to accomplish His plan in abundance. Let me give a personal example:
When Henry and I got married, many were more than a little surprised because we are so very different. But Godâ€¦well, Heâ€™s a good matchmaker! He was thinking about Kingdom partnerships! Henry is a visionary. He sees a big picture. He thinks in terms of the Church. I am an administrator. I am a detail person that sees the steps to make a conference happen. However, in the last nine years, I think Henry and I have both learned that our â€˜giftsâ€™ do not have hard, sharp lines of separation. God saw us as two who would become one. We have learned to work together to make something happen. We continue to learn from God on how we can grow together better! When we choose to use the gifts that God has given us â€“ He gives more! IF we neglect or do not use our gifts â€“ God gives them to someone else. He is not going to waste His gifts.
Every day we have an opportunity to do Kingdom work. It may be encouraging a co-worker or just listening. If you tell someone you are going to be praying for themâ€¦do it! A one sentence prayer right then can lift a person from despair and break the lie that they are alone or the only one who is having this particular problem. It may be doing that â€˜something extraâ€™ for our own family. Itâ€™s bringing home a $5 bouquet of daisiesâ€¦just becauseâ€¦for a spouse or a child. Itâ€™s getting up from the table first and taking dishes to the washer or becoming the washer, without being told. Sending a card to someoneâ€”even an e-card! There was a woman in my church that, at her funeral, literally 100 people or more, raised their hand that they had received a card from her at a moment when no one else knew but God that they were going through difficulties. The woman sent a card and totally changed lives. Is that a gift? Absolutely! I believe that for every prophet in the Church, we need 4-6 encouragers.
â€œConsider carefully what you hear,â€ Jesus says. I want to hear what Jesus says every day. I want to hear Him and then consider carefully what His words are and how they are to move me. Consider carefully what God is saying to you today.