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making withdrawalsHow accessible is “treasure in heaven?” Must we die to enjoy our pie in the sky? The answer is a resounding NO! It is downright discouraging to have wealth super safe, yet totally illiquid and inaccessible. The description “in heaven” can be misleading. It’s not about the location (heaven), it’s about the custodian—God. Jesus is directing us to a safe investment, not a faraway investment.

God’s investment house has more branches and outlets than all banks and investment firms combined. It’s available to us both now and in the unending future. Wise generosity will result in benefits before physical death. Notice that Jesus speaks of a bountiful reward for generosity: He said, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over,” Luke 6:38. Consider the emphasized words, phrase by phrase.

  • (1) They: We don’t know who “they” are. They might be angels, but note that the word is “they” rather than “he.” The use of a plural subject describes more than one source of repayment. The point is this: Generosity has a multiplier effect. Generosity invokes more generosity.
  • (2) will pour: The word “will” implies certainty. Jesus did not say “might” or “could,” but “will.” It’s a promise. The word “pour” implies a rapid flow as opposed to a dribble.
  • (3) into your lap: This shows that you don’t need to go get the repayment. It will come to where you are comfortably seated. In other words, the repayment will find you; you don’t need to search for it!
  • (4) a good measure: This means the quantity is not meagre or eroded by fees, but a “good” measure, meaning something like a baker’s dozen, which consists of 13, not just 12 items.
  • (5) pressed down: This means that there are no air pockets, no false appearances, no empty spaces.
  • (6) shaken together: This refers to a second step to ensure that the recompense is full and complete.
  • and (7) running over: Despite it being pressed down and shaken together (compacted), the return gift is over and above previous capacities!

Wow! Look at all seven aspects of abundance. The amount coming back is much greater than the amount going out. Jesus said, “It is more (emphasis added) blessed to give than to receive,” Acts 20:35. How much more blessed is it to give than to receive? We don’t know. But Jesus can be trusted to make it more.

Tom Lipp

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