I wanted to back up and add another “consider carefully” statement Jesus made. Some days ago we looked at what Jesus said in Mark 4:25: “Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” But I failed to touch on Mark 4:24: “‘Consider carefully what you hear,’ He continued. ‘With the measure you use, it will be measured to you – and even more.’”
Yes, I think it’s fair to say that we need to be very careful about judging others because we’re setting up our own lives for the same type of deep scrutiny. But I think “the measure” referred to here can be considered in another couple of ways:
(1) Proverbs 18:24a in the NKJV reads this way: “A man who has friends must himself be friendly.” If some people would expend more energy being “friendly” rather than complaining about their lack of help or friendship, they would be amazed at the amount of people who might be ready to become their friends. We’ve all met people who have nothing good to say about anybody; who’ve been “done wrong” by everybody they want to bring up. Just can’t wait to get away from folks like that, can we? No one wants to be around a constant complainer.
I’ll be the first to admit that I can complain with the best of ‘em. But there’s a price to be paid for that: I have to be just as willing to listen whenever my friends want to dump their problems in my lap. Friendship is a two-way street. We have to “be friendly” to have “friends.” We have to be willing to take the good with the bad. Why? Because “With the measure [we] use, it will be measured” back to us – “and even more.”
(2) How much are you willing to give for the sake of the Kingdom? Some years ago a lady from a local church called to invite me speak. “We’re just a poor little church,” the lady told me. Little did she know how much that statement irked me! That lady’s church and your church and my church aren’t buildings – they’re people; believers in Jesus Christ. And whatever corporate body we meet with – a small assembly or a gigantic mega one – we serve the same God. And He ain’t poor! And He doesn’t consider any church small if their heart and their mission are big.
Your vision for your personal ministry and your vision for your church or your Bible class or whatever group it is, is as big as your God. How big is He? How well did He equip you? He gave you Himself! There’s nothing you can’t do that He’s called you to do. But if you “measure” yourself and find little to work with, you’re forgetting about the unending power of the Holy Spirit within you – and only the work done through Him is gonna amount to a hill of beans anyway!
Folks, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to “measure” by the teaspoon. I want to know and trust my Lord as an overflowing Source of blessing – blessing for me and my family, and blessing to complete whatever work He calls me to do.
“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” (St. Basil)
Unless otherwise stated, Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (NIV).