A Good Measure head image

A Good Measure

March 17, 2024

Dr. Paul Cannings

When people travel by plane, and the ride is very smooth, they tend to feel that everything is well over a long period of time until there is turbulence. If turbulence continues, there is anxiety and nervousness, but they would still say it was a good flight.  They can say that because, despite the turbulence, the plane landed safely. As a matter of fact, the first question people tend to ask you is, “How was your flight?”  My standard answer is always, “It was a great flight; the plane landed.”

When the economy is strong and jobs are well (may not be the exact job we want, but we have one), we tend not to have time to serve or provide a lot of time to the Lord; when salaries are good, we may debate how much we should give; some people may even say this is a lot when they give. It is not about how much God instructed them to keep, but more about how much they gave. As a result, our giving to God becomes grudging rather than thankful. So, sometimes, God allows for turbulence.

Turbulence can come in the form of flood damage, wrecks, health issues, loved ones struggling with health issues, and a death in the family. Companies may decide to downsize, or a supervisor, manager, or president may resign, and the new person is not as favorable towards you. Now that there is turbulence, we come to God expecting immediate resolutions or protection because we forgot that it was more to life than what we have achieved or the level of security that our job benefits may provide. God talks about what this means in Deuteronomy 8:11-20.

When the plane is flying, we forget how much traffic is in the sky, how many millions of parts must work right, how the pilot needs to stay alive, and how many things can go wrong upon landing or during take off. In the midst of life, we forget that someone must regulate the air we breathe (especially with all the oil refineries we have), keep the animals or vegetation we eat multiplying, the earth spinning in space, the sun gassed up, the temperate regulation on earth, so the seasons flow well, etc.  When God instructs us to give, He demands respect for all He does, which causes Him to own 100% of what we have. We are on His earth that He sustains. Respect–reverence is worship, which is why giving in the Old and New Testament is worship (Malachi 1:6-14).  “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38 NIV) 

We give because God gave to us, not because we are in church (Job 38-41). It is respect! It is reverence! It is worship!