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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

Have you ever noticed how different ice cream shops define “1 scoop”? I’m not making a statement in judgment upon these important establishments of our culture. I have many friends in the ice cream business and in no way intend to offend them.

However, when I’m in a new town I always like to check out the ice cream shop. Some places use a large scoop to dish up their irresistible treats. Some use a small scoop. There’s one place in northern Wisconsin where I suggest that unless you are dying and this is your last dish of ice cream, you only order 1 scoop. Ever! This place (and I’ll let you try to discover it on your own!) defines ‘1 scoop’ the way most places define 2 or 3 scoops! It’s amazing and it’s made right in the shop so it’s nice and fresh and creamy.

We were camping at a campground where they had a small ice cream counter. The owner was a friend and usually dished up ice cream for us. One day, one of her employees dished up the ice cream and it was about 1/3 the size of what we usually got. We didn’t complain or say anything (except thank you) and went outside to enjoy our bedtime snack. Our friend came and sat with us. She looked at the ice cream bowls we had and was shocked. “Is that all she gave you? That won’t do!” she exclaimed. She took our bowls back into the building and came out with new ones heaped high with ice cream! We were so sad when she sold her campground.

That is God’s picture of generosity. God’s version of generosity has no regard for industry standards. His generosity is based on His love for us and nothing else, not our past, not our ability to repay, sometimes not even our gratitude. He just keeps blessing us.

I wonder if that’s what Jesus was thinking of when he talked about generosity, giving to the fullest measure, not holding back, not deciding if giving should be based on the other person’s ability to repay in some way.

As Christ-followers we need to be givers. We are the light of the world. We are the salt in our society. We should never allow ourselves to be out-given by those who don’t follow Christ. When Jesus speaks of giving I’m not so sure He’s only talking about financial gifts. We can give with our actions, we can give a little more of a tip to lousy service at the local restraint, we can give by helping a neighbor in need or a brother that is in a struggle. Giving isn’t just about the material things. Sometimes the emotional gifts are the most memorable.

Give as Jesus would give. Today, resolve to show the world God’s definition of generosity. Do what you can to make sure that whoever you touch today goes home with a full bowl!

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I ask that you would help me to learn how to live a life of generosity according to your example. There are so many people who are hurting around me. So many times I’ve been so conscious of my own pain that I’ve failed to notice the pain of others. Empower me by your Spirit to give far and above what is expected of me because I choose to follow you. In your name I pray, Amen.


Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

It isn’t good for us to be alone. Even at creation God saw that all was good except for the fact that man was alone. He needed a companion that he could share the good and the bad with. So God created woman to stand at his side as his equal partner in life.

Today the one thing each of us still craves is relationship. We want to belong to something, to someone. We seek a cause that we can believe in and pursue because it makes us feel important. Our self worth gives us identity. It could be through a church, a relationship, a job anything that makes us feel worthy.

Jesus tells us we are to be the salt of the earth. For salt to be useful it must be in contact with the item to be salted. It intermingles, adds flavor and preserves. But salt is always salt. It doesn’t take on the quality of the item salted but enhances the positive aspects of the item salted.

Jesus also warns that salt can lose its ‘saltiness’ and become useless. It breaks down and loses its identity. Rather than maintaining its saltiness it takes on the attributes of the substance surrounding it. The salt no longer enhances the flavor or preserves as it once did.

As Christ-followers we need to be careful when we are in the world. It is too easy to get drawn into the negative attitudes about other people or those who are different than us. In an effort to reach out to those struggling with sin it seems right to downplay the sin in an effort to win the sinner.

Paul tells us in Galatians 6:1 that when we catch someone in sin we are to restore them gently, but the second part of that verse is a warning. We ourselves are in danger of sinning when we put ourselves in situations where temptations to judge, have a critical spirit or allowing pride to overtake us.

When Paul wrote to the Corinthian church he warned them that constant affiliation with those who were negative, judgmental or lax in their spiritual drive could pull us down. Are we to avoid such people? NO! We need to temper the negative with a strong drive to draw close to Jesus through our personal Bible Study and Prayer and by building a wall of positive influence around us made up of small group and corporate worship and prayer.

When we allow negative thoughts and negative attitudes to influence the way we act or think it robs us of our self esteem, our self identity and the dreams we have. Jesus’ ways are built on love and compassion not on critical spirits and verbal and emotional attacks. As a Christ-follower we are called to built up not tear down, to encourage not berate, to seek the positive in every situation and not dwell on the negative.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. I get so frustrated by seeing the way in which people abuse each other and seem to take advantage of your love and Forgiveness. To make matters worse I have found my own attitude has become negative and angry with people I disagree with. As a result I am guilty of the very thing that I detest. Forgive me for my judgmental attitude, my critical spirit and my hatred. Empower me with your Spirit to love unconditionally and forgive freely. Help to continue to build a close relationship with you and other believers so that I can live in the freedom you have given me and accomplish all you have in store for my life. Amen.


I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Revelation 3:18

How we perceive something affects our entire outlook on life. Years ago ‘magic eye’ pictures were very popular. These mosaic design pictures had hidden pictures among the dots or squares. Some people could see the message in the picture right away. Others had a hard time seeing the message, or couldn’t see the message at all. It is all a matter of perception.

Spiritual perception can work the same way. In Revelation John writes to the church in Laodicea. The church in Laodicea was well established. They had been doing the same things for years and had become very stable. The trouble is, sometimes stability leads to stagnancy and Laodicea had become stagnant. In today’s terms they may be referred to as being ‘politically correct’.

The Laodicean’s knew what they stood doctrinally. They believed all the right things. The problem was that tradition and leniency had seeped into the church so that it was really hard to tell the difference between traditional and doctrine. In a word, they were comfortable. Jesus didn’t call us to grow comfortable and stagnant. He called us to be vibrant, alive members of society. Like salt adds flavor and preservatives to food, the Christ follower is to be a positive change agent in their world.

Jesus issued some harsh words to the Laodicean’s about their spiritual perception. Perhaps the biggest concern was the fact that the people didn’t even realize how far they had strayed. Like the frog in boiling water they had become so accustomed to the gradual straying from God’s ways they didn’t realize how far they were from the truth. It was as though the people in the Laodicean church had cataracts. They no longer saw their mission and purpose clearly.

As a follower of Jesus Christ we need to constantly check our spiritual eyesight to make sure we are seeing life through Jesus’ eyes and not the eyes of tradition or denominational dogma. The best way to do that is to, first of all, go directly to the source. Spend time reading the Bible on a daily basis, not just reading books about the Bible.

Secondly, talk to God about your questions. Prayer is not just you talking and God listening. It’s voicing your concerns, needs, etc. and then meditating and giving God a chance, through His Holy Spirit, to direct your thoughts in the direction He wants you to go.

Lastly, build your life around a core group of believers that you can trust to tell you the truth, pray with you and encourage you through the tough times.

Jesus wanted to clear up the eyesight of the people in Laodicea because He knew that clear eyesight leads to clear direction. In the same way He wants each of us to see how we can best change the world around us.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I come to you today realizing that my view of you and of what you want me to be is in danger of being affected by society, tradition and denominational dogma. As David prayed, I ask that you would search me and see if there is anything in my life that is keeping me from being salt to those around me. Show me through your Word, prayer and fellow believers how I can be the vibrant person you want me to be. Amen.

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