Saturday, May 21, 2011
Get More out of Life
The Bible says that when we give we also receive. In fact, it seems to imply that the more we give to others the more we shall get back blessings and peace. They will be in a sack and have been "pressed down, shaken together and poured out into our laps".
I grew up in a farming community and have experienced exactly what the Bible teaches in this metaphor. Jesus was speaking to blue collar and small business people who understood the dynamics of buying and selling grain. If I went to your store to buy grain I would want you to fill my tow sack as completely and fully as possible. If you did not fill it to the brim I would pay much more than the going rate because I would be paying for air as well as grain.
In order to get all the oats that the sack would hold I would shake it vigorously so to press the oats down in a compact manner and force all the air out of the sack. I don't want air I want oats. Any air pocket would look like a packed sack but I would be cheated. It is the same as if the business man was putting his finger on the scale as well as the meat.
By serving and giving we get a full load of blessings. Jesus says the good stuff coming back to us will be "pressed down and shaken together" so we get as much as possible for the little we give to others. The implications are enormous for our peace, joy and happiness. As we serve others according to our gifts and talents, we can enter into what some researchers call, "FLOW". That is a mental and emotional state that seems to fly by as fast as can be.
Flow means that we are so caught up in our actions that we forget about being tired, hungry uncomfortable, or down in the dumps. It is a state of joy. This is why Jesus said serving and giving from our gifts and talents will come back as a blessing. I have been watching a TV show about secret millionaires who go underground to find a non profit that is serving others. In every case the millionaires find great joy in humbly serving the poor, downtrodden and marginalized. As a result, they wanted to give more of their time and money.
Here are some hints about finding these blessings. 1.Better understand your strengths, gifts, talents and call by trying out various volunteer opportunities. When we liberate our strengths in service to others we have the greatest joy. 2. Make sure the serving costs you something. Time, energy, money, status, and convenience. 3. Do your service in the Name of the Lord. Give glory to God for all you have and all you do. 4. Reflect on your experience afterward with some friends and family members who know how to listen. journal about your experience. What was the best parts? The worst parts? 5. Ask God what He thinks about your experience.
On May 27 we are hosting the parents of kids with a disability. You are welcome to come and serve them and learn about our ministry. If you are interested write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also go to Sweeten Life web and find out more about us.