“He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.”
Luke 3:11 (KJV)
How are you? Not long ago, I wrote another post on sharing. You can read it here. That post was focused on how we sometimes tend to confuse “needs” and “wants”. Today’s post is about sharing, but with the focus on sharing from our excess.
In Luke 3:11 (KJV), it says, “He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; an the that hath meat, let him do likewise.” Here, John the Baptist is answering a question people have asked about what they must do. As we can see, the message is that we should give from our excess to those who don’t have all the necessities in life.
I believe the word “meat” doesn’t just refer to meat, but to all food and drink. John is talking about food that is a necessity. We need food and drink in order to live. It may be the same with “coats”. John may not be just talking about coats, but all necessary clothing. Clothing is a necessity as well.
Luke 3:11 reminds me of Matthew 19:21 (KJV) which says, “Jesus said unto him, If those wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” Jesus’ answer maybe a little more drastic, but the message to be compassionate and giving to the poor is still the same.
One might ask, “Why doesn’t John tell people the same as Jesus did?” I believe there a couple of reasons. The first is that Jesus hadn’t yet started His ministry in the times of when John was speaking in Luke 3:11. I believe the second reason is that God likes to tell us things in baby steps as to not overwhelm us and so we can understand. People who came to John might not have been ready to hear that they must sell everything. God may have thought that they were only ready to hear that they must share from their excess.
I don’t know about you, but Luke 3:11 inspires me to think about what I have and what I give or don’t give. It gets me to thinking about how many of us have more coats and more clothes than they could possibly need and others don’t have all the necessities in life. Another thing I think about is that there is no mention of being asked by the poor for anything, only mention of giving to the poor. We are called to lovingly, graciously, and compassionately give to the poor out of excess in daily living necessities. We are called to take the initiative to ensure the poor at least have the necessities in life. What do you think about in reading Luke 3:11?
Do you think about how many pieces of clothing you have and how many people could use even one? Do you think of how much food you have and how much gets wasted while others struggle to fine any? Does your heart go out to those who struggle to just get the necessities in life? Do you even think about what that might feel like?
I pray that you are blessed by Luke 3:11 to reflect on what you have or need and what you can do to help those less fortunate. I pray we all take that time to not only reflect, but to do something about it, to compassionately and joyously give.
Thank you for your Holy Word. Thank you for caring for all your children, those who have as well as those who have not. Thank you for teaching us to give and share with others. Help us to be, not only obedient to your Holy Word, and give to others, but to give well with a loving and compassionate heart. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Luke 3:11 (KJV):
*What does Luke 3:11 mean to me?
*Does Luke 3:11 inspire me to reflect on what I have and what I share?
*Do I have more food or clothing than I need?
*Do I have more possessions and money than I need?
*Do I share with the poor and those in need?
Now, it is your turn.
I am so thankful that you are here. I enjoy sharing my faith and my thoughts with you. I encourage you to read God's Word and grow in your own faith. I welcome any comments and ideas you may have so that we can all be encouraged and grow in our faith.
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“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
1 John 3:17 (KJV)
How are you? I am touched by the words in 1 John 3:17. What about you? If we all thought about these words and prayed about these words, and acted upon these words, the world would be a better place.
As Christians, we try to do what is right. We may go to church, worship God and speak His name. We may pray not only for ourselves, but for others as well. Yet, is that all we are called to do?
We are asked a very good question in 1 John 3:17 (KJV), “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” With the “old time” words and way of saying things, this verse, like many others in the Bible, may be difficult to understand. However, it is basically saying, “If we are rich or have more than we need and see someone in need, but don’t share, how can we say that we have God’s love in us?” Or, we can also change that to, “How can we say we are Christians, followers of Jesus, and believers, if we don’t share out of our extra wealth with those in need?”
Let’s think about that question a minute. Pray about it. If we are truly following Jesus, how can we not share what we have with others? Jesus was always having compassion on others, healing them, encouraging them, and giving the good news to them. Shouldn’t we do the same, if we are able? Isn’t that what “following” means? Is that what it means to be Christian?
I think part of our issue in not heeding the words in 1 John 3:17 is that we interchange the words “need” and “want” too much in our society. We talk about “needing” things that we really “want”. We might say something like, “I need to get some chips for the picnic.” Well, that isn’t quite the truth. The truth is that we “want” to get some chips for the picnic. We might say, “I need a new car.” Well, that isn’t quite the truth either. Even if we feel we need a vehicle, the truth is closer to, “I need something to get me to and from work or the grocery store. But, I really want it to be a new car.” Our society says “need” too often when “want” is really the meaning.
With our nonchalant use of the word “need”, how can we really tell when someone needs something or not? More to the point, how can we tell if we have more than we need, if we always say we need something when we don’t? I think this badly, overused, misrepresented use of the word “need” has made us numb to the real needs of the world; of ours and of others.
I think if we learn to use the word “want” when we really mean “want” and use “need” when we really mean “need”, God will be more likely to open our hearts to have the compassion we should for others. Even if we have never had a real “need”, we may start to understand that there are people who do and our compassion will tug at us until we do something about it.
It is then that we can realize that we have a closet bulging with more clothes than we actually where, when there are others who barely have clothes on their backs and don’t even have a closet. Maybe then, we will share.
In preparing for this post and reading 1 John 3:17, it tugged at my heart some. I hope that God continues the tug at my heart. I pray that He continues to convict me with this verse, until I am moved to a depth so deep that His loves comes pouring through me. I pray the same for you as well, if you aren’t there already.
Thank you for sending your only Son, Jesus, to be our Savior and our ultimate role model. Oh, Lord, help us to know the difference between “needs” and “wants”. Touch our hearts, so they are opened to the needs of others and your compassion can flow through us. Help us to have compassion on those in need, not only in word and prayer, but also in action. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for 1 John 3:17 (KJV):
*What does 1 John 3:17 mean to me?
*Do I use the word “need” when I really mean “want”?
*Do I think that the needs and wants confusion numbs us?
*What message is God giving me through this verse?
*What can I do to better heed the words in 1 John 3:17?
*Do I have any excess that I can give to those in need?
Now, it is your turn.
What are your thoughts? Do you use "need" when you mean "want"? Why don't you think we give as much as we can to those in need? How do you think we call ourselves Christians and don't give to those in need? (I know some do give.) I would like to hear from you. Please, comment below to give us all something about which to think and pray. Thank you.
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“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
Luke 6:38 (KJV)
How are you? In doing my research for this blog post, it seems that this verse is used to encourage people to tithe or give to a specific cause. However, I am wondering if that is the way this verse is meant to be spoken. In that use, the speaker is seeking something. Yet, in the way Jesus says it, the hearer is the one who will reap its rewards if followed.
I think God probably cringes when we use His Word for our gain. “Will you buy me a new car? The Bible says, ‘It is better to give than to receive.’ (Wink, wink.)” Can you imagine what God is thinking or feeling with this? Sometimes, the message isn’t just what we say, but how we say it.
About what does this verse remind you? At first glance, the “good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over” reminds me of measuring something for a recipe. When scooping flour with a measuring cup, you may think you have the correct amount, but if you tap the measuring cup against the counter the flour will settle and you will find that you don’t have as much flour as you thought. So, my mind thinks, “Jesus is saying that if I give the amount that seems full when I first scoop, I will get back the amount that looks like that amount after that amount settles and more is added to make it look equal. As a matter of fact, it will be more than that, because it will not only be that amount, but running over.”
The part that confuses me with this verse is, “shall men give…”. I know that if we do God’s will, He will reward us, if not in this life, in everlasting life. Yet, people don’t always return kindness with kindness or cruelty with cruelty. People are more apt to return like for like, but not always. What are your thoughts on that? Jesus must have had a reason to say “shall men give…”. Was it to say that “people are more apt to treat others in the same way others treat them”? Or, was there more to the message?
So, what is it that we are measuring? Some, think it is money. Remember the wink, wink? However, to me it seems to be a general rule of life for reaping and sowing. The verses prior to Luke 6:38 talks about not only money (Luke 6:34), but also things like mercy (Luke 6:36), judgment (Luke 6:37) and forgiveness (Luke 6:37) as well.
I think it is just like in gardening. If you plant peas, peas will grow or if you plant beans, beans will grow. I think it is the same with Luke 6:38, if you give money, you will get money or if you give cruelty, you will get cruelty. And, of course, if you give love, you will get love. Maybe that is what the last sentence of the verse means, “For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” If you give someone a pint of berries, you will get an overflowing pint of berries in return. If you give someone love, you will get more love in return.
It may seem strange that this works out, especially when humans are involved. I mean, we may know and believe that God will reward our love, faith, and obedience. But why would it make sense that “shall men give…”?
This is why I like to reflect and find other verses in which the verse reminds me. Sometimes God’s Word is difficult to understand unless we make connections with other verses. After all, God’s Word speaks about heavenly ways and we are used to hearing about worldly ways, so it may seem a bit strange to us at first.
So, why does it make sense that even men could repay like with like or even with more than given? Matthew 7:12 says, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” The Golden Rule, as we call it, tells us to treat others as we would want to be treated. I believe that speaks to the repay same with same, especially if kindness is given.
Matthew 5:40-41 speaks about not only giving, but also giving more. Matthew 5:40 says, “And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.” Nobody wants to be sued, but whether we are compelled through the court or through compassion, I believe we are called to give even more than expected.
We are to ensure that we aren’t the person in debt, but the person who has given more than owed. In that way, we are called to follow Jesus’ example. He gave His life for us, even though He didn’t owe us anything.
Matthew 5:41 reinforces Matthew 5:40. It says, “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” We are called to not only give of our earthly possessions, or of our emotions, but of our time and memories as well. We are called to spend more time with someone than even asked.
Like I said, it may seem strange, but even though this is not the way the world is, it is the way it was meant to be. God always calls us to give. God gave man a “help mate”. I believe it wasn’t just because He loved man and didn’t want man to be lonely, but also because He meant people to help one another.
Sadly, things are always as they “should” be, but that doesn’t take away from the truth. Truth is truth. The way God planned things is truth and the way they “should” be.
In the beginning of the post, I mentioned something about a message being not only the words but also how they are used. So, what is the message in Luke 6:38? I think the message is in the first word of the verse, “Give!” Don’t give because it is said in a sermon or because people ask you to give. Don’t give because you feel guilty or embarrassed. Don’t give because you are manipulated. Give because God calls us to give. Give out of compassion and love.
Thank you for your Word. Even though it may seem “strange” at times, because we are used to worldly words, help us to trust in Your Words and in heavenly ways. Oh Lord, help us to not only seek your Word and ways, but to share them in the spirit in which they were intended. Help us to honor you and praise you by following the example of your Son, Jesus, in giving more than we owe or are asked. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Luke 6:38 (KJV):
*What does Luke 6:38 mean to me?
*Does Luke 6:38 speak of worldly things, heavenly things, or both?
*What are we to give?
*Of what verses does Luke 6:38 remind me?
*What can I do to better heed the words in Luke 6:38?
If you are interested in "reap what you sow" posts, you might also be interested in this post.
Now, it is your turn.
Luke 6:38 is a large verse. It is quite a bit to take in. We may or may not understand it all. I would like to hear from you though. What are your thoughts and understanding of the verse? Let us all learn from and encourage each other in God's Word.
Thank you for being here. I appreciate your kindness and support. I pray that you are blessed by the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations. If you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with your friends, family, and church members. Also, if you haven't done so already, please consider signing up below to receive the Faith Blog and other faith content in your inbox. Thank you.
This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.