Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | April 29, 2015

April 29, 2019 “A Cup Or A Bucket”

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)

Good morning my great Friends!

One of my favorite films is the Frank Capra classic “It’s A Wonderful Life”, usually shown around the Christmas season, although it really is a film for all seasons with a wonderful lesson regarding generosity and the grace of God. In the film, the main character, George Bailey, is a man full of visions and dreams of traveling the world over. Throughout the film, circumstances keep him from fulfilling his life-long ambitions. His father dies and he is needed to take over as chairman and general manager of a small building and loan company. Every time it looks like he will be able to pursue his ambitions, a need springs up and it is he that makes the sacrifice to fulfill the need of someone else, which he does without hesitation. When a time of great crisis arises, he considers sacrificing his own life for the sake of his family by taking his own life so they may collect the insurance money. Preparing to jump off a bridge to his death, he sees another “man” (an angel named Clarence), drowning in the icy water. Once again, he abandons his own ill-conceived plan to intervene for the benefit of another.Upon his rescue, he confesses to Clarence his wish that he “had never been born.” Clarence grants his request, giving George the ability to see through his own eyes what a difference his life made to many, and how his absence would have led to all sorts of undesirable circumstances for those he helped. Finally, he comes to God with a prayer, “Let me live again.” It is a small prayer asking for what was, in regard to his life circumstances, a small thing. He was asking God for a glass of water while God was preparing to give him a wellspring! This is, in fact, what happens in the story, as the many beneficiaries of his generosity pour out a love offering to him.

For me, this film is a great illustration of Jesus’ words in Luke’s gospel: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.”  Christian children’s author Nancy Spiegelberg said it well in a prayer:

“Lord I crawled across the barrenness to you with my empty cup uncertain in asking any small drop of refreshment. If only I had known you better I’d have come running with a bucket.”

George Bailey was praying for a small drop of refreshment to assuage his pain. God provided a gushing fountain of love in return…”A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.” In Psalm 23, David would have done well to come to God with a bucket rather than a cup. In Malachi 3:10. God says, “see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Give, and it shall be given unto you. Let’s pray!

Great God of abundant grace; You are ever ready to fill our emptiness, far more than we are prepared to receive or deserve. Fill my cup, Lord, with the measure that I use to bless others. This I pray in Jesus’ holy Name. Amen!

Advertisements

Categories

%d bloggers like this: