“Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put in your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.
Luke 6:37-38 NKJV

These verses in Luke tell us we’ll receive what we give. The idea of measurements makes me think of cooking, specifically baking. Some ingredients need to be used sparingly and some generously. Vanilla—generously. Salt—sparingly. The same is true with things such as passing judgment or condemning others (or even ourselves) and forgiving or giving of our time and resources. 

Judgment and condemnation should be measured sparingly, just a pinch and always with a generous dose of love and sincere care for the other person. And don’t forget our lesson from last week; Jesus is always the Person we look to when making a judgment call. If you haven’t talked to Him, this ingredient is best left on the shelf.

Think of these as flavor enhancers, but not flavor-makers. A dash of salt brings out the flavor of other ingredients but too much and the dish becomes inedible. In the same way, a pinch of correction given in the proper time by a loving hand allows the best flavors of the person to be highlighted and expressed. But too much will ruin the recipe.

We need flavor enhancers in our lives. They help us grow, learn, and develop fruitful lives. We also need people to deliver these enhancers with compassion and a gentle hand. To all the flavor-enhancing cooks in my life: Thank you.

Turning our attention to the flavor-makers, the vanilla (or perhaps garlic if you are a savory person like my best friend) should be measured out with joyful exuberance. Whenever I’m making cookies, I either pour the vanilla into my measuring spoon and let it overflow into the mixing bowl or, more often, just dump it straight into the bowl from the bottle. 

We should use this same measuring philosophy when handing out life’s flavor-makers. Grace, forgiveness, generosity—pour them out to overflowing and let the good times roll!

Shower people with flavor-makers and you’ll reveal the best of who they are. Not only that, but the best of who you are becomes prominent as well. The Spirit returns what you pour out back to you in good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. The more you give, the more you receive. What a promise we can hold on to in both good times and bad.

Father, thank you for teaching us how to measure out life’s flavor enhancers and flavor-makers. Help us be generous givers, exuberant grace distributors, and faithful forgivers. Show us how to appropriately offer loving correction like a pinch of salt in a perfectly balanced recipe. Most of all, teach us to love You with everything we have so we can mirror your love to others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Spread the spark of hope everywhere you go,

Michelle

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I want to follow Jesus! How do I get started?

“This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.
1 John 4:13-15

If you are ready to join the family of God, simply believe and ask. You can choose your own words or pray the prayer below. God hears your heart, simply confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and let the Spirit lead you.

“Father, I want to be yours. Forgive me of my sins. I believe that you sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die in my place. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and thank you for the gift of salvation through Him. I invite the Holy Spirit into my heart and surrender my life to You. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Feel free to spend time just talking to God and sharing your heart with Him. Let Him speak to you and listen as He leads you forward into new life. Welcome to the family.

Need to talk or have questions? Feel free to reach out and contact me.