Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 6 February 2015

“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” Mark 4, verses 24-25.

My wife and I just watched “American Sniper” and these verses come to mind in describing the movie.   It’s a very compelling movie; I highly recommend it, though if you’re queasy about watching people get shot, this movie will send you over the edge.   When you see Chris Kyle’s story, you can’t help but think about how some people give and are given more (and then they keep on giving, even past the point of breaking), and how some people lose even what little they have.

It’s all because of what we bear in our hearts.

When we love, love grows and we’re given more.   Those platitudes about dying rich without having a cent to your name are true; you know they are. God is love is Jesus is love is the Spirit is love. When we let the love of God re-mold our hearts, we are like the farmer sowing seed in good soil.   The fertile soil of our hearts is ripe ground in which to grow a hundred-fold crop of Jesus’ love.   He harvests that by using us to share it with others.   And then they get to do it.   It’s a matter of the heart, and it – and not the famous and powerful – really does make the world go around.

Consider, then, the poor guy who doesn’t love.   I pity him.   I honestly pity people who don’t love, who don’t know the love of Jesus. I find myself wanting to do something to reach out to them, to share Him with them in some way.   Perhaps the best way is simply to listen, to be a friend, to meet them on their level and be there for when Jesus wants to turn the soil in their heart. When we don’t do this, I pity us, and I pity the people who don’t know love because if they turn their hearts cold, even that coldness will leave them when they catch up to eternity.   And we all do:   death and beyond wait for us all.   To those who don’t know the love of Jesus and don’t share love, eternity must be a punishingly lonely fate. The better way is to find them and love them while we can.

That was one of the take-away’s I got from American Sniper. He loved while he could, and in unconventional ways. Kyle loved deeply:   his family, his country, his brother Seals, and even the strangers.   Being a sniper was a job to him, yet it ate at him with every life he took even when that was justified in protecting others. It tore him up and changed him; in some ways it became an obsession.   Yet he was able to pull away from it and serve in other ways.   That service was what eventually got him killed.   Some may say “what was it all for?”   Some might ask that same question about Jesus willingly going to the cross.

Mind you, I’m not comparing the murder of Chris Kyle to Jesus dying for our sins.   Yet it is good to remember that all gave some but some gave all. For those who give, when the love of Jesus lives in their hearts, giving all is actually a very small price to pay.

Lord, let me give my all for You today.

Read Mark 4, verses 26-29.

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