Life and ministry often seem complex. We juggle decisions, conversations, and responsibilities at a rate that can seem overwhelming. In Mark 4, Jesus brings clarity to the jumble of our lives by highlighting two responses to being changed by the truth of God’s Word.
And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away” (Mark 4:21-25 ESV).
The first response that Jesus highlights is “Be Intentional.” You were created for a purpose, and you received the truth of God’s Word for a purpose. When we forget that the core of everything that we do should be God’s glory, the distractions can overwhelm us. By being intentional in our actions, decisions, attitudes, and words, we give meaning to everything we do and order to the chaos around us.
The second response that Jesus highlights is “Be Generous.” Generosity means much more than the way we use financial resources, although God calls us to be generous with what he has given to us. We should also be generous with our time, being willing to be interrupted for the Kingdom’s sake; many of Jesus’ miracles were interruptions to what seemed to be his agenda for the day. We should be generous with our grace; imagine where we would be if God were not generous with his grace toward us. We should be generous with our forgiveness; in forgiving we express our image-of-God-bearing the most.
These responses apply to people who are following Jesus and to ministries who are pointing others to him. How can you be more intentional? How can you be more generous?