Measuring Mustered | Mark 4:24–25
24 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. 25 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.”
We sometimes confuse the theology of justification and sanctification. When God declares us righteous based on Christ’s work, we sinners are justified, and it is completely the work of God alone. God sets us apart for Himself at that point, or sanctifies us, but we must also strive to be sanctified in every area of our lives. In other words, the work of justification is done by God without our help, but the work of sanctification is done by God with our faithful living. That is what we see in passages like this one.
First, be careful to live according to His Word alone. He commands, “Pay attention to what you hear.” As the children’s song says, “Be careful little ears what you hear,” and Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” We must strive in this, to “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor 10:5). What we must hear cannot be the vain traditions of the Pharisees who reject Christ, or our sinful inclinations, but the Word of God.
Second, give out the Word of God. This was His command to the apostles primarily and to us secondarily. They were to measure out a great offering, and the Holy Spirit carried them along as they penned Holy Writ (2 Pt 1:20–21). We understand the parables and have the rest of Scripture today because they were faithful; their faithfulness gave rise to every conversion in the history of the Christian church.
Similarly, our personal efforts in the power of the Spirit will result in reaping a bountiful harvest. The parable of the talents (Mt 25:14–30) indicates that those investing in kingdom work will bear fruit (some fourfold, some tenfold), but those who do not care not for what they have; theirs is a false profession. In the parable of the ten minas (Lk 19:11–27), there’s a correlation between earthly work and heavenly rewards—and we will reap what we sow (Gal 6:7).