Mark 4:21-24: Use it or lose it.
“21 He said to them, ‘Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? 22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.’ 24 ‘Consider carefully what you hear,’ he continued. ‘With the measure you use, it will be measured to you – and even more.” NIV UK
The opening two verses address the matter of whether the Kingdom of God will always be a secret, hidden from the many and revealed to only a few (see 11, 12). Jesus says that one day the Kingdom will be plain to all. Lamps are meant to give light, not hide it.
Obedience, it has been said, is the organ of spiritual knowledge. The more we obey, the more we understand. We should seek to read the Bible every day looking for what we need to put into practice – to believe and obey in other words
‘’With the measure you use, it will be measured to you – and even more.’’
Tom Hale writes that the above refers to the faith we exercise. Whoever has faith will be given more – more understanding (Matthew 13:11,12), more joy, more peace, more power etc. However, if you don’t have faith, even what you have will be taken from you. You will be like the soil of the path where the seed was sown but couldn’t sprout, and the devil stole the seed away. ‘If we do not use our gift of faith, and the other gifts God has given us, we shall lose them (Matthew 25:24-30). If we do not exercise our legs, we will soon be unable to walk. As it is with our bodies, so it is with our spiritual lives. Therefore let us use our ears (verse 23) and consider carefully what we hear!’ Tom Hale: ‘The applied New Testament Commentary,’ p.230.
‘There is no such thing as standing still in the spiritual life; if we cease to grow, then we shrink. This is either a promise or a warning, depending on our spiritual attitude.’ Alan Cole: ‘New Bible Commentary,’p.958.
Whatever we receive from God is to be used.