Look for the Overflow of Giving
2 Corinthians 9:12-14 (ESV)
For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 13 By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.
The word overflow is such a visual word that it is easier to see it in your mind than to define it. A glass is said to overflow when the next drop of liquid placed into it spills out. The glass can hold no more so any added liquid spills from the glass onto the table. A river is said to overflow its banks when there is so much water flowing that the river channel cannot contain the volume of water and so it spreads out and covers the land next to the river.
Giving that overflows occurs when something happens that is greater than just meeting a need. For example, when giving to the City Union Mission Bed and Breakfast Club it is expected that the money provides men, or women, or families safe food and shelter off the streets of Kansas City. However, the giving could result in much more than just food and shelter. It could result in praise and thanksgiving to God as the men, or women, or families learn of the love of God and begin new lives with Christ. It could result in loving and discipling relationships that replace previous destructive relationships. Go to https://cityunionmission.org/ and listen to the stories of changed lives. Another example is seen in the August 2017 Bridge of Hope newsletter, written by Pastor Luther Eatman Jr., as he opens the letter with these words, “As I look over the monthly list of ministry partners that financially support us I am overwhelmed with gratitude and gratefulness to God for His faithfulness to this church and to those who submit to His authority.” Here is giving that has overflowed into many thanks to God.
In the 2 Corinthians 9:12-14 passage, this is exactly what happened when generous, cheerful giving to meet the needs of the saints in Jerusalem occurred. overflowing praise and thanksgiving to God for meeting the needs in Jerusalem and a stronger relationship between the Jewish and gentile churches. This is indeed giving that overflows.
What is true of giving to City Union Mission, Bridge of Hope, and the Jewish church in Jerusalem is no less true of giving to Grace Fellowship. Over the years gifts to Grace Fellowship church has met needs, overflowed into praise and thanksgiving to God, and strengthened our relationship with other believers within Grace and with other churches. As you give cheerfully and generously to Grace Fellowship observe how it overflows into praise to God and strengthens relationships among believers. Feel free to let me know what you observe.
(Image: By Tim Green from Bradford - Overflow, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51785526)