Abounding in Generosity

May 9, 2024

In April of 1998, LeAnn and I mailed out a prayer newsletter announcing we were returning to the United States after serving just over two years at a school for the children of missionaries in Venezuela. In that letter, we asked for our prayer partners to not only pray for God's provision of a new church-based ministry for us, but for God to also provide us with a vehicle. A couple days after mailing the letter, one of our supporters, a college friend named Darla, contacted us with a somewhat cryptic email: "Don't buy a car yet. I might have something for you."

Long story short, Darla was in the process of buying herself a 1998 Honda Accord, and she wanted to give her old 1990 Geo Prizm to us. We could not believe her generosity! We were truly humbled by her kind act. We ended up owning that little car for three years. It wasn't until we couldn't fit our two kids and all of our luggage into the car for a trip back to the Midwest to see grandparents did we upgrade to a 1996 Ford Taurus station wagon.

What she didn't know was that her gift allowed us to have just enough money in our bank account that when we found a ministry position in Colorado, we were able to afford the down payment on a small two-bedroom condo. Had we purchased a car once back in the states, we would not have been able to afford the condo. Plus, we probably wouldn't have been able to afford rent! Her generous gift turned out to be far greater than she or us ever imagined.

Overflowing in Generosity

If you have ever been given a generous gift like a car, you know the feeling of being simultaneously humbled, honored, and overwhelmed with a dash of disbelief mixed in for good measure. If this is what it feels like to receive such generosity, why wouldn't we want to do the same for others?

This is why God says in verse 8 of our key passage for this Being a STEWARD series...

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work."

2 Corinthians 9:8 (ESV)
Abounding In Generosity • Riverwood Church

I want you to notice that a steward of God's resources isn't just to "abound" in the generous giving of money, but to overflow "in every good work." This includes the money God has entrusted to you, but it is so much more than money! God wants you to abound in generosity with your time, your energy, your wisdom, your skills... in everything you do.

As we saw a couple weeks ago from verse 11 of 2 Corinthians 9, God enriches you to enrich others. We see that again here in verse 8. God can overflow your life with whatever He wants you to generously give to others. So don't worry if you'll have enough time for your project. Go ahead and give some time to your friend who needs a listening ear. Don't fret whether you'll have enough money to remodel your bathroom. Go ahead and help your friend with a financial gift. And don't worry whether you'll have enough energy to still mow your own lawn. Go ahead and help your neighbor pick up the trash that blew into their yard. Why? Because God can "make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all time," so that you may "abound in every good work" to those around you.

Erin Bird Lead Pastor - Riverwood Church

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Riverwood Church, Waverly Iowa

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