And God is able to bless you abundantly… Paul could have stopped his sentence here and it would have been more than enough for us to know and believe that God is able, and that His blessings are abundant, and that He aims those abundant blessings our way. But Paul continues on …so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
May faith increase and lead us to grow joyful and obedient generosity. Generosity flows from our awareness and thankfulness to God who bountifully blesses us with all that we need. One night as we were better getting to know Chris, our young teammate in China, he shared with us a principle that his dad taught called OHSP: open-handed stewardship policy. Along with being a wise steward or manager of what God has provided, it also means to live with hands opened, not fists clenched. We see this character lived out consistently in Chris’ life. Years later, Chris’ brother Sam demonstrated OHSP by opening his hand and dropping his car keys into Russell’s. Renting vehicles week after week when we returned to the US became expensive. Sam was going out of town on business and although we had just met him that day, he met our need for a car while he was gone.
The opportunities to be generous are endless. People are not invisible to God, so they should not be invisible to us either. Think about how the whole world is God’s and He wants all of humanity to be cared for. Allowing the blessings of God to flow through us and to others, pleases God. God, thank You for the many ways that You have enriched our lives, blessing each of us abundantly. May we look for ways to be generous to people You place in our paths. Help us to notice people, both those we know and those we don’t, and help us take time to listen and then care enough to take action in appropriate ways. Amen.