I recently heard a pastor talking about a conversation he had with his wife that turned into a great sermon. His wife had prepared some hot apple cider to take to an event at their church. She put the cider into a Thermos to keep it warm. As she was pouring, she quickly discovered that she couldn’t fit all the cider in the Thermos without it overflowing, so she took the extra and put it into a coffee mug for her husband, the pastor, to enjoy. When he came into the kitchen, he saw the mug of hot cider and said to his wife, “Thank you, honey. You’re blessing me with your overflow.” She responded, “Honey, I live in the overflow.” Instantly, the sermon antennae on his head perked up (he was a pastor, after all), and he realized that “living in the overflow” is what happens to us when we let God fill our heart with His mercy, grace, and love.
Our hearts aren’t big enough to hold all of God’s love, and that’s the point! When our hearts are filled to the brim with His love, He just keeps pouring and, pretty soon, our cups runneth over. God not only gives us everything we need to live life, but He gives us enough to live abundantly. Jesus said in John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” Our cups are overflowing with His mercy, grace, and love. “Living in the overflow” means that you acknowledge that you have more than enough to simply survive. You have enough to share with others. As Christians, we are all filled to overflowing so that we can spill some of that love and grace and mercy onto each other and onto the world.
Most of us are familiar with Matthew 6:21 in which the scripture tells us, “Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” We find a similar message in 1Timothy 6:18-19 where Paul says to Timothy, “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” In other words, Paul is telling us to “live in the overflow.” That’s where the “life that is truly life” is found. Loving God, loving our neighbors, and shining the light Christ in everything we do.
As we enter the Fall season, the season of stewardship in our church, it’s time to take a look at our lives and ask ourselves where our treasure truly lies. Are you taking your overflow of mercy, grace, and love and sharing it with others? Are you using your time, talents, gifts, and witness to support Duluth First United Methodist Church in its mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world?
In his sermon, the pastor said, “My overflow may only fill a cup or two. But together, our overflow is like a raging river of God’s power.”
As you take time to consider growing one step in your giving plans for 2024, realize that your giving – whatever amount that is – joins with everyone else’s and helps God’s love spill over onto the world.
Take some time to live in the overflow. It’s where life is truly found.
In His service,
Duluth First UMC Stewardship Chairperson
If you are ready to make your Estimate of Giving to the Stewardship Campaign for 2024, you can do it online by clicking on ESTIMATE OF GIVING FOR 2024.
Click on GROW ONE STEP to download copies of the Grow One Step charts for 2024.