We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.
What do you do with excessive joy? What am I talking about? When your cup is so full, it has to be poured out. When the sweetness of heaven is so good, and the presence of Jesus is overwhelming, what do you do?
Paul described this overflowing joy in his letter to Corinth. He was describing the joy of the Phillipian church. He said their joy overflowed in an incredibly, generous offering and a lifestyle of giving. They were insisting to be included in the relief offering being taken for the church in Jerusalem.
Many Christians have never experienced this kind of overflow. Paul described it as the work of God’s grace in our hearts. This amazing grace opens our hearts up to the unlimited spiritual resources of heaven. When we began to taste of these incredible riches we have to respond. This response comes in so many ways. It could be ministering to the hungry, or visiting the prisons. For you it could be witnessing on the streets, telling your lost friends about His love, or ministering to the sick. Many times the overflow of joy comes in simply giving offerings to the work of God. When we are tasting the incredible riches of His Grace in our own lives and see people who are hurting, our joy demands a response.
John Piper speaks often of the overflow of grace. Here is how he explains it. “Love is the overflow of joy in God that meets the needs of others. The overflow is experienced consciously as the pursuit of our joy in the joy of another. We double our delight in God as we expand it in the lives of others. If our ultimate goal was anything less than joy in God, we would be idolaters and would be no eternal help to anyone. Therefore, the pursuit of pleasure is an essential motive for every good deed. And if you abandon the pursuit of full and lasting pleasure, you cannot love people or please God.”
This is exactly what Jesus meant when He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”. So, if you are full, let your joy overflow, let it overflow in an act of love.