How to Embrace the Daily Adventure of Generosity

November 26, 2019

Question: When you hear the word “mission” used, what comes to mind for you? Being a missionary in another land? Serving God in some difficult context? Doing something for Jesus that’s uncomfortable?

Watch this video clip of John Ortberg as he offers a definition of “mission” and unpacks its relevance to our lives today.

Question: What is your response to John Ortberg defining “mission” as “to bless”?


In this talk, John Ortberg says “mission” means “to bless.” He traces the origin of the act of blessing all the back to God’s original act of creation in Genesis 1 (1:22,28; also 2:3; 5:2). In this context, Ortberg says “to bless” is to enhance or add life. This activity does not stop at creation. God continues his activity of blessing throughout the Genesis account. God blesses Noah (9:1), he makes a covenant to bless the world (12), he blesses Abram (19:19), Ishmael (17:20), Rebekah (24:60), and Isaac (26:12).

"In Genesis and throughout the rest of the Bible, God’s mission is to bless the world, to add life to it and to enhance that life." [Tweet This]

God would eventually take on our humanity and enter our world in the person of Jesus of Nazareth to bless the world by offering us abundant life (John 10:10).

God’s Invitation to Join

"God has invited us to join in His mission. We’re invited to be a blessing wherever we find ourselves." [Tweet This]  

But what might that look like?

John Ortberg tells the story of Linda, a San Francisco public transit bus driver. Through her attentiveness and love to others who ride her route, she has enhanced the lives of everyone who travels on her bus. Her secret? She embraces the people and opportunities right where she is. For her, “mission” is not something spectacular or out of the ordinary. She joins God’s mission at work while driving a bus. Her attentiveness and love for people is enhanced as she takes time each morning to pray for opportunities to bless people during the day. As a result, generous love and care for others is released. Each day becomes an adventure in blessing others!

John Ortberg’s story of Linda is a reminder that generosity becomes an adventure when we embrace the mission God has for us. Rather than waiting for some spectacular opportunity to present itself, we can unleash the generous love and life of God each day by simply looking at the people whom God has placed around us—at home, at work, in our neighborhood.

Making a Blessing List

Have you recently taken an inventory of the people who are part of your everyday life (at home, work, neighborhood, school, etc.)? If not, make a list of their names and simply pray for them by name, asking God to give you opportunities to express his generous love toward them.

Are there people in your life who seem to be very open to you, who desire to talk to you or express a desire to share some aspect of their life with you? These are often people in whose lives the Spirit is at work, preparing their hearts for you to show them the generous love and life of Jesus. Pray for them by name and ask God to make you attentive to their gestures of friendship. And then encourage your church members to do the same—together we can create a sustaining community of overflowing generosity! PJ

[Tweet This Article)

A Generosity Launch Opportunity for Your Church Leadership

"I have never been in a meeting, even in this church with people who have known each other for decades, where people became so real and transparent with each other as they did during this time.” - Rodney Schell, Executive Pastor, Park Cities Baptist

As a next step in building a whole-life generosity culture in your church, we recommend the Overflow Experience -- a casual, interactive retreat experience with no lectures, break-outs or brainstorming sessions. Our retreats are discussion-based around inspiring real-life stories and Scripture. And thanks to the generosity of our ministry partners, the retreat is affordable and accessible. 

Watch the free Introductory Webinar.  

Contact Us to learn more about hosting your own local event. 

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