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Devotional Week 7 | Our God is Generous



Who Is This God?

The Attributes of God


Our God is Generous, Day 1


“...for every beast of the field is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills and all that moves in the field is mine.” (Psalm 50:10-11)


“The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.” (Psalm 24:1)


Bill Gates has been the wealthiest man on the entire planet for quite some time (he and Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos trade the number one and two spots occasionally). As of early 2020, Gates’ net worth stands at around $110 billion dollars. Here’s what that means:


  • Bill gates could stop making money altogether (no interest gains from investments, nothing) and if he spent around $15 million dollars a day, he’d finally be out of money when he’s in his early eighties.

  • He could give $10 to every person on the planet and still have $40 billion left over.

  • With that left over $40 billion, Bill Gates could buy Guyana, Haiti, and Jamaica and still be a billionaire

  • Just by merely existing, his current investments generate over $100 a second for him--which means, technically, he’d be wasting his time to bend over and pick up a $100 bill off the sidewalk (he’s a nice guy and leaves those lying around for us!)


Not only is Bill Gates wealthy, he’s also generous--he’s given more personal wealth away than just about anybody--he and his wife Melinda have given just under $40 billion dollars to scientific and medical advancement (to wipe out malaria) and clean water development in third-world nations (to name just a few things).


Now, pay attention:


  • Next to God’s wealth, Bill Gates looks like a pauper.

  • Next to God’s generosity, Bill Gates looks like a stingy miser.


No offense to Bill Gates, by the way. By all accounts, he’s a sweet man who really is quite generous and kind. But no one can compete with God. As Creator God, he is owner and ruler over everything in the universe. As his created things, everything we have comes from him. He owns everything, and we are recipients of so much of what belongs to God.


Unlike Bill Gates, God doesn’t have to earn any money or keep careful watch on his investments. He can’t waste his material wealth and he doesn’t run out of raw material to make anything--by his own power and will time, space, energy, and matter come into being.


Our God is more wealthy and more generous than anyone, ever!


1. How would you define the word generous? Is Bill Gates generous if he gives you $1? Or can you really only start calling him generous if he gives you $100? $1,000?

2. What about generosity outside of money? Think of someone who’s been generous to you with their time or energy or service.

3. Spend some time meditating and praying over God’s ownership and generosity over your life.




Who Is This God?

The Attributes of God


Our God is Generous, Day 2


“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” (Psalm 16:5-6)


What’s our God like? Well, besides being:


  • Sovereign

  • Righteous

  • Omnipotent

  • Immutable

  • Omniscient

  • Omnipresent


Our God is also generous. More generous than anyone ever--he has more to give and he’s given more than anyone has. Think of it--the Creator God who speaks a universe into existence gives you life, gives you a body, gives you friendships, money, art, music, gravity, food...everything. He not only gives it to you, but he’s happy to give it to you.


We are at our most ungrateful when we’re most forgetful. I want you to think of a bratty kid on Christmas morning. He’s sitting in the midst of a mountain of torn and shredded wrapping paper, hundreds of expensive toys all around him. Some of them are already broken and forgotten. He’s bitter and angry at his parents. Resentful. Disappointed. These are not the toys he wanted. They’re the wrong color, wrong brand, too few of them, and he just knows that alllll the other kids in the neighborhood are getting more and better. What do we want to do to that kid?


That’s right. He needs to be handled. There’s something poisoned and twisted about this kid’s heart, right? Ungrateful! Unthankful! Discontent!


...and that’s us, toward God, most days of the week and most hours of the day, whether we want to admit it or not. Most of the time, we feel discontent and deprived when we compare our lives to other people. If you don’t know what others have and you could have, it’s harder to be upset. But once you get a look at your neighbor’s house, neighbor’s donkey, and neighbor’s wife...we start coveting like it’s our job.


Take some time and write down how God’s been generous to you. Do the work of remembering. Again, we’re most ungrateful when we’re most forgetful. But, if we’ll look at how God’s been generous to us, we’ll set ourselves up to find gratefulness in our hearts. So...take some time to think, write, and then pray, thanking God for his generosity in your life.



Who Is This God?

The Attributes of God


Our God is Generous, Day 3


“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” (Romans 8:31-34)


Do you know what’s so stunning about God’s generosity? It’s aimed at his enemies.


On Day One of this week’s devotionals, I told you about Bill Gates’ wealth and generosity. Do you know who Bill Gates doesn’t give money to? Apple. They’ve been his business competitors for decades. Do you remember Netscape Navigator? If you do remember, where did that thing go? If you don’t remember, do you know why? Bill Gates and Microsoft crushed their web-browser competitor. Practically erased it from history and memory.


...and yet God sends his perfect Son, Jesus, the God-man, into the world, not to condemn us (as he would have every right to do), but to give us a way out of that condemnation.


God is generous to his enemies. When it comes to human beings, those are the only people God knows. Enemies. Every human being is a born and sworn enemy of God by rebelling against his authority and design in sin. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God, on behalf of sinners to save sinners is the grace of God. It’s the ill-deserving grace of God on us.


What’s that? Well, there’s undeserved grace and then there’s ill-deserved grace. If Bill Gates doesn’t know you, but out of the goodness of his heart, gives you $1 million and walks away, that’s very gracious of him. That’s undeserved grace. You’re strangers. You’re neutral. You haven’t done anything to earn it. But, if you’ve lived your whole life as Bill Gates’ sworn enemy, threatening his family, his business, and his reputation...and then, knowing exactly who you are and what you’ve done to him...he still gives you $1 million? That’s ill-deserved grace.


That’s the generous grace of God on you and I. He gave his only, perfect, and precious Son to die on the cross so that our sins might be forgiven. There is no more valuable commodity in the entire universe than the blood of the Lamb of God--and this is poured out for you, God’s enemy, turning you into his friend.


1. Re-read the passage above from Romans 8. Is God for you? Does he like you? Love you? How can you know? Paul says how--he didn’t spare the life of his own Son! What else do you need God to give you to convince you that he loves you and is committed to you?

2. Pray and ask God to take you deeper into the gospel today--ask that he give you more and more gratefulness that he sent his Son to die for the life of a miserable, rebellious sinner.

3. Pray and ask God to help you remember, believe, and live as though his Son’s blood covers you with his approval.



Who Is This God?

The Attributes of God


Our God is Generous, Day 4


“No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it up again..” (John 10:18)


When Jesus stand before the Roman Governor Pilate, he’s in grave danger. The people of Jerusalem, under the leadership of the priests and Pharisees, are crying out and demanding Jesus’ blood. Pilate thinks Jesus is just a poor, crazy, fool of a man. In that time, there were dozens of popular “messiahs” and prophets--all of them koo-koo for Cocoa Puffs. Pilate didn’t think that deserved the death penalty. He was hoping to get a confession out of Jesus--or a defense--anything Pilate could use to excuse his and send him away with a mere beating.


He asks Jesus, “Why won’t you speak to me, Jesus? Give me something? Defend yourself? Don’t you know I can have you killed? I have the power. Why don’t you fear and respect me enough to speak up?”

In that moment, Jesus says (see above Bible verse): “No one takes my life from me. I can lay it down and I can pick it back up. Take my life? Ain’t nobody taking anything from me today. I’m here to give.”

Jesus is our God. God, in the flesh. He gives the greatest gift, which is his perfect life and honor to save and cleanse us from our sin and shame. No one obligated him to do this. He did it of his own goodness and desires.


Think of it--Jesus, to whom all authority in Heaven and on Earth belong--laid down his life. He held together the very atoms of the Roman fist that punched him in the face. The Roman torturers, experts in beating people with whips, and who were now tearing Jesus’ back open? He knit them together in their mother’s wombs and raised them for this day. It was Jesus who planted the seed of the tree that would grow up and be harvested, hewn into the cross he was nailed to.


Jesus is sovereign, righteous, good, omnipotent, immutable, omniscient, and omnipresent Lord--and, with all those qualities still intact, he humbled himself, put on flesh like ours, and died the humiliating and excruciating death we deserve to die. He chose to do it--not begrudgingly, annoyed, and frustrated that he had to do so. No...he does it for the joy that was set before him (Hebrews 12:2). That joy is saving, redeeming, and blessing his enemies. The victory over you, his enemy, isn’t in killing and condemning you...it’s in being killed and condemned in your place.


Our God, Jesus Christ, is generous!



Who Is This God?

The Attributes of God


Our God is Generous, Day 5


“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)


God is generous to everybody. He owes no one anything. He gives something to everyone.


God gives gifts to every human being, whether Christian or not. The grace of God on everyone is what we call God’s common grace. Christians and nonChristians alike get to eat sandwiches, take naps, watch the sunrise, smell roses, sip coffee, receive backrubs, and enjoy a universe with physical laws that make life livable and orderly.


God gives gifts to his saved people--Christians--that are specially given, like a Father to his children. It’s the special saving grace of God that gives Jesus’ life to us. It’s the special grace of God to us that he redeems our personalities and skills and puts them to good and proper use in this life.


Many people refer to these gifts as spiritual gifts. Special talents and skills given to us as God’s people for the good of the church and the world around us. Some of those gifts might look like the following:


  • Sympathy and care: the ability to feel with people and tend to their souls and physical needs in a truly effective, comforting way

  • Administration: the ability to organize and bring order to people and resources

  • Leadership and shepherding: the ability to gather people, show them a vision for where God wants us to go, and then motivate and encourage and train people to take those steps

  • Teaching or preaching: the ability to open the Word of God and teach with accuracy and faithfulness, convincing and convicting people of the truth of the gospel

  • Intercessory prayer: the ability to pray and keep praying...and keep praying for people; and it seems God listens and responds it what looks like a unique, special way

  • Service: the Bible, depending on translation, just calls this the gift of “helps;” these people just know what to do when help is needed; they just jump right in, fix, clean, move, heal, and get the thing done

  • Generosity: God seems to make some people good at earning or investing money and they’re wise and generous with it, funding ministry in significant ways


These gifts are given by God for us to give to one another. 1 Corinthians (see above) says that God means for us to use what God gives us for “the common good.” The good of the church, the good of our families, the good of our communities, the good of the world around us.


1. If we are made in the image of God, for the purpose of being like him, what does that mean for us when we consider how generous God is?

2. What special gift or gifts does is seem God has given to you? In what ways have you been able to be generous with these gifts?

3. In what ways do you know you’ve forgotten the generosity of God in your life and, thereby, have become selfish? Where do you know the Lord is commanding you to be more generous, like him?

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ON THE MISSION OF JESUS 

FOR THE GLORY OF JESUS

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