One of the Greatest aids to my spiritual growth over the last couple years are the 4 G’s, outlined in Tim Chester’s book, You Can Change. Chester says that All Sin and Negative emotions are the result of not believing some truth about God. Sin and Negative Emotions happen when we believe lies, and the lie of Satan, instead. To combat sin and negative emotions we then need to hold up the freeing truth of God. The four truths that Chester suggests are:
1. God is great – so we don’t have to be in control
2. God is glorious – so we don’t have to fear others
3. God is good – so we don’t have to look elsewhere
4. God is gracious – so we don’t have to prove ourselves
You can see how Chester links each truth to the freedom to us they give to follow God. One area where I find the 4 Gs harder to apply is to Stewardship. Yes, they do apply in part, God is Good so I don’t have to look for my good in what my money and time can give me. God is Great so I don’t have to look to my money and time to give me the power to secure my life. Yet I’ve been looking for another truth that could be memorized that specifically connected to us giving of what we are and have to God’s mission and glory.
The 5th G I suggest is: God is Generous – so I don’t have to cling to what I have. God promises to provide for us as we live for Him. Look at Mark 10: 28-30 where Peter reminded Jesus of everything that he and the other disciples gave up to follow Him:
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields–and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.
As we give God will keep giving to provide for our needs and ultimately our eternal need of life with him in a renewed creation.
Paul says, “We are God’s Workmanship, Created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph 2:10). When God asks us to do something, He enables us to it.
2 Corinthians 9:6,8-15 Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and whoever sows generously will also reap generously….And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work…
10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your resources and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way for great generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God; 12 for the rendering of this service not only supplies the wants of the saints but also overflows in many thanksgivings to God.
God generously gives to us so that we might give to others. He supplies all our needs and gives to us what we need to serve others. Sometimes we’re moved by God and asked by God to give what we think we’re unable to give. Yet even then, he provides for us. The Widow at Zarephath gave more than she thought she was able to when she gave the last of her food to feed Elijah, yet God provided for her in greater ways than she could imagine. In John 6:9 the disciples forgot the truth that God was Generous and they didn’t want to serve others because the cost seemed to much for them to bear. Yet they forgot that God was Generous and would bear the cost themselves and supply what they needed to accomplish Jesus’ request to feed the 5000 people who had come to see him. A little boy, with the faith of a child, remembered that God was Generous, so he didn’t have to cling to what he had. He gave up all the food that he had for that day trusting that God could use it to help feed the crowd. The amazing part is that the boy probably ate more than what he had given and they had far more left over than what they started with.
God is Generous – We don’t have to cling to what we have. We don’t have to run after other things either. We can serve others and give of our time, talents, and treasures because God will give us all we need for our well-being and all we need to accomplish his will.
- How often do you give of your time, talents, and treasures? How often do you find yourself serving and sacrificing for others? What positive and negative thoughts do you have when you give and serve others?
- How does remembering God’s generosity give you freedom to be generous?
- What truths do you have to remember about God to give you the freedom to follow him joyfully?