A God of abundance or scarcity?
This Thanksgiving our Executive Director of Christianity Explored North America shares his reflections on God's generosity.
Do you look at God’s world as a world of scarcity or abundance? Do you view God as stingy and demanding, or as unimaginably generous?
The way we answer these questions influences how we live, worship, and relate to others. How we answer these questions determines whether we have a grumbling heart, or whether our hearts overflow with thanksgiving. A mindset of abundance or scarcity also influences how we share (or don’t share) the gospel.
When I was in seminary, my classmates and I were all poor students struggling to pay tuition while supporting our families. I remember one classmate named Lou. No matter what difficultly came, Lou would smile and say, “I’m rich! I’m rich! I have a father who owns the cattle on a thousand hills.” (from Psalm 50:10) Though Lou was a poor student like the rest of us, he encouraged us all by reminding us that we serve a God of abundance. God's resources never run out, and we are privileged to live in this extravagant world he's made for us.
Promises or demands?
In session 3 of the Life Explored series, Nate Morgan Locke says, “Is your first thought of God someone who makes promises or someone who makes demands?” He then continues, “Lots of people think of the God of the Bible as being demanding. Like some lonely dictator in the sky, demanding to be obeyed. Looking for perfection, but watching to see you fail. What if I told you that the God of the Bible is not like that at all? What if I told you that, rather than being demanding, the God who is Father, Son and Spirit is overwhelmingly generous?”
Just how generous is this God? Consider this word from the Bible:
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9
Or ponder this well-known passage of Scripture:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Our God is more generous than we can possibly imagine.
More than "enough"
As the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer said, “As God's creatures, we have every reason to bow down before Him and give Him thanks. Our Creator is not a cruel taskmaster to whom it would be a dreadful duty to give thanks. No. Rather, He is a compassionate, gracious and loving Father. He is almighty, yet He humbled himself to the point of death, even death on a cross, so that we may know and serve him joyfully. God so loved the world that He sent His only Son. This is the Creator I want to bow before and give thanks to.”
As we move through this month of Thanksgiving, let us remember that our God doesn't just give us "enough." He has richly lavished his grace on us, enriching our lives with more beauty, provision, and love than we can imagine. No matter our circumstances, in Christ, we are rich.
Life Explored could be a great tool as you think about sharing the good news with others this holiday season.
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