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Posts Tagged ‘generosity’

God: Holy Generous

Stewardship: Our Generous God *

I’ve read a number of stories lately about our military warriors, and one of the things that strikes me is the different facets of personality they display.

The same man man can be utterly tender and loving toward his children, and utterly ruthless and violent toward his enemies.

We don’t say that he is two men, nor do we conclude that one facet must (of necessity) cancel out the other. We recognize that, in our complexity, we have very different responses to different classes of people.

Mercy and justice are not contradictory, though their joining in one person is a deep mystery.

When we embrace the truth that God is filled with goodness and generosity, that does not diminish or cancel out His other attributes. He is holy and good. He is kind and righteous.

From Psalm 145:

18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord preserves all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.

21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

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We need not hesitate to proclaim God’s mercies over all of His creation, and even over his enemies, the rebellious sons and daughters of Adam. But at the same time, God is morally pure. He hates all evil. His goodness and His holiness are fully interwoven, never to be separated.

In the final day of judgment, we will each give an answer for our stewardship of all of God’s gifts. Did we seek to know Him and be faithful (the subject of our studies next week), or did we selfishly squander the riches of His patient mercy?

You cannot have a Bible without the clear division between the righteous and the wicked. And God’s response toward each is morally consistent.

God is near to those who call upon Him in truth. His believing servants experience deep levels of generous goodness that the wicked cannot know, though deniers experience far more of it than they dare to acknowledge.

The psalmist concludes these 21 verses of astonishing goodness by acknowledging that the name of the Lord is holy. When we embrace Him, we embrace all of Him. And because He’s God, we can expect that our minds will struggle to contain His immensity!

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* This series is part of a 12-week study on the topic: Being Stewards of God <— (outline). We’re now in week 3, staring directly into the generous heart of God. If you’d like to receive these posts in your inbox, just put your email address in the Email Subscription box on the blog’s right sidebar >

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Stewardship: Our Generous God *

Yesterday, from Psalm 145, we look at how exceedingly great God’s generosity is. You might call it immeasurably huge. Infinitely rich. Keep trying. Words fail…

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But the psalm doesn’t stop there. Let’s consider how broad God’s generosity is. How far and wide does it extend?

8 The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 The Lord is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made.

10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your saints shall bless you!
11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
and tell of your power,
12 to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.

Consider the words bolded above. God’s goodness hovers over every single thing He has ever created. Every galaxy, every star, every planet, every plant, every animal, every snowflake, every person.

Furthermore – God’s generous kindness extends over all of time. Noah’s generation. Moses’ generation. Israel’s times of wandering, and settling, and exile. Jeremiah’s lamentable time. Jesus’ time. Yesterday. Today. Forever.

Sometimes, when we experience a particular blessing, we say something like, “God was good to me today.”

What we really need to say, at every moment and in every generation, is “God is good, and glorious, and generous. Always and everywhere. No matter what I am experiencing at this moment. The Lord is gracious and merciful. Period.”

OK, that’s a little wordy. God is good. That’ll do.

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* This series is part of a 12-week study on the topic: Being Stewards of God <— (outline). We’re now in week 3, staring directly into the generous heart of God. If you’d like to receive these posts in your inbox, just put your email address in the Email Subscription box up there on the right sidebar >

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Stewardship: Our Generous God *

Just how generous is God?

Let’s take a look, this week, at how Psalm 145 paints the portrait of God’s immense heart of goodness and kindness. As we look at the first seven verses today, consider the superlatives used to describe God and His works (I have bolded these words below):

1 I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable.

4 One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness.
7 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

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The psalmist writes of overflowing expressions of praise, because God is exceedingly great in all of His being and His works. Words are inadequate to capture how infinite God is in all of His attributes – including His generosity.

Why does this matter to us? Well, stewardship is all about care – pouring out oneself to provide for and cultivate others. God is THE primary example set before us in creation (Psalm 65:9-13), in redemption (Ephesians 2:4-7), and in daily providence (Matthew 6:25-34).

Will we be good stewards? The starting point is right here in Psalm 145 – meditating richly, in our minds and hearts, on the greatness of God. Gazing ever more deeply into His exceedingly generous heart, we cannot help but become more like Him (1 John 3:1-3).

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* This series is part of a 12-week study on the topic: Being Stewards of God <— (outline). We’re now in week 3, staring directly into the generous heart of God. If you’d like to receive these posts in your inbox, just put your email address in the Email Subscription box up there on the right sidebar >

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