Behold Our Generous God

Begin Again

As we recenter our hearts, posturing them to be generous over and over again, giving of our first and our best, we go back to the beginning, obeying what God calls us to do.

And in going back to the beginning, we pray, seeking how God might be asking us to put Jesus first in all things—including our finances. This means taking our role as stewards seriously, managing God’s gifts for God’s purposes, seizing the opportunity to start fresh and continue becoming more like Christ.

And it all starts by asking yourself, How can I begin again?

Reflection Guide


Behold Our Generous God.

The Bible teaches us that every disciple of Jesus Christ is a worshiper, family member, servant, steward, and witness. And every disciple of Jesus is constantly growing in each of these five identities. The primary purpose of this reflection guide is to help us discern how God is calling us to grow as faithful stewards of his resources in this season—resources like time, talent, and treasure.

The following is a collection of five studies for guided reflection and prayer, working together to reinforce some foundational principles regarding ownership, stewardship, and generosity in the Bible. These biblical principles are:

  • God owns it all.
  • God calls each of us to steward what he has given to us.
  • God calls us to give him our first and our best.
  • God calls us to be generous because he is generous.
  • We demonstrate faith in God’s provision by responding with generosity.

Approach these studies one day at a time, and within each day, work through the guide according to the pattern provided:

  • Read: What does God’s Word tell us about how to live as his disciples and his stewards?
  • Reflect: How might we apply these biblical passages to our context today?
  • Respond in Prayer: How might God be inviting us to grow as stewards in this season?

While God can meet with us anywhere at any time, we encourage you to set aside a dedicated time and place where you can meet God and hear from him without distraction. If possible, find somewhere quiet where you can be alone and silence your devices. You'll want a Bible and something to take notes with so you can read the Word and write down any thoughts, answers, or prayers.

This guide will challenge us to consider how we manage all of God’s resources, and it will speak directly to how we steward the finances that God has entrusted to each of us. This focus is intentional. God doesn’t ask us to give because he needs our financial support. As we’ll see through our study, he already owns everything. God asks us to give, in part, because giving reveals what’s inside our hearts. As Jesus himself once taught, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

This guide seeks to help us evaluate where our treasure truly is so that we can love God with even more of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Just as you are committing to this study, go ahead and commit to beginning again with Jesus—commit to putting him first in your life and to moving forward in whatever steps of obedience God calls you to in the days to come.

Day 1

God owns it all.


Psalm 8:1–9; 24:1


Everything in the created world belongs to God and not to us. In Psalm 24:1, we see that the whole earth is God’s, including all that is within it. This includes us! We are “within” the earth, so our lives, our people, and even our stuff are all counted among God’s possessions. We can take comfort in this truth by turning our attention to Psalm 8, which shows us how the Lord takes an active role as the owner of all things. This majestic, glorious, and strong God is powerful enough to place the moon and stars with his fingers, yet he stills knows us. Not only are we known by God, but we are tasked with a strategic position in his creation. Psalm 8 outlines how the Creator God has given us an honorable role, and—along with it—dominion over the works of his hands.

What has been God’s will always be his. We are simply offered the gracious opportunity to help cultivate and care for God’s belongings. Reflecting on God's willingness to entrust us with these opportunities and responsibilities should move us to humility, worship, and stewardship. When we see our lives as stewards and not as owners, it changes the way we live and how we steward all of the things we’ve received from the Lord. The owner of all things has invited us to be a part of seeing his name being made known throughout the earth through the imparted responsibility of stewarding the works of his hands.

Respond in Prayer

Prayerfully reflect on the following prompts and consider writing out your answers. You may even choose to write out your prayers to God. Ask him to speak to you in these moments.

  • Praise God out loud in your own words that he alone is the sovereign Creator. Praise him for his ability and power to own everything in the created universe (Psalm 24:1).
  • Reflect on the idea that God has crowned you with “glory and honor” in his image (Psalm 8:5).
  • Reflect on the past week of your life. Do you live as if your life—and your stuff—belongs to God? Or do you live like your life and your stuff belongs to you?
  • Spend some time in prayer and ask God to guide your thoughts. How should your life change in light of these truths from Psalm 8 and Psalm 24:1—that God is the owner of everything you have and not you?

Day 2

God calls each of us to steward what he has given to us.


Matthew 25:14–30


Yesterday, we reflected on the fact that everything we have ultimately belongs to God (Psalm 24:1). He is the owner, which makes us his stewards. A steward is someone who faithfully manages someone else’s resources. Everything we have comes ultimately from God, so the question for us is not whether we have a choice in stewarding God’s gifts. We are all stewards whether we realize it or not. The question for us is what kind of steward we are going to be.

Here in Matthew 25, God describes himself as an owner who expects a return on his investment. From Adam to Jesus to Paul, God supplies his people with a wide variety of gifts that we are then supposed to cultivate and multiply. (See Genesis 1:28; 8:17; 9:7; Matthew 28:18–20; Mark 4:8, 20; 1 Corinthians 4:1–2; 9:17; Ephesians 3:2, among many other examples.) Like the owner in the parable, God has made investments in each of us for a purpose, and he expects a result.

This parable in Matthew 25 gives us a healthy perspective on our lives. The longer we follow Jesus, the more we should long to hear the pronouncement that the owner gives in Matthew 25:21, 23: “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Are you living in a way that will move God to say this kind of pronouncement over your life? It's interesting to note how often Jesus uses financial metaphors to describe life in his kingdom. How we use our finances is certainly a reflection of how much we value his gifts to us. How does your financial stewardship line up with your spiritual priorities?

Respond in Prayer

Prayerfully reflect on the following prompts and consider writing out your answers. You may even choose to write out your prayers to God. Ask him to speak to you in these moments.

  • Spend a moment in quiet reflection on how well your financial stewardship lines up with your spiritual priorities.
  • Praise God for all the gifts he has provided for you.
  • Ask God: Am I living in a way that honors you with my resources?
  • Ask God for guidance and wisdom as you try to steward well his gifts to you.
  • Ask God for joy in the midst of your sacrificial giving.

Day 3

God calls us to give him our first and our best.


Genesis 4:3–5; Exodus 34:26; Proverbs 3:9–10


Throughout the Old Testament, we find an important principle about our giving—God wants our “firstfruits” as we give sacrificially back to him (Exodus 23:16–19; Leviticus 23:9–20; Deuteronomy 26:1–19). This phrase is an agricultural way of describing what our financial and spiritual giving should look like. God calls us to give him our first and our best. Whether we are giving of our time, treasure, or talents, our sacrifices should come from the best of our efforts, not our leftovers. When we prioritize God with our giving, our time, and our efforts, we communicate to those around us that God is worthy. No human gift can ever match what God has given, so we do our best to show how important God is to us.

Here are a few practical ways that we can examine and evaluate whether or not we are giving God our first and our best. Do we give our financial gifts to God at the end of the month when everything else has been spent? Or do we give at the beginning of the month and adjust our spending out of what remains? Do we only give to God in seasons of financial abundance? Or do we give faithfully and intentionally in every season, whether we are in plenty or in need? Has your giving threshold become comfortable and routine? Or does your current standard of giving challenge you? What might God be calling you to give this year that represents your first and your best?

Respond in Prayer

Prayerfully reflect on the following prompts and consider writing out your answers. You may even choose to write out your prayers to God. Ask him to speak to you in these moments.

  • Prayerfully reflect on this question: Are you giving in a way that challenges you, or has it become comfortable and routine?
  • Thank God in prayer for his promises to provide for his children (Psalm 23:1; Matthew 6:33; 7:11; Luke 12:1–34; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Hebrews 13:5).
  • Ask God to remove any barriers from your willingness to be generous.
  • Ask God: What are you calling me to give this year that would represent my first and best?
  • Praise God for being worthy of all of your devotion and giving and praise.

Day 4

God calls us to be generous because he is generous.


John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 8:9


There is no shortage of ways that God has been—and continues to be—amazingly generous. God’s gifts in the natural world include the air we breathe, the laughter we enjoy, the warmth of the sun, the embrace of a loved one, and even the food we eat. The list goes on and on. Of all the ways that God has been beautifully generous to us, the central message of Christianity is that God’s greatest gift to humankind is the person of Jesus Christ. While we were all dead in our sins, God sent his Son to earth to live the life we could never live and die the death that we deserved to die (Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:5). What an incredible picture of God’s bountiful grace and compassion for us all. God sent his own Son so that we might receive the gift of new life in the resurrected Christ! And this same God doesn’t just call us to mechanically follow his commands for giving but to respond to his generous example with our own lifestyle of generosity.

For any of us who have ever wondered to what extent God’s people are to be generous, we need only to look at Jesus. He withheld absolutely nothing and gave everything, because—for Jesus—there is nothing greater and more beautiful than to give everything to the Father who sent him (2 Corinthians 8:9). In the Christian life, our aim is to be made more like Christ (Colossians 1:28–29; Ephesians 4:13–15). The question then becomes: Does our generosity reflect the generosity that God has shown us in Christ? Do we view God’s instructions as cold commands to obey or burdens to carry? Or is giving an act of worship where we lovingly follow the example of the One who showers us with grace every day? God gave—and still gives—freely to his people because he is good and because his kingdom is one built on generosity and selfless giving. He sets the example and invites us into the joy of following him in joyful generosity.

Respond in Prayer

Prayerfully reflect on the following prompts and consider writing out your answers. You may even choose to write out your prayers to God. Ask him to speak to you in these moments.

  • God’s people are not just commanded to be generous. Instead, we are invited to be generous because it is God’s grace for us to be made like Christ and to follow him. How does God’s example inspire you to act in generosity? What’s one way you can respond to God’s example with your own generosity?
  • How do you typically respond to the topic of generosity? What feelings come up when you think about your generosity? Do you think of it with joy and delight or something else? Note: Be honest! We know that God is most honored and glorified when his people are obedient to him because they delight in obedience to him, not because they feel bound by obligation to do so.
  • If you were to look at where your time, talent, and treasure is going, what kingdom does it look like you are building? To put it another way, what does the inventory of your life say you are prioritizing? (Common examples might include health, financial security, comfort, or even a future for your kids.) Note: The goal of this question is not guilt or shame. This question is intended to encourage us all to be honest and sober-minded about what we intentionally or unintentionally prioritize so that we can realign ourselves to see Jesus and his kingdom as more glorious.

Day 5

We demonstrate faith in God’s generous provision by responding with generosity.


Malachi 3:10–11; Matthew 6:25–33; 2 Corinthians 9:11


We can measure God’s compassion for us by what God did for us at the cross. The same can be said for God’s generosity toward us. As we reflected on yesterday, Paul reminds us of the gospel when he commands us to be generous (2 Corinthians 8:9). And because God spared no expense for us at the cross, we can always be confident that God will supply for our future needs as well. Our passages today call us to have faith. God will supply what we need in the future in order to do what he has called us to do in the present. “You will be enriched in every way, to be generous in every way” (2 Corinthians 9:11). Likewise, Malachi 3 urges God’s people to test God’s generosity by giving sacrificially. God is the one who gave us what we have in the first place. If he commands us to be generous and sacrificial, how can we refuse him? He has the ability to resupply us with what we need to live so that we can continue in generosity. Again and again and again.

God’s call to be generous is also a chance for us to test our trust in God’s providence. 2 Corinthians 9 shows Paul’s confidence that God will keep providing for us, as God has shown us so many times in the past. Being a faithful steward means demonstrating our trust in God’s providence by the way we budget, plan, and give. This reflection guide has provided us with ample opportunities to reflect on our approach to giving. Are we giving with an eagerness and joy that reflects our faith and trust in the generosity of God?

Respond in Prayer

Prayerfully reflect on the following prompts and consider writing out your answers. You may even choose to write out your prayers to God. Ask him to speak to you in these moments.

  • What does your level of generosity say about God’s character? Confess to God where sin and selfishness might be holding you back from living a life that honors God’s character.
  • Ask God what additional steps he is calling you to take that reflects your trust in God’s generosity.
  • Pray: “God, I praise you as Lord over all. Everything in the universe belongs to you. Thank you for graciously providing me with so many good gifts. I acknowledge that all I have is yours, and my hands are open. Teach me how to better steward everything that you’ve entrusted to me—including financial resources—for your purposes and your glory.”

Make a Commitment

Commit to Begin Again

We invite you to join our church family in this season, taking time and space to meet with the Lord and asking him to help you begin again with a lifestyle of generosity. What does it look like for you to give God your first and your best this year?

We've all seen God model generosity in countless ways. And now God is inviting each of us to consider how we might respond to him, generously, with obedience and with faith. Remember, we demonstrate faith in God’s generous provision by responding with our own generosity. So what does it look like for you to generously steward what he has entrusted to you?

If you’ve never given back to God before, we pray that you’ll find courage to take God at his Word and follow him in giving generously. After all, Jesus tells us that we can trust God with our daily needs. Since God cares for the flowers of the field and feeds the birds of the air, how much more so will he provide for us who are made in the image of his Son (Matthew 6:25–33)?

If you're interested in further discussion on these topics of stewardship and financial generosity, we have a stewardship team ready to help you review your financial situation and provide recommendations for how you might better align your resources with what God is doing in your life. Get connected to our financial coaches, and for additional ideas on how to grow as a steward of God’s resources, sign up for our monthly Stewardship Digest.

Make the most of this moment to encounter God and see him move in your life. Let’s choose the path of faith and take God at his Word with eagerness and expectancy. When we give back to God, our God is the one who promises to open the windows of heaven and pour down blessings for us until there are no more needs (Malachi 3:11).

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