Giving began with God. His supernatural expression of giving was in the sacrifice of his only begotten Son that we might receive forgiveness for our sins, become children of God, and enjoy eternal life.
God continues to give of Himself today in love, forgiveness, peace, power, and purpose. By this He enables us to live full, meaningful lives.
Giving was the lifestyle of our Lord Jesus. A concise description of his lifestyle appears in the Book of Acts, which records, "He went around doing good" (Acts 10:38). Jesus gave in feeding the multitudes. He gave in healing the sick. He gave in teaching His disciples. He gave in empowering His disciples for evangelism. He gave in compassion for the poor. He gave in offering rest to the weary. He gave in dying on the cross for our sins. He gave in sending His Holy Spirit.
Giving is also an attribute of the Holy Spirit. He strengthens and encourages us (Acts 9:31), renews us (Titus 3:5), reveals things to us (Luke 2:26), and helps us (John 14:6, NASB). He leads and guides us (Luke 4:1; Acts 13:2,4; John 16:13), brings the love of God to us (Romans 5:5), teaches us (Luke 12:12; John 14:26), and empowers us (Acts 1:8; 4:31).
Nowhere can we find more perfect models of stewardship than in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As you study this lesson, prayerfully consider how you can apply their examples to your life.
Stewardship of God the Father
- Read John 3:16. What was God's greatest gift to mankind?
- What else does God give us? (Romans 2:4,7 & I John 5:11)
- Read John 3:34, 10:10, and 14:16. What has the Father given us to enable us to live abundantly?
- List some characteristics of God's nature that make giving a priority with Him.
Stewardship of God the Son
- List the acts of Christ that indicate perfection in His stewardship. (Philippians 2:5-8)
- What was Christ's supreme purpose in life? John 6:38 & Hebrews 10:7
- Read John 12:23-33. As part of God's will for Jesus, what was involved? In verse 24, Jesus used the example of a grain of wheat that is planted in the Earth. In what sense does a grain of wheat have to "die" to bring forth fruit? How does this apply to us? (Compare verse 25.)
- If as a Christian, you are unwilling to make any sacrifice to reach others for Christ, to suffer any hardship, to face any self-denial, to suffer any persecution, but instead want everything to be comfortable, easy, and effortless, how will this affect your fruit-bearing?
- List some characteristics of Christ's nature that make giving a priority to Him.
Stewardship of God the Holy Spirit
- What are some duties the Holy Spirit performs as God's steward, as revealed in the following verses? John 16:7-11. In what way does this convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit help us in evangelism?
- John 16:13. Note: In a general way, the Holy Spirit guides the believer into spiritual truth. In a specific way, He guided the Apostles and early Christians in proclaiming the truth of the Gospel and in writing the New Testament Scriptures.
Also Romans 5:5, 8:14, 16, 26.
- When the Holy Spirit controls a person, who is glorified? John 16:14
- List characteristics of the Holy Spirit's nature that make giving a priority with Him.
- How does the giving nature of God the Father inspire you to give?
- How can you best apply to your life the example that Jesus set? Be specific.
- What does the Holy Spirit want to do in your life at this time?
- List ways you can cooperate as suggested in Acts 4:31, Ephesians 5:18-20 & Romans 12:1-2.
Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Cru. All rights reserved.