The Generous Life
Week 2: 1 Peter 4:10-11
Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). This is a different way to think! A life built on this kind of thinking – a generous life – impacts how we think about our relationships, our work, our words, and our calendar. Living the generous life Christ desires for us means thinking like a good steward who has been put in charge of the Master’s belongings. This idea of stewardship begins with acknowledging that every resource we have – our possessions, our time, our bodies, our minds, our opportunities, our experiences, our relationships, the very breath in our lungs each day – all of it comes from God and belongs to God. These things are not ours to do with as we see fit. They are His to do with as He sees fit. We are simply managers; stewards of a portion of God’s riches. And he has given us these things for a purpose beyond the simple provision of our own needs. God is in the business of displaying His own glory by generously dispensing grace to the world in a whole variety of forms. Are you ready to use all that the Lord has entrusted to you to faithfully carry out your part in that mission?
When was the last time someone entrusted you with their property, pet, or child and asked you to take care of that thing or person for them? How did it go?
Getting into the Text:
1. (1 Peter 4:10) This is a rich verse that deserves a close look, phrase by phrase:
a. “As each has received a gift …” Has each person received a gift? What in your life is a gift from God and what is merely the result of your hard work or random chance? (See Acts 17:24-25, James 1:17, 1 Timothy 6:17-18)
b. “… use it to serve one another …” Why has God given us the good gifts he has given? Which gifts are meant for us to enjoy and which are for serving others?
c. “… as good stewards …” Who owns the gifts we have been given?
d. “… of God’s varied grace …” What does the word ‘grace’ communicate here? Should we expect everyone to have the same gifts? How are yours unique to you?
2. (1 Peter 4:11a) How do the two examples of speaking and serving here illustrate the principle of stewardship? What would it look like to do those things as an unfaithful steward? How does a stewardship mindset give both confidence and humility as we speak to and serve others?
3. (1 Peter 4:11b) What is the ultimate purpose for which God has asked us to manage his good gifts? How might this correct some wrong motivations for serving others with the resources entrusted to us? How do we practically make sure God is glorified more than we are as we live the generous life?
1. Do you see everything you have as a gift from God? Which things are hardest for you to see that way?
2. Do you think of yourself as more like an owner or more like a manager/steward of your possessions, time, body, mind, opportunities, experiences, and relationships? What difference will this make in how you approach life this week?