Written by Paul J. Bucknell on February, 13, 2023
The 5Gs for Life and Worship: Good, Great, Gracious, Glorious, Glad
Good, Great, Gracious, Glorious, Glad
“How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, before the sons of men!” (Psalm 31:19)
God, our Maker, created and wonderfully designed us. His goodness is “stored up” for His people. Life’s purpose and meaning center around God and is vital for defining our success. Although ‘life purpose’ sounds rather complicated, it’s not. God has a plan for your life that revolves around Him; you want to fit into it. The more you understand and live according to His purposes to bring Him glory, the more you will discover the great things He has stored up for you!
After further introducing God’s plan, I’ll use the 5Gs—not to be confused with the 5G network—to amplify five aspects of an enriched spiritual life.
The Big Plan
God is involved in our daily existence and experiences. This new life with God starts by acknowledging our need for forgiveness and life direction through faith in Jesus. Every person is unique; He knows your name—and even occasionally gives a person a new name (Gen 32:28). What a relief that we need not compare ourselves to others but can discover our unique contribution that brings God glory.
As His redeemed people, we form a significant part of His redemptive plan to bring glory to His Name. His glory is manifested in how He saved us and in His ongoing work in our lives. For example, He empowers us with the Spirit of Christ and calls us to live holy lives that imitate Christ.
The big idea is to realize that God seeks to display His greatness through our lives. Our uniqueness is bound up in His design. When we unlock our minds to see His greater purpose, we will more easily work with Him, using our persons for His good purposes.
His plan is perfect and beneficial. We can fully trust Him with our given gender, family circumstances, education, etc. We might even be going through a civil war (like Burma), but this doesn’t matter. He works with us wherever we are at.
God often uses our church situation to clarify and inspire this process. May God inspire us to genuinely trust and glorify Him! Watch how He knits together His will, with our lives, especially through our daily devotional times with Him.
Each of the five following points starts with ‘G.’ I hope you engage in this exciting life. Let’s ask ourselves regularly, “How can God further glorify Himself through me?”
As believers in Christ Jesus, we are automatically enrolled in God’s unbelievably good plan. With God, there is no simple good; it’s always the best (Rom 8:28). We can always trust Him with the difficulties, the questionable beginnings, and the unforeseen future. It’s all good. And so, in sincere faith, we trust Him and plow into that future, not allowing our past to derail us from our current decisions and plans.
Let me give an example. Growing up in a dysfunctional family brought weaknesses, like a lack of confidence, riddling my life with holes and gaps. Because of God’s sovereign hand and plan—shown through His love in Christ, I can trust Him to weave my early childhood difficulties and challenges into how He uniquely wants to use me.
He led me to begin the BFF ministry, which highlights my challenges. It’s part of His plan to help me discover my weaknesses, learn how He helps me through His Word (1 John 2:13), and further bring Him praise. The extra praise comes from observing how God can do good things through my weak areas. No matter my challenges, He’s quite the architect, knowing how to use the inferior, weak, and even sinful to display His splendor!
“27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29 so that no man may boast before God” (1 Cor 1:27-29, NASB).
The goodness of God allows me to trust Him to use the weak parts of my life to display His glory further.
God’s plans always involve grand affairs. They are great because they were intricately woven into the fabric of our lives before we were born. All our good deeds were preassigned.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Eph 2:10).
This alone would make all His plans great, but the extent of His greatness goes far beyond the skill levels involved. God doesn’t just plan these big things—the situation, people contacts, etc.—but also one’s ability, motivation, timing, and power to do them.
There are numerous times the Lord has shown me a plan, but I wondered in the back of my mind if I could complete my part. Remember my lack of confidence? Looking back, I am amazed by His unique ways of working through me.
One challenge was to teach an adult Chinese Sunday class in Chinese. I had been a missionary in Taiwan and learned Chinese, but the devil was disturbing me, making me feel inadequate for the job. God spoke to me through an obscure devotional reading in Jeremiah early that same morning. The timing of my reading displayed God’s greatness!
My planed Bible verses were from Jeremiah 1, “Behold, I do not know how to speak” (Jer 1:6). How He comforted and strengthened me through those words, “Then the Lord stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.” I’m no Jeremiah, but He used these words to bring peace to my soul so I could confidently teach that class. Without His display of greatness, I would have declined or taught without confidence, impairing the message.
He uses such incidents in our lives to magnify how He can strengthen us for His work. God works His GREAT plan in many unknowable ways. When needed, He always comes through. He amplifies His ability through our inability. Praise be to the Lord for His Great plan for our lives.
God’s plan is magnificently gracious. Just think. Why is the powerful, eternal, holy Creator working with temporal, weak, and undeserving vessels? The more we understand our sins and weaknesses, His GRACIOUSNESS shines. Even if He saved us in mercy, it didn’t mean He had to work with us to make us an outstanding success.
Have we disappointed Him? Undoubtedly. Do we fumble at the most straightforward jobs? Unfortunately. Notice what God has done for the sinful? Even still, He brings us from despair to bright hope. That’s our God.
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God” (Rom 5:1-2).
God magnifies His grace by constantly working in and through us to complete His good works. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6).
When we are young, we expect God to work with us. But when we are older, we usually observe our flaws better. We see the prowess of our minds disappear and openly must confess—what everyone can see—our baldness and growing frailties.
His greatness expresses His empowering and comprehensive plan; His graciousness is seen through His patience in working with significantly inferior and undeserving beings. Who are we to carry out God’s holy works? Who are we to be called saints—sanctified to Him for His holy purposes?
God’s plan is glorious because He is truly spectacular. It’s glorious because it’s part of an eternal, incomprehensible detailed plan running through millions of saved believers through whom He magnifies Himself. Every believer will be raised in Christ’s power and display Christ’s glory. We typically think of our short lives—what happened yesterday or today. God thinks much differently than us.
“22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles” (Rom 9:22-24).
We deserve the full judgment of God’s wrath, but He, instead, through the grace of Christ Jesus, “make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy.” God’s rich glory will be poured out liberally upon all His saved elect, from north and south, east and west.
The more spectacular His plan, the more glorious. He takes unlikely creatures and empowers them so they can carry out His wondrous works and share eternal rewards in the new heavens and earth.
I am enchanted observing flowers and plants. The leaf veins’ edges, reproductive methods, flowering blooms, textures, etc., all wonderfully blend, bringing glory to their Creator. He gives me eyes and touch and senses to observe and collect this data and respond to His great abilities, making me speculate what His perfect world will look like. All of this stirs my heart to look for His glorious kingdom.
“39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect” (Heb 11:39-40).
God’s plan develops a gladsome heart. Our observations give us deeper insights into God’s good and gracious ways. We can see His glory and greatness that rightly call us to love Him with all our minds, heart, and strength.
Sadly some people cannot connect religion and joy. God instead issues this joy and gladness deep in our souls, not only from being redeemed but by taking in God's great promises. This is truly only the beginning!
Even David, before the full scale of God’s love, was released, could hardly contain himself as he pondered God’s glorious ways.
“1 I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. 2 I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High” (Ps 9:1-2).
God graciously welcomes and involves us in His eternal works. As we consider our individual small but critical part—maybe He prompted us to share a verse with someone —our amazement increases. “Why does He use me?” Again, it’s not a big part, but it is significant because its part of His great plan.
“7 So that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet 1:7-9).
“You greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” wonderfully, yet compactly, summarizes the saints’ privilege to participate in and observe God’s amazing redemptive plan as found in Jesus Christ.
The 5Gs (Good, Great, Gracious, Glorious, Glad) are great for remembering our part in God’s eternal plan. They take away our worries and fears, humble us at God’s glorious ways, and yet incorporate a gladsome heart, being able to wonder at it all. The 5G’s should strip away the vain glories of the world’s affairs and focus us on what is truly glorious and marvelous—God and His ways.
I hope you thank Him nightly before sealing up the day’s events! His incomprehensible plan shines brightly. The more consciously we participate in His work, the more Jesus works through us. This was Jesus’ way. He met with His Father to see what He was to do, always bringing about great wonders at God’s great plans.
Study Questions on Seeking God’s Glory
- How is God working in your life?
- Can you boast that God is good? Why or why not?
- State some ways you have found the greatness of God. Seek Him to see His greatness.
- Quickly flick through your sinful, unwilling and stubborn life. Recount how gracious God is to save and work in you.
- What is the difference between God’s greatness and glory? How do you fit in here?
- How do we cultivate glad hearts? Give a specific example of one way He made you glad in His ways.
- Which of the 5Gs most impresses you at this time? Explain.
- When did you start learning about God’s comprehensive world plan that includes you?
- How does what happens on earth link with our futures?