07-22-23-2017 Pastor Trevor Johnston
Sermon Series: The Exciting Church The Generous Church
- What does generosity mean to you? Do you think of yourself as a generous person?
- Share with the group if you are familiar with Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, and what you know about it.
- Why do you think the concept and conversation about generosity brings up such feelings as guilt, shame and suspicion in many people in the church today?
Jesus talked a lot about money, because it is so closely tied to our spiritual life. Read the following scriptures and answer the questions:
Romans 13:8 – Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
- How does this concept differ from what this culture’s attitude about debt is?
Hebrews 13:5 – Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
- Discuss the term ‘content’ and what you think is meant by this word in this passage. Would you describe yourself as content?
Matthew 6:24 – “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
- What does it mean to ‘serve money’? Can you see why it’s not possible to serve both God and money?
Mark 12:41-44 – 41And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. 42A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. 43Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; 44for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”
- Why do you think the widow gave all she had to live on to the temple treasury? What motivated her? What motivates you to give?
Malachi 3:10 – Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it”
- Pastor Trevor said this is the only place in scripture where we are invited to test God. Discuss why you think this is one area that God wants us to test him in.
I Timothy 6:10 – For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs
- Why do you think this scripture states that the LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil?
Matthew 6:21 – For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
- What does this scripture mean to you? When looking over your bank statement, what would it say about where your treasure is? Share your insights if you are willing.
I Timothy 6:17-19 – 17Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
- Do you consider yourself rich? Why or why not? Does this scripture apply to you?
The Giving Pledge is a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back. The Giving Pledge started back in August 2010, when 40 of America’s wealthiest individuals and couples joined together in a commitment to give more than half of their wealth away. Created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, the Giving Pledge now has 170 pledgers ranging in ages from the 30’s to the 90’s, and across 21 countries worldwide. Some of these billionaires are Christians, but many are not.
- What do you think motivates them to give their money away like this? Does giving always honor God? What does God want even more than our money or treasure?
- Read Acts 2:45-46 – 45and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart
- How can we each become more generous in a way that honors Jesus Christ? Discuss with your groups ways that you can become more generous in your giving.