Dr. E. Dale Locke and Rev. Trevor Johnston
Series: Upside Down
Week 1 – Becoming Generous in a World That’s Tight
PDF of the Questions 04-07-18
- The title of the sermon series, “Upside Down” is in reference to the world today. Talk about some of the ways the world is currently “upside down” in your mind.
- Read together our memory verse for this series: 1 Corinthians 1:27 – “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”
- Consider this verse and discuss ways that, from the world’s perspective, God has chosen foolish or weak things of the world.
- Read Acts 2:42-47 – “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved”
- Pastor Trevor describes the Book of Acts this way: “The Book of Acts tells all that happened right after Jesus’ resurrection. It follows several of the disciples’ activities, but the main character of the Book of Acts is the Holy Spirit.” From Acts 2: 42-47, how do you see the Holy Spirit at work in the first followers of Christ?
- One clear example in the way we know the Holy Spirit was at work in the Book of Acts was in the amazing generosity among the first church. Re-read Acts 2:44-45 – “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.”
- What motivated the first church to be so generous with each other? Consider John 3:16 as you respond to this question: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
- Does generosity have anything to do with income level? Why or why not?
- Give a hypothetical example of how the generosity expressed in the Acts scripture verses might look today. (Trevor gave the example of an individual selling their flat screen TV on OfferUp to assist someone in need). Why do these examples seem like “foolish or weak things” in today’s world? Why does it seem impossible for Christ-followers today to be generous in this way?
Some Statistics Regarding Christians and Debt:
- 16% have about $2,500 worth of credit card debt at any given time (the Zero candy bars)
- 2% have over $100,000 worth of credit card debt (the Mild Duds)
- 70% have about $30,000 worth of credit card debt (Nestle’s Crunch Bars)
- 2% are millionaires and don’t need to be concerned at all with debt (Pay Day)
- 10% have NO debt, are saving for retirement, college funds, and are working on or have already paid off their mortgage ($100,000 Bar!)
- Do you see where you are in these percentages? Which group listed would you like to see yourself in? What would happen to these percentages at Community of Hope if everyone in your group were to join you in attaining the $100,000 Bar group of those who are truly financially free, regardless of income level?
- Pastor Trevor says the following about money:
~Money is amoral.
~Money expands or limits our options.
~Money is a tool.
Share whether you agree or disagree with each statement, and why.
- Pastor Trevor also said that how we manage our money is a spiritual issue.
What do you think he means by that? Do you agree or disagree?
- Spend some time sharing ways you would (or do, if you are financially able to do so) be more generous with your money if you could.
- If you are willing, share with your small group how you are limited by your own personal finances. If you have a victory to share about how you have found financial freedom over money issues, share that story too!
- Community of Hope is launching a church-wide, deep saturation in Dave Ramsey’s 9-week course in Financial Peace University beginning this week in small groups and classes on both campus’. Talk about who in your group are planning to participate in Momentum at COH, or, how you can be generous toward the Momentum effort or any other ministry that furthers Christ’s work in Right-Side-Upping today’s Upside Down world.
- Pray together that the Momentum efforts at COH further Christ’s kingdom as all those involved work towards financial freedom. Pray for this upside down world we live in today, and for God to show each of us ways we can do our part to right-side it up for His glory.