First: This series is designed to help us process our world of distractions and idols; who we need to be and how to keep God as the first priority in our lives.
Matthew 6:33 (NIV) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
THE HEART BEHIND GIVING IS GENEROSITY.
Generosity comes from God because it is innate to who God is.
John 3:16 (NIV) 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.
Ephesians 1:3 (NIV) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
• Being generous produces a life overflowing with care and concern, helping others.
Generosity recognizes that God owns everything.
1 Chronicles 29:12 (ESV) Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.
• In God’s sovereignty, He owns everything.
Generosity understands and respects stewardship.
Genesis 2:15 (ESV) The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
• We have been created to be noble, wise managers/stewards of God’s riches.
1 Peter 4:10 (ESV) As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.
• We all have the responsibility to steward all we have been given, rich or poor.
“Stewardship is the path. Generosity is the adventure.” -Chip Ingram
God allows us to decide how generous we will be after our tithe.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NIV) Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Ecclesiastes 2:11 (NIV) Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
God provides generously when we are generous. He expands our generosity.
2 Corinthians 9:8-11 (NIV) And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
• God blesses us because He is a good God and loves to provide for His kids.
• God doesn’t bless us so we can upgrade what we currently own whenever we want.
• His blessings are not always material. His gifts go far beyond material to the spiritual.
“God prospers me not to raise my standard of living but to raise my standard of giving.” -Randy Alcorn
• He gives us abundance so we can bless others for His kingdom purposes.
The amount is not as important as the heart behind the gift.
Luke 21:1-4 (NIV) As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
The Biblical concept of being generous has more to do with our attitude in giving than with the amount that we give, so God wants a willing attitude from His people.
• What has God deposited in your life and asked you to steward? Make a list
• Are you using the money entrusted to you as the owner wishes?
• How will you simplify your life in order to be more generous?
• Pray and decide what God is calling you to COMMIT to in this next season that would represent Him being FIRST in this area of life
LIFE GROUP QUESTIONS:
Scriptures to consider
• 2 Corinthians 8:1-12, 9:6-18
• Matthew 6:33
1. Who do you know that is a generous person? What makes you think of them as generous?
2. What act of generosity in your life have you been inspired by?
3. If you had a large sum of money that you had to give away, above and beyond your tithe, what would you do with it?
4. What’s the difference between a tithe and an offering?
5. Consider the Corinthian church and their severe trials in 2 Cor. 8:2 – When do you find it the most difficult to be generous?
6. As we’ve been talking about committing our time, talents, resources and relationships to God, is there an area that God is asking you to go above and beyond in generosity?
7. How do you plan to “seek first His kingdom” this holiday season? (Matt 6:33)