Multiply: Week 3 of 3
● Week 1: Lord, all that I have is yours… do with it what you want!
● Week 2: Lord, I am yours… do with me what you want!
● Week 3: The Art of Celebration – Praise the One who is generous to me!
The Art of Celebration:
● The command to rejoice:
○ “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:16-18 NIV).
● Definition of celebration: “to privately or publicly express your enjoyment for something that you value”
○ We celebrate what we value.
○ When we value what God values, we celebrate what God celebrates.
○ The degree to which we celebrate something reveals the amount we value the people involved.
○ Broken Celebration: When we value what the world values, we celebrate what the world celebrates.
■ Worldly celebration
■ False Celebration
■ Cheap celebration
● C.S. Lewis // Reflections on the Psalms: “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed. It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is; to come suddenly, at the turn of the road, upon some mountain valley of unexpected grandeur and then to have to keep silent because the people with you care for it no more than for a tin can in the ditch; to hear a good joke and find no one to share it with… . The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is ‘to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ But we shall then know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.”
○ Praise completes the enjoyment
○ The more you rejoice in what God has done for you, the more you can rejoice in what God has done for or is doing in another person.
■ “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with
gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zeph 3:17)
○ The foundation of celebration is rejoicing in the gospel: Not Guilty Anymore (Aaron Keyes).
Scripture: 1 Chronicles 29: 10-20 (ESV) David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, Lord, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. Lord, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you. And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, statutes and decrees and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided.” Then David said to the whole assembly, “Praise the Lord your God.” So they all praised the Lord, the God of their fathers; they
bowed down, prostrating themselves before the Lord and the king.
How to Celebrate as We Gather
● #1: The leaders gave willfully and generously to make God’s name known (build the temple) and the people rejoiced.
● #2: Leader: Praise God for who He is (here: eternal) and recognize what that means to you.
● #3: Leader: Praise God for the ability to give and be a part of what God is doing.
● #4:“So they all praised the Lord […] they bowed down, prostrating themselves before the Lord […]”
Let’s Celebrate: Win Stories from our church
● Titus Leger: God worked through middle schooler students to pack 192 food boxes for the Athol food room to give food to the community. Praise God that He is working in our youth! Also, a generous person in our church donated a bouncy house to the youth ministry so that we can bless the public school system with it. Praise God for the invitations to serve Athol Elementary, Betty Keifer Elementary and John Brown Elementary.
● Carol Griffith: Six years ago she was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer and now she is healthy.
● Anonymous: “With all our heart, we are praising the Lord! Someone blessed our family this year by paying our land
completely and in full! We are with all of our heart so thankful for God’s loving kindness, endless love for us […] I love you, Jesus!”
● Styffe Family: “Peter’s mom’s brain cancer […] beating the odds to the doctor’s amazement. No matter what happens in the future, God is good and we give him praise and glory. God didn’t sell our house and we praise him for protecting us or providing something better in the future – probably both.”
● Jon and Kelly Sorensen: “After having two children of our own and years after that, desiring a larger family, God blessed us with a beautiful adopted baby girl. There are so many details I will leave out here, for the sake of time. But the Lord basically took two hearts that were in different places and told us both that we needed to adopt. We know looking back that it was his plan from the beginning for her to be in our family.”
For Small Group Discussion:
Opening Question: What qualities do you admire in other people?
Read/Tellthe Story: 2 Corinthians chapters 8 & 9 (see also Mark 8: 34-36; Ecclesiastes 5:10)
1. Have you ever known someone who didn’t have much but was generous?
2. Does it take discipline for you to be generous, or does it come easily for you?
3. Have you ever known a stingy person? How did you feel about that person?
4. How has God’s generosity to you impacted you in the different spheres of your life?(Home, World, Church)
5. What are some of the consequences you have faced because of poor financial decisions?
6. When has someone met a need for you that was meaningful?
7. How does our generosity impact our witness and representation of our God?
8. What is one way you can show the generosity of our God in this season?
9. How can you celebrate God every day?
10. What win story can you share with others?