Today is Thursday, January 11th, 2018. The other morning I was sitting in a diner at the counter. I could see the cook work and I watch as a pastry bag filled with batter fell apart in his hands while he attempted to make pancakes. The batter got all over him and the floor and in frustration, he hurled the failed paper funnel into the trash. What I remember most from that moment was the conversation amongst the workers. It was along the lines of “Of all the ways to save a buck.” Apparently, the owner wanted them to use this failed contraption in order to save the diner money and yet here it was wasting money. Often times our desire to save can end up costing us. We often use the statement “You reap what you sow” in a negative context. This is true, but the alternative is true as well. Just as a restaurant owner who is a cheapskate may find minimal return and disgruntled employees, so too can someone who is generous find joy. We give because God has been generous to us. We have been given more than we could ever earn and this revelation should bring generosity. When our desires and value is not placed in the material we hold onto material loosely. Giving of ourselves freely is generosity. True generosity, not out of obligation or duty, but out of cheerful giving.

CONNECT
(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ What was your last act of generosity? Was it out of duty or joy?
_ What are the things that you give of yourself?

PRAY
Pray and thank the Lord for His generosity. Pray for a generous heart and ask what the Lord is asking you to give of yourself today. Pray that you may give cheerfully.

DISCOVER  [2 Cor. 9:6-7]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)

6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
_ What happens if you sow sparingly?
_ What happens if you sow bountifully?
_ How must “each one” give?
_ How should one not give?
_ What does God love?

+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and how does the gospel compel me to respond with a simple step of action/obedience?  (Here are some thoughts to discuss in break-outs)
_ Do you give cheerfully or reluctantly?
_ Is God asking you to give of something that you are reluctant to? Money, time, possessions?
_ How can you give cheerfully?

+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus and what is your next step with them, how can we help?