Today is Friday, January 5th, 2018. I hope your new year is off to a great start! Many of us take time in January to reset, refresh, or recalibrate. Hopefully, in doing so, we challenge ourselves as well as dream about what we want to be different this year. My prayer for us is that we could take time to be still, to ask the Lord what HE wants of us, and to make that our priority in 2018! I’m believing He will answer if we ask. - Emma
(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
- What do you feel like you’ve been offering to the Lord?
- How has generosity brought you closer to the Lord or to a friend?
Take some time to thank and praise God for who He is, to pray for those you are walking with, for the needs you/group are facing, and for the Spirit to open your heart and eyes as you read the passage, which has been completely inspired by God.
DISCOVER [2 Corinthians 8: 1-9]
1 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you[a]—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)
- What do we learn about this early church in v 2 and 3?
- What does this stir up in your own heart?
- What would it look like for you to exceed God’s expectations with your generosity? (v 5)
- What areas are you excelling in? Is it for worldly gain or for the kingdom?
+ 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)
- Does your generosity reflect your faith in God or a lack of faith?
- Do you deeply believe that God is pleased with your gift?
+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus and what is your next step with them, how can we help?