EXTREME THOUGHT MAKEOVER: GIVING ADDITION
- Key Verse
- 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. (2 Corinthians 8:9)
- READ THE CHAPTER
Because of the generosity of Jesus Christ, we will be rich for eternity.
ReflectionsMost of my life I thought giving was for the super spiritual and wealthy. Most of my thoughts went like this: The verses about giving don't apply to me. I'm not rich. Besides, the issue of money is nobody's business. It's my money, and I worked hard for it. I don't spend it on ridiculous purchases. Why does God care where I spend my money? Cue Matthew 6:21, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Oh, God cares about the condition of my heart. Well, I love people. I serve and go to church. What more does God want? Cue 2 Corinthians 8:7, "But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also."
Oh, God wants me to excel in giving, as well as serving and studying His Word. Well, I don't have a lot of money. I'm on a budget. Cue 2 Corinthians 8:2-3, "[T]hat in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord . . . ."
Oh, God wants me to give joyfully even when I feel strapped for cash. Well, I don't have a lot. I can't give anything big. Cue 2 Corinthians 8:12, "For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have."
Oh, God cares about my willingness to give, not the size of the gift. Well, that sounds nice in theory, but it isn't very practical. Why would I give away money when my gift probably won't matter? No one will notice, and I will have less money. That just seems a little on the extreme side. Why would anyone just give away wealth? Cue 2 Corinthians 8:9, "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."
Discussion Questions1. Why do you think it is or isn't important to give to the church? Can you point to Scripture that supports your ideas?
2. Are there areas in your thought life about giving you feel challenged to examine?
3. What are some practical ways you can take small steps towards giving?
4. If you already give, what are some ways God might be challenging or encouraging you in this area?
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
2 Corinthians 6-10 (July 16-20)
Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-15.
• Talk about verse 6: what happens when you plant a few seeds versus planting lots of seeds?
• How does the Scripture compare this to our giving?
• What are different ways of giving? (Think broader than just money or things.)
• What do you think it means to give cheerfully?
• If you give generously and cheerfully, what will God do for you (see verse 8)?
• What does it mean to have all that you need? Is there a difference between your needs and your wants?
• If God gives you more than you need, what does He desire for you to do with the extra?
• When people see you giving generously, whom do you want them to praise?
Activity: As a family, think of different ways that you can give. Think about time, talents, and treasures. From your list, pick one way in which you can serve together . . . give generously and cheerfully.