The Generous Life
Week 3: 1 Timothy 6:17-19
Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Is that really true? A generous life is one in which we apply this principle to our relationships, words, skills, time – really to anything and everything that God has given us to work with! This week we will examine what God’s word teaches about being generous specifically with our finances. The Bible has a LOT to say on this topic. Perhaps this is because money and wealth have the potential for so much good when managed in a God-honoring way and for so much evil when we get sideways of God’s plan. Jesus warned us that money can become nothing short of an idol, an alternate master that promises the happiness, protection, security, and sense of identity that God alone should provide. Whether we have great wealth or are constantly in need, concerns about money can rule our life. The generous life offers another way to live. Generosity breaks the power of money’s rule and steers us clear and wide around the dangers associated with the love of money. And paradoxically, when we live and give generously, God promises to richly provide so that we can enjoy more, serve more, store up more valuable treasure for the future, and bring more glory to Him. Will you take Jesus at his word and accept his invitation to grow in this area? “But just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness, and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this grace of giving” (2 Corinthians 8:7, NIV).
Without disclosing details or bragging, why have you chosen to give to the church or to other causes in the past?
Getting into the Text:
1. (Luke 12:13-21) What motivated Jesus to tell this parable? What can you infer about what the rich man believed to be the source of his wealth and the purposes for his wealth? What is the main point of the parable?
2. (1 Timothy 6:17-19) What does this passage say about where our resources come from? What does it say about God’s purposes for money? What do you think it means to “take hold of that which is truly life”?
3. The kind of generous giving that pleases God is more related to the heart of the giver than the amount of the gift. How does each passage below illustrate this truth?
a. (Luke 21:1-4)
b. (1 Chronicles 29:16-18)
c. (2 Corinthians 8:1-7)
d. (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
1. What words would you use to describe your own heart and your own thinking about money? Are the words joyful, thankful, cheerful, or generous on your list? What next steps would help you to grow your heart and to better excel in this grace of giving?
2. Why do you think this topic is difficult for many in the church to talk about? Is it difficult for you? Be honest with God about your feelings and listen to what He has to say in response.