JUNE 12

LIVING GENEROUSLY                                                                               

Everyone needs/wants more money, time, and energy. What if the ways the world teaches us to “gain more” are not actually going to help us “experience more?” God’s ways and all God says about living generously shows that “more” is a matter of the heart. God gives us resources to teach our hearts how to love Him and love people.

Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner,  life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. Did you grow up with a scarcity mindset or an abundance mentality?  

2. What stood out to you from the message?

3. Read Romans 8:31-39.

a.) Make some observations about this passage (What does the text say):

  • Who is talking? 
  • What is the circumstance? 
  • Any repeated phrases? 
  • What surprised you? 
  • What stood out to you? 

b.) Make some interpretations (What does the passage mean) 

  • What questions do you have?
  • Summarize the passage in 1-3 sentences – what are the main points? 
  • What do you learn about the nature and character of God as you read this? 
  • What do you learn about yourself or the world around you?

 c.) Now make some applications (what’s my response) 

  • How do you respond to what you are reading? 
  • How could this apply to your life today? 
  • What is the central truth that you could put into practice from this? 
  • Who could you share this with for the sake of encouragement?

4. Read 2 Corinthians 9:7-11. God desires more for you! He wants to mature your heart and mind through trust in Him (as a Good father who is a giver, not a taker) so that you live generously in all areas of your life (your heart, time, money, etc). He wants you to live in an abundance mindset, not scarcity. Where have you fallen into living with a mindset of scarcity? Where have you taken steps to trust God and are living more with a mindset of abundance?

5. Read Ecclesiastes 5:10 & Matthew 6:24. Money is connected to our spiritual life because it can cause us to trust it over God. More Money will not make you a financially secure, content, generous person. If you won’t trust God to grow your heart in generosity with a little, you’ll become less generous, and even content, with more. How have you personally experienced this struggle of contentment and security as it relates to trusting God or trusting money?

6. Read Deuteronomy 8:2-17. What does gratitude to God for creating you uniquely, and giving you the ability to produce what you have earned look like in your life? If you don’t regularly practice gratitude, how might gratitude be a game-changer in your life?   

KEY SCRIPTURE

Romans 8:31-39 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2 Corinthians 9:7-11  Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

Ecclesiastes 5:10 Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.

Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Deuteronomy 8:2-17  Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you. Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills. When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my   hands have produced this wealth for me.”

TAKE A NEXT STEP

1. If you don’t have a community where you are known and know others and where you have conversations that encourage and challenge you in your faith – JOIN A COMMUNITY GROUP! We have Community Groups that meet all over the city. Join one for the summer – https://www.gatewaychurch.com/group-finder/?keyword=community

2. This month we have highlighted all of the volunteer opportunities around Gateway.   A great way to step into the community here is to sign up to serve! It’s simple, fun, makes a difference –  all while connecting you with other awesome Gatewayers! Go learn more on your campus this month! 

◦ View Serve Teams and sign up: https://www.gatewaychurch.com/get-involved

3. Spend some time this week considering where your heart is with your money. Does it possess you or do you possess it? What evidence do you see that makes you answer this way? Talk with God and at least one other person about what you discover.  Consider taking the challenge to rearrange your budget (or create a budget if you don’t have one) where you give the 1st 10% to God, your 2nd 10% to saving, and then live on the rest