Generosity

Posted by Jim Murphy on Thursday, April 10, 2014 @ 3:44 PM

What I Have Meets the Needs of Others

We are God’s Plan A for changing the world.

God works in the world through each of us who have put our faith in Jesus Christ. The change we want to see in the world comes only when we allow God to work his plan through us. To fulfill this plan, we have to understand that what I have is intended to meet not only my needs but also the needs of others. Here are some examples of ways that what I have can meet the needs of others.

1. My Love & Compassion
The first most important thing we have that meets the needs of others is our love and compassion. God wants us to share it generously with everyone. My love and compassion meets the needs of others.

John 13:34-35 - “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”Ephesians 4:32 - “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

2. My Time
In many ways, giving of our time is more valuable than others. God wants us to share it generously. My time meets the needs of others.

Ephesians 5:15-16 – “ Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil"

3. My Talent
Each Christian is endowed with spiritual gifts⎯special talents and natural abilities⎯that are for the purpose of helping others. My gifts and talents meet the needs of others.

1 Peter 4:10 - “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

4. My Treasure
Instead of clinging tightly to our money and our possessions, we should be willing to part with them for the sake of meeting the needs of others. My material possessions meet the needs of others.

Philippians 4:19 - “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

1 John 3:17 - “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?”

1 Timothy 6:17-19 - “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.”

Small Group Questions

  1. What are some ways and with whom can we give love & compassion to other people? (Be specific)
  2. What are some ways that you are gifted or talented? How can that gift/talent help others?
  3. What are some ways you can meet the needs of others with your possessions?
  4. What are some ways you can meet the needs of others with money?

Conversations at Home

First, in what way are you, as parents, modeling stewardship. Do you have a tendency to live life and talk about your posessions, wealth, talents, etc. as if they are your own or as if they are God's? Do you model generosity, compassion, and an others-centric approach to meeting people's needs?

Second, look for opportunities to help your teen see that they do, in fact, have a lot that God has entrusted to them–their talents, their posessions, their gifts and money, etc. Change your language to include phrases that acknowledge that God has provided for your needs and prayers that include requesting God's guidance for the wise use of your resources. Include your teen in discussing ways to give to others or to serve others.

It's best to model this to your teens and to genuinely include in them real demonstrations of stewardship, servanthood, and generosity than it is to try to just talk about it or lecture about it.

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These posts are from the weekly lessons at Wednesday night FUEL. They are designed to share with you an outline of the content of our discussions, the small group questions, and ideas for conversations at home. Feel free to use these for your own conversations or lessons.

Jim Murphy

Jim Murphy, Associate Pastor, NextGen MinistriesAssociate Pastor NextGen Ministries

218-751-3699 ext 14 jim@bemidjicovenant.com

 

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