When we have hope, we can offer it to others.
Read each passage of Scripture; taking time to answer the following questions for each Scripture read:
- What does this passage of scripture say about God?
- What does this passage of scripture say about humanity?
- What does this passage of scripture say about the relationship between God and humanity?
Scripture One – 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, 10-12 (NRSV)
The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work…
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God.
Scripture Two – 1 Timothy 6:17-18
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
- Who is the most generous person you know? Think of a time you have been on the receiving end of generosity and share it with your group.
- Pastor Penny introduced two terms, “Scarcity Mentality” and “Abundance Mindset.” Think of an example of each one that you’ve seen in the news recently and share it with the group.
- When you were growing up, how would you describe your family’s view toward money? You might try sharing three short words or phrases that describe it. What was your family’s attitude toward generosity?
- How would you describe where you are today on the journey toward generosity? What are some of your barriers to being more generous?
- Brainstorm a list of ways that generosity makes for a richer, better life.
- How does practicing generosity cultivate hope in you? In your community? In the world?
- Pastor Penny shared her story about the staff cleaning out the office. Do a self-assessment: Are there things you are holding onto out of fear of losing it?
- Find a way to practice generosity this week with whatever resources you have, whether that is money, time, food or something else.