- Talk about a time when you participated in serving your community. How did it benefit the person(s) you served? How did it impact you?
Since the inception of Palmcroft Home Groups we have devoted the final months of each calendar year toward participating in Home Group based service opportunities. We call it the “Be Rich” campaign, taken from Paul’s words to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:17-18.
Command those who are rich in this worldʼs goods not to be haughty or to set their hope on riches, which are uncertain, but on God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. Tell them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous givers, sharing with others.
Over the coming weeks we will unfold the details of the service opportunity choices for this year, but we also want to take the time in our groups to explore a few biblical truths regarding the concept of generosity.
Imagine the difference we could make if we followed Paul's command from the passage above! Early Christians did. They were known for the extraordinary generosity they displayed. Those 1st century followers changed the world- not through preaching, teaching, or theology- but through their enormous generosity. And all they were really doing was taking Jesus’ words seriously. Check out his radical new approach to generosity from Luke 6…
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to be repaid, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, so that they may be repaid in full. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to ungrateful and evil people. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:32-36
In those last few verses Jesus takes his audience beyond the normal. In this context, an “enemy” was anyone who was unkind to you, anyone you disagreed with, anyone you didn’t get along with (even family members!)
- Talk about a time when you were kind to someone who hadn’t treated you well. What was the outcome?
Essentially, Jesus calls his followers to unleash generosity on the people in their community, whether they liked their neighbors or not. Jesus’ desire is for His people to do good toward those who can’t or won’t do anything good in return. We can do the same. Let’s overwhelm people with the love and generosity of Jesus to the point that they proclaim, “Those Christians genuinely want something for us, rather than something from us!”
- Why do we sometimes hesitate to give to others even though we often have more than we need?
- Discuss how your group can practically demonstrate this type of generosity this week.