November 1, 2014
This week’s study is titled,
‘Giving…. Why Give?’
Why do you think people give to God and others?
Discuss in your group people’s possible reasons/motivations for giving.
Read Matthew 6:1-4.
What were the hypocrites (such as the Pharisee’s) reason(s)? Imagine the scene described in v.2.
What does the word ‘hypocrite’ mean? Discuss what Jesus said on the subject and the results.
Let’s focus on financial giving (though the principles can be applied to other areas of giving, eg: time, talents, possessions etc.)
· What does Paul say shouldn’t influence our giving? 2nd Corinthians 9:7.
What’s the first thing we should do? Compare with other versions how this is worded.
Have you spent time prayerfully doing this?
· What should be our basic motivation for giving? Read 2nd Corinthians 8:9 and Romans12:1.
Are there other motivations we could have that God would be pleased with, eg meeting a need? Acts 4:32-37.
Should we view everything else as a fruit of our relationship with God? Consider James 2:14-18.
· What does Paul say God loves? 2nd Corinthians 9:7b.
If we don’t feel like this should we not give? Would God want us to give only a little ‘cheerfully’ than more and not be completely happy about it?
Discuss your thoughts.
· Does God need our money in order for His work to get done?
· What are some things that could hinder us being generous givers?
Let’s now look at the church at Philippi.
On Paul’s second missionary journey he (with Silas, Timothy and Luke) travelled through Macedonia, planting churches in Philippi, Macedonia and Berea.
Acts 16:9-40 to Acts17:1-15.
Read what Paul wrote about them to the church at Corinth. 2nd Corinthians 8:1-4
How would you describe their situation including financial and their attitude toward giving?
What did Paul say the first thing they did? 2nd Corinthians 8:5.
How important do you think this is?
After Paul left Macedonia he went to Athens and then Corinth where he had to work to support himself.
What changed when Silas and Timothy brought the gift from the Macedonian churches? Read Acts 18:1-5.
Read what Paul says to the church in Philippi. Philippians 4:15-20.
· How did Paul describe their gift? v.18b. What does this mean?
· What did he want them to receive, ‘because of their kindness?’ v.17.
· What did he say God would do for them? v.19.
· Read about the blessing the Philippians had been to Paul and the strong bond they had. Philippians 1:3-8, Philippians 4:1.
How much do/would you value such a bond with others you have helped?
Guidelines for Giving.
Read and discuss the principles Paul gives in 2nd Corinthians 8:10-14 and 1st Corinthians 16:1-2.
Are these principles you are applying to your own giving?
1. God cares very much about the attitude in which we give. 2nd Corinthians 9:7, 2nd Corinthians 8:12a.
2. God will supply our needs as we give Him first place in our lives. Philippians 4:19, Matthew 6:33.
He will also provide generously so we can give generously. 2nd Corinthians 9:8-11.
3. Many of God’s blessings are not material.
eg: 2nd Corinthians 9:11-15, Philippians 1:3-8.