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The Grace of Giving

Summary

In preparation for our annual Gift Day, which we will be taking on 16th and 23rd May, David spoke about the grace of giving, looking at the example of the church in Macedonia in 2 Corinthians 8.

This practice includes some discussion questions and space for personal reflection, to help you think about the joy of giving, and to consider how you may want to join in with the offering in the next couple of weeks.

Discussion (15-20 minutes)

Read the verses below from 2 Corinthians, and then discuss some of the following questions.

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.’ (2 Corinthians 9:7-8)

  • We should never give out of compulsion, but in joy, as an act of worship. Do you experience giving as a joy? Why, or why not?
  • God promises to bless us abundantly. He doesn’t promise to pay us back pound for pound, but He is generous and loves to bless us. Do you have any stories of God blessing and providing for you? Share one with the group, to encourage one another.

Practice (5-10 minutes)

Paul says that everyone should give what they have decided in their heart. Take a few minutes for personal reflection, perhaps with music on in the background, and with your screens off. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you about how you may want to contribute to the offering over these next couple of weeks. You may want to pray and reflect around a few of these questions:

  • If you struggle to see giving as a gift or a joy, ask the Holy Spirit to help you.
  • Consider what contribution you will want to make. Perhaps ask God to help you decide in your own heart, and to lead you accordingly.
  • Pray for the offering, for God to provide all that we need for it, and for wisdom for the leaders, to use the money wisely and well, for the good of the church and the city.

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, our generous Provider,
There is nothing we have that You have not given us.
All that we have and all that we are, belong to You.

We commit to growing in the practice of generosity,
So that we might reflect your character,
And show the world what You are really like.

We resist the temptations:
To spend all You have given us on ourselves alone,
To give without sacrifice,
Or to give out of fear, or a sense of duty.
These ways do not reflect Your heart,
Or lead to a flourishing life.

Instead, we choose:
To give freely and generously to You and Your purposes,
To give sacrificially, and with faith,
And to give joyfully, as an act of worship.

Holy Spirit, I invite you to create in me a generous heart.
Empower us to live as a community
Free from the love of money,
Using the gifts you have given us
For the glory of Jesus and the good of the world.

Amen