"A Life of Freedom"
TEXTS: Hebrews 13:6; 2 Cor. 8-9
1. When the world around us seems to be shaking we do not need to fear. We should rather incline our ears to hear what heaven would speak to us. Why? Because when the world seems to be shaking, we can be sure that God is speaking.
2. God desires that His children's lives are marked by generosity. Our willingness to share what we have with others determines if the windows of heaven will be open for God to bless our lives.
3. We should not give recklessly or to earn something from God (or man). Many wrongly think that their giving earns them some sort of special favor in God’s eyes. When our hearts are motivated by such falsehoods we often fail to be generous in the way our Savior desires us to be. Instead of our giving flowing freely from a generous heart, it will often take an arm twist in order for us to give. And our generosity should not be motivated by guilt or coercion. We are free to decide what we share, but the Lord is paying close attention to the condition of our heart concerning personal generosity.
4. What is one way we can examine ourselves to see if we have the right heart towards the Lord? How do you respond to what you hear in your local church’s worship service? Responding rightly to your spiritual leaders and to what the Spirit communicates to the body of believers you belong to reveals a lot about the condition of your heart.
5. The enemy often lies to humanity and seeks to convince people that they will experience loss if they fully commit their lives to Christ and His Kingdom. But the opposite is true. When we commit our ways to the Lord we will be able to look back on our lives and see that we have only benefited from that decision.
6. Success in several areas of our lives–such as our physical health–is largely determined by how we manage and steward what we have been given. We should not expect to experience miracles that cover up our inability to act as good stewards. In other words, simply praying about some things will not change those circumstances. It will take personal action and proper stewardship.
7. When our lives and hearts are filled with generosity, we will experience many blessings. Perhaps the most important blessing of all is the assurance that the Lord is near to us and that He is good. This revelation and truth gets deposited deeply within the heart of a believer who is generous.
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. How can a believer examine themselves to see if they have a generous heart? (We can routinely give with the wrong heart, so simply assessing whether or not we give falls short as a thorough and proper examination tool).
2. Why do you think the Lord is so serious about His children responding rightly to what is happening in the local church He has directed them to?
3. What are some of the lies that the enemy uses to dissuade us from fully committing our ways to the Lord?
4. What are some biblical truths that should motivate us towards having a generous heart? Are there any particular truths that "fuel" your personal giving and generosity?
5. How should we handle things that happen in our local church that don't seem to resonate with us? Are we expected to respond and care about everything that is communicated to us, or are we free to be more selective than that? Additionally, are there any areas of spiritual and church life that God requires all His children to participate in and care about?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following area(s):
- Generosity that comes from a properly motivated heart
- That we would incline our ears to hear from heaven