Theme: Sacrificial Giving. Christmas
1. Think about the last gift you received. How did it feel to get this gift? Think about the last gift you gave. How did it feel to give the gift? 2 Corinthians 8 has the title “Generosity Encouraged.” Why do you think the Bible has a whole chapter to encouraging people to give?
2. 2 Samuel 9 tells the story of David and Jonathan and how they were best friends before David was king. David gave his friendship to Jonathan forever, and promised to always take care of Jonathan's children. David kept that promise. After Jonathan was killed in battle, David asked if any of Jonathan's family was still alive. Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, was a grown man. When David sent servants to find Mephibosheth, he must have been wondering what David wanted with him. David gave Jonathan's son many gifts of land and animals, and then invited Mephibosheth to come live in the palace with David's family. As you listen to this episode, think about how David felt about giving this gift and how Mephibosheth felt about receiving it.
“Make sure that you also do well in the grace of giving to others”
A: A cover for her prize possession: a book on the history of Terrene.
In this story, Liz and Lucille both gave up something important to them so they could give to someone else. Sacrificial giving pleases God. But people don’t very often give until it hurts. Do you give your “leftovers”—whatever is left over after all the needs and wants are taken care of. Instead of holding tightly to what you have, ask God to help you hold everything loosely so you can give generously, even if it hurts. In 2 Corinthians 8:3, Paul congratulates churches for giving even beyond their own ability. Giving “beyond your own ability” means that you’re making sacrifices in order to give more. This is really hard!
One thing you can give is money. Many Christians use the biblical guideline of tithing to determine what they give away; that is, they give a “tithe,” or one-tenth of all their resources. Giving sacrificially would mean to give a large amount of your allowance away, like 90%, and keep only 10%? Could you do this for one week? One month?
Another thing you can give is time. How much time can you give to serving others? Try giving time you want for yourself to someone else, like a sibling who wants to play a game, or a parent you can help by emptying the dishwasher. Try giving time this week!