The impact of generosity causes us to focus our trust on God, while releasing God’s provision. God’s provision and our generosity work together to advance God’s mission.
We have all watched as a team overcomes incredible odds to score a comeback win when all hope seemed lost. There is nothing sweeter than the victory after making what seemed to be an impossible comeback. Think of a time when you observed or were a part of a similar comeback. Please discuss with the group what you feel were the keys to that comeback being possible.
God wants us to give with a generous heart, expecting nothing in return. He wants us to give out of our emptiness–give what we do have. The focus is on what we have to give, instead of what we don’t have. When we are in over our heads and only God’s provision will meet our needs, then He can perform an impossible comeback. Remember what we give must be blessed by Jesus before it can be multiplied. The blessing gives the opportunity for the multiplication. It must be given away before it can be multiplied.
Read 1 Kings 17:7-16.
1. In verses 10 and 11 we see Elijah asking for water and bread during the middle of a three-year-long drought. What would have been your first thoughts and reaction had you been the widow?
2. She is desperate and ready to give up, preparing for her and her son to eat their last meal and die. Elijah tells her not to be afraid to do as she has said, but first bake him a loaf of a bread and then bake something for herself and her son. Why do you think he asked her to bake his loaf first?
3. We read in verse 14 that the Lord has promised the flour and oil will last until the Lord sends rain again. Do you think God would have provided this had she refused Elijah’s request?
4. This passage concludes in verses 15 and 16, with the widow following God’s instructions through Elijah, and the flour and oil lasting until the drought ended. What were the keys to God multiplying what little supplies she had left?
5. Coach Mullins shared a quote by Randy Alcorn that states, “God is the greatest giver in the universe, and He won’t let you out give Him.” Think of a time when you have given sacrificially or when prompted by God. Discuss how God blessed that gift.
Read Proverbs 3:9-10.
6. Why is it important to give from our first fruits instead of waiting to make sure we have enough left over to give?
7. How do we demonstrate our trust in God’s promise to meet all of our needs by giving from our first fruits?
8. If God prompts or instructs us to do something now, do you feel waiting will make a difference? How does obeying what God says, when He says it, take more faith in God’s promise to provide for us?
9. Generosity releases God’s provision. When we give, we take our hands off what is already God’s. Discuss what this means. Give an example of how we sometimes try to hold onto what is already God’s.
10. Our generosity in giving to others will advance God’s mission. The Church (Christ-followers) speaks life over our region, our nation, and even our world. Discuss how God’s mission can be advanced by our giving of ourselves, our time, or our resources to others.
Let us pray for and encourage each other to focus our trust on God as we give sacrificially of our time, money, and resources to those we encounter. This week let’s display Christ-like character by excelling in areas such as giving.
Do you know someone that could benefit from this message today? Do you know someone who could benefit from the resources that God has given you?
We encourage groups to try the Discovery Bible Method as an alternative to these discussion questions. You will find details for this Bible study method here. For this week, please study 2 Corinthians 8:2-4.
2. The Lord had commanded Elijah to do as He had said, and so he was following the Lord’s instructions.
4. She followed God’s direction (see verse 9). She followed Elijah’s instruction from the Lord as well. She took care of the needs of God’s prophet first. She trusted God would meet her needs. She had to deny herself and trust God.