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September 13, 2020 | Doug Sauder
Watch our most recent mid-week message here.
Thanks for joining us this weekend as we kicked off "This Is Our Story," a special three-week series exploring what it means to be generous like Jesus and how we can bring light and hope into a world that is in desperate need of both through Vision 2023. In this first message, Pastor Doug shared about the generosity of God, how it changes our lives, and how it fuels our own generosity.
Dive deeper into this teaching on your own, with your family, or in your online group! Watch the video below to see a recap of this weekend’s teaching. You can also scroll down to check out expanded notes and summaries from the teaching, small group questions, and get informed on some of the great resources available to you.
To watch the message in its entirety, click here.
IN YOUR GROUPS . . .
Let’s recap some of the key discussion points from Pastor Doug’s message and discuss!
Key Discussion Point: What does generosity look like? How can we understand what it means to be generous? How do we know if we’re living a life of extravagant generosity? Well, as with all good things in life, we need only to look to the Lord. If we want to understand what it means to live a lifestyle of generosity every single day, our best bet is to open the Word to discover the qualities and characteristics that make God so generous.
So . . . what is God like? The Bible tells us He is kind (Titus 3:4–5), merciful and compassionate (Exodus 34:6), forgiving (Ephesians 4:32; Isaiah 43:25), loving (1 John 4:7–21), empathetic (Hebrews 4:15), and generous (1 John 3:1; John 3:16; Colossians 1:19; Ephesians 1:3–9; Romans 8:32; James 1:17). And the greatest evidence of every single one of these qualities—the proof of His boundless generosity—is Jesus! God gave us everything heaven had in ONE person! And as Christians, everything we do is a response to what God did first! Our entire lives are a response to the generosity of Jesus as His love touches our hearts and transforms our lives.
Question 1: In what ways can we as Christians respond to the generosity of God through the way we live?
Key Discussion Point: Jesus came to teach us about the gospel of the kingdom of God. In the Sermon on the Mount, He gave us the way Christians should see the world. He taught on humility, meekness, generosity with love, forgiveness, being a peacemaker, judging others, prayer, and loving one’s enemies. This is not how the world works, but Jesus turned the logic of the world on its head.
Question 1: Why is the gospel message and the way of the kingdom of God so contrary to how the world operates?
Question 2: How have you seen kingdom living impact others and draw them to the gospel? How are you living with a kingdom mindset?
Key Discussion Point: In Romans 12:2 (NIV), Paul instructs us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” As we become more like Jesus, as our hearts, minds, character, and will begin to resemble Him, this journey of spiritual formation will transform us from takers to givers, from consumers to contributors. And this process involves our heads (What is God like? What is His vision for my life?), hearts (Who am I becoming? What do I value? Where is my life aimed?), and hands (How do I get to where God has called me? What am I doing?).
Question 1: What does it mean to be generous like Jesus?
Question 2: What are some spiritual formation habits that have helped you in your journey to become more like Jesus?
Key Discussion Point: Toward the end of his message, Pastor Doug encouraged us, saying, “Don’t let God’s generosity end with you.” When our head, hearts, and hands are all working together, we can experience true whole-life generosity. This means that in every area, we’re pouring out into the world and into the lives of others the love, kindness, mercy, compassion, grace, forgiveness, empathy, and generosity that God has shown us. And our generous lifestyle will impact not only those we serve, love, and act generously towards, but it will also spur people on toward love and good works (Hebrews 10:24) and to live generously themselves.
Question 1: What’s one thing you can do this week to be more generous to the people around you?
WALK IT OUT
Ponder: When was the last time you just reflected on or received the fullness of God’s generosity toward you?
Practice: If you haven’t already done so, join in on our churchwide 21 days of prayer and advocacy! To get all the details, visit CalvaryFTL.org/ThisIsOurStory.
Pray: This week, pray and thank the Lord for His immeasurable generosity. Thank Him for the greatest act of generosity the world has ever known: the sending of His son, Jesus, to die for our sins and give us the right to be called children of God (John 1:12). And ask Him to help you reflect His heart of generosity through your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to mold your heart and mind daily to be more like Jesus. And pray for those whom you encounter this week, that God would present you with opportunities to display His generosity.
QUESTIONS FOR FAMILIES
Parents, here are a few questions to go over with your kids around the dinner table or during dedicated family times.
1. How is God generous to you? Do you think God's generosity to you should make you generous to other people? Why do you think so?
2. Why is the message of salvation and the way God asks us to live our lives so different from how the world wants us to live?
3. Do you believe if we live our lives more like Jesus we can encourage people to know His Word more? How are you living to be more like Jesus?
4. What does it mean to be giving like Jesus?
5. What are some choices you have made daily to live more like Jesus?
6. What is one thing you can do this week to be kind or giving to the people around you?
21 DAYS OF PRAYER AND ADVOCACY
Imagine what God could do through us if we all said YES to living generously and praying, fighting, and advocating for the people who have the most need in our cities. Throughout our Vision series weeks, we’ll be taking part in a 21-day journey of prayer and advocacy, and we’d love for you to join us! Even though we began last week, you can still take part in the last two weeks of the challenge and make a difference in the lives of so many around you and beyond.
To get all the details, click here.
A LOOK AHEAD
This week, we’ll continue to hold services ONLINE and in person (weekends only) as most of our campuses resume services in the sanctuary! To reserve a spot at your campus, click here.
Join us online this Wednesday for week two of our fall classes! In our sanctuary class series, we’ll continue our conversation around racism and reconciliation with the second part of Dr. Tony Evans’ Oneness Embraced. To get in on another class, such as our parenting classes, faith and finances, Calvary Women’s Lead class, and more, check out our classes page.
Then on the weekend, we’ll continue our series “This Is Our Story” with a special message about how generosity brings joy. Hear from Pastor Doug, or your campus pastor, as we explore what whole-life generosity is all about and what it looks like practically to be generous like Jesus.
We look forward to spending another awesome week with you!
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