In this week's Bible Study, Tim looks at the biblical theme of Generosity.
Something happens inside of human beings in times of crisis. Our instincts for self-preservation kick in, and we begin to cultivate a scarcity mindset. It becomes very easy to focus on the well-being of ourselves and our family and forget the difficulties of others around us. We are especially prone to this behavior in times of uncertainty.
Jesus of Nazareth was no stranger to this kind of social instability. He grew up in land occupied by a foreign military, and oppressive Roman taxes made life difficult for his family and neighbors. Yet he called his followers to a very different kind of response. He taught that our obsession with self-preservation not only makes us more miserable and anxious, it actually creates more of the thing that we’re trying to avoid.
Where do you see the generosity of God in the world, your life, or the story of the Bible? What are you most grateful for?
What are you anxious about in your present situation? Reflect on God’s love and care and how it might help alleviate your anxiety.
In times of crisis, a scarcity mindset—focusing on what we don’t have—can easily cause us to cling to worldly goods. Do you experience this? What would you and others around you gain by trusting God’s generous love instead?
This passage includes a special command to the rich to be generous. While we might not be rich in wealth, we have all been given gifts that we can share with others, like our time, care, prayer, resources, etc. Reflect on what you can share specifically and with whom.
In this passage, Paul says that becoming rich is found in Jesus. What does this mean? Is Paul talking about worldly wealth or something else?
The Macedonians are presented as a positive example of a group that joyfully gave in the midst of trial and poverty. As a group, they made a huge impact. What groups can you join with to do something meaningful in this time?