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This is the final part of our Grateful & Generous series, looking at how we can be more grateful and generous with our money.

  • What have you heard Christians say about being generous with money? (Feel free to share the good, the bad and the ugly!)

Paul wrote about generosity to the church in Corinth (twice), specifically about an appeal for money to send to the struggling church in Jerusalem.

Read 1 Corinthians 16:1-4

  • What practical advice does Paul give here about giving money?

  • Why should they set money aside each Sunday? What does this show about generosity with money?

The following year Paul wrote again to the church in Corinth about the same collection.

Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-7

  • One of the key words in these verses is the word 'grace'. What do you think Paul means by that word here?

    • How might God's grace have made the Macedonians generous?

    • How did God's grace give the Corinthians "faith, speech, knowledge, earnestness and love" - and hopefully also the grace of giving?

  • Do you feel that God has given you the kind of grace that makes you generous in this way? Why/why not? How could you grow in this area?

Read 2 Corinthians 8:8-15

  • How does Paul up the ante here in his appeal to the Corinthians to be generous toward the church in Jerusalem?

    • How do you feel about his tactics here?

  • Consider some of the quotable verses in this section. Which of these stands out to you the most:

    • v.9

    • v.12

    • v.13

    • v.14-15

2 Corinthians 8:16-24 details the processes for sending the money in a transparent, safe, credible way. You can read this section if you like, or skip to the next chapter.

Read 2 Corinthians 9:1-15

  • What sort of 'world-view' is Paul describing here as underpinning generosity? [1] (Read Proverbs 22:9a, Psalm 112:9a & Isaiah 55:10 for the Old Testament verses Paul quotes in building up his vision.)

  • What is the importance here of eagerness, enthusiasm, willingness, cheerfulness, etc. in this section?

    • How do these things help us to be generous in a good way?

    • And what could happen if you were giving without these attitudes?

  • How have you been challenged and grown in your gratefulness or generosity in this series this month?

  • How do we go about having our minds changed to mirror this world-view, and our hearts changed to take on these attitudes more deeply? Where do we go to access that, so that we can give freely and generously?

  • Pray for one another that God would continue teaching and transforming us by His Spirit to become more grateful and more generous.

[1] Theologian Tom Wright summarises it this way:

What Paul is urging them to do is to think of themselves, as it were, this way round, and to discover that, if they realize they are characters in the great drama which is going forwards, then the generosity he is urging will come naturally. In the normal and healthy Christian life, everything proceeds from God’s generosity, and everything returns to God in thanksgiving (verse 12; compare 1:11 and 4:15). Grace, generosity and gratitude: these are not optional extras of Christian living, but are the very heart of it all.

N.T. Wright, 2 Corinthians For Everyone, p.103.


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