The Point: Use what you have to invest in the lives of others.
- Get Into the Study
- Study the Bible
- Additional Questions
- Member Extra
- Tips for Leading Bible Study Groups
Get Into the Study
Use the following information to introduce Question #1.
Begin by sharing this news story:
A drunk driver killed Katelyn Zimmerman, a 14-year-old from Florida, this past March. But her heart continues to beat because Katelyn was an organ donor. Albert Jeffries IV (known as Alj), who suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy (his heart struggles to pump blood), received Katelyn’s heart. Recently Katelyn’s family had the opportunity to listen to her heart beating inside Albert. “It put us at peace knowing that Katelyn’s heart is still beating even though it’s not in her,” said her father, Shawn Zimmerman. “Alj was near death,” said his mother, Tina Turner. He had waited 99 days to receive a donor heart. “The month Katelyn died was the year Alj was reborn,” said his mother. Turner explains that her family is now working to pay the Zimmerman’s kindness forward by raising awareness for organ donation. “We want everyone to see this unity and this selfless thing they did for our family. That’s love,” said Turner.
Say: The Zimmermans showed incredible generosity toward others at a terribly sad time for their own family.
Direct attention to Question #1 (“What’s the most generous act you’ve witnessed?”) and call for the group to share their responses.
Say: Today we’ll look to scriptures in Proverbs and explore what it means to invest in the lives of others.
Information for this post was gleaned from here:
— Donna McKinney wrote this Leader Extra. Donna is retired from a career with the federal government of the United States. She is a veteran Bible study group leader living in North Carolina.
Study the Bible
Use the following as an optional activity in the Proverbs 11:23-26 section. To increase participation, divide your group members into subgroups of three or four for the discussion questions.
Because we live in a world of constant comparison (social media at our finger tips), greed is a difficult sin to detect. We can almost always point to someone who seems greedier than we are: they have more money, a bigger house, a newer car and nicer clothes. “I don’t have those things so there’s no way I could be greedy.” Greed is a matter of the heart, not a reflection of resources. One could be very poor by American standards and have an intense struggle with greed. A lack of resources fools us into believing we cannot be generous. Consider these words:
“You don’t have to be rich to be generous. You have to be generous to be generous.”¹ Dr. Johnny Hunt, Senior Pastor FBC Woodstock in Woodstock, GA, former Southern Baptist Convention President
- What does this mean?
- Why do we believe we must be rich in order to be generous?
- Which one of Jesus’ parables highlights this truth? (The Widow’s Mite) What can we learn from that example?
Allow volunteers to share their group’s responses to these questions. Then, encourage group members to consider the following application ideas individually.
Fill in the blanks below with a response appropriate for yourself. Consider acting upon one of them this week or in the months to come:
- I cannot give (sum of money) right now, but I can give (sum of money).
- I cannot buy (number) of meals for someone in need, but I can buy (number).
- I cannot donate (amount) of clothes/diapers for single-moms, but I can donate (amount).
- I cannot do without (something you really need) this week, but I can do without (something you don’t need, but get), and find a generous way to use that extra cash.
— Emily Jennings wrote this Leader Extra. Emily is wife to Brian and Mommy to her three sweet boys. She loves serving at FBC, Woodstock, Georgia, where her husband is Middle School Pastor. Find her on Twitter: @emilyejennings.
- Is generosity more related to our wallets or our hearts? Explain.
- When do you love to give?
- What’s the most generous act you’ve ever witnessed?
- When have you benefited from someone else’s generosity?
- Think about the best gift you ever received. What made it such a great gift?
- How is our generosity impacted when we fully realize that all we have belongs to God, not us?
- How have you personally witnessed the truth of these verses?
- Are you more or less generous now than you were as a child?
- What circumstances often move you to generosity?
- Practically speaking, how can we reflect God’s generosity to the world?
- What’s the relationship between giving and faith?
- What does Christian generosity say to the world about God?
- What are specific ways you can honor God with your money?
- What is the folly of trusting in our riches? (v. 28)
- What do you hoard? What would happen if you gave it all away?
- Why is it often easier to trust in riches than to trust in God?
- What are some ways that you can use your money to do good?
- What is God aiming to produce in our hearts, by challenging us with this idea of generous giving?
Share the following with your group members as either a devotional before the group study or as a follow-up devotional: