Paying It Forward
1. Share a story about a time when you were a child and you bought or made a special gift for a parent or loved one. How did it make them feel?
2. Proverbs 10:16 (NLT): “The earnings of the godly enhance their lives, but evil people squander their money on sin.” How does this verse recommend we use our money? How do people squander their money? On Sunday, we talked about investing in eternity through investing in personal, spiritual growth. What are some practical ways we can invest in our character?
3. Proverbs 23:23 (CEV): “Invest in truth and wisdom, discipline and good sense, and don’t part with them.” When we are told to buy and hold onto truth, God is reminding us not to forsake His truth for any worldly benefit. What are some ways you have seen people abandon the truth? 2 Peter 3:18 (LB): “But grow in spiritual strength and become better acquainted with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” We are to strive to know Christ more fully to become more like Him. What routines and rhythms would help you become more like Christ?
4. Hebrews 10:24 urges us to think of ways to encourage one another with outbursts of love and good deeds. How can you do that very practically this week? When we use our resources to build relationships with other believers, it reveals we are in God’s family, promotes unity and is a witness to those who don’t yet believe. What can we do to strengthen unity? How could the way we treat fellow believers impact a non-believer?
5. Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 (MSG): “Be generous: Invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns. Don’t hoard your goods; spread them around. Be a blessing to others. This could be your last night.” What does this say about serving others? What are some practical reasons to serve today? Why is it important to allow God to use us to help those in need? How can you live this out this week? How do these actions reveal the character of God?
6. Luke 16:9 (NIV): “Use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” What eternal investment can we make with our material resources? What kind of welcome might believers who have invested in others expect to receive later in heaven? How do you think those who have led others to faith in Christ might be greeted in heaven by those they have helped save?
7. The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 9:13 (GN), “And because of the proof which this service of yours brings, many will give glory to God for your loyalty to the gospel of Christ, which you profess, and for your generosity in sharing with them and everyone else.” How do you think God views believers’ generosity to missions to spread the Good News of Christ? How have you spread the Good News in your community through generosity and sharing? What is God nudging you to do?
8. Proverbs 3:9 (LB) declares: “Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of your income and he will fill your barns…and overflow your barrels.” How does giving God a tenth of your income increase your dependence on Him? How does this show the importance God has in your life? God specifically says that He wants the first part of your income. Why do you think He asks that you pay Him first? Would a God who accepts a few scraps tossed at the end of the month be worth serving?