We live in a consumer culture where people are trying to get as much stuff as they can for themselves. People will cut any corners they have to in order to get the best house, the biggest toy or the fullest bank account. People who joyfully share what God has given them with others are an anomaly. They stand out from our culture that is more concerned with how much it can take, not what it can give. Believers who have come to understand how much they’ve been given joyfully give what they have in order to point others back to our generous God.
MEMORY VERSE: “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” PROVERBS 11:25 NLT
After God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, God told them to build him a tabernacle, basically a church that can be packed up and moved. God gave the people very specific instructions on what he wanted his tabernacle to be built with and look like. Where were they going to get all this stuff? Well, while they were leaving Egypt, the Egyptians had given them a wealth of gold, fabric, oil and jewels, exactly the kind of things that were needed for this building project. Because they had seen God’s amazing generosity of freeing them from Egypt, the people of Israel freely and joyfully gave, not only the physical supplies they needed to build the tabernacle, but also their time and talents to make everything just like God had instructed.
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Open your Bible with your kids and see how many stories you can find where people show generosity. Read a few of those stories and discuss what you learn about God’s generosity. Examples: Generous widow in Mark 12:41-44, Generous early Church in Acts 2:42-47.
Be watchful of your kids this week and make a mental note of when you see them living or acting generously. Find some time with each of your kids and share with them what you saw and how encouraged you were.
Take time to tell your kids stories of when you have seen God’s generosity through other people. Explain how it helped you to see who God is when others were generous to you. Be encouraged and encourage your kids that we really can point others to God even in simple acts of generosity.
Memorize Ephesians 5:1 with your kids. This will help to remind them and you how we are called to imitate God. As a challenge for your older kids you can memorize 5:1-2.
Thank God for the examples of generous people in your life. Ask Him to give you a heart that is willing and eager to share whatever He has given you. Thank Him for the opportunities He gives you to be generous and show the world how He is generous with us.
Next week we will continue looking at the character trait of GENEROSITY for the month of November. We will see examples of the ways Jesus expects us to give, which is from the heart, not for the show.
Image via Flickr Creative Commons