“ThanksLIVING: This Can’t be Right”

ThanksLIVING: Making gratitude my lifestyle
Week 2: This Can’t Be Right…
Key Points:
– ThanksLIVING sees the gift but focuses on the giver.
– ThanksLIVING likes to receive but loves to give.
– Gratitude is proportional to Generosity.
– Generosity in the bible is giving above & beyond the tithe.
Tithing thankfully is a gift I give myself.
Tithing thankfully frees me from the tyranny of scarcity.
Tithing thankfully helps me see how much I receive.

I can’t force gratitude, but I can practice tithing.

Bottom Line: I’ll only be truly grateful if I’m tithing thankfully.
Further Conversation
1. Share about a favorite Christmas gift you gave to someone else?
2. Read Acts 4:32-37. What do you think it was like being a part of this early church? Why is generosity so inspiring?
3. What is your reaction to generosity being defined in the bible as giving that is above & beyond a tithe?
4. Read Psalm 50:10-12 What does God need? Why then, do you think God commands tithing thankfully?
5. What are some natural fears we might have about giving 10% off the top (first)? What do you think is the source of these fears?
6. I can’t force gratitude, but I can practice tithing. What does this statement mean to you? Have you seen tithing create gratitude?
7. How would you describe your degree of generosity? Do you tithe “off the top” or give from what’s left over? How do you think this effects your gratefulness? How might it reflect your faith?

Daily Devotions: Go Deeper this Week
Monday – 2 Corinthians 8:1-9
How would you describe your attitude towards financial giving? Many people don’t trust a church that talks money. A famous televangelist recently tried to convince people he needed enough money to buy a private jet. I guess we’ve earned people’s distrust. Yet Paul talks money in a different tone. Through giving, great opportunities for sharing God’s love become available. The biggest blessing comes for the giver. The people of Macedonia were poor, but gave abundantly. What is your attitude towards giving? Do you give your first or the left-overs?
Pray: Heavenly Father, help me trust you more and know your joy better through my eagerness to give!
Tuesday – 1 Timothy 5:1-16
Can our love for people hurt them? Paul’s instruction to Timothy challenges the notion of a free handout…even for the elderly among us. Instead, the elderly are called to mentor and teach, serve and help. All people are instructed to work together to accomplish the goal of Christ. Helping people requires guiding them to not only serve themselves, but become servants to others. How are you helping? Who are you loving?
Pray: Holy God, guide me to those I can help, love, and lead. Help me love rightly.
Wednesday – Acts 5:1-11
Okay, this is down right scary. Can you imagine if this took place in our churches today? How many funerals would we be hosting? The issue of this story isn’t money, but honesty. We all want to look good and be pleasing. These two persons wanted others to be impressed with their love of God. But in lying, they show their lack of love for God. How is your honesty? Do you put on a “church smile?” Are you honest with yourself?
Pray: Holy Spirit, help me love you and others by being honest with you, myself, and them.
Thursday – Romans 12:1-13
Be different! We value individuality today. We customize our cars, homes, phones, etc all to emphasize our unique taste. As the Burger King slogan used to say, “Have it your way!” Paul urges the Romans to be different than the culture around them. He still emphasizes their unique gifts. Yet, our uniqueness should come from our reflection of Christ, how we love, and how we serve. How is your difference showing the love of Jesus?
Pray: LORD Jesus, may all my life worship you as my uniqueness in you shares you with our world.
Friday – Luke 19:11-28
What has God entrusted to you? Every moment of time, every cent of our net worth, every relationship we share is a valuable gift entrusted to us by God. We don’t own anything. Instead, we are given the responsibility to manage these gifts so that they honor the owner. Looking at this passage, what are your “talents”? How are you investing them to benefit Jesus? How can you take a next step in trust, faith, and responsibility today?
Pray: Almighty God, everything I have is from you and for you. Help me manage your possessions well.
Saturday – Matthew 5:13-16
Light and salt are hard to deny. Light always shines in the darkness. Salt always produces saltiness. The only way to avoid the taste of salt is to not use it. The only way to avoid light is to cover it. We are called to be light and salt. Is your light shining brightly, and are people noticing? Is you salt affecting the taste of life for others? Its scary to stand out and have people take notice of you. Yet, if we are following Jesus, it is Jesus they will sense. May you shine brightly!
Pray: Loving God, for loves sake you made me and saved me. For loves sake, I will partner with you!