Going Deeper

10.26 - 10.31.2020

We want to help you "Go Deeper" by moving Christ a little closer to the center of your life every day. The following resources are provided to help connect the weekly message to your every day life and reveal God's desire to be in relationship with you.


Questions?

Pastor Jim Hoffman

816.523.6788

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  • SCRIPTURE

    • Deuteronomy 12:1-12

    • Micah 6:6-8

    • Malachi 3:7-12

    • Acts 2:42-7, 4:32-35

    • 2 Corinthians 8:16-9:15

  • REFLECTION

    My great-grandparents lived in a small farming community south of Kansas City.  They were people of simple means.  They finally got indoor plumbing when their three children bought them a mobile home.  It replaced the farm house that was pulled down with the aid of their John Deere.  My great grandmother did not work outside the home.  My great grandfather contracted with members of the community to haul anything from livestock to building materials for them.  Often he would barter in trade for something or tell them to pay him when they had the money.  Neither of them had an accounting degree or a small business background; just a head for who owed what and trust that they were good for it.

     

    Because my great grandparents trusted others, they proved to be trustworthy.  I recall times where I would go with my great grandmother to Jennings market, the locally owned grocery store, and they would put her food on a tab to be paid off later.  I remember going with my great grandmother to the Co-op office to pay her electric or water bill.  It didn’t dawn on me then that she was negotiating with them because she could not pay the bill in full.  But eventually an account would settle up and they would settle up their accounts. 

     

    Inevitably, Sunday would come and my great grandmother would take us to church with her.  Her small Nazarene church routinely rotated pastors, a lot like Methodists used to do.  I later learned that her pastors were generally students from the Nazarene seminary in Kansas City.  They were just starting out and learning the ropes.  One of ropes they seldom forgot, was to take an offering during worship.  My great grandmother made sure that we always had a quarter or two to give.  Out of her lack of abundance she shared so that we might grow to understand the blessing of generosity.  Twenty-five or fifty cents doesn’t sound like much today, but in the 1960’s that gift from scarcity meant a can of vegetables or a head of lettuce.  It was a lot – it was extravagant generosity left in the hands of a small kid who didn’t really know any better.  It’s possible that God still leaves extravagantly generous gifts in our hands; the difference being, we probably know better. 

     

    I invite you to take time and read each of the scriptures above as you move to reflect on the questions below.  Take a moment to ponder the blessings that God has lavished upon you and what you’ve done with them.  Recount the ways you have practiced extravagant generosity and the ways in which you might continue to do so.  Lastly, I pray that God bless the reading of God’s Word and the meditations of your heart.

  • QUESTIONS

    Head:

    • What have you been taught about tithing and giving of offerings?
    • Where you taught that a tithe was 10% and offerings something beyond the tithe?  Or where you taught something different?
    • What was the attitude that you were taught regarding generosity?  Duty, responsibility, the thing good people do, an act of love toward God, or a combination thereof?

     

    Heart:

    • With COVID weariness pressing in, what are you beginning to feel inside?  Is scarcity taking over?  Is fear of an unknown future settling in?  Are you becoming anxious or more anxious?
    • What are you reading that helps you to remember how blessed you are? 
    • When you pray, are you asking God to create in you a generous heart?  Why or why not?

     

    Hand:

    • Are you teaching someone to be extravagantly generous?  Who is it and how are you teaching them? 
    • If you are not teaching someone to be generous, is there a particular reason why?
    • Of all the values that you would like to share with others, where does generosity rank?  In what ways, are you living into sharing this value?

  • PRAYER

    Depending upon where you sense God speaking to you, here are two prayers for you to consider as you close your time of devotion.  One is a confession, the other is the doxology.

     

    Merciful God, I confess that I have not loved you with my whole heart.  I have failed to be a part of your obedient church.  I have not done your will, I have broken your law, I have rebelled against your love, I have not loved my neighbors, and I have not heard the cry of the needy.  Forgive me, I pray.  Free me for joyful obedience, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

     

    Praise God from whom all blessings flow,

    Praise Him all creatures here below.

    Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts.

    Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

    Amen.