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This Week’s Bible Readings Oct. 11 – 17
Title: “The Cost of Encountering God ”
Texts: Leviticus 1-7; Luke 9; 18; Mark 12; Ac. 2, 4
In a Nutshell:God has always shown that it takes sacrifice to worship Him properly. We honor him appropriately when we give the first and the best. If we only give the leftovers, it is not worship.
ICE BREAKER: Remember a time when you responded with a glad and generous heart. Maybe a VBS where you emptied out your piggy bank to help a missionary, or wrote an extravagant check to help the Lord's work, or committed a significant amount of time to serve in a ministry you are passionate about?
WINDOWS IN THE WORD
- Skim through Leviticus 1-7 and notice some of the repeated words about what we are to bring to the Lord in worship.
- How difficult is it to give your best, an animal without defect, or the finest flour? To be burned (wasted?) in the fire. Have you ever felt like your were throwing money way when you were putting money in the offering?
- Have you read through the old testament sacrifice requirements and thought, "I am so glad we don't have to do that anymore." Discuss why we say that.
WINDOWS INTO MY HEART
- When we read the New Testament, we see Jesus asking for much more than a tithe. Read Luke 18:18-25; Luke 9:23-25; Mark 12:41-44; Acts 2:44-45;4:32-35.
- Do you see yourself in any of those stories? Have you encountered God in such a way that you love Him and other believers to the point of sacrificial giving?
- Maybe instead of "giving till it hurts" we should "give until we worship." Do we give our first and best from a heart of worship? What would that look like for you?
WINDOWS TO THE WORLD
- If we gave and shared in one another's needs, how would that change the reputation of the church in the community? We tend to place limits on what we are willing to give up so that we feel secure and safe.
WHAT I SEE
- Will you sacrifice with joy and worship God as you give and serve this year?
- Will you cheerfully give with a glad heart when you see a need that you can fill?
- Ask "Do I trust God enough to give sacrificially in my offerings of money, time and talents?" And if not, why not? What would our ministry and missions budget look like if we gave not according to our comfort, but according to the need. Would the nursery, children's and youth ministry ever lack for volunteers? Would the communion and shut-in ministry ever have to beg?