Huddles: October 9, 2019

Rescued to a Kingdom: Must be Generous

Basic Instructions

Below is the plan for you to follow as you lead out this study. At the end of this post, we have attached the full curriculum that includes some very helpful Bible background and commentary to help you as you prepare to lead. Our prayer for you is that the Lord will bring this Scripture to life in your own life and that your leading will be an overflow from that! Let us know if you have any questions.

The Lead-In

  • Set-Up: Prepare a way to show the following YouTube video
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64oq7grVNVs.

FIRST, explain to students that you’re going to watch a video about a stylist who does something pretty cool on his day off. Then, play the video.

THEN, lead students in a short discussion about what they just saw. Ask:

  • What do you think about what this guy is doing? How does it make you feel?
    • Answers will vary.
  • Why did Bustos say that he didn’t dress up when he went out to cut hair?
    • Answer: Because he didn’t want to show off or show up any of the people he met on the streets.
  • What is Bustos’ motivation for doing what he does?
    • Answer: He says that he wants to inspire others to be generous with their talents as well.
  • So, here’s a question: does it matter what his motivation is? What if he did it so that people would praise him and talk about how awesome he is?
    • Answers will vary. Allow the discussion to go as it will. Don’t worry about providing a “right” answer.

 

FINALLY, explain to students that Jesus actually had something to say about this very thing. Say something like:

  • This week we continue to look at what it means to be rescued to God’s Kingdom. Remember, when we come to faith in Christ, we become citizens in God’s Kingdom. And, as we’ve discussed, there are expectations for how we must see ourselves and others. In this lesson, we’re going to learn about what it means to be generous. But, more importantly, we’re going to see what Jesus said about the motivation for our generosity.

 

Digging In

Take a moment and review what we have covered so far.

Lesson 1: No love for anger

-We learned that we are to put off anger and put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness, and love

Lesson 2: No place for lust

-We learned that lust is just as bad as adultery. We addressed the fact that it is not merely about not committing adultery, but that the sin starts in the heart.

Lesson 3: No heart for retaliation

-We learned that instead of hurting someone in return when we’ve been hurt or wronged, we are to replace the desire to retaliate with the choice to love.

Lesson 4: Love your enemies

-We learned that loving our enemies is a reflection of the gospel because we were once enemies of God. Yet He sent His son to die on the cross so that we may be reconciled to God. We must join God in loving our enemies as well.

 

THEN, ask:

  • What is a recent act of kindness or generosity that has been done for you?
    • Answers will vary.
  • How did it make you feel?
    • Answers will vary.
  • What actions did you take as a result?
    • Answers will vary. Hopefully, students were encouraged to reach out to others in kindness and generosity as a result.

If time permits, be sure to share your own illustrations before reading the Scripture passage.

NEXT, instruct students to turn to Matthew 6. While they are finding it, provide some context for the passage. Explain in your own words that generosity is a concept that runs throughout Scripture. Yet, even if one is generous, if he or she does it to be seen or looked upon favorably by others, that this doesn’t hit the mark. The issue Jesus is dealing with in this passage is motive.

THEN, lead students in a short discussion. Ask:

  • What is righteousness? (Matthew 6:1)
    • Answers may vary. Never assume even your “church kids” can rightly define Christian concepts the Bible uses frequently. Merriam-Webster defines righteous as “acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin.”
  • Can you think of an illustration where someone does something “righteous” but does it for the wrong reason?
    • Answers may vary. If students struggle to come up with their own illustrations, share a couple of examples to make sure they understand. For example, maybe a teenager has been very generous with giving of his time to family members. He helped his mom with the dishes. He assisted his dad in moving boxes from the attic. He even helped his brother with his math homework. Looks good! But, the guy’s true motivation was that he hoped his parents would give him money to go to the movies this weekend.

Explain that God knows when we’re looking for the approval and recognition of others for our deeds. Remind students that we shouldn’t seek to be significant in the eyes of others, but only in the eyes of God. There are great limitations to what other human beings can offer in response to watching our acts of generosity. Explain that we may even stir up envy and jealousy in others when trying to show how “generous” we are. Say something like:

  • Is it possible for your left hand to not know what your right hand is doing? (Matthew 6:3)
    • Answer: No.
  • So what was Jesus saying here? 
    • Answer: The point Jesus is overemphasizing is that your actions should be done as if they were in secret. We should care so little about what others think about us that we would be willing to be generous even if we were the only ones who were aware of it.

NEXT, read or have a student read James 2:14-17. Stress the difference between a “works-based faith” and genuine faith that naturally produces works. Explain that we’re not saved because we do good deeds, but good deeds should flow from those who are saved. Then, lead students in a brief discussion. Ask:

  • What types of needs do you see around you?
    • Answers will vary. James is specifically addressing the basic needs of food and clothing in this passage, but there are many other needs.
  • Do you know someone in need that you have the ability to help?
    • Answer: Likely yes. Chances are that there are many, even in your area, who are without basic needs. There are certainly millions of people around the world that have to fight for survival each day. Clean water, sufficient clothing, housing, ample food . . . these are all luxuries many of us take for granted.
  • Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the many opportunities to help around you? What overwhelms you?
    • Answers will vary. In a day where social media alerts us to natural disasters and other crises that charitable organizations immediately establish fund accounts that we can assist directly from our smartphones, it can present a dilemma of where to give. It is likely that even your church throughout any given year presents several mission opportunities to give toward. Some become so overwhelmed by the number of people in need that the significance of helping even one cause or one person gets lost.

 

FINALLY, remind students that those who are in Christ have been rescued to God’s Kingdom. Say something like:

  • God calls us to be generous. We cannot help everyone, but that should never prevent us from helping those God puts in our path that we can help. We also must strive to always help with the right motive. We give to others because God gave His Son for us. We seek to please God rather than impress others around us.

Ask if there are any questions, then transition into The Last Word.

The Wrap Up

FIRST, explain that all of this talk about generosity might seem far-fetched for some students in the room. After all, they may not have much money for themselves, much less any to give to other people. But, help them see that there is much more to being generous than just giving money.

Ask the question “What do I have to give?” Then, lead students in a discussion to brainstorm a list of “things” they have to give. Some answers might include:

  • Their money
  • Their time
  • Their talents
  • Their compassion (Being generous in our true concern for others is a sure sign of a Christ-follower)
  • Their presence (Sometimes simply being with people is a huge way to show generosity)

THEN, when students have finished creating this list, ask the following questions:

  • So, what barriers in our lives keep us from actually being generous in these areas?
    • Answers will vary. To keep the discussion going, you may choose to actually go down the list of things you have on the board and ask the question for each of them specifically.
  • The bigger question is: what are you willing to do to tear down these barriers and engage in being generous to others?
    • It’s OK if students don’t have a real answer to this question. The challenge is for them to take it with them and think about it over the next few days.

FINALLY, encourage students to jot the list down on a sheet of paper. Challenge students to think of ways they can practice generosity this week (without anyone else knowing about it.) Encourage students to think big and give lavishly!! Remind them that, after all, God gave His Son. He is our example. His love is our motivation.

 

Make sure there are no closing thoughts, and then close in prayer.


Click here to access the full study!