Weekend Bible Study
Theme of the week: Make Your Talents Count
Saturday, April 14, 2012
God has given each one of us a unique combination of gifts and passions to be used for the good of others. As the parable of the talents discussed in this week’s readings revealed, we have a choice to invest those gifts and reap a rich return or hoard them to ourselves to our own detriment. In this week’s Key Study Passage, Paul encourages generosity. After all, our generosity flows from the generous heart of God and will be bountifully rewarded by him.
Key Study Passage:
2 Corinthians 9:6-15
- Why do you think Paul gives the church the option whether or not to give rather than requiring it?
- Do you think it’s okay to expect a blessing when you give? (See vv. 8-11.)
- List and then reflect on the motivations for generosity from this passage.
- Take a mental inventory of your gifts, talents, and resources. Are you cheerfully using each to the best of your ability and for the betterment of those around you and the advancement of God’s kingdom? Are there any areas where growth is needed?
- If question 4 stirred your heart, commit to praying for and planning to make better use of what God has given you.
Spend Time in Prayer: Ask God to give you a cheerful, giving heart that looks to the needs of others ahead of your own; ask him to reveal to you the gifts that he’s given you and help you invest your talents well.
2 Corinthians 9:6-15
6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say,
“They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”
10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.
11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.
13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. 15 Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!
Prayer for the Week
Giver of all good gifts, help me to be aware of the talents with which you have equipped me; give me a vision for ways to use them for your kingdom.
Copyright © 2012 by Christianity Today/Men of Integrity magazine.