DISCUSSION GUIDE WEEK 5

A Personal Connect

For God so loved the world that….He gave. The greatest acts of love involve the greatest amount of giving...resulting in what we know as “sacrifice,” or “sacrificial giving.” When I think about that, I realize that since God gave the person He valued most for us in the form of a sacrifice once and for all to cover our sins, I stand in awe at how much love this involved. Basically, God offered himself, which means that this was love in its purest form. It’s easy to TALK about our love for someone or our love for GOD. But the evidence of that love is in the resulting willingness to make a sacrifice for that person...for Your Savior. Notice, it’s the evidence of LOVE, not the evidence of GUILT. Both can look very similar. True love doesn’t force its way to receive a gift, let alone a sacrifice. It doesn’t fish for a response. True love results in giving of the highest proportions and not just of “money.” It involves everything and even EVERYONE around us that we value since nothing compares to the value of the God who embodies love.

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REFLECTION

The dictionary defines sacrifice as: Forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered to have a greater value or claim.

What are some things or people that you highly value that you may have placed MORE value on than God himself? Keep in mind, that we show how much we value and love God through how we value and love other people, especially those who also follow Christ.

STUDY

1. Read Leviticus 1:1-3. Notice in verse three that the sacrifice was to be without defect. God even makes provisions for those who could not provide the costly sacrifice (a male lamb without blemish) yet still demanded the BEST of what they could sacrificially offer. (see Leviticus 5:7 and 5:11 together). The bottom line is that God is a God who demands a sacrifice…a covering…for sin. Fortunately (we would say Graciously)…Jesus has become our sacrifice once and for all. Have someone read: Hebrews 9:26; 10:12. How does that make you feel, knowing that Christ willingly placed himself as a blameless sacrifice, since we have no ability to bring one worthy enough?

2. Have someone read Romans 8:32. God’s act of Sacrifice was ALL THE WAY, giving all He could…His very life. Why do you think we sometimes doubt God’s provision or the risk of sacrifice, knowing that God has already provided the greatest thing to us?

3. Read Romans 12:1-2 together. What does it mean to present ourselves as the sacrifice? What greater could we give than our life? If we’re willing to give our life, then everything else is EASY to offer. It has been said that offering ourselves to God boils down to two basic areas: our time and our treasure. Both are difficult to sacrifice. Both are reflections of our heart. Keep both in mind as you study the passages listed below.

4. The reality is that one of the greatest areas we often struggle to “sacrifice,” is our finances. Jesus himself said that our heart is directly tied to our treasure (See Matthew 6:21). The question is, then, what do we hold as truly valuable…as our treasure (Read Matthew 6:19) and why is it so very hard to place God first with our finances? 

 

It is important to note that we in no way intend to say that giving covers our sins, but that CHRIST has covered our sins, so that no money can buy it and so that no money is so valuable that we need to hold on to it.

Having come this far in our journey, we need to recognize that if we have offered our very lives in complete and utter devotion to Christ, who has set us free and gifted us for His work, and honestly recognize God as the owner of all things and giver of all things in our lives, no possession or investment is greater than life itself. In other words, no sacrifice is too great once we’ve surrendered our heart.

5. With this in mind, take some time to examine the type of giving in the N.T. that we hope will help shape how those who commit to calling Metro their church home, will identify with and be “MARKED” by.

 

Take a look at the following words and scriptures. Which words can be matched with the scriptures provided?

 

Proportionately—-Regularly—-Locally—-Liberally—-Cheerfully

Generously—-Anonymously—-Expectantly

I Corinthians 16:2—-II Corinthians 8:1-15—-Acts 4:32-37

I Corinthians 9:7—-Matthew 6:3—- Luke 6:38