The Poor Widow: Faith That Gives
The Point: Your giving reflects your faith and trust in Christ.
Get Into the Study
Use the following story to launch into today’s session.
College student Rob was down to his last $20. He knew that it was his tithe, but if he gave it at church that morning, he wouldn’t have any money for food or gas that week. This was a test of his faith…and his obedience. Would he pass the test?
Rob placed his $20 in the offering that morning. Then things seemed to go from bad to worse. At his next stop after church, a teenage girl dented his car in the parking lot!
The girl called her father, and he came to inspect the damage. The father said, “Would you take $200 for the damage to your car?”
“Would I??” Rob jumped at the offer … and wasn’t worried about the dent in his old car. The Lord had provided ten times the amount that he had tithed that morning! God demonstrated his faithfulness to provide, and Rob passed this test of his faith and obedience.
Ask Question #1.
Toni Sanders provides technical support and training and is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She and her husband lead a senior adult Bible study group in Orlando, Florida.
Study the Bible (Optional Activity)
After reading Luke 12:13-15, review Forbes list of “The World’s Billionaires.” Call attention to some of the familiar names and how much they are “worth.” Call attention to Luke 12:13-15, and notice Jesus’ warning against greed. Say: “How can we guard against greed and be focused on priorities pleasing to God?” (from page 57 of both the Senior Adult Leader Guide and the KJV Adult Leader Guide).
Live It Out
Use the following story as you conclude the session.
National Geographic recently released the findings of a Facebook reader poll, where the question was asked, “If you could dedicate your life to saving one species, which would you choose?” Out of 14,000 responses, the most common answer was bees, with 1,789 votes which far surpassed the runner up, elephants, with 799 votes. National Geographic included a follow-up comment on the post, “To clarify, we didn’t ask what one species ‘deserves’ to be saved, but which one you would want to spend your lifetime saving!” When voting for a species, some commenters referenced the importance of bees to our ecosystem. Others chose elephants for their intelligence and large family groups. One nurse commented on her life’s work being dedicated to saving humans.
As we look for opportunities to give, we may feel like we are faced with more options than there are species on the planet. However, we shouldn’t allow indecision to keep us from giving. God has equipped us to give in ways that reflect our faith and trust in Christ.
Ask: “How can we discern which opportunities are God-honoring? What criteria do you use with considering where to give? ”
Nikki Wilbanksis a stay-at-home mom, writer, Bible study teacher, and commercial real estate appraiser/investor. She is a graduate of Pepperdine University. She lives with her husband and two children in Murfreesboro, TN.
- Who are some of the most generous people you’ve known?
- When have you been blessed by someone’s generosity?
- What’s one of your favorite ways to give back to your community?
- Where do you see evidence of greed in the world today?
- Where should we draw the line between being greedy and having a normal desire for comfort and security?
- How does greed impact our relationship with God?
- How can we be good stewards of our earthly resources while keeping an eternal perspective?
- How can we be guilty of trying to build “bigger barns” in life?
- What are some practical steps for keeping our priorities straight?
- What truths about God are we trusting when we give generously?
- What would it look like to follow this woman’s example in today’s world?
- What does a person’s approach to giving reveal about they believe about God?
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Here’s a brief video giving you an overview of this session: Living by Faith, Session 5.