Second Corinthians 8:9 tells us, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty you might become rich.” Jesus gives us a radical infusion of grace. He sets us free to stop living self-protected and self-centered lives and to instead live a life of generosity that flows from his own abundance.
He shares with us the abundance of the Trinity. The Father, Son and Spirit live in an economy of abundance. There is always enough with God and there always will be enough. He gives to us abundantly and we are radically transformed by it.
Think of the Apostle Paul, God’s generous outpouring of grace radically changed him. He went from living a life of self-protection to one of self-sacrifice. He lived generously with his life because God was generous with him. That lavish grace freed him to love like Jesus, and it sets us free to be generous people who love, bless, and heal our own communities in the name of Jesus.
We were created to reflect God and his way of being. If he is never self-centered but always other-centered and self-giving. What does this mean for us? In what ways do you reflect God well in these areas? In what areas do you see the need to be more like God?
2. “What if we found life not in trying to get everything we want but in giving away everything we have? What if life is in generosity because God is a God of generosity? What if we were made to live fully when we live in his generosity?” (92). These are questions asked in this chapter. What is your response?
3. This chapter quotes the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 8:9 (see p. 92). Paul understood the radical infusion of grace from God to his beloved, because Paul experienced that grace. When God met him on the road to Damascus, Paul’s paradigm shifted. He no longer lived a life of self-protection but one marked by amazing generosity. Later in 2 Corinthians 12:15 Paul writes “I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well.” He even realizes that though he loves them more, they seem to love him less. But this doesn’t matter to Paul, because he is not spending himself in order to gain anything; he is giving himself out of his gratitude for God’s abundant generosity and love. Do you think God desires this kind of paradigm shift for all of his beloved children? Describe one way that shift would change the way you live.
4. We can live generous lives because God has been generous with us. We live a generous life out of the abundance of Christ. How have you experienced the generosity of the Father, Son, and Spirit? Where has God placed people in your life to extend his generosity to you in tangible acts of grace and kindness that deeply met your needs?