W – The Practice of Generosity

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W – The Practice of Generosity2017-03-30T17:07:01-04:00


Generosity is the one practice that may best reflect how well we grasp the kingdom of God.  Do we have an eternal perspective or a temporal one?  Do we value people or things?  Do we see ourselves as stewards or owners?  Are we unselfish or selfish?  Are we compassionate or cold?  Do our hearts go out to the poor?  Do our hearts go out to the lost?  Perhaps you begin to see how generosity reveals a kingdom heart.  Our heavenly Father is the consummate giver and his followers should emulate his character and actions?  The virtue of generosity is most often the biggest spiritual roadblock or breakthrough people have.  Generosity is ultimately a study of our possessions and their spiritual implications.


Key Scriptures

Key Scriptures are designed to give a biblical overview of the topic in question.  They are extremely valuable for gaining an immediate general understanding of what the Bible teaches on a given subject.  Key Scriptures are the first place you should explore when starting a new subject.  They can be discussed individually, in part, or in whole.  Generic inductive Bible study questions are provided to assist you in your discussion.  Key Scriptures are also good for memorizing and reference.

God as giver

Matthew 5:45 – He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. NIV

James 1:17 – Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights. NIV

See also 1 Timothy 6:13

Generosity encouraged

Luke 6:38 – Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. NIV

Matthew 10:8 – Freely you have received, freely give. NIV

See also Romans 12:8, 2 Chronicles 8:12; & 24:10

Generosity a blessing

Proverbs 22:9 – A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor. NIV

Proverbs 28:27 – He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses. NIV

Acts 20:35 – It is more blessed to give than to receive. NIV

Giving to God

Exodus 25:2 – Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give. NIV

Proverbs 3:9 – Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops. NIV

Giving to others

Proverbs 21:13 – If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered. NIV

Matthew 5:42 – Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. NIV

See also Luke 11:41, & Galatians 2:10


Psalm 82: 3-4 – Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. NIV

Colossians 3:12 – Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. NIV

See also Psalm 41:1, Proverbs 19:17; & 25:21


Romans 12:13 – Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. NIV

Hebrews 13:2 – Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. NIV

See also 1 Peter 4:9


Luke 12:15 – Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. NIV

Ecclesiastes 5:10 – Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. NIV

1 Timothy 6:10 – For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. NIV

See also Proverbs 15:27, Jeremiah 6:13, & Ezekiel 33:31

Inductive Bible Study Questions

to be used with individual Key Scriptures

  • What is the primary point of this passage?
  • How does this passage challenge us?
  • How does this passage comfort or encourage us?
  • What does this passage teach us about God?
  • What spiritual insights are found in this passage?
  • What are the personal & spiritual implications of this text?
  • What does this passage ask or require of us?

Key Scriptures Bible Study

to be used when studying all Key Scriptures together

  • Did any of the scriptures given surprise you? Explain
  • Did any of the scriptures given confuse you? Explain
  • Did any of the scriptures given comfort or excite you?
  • How would you sum up these scriptures to another?
  • What implications do these scriptures have for our lives?
  • Which of these scriptures would you find it valuable to memorize?


God as Giver

W1 – The Greatest Gift – John 3:16

Key Words: Generosity, God, Cross, Sacrifice, Giving

  1. Do you think most people view God as someone who gives more than he demands or demands more than he gives?
  2. According to this passage, what does God give to us?
  3. Which is a greater sacrifice, to sacrifice your life for another or to sacrifice one you love more than yourself?
  4. What motivates God to send and sacrifice his Son? What is the result of this sacrifice?
  5. If God is perfect, and loves with a perfect love, and loves his Son with a perfect love, what does that say about his love for us?
  6. Is it possible to give a greater gift than what God has given us through his Son?
  7. What does this say about the nature of God?
  • Approach all scripture prayerfully open
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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W2 – God’s Gifts to Mankind – Genesis 1: 27-31

Key Words: Generosity, God’s Providence, Care, Earth Stewardship, Provision, Beauty

  1. What gifts does God give mankind in the beginning?
  2. In what ways is life itself a wonderful gift?
  3. How does God demonstrate his care for mankind in this passage?
  4. How does God establish or set up the relationship between mankind and the earth?
  5. What benefits do we have as stewards of the earth?
  6. What responsibilities do we have as stewards of the earth?
  7. How does God’s gift of the earth satisfy the needs of mankind: for food and provision, for shelter and survival, for happiness and joy, for beauty and wonder, for care and dominion?
  • Approach God’s Word with humility, honesty and teachability
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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W3 – The Source of all Blessing – Deuteronomy 8: 17-18

Key Words: Generosity, Wealth, Gratitude, Blessing, Success

  1. Do successful and wealthy people tend to be proud… explain?
  2. How and why do we neglect to honor or recognize God for the role he plays in our successes and bounty?
  3. What is the argument of this passage regarding why we should always recognize and give thanks to God for all of our successes and wealth?
  4. Is there anything we have that does not ultimately come from God: professional success, wealth, physical ability, intellect, fortitude, cunning, wisdom, relationships, professional contacts, family, or anything else you can imagine?
  5. Why is this idea offensive to some people?
  6. What are some tangible ways we should recognize God for the various blessings in our lives?
  • These questions are only suggestions, allow the Holy Spirit to be your guide
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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Generosity Encouraged

W4 – A Culture of Compassion – Deuteronomy 15: 1-11

Key Words: Generosity, Compassion, Poor, Giving, Faith

  1. Why or why does this not seem to you to be a wise way to structure a society?
  2. How does this passage instruct us to treat those who owe us debts?
  3. How does this passage instruct us to treat the poor?
  4. What should our attitude be towards these people?
  5. What is the rationale of the passage regarding why we are to be generous with such people?
  6. What happens if we are not generous as God’s people?
  7. How does the passage address the issue of the giver being taken advantage of?
  8. How does this ethic require faith in God?
  • These questions are simply a foundation for you to build upon
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W5 – Excited to Give – Exodus 35:4-9; 20-29 & Exodus 36: 2-7

Key Words: Generosity, Giving, Offerings, Sacrifice, Attitude

  1. What types of offerings were encouraged to construct the Tabernacle?
  2. In what way was everyone able to participate rather than only those of considerable wealth?
  3. How would you describe the response of the people?
  4. Knowing that all of the people had very little, for they had just been delivered from slavery, how would you describe the sacrifice of the people?
  5. What does it say about the attitude and generosity of the people that Moses had to tell them to stop giving?
  6. Considering their recent history, why may the people have been so enthusiastic towards giving to God?
  7. How generous and enthusiastic are you towards giving to God and his work?
  • Create your own study by adding and subtracting questions as needed
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W6 – Treasure in Heaven – Luke 12: 27-34

Key Words: Generosity, Eternal Treasure, Wealth, Eternity, Poor

  1. What attitude does Jesus teach we should have towards wealth and material things?
  2. Is Jesus teaching it is a sin for Christians to be rich… explain?
  3. Why is it inappropriate for us to judge Christians solely on wealth?
  4. Explain the difference between a temporal perspective and an eternal one?
  5. How and why should people seeking God’s kingdom have an eternal perspective?
  6. How do those with an eternal perspective view and relate to wealth differently than those with a temporal perspective?
  7. How do those with a kingdom or eternal perspective view the poor?
  8. How motivated should be to help the poor?
  9. What does this passage reveal regarding generosity and sacrifice in helping the poor?
  10. Given that the world is now a much bigger and overwhelming place, how can Christians today live this ethic?
  • Your questions are probably better than mine
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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W7 – Compassionate Generosity – Acts 4: 32 -37

Key Words: Generosity, Eternal Treasure, Stewardship, Giving

  1. Describe the attitude, ethic and lifestyle of the early Christians regarding wealth and possessions?
  2. Carefully read the passage… Did they forsake all of their possessions and practice total communal living, or did they share their possessions out of a spirit of stewardship and generosity… explain?
  3. Why is this distinction important?
  4. According to the first sentence of verse 34, what was the result of their generosity?
  5. What motivated the early Christians to be so giving and generous?
  6. Do Christians have this reputation today?
  7. Why should our relationship with Christ result in liberal generosity?
  • Spend time with the questions prior to leading a group or coaching time
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Generosity a Blessing

W8 – God’s Economy of Generosity – Proverbs 11: 24-28

Key Words: Generosity, World, Greed, Righteousness, Blessing

  1. How does God’s economy function different from the world’s economy?
  2. What does the passage say happens to those who are generous with others?
  3. What does the passage say happens to those who are stingy with others?
  4. Describe the attitude of the righteous towards money and generosity?
  5. Describe the attitude of the unrighteous towards money and generosity?
  6. What natural sowing and reaping principles cause enrich the lives of generous people?
  7. What supernatural principles enrich the lives of generous people?
  8. Does generosity always bring material blessing?
  9. Does generosity always bring blessing?
  • Interrogatives are keys that unlock wonderful secrets 
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W9 – Generous with God’s People – 2 Corinthians 9: 1-10

Key Words: Generosity, Offering, Giving, Joy, Blessing

  1. Paul is taking up an offering to assist the Christians in Jerusalem (see Romans 15:26), what other churches are involved in this offering?
  2. What is Paul’s argument for generosity in this matter?
  3. How does Paul describe the attitude we should have in giving to God?
  4. Why should we give cheerfully to God?
  5. If the ethic for giving under the law was a tithe or a tenth, what is the ethic under grace?
  6. How does this passage and the ethic it encourages call for greater personal responsibility?
  7. How does the passage indicate the Corinthians will be blessed?
  8. Is this blessing financial, spiritual or both?
  9. How does Paul indicate they should be eager and excited to give?
  • Be like a detective who interrogates scripture 
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W10 – The Stewardship of Life – Matthew 25: 14-30

Key Words: Generosity, Stewardship, Talents, Attitude

  1. A talent was a sum of money, what do you think Jesus intended talents to represent in the parable?
  2. Does God give us talents today?
  3. Respond to the phrase: ‘everything we are and everything we have is a gift from God.’
  4. What lesson should followers of Jesus take away from this parable?
  5. The servants in the parable are expected to invest the talents; how do we invest the talents God gives us?
  6. How do we hoard our talents?
  7. What does a return on our invested talents look like?
  8. Who benefits from the return on our invested talents: God, others, us?
  9. Was Jesus teaching generosity and liberality in all things or was he teaching something else?
  • The insight is found in scripture; questions are simply tools to mine the ore
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Giving to God

W11 – Principles for Christian Giving – Matthew 6: 1-4

Key Words: Generosity, Giving, Stewardship, Blessing, Reward

  1. Is giving to the needy assumed by this passage?
  2. What principles for Christian giving does Jesus describe in this passage?
  3. Does this passage affirm giving only to receive a reward?
  4. Are reward and spiritual benefits synonymous?
  5. What are the spiritual benefits we receive from giving?
  6. Is it wrong to give for these reasons, or are there other reasons we should give?
  7. Why does Jesus encourage anonymous giving?
  8. What benefits or rewards do we receive when others see our generosity?
  9. How does anonymous giving protect our motives?
  • Follow the lines of curiosity 
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W12 – The Widow’s Generosity – Luke 21: 1-4

Key Words: Generosity, Giving, Sacrifice, Faithfulness, Worship

  1. Who placed more money in the offering, the rich people or the widow?
  2. Who gave more: explain?
  3. Why would God be more pleased with the widow’s offering although it was the smallest amount?
  4. What does this reveal about how God views our offerings?
  5. How do the following factor into Christian giving: amount, …faithfulness, …motive, …abundance, …attitude, …sacrifice?
  6. Why is it important to give to God, does he need the money?
  7. Why is giving considered an act of worship?
  • Group leaders may wish to consult a commentary for background information 
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W13 – The First Offering – Genesis 14: 17-20

Key Words: Generosity, Giving, Tithe, Gratitude, Blessing, Wealth

  1. What is the context of Abram’s meeting with Melchizedek?
  2. Who is Melchizedek and who does he represent?
  3. What is the content of Melchizedek’s blessing?
  4. What is God communicating to Abram about the source of his victory and blessing?
  5. Why does Abram then respond by spontaneously giving a tenth of the plunder to Melchizedek?
  6. In Abram’s mind, was he giving to Melchizedek or to God?
  7. How would Abram have felt about his actions if he gave nothing?
  8. What would that have communicated to God?
  9. Is there a principle here regarding success, wealth and offerings?
  10. A tenth is required by the law; however, this occurred far prior to the law, so is there something special about a tenth?
  11. What does it communicate when we remember God by giving back a portion of our blessings to him?
  • Seek to connect the dots with other scriptures and Bible content 
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W14 – Patterns for Christian Giving – 1 Corinthians 16: 1 –2

Key Words: Generosity, Giving, Offering, Worship, Ministry

  1. What instructions does Paul give for the collection of money in the Corinthian Church?
  2. What indication do we have that other churches followed these same practices?
  3. Which elements of these instructions have continued to this day?
  4. The first day of the week was a day of worship and the offerings were likely collected during worship, how is giving an act of worship?
  5. What does he mean by the phrase, “in keeping with his income?”
  6. Paul indicates this practice results in sufficient resources, so that no additional collections will have to be made, does this establish a precedent for ministry supply?
  • There are no greater tools for effective Bible study than humility, honesty, and diligence
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W15 – Honoring God with our First Fruits – Malachi 3: 8-10

Key Words: Generosity, Tithe, Offering, Ministry

  1. How do God’s people steal from him in this passage?
  2. Do you agree with that assessment, do our tithes and offerings ultimately belong to God, and that withholding these resources is the same as robbing God?
  3. Do only our tithes and offerings belong to God or does he ultimately own it all?
  4. Why does this passage speak of storehouses, what exactly was being offered?
  5. Does the fact that they were giving grain help you understand the rest of the passage?
  6. What exactly were these offerings used for?
  7. Who ultimately benefited from these tithes?
  8. Why would God allow damage to their crops, if they didn’t honor him with their tithes and offerings?
  9. Can we extract any principles from this passage and how would these principles work today?
  • You are responsible for your level of engagement
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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Giving to Others

W16 – Loving the Poor – James 1:27

Key Words: Generosity, Poor, Love, Service, Ministry, Giving, Religion

  1. How would you define the term religion?
  2. Do most people have a positive or negative impression of religion?
  3. How does James define religion?
  4. Are we to look after all orphans and widows, or only certain ones? If the term ‘religion’ is used here as a distillation of what God asks of us, explain the process and larger argument.
  5. What qualities do distressed orphans and widows have: remember they were in a society with no economic safety net?
  6. Where are the distressed, poor, needy and disenfranchised in our society?
  7. How does faith in Christ demand we respond to such people?
  8. How would most people view the religion if it genuinely lived up to this ethic?
  • Go beyond the obvious by avoiding “Yes” or “No” answers
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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W17 – What God’s Desires -Isaiah 58: 1-10

Key Words: Generosity, Religion, Fasting, Worship, Spirituality

  1. Define the two approaches to spirituality that Isaiah contrasts in this passage.
  2. How does God view each of these two approaches?
  3. How does God respond to each of these two approaches?
  4. Why are the people in the fasting or religious group upset with God in verses 2 and 3?
  5. What does God truly desire from his people?
  6. What does he not desire from his people that we often mistakenly believe he desires from us?
  7. So, does God hate the practices of worship, prayer and fasting?
  8. When does he find them lacking?
  9. What does this teach us about God?
  10. What does this teach us about authentic spirituality?
  • Think before answering
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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W18 – Generous in Good Deeds – 1 Timothy 5: 9-10

Key Words: Generosity, Good Deeds, Hospitality, Poor, Widows

  1. This passage is speaking of caring for widows, does it advocate caring for all widows?
  2. Which widows are to be taken care of?
  3. How does the text define ‘good deeds?’
  4. How many of these activities involve giving of herself in the assistance or service of others?
  5. Why might Paul emphasize caring for such women?
  6. What is involved with hospitality done right?
  7. Describe the following dimensions of hospitality: physical, …social, …spiritual.
  8. What does genuine hospitality communicate to those receiving hospitality?
  9. How does the practice of hospitality enhance the kingdom of God?
  10. How is hospitality the ultimate expression of Christian generosity?
  • Thoughtful silence is the soil of epiphany
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W19 – Generous in Hospitality – 1 Peter 4: 7–11

Key Words: Generosity, Hospitality, Love, Acceptance, God’s Word

  1. What is the “Therefore” in verse 7 there for?
  2. How does the text indicate we express the urgency brought on by the end of all times?
  3. What do love, hospitality and service have to do with one another?
  4. Why might some people grumble about being hospitable?
  5. Why is genuine hospitality hard and contrary to our sinful nature?
  6. Who initiates the hospitality expressed in this passage?
  7. Why might God express placing others above ourselves as a strategy for the end of days?
  8. Verse 11 mentions speaking as if ‘speaking the words of God,’ why might love, hospitality and service on behalf of God’s people open others to hearing God’s word?
  9. What does it look like today when Christians practice hospitality?
  10. At home? At work?  At church?
  •  Seek Nuance
Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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W20 – God Verses Mammon – Matthew 6: 19-24

Key Words: Generosity, Greed, Money, Wealth, Heart, Idols, Eternal Treasure

  1. In this passage Jesus relates money to a demonic idol known as Mammon, does that mean money is evil?
  2. When is money evil?
  3. When is money good?
  4. Do you think money is the biggest rival in our hearts to God?
  5. How do we know when money usurps God in our hearts?
  6. Respond to the statement: ‘you can try to serve both God and money for a while, but eventually you will be forced to choose between the two.’
  7. What does it mean to store up treasure in heaven?
  8. Why is it difficult to do that when money is first in our heart?
  9. Why is it easy to do that when money is submitted to God?
  10. Do you believe that Christian generosity is impossible if we serve money over God?
  • Be sure to explore all the resources for each doctrine, virtue, and practice
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W21 – Selfish Giving – Acts 5: 1-11

Key Words: Generosity, Greed, Sin, Ministry, False Spirituality, Giving

  1. Why was the sin of Ananias and Sapphira not exactly that they kept some of the money from the sale of their land?
  2. What exactly was their sin?
  3. What did the couple hope to gain from their donation?
  4. Do you feel that deep down somewhere they wanted to give the full amount?
  5. What prevented them from actually doing what they told everyone they did?
  6. Even if they had not been exposed, would they have ultimately gotten away with their rouse?
  7. What biblical giving principles did they not practice (see Matthew 6: 1-4)?
  8. How does greed hold some people back from ministry and service to others?
  9. Why is it dangerous to judge people’s spirituality by appearances?
  10. What does our checkbook reveal about our spirituality?
  • Remember there are additional studies in the Key Scriptures section
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W22 – The Wealthy and Generosity – James 5: 1-6

Key Words: Generosity, Greed, Wealth, Stewardship, Money

  1. Is this passage a condemnation of all wealthy people?
  2. Some say it is a sin for Christians to be rich, what do you say?
  3. Some say it is a sin for Christians not to be rich, what do you say about that?
  4. List the sins of the wealthy in this passage?
  5. What do these sins look like today?
  6. What fatal mistake do the wealthy in the passage make regarding their concept of money and wealth?
  7. Contrast and compare stewardship and ownership.
  8. How does the text imply the wealthy could or should have used their money?
  9. In what ways does money often shape people’s worldview and morality?
  10. Can a person with such a worldview and morality be a good Christian, or even a Christian at all?
  11. How should Christians view and use money?
  12. Sum up the Christian ethic regarding money in one word.
  • Remember there are other learning and scripture studies in the Growing Exercises section
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  1. Give to your church. Start giving if you belong to a church and do not contribute to the ministry of the church with faithful and sacrificial giving.  Many people use 10% as a tithe or benchmark, but the amount is between you and God.  You may wish to start at 10% or you may set a goal to work up to that.  The important thing is that you begin recognizing God as the source of everything you have and honor him with your first fruits.
  2. Practice hospitality. Open your home to someone who is lonely or in need.  Need could be someone who needs to experience acceptance, inclusion or friendship.  Focus on serving this person or these people.  Prepare a first rate meal and see to the comfort and honor of your guest.
  1. Set aside a specific amount such as $50 or $100 to give away to a person in need by the end of the week. Pray for God to lead you to the right person and circumstance.  When you give, do so humbly and respectfully.  Discuss the experience with your Christian friend or mentor.
  1. Begin praying how God can use you to serve others. If you sense no direction, participate in mission events or mission trips.  Look for ways to build relationships with those you serve.  Pray for God to lead you in becoming part of the solution through an ongoing relationship.  How can you give or sacrifice of your time, resources or money to serve?  Discuss the ongoing process with your Christian friend or mentor.
  1. Develop a prayer list that includes all the people you know who are in need: physical need, social need, and spiritual need. Pray for these people daily for 30 days.  During this time ask God to direct you to those needs you can help with.  Discuss the experience with your Christian friend or mentor?
  1. Do Bible study where you seek to identify wealthy people in the Bible such as Abraham, Solomon, Joseph of Arimathia and the Rich Young Ruler. Contrast and compare the righteous with the unrighteous.  What attitudes and behaviors do we see in the righteous?  How does God respond to them and continue to bless them?
  1. Give an anonymous and generous gift to a person in need. Discuss your emotions and experience with your Christian friend or mentor?
  1. Cut out something in your life that is excessive to use the resources for God’s Kingdom. Perhaps you give up the $5 coffee you get at Starbucks every weekday and use the $100 per month you save to support a missionary.
  1. Intentionally downsize and simplify your lifestyle to have more resources for God’s Kingdom. Maybe you downsize your home.  Maybe you purchase a less expensive car.  Live far inside your means for the express purpose of blessing others and practicing generosity.
  1. Give a gift to someone who has blessed you to express your gratitude and appreciation. Express why you are doing it and that you are blessed more by doing it than they are receiving it.


  1. God’s Miraculous Plan of Economy by Jack Taylor
  2. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
  3. Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Ronald Sider
  4. When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert
  5. Neither Poverty nor Riches: A Biblical Theology of Possessions by Craig Blomberg
  6. Christians in an Age of Wealth: A Biblical Theology of Stewardship by Craig Blomberg
  7. The Paradox of Generosity by Christian Smith and Hillary Davidson
  8. Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World? by Eugene Cho
  9. Money, Sex and Power by Richard Foster
  10. The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn