PRAYER: Opening Our Eyes
Here we gather, where the echo of God’s Voice still moves in the air.
Lord, open our ears to hear You speak to us.
Now we meet, as eternity is expressed in time.
Lord, open our eyes to see You smile on us.
Once again, the Word of God is revealed among us in physical form.
Lord, open our hearts to welcome You into our lives.
NT READING: Luke 18:9-17 (NIV)
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
The Little Children and Jesus
15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
New International Version (NIV)
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THEME: Generous Grace
- THE SOURCE OF GENEROSITY:
Think about the characters in the story from Luke.
- The Pharisee was …..:
- The Tax Collector was …..:
- When comparing the two characters, how did Jesus “twist” the story as far as his audience was concerned?
- THE SIGNS OF GENEROSITY:
- Why do you think Jesus scolded the disciples in the way he did (vs.15-17)?
- Generosity is “not only expressed” through giving money and gifts but can also be expressed in many ways such as:
- What is important to note from vs.13-14?
- BECOMING RADICALLY GENEROUS:
“A faith built on Jesus, a faith that follows the way of Jesus, is a radical challenge to
our modern world; a challenge to its standards and practices. We believe in a God
who acted in history in a radical way. We believe that God is holy and hates sin, but
He came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ and He lost everything. He gave up
His seat at the right hand of God. He gave up His seat of prominence. He gave up
His riches and power………And this is where we find the key to finding generosity in
our own lives – when we understand and rely on the generosity of Jesus in our lives
– we are changed.”
2 Corinthians 9:6
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever
sows generously will also reap generously.
Live a “Generous and Grace-Filled” life this week,