Diminish the Debt | Deep and Wide | Week 5
Thank God for all the families who have come bringing kids into our building. Pray for the worldchangers who serve our kids every week. Pray that the children of our church will grow up as Spirit-led leaders, knowing Jesus, and loving other people.
The final pillar of Deep and Wide is diminish the debt. This is the most straightforward of all the pillars. To pay off our loan will help us meet more needs, serve more families, and send more goers. Spirit-led people build a unified generosity culture for the church to meet needs and fuel mission. Many things can hinder us from doing that together.
Spirit-led people have to be honest with and obedient to the Holy Spirit in financial health and generosity for the church’s mission. We can resist unified generosity because of financial mismanagement, financial mistrust, and financial misperception. But to resist unified generosity forms a divisive and deceptive spirit in our faith and church.
- How does the story of Ananias and Sapphira make you feel?
- Are you following the Spirit’s prompting of generosity?
Acts 5 But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. 2 He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest. 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. 4 The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!” 5 As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified. 6 Then some young men got up, wrapped him in a sheet, and took him out and buried him. 7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Was this the price you and your husband received for your land?” “Yes,” she replied, “that was the price.” 9 And Peter said, “How could the two of you even think of conspiring to test the Spirit of the Lord like this? The young men who buried your husband are just outside the door, and they will carry you out, too.” 10 Instantly, she fell to the floor and died. When the young men came in and saw that she was dead, they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what had happened.
Prayerfully read the Scripture passage out loud. What was the problem with what Ananias and Sapphira did? Go back and compare to Acts 4: 32-37. How does the previous passage impact the story? Why do you think God took this lie so seriously? What does this story reveal about God? How does that change how we live?
Pray for a spirit of unified generosity to grow and thrive in our church.