Atomic Life Week 3 – Discussion Guide
Main Idea: God doesn’t care about how much we give to Him; He cares about how much of our heart is in the gift.
Introduction: It is often said “God can do a lot with a little.” That’s true, but God doesn’t even need the ‘little.’ He made the world out of literally nothing; He doesn’t need anyone or anything in order to accomplish any goal He wants. However, He does love us, and wants us to have a closeness that we feel when we join Him in His work. When God asks us to give, it’s for our sake—it’s an opportunity He didn’t even have to give us. The opportunity to give and help people is one that can really show where our priorities lie. When we see someone in need, how do we react?
Discussion Starter: What’s the best gift you can remember getting in the past 10 years? What made it so great?
Primary Scriptures: John 6:1-13; Acts 5:1-11
- What is your habit or first impulse if you have something that someone else needs? Does it matter what it is that someone needs? Money? Food? A kidney? Does it matter how much you have?
- Read John 6. We read about a kid who gave Jesus everything he had, and God did more than anyone expected. Over five thousand people had been following and listening to Jesus for three days and hadn’t been eating like normal. They needed food so much that Jesus was concerned that if they were to try to go to the nearest village to buy any, they might collapse from exhaustion on the way. Out of the whole crowd, only one person had any food left: one kid with five loaves and two fish. The fish weren’t especially impressive, and the kid wasn’t the Fish n’ Chips kingpin of Mesopotamia, he was just a kid with some lunch. But he gave everything he had to Jesus. Not only did that tiny amount feed the whole crowd until they were all full, but there was way more food left over than there was in the kid’s original lunch. Some questions about this passage: Would everyone have starved if the kid had lost two of his five loaves on the way to listen to Jesus? How much did Jesus need to be able to feed the five thousand people? Which mattered more: the amount of stuff that was given to Jesus or the fact that it was given to Jesus at all? In that same line of thought, what do you think God could do with just one life that was completely given to Him? What could He do with you, if you gave every part to Him, holding nothing back?
- Habits are stronger when they have a strong motivation. Are you motivated to give? If so, talk about what thoughts or memories run through your mind when you are motivated to give.
- In Acts 5:1-11, we read a strange story about two people who decided to try to impress people with their gifts. God, however, was not impressed. The husband/wife duo had some land, sold it, gave some of the money to the apostles, but kept some of the money from the sale. That’s fine; there was no problem with that. What wasn’t fine, though, was that they said the money that they gave to the apostles was 100% of the money (not mentioning the money that they had held back). In verses 3 and 4, Peter even said it would have been fine to hold back some of the money if they wanted to; it was their land and their money. The amount of money didn’t matter; lying was the problem. Peter asked them a question that is worth asking: Why did they do that? Talk about it with your group. Another question to ask: Why would God, who is perfectly loving, react this way to what they did? After all, nobody would have known about it unless God had told Peter. And they had given to the apostles to help the needy. Plus, Ananias and Sapphira would have been able to enjoy that extra money for themselves. So why would God have bothered to bring this out into the open in the way that He did?
Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Acts 5:1-11 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.
Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into twos or threes for this section.
Have each person in your group mention some part of their lives when they gave to God, and how God blessed them in return.
Engage the World Around Us
Engaging at Faith Promise: Everyone longs to belong to a community. Getting to know each other better builds that relationship. If you can find any excuse to hang out with someone from your small group (or any other Promisers), do it. Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another. Become a stronger body of Christ by spending time with each other.
Engaging in Community and the World: Austin East Magnet High School has had three students shot and killed in the past month. Prayer is powerful in this time. Stop to pray every day at a specific time for this community. Email [email protected] to see how Faith Promise is helping the Austin East community and how you can join.
Expand God’s Kingdom
We need to pray. Our country is in the middle of a spiritual war. As members of the army of God, we must take a stand and fight. Put on your armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20). If we all take a stand in understanding that we are not fighting each other (flesh and blood) but instead battling as one body of Christ against the evils of the world, we can all come together unified in battle. We can together, spread God’s message of love, not division.
ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.
– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.
– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.
– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.
– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.