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Step 7: Offering


Next Steps are designed to help us grow as Christians in two categories: God's Mission and God's Word.

←Mission→ Look out to the world; look in at our lives.


Mission Training:  Read 1 Peter 4:12-19. "[12] Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. [13] But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. [14] If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. [15] But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. [16] Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. [17] For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? [18] And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” [19] Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good."

Considering that our evangelistic efforts are motivated by our love for others and a desire for their happiness, it can be surprising when we face opposition and even persecution! But just as Christ, the kindest and most loving person to ever live, was hated, so we as his followers will be persecuted.  John 15:18 “‘If the world hates you, know that it has hated me [Jesus] before it hated you.’” Expect to be persecuted.

4:16 - The word “Christian” means “little Christ”. Whenever you are persecuted for being and living as a Christian, you can glorify God because you are being recognised as a representation of Christ. 
4:13 - We can rejoice and be glad when we suffer because we will also rejoice one day soon when Christ returns. At that time all wrongs will be made right and Christ's glory will be plainly seen by everyone. 
4:14 - When you are insulted as a Christian, you are blessed by God for though it is painful to suffer,  God’s Spirit is with us. 
4:19 - Remember that your Creator is good and sovereign. Entrust yourself to his kind, strong, just arms as they hold you through every trial and hardship. Continue to do good to all including those who persecuted you.


Accountability Last time we set a goal to share our testimony with one or more persons from our prayer list. How did that go? Celebrate any victories and encourage one another to keep striving to share Christ's love and gospel with those around you!


Goals & Prayer: Looking at your prayer list, choose at least one person. How will you share Christ with them in the next two weeks (examples: share your testimony, share the gospel, invite them to church, study First Steps, etc.)? Share the name of the person you choose and the goal you’ve set. Pray for these goals and for one another.

↑Word↓ Look up to God's Word; look down to our lives.


Gather Together Around God’s Word: Next Steps 7 - Offering

An important part of the Christian life is expressing our love for God and others by the way we use our financial resources.

Why do we give?

1. Because God is our treasure -- Loving God

Matthew 6:19-21, 24, 33 “[19] Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, [20] but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. [21] For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ... [24] No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. ... [33] But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Either you treasure money or you treasure God and use money to show that God is your ultimate desire. Everything we have has been given to us by God. We have the opportunity to steward these resources in a way that shows our love for God, our commitment to his mission, and our confident belief that God alone gives lasting joy and satisfaction. Money is important for sustaining daily life, however, we show our faith in God's provision by first seeking him and first giving to him before meeting our needs.

2. To make others spiritually rich -- Loving People

2 Corinthians 8:7-9 “[7] But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also. [8] I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. [9] 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 by his poverty might become rich.”

We can use money (which will not last forever) to make others spiritually rich (a result that will last into eternity). We give money to the church to help others and make them spiritually rich. These funds are used to spread the gospel, thus meeting everyone’s most essential and basic need, forgiveness of sins. Funds are also used to address issues of social justice - poverty, orphans, widows, trafficking, injustice, etc.

How do we give?

1. Privately

Matthew 6:1-4 “[1] Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. [2] Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. [3] But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, [4] so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

2. According to your means (and beyond!)

2 Corinthians 8:1-5 “[1] We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, [2] for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. [3] For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, [4] begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints—[5] and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.”

God has given each of us a different level of income, resources, and opportunities. God does not expect everyone to give the same amount but desires that we give according to the level of financial blessing he has given us. The more income you receive the more you are able to give. Situation in life also affects our giving--a single person with few financial obligations is able to leverage a greater percentage of his or her income for the kingdom of God. Many Christians strive to give 10% of their income back to God. Furthermore, it is a great grace to give beyond our means in a sacrificial way. Some of us in rich countries are probably able to give even more than 10% to God's mission.

3. Cheerfully and willingly

2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

God is not after our money; God wants a willing heart. Giving to God out of compulsion is meaningless. But a heart that delights to give money to God is very pleasing to him.

4. Regularly as a united Church

1 Corinthians 16:2 “On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.”

Christians give regularly when they receive a portion of income. It is important that Christians give to their local church to support the ministry and ministers (1 Corinthians 9:14) and so all the Christians' offerings can be compiled together and used for great kingdom advancing projects under the direction of the local church leadership (Acts 4:35).

Take the Step!


Fellowship How is everyone doing? What was the most significant event in the past two weeks? Is there something heavy upon your heart? Does anyone need prayer?