Giving Yourself *
- Life Groups are a Vital Part of our Church’s Ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12).
- Giving of Yourself is an Important Part of our Life Groups.
- You Have a Calling to Give Yourself to Others (Acts 20:35; John 4:14; John 7:38).
- In 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12, Paul is Giving a Defense of his Ministry at Thessalonica (Acts 17:1-10).
- Paul Gave More than his Ministry, Paul Gave Himself (1 Thessalonians 2:8).
- Seven Ways Paul Gave Himself:
I . Paul Took a Risk (1 Thessalonians 2:2).
II. Paul Did not Mislead or Exploit Them (1 Thessalonians 2:3).
III. Paul Did not Try to Please Men, but God (1 Thessalonians 2:4).
IV. Paul Did not Flatter & was not Covetous (1 Thessalonians 2:5).
V. Paul was Gentle and Shared His own Soul (1 Thessalonians 2:6-8).
VI. Paul was Holy, Righteous, and Blameless (1 Thessalonians 2:10).
VII. Paul Encouraged them Like a Father (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12).
- We Need to Give Ourselves in the Same Way (1 Thessalonians 2:8).
- You Have Something to Give: Christ (Romans 8:10), the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), the Word of God (1 Corinthians 2:13), Spiritual Gifts (1 Peter 4:10), you are a New Creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), you are a fountain (John 4:14; John 7:38).
- “It is More Blessed to Give than to Receive” (Acts 20:35).
- Will you be Involved in Our Life Groups?
* I am indebted to John Piper for the main ideas in this lesson.
It is almost time to kick off our Fall Life Groups again. Our goal is 100% membership participation because this is such an important part of our ministry here at the Boise Church. We already have a number of groups and great participation. There are many reasons you may choose not to participate – usually time and an already busy schedule are chief among them, but if you experienced the benefits for yourself, I believe you would make the time to participate.
This lesson is a little different that most of the lessons I preach on groups. I usually relate the benefits you can receive from participation –new relationships, friendships, fellowship, spiritual growth, help in life, etc. However, this lesson is about what you can give.
When I served a church in South Alabama, we made a great effort to get members involved in our groups. We were met with varying degrees of success. There was one woman who attended my group who was an introvert and kind of bristled at the thought of emotional and even physical intimacy (brotherly and sisterly hugs). However, she participated and shared in our group as actively as any of the others. I once asked her about it and she said,
“Joey, I’m kind of odd in that I don’t feel a real need for small groups. I have enough interaction with others through my work and family, but I attend groups, not because I personally need it, but because of what I can give to others.”
Her words really impressed me and I have told her story whenever I could – especially for those who don’t feel a strong need for sharing and interpersonal relationships through groups.
Sunday, we will be examining Paul’s description of his ministry at Thessalonica. The key verse is 1 Thessalonians 2:8,
We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.
True ministry requires a willingness to share our lives with others.
I’ll say more in the lesson.