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Getting to Know You: What’s one of the most fun gifts you’ve ever given?
Poverty Alleviation Vocab: 3 types of aid [from When Helping Hurts]
Relief: The urgent and temporary provision of emergency aid to reduce immediate suffering from a natural or man-made crisis. “stop the bleeding” A provider gives assistance [often material] to a receiver who is largely incapable of helping himself at that time.
Rehabilitation: seeks to restore people and their communities to the positive elements of their pre-crisis conditions. Provider and receiver are working together – receiver is participating in the process of recovery.
Development: process of ongoing change that moves all the people involved – both the “helpers” and the “helped” – closer to being in right relationship with God, self, others, and the rest of creation, enabling individuals to better fulfill their calling of glorifying God. **promoting and empowering process in which all the people involved become more of what God created them to be, moving to levels of reconciliation they’ve never experienced before.
Getting to Know the Bible:
1) How would you define “good religion”?
a. Read James 1:27-2:7. What are your initial impressions?
b. How does James define good religion? How does your own experience of religion match up with this definition?
c. If you are really honest, has anyone ever entered a church you were attending and made you uncomfortable because of how they looked/acted? Describe that experience.
2) What in your opinion qualifies an individual as deserving of aid?
a. Read1 Timothy 5:3-16. What are your initial impressions?
b. How does this passage help delineate between true need and simpler categories of individuals we might consider as needy?
c. What individuals fall into the sphere of your own responsibility to care for? [parents, grandparents, children] What if these people and a nonprofit are asking for your support, how should you distribute what you are able to give?
d. Reread vs. 5. What does it mean for this widow to put her hope in the Lord? What does it mean for you? What does this have to do with charity?
3) What is the difference between being busy and being a busy-body?
a. Read 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13. What are your initial impressions?
b. Reread all of the assigned passages for this week in addition to 1 Timothy 6:17-19. As you do so, highlight all the times the author mentions the importance of good or just deeds or behavior.
c. How do you view/explain this emphasis on good deeds with a gospel and Kingdom of grace freely given?
d. Consider the above vocabulary definitions of types of poverty alleviation. Consider this biblical emphasis on doing good. Discuss the intersections between the two: guidelines for who should receive aid, guidelines for why you should give aid, goals for both the provider and the recipient in the process of participating in aid.
Applying Myself to this Message:
What good do you have to give? Are you giving it to whom it should be given in the appropriate time that they truly need it? [distributing appropriately according to a need for relief, rehabilitation or development]
What aid could you stand to receive in order to become more of what God created you to be?
What is God’s grace to you through these messages?