1 John 3:16-24, Acts 2:44
How we consider our possessions
- Is sharing what you have (possessions, money, time, etc) something which you find easy or difficult?
- When John describes what love is, he doesn’t describe an emotion or a feeling, he describes an action (v.16).
- How does Jesus’ laying down his life show us love in action?
- How do you react to the instruction that we ought to lay down our lives for brothers and sisters?
- Does the idea of laying down your life for someone else seem like the end of life to you, in other words, by laying down your life for someone, do you think your life is over?
- Look at John 10:17-18. Does Jesus’ talk about laying down his life and taking it up again encourage you that to lay down life opens the possibility of new life? What do you think this means in practice for you?
- What does verse 17 tell us about our attitude to our possessions, and our attitude to others?
- Jesus’ teaching Matthew 6:19-21 talks about the way our attitude to our possessions reflects our hearts. Compare this with V.17 & with Acts 2:44-45.
- What does your attitude to your possessions (or your desire for ‘material possessions’) tell you about your heart?
- How do you react to the actions of the first believers – inspired, overwhelmed, never really thought about it, something else?
- In the next section of Matthew 6 (v.22-24) Jesus describes the way we look at things – the word for ‘good’ is associated with generosity, and the word for ‘bad’ is associated with being stingy.
- What do you think it means to look at the world with good/generous eyes? What does it mean to look with bad/stingy eyes?
- Do you pay attention to how you look at the world, and what you see?
- Compare v.18 with James 2:14-17. How must speaking about God’s love be done alongside action?
- Look at Acts 4:32-35.
- In v. 32 Luke tells us that no one claimed their possessions as their own. What is your attitude towards your possessions, would you say they belong to you alone, or do you have a different view of what you have?
- They brought their gifts to the feet of the apostles, meaning that it was up to the apostles to decide how the gifts are used. Could you trust others to decide how your gifts and possessions are used? Why/why not?
- God gives two commands to his people in v.23: believe and love. Compare this with Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:37-40.
- What is the connection between believing in God and loving your neighbour as yourself?
- Would you say one command is more important than the other? Why/why not?
- What does sharing or possessions have to do with believing in God and loving our neighbour?
- What one thing can you do to develop and attitude of sharing? Commit yourself to taking this step – it may help to tell someone else about your decision so they can remind you about it.