Title: GIFTS TO GIVE THE FAMILY OF GOD
Text: 1 Thess. 5:12-15
Do you ever struggle when it comes time to buy a gift for someone? What guidelines do you have for deciding what to give when the gift has to be a significant gift for an important occasion?
On important occasions, we ought to offer gifts that genuinely are worth giving. Such gifts have four qualities:
1. Worthy gifts last. Such gifts should have a permanence about them. Lasting gifts are quality gifts.
2. Worthy gifts lift up. Gifts that are really meaningful to family members are those that edify and build up the receiver.
3. Worthy gifts cost. Anyone can give a present that is free and cheap. But when someone gives a gift that requires personal sacrifice to get it, that makes the present valuable - even priceless.
4. Worthy gifts glorify God. Whatever gifts we give should bring a smile of approval to God’s face. Gifts that honor and exalt the Lord are the most precious of all.
How much would you have to pay in dollars for a gift that fits this category? Could you give such a quality gift to fellow Christians every day? If you had to pay a couple hundred dollars for such a gift, you couldn’t afford to give such a gift every day, but there are gifts just as valuable that you can afford to give every day. They are listed in our text. Read Text!
1. What’s the first gift kindly “requested”? How is respect a gift?
2. What kind of leaders is Paul talking about here? Why should church leaders receive such appreciation...is it because of their position, academic degrees, standing in the community, age, experience, or wisdom?
3. The second gift is stated in the form of a command: “Live in peace with one another.” v.13 Do you ever take peace for granted? Is peace in the family of God something that is passively or actively obtained? Rom. 12:10-13, 16a, 18
4. How much work is it to build a bridge across a river or canyon? Should we put any less work when building bridges of peace between fighting brothers and sisters in the Lord?
5. Whenever there has been an offense, who is to take the initiative in restoration? Matt. 5:23-25a; 18:15 What are we to do when someone adamantly refuses to make peace with us?
6. In verses 14-15 are some gifts that are urgently needed. Notice the word “urge” in verse 14. The first is: “admonish the unruly.” Who are we talking about here? 2 Thess. 3:6; 1 Tim. 5:19-20; Titus 1:10-13; 3:10-11
7. As members of the body of Christ, how are we expected to behave?
8. The next gift we can give to others is to “encourage the fainthearted.” Who are the fainthearted? Define fainthearted. How do we encourage the fainthearted? How would you rate our group in this area? Any suggestions for improvement?
9. Another gift we can give to the body of Christ is to “help the weak.” Are we not all weak at one point or another? What does a burned out Christian need? What does it do for you when you are weak and a strong believer is frequently close to support you?
10. The next gift we can give to others goes beyond the walls of the church: “be patient with everyone.” Define patience. Besides the word “impatient,” what is another way to express the opposite of patience?
11. The final gift we can give to others in this passage is to refuse to retaliate and do good for all men. How do you react when someone gives you a caustic comment? What happens when we return a caustic comment with another caustic comment...fists with more fists, frowns with more frowns, backstabbing with more backstabbing?
12. Are Christians to always seek that which is the best interest of others? Why? Eph. 4:32 What happens to an atmosphere of tension when we return ugly remarks with kind words, frowns with smiles, fists with reconciliation, and backstabbing with genuine forgiveness? Rom. 12:17-21
What would the church be like if we freely and consistently give this gifts to one another? Do you have to wait for a lot of money to gives these gifts? Is there any worthwhile reason why you can start giving them right now, and continue to give them the rest of your life? If money isn’t the resource we need in order to give these gifts, what is?
God has given us three major resources to give such gifts:
1. In God’s Word, we have all the truth that we need. Therefore, we must remember to read it.
2. In God’s Spirit, we have all the power that we need. Therefore, let’s remember to rely on Him so that we can effectively obey the Scriptures.
3. In God’s family, we have all the challenge that we need. As members of such a big family, we have the support and challenge we need to grow in every aspect of the Christian life. Therefore, let’s remember to relate to God’s family in a Christlike way.