StoneBridge Community Church
A Generous Life: Growing Our Generosity
Pastor Neal Nybo
Locations & Times
  • StoneBridge Community Church
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:30 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:30 AM
  • StoneBridge Growth Groups
    Simi Town Center Way, Simi Valley, CA 93065, USA
    Sunday 11:59 PM

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Introduction to Series: A Generous Life
Begin a conversation with friends about generosity and it will wander to topics like passion, helping, contentment, counter-culture, and community. Begin a sermon series on being generous and it can quickly zero in on giving money. Money is one element of generosity and it turns out, money can buy happiness. It just has to be spent on others, which is the essence of being generous. This series moves towards those first topics. Together, we'll discover that generosity leads us away from selfishness and isolation towards contentment and community.
1. Assume generously.
It’s easy to be like the Pharisee and assume the worst about people. Jesus calls us to assume generously by giving the benefit of the doubt and even assume the best of others.
Reflection Questions
1. Almost all of us have people whom we are tempted to assume negative things about. In what ways might we assume generously about people we might otherwise think poorly of? For example, someone not picking up after their dog.
2. What might someone assume negatively about you?
Next Step
This week, when you are tempted to think negatively of someone, intentionally assume generously and think of a neutral or positive reason for their actions.
2. Participate generously.
It’s easy to be like the disciples and stand aloof and separate from others, even judge them. Jesus calls us to participate generously. We are invited to be part of a community that celebrates together and cries together.
Reflection Questions
1. When have you or someone else shared something very personal only to have no one acknowledge your vulnerability or worse, one-up you with a story of their own, ie. "That reminds me of the time I..."
2. Can you think of a time when you have followed up sensitively on someone else's vulnerable comment?
Next Step
In any conversation or meeting this week, when someone shares any personal statement, say, "Thank you for sharing that." If appropriate invite them to say more. For example, that must have made you happy or that must have been difficult.
3. Give generously.
By "generously" we don’t just mean financially generous though that might be part of it. The woman in this story gave part of her future, her security blanket, her sense of self as she gave the perfume.
Reflection Questions
1. Can you give an example of a time when someone gave you a very generous gift? Perhaps it was financially generous or generous in another way, perhaps of their time.
2. Pastor Neal used the example of giving his wife, Carolyn a new guitar to honor her work in a preschool. Have you given generously to honor someone, (again, not necessarily financially)?
Next Step
Think of a meaningful gift, note, or gesture you can offer that communicates your appreciation.
4. Be forgiven, generously!
When we talk about forgiveness we usually talk about us forgiving others. Not this time. This woman’s story is all about being forgiven, ourselves.
Reflection Questions
1. Have you experienced needing to be forgiven, either by someone or by God?
2. Have you ever known the relief of letting go of the guilt of something you've done?
3. Are there things in your life that need to be forgiven, either by God or another person?
4. Is it hard to ask for that forgiveness?
Next Step
Search your heart and mind to see if there is something you want to let go of and ask forgiveness for. Pray out loud Psalm 139:23, 24.

The Text In Context

Are Simon the Pharisee (in Luke) and Simon the leper (in other three Gospels) the same person? Here is some information about today's scripture in all four gospels.

StoneBridge growth groups are the ideal place to get connected, be encouraged, encourage others, and explore biblical truth. Now is the perfect time to join a Growth Group and get the most out of our upcoming Fall message series, “Hearts and Minds” where we will take an in depth look at Colossians 3:1-17. Take a look at the brochure in your bulletin or sign up at The Hub today to be in a Growth Group.

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