The story of Zacchaeus is a favorite of children, probably because they can relate to someone being small and climbing a tree in order to see better. However, Zacchaeus’ story is one with great implications for all of us, as his response to Jesus is a challenging example of outrageous generosity.
Pick one of the following statements and share with your group how you could complete it:
In the sermon on Sunday, David shared two stories of women who were outrageously grateful. They displayed their gratefulness in similar lavish ways. However, gratefulness does not always come easily, though it’s absolutely vital to our faith. How do you develop outrageous gratefulness as a lifestyle, transforming a simple “thank you” into an extravagant response to God’s amazing grace in our lives?
What does it mean to be grateful?
Read Luke 7:36-50. How is the woman described? What different emotions does she display? What would motivate someone to do this?
Do you ever wish that God would speak clearly to you? He appeared to Abraham when He told him to leave his home and extended family (Genesis 12:1, Acts 7:2), but I’m sure it was not a clear as Abraham would have wanted! However, Abraham obeyed, leaving for “the land I will show you”. Despite the danger and unknown ahead, are you willing to step out? In The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, Gandalf has this to say to a young hobbit: “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Does your walk of faith sweep you off to outrageous hope?
If you could do one thing right now that you knew would be successful, what would it be?
Read Hebrews 11:1 and discuss your definition of ‘faith’. Does it match the definition in this verse?
1 Kings 18 contains one of the most exciting stories in the Bible – a direct confrontation between the LORD and false gods. In the midst of this confrontation is Elijah, a prophet of God. Elijah had outrageous expectation of His God, as he went above and beyond the norm as he prepared his sacrifice.
Have you ever had to choose to stand alone for what was right? Share with your group how that went.