Text: Luke 8:1-3; 2 Corinthians 8:1-15
- List five things that could be talents/assets that God might want to use.
- Might money be considered a talent? If so, how?
- Do you think God expects all of us to give Him 90% of our income, as LeTourneau did? Why or why not?
- Do you think God might expect us to give Him more than 10% of our income?
- Can giving be an act of worship? If so, how?
- In 1 Corinthians 16:1-4, when Paul wrote about the needs of God’s people in Jerusalem, what did he instruct the believers to do? What does this teach us?
- A guideline for giving is found in Deuteronomy 16:17, and repeated in the New Testament in 2 Corinthians8:3. What was that guideline and how does it apply to our giving today? (We are to give as much as we are able.)
- What benefits of giving are described in Acts 2:44-47. (Gladness, singleness of heart, favor with all people.)
- What other benefits have you experienced through giving?
- What does Jesus’ commendation of the poor widow teach us about His perspective on giving? (Jesus commends giving that affects one’s lifestyle, no matter what the amount.)
- If God is the real “owner” of your money, how will that fact be evidenced in the way you manage it?
- How can we train up our children to carry on family generosity?
The most important training to help children develop as mature, generous disciples of Christ will come through your instruction and example as a parent. There is no substitute for parents modeling a lifestyle of generosity that results from gratitude for God’s grace in the gospel of Christ. A few ways that you can begin this type of instruction:
1. Teach your children to tithe.
2. Give your children frequent and creative opportunities to practice generous giving.
3. Involve your children as you participate within the church in ministering to the poor and those in need.
4. Provide your children with financial planning tools and long-term, eternal perspective.
5. Teach your children the value of limitations, priorities and how to say “no” to worldly standards of material well-being.
6. Show your children how family finances work.
7. Demonstrate to your children that there are many gifts and qualities that are better than money
- Why did God instruct us not to let our right hand know what our left hand was doing when it comes to giving?
Quote worth noting:
When we come to the end of life, the question will be, “How much have you given?” not “How much have you gotten?” – George Sweeting
A clergyman wrote to a wealthy and influential businessman to request a contribution for a worthy charity. The pastor promptly received a curt refusal which ended by saying, “As far as I can see, this Christian business is just one continuous give, give, give. The pastor responded with a short note: “Thanks for the best definition of the Christian life I have ever heard.”
The word steward in the Greek is oikonomos and means “a house-distributor, manager, overseer, i.e. an employee in that capacity; by extension a fiscal agent (treasurer).”
Extra helps for teachers:
Tract 31 -- Financial Stewardship
Statistics from George Barna Research Online:
- Nearly one-quarter of all born-again Christians (23%) gave no money to a church in 2000, which is significantly lower than the 39% of all adults who made no financial contribution to a church in 2000.
- 17% of American adults claim to tithe, while 6% actually do so.
- Six out of ten adults (61%) gave money to one or more churches in 2000, a small decline from 1999 (66%).
- 64% of the pastors of protestant church contend that their congregations are donating less money than theamount they could reasonably be expected to contribute.
Symptoms of Financial Bondage:
(Adapted from “Your Finances in Changing Times” by Larry Burkett)
- Overdue bills
- Investment worries
- “Get rich quick” attitude
- No gainful employment
- Deceitfulness in financial matters
- Family needs unmet
- Unmet Christian needs
- Over-commitment to work
- Lack of commitment to God’s work
- Financial superiority
- Financial resentment/discontentment