TEXT: Proverbs 3:9-10; Matthew 19:16-22
Jesus died on the cross and made salvation possible, not only so that we could enter into Heaven, but so that He could work through us and accomplish things He wants to have done in this world. To each of us who has been saved, He has given the commission to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, deliver the oppressed into freedom, and bring justice to the downtrodden. He wants us to be instruments through which such important things can be done. As we consecrate our all, including our finances to be used for God’s work, we can be assured that we will receive God’s greatest blessings.
- Many people misquote the verse in 1 Timothy 6:10 and say, “Money is the root of all evil.” However, Scripture says it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. What is the difference? Give a hypothetical example.
- It is possible to have a small amount of money, yet be so consumed with desire for more money that one can think of little else. Some people even say that once they get what they feel they need, then they will begin to serve God as they know they should. Unfortunately, the “green spot over the hill” is never quite reached, so the Lord is not served. Others may say they know God is blessing their lives because they have an abundance of material goods. Does one’s material wealth prove he has God’s blessing? If not, what is the proof that God is blessing him?
- Read Acts 2:44-47 and describe the feelings in the hearts of that group of early Christians who gave of their substance to God. Are these feelings any different than what the world desires now? Explain.
- A part of giving money is done by means of tithing. The word tithe means “a tenth part.” We first read about tithing in the Book of Genesis (Genesis 14:20). In chapter 28, verse 22, we see where Jacob vowed a vow and said, “All that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.” Other references are Leviticus 27:30; 2 Chronicles 31:5; Malachi 3:10. We never would think of robbing a bank or stealing money from our neighbor, but how about from God himself? Read Malachi 3:8-10 and explain what you think these verses are saying. How does Matthew 23:23 indicate that tithing was still necessary after Jesus fulfilled the Law?
- Jesus spoke the words of our key verse when He was instructing His disciples on the requirements of their spiritual life. Read the key verse and explain what it means.
- It is good to reflect on the past and analyze how often the Lord has come through for us, not only spiritually but materially. Think back over the times you have given to the Lord and write down how the Lord has blessed you through your life. Remember the last line of the key verse.
We who are members of the Church (the believers) must be reminded that the Church does not exist to be served and to be the receiver of gifts. Instead, the Church exists to serve and give of itself to others, just as Jesus was rich and became poor for our sake. We must learn that the best gift we can give to Jesus is ourselves. This means, then, that we will live to serve the least of our brothers and sisters and be willing to give of our resources to meet their needs. As children of God, He expects us to do what we can to meet the needs of others so they can see and experience His love also.