Bible Study Lesson Two

Living Generously

 

Lesson Two: Discussion Questions

 

Please watch the "DEFENSE" and "Teaching Moment" videos prior to beginning the study.

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SESSION 2: DEFENSE

OPENING QUESTION

1. What does the expression “money talks” mean? If your money were to talk, what do you think it might say about you and your relationship with money?

 

FOCUS

 

Guilty.

We hate that word. We spend our whole lives trying to avoid that word.

Whether we work to do good to avoid being called guilty or we work hard to hide our true motivations so no one knows that we are guilty, we all want to be perceived as generous and giving. But money talks.

And if our money talked about us, what would it say? Would it speak of our love for others, or our greed? Our money is our best character witness because it knows what we truly want and who we truly serve.

Throughout the Bible, especially the Old Testament, God battled against idols that constantly deceived and pulled the love of his people away. Money is just like that. Money receives the trust and devotion of its followers, just like the Old Testament idols did. We put our hope in money – just look at the stock market where the key word there is “confidence.” What’s another word for confidence? Trust. When an idol becomes our chief security, we forget the grace and love of God.

We cannot serve two masters. Jesus called out his chief competitor – money. We are all guilty of shifting our trust to this idol. The evidence is very clear against us. God only needs to look at our spending, our giving, or our savings to know the condition of our hearts.

RECAP

Frank Donovan began his journey of generous living on a very different path. He was putting off a discussion of charitable giving with his financial planner and focusing instead on doubling his financial goals. Re, Frank’s gardener, taught Frank’s son Evan about the importance of giving God our first and best. Evan took this to heart, giving away his favorite toy to a little boy who didn’t have any. Frank saw this act of sacrificial giving and experienced his first pang of conviction. This week we see just how apt that word is.

THOUGHTS

We’ve all heard the expression “Money Talks.” Frank will never hear that expression the same way again – and neither should we. The Bible clearly teaches that money has a voice. Money can cry out and testify against us. Frank saw this clearly in his dream.

We are on this journey of living generously. We need a life change; a heart change. The point here is not to preach a poverty gospel or to villainize the wealthy. Remember what we talked about last week: It is not about how much you have, but it is about how we respond to God with what we do have.

MONEY

 1. If your money took the stand, how would it answer the question as to whether you seek and heed advice from God in your relationship?

 2. Do you think your life would be better if you had more money?

THE BIBLE SAYS

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some have been led astray from the faith in their greed, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10).

3. What, according to 1 Timothy 6:10, is the heart of the problem?

GIVING VS. THE REST

1. Are you a generous person? How would we know?

2. Frank’s Giving was certainly a surprise to him. Was it because Frank gave little? Or was it about something more important than that?

3. What is the percentage that God gives to us? A tenth? A quarter? Half?

4. Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-7. What are the economic factors for the Macedonian churches? How did they give? Who did they give to first?

GUILTY

 1. Have you ever had a wake-up call when it came to your resources?

Care to share?

THE BIBLE SAYS

“He who loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase: this also is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).

2. When you’re in love, how do you act?

3. Which commandment did Frank break?

THE BIBLE SAYS

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24).

4. Are you guilty of serving another master besides God? What’s the best thing to do if you find yourself guilty?

ACCEPT. BELIEVE. COMMIT.

1. Read Romans 3:10-26. Who is held accountable before God?

2. How do we get right before God, according to the following verses?

Romans 5:1-2: Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; through whom we also have our access by faith into this grace in which we stand. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:8: But God commends His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 10:13: For, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

PRAY and ask God to forgive you and save you.

ADMIT you’re a sinner and that your sin has distanced you from God. Acknowledge that you have fallen short of God’s standard of perfection. Confess that you have put other gods before Him. We will all stand before God at judgment day and be held accountable for our actions. Ask for forgiveness now before it’s too late.

BELIEVE that Jesus Christ died for your sin and paid for the price for your sin on the cross. The price we pay for sin is death, but Jesus paid it for us. Believe that Jesus rose from the dead to prove He was God, showing you He has the power over death.

COMMIT your life to following Christ because of what He has done for you. You now have a relationship with Jesus and you look forward to continuing that relationship with Him forever in heaven after you die.

Generosity is not on a list of rules handed down from on high and it isn’t just a financial principle. It is a response to the love of God. When our hearts are aligned with the Father’s, we respond by loving others, and living generous lives. Our money is the most obvious indicator of our hearts in this area. It has been said time and time again – if you want to see someone’s priorities, look at their checkbook.

What master do you serve? Money? Yourself? Food? Status? Power?

Or do you serve the one true Master? Next question: How does your life reflect that?

Could someone else tell whom you serve by looking at your life?

DIG DEEPER

Questions to ponder this week as you pray about this lesson.

1.  What would your “financial” characters look like? Describe them in detail.

• Your Money

• Your Giving

• The Other 90%

2. How has money become an idol for you? List three ways you struggle with letting money control you.

READ JAMES 5:3: Your gold and your silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be for a testimony against you, and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up your treasure in the last days.

What would your silver and gold testify about you? Who is in control when it comes to your money?

LET’S DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT

Things to do this week as you apply this lesson to your life.

• This week, at some time, take your checkbook or wallet and pray over it.

Ask God what to do with your money and listen this week for his response.

• Pray and ask God for forgiveness if you have ever put money ahead of God. Tell Him you’re sorry for giving your heart to other things.

• Do you have a relationship with God through Christ Jesus? Did you pray the prayer of salvation? If so, tell your teacher or pastor what you did - they would love to help you take the next steps!

• Memorize Matthew 6:24.