SUCCEEDING WITH MONEY
When it comes to money, the definition of success in our culture is one that’s unattainable. How much do you need in order to say “enough” or before you feel secure? It doesn’t matter how much or little you may have; the answer is always “more.” But what if there’s a way you could really succeed with money? How might it look to follow God’s plan for our finances, and does His plan really lead to rewards we can count on?
Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. Did you get an allowance when you were young? If so, how did you like to spend the money you earned? Did you ever have a piggy bank?
2. When it comes to money, which of the following do you view as your strength: earn it, save it, or give it?
3. Read Luke 16:9. How might a worldly perspective of “make all you can,” differ from the same perspective in the mind of someone who follows Christ? Can you think of examples of this difference you’ve seen in your own life or in the lives of those around you?
4. Read Proverbs 6:6-8. What are potential advantages and disadvantages of the statement “save all you can”?
5. Read Luke 16:13. What do you think it looks like to “serve” money? Why is this dangerous?
6. Read Malachi 3:8-10. Have you ever “tested” God when it comes to your finances? What came of it?
7. Spend time reflecting on how the world’s economy differs from God’s economy. What is one step you can take this week to invest in God’s eternal reward by earning more, saving more, or giving more? .
Luke 16:9 – I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwelling.
Proverbs 6:6-8 – Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
Luke 16:13 – No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Malachi 3:8-10 – “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
To dig deeper into the topics of this week’s message, check out the “Financial Generosity” outcome on Gateway’s Spiritual Growth Path. Here’s an excerpt:
There is a significant misunderstanding about Scripture and money. In short, when it comes to money, common perception is that Scripture only teaches us to give it away. This perception is a misperception for multiple reasons. For starters, Scripture addresses money holistically. There is instruction on making money, saving money, spending money, and yes, giving money. A careful reading of Scripture, though, shows that there is not only misperception about Scriptures’ holistic teaching on money, but also about Scriptures’ teaching on giving…This teaching on giving, when read carefully, is not a teaching on giving in the sense that we give it away and it’s lost. It’s actually a teaching on investing. Jesus does not want us to waste our money. We waste our money when we invest it in things that will only whither away. Scripture teaches there are investments we can make with our money that will reap weighty and lasting dividends. When we generously resource the body of Christ, we are resourcing a movement whose impact is eternal. For this reason, when writing to the church in Corinth, Paul reminded them that “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” (2 Corinthians 9:6). He follows this with an exhortation toward cheerful giving: “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Cheerful giving is not possible if we are wasting our money by giving it away. Such cheerfulness would be a denial of reality. A person is cheerful in their giving, though, because they recognize they are making a wise investment. Their generous “sowing” will result in a generous “reaping.” This is an especially cheerful reality when we compare this use of our money to the the many necessary things we must do with our money to make it through this life. We use our money to eat, to clothe ourselves, to provide shelter, and enjoyment. These are all good and healthy ways to spend money. But they come and go. When we come to understand Scriptures’ teaching, that available to us is a use of our money that is not here today and gone tomorrow, we are inspired to sow generously toward the greatest of goods.
To complete the outcome in its entirety, visit gatewaychurch.com/spiritual_outcomes/ financial_generosity
SPIRITUAL OUTCOMES— gatewaychurch.com/spiritual_outcomes/financial-generosity