Flourishing financially seems harder and harder to do when inflation goes up and the stock market goes down. The Scriptures offer principles for wise money management even in difficult times.
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. Describe your relationship with money.
2. John listed several mindset traps in his message: 1) “I need that now!”- the debt trap. 2) “I’m not rich like that person” – the comparison trap. 3) “I can’t save or give until I have more” – the can’t trap. Which mindset trap about finances are you most tempted to fall into? In which areas do you operate from a freedom mindset?
3. Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-15. Here, the Apostle Paul is appealing the Corinthian church to continue their financial support of poor and suffering Christ-followers in Jerusalem.
◦ Make some observations about this passage (What does the text say):
▪ Who is talking?
▪ What is the circumstance?
▪ Any repeated phrases?
▪ What surprised you?
▪ What stood out to you?
◦ Make some interpretations (What does the passage mean)
▪ What questions do you have?
▪ Summarize the passage in 1-3 sentences – what are the main points?
▪ What do you learn about the nature and character of God as you read this?
▪ What do you learn about yourself and your choices?
◦ Now make some applications (what’s my response)
▪ How do you respond to what you are reading?
▪ How does this apply to your life?
▪ What is the central truth that you could put into practice from this?
▪ Who could you share this with for the sake of encouragement?
4. Read 2 Corinthians 8:15 which quotes Exodus 16:18. How does the story of Israel and God in the wilderness from Exodus 16 shed light on who God is? What do we learn about humanity? How should we respond?
5. Read 2 Corinthians 8:9. Summarize the kind of mindset displayed here. What would it look like to live out this truth in your daily life?
6. What is your next step toward pursuing a freedom mindset in an area where you struggle?
2 Corinthians 8:1-15 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have. Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”
Exodus 16:18 And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.
TAKE A NEXT STEP
1. Consider registering for the Financial Peace class starting September 26. Visit gatewaychurch.com/connect for more info
2. For further study on what the Bible says about money and generosity, check out our Financial Generosity spiritual Outcome by visiting gatewaychurch.com/outcomes
FOR THE PARENTS
Hey, parents! Here’s a look at what we’re covering with your kids so you can help them continue to grow at home during the week.
This week, kids heard about Nehemiah and his mission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Because sometimes you and your kid need a conversation-starter that isn’t, “So . . . how was church?”
- What would be one way of treating others the way God values them?
- What’s one thing you can do to treat yourself like you have infinite value?
This month, your kids are memorizing the Bible verse
EC: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy.” Romans 15:13a
Elem: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.” Romans 15:13a
Next week, we’re starting a new series! Check your email for next month’s monthly view of what’s coming up!