- This question will help to bring further engagement with the subject as you give everyone a chance to respond.
- Perhaps the man was struggling with greed, since Jesus turns and addresses the crowd to be careful to guard against covetousness and greed. These things are wrong, because they elevate material things above their true importance in life. Our quality of life is not measured by what we own; possessions do not bring true fulfillment. Instead, we can seek to work toward eternal treasure, the things that will last. Read Colossians 3:1-4 as a good cross-reference to this topic. The key here is to be aware of our hearts and minds if we are starting to covet anything.
- Accumulating things for purely personal gain is not God’s plan for what He has given us. Our hearts need to be clearly focused on His kingdom and His glory, not our own. Jesus is directing us to think about being rich toward God – that is, He wants us to ask ourselves how our money and possessions can not only meet our own needs, but also expand His kingdom in the lives of others.
- Guard against all forms of greed and coveting; instead focus on the things that are eternal, because then you will find true peace and blessing.
- Paul urges us to present our whole selves to God. God has called us to live sacrificially, because He has given us so much mercy – He delivers us from sin and the condemnation that we deserve. Our whole lives need to be given over to God. Romans 12:1 deals with making our commitment to honor God, while verse two stresses maintaining it.
- Conforming to this world means that we live our lives “in conformity with” the systems in place around us. We think, say and do what people around us think, say and do. Being transformed in our minds means that we let God’s Word shape what we think, say and do through the power of the Holy Spirit. This kind of living shows us and others that God’s will is good by producing peace in us and blessing in our relationships and work. Materialism, pride and covetousness are pushed aside as we live with our minds transformed and our lives dedicated to God.
- Encourage group members to share the verse or passage they chose. If people cannot think of a passage right away, consider Romans 12:1-2 as a start. Also Luke 12:15 or Colossians 3:1-4 could be good passages. Meditating on God’s Word can be a first step in transforming our minds.
- No matter where we are in our financial understanding, it’s crucial for us to know how we are spending our money. We will get this information by keeping a record of everything we spend for the next 5 weeks. Sound challenging? Really, it’s not complicated at all!
Exercise For the Next 5 Weeks
Carry a small notebook with you to record your expenses, or make an on-going list on your smartphone. Be sure to capture everything for these 5 weeks, as you will need this information for weeks 5 and 6. Here are suggested categories to use while tracking your spending (You can also sneak a look at the Spending Plan in lesson 5 for ideas.):
- Church / giving Saving
- Housing (even if you don’t pay monthly)
- Utilities and phone/internet
- Groceries Car expenses (gas, repairs, insurance)
- Books / materials or other supplies
- Credit card payment
- Eating out / entertainment (including online purchases)
- Clothing, cosmetics, etc.
- Hobbies/sports Fun money!
©2014 Cru. All rights reserved. “Financial Faithfulness” is one of The Community series of Bible studies designed to be taught in group settings, one-on-one, or in seminar format. We'd love to hear your feedback. Please write us at email@example.com. This study can be freely printed for ministry and personal use. A link to this study may be posted on your website, but no content from this study may be included in another work or posted directly on a website without written permission from Cru.