NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the MasterWork curriculum.
Bible Passage: Matthew 6:19-21
— You have many options for what you do with your money. How much of a priority to you is giving it? Explain.
— What defines a “generous” giver?
— How would you explain the concept that the only way to free oneself from the grip of money is to practice generosity?
Food for thought:
Do you have a collection? Lots of people do. I collect baseball cards. My wife collects chicken figurines and chicken-themed kitchen items. My daughter collects key chains. My father collected coins. My mother collected plates with bird paintings and teapots.
I’ve known people who have collected bumper stickers or refrigerator magnets or postcards or spoons from each place they visited. Art, glassware, stamps, gems, cars, antiques — all that and much more are the objects of some collectors. In fact, online auction sites often include a separate category just for collectibles.
Did you know the Bible addresses collections? Jesus warned us in Mathew 6 about the dangers of composing collections of the “treasures on earth” rather than collecting for ourselves “treasures in heaven.” Ron Blue, author of “Never Enough? 3 Keys to Financial Contentment,” leads us through the process of setting our sights on those heavenly treasures that cannot be moth-eaten, time-destroyed, or thief-susceptible. Blue leads us to a process of generous giving.
Why should we be generous? What should motivate generosity? While there might be many answers to those questions, Blue identified four specific answers for our study. We give out of a willing obedience to our heavenly Father who in both the Old Testament and the New Testament expected His followers to give. We practice generous giving because doing so helps remind us that God owns it all and we are not to hold too tightly to the things of this world. We know our giving reaps rewards — not necessarily in this life but certainly when we hear the Father tell us, “Well done!”
Finally, we give because God gave. Certainly He gave the resources, abilities and opportunities we have. But more than that, He gave His Son for us. We cannot conceive a costlier gift than Jesus. God has demonstrated His character as a giver, and our generosity or lack of it either reflects or denies His heart.
MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors and offers pertinent, practical messages that adults will find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at www.lifeway.com/masterwork.