When John D. Rockefeller was at the height of his financial wealth, he was asked the question: "How much money is enough?" He responded to the question with the statement: "One more dollar!" He already had more possessions than money could buy, as a result of the oil industry, yet he still wanted more. Like Rockefeller, we often get caught up with thinking that happiness is a result of having lots of earthly possessions. It may even surprise us that almost half of the world, over 3 billion people, live on less than $2.50 per day. Meanwhile, we walk into the mall, Target, or Costco, and we think about how our lives would be a little better if only we had more stuff. We miss how blessed we truly are and the attitude of contentment that God wants for each of us. This study takes a look at how to have a healthy understanding of wealth and possessions.
What is one of your favorite possessions? How hard would it be to give it up?
1. Why is God so concerned with how we use our money and possessions?
2. Read Matthew 19:16-22. What problems did the rich young ruler have? How did they hold him back from following Jesus?
Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”
“Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.”
“Which ones?” the man asked.
And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”
Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
3. What are some signs that a person loves their possessions more than they love God?
4. How are you doing at managing the resources that God has given you? What can you do better?
5. Read Matthew 19:27-30. What is Jesus' promise to those who put the things of God first?
Then Peter said to him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get?”
Jesus replied, “I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.
6. How does understanding where true contentment comes from, change the way that we approach wealth and possessions?
7. What is one area of your life you are struggling to put God first in? What are some steps you can take to overcome this struggle?
Summer is a time that people struggle to put God first. School gets out, so the natural rhythm of the week gets thrown off on going to church. Small groups have a hard time meeting because of busy vacation schedules. People get out of balance over the summer. For this reason, we want to encourage your small group to continue to meet over the summer. Today, work together within this section to come up with a plan that puts God first. Look at your calendars together as a group and make sure you know when your group is meeting. Plan times to attend church together, do a service project, organize social events, and regular group meetings so you can continue to make time for your relationships. Without a plan, we can naturally see summer as a time for ourselves rather than an opportunity to grow closer to God.
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For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.