November 4, 2018

How To Be Rich

Day 1: Last week, Steve talked about leaving margin in our fields for generosity. Read Leviticus 19:9-10. God gave the Israelites the Law to teach them how to live a holy life (Leviticus 19:1-2). What wisdom or principle can we gain from this passage? While we may not be farmers, we still do work to produce income and wealth. Is there margin in what income we earn to allow us to be generous to the, “poor and the foreigners living among us?” It doesn’t really matter how much we earn if we spend it all. If we don’t have the margin in our budget to be generous, we can’t help people. Was there a practical financial step you took from week two of our series? How about this week? Is there something in your spending that you can say, “no” to in order to say, “yes” to being generous? It doesn’t have to be big. Maybe, pack your lunch this week instead of going out to eat. Maybe say “no” to your favorite coffee shop this week. Set aside those dollars to be prepared to help someone.   

 

Day2: Read Mark 10:42-45. Jesus, the King of Kings, came to turn reality on its head. Kings are to be served; we all know that. Yet, Jesus did not come to be served but to serve. The Roman Emperors of Jesus’ time would give away coins to the populous in order to curry favor with the people, yet Jesus demonstrated a different way. Jesus gave without seeking reciprocity. He gave out of love with no expectation of repayment. When we give our money and our time, what do we expect to get in return? Do we want to be remembered for our generosity? Are we motivated by the approval of others, or do we give with the heart of a servant expecting nothing in return? Recall the Heart Exam Tool from last week. Take time to reflect. How are you different after having been through this series, “How To Be Rich”?  

 

Day 3: Read Luke 14:12-14. Does this mean we have to call our family and cancel Thanksgiving this year? What is Jesus really getting at in this passage? True generosity is not transactional. We don’t give in order to be paid back someday. Instead, we show love to others because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). We love, serve, and give freely in response to God’s love, service, and generosity toward us, and ultimately it is God Himself who will repay us. It is a heart issue. It’s not about how much we give, rather it is about why we give. With the holiday season fast approaching, many of us will be preparing to gather around our feast tables in order to give thanks for our many blessings with our families. Is there someone you need to invite to join your family celebration this year? Is there a way you and your family can engage in blessing others this holiday season without any possibility of being rewarded? Talk as a family or with a friend. Make a plan and take action. 

 

Day 4: Read John 13:3-17. Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. The King kneeling to become the servant. This is what following Jesus looks like. Generosity in humility, love through service, not because we have to, but because we are overwhelmed that the Lord God would humble Himself to the point of dying on a cross like a common criminal (Philippians 2:5-11). We are called today at home, school, work, or wherever we are, to take up the basin and towel to serve those around us. Consider when we sing together songs on Sundays, we have the chance to prepare our hearts to go out and serve generously those around us. What is your experience in singing worship to God? Through listening or singing, does it cause you to be grateful? How did last Sunday’s worship affect you? Did it cause you to think/act differently the rest of the day or on Monday?    

 

Day 5: Read Acts 2:41-47. The first Christians were marked by their generosity. Everyone around them could look at them and know that there was something different about these people. Their allegiance had been changed (Matthew 6:24). Their focus was no longer the pursuit of a comfortable life with a big house and plenty of things. Rather, they became a radical infectious movement that forever changed the world. Generosity changed the world once. What would happen if the Church became known for its generosity again?  What would happen if we chose to model today what the early church modeled in its day? Does this sound far-fetched and impractical? Well before you stick a, “for sale” sign in your front yard, consider this: our lives are lived one conversation, one decision, one action, and one step at a time. You don’t have to sell everything and go live in a commune in order to live a generous life. It’s not all or nothing. It’s about living from a changed heart. Our lives are lived generously because of God’s generosity shown to us. Have you evaluated your personal management of money lately? Consider Financial Peace University (fpu.com/1076089). Or commit to regular church giving, stepping into a serve position, creating margin in your budget or some other step towards developing an attitude of generosity. 

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