How To Be Rich

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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October 21

How To Be Rich

Say “NO” In Order To Say “YES”

Day 1: Read I Timothy 6:6. Hey rich person. Yes you! How is being rich working for you? This week Paul tells us that godliness with contentment is great gain…is itself great wealth. Gain to us often means newer, bigger, upgrade, latest model, more square footage, extra stuff and extra savings. Paul had a different view. He says if you want great gain or great wealth, learn to be content. Contentment is more valuable than the stuff we acquire. What areas of your life cause you to feel trapped into comparison and temptation? When do you struggle with contentment? Often times, your spouse or close friend has a different struggle in this area. In a moment of honest reflection, why do you think discontentment is a struggle for you?

Day 2: Read I Corinthians 10:23-24. To truly be rich we will have to learn to say, “no” to ourselves. In the 1980s, Nancy Reagan coined the slogan “Just say NO” empowering children to stand against drugs. The idea was to say “no” to something that might bring temporary enjoyment and pleasure in order to say “yes” to something better and longer lasting. The same is true when it comes to generosity. There will be times that we will have to say “no” to ourselves. “No” to our children. “No” to more stuff. “No” to more status. “No” to more security. In order to say “yes” to God resulting in a lifestyle of generosity which leads to great gain. Keep this slogan in the back of your mind today. Choose to intentionally say “no" to yourself when you have the resources to say “yes.” This is likely not an issue of right or wrong but a decision to deny yourself in order to teach yourself to be content and to honor God.

Day 3: It seems like the more we have the less we should want. But that is not how appetites work. Think about the stage of life in which you were most content. Cory discussed an early time in his marriage when he and Amy were very content when outwardly they possessed very little. Most likely, we can all recall a time when we experienced contentment even though we lived simply. Read I Timothy 6:7-8. Who in your life demonstrates gratitude and contentment? What do you admire about them? Thank God for them. Consider contacting them today and ask them how they have developed contentment. 

Day 4: Read Romans 12:1-2, 9-21. We see and hear advertisements daily. How can we find the power to say “no” when we have the resources to say “yes?” The answer is in a word: AWARENESS. Back in the day, people bought mostly based on need. Today, we buy mostly based on want. Our want is magnified by awareness. If I was not aware of the new version, the latest upgrade, etc. I would not want it. Saying “no” to self and “yes" to being rich involves awareness. Awareness can fuel our discontentment out of a desire for more. Or it can propel us toward increased levels of generosity as we become aware of needs that really matter. Where can you avoid unnecessarily exposing yourself to environments that make you discontent?  Where can you start exposing yourself to needs, causes and opportunities that cultivate contentment and generosity? Take a step to cultivate awareness towards causes that truly matter and make a difference. Here are some local opportunities:  


  • LSCC partnership ministries: Hillcrest, Rachel House, If Not for Grace, Lullaby of Hope,  lscckc.org/serve-partnerships 

  • Pro Deo After School Program. Support and accountability for teens grades 9-12. prodeoyouthcenter.org

  • Rebuild Together. Help elderly stay in their homes by doing repairs.

rebuildingtogether.org

  • One Good Meal. Provide hot meals to seniors. onegoodmeal.org

  • Veteran’s Community Project. Help build tiny homes for homeless vets. Contact Anna Peterson or 573-247-9623.

  • Serve Our City. Deliver Thanksgiving meals to community. lscckc.org/serveourcity

  • Neighborhoods. See a practical need in your neighborhood. Contact your HOA to see how your family could serve. 

  • Prepare to respond to a need. Consider carrying $20 cash with you ready to respond and bless.

  • Pay it forward. Pay for someone’s meal.

  • Give yourself space to help, bless, and respond to live generously.

Or you may already know of a need; go make a difference.

Day 5: Read I Timothy 6:9-10. Being good at being rich is not just a matter of deciding what to do with your money, it also includes a healthy understanding of what your money is doing with you or to you. Money has an effect on its owners. Many people who have money spend a lot of time looking for ways not to lose it or to accumulate more of it. The key is to possess money without it possessing you. Greed must be controlled or pulled at its roots. Consider times you wanted something out of your reach. What sacrifices did you have to make? Did it require sacrificing time with family, integrity, unhealthy work habits, missed opportunities? Was the sacrifice worth your desired outcome? Meditate on I Timothy 6:6. What learning do you take from this life experience? 


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October 14

How To Be Rich

Day 1: Read I Timothy 6: 3-10. We are RICH. We ARE rich. Have you taken time to consider that since hearing the message? What do you consider to be rich? One definition we heard yesterday was, “Rich is having more than we need.” In what ways do you experience ‘having more than you need’? Have you taken time to understand and reflect on the richness that you enjoy in your material possessions? What about the riches you have in relationships? What riches do you possess in your faith? Take time to thank God today.  

  

Day 2: One of the Next Steps from Sunday’s message was the following: Make a list of your “rich people” (that’s you) possessions and opportunities. Sit down and write that list out today. After you list these, answer the following questions: Do I own these or steward these? Do I look to freely borrow or share or do I not? What do these answers reveal about my attitude towards money? Thank God today. Also, consider this prayer; God, show me how I can give, share or borrow. How can I be generous today?   

 

Day 3: The results of your answers to yesterday’s “richness” have the power to change your views of money. We all are so very rich in every aspect of our lives, yet our constant pursuit of money can keep us in a perpetual state of “want”. God cares about how to be rich as we experience richness. Make two lists; one list of significant items that you need to buy in the next twelve months. The second list would be things that you would like to purchase in that time. Done? Ok, read Philippians 4:11-13. (Recall we read this passage in last Friday’s devotional.) What secret does Paul share with us about living in contentment? We like to quote the last verse, but we can miss the context. Paul is content in all financial circumstances because of the trust he has and the strength he receives from his relationship with Christ. He knows the “who” is more important than the “what”. Life is more than houses, cars, clothes….more than status, popularity or success. Real depth in life is found in relationships with people and with Jesus. We know this to be true. Yet the lure and pull for “more” leaves us constantly in a mindset of “need” that gives money a hold on our lives. How does your life – how you spend your time and resources – reveal how you view relationships? Do our spending habits and where we focus our time paint a different picture? How well do our actions follow our words? Thank God for His provisions in your life even if they don’t seem adequate.  

 

Day 4: Read Isaiah 30:1-5. God had provided for Israel’s needs in the desert, but their faith eventually began to waiver and instead, they turned back to Egypt and their love of riches. Here is a penetrating question we can ask ourselves. In what ways are we like the people of Israel? If we have lost our way, where do we place our trust? In what/whom do you place your trust and hope? If you had to list 3-5 “objects” of trust, what would be on that list? Which one tempts you to trust in over trusting in God? We can be bold in our prayers. Ask Him to give you faith to trust in Him over everything else. Lastly, take some time to thank God today.  

 

Day 5: Read I Timothy 6:17-19. Paul gives a warning for Timothy to pass onto the people he is leading. What is the two-part warning? The first is arrogance. It’s easy to judge others based on their clothes, house, or job. Those who are “rich” can see themselves as superior. And the poor can view the rich in the same way. Paul instructs us to shift our focus from comparison and status to doing good to all regardless of wealth or position. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how you can be generous today. Throughout your day, look for opportunities to help another. Also, watch for ways to accept help from another. Don’t let pride get in your way. God may have sent them your way for a reason. Finally, thank God for His provisions in your life.