God is Rich
Newbreak’s Sermon Study Guide is an in-house resource that serves sermon-based Life Groups and/or individuals who want to reflect further on how the message contributes to their spiritual formation.
In this week’s study, we continue our sermon series Flash Theology, based on the book. This time we talk about God’s wealth and riches, but probably not in the way it first sounds. God’s abundance of resources allows us to trust him as our source, and to live in light of his generosity. As it was a Kingdom Builders weekend, we talked about our goal of bringing clean water and the gospel to another province of Fiji.
Icebreakers for Life Groups
- What is a smell that reminds you of summer?
- Have you ever been sick from drinking unclean water?
Going Deeper Into the Message
God is rich.
Read 1 Timothy 6:17–19
Point 1 – Live out of God’s abundance.
The big idea here is God is rich. When we say God is rich we mean that in all that he is and everything that he has–he is rich and overflowing in abundance. God is rich in mercy, grace, wisdom, love, resources, etc. Our God is the Lord of it all! And yet, we get to live out of God’s abundance. Obviously, we don’t all have the same level of luxury. And for some of us, money is tight. We are not downplaying any of that. However, our financial struggles here in America truly are first-world problems. They are problems, but they are of the first-world class.
Whether in the first century (Paul’s day) or the 21st century, Paul’s words ring true...
1 Timothy 6:17 (NIV) Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
Even the poorest person here has more options than some people in other parts of the world. We don’t even know how good we have it. We strive for more luxuries and lose sight of how much we have. In other parts of the world, there aren’t options.
We complain about our OPTIONS and may not like the choices we have or think it’s not fair that some of the options are “less than” what we think we should have (like we “should” be able to buy a house before we are 30 years old), but having a choice is the hallmark of our society and the difference between us and poverty-stricken countries.
The world knew the early Christians for their generosity. The same legacy can be true of us, today!
Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection
- Do you think that God really wants to share all of His abundance with you? When are you most in awe of all He provides for you?
- Why do you think God gives you more than just your basic needs to survive? What would He like to see you do with the abundance He gives you?
- If you have a retirement plan right now, how stressful have the last few years been for you? If you don’t, does this worry you? How certain is your future based on your monetary wealth? What does God say about this?
God is rich.
1 Timothy 6:18 (NIV) Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
Point 2 – Be inspired toward generosity.
When I was a child my grandma and grandpa loved to give to me and my siblings and cousins. It was their favorite thing to do. I know it brought them great joy to see us happy. I didn’t catch on for years, but when I would get something and go and share it with my friends or family my grandparents would always give me more. However, when I didn’t want to share and I was stingy I noticed that they would give my siblings more than me. They were teaching me how to share by showing me what it felt like to have a generous heart. When I shared I may have had a little less, but it was way more fun to have less with others than it was to have more by myself.
I think oftentimes this is how our heavenly Father teaches us. He could easily give us all the same of everything. If He did that, we would not grow, we would not learn, and we would not reach out to new places and people with hearts of compassion. Our God wants to open the storehouses of heaven when our hands are empty because we’ve given what we have away, and pour more blessings upon us. He wants to smile watching us sharing and making friends. And the awesome part is, He will never run out of good things to give us, no matter how much we give away!
What we are talking about is the prosperity gospel. We don’t believe that our obedience to Jesus guarantees blessings of the material kind. That could happen but it also is not the litmus test of God’s favor in your life. Yet, we don’t think we should take on the poverty gospel, which would believe that God wants us to live in poverty and self-abasement. The gospel is the gospel. We are able to abound in little or with much. And through it all, the gospel makes us generous as organically as coffee makes you caffeinated!
Bottom Line: We live out of God’s abundance and are inspired toward generosity.
Now, what are we doing with this generosity? With our tithe (10% back to God via the local Church as an act of honor and obedience) we fuel and fund the ministry happening in our own zip code. With our Kingdom Builders giving, we are fueling and funding people and projects locally and globally to meet practical and spiritual needs. In this case, we are providing sustainable clean drinking water to the provinces of Fiji, meanwhile empowering the pastors and church planters there to be the ones bringing the water filters. They become the hands and feet of Jesus. And we are acting as the arms who are extending their hands as we provide clean water and the gospel to all people in Fiji.
Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection
- When you were a child, did you like to share with your friends or other people? Why or why not? If so, when did this change for you? How can you get to a point in your life where you seek ways to share what you have with others?
- Have you ever had someone who had very little share with you what little they had? How did this make you feel? Why do you think they were willing to share?
- What is something extra you have that you could share or give to someone else? If generosity is new to you, how can you start small? If you are more mature in your generosity journey, what more do you feel the Holy Spirit calling you to do?
Final Challenge Questions
- How are you going to think or live differently in light of what you have read, heard, and discussed this week?
- How does this week’s message shape or nurture your relationship with God?
- BONUS: For those of you with kids or around kids: What is one truth from this message that you can share with your kids in a way that they would relate to or understand?