Blessed to be a Blessing

Hidden Treasure  

 

Giving Americans donate $295 billion a year to charity, with just under a third of it ($97 bn.) to religious organizations. On average, Christians are giving about 2.5% of their income to churches.
(CBS News 3/5/08)

 

Martin Luther said that a Christian must be converted three times. The first time for his mind. The second time for his heart. And the third time for his wallet, and of the three the most difficult conversion is of the wallet.

 

 
Notation
Reciprocity
True Life
Jesus clearly states that "life does not consist in the abundance of....possessions." (Luke 12:15)
 

Lesson Overview

In the first three lessons on stewardship we learned  that what we have is not as important as what we value.

  • In the first lesson we were reminded that we cannot take any of our wealth or belongings with us when we die, therefore we should value eternal things.
  • We learned that God's owns everything and we are simply temporary overseers of what He has entrusted to us. That makes Him "the boss" over our finances.
  • We also learned that God hates poverty, but He loves the poor. We are most like Him when we are "poor in spirit"; choosing to serve others rather than ourselves.

This fourth lesson will help us understand that the blessings we recieve are meant be used to bless others. We will identify popular beliefs about blessings, see biblical examples of generosity and blessings, and consider ways we can be a blessing to others.

Introduction

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.(Malachi 3:10)

 

 "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Luke 6:38)

 

Do you mean to say that if I give to God and pay my tithes, He will bless me in return?"

 

Does God really bless those who give? These two verses are the primary scriptures some use to prove that God will give to us if we give to Him. In fact scripture as a whole teaches just the opposite. We do not give to receive.  Instead, we recieve so we can give.

 

Before you go any further, read the following statements.  Discuss with your class members whether they agree or disagree. 

  • The most giving people seem to be those who are the most thankful.  Whether they are rich or poor doesn't seem to matter. Thankful people just seem to naturally see God's blessings in every situation. 
  • When God blesses us, He expects us to be a blessing to others.
  • Morality doesn't matter.  If you give to God, He has promised to bless you back.
  • Sometimes God blesses us in ways others do not see.
  • God blesses us so we can be a blessing to others.
  • It is easy to identify who God has blessed and who He has not.

There are two ways to handle God's blessings.  We can stock pile His blessings or we can pass them on to others.  Luke 12:15-21 tells us what will happen if we choose the former.  What does God have in store those who choose to pass their blessings along?

 

God's Covenant with Abraham

In the very first book of the Bible we read how God established his covenant with Abraham. In this passage God promises to bless Abraham. But God's blessings were not just for Abraham's sake.  "God blessed Abraham so that he would be a blessing--not just to those around him but to all peoples of the earth.  God wants to that blessing to pass through us to the very ends of the earth." (Bob Sjorgren)

 

Genesis 12:1-3

Genesis 18:18

Genesis 22:18

Genesis 26:4

Genesis 28:14

Acts 3:25 

Galatians 3:8

 

 

What did Jesus say about giving and serving?

 

Here are a few Scripture verses that will help you understand God's perspective on giving and serving.

 

  • Luke 4:16-21--What did Jesus say His own ministry on earth was all about?
  • Matthew 6:1-2--What did Jesus say about prideful giving?
  • Matthew 25:31-41--When we give to and serve others, who are we really serving?
  • Luke 21:1-4--What is Jesus' opinion of those who give everything they have?
 

Jesus set the example of serving others?

 

Jesus is the kind of person who would serve the coffee at a high powered executive meeting--even though He is the C.E.O. of the company.  He is the one who would seek out the disenfranchized in order to offer help and words of encouragement. He would stop an important meeting in order to tend to a sick person who was in need.  

 

Jesus often made others feel uncomfortable with his acts of kindness.  Read the following passage: John 13:4-16

  • What did Jesus do that made his disciples feel so uncomfortable?
  • Why do you think Jesus washed the disciples' feet?
  • What did Jesus say when he was finished?
  • Considering Jesus' example and his command, what obligation do we have as His followers?

 

 

The first followers practiced generosity.

 

The first Christians made it a habit to give generously.  Read the following passages.  Why do you think these people were motivated to give?  What was the result of their generosity?

Life Application
 

How has God been blesing you? 

 

1. Take a few minutes and prepare a list of the ways God has been blessing you.  Make sure to include more than just monitary blessings. 

2. Write a thank you letter to God.  Thank Him specifically for the ways He has blessed you..  Include events, names, dates, amounts, and as many specifics as you can.

3. Identify areas where you see needs.  In what ways can you transfer God's blessings to others?

 
 
 
 
 
This email was sent to mosaic.inbin@gmail.com by info@mosaicbiblestudy.org |  
Mission to Philadelphia--Church of the Nazarene | 1707 Shelmire Ave. | Philadelphia | PA | 19111

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