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Leaders

INTRODUCTORY NOTES

Imagine your Pastor standing to preach next Sunday and beginning with these words

“I don’t know why I read to you those verses this morning from Matthew chapter 6 because I suspect that most of us do not believe them or practice the truth that Jesus taught. We say we do but the way we live our lives is the true index of what we believe. The book that really tells the truth about our beliefs and convictions when it comes to money and possessions is our cheque book.”

Beginning like that would certainly have the attention of your congregation. The above would also have some people on the defensive before the preacher went any further!!

Over the next few weeks you are invited to engage with the Scriptures and allow them to invade your private world of financial beliefs and practices. There will be something to challenge us all, something to offend others and something to excite others. Our focus will be on our attitudes and our belief system regarding money, possessions, materialism and our practices thereof.

One of the first objections that we are likely to encounter when we narrow the focus to material possessions is that stewardship involves much more than dollars and cents. Of course, it does! It touches issues to do with our care of the planet, the stewardship of our time, our abilities, our spiritual gifts…in fact, the whole of our lives.

Here are six reasons why we are placing the emphasis on the material aspect of this subject.

*Because the Biblical emphasis in on this aspect. 16 of the 38 parables of Jesus centre in upon money and possessions.

*Because the Bible confirms the daily immediacy and demands of finance and possessions. Materialism has the power to shape our lifestyle, dictate our values and determine our priorities. Definition: “Materialism = doctrine that the only or highest values in life is in our material well-being and the constant increase of that condition”

*Because the Bible acknowledges the relationship between spiritual and material Read Luke 19/1-10; Luke 18/18-25.

*Because the Bible recognises the inherent danger of money and possessions. Read Matthew 13/7; Luke 14/ 16-24  Matthew 6/24

*Because the Bible teaches that Christian churches are not immune from the impact of materialism.  (Read Revelation 3/17)

*Because the Bible teaches an eternal perspective, not a temporal one (Read Hebrews 11/24-26)

If we get this aspect regarding material possessions right, the rest will fall into place. If we don’t get this right, there’s no way we will get the other dimensions right.

So let us launch ourselves into this (usually) private (usually) ‘no-go’ area of our lives. Foundational to these studies will be the teaching of Jesus as found in Matthew 6/19-34. We will be looking at many other verses over the ask them to read it to the group.

READ Matthew 6/19-34.

Is there one verse here that

  1. puzzles you – and you would like your group to discuss it at some stage.

     

  2. excites you – and would you tell the group why it has this effect on you.

     

     

  3. challenges you – and you are uneasy about the possible implications for you.

     

  4. Sums up the whole passage?

     

Make a commitment now to read this passage once per day until your group meets again. This is one way to secure God’s Word in your heart and to approach your next study session with a heart prepared. In other words, don’t just leave the preparation to your group leader. You will get much more benefit in the group sessions if you soak your mind in the passage.

Plan to come to the next session with one observation that has come to you in the interim period. It may be a response to one of the three-fold comparison n No. 1 above. It may be something that stood out to you as you read the Matthew passage or some other source.

 

YOUR NOTES

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