Sunday, February 18, 2018

This week's lesson (February 17-23): the Impact of Tithing

Read Mark 12:38-40
1. What did Jesus say about "the teachers of the law"? What seems to have been their motivation?

2. If "the teachers of the law" are doing good things, then why does it matter if their motives are selfish? How does your answer apply to tithing?

Read Mark 12:41-44
1. Why did Jesus criticize the rich people who gave money to the Temple? Again, if they are doing good things, then why does it matter if their motives are selfish?

2. Why did Jesus praise the widow? What was her motivation?

3. In verse 40, Jesus criticized "the teachers of the law" because "they devour widow's houses" -- yet in verses 43f, Jesus praised the woman because she gave "all she had to live on." What does this say about those who give? What does it say about those who receive their gifts?

Sunday, February 11, 2018

This week's lesson (February 10-16): Honesty with God

Read 2 Kings 5

1. What did Naaman offer Elisha? Why did Elisha refuse?

2. Why did Gehazi treat Naaman the way he did? How might he have justified this to himself?

3. What did Elisha say to Gehazi -- and what does this tell you about Gehazi's motives?

4. When are you tempted to act like Gehazi? What can you learn from Elisha?

Sunday, February 04, 2018

This week's lesson (February 3-9): the Marks of a Steward

Read Proverbs 31:10-31

1. List the characteristics of the woman in these verses? Why are each of these important?

2. Based on these verses, what does sit mean to be a good steward? Why is wisdom important in stewardship -- or is it?

3. How do you resemble the woman in these verses? Where do you have room to grow?

Thursday, February 01, 2018

This week's lesson (January 27 - February 2): Stewards After Eden

Read the story of David, Nabal, and Abigail in 1 Samuel 25.
  • Why did Nabal act the way he did? Why did he think this was good stewardship?
  • Why did Abigail act the way she did? Why did she think this was good stewardship?
  • Who was the better steward: Nabal or Abigail -- and why?
  • When have you followed Nabal's example? When have you followed Abigail's? And what were the results of each?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

This week's lesson (January 20-26): Escape from the World's Ways

Read Genesis 24
  • What job does Abraham give his servant? What does this suggest about his relationship with that servant?
  • How does the servant ensure that he follow's Abraham's commands?
  • What can you learn from this servant about stewardship?

This week's lesson (January 13-19): God or Mammon?

Read Genesis 15-16
  • What is Abraham promised?
  • How does Abraham try to fulfill this promise by himself? What are the results?
  • How is Abraham's sin similar to that of Adam & Eve's sin in Genesis 3?

Friday, January 12, 2018

This week's lesson (January 6-12): I See, I Want, I Take

Read Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-23. (NOTE: "good and evil" is a merism, i.e. a pair of opposites that collectively include everything. "The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil," in other words, could also be translated as "The Tree of Know-It-All.")
  • ". . . the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom . . . " and what's wrong with that?
  •  How did a desire for good things get "the woman" in trouble? How does it get you in trouble today?
Read Romans 7:7-13. 
  • How is Paul's experience similar to that of "the woman" in Genesis 3?
  • Paul seems to suggest that "covetousness" is the basis of all other sins. Agree or disagree?
Thought questions:
  •  If you had to evacuate your house immediately, then what's the one thing you would grab before you go? What does this say about your priorities?
  • When (if ever) have you thought you'd be happy if you could only get that one thing you wanted? What have you learned from this experience?

Friday, January 05, 2018

This week's lesson (December 30 - January 5): the Influence of Materialism

1. Skim Genesis 1
A. Notice how everything in God's creation is "good," with a place for everything, and everything in its place. What does this tell you about the world in which we live? 
B. What job is given humanity in Genesis 1:26-30? How can we do this job today?
2. Skim Genesis 2
A. Notice how God fills the Garden of Eden (literally "the Garden of Delight') with beautiful things. What does this tell you about God? How does this add to your understanding of Genesis 1's pronouncement that all of God's creation is "good"? 
B. What job is given humanity in Genesis 2:15? How can we do this job today? 
3. Thought question: God created this world and called it "good." What's more, He filled the Garden of Delight with beautiful things -- so what's wrong with materialism?