Rev. Trevor Johnston & Billy Langley, Worship Director

Series: Dollars and $ense

Week 4 – An Ugly Cow Named Murphy


  1. This series’ memory verse should be more familiar to you by now, so fill in the blanks as you review the verse.

Luke 16:10-11 Whoever can be __________ with very little can also be ___________ with much, and whoever is ____________ with very little will also be _____________ with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly ___________, who will trust you with _______ riches?

  1. During the service there were slides featuring the insurance company’s commercials with a character who calls himself ‘Mayhem’. Share with the group a time when ‘Mayhem’ visited your life – a time when it seemed like there was mayhem going on in your life.

Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business, a personal money-management expert and extremely popular national radio personality.  He is the creator of Financial Peace University, which is the 9-week course many across both our campuses are taking currently. He says:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Everything that can go wrong will go wrong. That’s Murphy’s Law, and he’ll move into your spare bedroom along with his three cousins — Broke, Desperate and Stupid.”

  1. What do you think he means by that?
  2. Why do you think Dave is implying that when things go wrong we often experience being broke, desperate and stupid?
  3. If you are willing, share a time when Murphy’s Law visited you. What was the outcome in your situation?

Pastor Trevor explained how the book of Genesis is the first book of the Bible, and that it is the book of beginnings and the book of foundations. He highlights a significant story in the book of Genesis about Joseph.

Joseph was the younger son of Jacob. He was known to his older brothers as their father’s favorite and had been given dreams of God’s plan for his life. His jealous older brothers conspired against the boy and sold him to slave traders, while telling their father the boy had been mauled by an animal.
The slave traders took him into Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, one of the Pharaoh’s officers. Joseph served his master well and gained great favor. But the master’s wife tried to seduce Joseph, a young man of impeccable integrity. After he rejected her, she went to her husband with false accusations. It resulted in Joseph’s imprisonment. Once again, God proved his presence and protection for Joseph. The prison keeper befriended him and learned of Joseph’s divine ability to interpret dreams.
Because of earning this reputation, Joseph was called upon to interpret a dream that deeply troubled the Pharaoh. None of the Pharaoh’s wise consults had been able to decipher the dream.

  1. Read Genesis 41:25-32 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream.  The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine. “It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do.  Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe. The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.

How do these verses illustrate that there will always be seasons of abundance and seasons of famine?

“Murphy” Repellant

  • Don’t consume all your income
  1. What can happen to someone who consumes all their income without considering the potential of a ‘season of famine’?
  2. Read Proverbs 21:20 The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.

What does this verse mean to you?

  • Save a percentage of your income
  1. Read how Joseph counsels Pharaoh in Genesis 41:33-36 “And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt.Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.”

How much does Joseph suggest Pharaoh set aside?

  1. Do you have a savings plan that you follow? If so, how did you start? What was your motivation? If not, why not? What would it take for you to start saving?
  • Set savings goals

Dave Ramsey suggests that a great goal to begin saving is to get $1,000 into an emergency fund as quickly as possible.

  1. If you have at least done that already share how you did it, what sacrifices you made to get it started, and how it felt when you achieved that goal. If you haven’t done it, what would it take for you to get started?
  2. What do you do when ‘Murphy’ or ‘Mayhem’ come to visit? Pastor Trevor said that we can experience fewer visits from ‘Murphy’ or ‘Mayhem’ when we have an emergency fund. Why would that be true?
  3. Now read Genesis 41:37-40 The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials.So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”

What does this scripture say about God? What does it say about Jesus?

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