Dr. E. Dale Lock

Series: Easy Street

Week 3: Securing Our Financing

1. Icebreaker Question:  When in your life did you feel the most rich?

2. Continue to memorize our theme verse for this sermon series:  John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

3. As a review of the message from week 1, read Philippians 3:13-14: Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  How does this verse add to your understanding of how we can experience the full life that Jesus promised?

4. To review week 2, we learned that the full life Jesus intends for us is more than just looking good on the outside.  In fact, we won’t really experience Jesus’ full life in all its fullness until we’re willing to be authentic and honest about who we really are.  What are some things that happen in your life and in the lives of others when you are vulnerable and real about what’s going on in your life, rather than managing your image and pretending to have it all together? 

5.  Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-15: “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

6. What are some mistaken ideas in our culture regarding money? 

7. The Bible says a lot about money, but the message was somewhat different in the Old Testament compared to the New Testament.  The Old Testament prescribed that God’s people should give a specific amount of their income – 10%.  In the New Testament, Christ-followers often gave far above 10%.  In the Old Testament, the tithe was an obligation of the law.  In the New Testament, sharing your money with others was more of a naturally outflowing response of love and gratitude for what Christ did for us.  Describe the teaching you’ve previously had regarding how much Christians should give and why we give, prior to hearing this message. 

Pastor Dale shared 4 things that Paul says about generosity that will help us move toward the full life that Jesus promised:

It Matters:

8. In Matthew 6:19-20, Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Is Jesus against saving money and planning financially for your future?  If not, what do you think Jesus is getting at here? 

It Should be Intentional.

9. Paul encourages Christ-followers to work generosity into our lives as a habit. What is the benefit of developing generosity as a habit in your life – something you do regularly?

10. Paul indicates that our giving should not be out of compulsion.  Rather, it should be something we choose to do of our own free will.  Think of a time when you gave under pressure.  How did that feel? 

God will bless it

11. Think of a time when someone was generous toward you. Describe that experience to your group and how it impacted you personally. 

12. Consider a time when you gave freely and generously to one of God’s causes or to help a person in need.  How did that feel to be the giver? 

13. Studies show that a person who gives to someone in need actually experiences even more joy and fulfillment than the person who receives the gift.  Why is that?

It Should Increase.

14. Read 2 Corinthians 8:7:  “But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” What do you think Paul means when he encourages us to “excel” in the grace of giving? 

15. Why does he use the words “grace of giving”?  What does he mean by “grace” here? 

16. Pastor Dale quoted a friend of his who said that the last thing that gets saved is a person’s wallet.  What did he mean by that? 

17.  Wikipedia defines Prosperity Gospel as “A religious belief among some Christians who hold that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God, and that faith, positive speech and donations to Christian causes will always increase one’s material wealth.  It views the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver security and prosperity”  How is this different from what Pastor Dale was describing in his message today? 

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