Dr. E. Dale Locke, Rev. Trevor Johnston, and Pastor Efrain Silva
Sermon Series: Scatter
Week 4: Buried Treasure
English PDF file for printing: 11-24-2019
Para imprimir el archivo PDF en Español: 24 de noviembre de 2019
- Try to say our theme verse from memory together as a group: Luke 10:2:“Jesus told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’”
- Throughout this series, we’ve been using the metaphor of sowing seeds to talk about the mission of our church. Name some similarities between seed sowing and the mission of our church.
- What has been the most helpful idea from this sermon series for you personally?
- Read from Paul’s letter to the Christians in Corinth: 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!”
- What questions or comments come to your mind from this passage?
- God wants His followers to give Him everything – every aspect of our life. Last week we spoke about giving God our talents and spiritual gifts to use for his purposes. This week, we’re talking about giving our money back to God. Martin Luther said that the last part of a person to “get saved” is their wallet. Why do you think that is?
- Notice in 2 Corinthians 9:7 that Paul says we should “decide in our hearts” what to give. God wants our giving to come from our heart. Jesus said in Matthew 6:21: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” If a person were to look at your bank account, they would have a good idea of what is most important to you and what your heart is most attached to. Do you agree or disagree with that? Why or why not?
- Another aspect of what Jesus was saying in Matthew 6:21 is that whatever you begin to invest money in, that investment causes your heart to grow more committed to that thing. Give an example of that from your own life (not a spiritual example – just from everyday life).
- If you want to grow spiritually, giving money toward God’s purposes can help your heart grow closer to the Lord. If you’ve experienced this, share about that with your group.
- There are many reasons why people give. People sometimes give out of self-interest, for example, to reduce their taxes. And that’s not bad. But Scripture actually starts at the next level up – which is giving out of spiritual gratitude. Paul writes in Romans 8:32: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” And in Psalm 116:12, the Psalmist asks: “What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me?” Thanksgiving is coming this week. So take time to go around the group and have everyone share some things you are grateful to God for.
- The next level is to give out of obedience. At this level, you don’t need an emotional appeal, you just give a pre-decided percentage of your income to God, regularly and faithfully – whether you feel like it or not. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 16:2: “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.” Our church – or any church – can’t survive unless many people are giving out of this kind of obedience. Why is this kind of giving essential in order for a church to survive?
- The next level of giving is to give out of spiritual vision. Over the past month, Community of Hope has been seeking to discern a fresh vision of what God wants to do through our church. And we’ve come up with some exciting ideas! But this vision can’t happen without money to support it. Of the new ministry ideas that we are considering, which one excites you most?
- The highest level of giving is to give out of deep love for God. Love can cause people to do crazy things, like the woman who poured out extremely expensive perfume on Jesus in Mark 14:3-5. Read that passage here: “While Jesus was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, ‘Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.’ And they rebuked her harshly.” Share a story of someone you know of who gave at an outlandish level, because of their deep love for God.
- Begin praying about how much extra – above your regular tithing – you plan to give toward our annual Christmas offering. Our entire Christmas offering goes to support missions. Check out some of the missions ministries we currently support by going to https://communityofhope.church/missions/