Interacting with the Sermon
Synopsis of the Sermon
Pastor Rich opened with at quote from MLK – “There are three conversions necessary for every human being: the conversion of the mind, the conversion of the heart, and the conversion of the wallet”. God IS concerned with both our private and public religious lives (woven through the Sermon on the Mt.). Our treasure on earth includes our money, but it goes beyond. Tim Keller writes “A counterfeit God is anything so central and essential to your life, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living. It can be family and children, or career and making money, or achievement and critical acclaim, or saving “face” and social standing. It can be a romantic relationship, peer approval, a competence and skill, secure and comfortable circumstances, your beauty or your brains, a great political or social cause, your morality and virtue, or even success in Christian ministry. When your meaning in life is to fix someone else’s life, we may call it “co-dependency,” but it really is idolatry. An idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, “If I have that, then I will feel my life has meaning, then I will know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.” Rich asks, “what’s our treasure”? How do we know if you have a treasure on earth? Anything that, if possessed, would define happiness for us. What is treasure in Heaven? It is Jesus. Rich asks, “why should we adopt Jesus’ view of life? Because it’s in our interest to do so. What do we want controlling our life (v.21)? Where our treasure is, so there is our heart – which impact our entire life. We need to live like we believe that everything we have belongs to God.
In 5 minutes or less, briefly give a synopsis of this week’s sermon. What insight, principle, or observation from this weekend’s message did you find to be most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling? Explain.
Getting the Conversation Started
These questions can be used as ice-breakers in the beginning OR interwoven between the questions below to draw the group into the discussion.
- What are one or two things from this weekend’s sermon that really stood out to you?
- Can you share a story of how you shared generously with others? What was the result of that? How did you experience God in that situation?
- Discuss briefly how faith and finances are linked?
Read Matthew 6:19-24
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[a]your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[b] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Be Strategic In Where You Put Your Wealth (Matthew 6:19-21) The literal translation of verse 19 is: “Do not treasure your treasures.” What do you think Jesus meant? What do you think He considered a treasure?
1. Is it wrong to have treasures? Discuss your answers.
2. Why is Jesus so concerned with where we store our treasure?
3. Discuss the truth that our heart will always follow our treasure.
Be Wise In How You Perceive Your Wealth (Matthew 6:20-23)
4. Is Jesus more concerned with our amount of money or our attitude about money? Why do you think this is so?
5. How would you define a biblical view of money?
6. What is the prevailing view of money in our culture? How important is money to most people when compared to family, relationships, job, spiritual activity or other areas of life?
7. We often hear the phrase, “The American Dream”. Talk about what that means to you and to those you know. Based on what Jesus said in Matthew 6, do you believe most people’s idea of The American Dream is biblical?
Be Careful In How You Position Your Wealth (Matthew 6:24)
8. Compare and contrast a person that is mastered by money, and one that masters his money. (Leader: You may want to write down what your group says in 2 lists to compare as a visual aid on a white board or flip chart.)
9. Why is it impossible to serve both God and money?
10. How do you know when someone serves money rather than serves God? What does their life look like?
11. Is treasure in these verses limited to just our finances? What else might we treasure outside of Christ?
Below you’ll see some options for ministry time with your group. We always encourage you to reserve time in your group to pray for one another and wait on the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus wants our whole hearts – for some of us, our wallets have been left out of that equation. What do we need to do to surrender fully Jesus? If anyone feels like they need to confess and receive prayer for next step, gather with one or two others for wisdom about how to move forward. What specific commitments can you make right now?
- Perhaps some need to go to one of the classes – consider going with another member of the group, or as an entire group.
- Budget Workshop – Stewardship for New Believers/Reboot for All Believers Saturdays, January 26th and February 23rd 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
- Financial Peace University from Dave Ramsey Thursdays, February 7th -April 4th 7:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
- Invite the Lord to reveal our “Treasures”, other “counterfeit gods”, we need to lay down before the throne of Christ. Leave some room for the Holy Spirit to speak and open our hearts to his redemption of everything. We want our treasure to be found in Heaven, but lives reveal gaping holes in that reality. Invite the Holy Spirit to move and deliver us.