Lord of Our Resources

August 13, 2005

Read: Jm 1:17; Dt 8:7-18; Ml 3; Mt 6:19-21; 24:45-51; Hb 13:5

Lord of our Resources. If everything in heaven and earth belongs to God, how do we know what is appropriate for us to use for ourselves? For others?

  1. All gifts are from God: James 1:17. What would be the effect on our living if we really believed that all gifts come from God? Would those gifts include troubles and well as blessings?
  2. Danger of forgetting: Deuteronomy 8:7-18. Moses warned Israel against the dangers of wealth. They could forget their commitment to God when God had given them prosperity in the land. To what extent is that a danger today? Is it a greater danger in our individualistic culture? In our secular culture?
  3. Tithing: Malachi 3:8-10. To what extent is tithing a duty and to what extent a gift? Is it possible for a gift to also be a duty?
  4. Treasure and hearts: Matthew 6:19-21. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus suggested that the treasure leads the heart. Is that always the case, or does the transformed heart re-direct our treasure? Can both directions be true at the same time?
  5. Faithful capitalist: Matthew 24:45-51; 25:14-30. Some of Jesus’ stories illustrated the importance of human initiative, others the importance of divine initiative. How does one correlate the stories of the faithful stewards in Matthew 24 and 25 with the story of the workmen who all got paid the same in Matthew 20:1-16?
  6. Contentment: Philippians 4:11-13; Hebrews 13:5. How does “contentment” fit in with the Protestant work ethic? Should we be working harder or softer?

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