Bible Study: February 23, 2014
NASHVILLE (BP) -- This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week's Bible study is adapted from the Gospel Project curriculum.
Bible Passages: Genesis 9:8-17; Matthew 6:19-21,24; 2 Corinthians 8:1-4
Discussion Questions: How is it a challenge to collect treasure in heaven rather than on earth? Consider seriously any material possessions that have captured your heart. Take time to offer a prayer of repentance, asking God for His power to honor Him with all of your wealth.
Food for Thought:
It has been said the only things we can take to heaven are the people we lead to Christ and the treasures we send ahead. The first part is rather easy to grasp, but the second might not be as readily understood. It is, however, affirmed by Jesus (see Matthew 6:19-21).
God is concerned about our wealth because wealth is an indicator of where our heart resides. If our hearts are with our wealth, they cannot be with God.
Jesus warned against collecting treasure on earth because of the ease with which it could be stolen or destroyed. Instead, He encouraged us to collect, or "lay up," eternal treasure that cannot be destroyed. One way we can do this is by honoring God with our wealth.
Honoring God with wealth means using money and possessions according to His priorities and, so far as we can discern, according to His kingdom purposes. We find this in obedience to what God teaches us about our attitude toward money: generosity instead of greed, sharing instead of hoarding, using it instead of being used by it, and using it for mission instead of mammon. Any attempt to be Gospel centered in other parts of our lives will be thrown askew if our finances are not subject to Gospel centrality.
Sometimes overlooked in Jesus' words is the truth that our hearts follow our treasure. "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be," said the Savior. If we hoard it, our hearts are enslaved to it. If however, we honor God by collecting treasure in heaven -- even when our heart is not in it -- sooner or later the heart will follow suit.
The Gospel Project
The Gospel Project is a Christ-centered curriculum that examines the grand narrative of Scripture and how the Gospel transforms the lives of those it touches. Through a three-year study plan, participants are immersed in the Gospel through stories, theological concepts and calls to missions from Genesis to Revelation. Separate study plans for kids and students/adults ensure the proper focus and depth. The Gospel Project is designed to unify an entire church under a single Christ-centered curriculum. More information, free samples, and The Gospel Project blog can be found at gospelproject.com.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.