Crown FS Week 2, Days 1-6

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, Financial Stewardship

Crown Financial Ministries Small Group Biblical Financial Study, Week Two: God's Part/Our Part

Scripture to memorize:

Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone, and you are the ruler of all mankind; Your hand controls power and might, and at your discretion men are made great and given strength.

I Chronicles 29:11-12 (TLB)

Day One:

Read the Introduction Notes on pages 10 and 11 and answer.

1. What information especially interested you?

The notes in general, in light of Jim's message this past weekend regarding worshipping God with our money.

2. comment on any personal challenges you felt after learning the three reasons the Bible says so much about money.

The three reasons given:

  1. How we handle our money influences our fellowship with the Lord
  2. Possessions compete with the Lord for first place in our lives
  3. Much of life revolves around the use of money

A good question to ask myself always is: "am I being faithful with the small things?" I think I am, generally. But the small things are also the ones easiest to overlook. I find that I get in the most trouble whenever I start overlooking the small things. I don't think I have a problem letting money or materialism compete with God for first place in my life. I'd be perfectly happy living in a hut up in the mountains in Mexico - in fact, I look forward to the day when I can do just that.

Day Two:

Read Deuteronomy 10:14, Psalm 24:1, and I Corinthians 10:26 and answer.

1. What do these passages teach about the ownership of your possessions?

I don't own anything - everything belongs to God.

  1. God makes us stewards - we are given responsibility for the use and care - of thigns, but He retains ownership.
  2. I belong to God. I am a steward of my faculties and abilities, but God is responsible for my survival and well-being.

Read Leviticus 25:23, Psalm 50:10-12, and Haggai 2:8.

2. What are some of the specific items that the Lord owns?

Leviticus 25:23

The land (we are but aliens and tennants)

Psalm 50:10-12

  • Every animal of the forest
  • The cattle on a thousand hills
  • ("I know...") Every bird in the mountains
  • The creatures of the field
  • The world, and all that is in it

Haggai 2:8

The silver, the gold

3. Prayerfully evaluate your attitude of ownership toward your possessions. Do you consistently recognize the true owner of those possessions? Give two practical suggestions to help recognize God's ownership.

  • Praying I Chronicles 29:11-12 and other Scripture emphasizing God's ownership and our stewardship
  • Be even more giving

Day Three:

Read I Chronicles 29:11-12 and Psalm 125:6.

1. What do these verses say about the Lord's control of circumstances?

God is in control of everything. All things happen at His discretion. We exist in His kingdom. God has the power, ability, and wisdom to do whatever He pleases.

Read Proverbs 21:1, Isaiah 40:21-24, and Acts 17:26.

2. What do these passages tell you about the Lord's control of people?

Proverbs 21:1

God controls the hearts of the leaders He puts in place. He directs their hearts as He pleases.

Isaiah 40:21-24

God controls eternally that which exists temporally

Acts 17:26

God made all nations from one man. God determined the times set for every nation of men. God determined the exact places where every nation would live.

3. Do you normally recognize the Lord's control of all events? If not, how can you become more consistent in recognizing His control?

Normally, I do recognize - or, more correctly, acknowledge - God's control of all events. We can't always recognize the means or evidence of God's control, since His ways are higher than our ways, but acknowledgement of His control is a matter of choice. To be more consistent, I can meditate more on such Scriptures as Romans 8:28.

Day Four:

Read Genesis 45:4-8, Genesis 50:19-20, and Romans 8:28.

1. Why is it important to realize that God controls and uses even difficult circumstances for good in the life of a godly person?

Perspective: we rarely can see the "big picture" of God's eternal perspective. If we allow ourselves to become mired in the tyranny of momentary circumstances, we risk losing hope, and so act out of fear rather than out of faith.

2. How does this perspective impact you today?

"This too shall pass." "Do not worry about what you will eat or what you will wear." "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, and with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

3. Share a difficult circumstance you have experienced and how the Lord ultimately used it for good in your life.

Being engaged, having the greatest desires of my heart - a wife and family - and then having the relationship end. I don't yet know fully how the Lord will ultimately use it for good in my life, but these things I do know:

  • I know what it means to love to the point of dying to self for the sake of another
  • I know the true meaning of sacrifice
  • I have learned utter reliance upon and faith in God to sustain me in every circumstance

    Day Five:

    Read Psalm 34:9-10, Matthew 6:31-33, and Philippians 4:19.

    1. What has the Lord promised about meeting your needs?

    Those who fear the Lord will lack nothing. Those who seek the Lord will lack no good thing. We are responsible for seeking God and His kingdom, and He will provide for our needs. God will (and is able to) meet all our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus

    2. From the Bible, give an example of the Lord providing for someone's needs in a supernatural way.

    Elijah fed by ravens (I Kings 17:1-5). Elijah and the widow at Zarephath (I Kings 17:6-15). The feeding of the 4,000/5,000 (Matthew 14-15). All Jesus' healing miracles.

    3. How does this apply to you today?

    I have never gone hungry (to the point of starvation), thirsty (to the point of dehydration), naked or homeless

    Day Six:

    Read I Corinthians 4:2.

    1. According to this verse what is your requirement as a steward?

    We must prove faithful. We must demonstrate our worthiness both to receive the trust, and to handle that trust properly. We are entrusted with something as an investment, and must prove faithful to provide a return on that investment.

    2. How would you define a steward?

    One entrusted with authority over and responsibility for - but not ownership of - something.

    Read Luke 16:1-2.

    3. Why did the master remove the steward from his position?

    For wasting the master's possessions. For being unable to give a worthy account of his management.

    Read Luke 16:10

    4. Describe the principle found in this verse.

    Trustworthiness is a matter of character. It is an intensive characteristic of a person. That is, it does not change according to the size of the trust.

    5. How does this apply in your situation?

    Reality check! How faithful am I with the "little things"? Where do I need to grow or change my character to be more trustworthy?

    I will take the following action as a result of this week's study:

    I will become more conscientious about the "small things", and develop the discipline to remain faithful with those small things. I will begin tracking and recording everything I spend.

    OYB February 21

    Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

    Today´s reading:
    OT: Leviticus 11, Leviticus 12
    NT: Mark 5:21-43
    Ps: Psalm 38
    Pr: Proverbs 10:8-9

    Today´s notable verse:

    44 I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground. 45 I am the LORD who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.

    Leviticus 11:44-45 (NIV)

    I think this whole section on clean versus unclean animals (food) comes down to this point: consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Remember, the Mosaic Law was an imperfect type, shadow, and symbol of God's Perfect Law. Now, certainly, several practical reasons for avoiding those animals regarded as unclean existed: the science of the day knew nothing of pathogens. However, I think the primary reason for the differentiation between clean and unclean was simply to demonstrate to the Israelites the principle of consecration - setting themselves apart from the uncleanliness of sin in order to pursue the cleanliness of holiness and to approach the Holy God. Christ sums up this concept:

    10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. 11 What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' " ...17 "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.' "

    Matthew 15:10-20 (NIV)

    Thus, for the Israelites, the physical act of separating clean and unclean animals was intended to direct their hearts to separate between holy and sinful thoughts and attitudes.

    The One Year Bible Blog asks:

    Comments from You & Question of the Day - Related to this Proverb above, I read an article recently about how "small talk" is getting more and more prevalent in our world today... Do you think that some of our small talk is simply babbling?

    Sure it is. Aside from the obvious voyeuristic appeal of "reality television" is its utter lack of anything meaningful or significant. I don't really get into much discussion about such things. Apparently, the winter Olympics are going on, but I've not watched a single minute of coverage. I think there's a time and place for diversion solely for its own sake, but it should be much more limited than it is in our culture today. I am reminded of two principles:

    1) we are to be wise with the use of our time:

    15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

    Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV)

    2) our words indicate our thoughts, and our thoughts have a higher calling:

    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

    Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

    Quite simply, we really just don't have time for idle chatter!