Newbreak’s Sermon Study Guide is an in-house resource that serves sermon-based Life Groups and/or individuals who want to reflect further on how the message contributes to their spiritual formation.
About This Sermon Series
It’s still hot outside, but summertime is winding down and the school calendar is drawing near! It’s the time when we return to rhythms familiar to the calendar year. And yet, what if this was not simply a mindless return? What if this was a time when we intentionally reset? Over the next four weeks, we will be in a sermon series entitled: RESET. Our goal is that you and I enter into the typical fall routines with a fresh perspective of how to go about this with our best foot forward. It’ll be a good series with some important themes.
About this week’s sermon:
Did you know that the Bible talks about money almost 2,500 times? That’s a lot! And Jesus emphasizes it frequently in the gospels. The topic of money might not be the most savory on a Sunday morning, but because we care about following Jesus with every part of our lives we talk about the heart behind stewarding generosity.
Icebreakers for Life Groups
- What is one thing you’re hoping to get out of this season of Life Groups?
- If you could have any unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
Read Philippians 4:10-20
Point 1 –Generosity Transforms My Heart
In Philippians 4:14-19, Paul talks about how amazing the Philippian church was in their dedication and willingness to give to his ministry. He actually highlights in vs.15 that they were the only church to give towards his ministry when he set out from Macedonia.
Philippians 4:15- “Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only;”
In the verse above, Paul reminded the Philippians that their giving journey began very early on in their discipleship journey. They were in their “early days” of faith and caught the importance of giving generously to the needs of others. Their generosity towards others flowed from their own experiences of receiving the generous gift of God’s grace in their lives. In short, they gave because God gave first. They were following in the footsteps of their Master who said it was better “to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
Their generosity also left a legacy for others like us to follow. Imagine if they didn’t give to Paul’s work. Would the book of Philippians even have been written?
These sacrificial gifts to Paul were also a fragrant oering to God and an acceptable sacrifice to their Lord (Phil 4:18). Their willingness to help and give from their wallets was an act of worship before the Lord that pleased His heart greatly.
- What are some of the challenges that keep us from giving generously to the work of the Lord like the Philippians?
- The Philippians were motivated to give to Paul because they understood how generous God was to them. What motivates you to give?
- “But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt oering that costs me nothing.”” 1 Chronicles 21:24 David knew he couldn’t outgive God. How has God responded in your life when you have given generously?
Read Matthew 6:19-24
Point 2 – Stewardship Reveals My Heart
Stewardship is defined as “the job of supervising or taking care of something, such as an organization or property.” All of us are stewards of what God has given to us and it reveals our heart before God. Here at Newbreak, we break stewardship into four categories: Time, Talent, Treasure, and Testimony.
- Time// God calls us to be a good steward of our time. Since He ordains the number of days that makes up our lives, He asks us to take advantage of the time that we have here on this side of eternity.
- Talent// Each of us are gifted with certain spiritual gifts and natural gifts.
- Testimony// We also call this our God-story. This is our unique story of how we came to faith in Jesus and what He is doing now in our lives. God calls us to be ready and willing to share this story with others.
- Treasure// The funds that we have are a gift from God. Yes, we work hard for our funds but they are His funds nonetheless. What we spend our money on says a lot about what we find important and necessary.
One big part of our stewardship journey with our finances is our willingness to give our tithe back to the Lord.
Tithing is about honor and obedience. (Genesis 28:22, Leviticus 27:30, Proverbs 3:9)
From the beginning of the Scriptures, God has called His people to give a tenth of their income to the Lord (their first fruits). He wanted them to remember that He was the reason that they had crops, sheep, houses, rain, sunshine, good soil, etc. Their willingness to give back to Him was like a mirror of their hearts. Jesus didn’t get rid of the tithe in the New Testament. He actually raised the bar on giving.
- Of the four types of stewardship listed above, what are you the best at stewarding? What is one area of stewardship that God is helping you grow in? Which is the hardest for you to steward?
- Stewardship is not a money issue, but a heart issue. Why is it important that Jesus challenge the focus of your heart?
- Why do you think God wants the first part of our income, our “first fruits?” How can we do this more diligently?
- God loves us to share with others what He has done in, and for, us. How are you doing in that area? What would you like to share more about what He’s doing for you?
Final Challenge Questions
- How are you going to think or live differently in light of what you have read, heard, and discussed this week?
- How does this week’s message shape or nurture your relationship with God?
- BONUS: For those of you with kids or around kids: What is one truth from this message that you can share with your kids in a way that they would relate to or understand?