PRAY | As you prepare, pray for the preaching of God’s Word this coming weekend. Pray also for your time in this week’s study and your group’s openness to God’s Word.
Remember the 4 Rules for Small Group Discussion
- Confidentiality. What’s said in the group stays in the group.
- No cross-talk. Be considerate of others as they share. Refrain from side conversations and texting during group time.
- No fixing. We are not in the group to fix each other. Jesus does that part.
- Sharing. Be sensitive to the amount of time you share. Don’t talk too much or too little. Every person brings something valuable to the group.
- What is the first word that comes to your mind when I say the word “money”?
- What lessons did you learn about money from your parents?
- On average, how much time each week do you think about money?
According to the American Institute of Stress and the American Psychological Association, one of the leading causes of stress in most people’s lives is money. We worry about making money, saving money, losing money, not having enough money and spending too much money. According to marriage.com, the number one cause of divorce is cheating, but the number two cause of divorce is money problems. Forbes.com January 2019 reports that 78% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. The average American owes $38,000 in personal debt, not including their house payment. God is a promise keeper. He promises to give you rest, peace, wisdom, grace, and provision. God promises to be your provider and to meet your needs.
Ask someone to read Malachi 3:8-9.
- How were the people robbing God?
- What is a Biblical tithe? (10% off the top of everything)
Read through these five things that tithing does:
- Tithing reminds you that everything belongs to God. (Genesis 14:22-23)
- Tithing keeps money from becoming an idol. (Luke 11:42)
- Tithing does heart surgery. (Matthew 6:41)
- Tithing reminds you that God has been good. (James 1:17)
- Tithing keeps an eternal perspective. (I John 2:17)
- Which of the 5 statements about tithing speaks most to you in your current season? Why?
- Is there a confession you need to make about money? (Have you been acting like it is all yours and not God’s? Is money a higher priority for you than God desires it to be? Is it time to give tithing a try?)
Call on someone to read Malachi 3:10a.
Read through the 4 levels of giving:
- Learning. Tithing is the training wheels of giving. It’s where you learn God’s heart. It’s God’s minimum standard. (Financial Peace begins on Feb. 9 at all Pinelake campuses. This could be a great next step for you or some in your small group.)
- Tithing. The Old Testament commands a tithe. The New Testament commands people to give and do so cheerfully. (2 Corinthians 9:7) Jesus raised the bar beyond legalism.
- Giving. Offerings are given over and above your tithes.
- Generous Living. You live to bless others and make a spiritual difference. You know God owns it all, and He is most important.
Ask someone to read I Timothy 6:17-19.
- Who do you know that is an example of being generous like God is generous? How do you see this modeled in his or her life?
- Which of the 4 levels of giving do you find yourself? Is there a correction that needs to be made or a next step that needs to be taken?
Call on someone to read Malachi 3:10-12.
- What promise does God make in this scripture? (He will provide.)
- In what ways does He demonstrate His provisions in these verses? (1. He rebukes the devourer. For them, this was about agriculture. For you, it could be about your tires or washing machine or health. 2. He releases the resources of Heaven. God has a storehouse too. If you open your hands to God, He opens His hands to you.)
Read Philippians 4:19.
- What needs do you or your family or friends need God to meet this week?
- On a scale from 1-10, how much do you trust Him to do meet these needs? Why?
- What are some practical ways that you can lead your family and friends to trust in God’s provisions this week?