Bible Study: Oct. 16, 2016

by staff/LifeWay Christian Resources, posted Thursday, October 13, 2016 (5 years ago)

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 YOU curriculum.

Bible Passages: Proverbs 11:1, 4, 18, 24-26, 28.

Discussion Questions: Why do you think God cares so much about how we handle our money? When have you been on the receiving end of generosity? How can you demonstrate generosity toward others?

Food for Thought:

If your life were cut up into a pie chart, it might be divided up into a lot of categories: work, home, church, friends and many others. And one piece of your pie would probably be money. That's okay. Money isn't evil. It's a necessary part of living each day on earth. But since it's a piece of your life, it's also something God cares about deeply because He cares about everything that makes up who you are. That's why the Bible has so much to say about money and why we will never be truly alive until we learn to handle money wisely.

Many of Solomon's proverbs talk about using money wisely, and even Jesus used money stories to teach important lessons. But confusion over the topic continues today. Many, even in the church, think it's wrong to be wealthy. The truth is, God gives each person what he or she can faithfully handle. Through the years many godly people have done incredible work with the riches God has given them -- things no one else could have done. But they made sure their focus was on the Giver of the gifts, not the gifts themselves. We honor God through the money He's

entrusted to us. That's the wise and righteous way to approach our money and the only way to avoid the emptiness that comes from using money unwisely.

Solomon taught that wise use of our money and possessions means giving it back to God and using it according to His plans. In Proverbs 11, Solomon again affirmed that God stands against those who lack integrity, especially at the expense of others. He wrote that God finds dishonesty "detestable" (v. 1). He applied this basic principle to the area of money through the use of a contrasting parallel, starting with the negative aspect of dishonest gain and contrasting it with the benefits of financial honesty.

We know people make money in one of two ways: honestly or dishonestly. And they spend money in two ways: wisely or unwisely. Solomon doesn't pull too many punches in telling believers exactly which choices they should be making. In a world that sometimes approves of cutting corners or "shrewd" business practices, believers serve as lights of integrity for God's glory. If we can get a handle on this money issue, God has promised to bless us, and so many other areas of our lives will fall into place. When we demonstrate wisdom by handling money honestly, we bring Him delight because we are doing things His way.

Solomon went on to make two things incredibly clear in verse 4: a day of wrath is coming, and none of the riches we accumulate on earth will help us on that day. While money is an important trapping of this world, it means nothing when we enter the next. It can't guarantee a spot in heaven or provide eternal security. Righteousness is the only currency recognized in heaven! Remember that riches are here today and gone tomorrow.

If God really owns everything -- and we manage His stuff for His honor -- then we have to see money differently than the world sees it. We should never waste our time and energy in an empty, unfulfilling chase for money. We've got to use all we have for God's glory.

YOU

Intentionally focused on urban and multicultural believers, YOU is biblically based with culturally relevant and affirming lessons to help people connect, grow, serve, and ultimately be engaged in impacting the world for Christ. This flexible, non-dated all-in-one quarterly resource offers weekly Bible study for leaders and learners, devotionals, and teaching plans, as well as articles on hot topics and missions. For additional online teaching resources, visit LifeWay.com/YOU.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.

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