Title: Investment Strategy
Summary: God’s generous grace opens our eyes to the strategic benefit of giving to others
Key Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
GENEROSITY, LIKE FARMING, BRINGS A GOOD HARVEST (2 Corinthians 9:6-11)
GENEROSITY MAKES AN IMPACT ON OTHERS (2 Corinthians 9:12-14)
GENEROSITY IS LINKED TO GRATITUDE (2 Corinthians 9:15)
HOW DO WE BECOME GENEROUS PEOPLE?
Have you given money to a charity or church? How did you feel about your gift? How did this feel different than when you paid your income taxes in April? You gave money both times but did you feel the same in both cases? Why or why not?
Is giving only a financial issue? Read Ephesians 2:8-10 and talk about developing spiritual gifts and abilities to serve God. When you have taken action to give time, talent or treasure to serve others for Christ’s sake, what results did you see? How did you experience God in the midst of your giving?
Read with your group 2 Corinthians 8-9. What is the context of Paul’s teaching on giving generously? In what ways does God’s loving grace toward us impact our ability to be generous with others?
Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 again. When you have peace with God, how will you respond to others whose lives are filled with physical, financial or spiritual need?
When you are generous toward others for Christ’s sake, what benefits come beyond meeting physical needs (see 2 Cor. 9:12)? If we fail to be generous, what blessings do we miss?
Do you ever feel pressured into giving? Why might you feel this way? How is grace giving different than giving motivated by guilt or pressure?
Debt is a problem for Americans. Did you know Stonebridge regularly offers the Financial Peace University to help you learn how to get out of debt and find financial freedom? If you’ve taken the course, what helpful lessons did you learn?
ASSIGNMENT: Get alone this week and reread 2 Corinthians 9:6-15. Reflect on 9:10, “God who supplies…bread for your food”. Talk to God about this question: “Father, if you are the One who gives me every bite of food every day, why do I find it challenging to cheerfully give back to you to meet the needs of others?” Write down your thoughts.
Title: Radical Generosity
Summary: Radical generosity is a sign of God’s grace in a disciple of Jesus
Key Scripture: 2 Corinthians 8:1-15
“Money is an instrument that can buy everything but happiness and pay your fare to every place but heaven.”
GENEROSITY IS INSPIRING! (2 Corinthians 8:1-9)
THERE ARE TWO BENEFITS TO BEING GENEROUS (2 Corinthians 8:10-15)
WHAT IS MY NEXT STEP?
Have you ever witnessed extravagant generosity? How did it motivate you to be generous too? In what ways did your mother teach you about being generous?
Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-15. Who are the people mentioned in this passage? Where do they live? How is Paul related to them and their churches? Why does Paul encourage them to give?
Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-7. What impresses you about the giving of the Macedonians? Of five observations Randy made regarding their giving, which one resonates with you the most? Why?
Read 2 Corinthians 8:8-9. What do you learn about giving from Jesus? What would have happened if Jesus decided to tithe 10% to save us, rather than 100%? What thoughts come to your mind when you think about his sacrifice for you?
Read 2 Corinthians 8:10-15. What are two benefits of being generous in these verses? Have you ever felt guilty about “desiring” to be generous, but not actually following through with it? Why did Paul quote Exodus 16:18 and what are we to learn from this story?
Art Ranier says “Debt is a generosity killer.” How have you felt stressed because of the debt load you carry? How has debt affected other family members? What tempts you most to use the credit card and what steps would you like to take to resist this temptation?
If you evaluate your love for God in light of your checkbook or spending habits, what grade would you give yourself? In what ways can you improve your grade?
Assignment: Randy said “the more generous we are, the more ministry we can do” and “not equal giving, but equal sacrifice.” With your group, make a list of the reasons why investing time, talent and treasure at Stonebridge makes sense. What one thing will you do this week to begin a lifestyle of generosity? Who can you ask to be your accountability partner?
Next week (May 19-20) Communion “Investment Strategy” – 2 Corinthians 9:6-16
Title: Are You the Owner?
Summary: Everything we have comes from God and we’re blessed by honoring him with our resources
Key Scripture: 1 Chronicles 29:10-22
WEALTH COMES FROM GOD AND BELONGS TO HIM (1 Chron. 29:10-13)
GOD MADE US HIS MONEY MANAGERS (1 Chron. 29:14-17) 1 Peter 2:11
PRAYER CHANGES US AND GROWS OUR DEVOTION TO GOD (1 Chron. 29:18-19) Philippians 2:13
YOUR GENEROSITY INSPIRES OTHERS (1 Chron. 29:20-22) Mark 8:36
How do I get started honoring God with my resources? 1 Peter 2:12
What excites you most about giving money to help others? Who gave to you last week? How did you express your gratitude?
Read 1 Chronicles 29:1-9. How is David’s use of money a model for joyful giving? How did it inspire leaders to be generous? What impact do you think this made on David’s son Solomon?
Read 1 Chronicles 29:10-22a. As David nears retirement, what things are uppermost in his mind? What fears may be hiding behind these priorities?
What is David’s view of how a nation prospers? What does his prayer say about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and the American Dream?
As you review David’s prayer, what attributes of God’s character does he emphasize? What does he mean when he says “we are strangers…sojourners…our days on earth are like a shadow” (29:15)? How does our knowledge of God and our devotion to Him influence the way we view our lives and possessions?
Of the four principles Randy observed from this passage, which one resonates with you the most? Does David’s prayer change the way you view ownership of your money and resources?
What changes would you like to make to be more generous (eliminate debt, increase savings for more margin, pay off your car or mortgage)?
Assignment: Read the correlating Scriptures from this message aloud with your group (1 Peter 2:11-12; Philippians 2:13; Mark 8:36). How do these truths inspire our devotion to God and his vision for us?
Title: Financial Fears
Summary: Don’t worry about money because God cares for you and rewards generosity
Key Scripture: Luke 12:22-34
DON’T BE ANXIOUS ABOUT MONEY (Luke 12:22-31)
YOU ARE A KINGDOM – CITIZEN, SO BE GENEROUS (Luke 12:32-34)
WHAT IS MY NEXT STEP?
Have you had a time when you noticed that the more you had, the more you wanted? When you feed an appetite, what happens to it? Why?
Talk with your group: Why do we hesitate to give to others even though we have more than we need? What are the causes of money anxieties?
Read Luke 12:13-21 to review our study from last week. What did we learn about how money can have power to make us “fools”?
In Luke 12:22-31, what are three reasons Jesus tells us not to worry about money? On a scale of 1-10 (1 is “no sweat” and 10 is “panic”), what is your worry quotient right now?
Read Luke 12:32-34. Do you agree with Jesus that being generous with others is an antidote to “affluenza”? Why or why not?
What is one thing that gets in the way of you being a percentage giver rather than spontaneous or sporadic? What is one thing you can do to overcome this obstacle?
What kinds of things could you and Stonebridge accomplish in our community if everyone becomes a percentage giver?
Assignment: Read Acts 2:42-47 with your group. How do you think the early Christians practiced generosity and a willingness to share? Does this work today? What can your group do to support each other to be more generous?
For next week: Read 1 Chronicles 29:10-22 and write down your observations about King David.
Prayer Walk — April 29 @ 10:30 AM
Join with others to pray for our vision to reach under-resourced families in the 52404 zip code. Prayer walkers will meet in The Bridge at 10:30 AM and divide into groups. Each group will be given a suggested area to walk and pray throughout the city. Prayer cards with topics and scripture will be provided. Walkers should be able-bodied and dressed appropriately for the weather. Upper elementary children and older are invited to join their parents if interested. Nursery, Pre-school and K-5 kids ministry will be available during the 10:45 AM service as usual and parents are welcome to have their younger children participate in these ministries while they are on the prayer walk. The prayer walk will end by 11:45 AM so parents can return to pick up children at the church.
Title: Manage Your Money
Summary: A real friendship with Jesus frees us to be rich toward God
Key Scripture: Luke 12:13-21
REQUEST: Why ask Jesus about an INHERITANCE? (Luke 12:13) Numbers 27:1-11; Deuteronomy 21:15-17
REFUSAL: Why did Jesus refuse to help him? (Luke 12:14-15) Exodus 20:17
REBUKE: What do we learn from a foolish FARMER? (Luke 12:16-21) 2 Corinthians 8:9
In The Treasure Principle, Randy Alcorn quotes missionary Hudson Taylor: “The less I spent on myself and the more I give to others, the fuller of happiness did my soul become” (p. 11).
Talk with your group about this quote. Who do you know who lives out this viewpoint today? How would you characterize their life and attitude? When have you sensed God’s blessing because you gave generously to someone else?
Read Luke 12:13-21. What was the man asking of Jesus? Why does Jesus refuse to be an arbitrator? In what ways does advertising contrast with what Jesus says in Luke 12:15?
Read Luke 12:16-21. Why did the man’s request prompt Jesus to tell this parable? What was the farmer’s perspective and how did he intend to solve his prosperity problem?
How does money have the power to make us “fools? If God owns all things, including our souls (Luke 12:20), what is our role with our resources? What are our rights and responsibilities?
Evaluate: What is really most important to us – building bigger barns (Luke 12:16-21) or “storing up treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19-21)?
When it comes to giving to God and his kingdom work, do we fall into the trap of “tipping” God a little each month? If we “tithe” (percentage giving of our income), what is our responsibility with the remainder of our income?
Assignment: Reflect on this prayer (adapted from Alcorn’s Treasure Principle, page 101):
“Lord, am I honoring you as the owner of my life and resources which you have entrusted to my care? Is money blinding me from the realities of life? Have I fallen into a trap of thinking you are a financial advisor to whom I pay a small fee in hopes that you will prosper me and my family? Have I mistakenly believed you owe it to me to work on my behalf, rather than recognizing that I am accountable to you for my soul and my life?”
For next week: Read Luke 12:22-34 and write down some of your money worries.
All Activities have been cancelled due to weather
Title: Measure Your Treasure
Summary: When your trust is in God alone, you are free to be generous with others
Key Scripture: Matthew 6:19-24
Be careful WHERE you invest (Matthew 6:19-21) Proverbs 18:11; 23:4-5
Get your EYES checked (Matthew 6:22-23) Proverbs 30:8-9
You cannot love GOD and MONEY (Matthew 6:24) 1 Timothy 6:17-18
Randy said there is a transfer of wealth going on in our country today. Were you aware of this phenomenon? What good could come from gaining financial resources quickly? What dangers could possibly result? How have you prepared yourself financially? Were your parents open about their attitudes toward money when you were growing up? What things have you found helpful in teaching your children regarding what the Bible says about money management?
Read Matthew 6:19-24. What is Jesus saying in this passage? What words, phrases or images do you find significant? Is Jesus condemning those who have riches? Why or why not? What does it mean to “lay up treasure in heaven”? Why is this difficult to do? What can we learn from Matthew 19:29 and Philippians 3:7-8? Talk with your group about Proverbs 18:11 and 23:4-5 and what these say about the uncertainty of riches. Read Matthew 19:22-23. What does it mean to have a “bad” eye and a “good” eye? How does Proverbs 30:8-9 give a balanced perspective to life and money? Do you agree with it?
Read Matthew 19:24. In what ways can money become an idol? How does 1 Timothy 6:17-18 help you become a better money manager of the resources God has entrusted to you? If God audited your checkbook or credit card statement, what would he conclude? What person or pursuit competes for first place in my life and what is happening as a result? In what area of your life (time, ability, finances or possessions) is God leading you to become more generous?
Discuss these two statements with your group:“I will not trust in riches but in him who richly provides.” “You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead!” What one generous action will you take this week in the name of Christ? Report on what happened next week.
Ever had to miss church and wish you could have been there? Have a friend you want to invite who is hesitant to step foot into a church? Suffering from a long term illness and can’t attend? We want to help.
To reach more people with the good news of Christ, Stonebridge Church is live streaming the message portion of our services every Sunday morning. Tune in at 10:45 AM
Title: Be Rich!
Summary: It’s not what you have that matters. It is what you do with what you have and why that counts.
Key Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:6-19
“Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others” – 1 Timothy 6:18, (NLT)
Money makes us BLIND to REALITY (1 Timothy 6:3-10)
Two motives which influence our attitudes toward wealth are ETERNAL VALUES and OUR ACCOUNTABILITY TO GOD (1 Timothy 6:11-16)
You can become a wise INVESTOR (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
Take a survey in your family or Life Group. Ask: How much money would I need to have to feel as if I am rich? How did you come to that number?
Read 1 Timothy 6:3-19. What is the danger which lies behind the “love of money”? Who are people in the Bible (or people you’ve observed today) who handled money well? Who handled it poorly?
Read 1 Timothy 6:3-10. What is the motive of the false teachers in verses 3-5? What is the result of their teaching? What happens when false teaching infiltrates a church and Christians are deceived by false teachings of the Bible?
In 1 Tim 6:6-10, what is the “great gain” in godliness? How did St. Paul’s experience in prison help emphasize the importance of contentment (read Philippians 4:11-13)?
If “the love of money is the root of evil”, how are we to live differently? What are the two motives from 1 Timothy 6:11-16 which help us live beyond a greedy lifestyle?
Based on 1 Timothy 6:17-19, is St. Paul saying it is wrong to be wealthy? How did our Lord Jesus Christ manage his wealth (read Philippians 2:1-8)? What are ways that you can begin living more generously?
How are you at discerning the difference between “wants” and “needs”? Have you ever considered living “below” your means? Why or why not?
Assignment: With your family or group, talk about the following two quotes:
What one generous action will you take this week in the name of Christ? Report on what happened next week.
Easter is a special time to celebrate with family and friends. No matter where you’re at in your faith journey, we’d love to have you join us as we celebrate the hope, joy and new beginnings found in the message of Easter
Title: Don’t Hold Back
Summary: Stand firm in your faith and abound in God’s work because you have a glorious future!
Key Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:50-58
We think a lot about our bodies. As a teen, what did you like least about your body? What did you do to try to change it? As an older person, what do you fear about your changing body?
Why do Christians believe the resurrection of Christ is true? Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. What are the evidences Paul gives for believing in the gospel message?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. What does “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” mean (15:51)? Why must our bodies be changed? What is the significance of the events discussed in 15:50-53? Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. What happens at Christ’s coming?
In 1 Corinthians 15:54-56, why does Paul quote from Isaiah (25:8) and Hosea (13:14) to make his point? What is the relationship between sin, death, the “law” and Christ’s victory?
Why is sin the “sting of death” and how is “Law” the “power of sin” (15:56)? How has God given us victory over sin, death and the power of the law (15:57)?
Of the three realities Randy pointed out in 15:50-57, which one is most meaningful to you and why? Does 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 mean we shouldn’t grieve when someone we love is hurt or passes away? Why or why not?
Are you afraid of dying? How did this study give you a new perspective on death and dying?
Assignment: Talk with your family or LIFE Group. Knowing the promises of Scripture regarding your own resurrection and resurrection body, how does 1 Corinthians 15:58 affect your attitudes and actions? In what way will you “abound in the work of the Lord” this week?
Take a few minutes to pray for someone you know who is going through a battle with cancer right now. Pray also that the Hope Baskets we gave to cancer patients will be used to bring Christ’s love to the people who received them.
“Grace Church” – A Series on Romans 12-16
The gospel of Christ not only brings good news of God’s grace for undeserving people, it also transforms the way we relate to each other and our world
Summary: The gospel advances as we proclaim Jesus together and give God the glory
Key Scripture: Romans 16:1-27
How can we be effective in our ministry?
Serve on A Team (Romans 16:1-16)
Be Alert to the _________________ (Romans 16:17-23)
Good News is ______________ and brings God Glory (Romans 16:25-27)
If you are working outside the home, talk about what you appreciate about your fellow employees and employer. What do you like most about your workplace?
Randy mentioned how Stonebridge will seek to reach out to our community in the coming year. What do you like about it? What is challenging to you?
Read Romans 16:1-16. How would you describe the people Paul greets in Rome? How did he know them since he’d never been there? What characterizes these folks and which description do you like most?
Read Romans 16:17-20. Why does Paul need to add a word of warning? What is going wrong and how are they to guard against it? What encouragement does he give in verse 20 (read Genesis 3:15)? Why are the people Paul mentions in 16:21-23 a good example to follow?
What is God able to do and how does he do it (Romans 16:25-27)? Why does all the glory go to our wise God at the end of this letter (16:27)?
As you think through the list of people Paul mentioned in 16:1-16, how does this influence you to pray for your friends and family members?
In what ways might we pretend to be growing Christians but actually be serving ourselves? How does this cause division in our church when we do this (16:17-20)?
How has Romans moved you to praise God and be more deeply committed to living for his glory (16:25-27)? Read these verses aloud and pray through them with your group or family.
Assignment: Talk with your family or LIFE Group. How has Romans 12-16 (past 9 messages) led you to:
Easter is the true meaning of hope. And we want to spread it all over our community. Join us as we point people to Jesus and share His message of hope with them!
Carry the Cross
Join our next YouVersion Bible Reading Plan “Love to the Uttermost: Holy Week with John Piper”
Love to the Uttermost is a devotional spanning from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday (Begins Sunday, March 25) Click here to join!