We seek to encourage our church in reading, studying, and living out Scripture in our daily lives. This study guide is designed to correspond to Sunday’s sermon (Dec. 3rd) [Listen Here]. Read through this lesson on your own or with a small group.
The concept of “sacrifice” in the Bible is a pretty loaded topic. It could mean the burnt offerings the Jews offered to God under the Mosaic Law, the sacrificial atonement that Jesus made on the cross,the self-sacrificial attitude Christians are to display as they follow the Christ, or even just giving up some portion of our earthly treasure to provide for others. This week, we are going to talk about that last definition, and what it means to step up to spreading the message of the gospel through how we spend our money and value our possessions.
- If he is truly all-powerful and outside of any sort of earthly need, why does God demand such expensive sacrifices from His people?
- What are some ways that we can “pollute the offering table” than turn around and pretend like we have done nothing wrong?
- What is the modern day equivalent of offering a lame or diseased animal as a sacrifice?
- Ignoring his true intentions revealed to us by the author, do you feel as though you might agree with Judas in this story?
- What do you imagine the mood was like in this home, knowing that Lazarus was dead not too long before this?
- What does Jesus mean in verse 8? Is he declaring that the poor are less important than Him?
- There are many different views on how a Christian should use their money in relation to the church. Some people give to specific charities, some give when they feel like they have enough to give, some give a constant %10. How do you feel people should view money and financial responsibility toward the mission of the church?
- What resources, aside from money, can we use to serve the church?
- What is your “expensive perfume” from the story in John? Would you have a hard time using the things you find valuable as a way to worship, like Mary?
In Matthew 6, Jesus declares that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” When Mary uses her treasure to serve Jesus, her heart is in the right place. Judas outwardly claims to have a heart for the needy, but his heart was truly for himself. It seems that not only do our actions matter, but the attitude with which we do them, as well.
When you use your wealth and possessions to serve others, it is with a sacrificial heart? Are you seeking not only to provide for the church, but also to bring glory to God? This week, examine your sense of generosity and take steps to uncover where your heart truly lies.
Pray for opportunities to live sacrificially. Pray that your heart is in the right place, so that God will see fit to open up the storehouses of heaven and use you as a way to bring the gospel of contentment to those who don’t yet know who He is. Pray for assistance in realigning any selfish motives you have when considering how to use the money and valuables you have received from God.