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Sabbath School Lessons on The Spiritual Life - Experiencing Jesus Christ as Lord
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About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 37 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 8: Lord of Our Resources *
Introduction: When we read a title like "Lord of Our Resources," we
think: "Oh no, not another pitch to give more money." Being faithful
to God is not simply a matter of money (although that is surely part
of it), it involves all of our gifts and talents. Let's dive into our
lesson and see what God says about our resources!
- Our Words
- Read Luke 12:8-9. What do you think it means to
- What does Jesus promise He will do if we acknowledge
Him before others? (We have this picture in Hebrews 8
of Jesus standing up for us in heaven. He is
mediating on our behalf just as the High Priest
mediated on behalf of the people of Israel on the Day
- If Jesus is mediating on our behalf in heaven, what
does that teach us about what He wants from us when
He says we should "acknowledge" Him before others?
(Part of our "duty" in life is to identify Jesus as
the source of our spiritual power and the source of
our salvation. We need to acknowledge what Jesus has
done and is doing for us.)
- Would acknowledging Jesus involve more than our words?
- If you say, "yes, it involves more than words" what
else would it involve?
- Would it involve not just what we say, but how we say
- Our Possessions
- Read Luke 12:15. To what degree is this statement true in
- Read Luke 12:16. What was the source of the good crop?
(The Bible points to the ground as the source, instead of
- What is the source of your money? To what degree is
it "your fault" that you have money? (An interesting
book, The Bell Curve, reveals that your job is an
indicator of your relative intelligence. The high-income jobs generally are held by high intelligence
- What control do we have over our intelligence?
(None, when it comes to inherited intelligence.
Like this farmer in the parable, much of our
relative wealth is not within our control.)
- Read Luke 12:17-19. What is wrong with this farmer's
- Is it wrong to build larger barns to store the bumper
- Is it wrong to think of our future retirement?
- Is it wrong to take life easy?
- Is it wrong to eat, drink and be merry?
- Read Luke 12:20. Was this farmer foolish because he
prepared for his future, but ended up dying that night?
- What is God upset about here? Or, is God just saying
that life is unpredictable?
- Read Luke 12:21. What would you suggest this farmer should
have done to be rich towards God? (The fault of this
farmer was to think only of himself when he considered
what to do with his possessions. This farmer's death shows
how useless possessions can be.)
- In Luke 12:22-28, Jesus teaches that God cares for us and
so we should not worry about our future. God will take
care of us. Read Luke 12:29-30. What does it mean to "set
our heart" on what we will eat or drink?
- Read Luke 12:30-31. Are we promised to have material
- If so, is this just in heaven? (It seems that having
enough on earth is also promised.)
- Read Luke 12:32-34. Is Jesus telling us, today, (this
means you) that we should sell our possessions and give
them to the poor?
- Would we then be poor?
- Read Acts 2:44-45. Is the early church following
- Are the early Christians selling all of their
- Read Acts 2:46. What does this tell us about the extent to
which they sold all of their possessions? (Their major
possession, their home, they did not sell. It does not
seem to me that Jesus is telling us to sell everything we
own. He is telling us to be willing to sell our
possessions to advance the kingdom.)
- The book, Word Pictures in the New Testament, points
our attention to the future of these Christians in
Jerusalem who lived in this communal state. Read
Romans 15:25-26. The suggestion is that the saints in
Jerusalem made themselves paupers for whom Paul was
constantly asking for support from the Gentile
- It would be helpful to read the entire chapter of 2
Corinthians 9. The background for this is another request
to help the poor saints in Jerusalem. Let's focus on 2
Corinthians 9:6-9. What is our obligation to sell our
possessions according to Paul? (God is not compelling us
to sell our stuff. Paul seems to say that when our hearts
are in tune with God's will, we will want to give to
advance the kingdom. The result of this attitude of giving
will be increased blessings to us.)
- Paul's letter to Timothy gives him practical advice for
supervising the church in Ephesus. Let's read Paul's
advice for the Christian's obligations towards poor
widows. Read 1 Timothy 5:3-4 and 1 Timothy 5:7-8. What is
the first line of support for the elderly poor? (The
- Read 1 Timothy 5:9-11. What principle do we find here for
giving our money to the poor? (Paul seems to teach that
giving non-emergency money to the poor, simply because
they are poor, is wrong. Instead of just handing out
money, we need to consider the life of the person. In 1
Timothy 5:11-15 Paul counsels us to consider the impact of
our support on the spiritual life of the person we are
- Read Leviticus 19:9-10. What does this teach the owners of
the field? (The owner of the crop is entitled to the best
of what he has grown. However, he is not entitled to every
last bit of it. Out of his abundance, he is to leave some
for the poor and the alien.)
- Those who know something about farming, what kind of
crop grows in the edges of the field? (In my berry-picking days as a boy, I observed that the edge of
the field was less productive.)
- Is there a Biblical principle to be drawn from
- What principle does Leviticus 19:9-10 teach us about
helping the poor? (The poor and the alien have some
work to do. They did not work to grow or care for the
crop, but they have to work to collect the left-overs. The owner was not told to harvest the
remaining crop, put it in baskets, and deliver the
baskets to the homes of the poor.)
- Read Leviticus 27:30. What other claim does God have on
our possessions? (God requires a tenth of our earnings.)
- Read Numbers 18:21. What is the purpose of the tithe?
(To support those who are in the ministry.)
- Read Deuteronomy 26:12. The tithing system in Numbers and
Deuteronomy has some complexities which I do not presently
understand. Several commentators suggest this is the
"second" tithe, and not the annual tithe referred to
above. My reason for examining this text is to determine
what it teaches us about our relationship to the poor.
What additional lesson do we learn here? (Recall the
earlier point about the poor having an obligation to work
when gleaning the farmers' fields? Here we have an
instruction for giving to the poor so that they have
enough to eat.)
- Our Time
- Read Luke 12:35-37. What resource is Jesus discussing
here? (Our time.)
- Read Luke 12:42-46. How does Jesus suggest we should be
spending our time? (Productively.)
- Read 1 Peter 4:10-11. What resources, other than words,
money and time do we possess? What is our obligation with
regard to these other resources?
- Friend, have you made God the Lord of all of your
resources? Will you decide to make Him Lord today?
- Next week: Lord of Our Body Temples.
* Copr. 2005, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.