03 Nov Discussion Guide: When Richie Met Gracie Week 1
Before We Get Started
For our discussion today we will be using the sermon series discussion guides. If you would like to follow along you can access this discussion guide on the website at mosaicchurchaustin.com and then select “community group resources” in the menu options.
Because the main goal of our time together is to establish relationships and learn how to walk with one another in all that God has called us to be and do, we’d like to begin by praying for one another. So, does anyone have anything you’d like us to pray for, or anything to share regarding how you’ve seen God moving in your life that we can celebrate together.
This Week’s Topic
Today we begin a new series titled When Richie Met Gracie. We will be taking a look at what happens when our money and resources come into a relationship with the love and grace of Jesus. How might the way we view, manage, and spend our money impact both our relationship with Jesus, as well as the way the world around us experiences the grace of God? Let’s find out as we dive into this love story of financial proportions.
From what we see in Scripture, what would you say are some things God wants us to do with our money and resources?
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
In a nation as properous as ours, why do you think so many people struggle with discontentment?
What does that say about the way we see ourselves as a culture?
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Why do you think that same level of discontentment seems to be just as prevelant within the American church as it is in the American culture?
What does that say about the way we see Jesus?
1 Timothy 6:6-10
“But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”
What does Paul mean by, “The love of money…” and why is that the root of all kinds of evil?
Money, itself, is simply a tool. It is a resource God places in our hands on purpose for a purpose. Like creation, relationships, time, talents, and abilities, money is simply something God entrusts to us as a means of enabling us to bring glory to His name. Money was intended by God to accomplish good. However, in the same way humans have taken creation, relationships, time, talent, and abilities and twisted them for our own gain and glory, so we have twisted money to be a symbol of our own power and status. The issue is not with the tool or resource. The issue is with the intent and motivation of the person using the tool or resource. The “Love of Money” is Paul’s referrring to the fact that money itself is not evil, but what it has come to represent in the minds of human beings, and the human desire and pursuit to take hold of that meaning has lead, and continues to lead, to all kinds of evil and sinful acts.
In our minds money equals power, it equals status, significance, comfort, control, and the envy of others. In short, money equals god-likeness. In pursuit of that identity humans have continued to oppress one another, kill one another, lie, cheat, and steal from one another, all in an attempt to set ourselves up as gods.
On the contrary, there has also been humans who have used their wealth and position to care for, feed, cloth, house, and elevate the status of others as a means of showing love to those people. So you see, money is simply the tool, but the motivation of what that tool is used to accomplish is where the evil originates.
Is having money or wealth inherently sinful or evil?
How can you tell if you have money of your money has you?
How does the Gospel model for us how God desires we use our position, status, resources, and money?
The Gospel is the perfect model for how God wants us to use our resources to love, serve and bless others. Think about it…Jesus had all the wealth of the entire Universe. He had the comforts and beauty of Heaven. He had the status of King of kings and Lord of lords. And yet, Jesus chose to use that stutus and give up His comforts to step into our world for the purpose of loving us and elevating our status from outcasts to sons and daughters, our position from objects of wrath to recepients of grace. Jesus used His resources to heal the sick, raise the dead, reconcile families, and eventually free us from bondage of sin and death.
God now, in light of the salvation and reconciliation we have received, asks us to take the resources He has entrusted to us, be it a lot or a little, and use them to be a reflection of this Gospel of grace. Our calendar and our budget are meant to be a reflection of the love of Christ to the world around us.
In the spirit of continuing in the YHAPTP mindset, how can we, as a group, use our resources to continue making a difference in our city for the Kingdom of God?