Small Group Study
Life 101 – Week 3 – January 19

Ice Breaker:  What would you do if you won the lottery?

1.    Discuss Psalm 90:12.  How do you do at this?

2.    Truth is true, even if it makes us mad.  Discuss.

3.    Why do you think there are people out there who have no problem trusting God with their eternity, but just can’t seem to trust Him with their finances?  What’s the problem with this, according to Matthew 6:21?

4.    In our world, we live under a financial curse, far short of God’s original plan.  Discuss the three parts of the curse Pastor Mike introduced on Sunday:

     a.    Clutching and grabbing (always more, never enough)
     b.    Fear and worry (pinning so much hope on something so uncertain)
     c.    Clenched fists (that God can’t fill)

5.    How does God say we can break this curse?  Go through the three parts and suggest what God’s plan would look like instead.

6.    God’s plan for our finances is an invitation that comes with a promise.  How does God summarize the invitation and the promise in Malachi 3:7?    What is the invitation according to Malachi 3:10?  What is the promise, according to Malachi 3: 10-11?  Is this complicated or unclear?  Why might we want to make it unclear?

a.    In Deuteronomy 6 God says, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test”, but here, in Malachi 3, He makes an exception.  Why?  Think back to Matthew 6:21.

7.    God’s plan for our finances is all about an invitation with a promise, yet somehow in churches money talks feel tense and condemning.  Why?  Some churches talk the wrong way about giving.  Discus these two:
     a.    GOT TO GIVE (God as mafia boss)
     b.    GIVE TO GET (God as cosmic vending machine)

8.    At this church, we don’t see God as mafia boss or as a vending machine. We see Him as good and great and faithful. We GET TO GIVE:
     a.    Two meanings of GET TO GIVE:
          i.    I GET to give.  I’m accepting His invitation and believing His promise.  Discuss.
          ii.    I get TO GIVE.  I’m blessed to be a blessing.  Everything I have is from Him, and He’s given it to me not to accumulate or stockpile, but to bless.  

9.    I GET TO GIVE.  Why?  Discuss these six reasons:
     a.    I get more grateful
     b.    I get more obedient
     c.    I get connected
     d.    I get more generous
     e.    I get more faith
     f.    I get to spread the gospel to the world and to myself.

10.    Can you out give God?  Will you accept His invitation and believe His promise?  Have you signed up for the 101 day tithing challenge?  God says, “Test me in this!  Bring it!” Open your clenched hands and see God fill them!