Digging Deeper Week of Feb 19th

February 18, 2024   /   First Baptist Church Elgin

Day 1:

Read: Psalms 112

Background:

Psalm 112 is a wisdom psalm contrasting the righteous and the wicked. It describes the blessings on those who are gracious, merciful and just. The righteous are depicted as generous, lending freely and giving to the poor. In contrast, the wicked are stingy and withhold help from others in need. Overall, the Psalm promotes the virtues of compassion, justice and generosity as traits of the righteous.

Key words:

  • Righteousness (Hebrew tsedaqah) – moral rightness, justice, equity.
  • Gracious/compassionate (Hebrew chanan) – to show favor, pity, be merciful.
  • Justice (Hebrew mishpat) – judgment, decision, rights.

Key theological ideas:

  • God rewards righteousness (Grudem, p. 443).
  • The righteous person is generous, which reflects God’s grace (Expositor’s, Vol. 5, p. 801).
  • Generosity to the poor accords with God’s justice (Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 841).

Questions:

  1. When have you experienced God’s blessing through generosity?

  2. Where do you need to grow in generosity?

Apply:

Look for one opportunity to generously bless someone in need today.

 

Day 2:

Read: 2 Corinthians 8:1-15

Background:

In 2 Corinthians 8-9, Paul is appealing to the Corinthian church to fulfill their earlier pledge to donate funds in support of the poor Christians in Jerusalem. To motivate them, he highlights the example of the Macedonians who gave sacrificially and generously despite their own poverty. Paul seeks to inspire the Corinthians to excel in the grace of giving just as they excel in other spiritual gifts.

Key words:

  • Grace (Greek charis) – undeserved favor, lovingkindness.
  • Generous/liberal (Greek haplotes) – sincerity, openheartedness, single-mindedness.

Key theological ideas:

  • Christian giving is an expression of God’s grace (Grudem, p. 613).
  • It demonstrates the sincerity of our love (Expositor’s, Vol. 10, p. 256).
  • Giving meets urgent needs (Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 557).

Questions:

  1. Do you give cheerfully or begrudgingly?

  2. How can you cultivate joy in generosity?

Apply:

Look for ways to secretly bless someone who cannot repay you.

 

Day 3:

Read: 1 Timothy 6:3-10

Background:

In his first letter to Timothy, Paul provides instruction and warning about false teachers who were promoting controversy and incorrect doctrine in Ephesus. Specifically, Paul condemns those who treat godliness as a means of financial gain, supposing it to be a path to prosperity. He sternly warns Timothy that the love of money leads people to ruin and causes them to wander from true faith.

Key words:

  • Godliness (Greek eusebeia) – piety, reverence, respect.
  • Contentment (Greek autarkeia) – self-sufficiency, satisfaction.

Key theological ideas:

  • Loving money corrupts ministry motives and ruins faith (Grudem, p. 616).
  • Godliness with contentment has lasting value (Expositor’s, Vol. 11, p. 355).
  • Do not peddle God’s word for profit (Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 751).

Questions:

  1. Are you pursuing godliness or gain?

  2. Where can you grow in contentment?

Apply:

Make a list of things money can’t buy that you’re most thankful for. Share it with a friend.

 

Day 4:

Read: Luke 21:1-4

Background:

In this passage, Jesus is sitting near the temple treasury observing people giving offerings. He takes particular note of a poor widow who gives two small copper coins, praising her gift as more significant than the large sums of the rich. Though a small amount monetarily, her gift represented great personal sacrifice and devotion.

Key words:

  • Contribution (Greek doron) – gift, present.
  • Scarcity (Greek husteresis) – want, poverty, deficiency.
  • Abundance (Greek perisseuo) – be over, abound, excel.

Key theological ideas:

  • God values motives and sacrifice behind giving over the amount (Grudem p.615).
  • True devotion entails costly sacrifice (Expositor’s, Vol. 8, p. 1039).
  • God sees and rewards our giving even if hidden from others (Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 252).

Questions:

  1. Do you give equally sacrificially from your scarcity?

  2. How can you excel in generous giving?

Apply:

Prayerfully decide on a percentage of your income to consistently give.

 

Day 5:

Read: Matthew 6:19-21

Background:

As part of His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches that we should store up eternal treasures in heaven rather than temporary earthly treasures. He explains that where our treasure is, our hearts will be also. As our hearts follow our investments, we should be intentional to store up heavenly rather than earthly rewards.

Key words:

  • Treasure (Greek thesauros) – storehouse, repository, treasure house.
  • Moth (Greek ses) – larva that eats wool and fabrics.
  • Rust (Greek brosis) – eating, corrosion.

Key theological ideas:

  • Earthly money has no lasting value, but heavenly rewards are eternally secure (Grudem, p. 1143).
  • Our heart’s desires are revealed by how we use money (Expositor’s, Vol. 8, p. 151).
  • Investing in eternity pleases God (Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 23).

Questions:

  1. Are you storing up lasting treasures in heaven?

  2. What does your spending and giving reveal about your heart?

Apply:

Make a list of eternal “treasures” you can invest in like people, God’s kingdom, and future rewards.

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