Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Pastor: Ryan Laughlin
§ Opening reflection: Is our culture one that is generally wise regarding wealth, or generally foolish? Consider the following: Is it good to be rich? Is working a good thing? What causes wealth and poverty? What makes work good or worthwhile? Take a few minutes to brainstorm wisdom from our culture regarding work and accumulating wealth. Now, consider the foolishness espoused in our culture on the same subjects. Bear these reflections in mind as you approach the teaching from Proverbs on these subjects.
§ How we pursue wealth. Please read and consider the following verses from Proverbs: 10:4, 28:6, 20:17. Use them as a starting point to reflect on the following:
o What is/are the purpose(s) of work according to Proverbs?
o Is working hard a matter of time or a matter of value (in other words, quantity or quality)? How/why?
o Why does our work matter to God? (Consider, as much as possible, an understanding from the whole Bible story and counsel on the subject.)
o How do we glorify God in our work?
§ How we use wealth. Please read and consider the following verses from Proverbs: 3:9-10, 21:17, 27:23-27, 13:22, 14:31, 29:7, 28:27
o Consider Ryan’s term “visionary investing.” Why is this term, as he said, somewhat redundant? In what senses is investing always “future-oriented”? (Whose future? What is being invested? For whose benefit?)
o Is compassionate giving optional? Why not? What are some theological bases for properly understanding why we should give charitably and lovingly?
o How does compassionate giving affect the giver?
o What causes poverty, as suggested in 29:7 and elsewhere? Contrast this with our culture’s teaching on what causes poverty (from left to right to center to off-the-spectrum).
§ Consider your reflection on the culture’s wisdom and foolishness regarding work and wealth. When does our culture say we have enough wealth? When should the Christian say he or she has enough? Why?
§ View this video about the Sand Masters [insert link here]. How do the Sand Masters, and the enthusiasm with which they go about their very temporary work, give us an analogy for an overall picture of the wisdom regarding wealth found in the book of Proverbs?
§ Church is “a community of people working together to make something beautiful although temporary.” Explain in your own words what this means, and what this has to do with our wise use of wealth.