Week of 1/17/2016 - Three Questions that Have the Potential to Change Everything

SERIES OVERVIEW 

We all need change. Whether it’s in discipline, faith, finances or relationships; making changes can often seem impossible. But all change starts with a simple step. In this series, we will talk about what needs to happen in order for us to change, and how we can experience the joy that comes with making changes in our lives. 

SESSION 3: Three Questions that Have The Potential to Change Everything   

SESSION OVERVIEW 

There are many changes we ask God to help us with. The question is, do we allow God’s truth to work in every area of our lives, even our finances? Talking about money is never easy. People can become defensive and critical. In this session we will discover the truth that we can rob God by trusting in money more than him. He challenges us to not only trust Him with our sin but also with our finances. Many of us miss the opportunity to be blessed because of our wrong thinking about the tithe. The sad part is this sad thinking can hinder us from being a blessing to others when we don’t allow God to be lord over our finances.   

KEY PASSAGES 

Malachi 3:6 “For I  am  the  Lord, I do not change; therefore, you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. 
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 
Malachi 3:7 Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My Ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the Lord of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’ 
Malachi 3:8-9 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.  You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. 
Malachi 3:10b “…And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. 
Numbers 14:18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. But he does not excuse the guilty. He lays the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations.’ 
Malachi 3:11-12 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the Lord of hosts;  “And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,” 
says the Lord of hosts. 
I John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 
Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ  
II Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 
Luke 6:38a Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap… (NLT) “…The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” (NLT) 
Proverbs 3:9 Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first-fruits of all your increase. 
Romans 11:36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. 

GOAL FOR THIS SESSION 

To help those with in our group discover the freedom and blessings that come when we honor God with our finances.   

KEY POINTS 

1. God doesn’t need your money; you and I need God’s blessings! 

In God’s word, no subject is written about more than money. Our world has changed; God has never changed. His desire has always been that He become focus of our affection. He has always desired to bless us, yet we curse ourselves when we put more trust in our money than in His provision. The tithe is the simplest way to show that we trust Him and His provision. The Old Testament standards of the tithe was where never lowered form Old Testament to New Testament.   

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore, you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. 
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 
Malachi 3:7 Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My Ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the Lord of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’ 
Malachi 3:8-9 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. 
Malachi 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. 
Numbers 14:18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. But he does not excuse the guilty. He lays the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations.’ 
Malachi 3:11-12 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the Lord of hosts; 12 “And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,” 
says the Lord of hosts. 

2. Why would I trust God with all of my sin, but none of my money? 

Most of us have no problem embracing the truth that, by Christ death on the cross, all our sins were paid for and forgiven completely. We have been blessed and justified, and are righteous through Christ. We trust and believe that to be true, because God said so. Just as true is the fact that as we worship God through the tithe He blesses us.  

I John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 
Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ  
II Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 

3. We cannot out-give God.  

Do I really believe what God says about money and giving? God’s blessings are unlimited when we trust Him with everything, including our money. God can always do more with the 90% that you can with the 100% because his resources are larger than ours.  

Luke 6:38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” (NLT) 

4. Only when we change our thinking to align with God’s truth about our finances can we walk in His blessing.  

Proverbs 3:9 Honor the  Lord  with your possessions, and with the first-fruits of all your increase. 

LEADERSHIP 101 

When the church talks of grace and forgiveness, the world, believers included, applaud. When the church talks of giving and money the world, and even some believers, become critics. The misconception is that the church wants or needs people’s money. The truth is that God is capable of providing what we need as a church because everything belongs to Him. Not only that, but we dishonor and rob people when we don’t disciple them in all the truths do God’s word. Do not be afraid in this lesson to talk honestly on the topic of money. The goal of this honesty is not to prove your point but to help them understand the truth that as they honor God, He will bless them so that they may be a blessing to others. Encourage anyone in your group who isn’t tithing to take the 90 Day Challenge so that they can experience God’s blessing for themselves.  

Session 3: Three Questions that Have the Potential to Change Everything.  

REFRESH 

Review the Sermon. 

DISCUSSION 

Use the questions provided in each session to facilitate your group’s discussion and application of each topic.  

GET GOING 

  • How many of you have ever been to a church where they gave you money to help you understand truth? 

  • Do you still have your dollar?  

  • Why did we give everyone a dollar and a dime Sunday?  

GET DEEP 

Read Malachi 3:6  & Hebrews 13:8  
  • What has changed significantly in your life time technologically? 

  • There has been a lot of changes in our world. Morally, technologically, and lets not even talk about fashion styles.  

  • What do these verses tell us about God changing?  

Read Malachi 3:7-9  
  • What was God’s accusation against the people of Israel in these passages? (Make sure they don’t miss the hindered relationship in verse 7 “Gone away from me” and not just the curse of verse 9.)  

  • What was the consequences of there “going away” from God? (The curse) 

Read Numbers 14:18  
  • How does this scripture explain the ripple effect of sin on others?  

Read Malachi 3:10-12 
  • What does “all the tithe” literally mean?  

  • Does this verse say that we should give every now and them when we have extra cash? (That would be an offering if it was above and beyond our tithe.)  

  • Does this verse mean that we can start at 4% and work our way up until we can afford 10%? (the tithe literally means 10%)  

  • Does this verse say that we should tithe on what we take home after taxes? (The answer is what did we earn? The government taking some of it does not remove that fact that we earned it al.l)  

  • SAY THIS The reason we ask these hard questions is simple we want you to walk in the full blessing of God so you can be a blessing to your family and others. Generosity breeds generosity.   

  • What is God’s challenge, not only to the children of Israel, but to us as well?  

  • Offer those who are still unsure to take the 90 Day Challenge online. (tffcrowley.com/next-steps) 

90 Day Challenge explained.  

Give 10% of your gross for 90 days. The Fountains commits to you that if you tithe for three months, and God doesn’t hold true to His promises of blessings, we will refund 100% of your tithe. 

Key Point 1:  God doesn’t need your money; you and I need God’s blessing! 

Read 1 John 1:7 

What sin was Jesus death not able to cover?  

Read Romans 5:1 & 2 Corinthians 5:21 
  • How does Jesus death justify us? (according to scripture the wages of sin is death, because Jesus had no sin his death was substituted for our death. Jesus literally took our death penalty. Meaning that he took the punishment of our sin.) 

  • If we can trust God, through Jesus, to take cover all our sin why can’t we trust Him with our money?  

  • How is giving and act of worship? Since it is an act of worship what should be the attitude of our hearts as we give? 

Key Point 2: Why would I trust God with all of my sin, but not of my money? 

Read Luke 6:38  
  • Can we out give God?   

  • Does this mean that if we give that we will all become rich?  

  • According to Pastor Don, what are some other ways we might be blessed?  

Read Proverbs 3:9   
  • It has been said” in order for things to change I must change”  

  • Do you see the things you posses and earn as an opportunity to honor God?  

  • How are some ways we can honor God with our possessions?  

Key Point 3: Only when we change our thinking to align with God’s truth about our finances, can we walk in His blessing.  

NEXT STEP 

Help your group identify and take their next steps with Jesus. Pray with them and for them. Ask them about their next steps later this week.  

Are you a 100% sure there you will spend eternity?  

Today may be the day you need to take your first step by giving your heart to Jesus. He has been pursuing you.   

Do you really believe that you can’t out give God? Your Next Step maybe to take the 90 Day Challenge and begin tithing of your income.  

What is your attitude about your possessions and finances? Do you see them as yours to do with as you wish or are they a gift from God? Your Next Step maybe to ask God to change your heart that you may realize that everything you have is a gift from him and provides you the opportunity to bless others.  

PRAY 

Pray for you group, for some this is a huge change in their theology. Pray that they will have the courage and faith to trust God in every area of their life. Pray that as God is faithful they will bless others also reflecting the giving heart of our heavenly Father.