The BIG IDEA
Jesus warns that it is foolish to trust in money for security.
Money itself isn’t a problem, but the place and value we give it in our lives can become a problem if it takes the place of God in our lives. Scripture warns us again and again that placing too high a value on money can lead to greed, worry, fear, falling into traps of temptation, and can even derail our faith.
To trust in God who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment and to seek first his kingdom, knowing he will provide for our needs.
Why THIS MATTERS
Our culture is full of messages about money and possessions. Money and the seeking after wealth is one of the biggest competitions for God in our lives. A quote by Richard Halverson says it well: “Jesus Christ said more about money than about any other single thing because, when it comes to a man’s real nature, money is of first importance. Money is an exact index to a man’s true character. All through Scripture there is an intimate correlation between the development of a man’s character and how he handles his money.” Jesus says it even better, “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
I WANT MY STUDENTS TO:
- KNOW: Real security doesn’t come from having money, but from the Lord. Also, to know the warnings Scripture gives about placing too high a value on money.
- EXPERIENCE: A desire to live counter-culturally when it comes to money—to trust in God instead of money.
- DO: To be free from worry and greed and be freed up to be generous, knowing that we don’t have to depend on money for security.
The idea box is a place where you can find some creative ideas for leading this study. You might find videos, activities, or great illustrations that really bring the main point home. The ideas come from small group leaders like you, so if you have an idea that isn’t in there, click below to share it with the community!
*WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Have you ever dreamed about winning the lottery? How do you think it would change your life? What would you buy if you won a million dollars?
Many people look to the lottery for financial security, but according to multiple studies, about 70% of all lottery winners will end up going broke and filing for bankruptcy. 70%!! Are you surprised by this? Why do you think this is?
Money (or a lack of money) is a huge topic in our culture. Let’s look at just a couple of many passages where the Bible talks about money.
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?
*1. Summarize Jesus’ parable in your own words.
- What is the main point of this story?
- What was the man trusting in?
- What happens to him?
Allow the students to tell the parable in their own words.
2. How have you seen this same attitude toward money demonstrated in our culture today?
Discuss as a group. It should be pretty easy to come up with examples where people base their security on how much money and possessions they have. You might ask if you have ever heard anyone say, “I’ll get serious about God later, but right now I need to focus on me.”
3. Jesus says, “Life is not measured by how much you own.” (v.15) What do you think he means?
Discuss as a group.
*4. Read Luke 12:22–34. What is the attitude we should have towards money and possessions?
There are a lot of different things they could say, but some of the main points might be: you don’t need to worry about having enough; our priority should be seeking first his Kingdom and he will provide for our needs; an attitude and action of generosity towards those in need will store up treasures for us in heaven.
5. What are the thoughts in this passage that you find most encouraging?
- What thoughts do you find hardest?
Allow the group to discuss.
HOW DO WE APPLY THIS TO OUR LIVES?
*6. The passage talks about storing up treasures in heaven.
- How can we use our money and resources here on earth to store up treasures in heaven? 1 Timothy 6:17-19 gives us some additional insight.
- What are some ways it tells us we can do that?
Allow the group to discuss the first part, then look at the 1 Timothy passage. It says “be rich in good deeds, be generous, be willing to share.”
*7. When you think about the money you have (whether it is from an allowance, a job, or given to you), where does most of it go?
Allow the students to share. Is it food, recreation, music, clothes, or something else?
Students usually don’t have much money and struggle with the idea of saving or giving. God’s principles, though, don’t just work for rich people, they are meant for all of us. One way to think about your money is the 10/10/80 principle.
First, Give 10% to God – showing that you trust him.
Then Save 10% for the future – because it’s wise.
And then live off the other 80% – being content with what you have.
For instance, if you earned $100, you could give $10 to your church, Save $10 for the future, and use the other $80 for yourself.
8. Can you see yourself using your money like this?
- What might keep you from doing it?
As your students give honest roadblocks to giving and saving, acknowledge that it is difficult, but encourage them to consider using their money wisely.
*9. What are some specific ways you can store up treasures in heaven while you are in high school?
- What are some of the needs you see around you that you think God might want you to invest in?
- Are there ways you can contribute to his kingdom work?
Allow the group to discuss. If no one mentions it, suggest giving money to your church, to friends going on missions trips, and to organizations that advance the cause of Christ.
Our review cards are an excellent way to review your past lessons with your students before each study. Not every lesson has one yet but if we have them, you can find them on the PRINT page. Check them out and use them each week to help your students grab hold of the truths in these studies.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.