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Stewardship Bible Studies for Givers and Small Groups

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” David’s words from Psalm 119:105 demonstrate the Christian’s dependence upon God’s word for guidance. Thus, in the development of a generous lifestyle, we must ask, “What does God’s word say about money, possessions, stewardship and giving?”

The following study guides offer numerous opportunities both for direct expository studies of Scripture and for examination of principles gleaned from the Bible. Whether you wish to spend a few sessions or several weeks digging into Scripture’s insights on stewardship, you will be enriched by the wealth of God’s teaching. The Bible studies below are arranged according to intensity level.
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  • Beginner Study Guides (2-4 Sessions)
      The Treasure Principle: Discovering the Secret of Joyful Giving
      Randy Alcorn. Learning Activities and Leader Guide by Debbie Kubik Evert. Nashville, Tenn.: LifeWay Press, 2005.
      “Highlighting the infinite value of heavenly treasures over earthly ones, this study will teach how to collect treasures that will last for all eternity.” In this four-week study guide based on his best-selling book of the same name, author and former pastor Randy Alcorn teaches that by acknowledging God’s ownership over everything and then accepting our role as his money managers, we will find the true meaning of possessions. As Christ taught, seeking to store up treasure here on earth is foolishness; we are, in fact, called to live with eternal priorities in mind by laying up our treasures in heaven, “where moth and rust do not destroy and thieves do not break in and steal.” Buried in this study’s four chapters (as in Alcorn’s book) are the six keys to “the treasure principle” that we must embrace in order to be faithful stewards: (1) God owns everything, and we are his money managers. Until we recognize that everything we have and everything we don’t have belongs to God, we will never be proper managers. (2) Our hearts always go where we put God’s money. It is impossible to put our money somewhere and not send our hearts there as well; therefore, we should be diligent to put our money towards God’s kingdom, and not our own. (3) Heaven, not earth, is my home. This eternal perspective frees us from seeking rest and fulfillment in this life to storing up treasure in the next. (4) We should live not for the dot, which is life on earth, but for the line, which is heavenly existence. When we conceive of reality as it really is, decisions about our finances can be made with a proper perspective. (5) Giving is the only antidote to materialism. When we feel tempted to pursue possessions with selfish zeal, what better way to refocus our hearts than through being generous with all that we have? Lastly (6) God prospers us not to raise our standard of living but to raise our standard of giving. We are reminded in 2 Corinthians 9:11 that, “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion ...” Following these six principles along with their closely related biblical texts, this study asks the participant hard questions by presenting biblical stewardship in a clear and convicting way.

      Stewardship: Kingdom, Mission and Money
      Redeemer Presbyterian Church. New York: Author, 2002.
      The purpose of this two-week study is to help believers better understand what the Kingdom of God is, and how all Christians are called to the mission of seeing His Kingdom come “on earth as it is in heaven.” Part 1 focuses on the principles of the Kingdom of God. Part 2 explores how we ought to use our money in light of these principles. Each study begins with a worship preparation designed to assist the group in its focus on God as our King. A leader’s guide is available.

      Study Questions for ‘Fields of Gold,’ by Andy Stanley
      Chattanooga, Tenn.: Generous Giving, 2004.
      Why do Christians hesitate to give? Andy Stanley, senior pastor of North Point Community Church near Atlanta, Ga., and prolific author, argues that the main reason that Christians fail to give is not because we are greedy, but because we are fearful of the risk. Christians allow the “what ifs” to pile up and impede trust in the God who provides for all our needs. Joyful giving, then, involves a radical reliance on the loving God Whose promises give us confident freedom from fear. This study guide, ideal for individuals, couples or small groups, walks you through Stanley’s book Fields of Gold: A Place beyond Your Deepest Fears, a Prize beyond Your Wildest Imagination, helping you not only to address fear in giving but to understand that joy-filled generosity is worth the risk.

      Study Questions for ‘The Law of Rewards,’ by Randy Alcorn
      Chattanooga, Tenn.: Generous Giving, 2004.
      The Bible tells us that we will be rewarded according to our actions during this lifetime on earth, calling us to store up our treasures in heaven. What role should good works, then, play in the life of a believer saved by grace? Should the promise of reward motivate our giving? This study guide, ideal for individuals, couples or small groups, walks you through Randy Alcorn’s book The Law of Rewards: Giving What You Can’t Keep to Gain What You Can’t Lose, helping you to understand that while faith determines our eternal destination, behavior determines our eternal rewards.

      Hilarious Generosity: Bible Study Guide
      Charles R. Swindoll with Gary Matlack. Anaheim, Calif.: Insight for Living, 1996.
      Written by the former president of Dallas Theological Seminary, Hilarious Giving is a small Bible study guide developing the argument that Christians should and can give joyfully, especially in consideration of what Christ has done for us. Each one of the four chapters is a separate study that builds on the lessons of previous chapters; a group of personal application questions follows each study. Chapter titles and summaries are as follows: (1) “A Case for Joyful Generosity”: The Bible calls for gifts given out of the desire to give, not out of obligation; (2) “Enjoying the Benefits of Generosity”: Contentment and godliness teaches us what is truly valuable in order that we might not cling to what is not important; (3) “Valuable Principles of Money Management”: Wealth, though full of benefits, also brings many dangers and therefore must be accompanied by wisdom; (4) “A Joyful Plan That Cannot Fail”: following the example of both the Jews and early Christians, believers today can implement a deliberate plan for regular giving. Also included at the back of this study guide is a list of resources for those wishing to pursue further the topic of financial management.

      Study Questions for ‘Divine Mathematics,’ by Selwyn Hughes
      Chattanooga, Tenn.: Generous Giving, 2003.
      Can Christians really experience the blessing of God on their lives in a way that contributes to them making bigger financial investments in the Kingdom of God? What influence does money have on our souls? What does it mean to transfer ownership to God? This short study, ideal for individuals, couples, or small groups that want to explore God’s calling to generosity in their lives, will help you discover the joy of biblical stewardship using British pastor and teacher Selwyn Hughes’ 30-page booklet Divine Mathematics: How One Plus One Equals Three in the Kingdom.

      Study Questions for ‘Stott on Stewardship,’ by John R.W. Stott
      Chattanooga, Tenn.: Generous Giving, 2003.
      It is well known that the apostle Paul organized a collection from the Greek churches of Achaia and Macedonia for the benefit of the impoverished churches of Judea. But isn’t it extraordinary that he devoted so much space in his letters to this seemingly mundane matter? Here are discussions question that take you through Stott’s 10 principles of Christian giving, taken from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians (ch. 8-9). This brief handout is ideal for discussion or reflection by individuals, couples or small groups. It will guide you through Stott’s 15-page booklet Stott on Stewardship: Ten Principles of Christian Giving.

      Study Questions for ‘The Treasure Principle,’ by Randy Alcorn
      Chattanooga, Tenn.: Generous Giving, 2002.
      Are you looking for a simple way to understand Jesus’ radically joyful teaching on generosity? Does your giving measure up to God’s call or your neighbor’s need? This 18-question handout designed for reflection by individuals or couples will guide you through Randy Alcorn’s small bedside-table book, The Treasure Principle: Discovering the Secret of Joyful Giving. Alternatively, consider an intermediate-level study of this book using Brian Smith and Randy Alcorn’s The Treasure Principle Bible Study: Discovering the Secret of Joyful Giving.

      The Grace of Giving: Biblical Principles of Tithing, Generosity, and Wealth
      Richard Aeschliman. Lawrenceville, Ga.: Christian Education & Publications, 2001.
      Few things reveal the state of our hearts more clearly than the way we handle money. More than dropping a check in the plate as it comes down the pew, biblical stewardship means generously sharing God’s blessing with others because of the grace He has shown to us. In a culture that seeks satisfaction through accumulation and consumption, believers are called to give. In this brief monograph produced by the publishing arm of the Presbyterian Church in America, Aeschliman asks penetrating questions that will stimulate your family, small group or Sunday school class to further discussion and study: (1) “Why tithe?” (2) “How Should We Give?” (3) “What Motivates Our Giving?” (4) “Where is Your Treasure?” This small guide, which contains 4 to 6 discussion questions per chapter, can help you delve into Scripture, examine your heart, and respond to the Holy Spirit’s call to excel in the grace of giving.

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    Intermediate Study Guides (5-9 Sessions)
      Stewardship: Keeping Faith with God’s Gifts
      Mary VandenBerg. Discover Life series. Grand Rapids, Mich.: CRC Publications, 2000.
      This brief study guide produced by the Christian Reformed Church centers on Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,” and emphasizes our role as God’s managers. Using Scripture and inspirational quotes from Christian authors, the study offers seven lessons that end with questions to help the reader to process the texts. The author writes primarily to North American Christians and does well to decry the material and self-centered ownership mentality we often have. Some lesson titles include (1) “God Owns It All,” (2) “Stewards as Servants” and (3) “Accountability to God.” The method of quoting various Christian authors for the lesson creates some difficulty in regards to consistency and depth of message. Overall, though, this study offers a useful tool for those wishing to prompt thoughtful discussion on the subject of stewardship.

      Managing Our Finances God’s Way: Small Group Study Guide and Workbook
      Rick Warren, Chip Ingram, Ron Blue, Howard Dayton and Chuck Bentley. Lake Forest, Calif.: Purpose-Driven Publishing, 2006.
      “We’re adults, after all, and we can make our own decisions [about our finances]. But the truth is, we all need help—and that’s why this study has been created.” This seven-session study guide, presented by five well-known teachers of Christian finance, gives small groups and individuals valuable insights and tools for learning and living biblical financial principles. The world tells us that we should enjoy our money first, then pay off debt, after that save, then if we have any left over to give, and lastly—if all else fails—to plan. But God’s people must live the opposite of what the world teaches about money management. (1) We are to plan how we will use our possessions based on the truth that God owns everything, and we are his stewards. (2) We are to give generously. Giving is an act of worship, and it must begin with the transformation of our hearts. (3) We are to save and invest wisely with kingdom-building purposes in mind. (4) We are to repay debt lest we be enslaved to a master other than God. While debt is not forbidden, it is strongly discouraged by God, and we should seek to remove it from our lives. (5) Lastly we are to enjoy the blessings God has given to us. We should not feel guilty if God has blessed us; rather, we should be overflowing with joy and gratitude toward him who has entrusted us with so much. Each lesson begins with a short video presentation (DVD included) by one of the contributing authors. The lesson continues with a workbook project, key memory verse and discussion questions. Homework assignments involve personal financial spreadsheets (resource CD included) for putting the principles into practice. All in all, this study offers a light but comprehensive biblical understanding on the stewardship of finances.

      Heart, Soul, and Money: A Christian View of Possessions
      Craig L. Blomberg. Studies for Small Groups series. Joplin, Mo.: College Press Publishing, 2000.
      In this nine-part study for small groups, Craig L. Blomberg, professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary, presents a quick book-by-book survey of the Bible’s teaching on possessions. This study guide is an outgrowth of his larger book Neither Poverty nor Riches: A Biblical Theology of Possessions. Beginning with the creation and man’s fall, Blomberg presents God’s original intent for ownership and how the fall has affected this; the giving of the Mosaic Law to Israel and how the people subsequently disregarded the Law; Old Testament poetry’s treatment of the poor, money and possessions; and the people’s view of possessions during the inter-testamental period. Coming to the New Testament, Blomberg covers the teachings of Jesus in the gospels; the early church’s handling of possessions; Paul’s instruction on stewardship and possessions; and stewardship and economic themes in the books of James through Revelation. He concludes the study by highlighting five major themes from the whole of Scripture: (1) “Material possessions are a good gift from God meant for his people to enjoy.” (2) “Material possessions are simultaneously one of the primary means of turning human hearts away from God.” (3) “A necessary sign of a life in the process of being redeemed is that of transformation in the area of stewardship.” (4) “There are certain extremes of wealth and poverty which are in and of themselves intolerable.” (5) “Above all, the Bible’s teaching about material possessions is inextricably intertwined with more ‘spiritual’ matters.” These major themes lead Blomberg to offer a few practical applications for faithful handling of possessions: (1) Maintain a budget. (2) Avoid debt. (3) Practice graduated tithing. (4) Choose a church based partly on the way it gives money to mercy ministry and missions.

      The Eternity Portfolio: A Practical Guide to Investing Your Money for Ultimate Results: Workbook
      Alan Gotthardt. The Strategic Life Initiative, 2004.
      What would happen if we saw giving as a way of investing? If we gave our “giving portfolios” the same attention we give our retirement portfolios? What would happen if we stopped asking, “How much do I have to give?” and started asking, “How can I invest in eternity by giving?” How would our lives change if we became aware of the rewards of faithfully investing our resources? This four-week study guide, ideal for small groups or Sunday school classes, works through Alan Gotthardt’s book The Eternity Portfolio: A Practical Guide to Investing Your Money for Ultimate Results, posing thought-provoking questions that challenge students to spend and give in light of eternity. An alternative study is a nine-part questionnaire corresponding with the nine chapters of Gotthardt’s book. This handout will aid you in pulling out the salient ideas of Gotthardt’s work for further reflection as you discover how to build your portfolio in light of eternity.

      Money and Possessions: The Quest for Contentment
      Kay Arthur and David Arthur. Forty-Minute Bible Studies. Colorado Springs, Colo.: WaterBrook Press for Precept Ministries International, 2004.
      Requiring 40 minutes per session, this six-week Bible study is perfect for concentrated in-depth study. Techniques of the study include reading through Scripture passages and marking concepts as they occur in the text; the study also emphasizes group interaction and discussion in order to facilitate personal understanding and application. An introduction and conclusion frames each session to introduce and reiterate main points. Weekly topics include: (1) God’s ownership of all our possessions; (2) the use of money during financial difficulty; (3) the impact that a relationship with Jesus has on our attitude toward finances; (4) the connection between the allocation of our resources and our priorities; (5) the proper attitude toward and use of our possessions; (6) the proper attitude toward giving. This study firmly grounds stewardship in the gospel of grace.

      A Christian View of Money: Celebrating God’s Generosity
      Mark Vincent. The Giving Project Series. Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 1997.
      Mark Vincent offers an instructional study on biblical stewardship, written primarily for Mennonite churches though helpful to Christians of any denomination. The author contextualizes giving in the larger picture of the corporate Christian history and the personal Christian life. As God’s children, believers should value their Lord’s values and strive to imitate His own interaction with the world. God desires to restore the fallen world, broken by sin; thus, we are to engage in a life of restoration that looks forward to the New Jerusalem. We are ambassadors of shalom (peace), and money is a means of bringing about that peace. Thus, we should discern and support the ministerial work that proclaims God’s character faithfully, directing funds toward efforts that truly extend His Kingdom. In order to keep our motivations for giving pure and joyful, we must understand truly Who Jesus is (our Creator, Provider, Redeemer, King and Cause). Because Christ is our Lord as well as Savior, not only is He the Rescuer who saved us from the punishment for our sins; He is also the Master and Owner of every aspect of our lives, including money. Because of His gifts to us and His ownership of all, we respond with the firstfruits of our resources. The body of believers, blessed with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, provides a community of accountability as we mutually encourage one another to live generously. The theology leans toward Arminianism and implicitly accepts women deacons; also, the author places greater emphasis on building the Kingdom in this present age than on the Kingdom to come (after Christ’s return). Nonetheless, giving is deeply embedded within the gospel message, providing a clear understanding of the true motives for giving. Each of the nine chapters in this study guide includes a list of reflections and suggestions to further implement the teachings into the reader’s daily life.

      The Danger of Loving Money
      John F. MacArthur, Jr. John MacArthur’s Bible Studies. Panorama City, Calif.: Grace to You, 1989.
      Compiled by noted expository preacher John MacArthur, the eight studies in this booklet are drawn from corresponding sermons preached at Grace Community Church in Panorama City, Calif., on a topic many pastors struggle to address: money. Each study is arranged in an outline format that occurs in two versions: first, a condensed outline, followed by an extended outline that proceeds to develop those main points with an in-depth exposition of the supporting Scripture verses. Study questions at the end of each lesson aid both in searching the Scriptures and in personally applying them. Lesson titles are: (1) “The Danger of Loving Money,” based on 1 Timothy 6:6-10; (2) “Avoiding the Love of Money,” based on Matthew 6:19-34; (3) “The Man of God,” based on 1 Timothy 6:11-14; (4) “A Solemn Call to Spiritual Duty,” based on 1 Timothy 6:13-16; (5) “Handling Treasure: Part 1,” based on 1 Timothy 6:17-19; (6) “Handling Treasure: Part 2,” based on 1 Timothy 6:20-21; (7) “Judgment on the Wicked Rich: Part 1,” based on James 5:1-3; (8) “Judgment on the Wicked Rich: Part 2,” based on James 5:4-6.

      God’s Plan for Giving
      John F. MacArthur, Jr. John MacArthur’s Bible Studies. Chicago: Moody Press, 1982.
      Compiled by noted expository preacher John MacArthur, the six studies in this booklet are drawn from corresponding sermons preached at Grace Community Church in Panorama City, Calif., on a topic many pastors struggle to address: giving. Each study is arranged in an outline format that occurs in two versions: first, a condensed outline, followed by an extended outline that proceeds to develop those main points with an in-depth exposition of the supporting Scripture verses. Study questions at the end of each lesson aid both in searching the Scriptures and in personally applying them. Lesson titles are: (1) “The Christian and His Finances,” highlighting a topical collection of verses; (2) “Concerning the Collection: Part 1,” based on 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; (3) “Concerning the Collection: Part 2,” based on 1 Corinthians 16:2a-b; (4) “Concerning the Collection: Part 3,” based on 1 Corinthians 16:2c-4; (5) “God’s Plan for Giving: Part 1,” highlighting a topical collection of verses; (6) “God’s Plan for Giving: Part 2,” highlighting a topical collection of verses.

      The Treasure Principle Bible Study: Discovering the Secret of Joyful Giving
      Brian Smith and Randy Alcorn. Rev. ed. Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah Publishers, 2005.
      This companion Bible study to The Treasure Principle: Discovering the Secret of Joyful Giving will probe deeper into the big message of Alcorn’s bestselling small book. Whether as individuals or in small groups, this study guide will help Christians to explore and embrace the joy of giving. Managing God’s earthly trust will become a new delight as readers learn to use it for eternal purposes. This resource includes practical quotations from the book, thought-provoking study questions, group discussion starters, and short Scripture passages for meditation and memorization. Alternatively, consider a shorter study of this book using Generous Giving’s Study Questions for ‘The Treasure Principle,’ by Randy Alcorn.

      Biblical Financial Study Special Edition
      Crown Financial Ministries. Gainesville, Ga.: Author, 2002.
      This six-week special edition of Crown’s Biblical Financial Study is specifically designed for those entrusted with wealth or significant income. For most people, making financial decisions can be compared to taking a trip by car. Their cash and credit limitations serve as clearly defined boundaries along the way. However, for those with wealth, the boundaries are not so clearly defined. Making financial decisions is more like navigating a ship on the open seas in the 1800s. There were no roads to follow or signs that warned of danger ahead. The captain had to learn how to navigate, using only a compass and a sextant. A telescope helped locate lighthouses, which warned of danger. With fewer financial limitations to serve as boundaries, those with significant resources face unusual challenges. Fortunately, the Bible contains specific instructions, principles and even warnings intended to help the wealthy navigate the ocean of almost unlimited choices. A leader’s guide is available.

      Money in Marriage: A Biblical Approach
      Larry Burkett. Chicago: Moody Press and Christian Financial Concepts, 1999.
      Statistics show that at least 50 percent of all marriage today are legally terminated; a shocking 80 percent of individuals surveyed cited money and financial problems as the root cause of their divorce. In light of these alarming findings, counselors and pastors are striving to prepare engaged couples for the financial challenges of marriage long before the wedding day. Yet practical, helpful information n the subject for already-married husbands and wives is limited and difficult to find. Designed to encompass the complete subject of “money in marriage,” including the most volatile issues faced by husbands and wives, this comprehensive system will help you better understand how your approach to money impacts your marital commitment, whether you are engaged, newly wed or have celebrated dozens of years of marriage. This six-week workbook also includes an interactive CD-ROM.

      Understanding the Ministry of Giving
      Kay Arthur. Chapter in Lord, Give Me a Heart for You: A Devotional Study on Having a Passion for God. Colorado Press: Waterbrook Press, 2001.

      In this five-part exposition from 2 Corinthians 8-9, Kay Arthur explains how to excel in the gracious work of giving. She covers key topics such as: how to carry through on giving according to your ability, how to cultivate the motive of genuine love, and how to seek to eagerly give toward the goal of equality in meeting needs within the church. This five-part series of messages goes on to discuss how the grace of cheerful giving leads to praise and thanksgiving to God as it reflects the character of our Savior Jesus Christ. This chapter applies her trademark inductive method of Bible study to the passage from 2 Corinthians. A companion audiocassette is available.

      At Ease: Discussing Money and Values in Small Groups
      John Ronsvalle and Sylvia Ronsvalle with U. Milo Kaufmann. Money, Faith, and Lifestyle Series. Bethesda, Md.: The Alban Institute, 1999.
      Money triggers a variety of emotions, having potential to accomplish both good and evil. Yet considering money’s power to control us, we rarely mention the topic in the community where shared faith, values and commitments foster the best environment for discussion: the church. Charitable giving researchers John and Sylvia Ronsvalle, along with author U. Milo Kaufmann, attempt to create a small group study that will break down reservations concerning financial topics. Small groups meet the human need to be known, to fellowship and to receive a counterbalance perspective in contrast to the world’s. Small groups also help one to discover a place within the big group of God’s salvation plan from Genesis to Revelation. The study is arranged as multiple levels of questions, organized into three tiers addressing the following topics: (1) issues in basic attitude patterns, (2) issues in money management and (3) issues in discipleship. Each tier contains three clusters; each cluster consists of 15 questions. A gateway question at the end of each tier prepares the group or individual for a transition to deeper, more personal levels of discussion and commitment. A history of small groups from the Old Testament to the present day, practical suggestions for organizing and running a small group, the importance of small groups in developing community and tips for addressing negative behavior aid group members in conducting a meaningful study. The questions appear to focus more on self-discovery rather than on digging into Scripture itself; nevertheless, the study provides a helpful way to examine and address one’s heart toward money.

      Putting Money in Its Place
      Doug Britton. Marriage by the Book series, vol. 7. Sacramento, Calif.: LifeTree Books, 2004.
      This six-session study is designed to help couples assess their financial attitudes and practically apply changes. Each chapter concludes with a summary of the key principles taught, a memory verse and an action plan in order to help connect knowledge with action. The first two chapters address heart attitudes toward money and work such as the recognition of God as the owner, humility, diligence, trustworthiness, the maintenance of possessions in good repair, loving God rather than things, contentment and trust in God’s provision. The third chapter covers elements of teamwork such as overcoming conflict and approaching financial practices with unity. Chapters four and five address principles of generosity and wisdom in spending habits. The final chapter offers suggestions for evaluating purchases, setting financial priorities, budgeting, making a will and record-keeping. Worksheets help couples determine income, assets, debt, budgets, daily records and monthly records in order to promote practical lifestyle changes. Overall, this study by marriage and family counselor Doug Britton provides a helpful resource for those desiring to honor God in their financial practices.

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    Advanced Study Guides (10-15 Sessions)
      Money Mania: Mastering the Allure of Excess
      Mark Vincent. LivingStewardship Series. Goshen, Ind.: MMA, Stewardship Solutions, 2005; Scottsdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 2005.
      Mark Vincent, former pastor and stewardship resources director for Mennonite Mutual Aid, offers this 12-session, basic study guide to help fellow believers to combat the allure of materialism. Addressing stages of life from youth to retirement, the author calls for the rejection of the North American consumerism mentality and the embrace of commonsense financial principles. Stating, “I need clothing. But I don’t need 20 shirts,” the author gives practical examples of what a stewardship attitude looks like. Each session includes a prayer guideline and group discussion questions. Emphasizing the holistic nature of stewardship, the author reminds us of our responsibilities for our time, relationships, talent, health and money. The book states wisely that “[m]oney is not about your bank account. It is about your heart for God and others.” Some curious elements enter the text as the author discusses the benefits of generosity, which include a “decreased metabolic rate” and “greater longevity.” Nonetheless, this book offers some good commonsense financial principles within the context of families and faith.

      Putting Your Money Where Your Heart Is: A Study in Biblical Stewardship
      Jack B. Scott. Philadelphia: Great Commission, [1984?].
      The Rev. Jack Scott offers this scholarly, comprehensive 13-lesson study guide for those who wish to gain a fuller understanding of biblical stewardship. Readers who are serious about learning what the Bible teaches about stewardship would do well to start with this study. Centered on principles such as the fact that God owns everything, that Jesus is the best example for stewardship, and that the Bible is the authoritative text, this study guide addresses both the theoretical and the practical in regards to stewardship. The study begins boldly with the question, “Is Tithing Enough?” (chapter 1), where the author states, “At best, the tithe is only the beginning for the Christian, if he wishes to be biblical in his giving.” Later he asserts that we are now commanded to follow Christ’s example that includes giving “not the best of our lives and possessions but all.” Each lesson is centered on a biblical text and contains review and discussion questions for the reader. Different lessons include, “Glorifying God by What You Give,” “No Poor among You” and “Service As unto the Lord and Not unto Men.” The author does a thorough job of addressing the biblical principles behind generosity while not neglecting the practical. In lesson 13 he gives suggestions for practical application which include writing down where we spend whatever we don’t give, looking at what we own and being honest about how much of it we really need, and giving more than we have in the past even if that means selling things we already own and don’t need. Overall this study offers sound biblical principles for generosity and a healthy emphasis on action.

      Living in a World of Wealth and Poverty: How to Manage Your Resources with Compassion and Integrity
      Written jointly by Thomas Nelson Publishers and World Vision. Priorities for Living Series. Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995.
      The world today has large numbers of both the wealthy and the poor; what are we as Christians to make of such a world? With wise admonition to prosperity theology and austerity doctrine movements in the church, this 13-part workbook offers a sound, biblical and comprehensive approach to understanding material possessions. There is in fact a dark and a light side to both poverty and riches, and we need to consider seriously what the Bible has to say about this issue. “The money itself is not the problem. What we do with it and the attitudes that are developed are what bring danger.” The tithe is a helpful tool for beginning to give, but God now calls us to something much greater—the realization that everything belongs to him and we are his stewards. Written for use by individuals or small groups, each chapter contains stories, Bible passages, thoughtful questions and powerful challenges to action. Overall, this study guide offers a much needed challenge to North American Christians to face up to the responsibilities that come with our unprecedented material prosperity.

      God, Money, and Me: Exploring the Spiritual Significance of Money in Our Lives
      Edwin Friesen. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Mennonite Foundation of Canada, 2004.
      “Hold tightly to what is eternal and loosely to what is temporal.” This 12-lesson small group study guide offers biblical truths and wise sayings about money to aid North American Christians in our struggle with materialism. Comprehensive yet thorough in its approach, this study guide covers issues varying from consumerism to hospitality. Part 1 covers the nature, source and purpose of money; part 2 details the faithful management of money; and part 3 focuses on the joy of giving and sharing. “Faithfulness to God also requires generosity to those in need.” If we wish to live as faithful stewards of what God has entrusted to us, we must give him our firstfruits, maintain a thankful attitude, have a generous heart, and give to those in need. We must also learn to understand that God promises to bless us as we are generous, while understanding that he chooses how to best reward us. The text seems to confuse money (a simple tool of economic exchange) and mammon (money deified and glorified). This minor confusion (limited to pp. vii, 7-8), however, does not interfere with the overall clear and accurate message of the study. In all, this study guide offers a convicting and thorough introduction to a biblical understanding of possessions and stewardship.

      What It Takes to Win: Bible Study Guide
      Charles R. Swindoll and Bryce Klablunde. Anaheim, Calif.: Insight for Living, 1993.
      What will be the biggest moment of your life? Charles Swindoll, former president of Dallas Theological Seminary and current pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, argues that the biggest moment will not be your wedding or the birth of your children but, rather, the moment you enter heaven and behold Jesus coming to meet you with crowns of reward. This study guide, suitable for individuals, couples or groups, is divided into two sections. The first section (chapters 2 to 6) introduces and then examines each of the five crowns individually while the second section (chapters 8 to 13) examines the various disciplines that lead to each crown. Chapters 1, 7 and 14 form a structural skeleton, introducing the rewards, grounding the rewards in Christ’s redemptive work, and studying the Rewarder, respectively. The five crowns and the corresponding disciplines for which each crown is a reward are as follows: the imperishable crown (self-control), the crown of exultation (evangelism), the crown of righteousness (obedience, or living daily for Christ in light of His return), the crown of life (glorifying Christ through suffering), and the unfading crown of glory (shepherding God’s flock). Questions and additional space for recording personal insights and reactions follow each chapter in order to facilitate further reflection and study. This study does an excellent job of exhorting the believer to confident perseverance in the faith.

      Investing for Eternity: Personal or Group Study Guide
      David Jeremiah. San Diego: Turning Point, 1999.

      Investing for Eternity Money: It’s one of the most crucial areas of the Christian life to which the word of God speaks. Dr. Jeremiah will challenge you to drop your guard long enough to allow God’s word to speak to you on the issue of money and Christian stewardship. Messages are titled: (1) “Putting God First in Our Lives,” (2) “Giving Yourself First to God,” (3) “Stewardship is Lordship,” (4) “Solomon’s Advice About Money,” (5) “Two Portfolios,” (6) “Sowing and Reaping,” (7) “Grace Giving,” (8) “Hiding in All The Wrong Places,” (9) “Five Pictures of God''s Provisions,” (10) “The Faith of Commitment.” This study guide is based on a series of 10 sermons available on audiocassette.

      Stewardship Is Lordship: Personal or Group Study Guide
      David Jeremiah. San Diego: Turning Point, 2000.
      The only place in scripture where we are told to test God’s faithfulness is in the area of stewardship (Malachi 3:10). When we give generously to Him, He will make all grace abound to us. All things spiritual require a step of faith. But when we believe and obey God responds. This 10-week study guide will lead you to a deep and practical understanding of how to give confidently and joyfully—and be blessed as a result of your obedience. Chapters are titled: (1) “God’s Basic Plan of Economy,” (2) “From God to God,” (3) “When Tithing Grows Up,” (4) “The Doctrine of Things,” (5) “The Myths of Stewardship,” (6) “Ananias’ Giving,” (7) “The Company of the Committed,” (8) “Hidden Motive for a Huge Commitment,” (9) “When Giving Less Is Giving More,” (10) “Jehovah-Jirah: The Lord Will Provide.” This study guide is based on a series of 10 sermons available on audiocassette.

      The Grace of Giving: Personal or Group Study Guide
      David Jeremiah. San Diego: Turning Point, 2002.
      Christians give away only slightly more money than non-believers, which reflects an underlying unbiblical view: “I am doing God a favor by giving some of my money to Him; I’ll give more when I make more.” On the contrary, research shows that the more money we make, the smaller percentage we give. How should Christians view money, and how should we handle our giving? In this 10-week study guide Jeremiah establishes the principle that New Testament Christians should be the most generous people in the history of the world. Why? Because we are the recipients of the most generous gift in history: the gift of the grace of God. Chapters are titled: (1) “Hidden Motives of Christian Giving,” (2) “Why People Don’t Give,” (3) “Tithing: What and Why?,” (4) “From God to God,” (5) “New Testament Giving,” (6) “Counterfeit Commitment,” (7) “The Spirituality of Your Checkbook,” (8) “God’s Promise to Provide,” (9) “It All Belongs to You,” (10) “The Blessing of Giving to God.” This study guide is based on a series of 10 sermons available on either audiocassette or compact disc.

      Giving to God: Personal or Group Study Guide
      David Jeremiah. San Diego: Turning Point, 2001.
      A steward is someone who manages the affairs of another, and good stewardship is every Christian’s responsibility. Since everything we possess comes from and belongs to God, our task as stewards is to manage our time, talent and treasure in ways that glorify Him. This study guide contains 10 weeks of practical lessons on how to become a channel through which God can accomplish His purposes and spread His blessings on earth. Jeremiah will introduce you to the people, principles and practices in Scripture that can make stewardship a blessing rather than a burden in your life. It is the givers—not the takers—whom God blesses in this life. Chapters are titled: (1) “The Steward of Stewardship,” (2) “The Sermon on the Amount,” (3) “Jesus at the Treasury,” (4) “Drawing Interest On The Principles,” (5) “The Meaning of Sacrifice,” (6) “Three Dimensional Giving,” (7) “God’s Harvest Law,” (8) “What Happens When We Forget God,” (9) “Givers and Takers,” (10) “Giving Too Much.” This study guide is based on a series of 10 sermons available on either audiocassette or compact disc.

      Biblical Financial Study
      Crown Financial Ministries. Gainesville, Ga.: Author, 2003.
      Considered one of Crown’s most widely used resources, this adult small-group study will help you to answer financial questions and difficulties from a biblical perspective. Through in-depth teaching and accountability in a small-group setting, this study trains individuals over a 10-week (formerly 12-week) period to use money in eternally significant ways that benefit not only the individual but also his church. Topics include planning financial goals, getting out of debt, budgeting, saving, spending, earning money, investing, giving, and organizing one’s estate. It is accompanied by a practical application workbook with CD and by Howard Dayton’s book Your Money Counts: The Biblical Guide to Earning, Spending, Saving, Investing, Giving, and Getting Out of Debt. Also available is a leader’s training kit. This study also is available in as a six-week Biblical Financial Study Special Edition for those entrusted with wealth or significant income.

      How to Manage Your Money: An In-Depth Bible Study on Personal Finances
      Larry Burkett. Chicago: Moody Press and Christian Financial Concepts, 2000.
      In the 21st century it is vitally important that your money management habits reflect what the Bible says. With God’s financial plan, the possibilities for contentment are guaranteed, and the opportunities to be used by Him are endless. Financial author and teacher Larry Burkett leads you on a step-by-step adventure to eye-opening biblical principles and offers powerful applications you can use immediately. You will learn God’s definition of wealth, the importance of short-range and long-range planning, the dangers associated with the burden of debt, and how to handle a surplus. Designed for use as an individual Bible study or in small groups, this workbook will help you gain a clearer knowledge of God’s financial plan for you. This 12-session workbook includes an interactive CD-ROM containing the Personality ID assessment and The Word on Finances Scripture database.

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    In-Depth Study Guides (16 Sessions and Up)
      A 20 Day Study in Stewardship
      Redeemer Presbyterian Church. New York: Author, 1997.
      This excellent and comprehensive study guide provides 20 daily readings, each exploring God’s call to Christians to become grateful stewards of His bountiful provision, in addition to discussion questions, reflective prayers and action points. This study primarily encourages believers to discover the joy of giving. As we exercise our roles as managers—not owners—of all that we possess, God is glorified and the cause of Christ is advanced. This study is useful for individuals, couples or small groups.

      Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living: Bible Study Guide
      Charles R. Swindoll and Lee Hough. Anaheim, Calif.: Insight for Living, 1993.
      Does the word “servant” paint pictures of sniveling self-abasement or of powerful self-control? This 17-session study guide, suitable for individual or group studies, dispels common misconceptions concerning servanthood and re-examines the topic from a biblical perspective. In today’s fallen world marred by selfishness, Christ empowers His followers to overcome and reverse the effects of sin through obedient servant living. Written by Charles Swindoll, pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, and by author Lee Hough, the study covers the many aspects of a servant. Chapter contents are as follows: Chapters 1-3 introduce the concept of a servant. Chapters 4-8 identify the three roles of a servant (giver, forgiver and forgetter). Chapter 9 examines the mind a servant ought to pursue. Chapters 10-11 paint the picture of a servant drawn from the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12). Chapter 12 covers the influence a servant exerts. Chapter 13 studies the perils and pitfalls a servant faces, illustrated by Gehazi’s negative example (2 Kings 4-5). Chapter 14-15 considers the obedience a servant must pursue, exemplified by Abraham (Genesis 22:1-19). Chapter 16 looks at the consequences of suffering and persecution a servant will face. Chapter 17 looks ahead to the heavenly rewards awaiting the faithful servant. Each chapter bases its teaching on an appropriate passage of Scripture and is followed by questions and comments designed to promote further reflection and application.

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