- Giving to God is worship.
- Giving is honoring to God. It’s a matter of honor. (Malachi 1:6-14)
- Not giving God His due is stealing from Him. (Malachi 3:8-10)
- Giving is worship-filled because it is giving to God what He is due.
- Examples of giving and worship
Cornelius (Acts 10:1-4; c.f. Philippians 4:18)
- Giving insulates our hearts against idolatry.
- You cannot serve both God and money. (Luke 16:13)
- Though riches increase, do not set your heart upon them. (Psalm 62:10b)
- We are to actively protect ourselves against love of money. (Hebrews 13:5-6)
- Beware of what moneycando to us. (I Timothy 6:10)
- Love of money leads directly to idolatry. (Acts 16:19)
- Search your heart for the love of money.
- Try fasting from certain things.
- Simplify and invest.
- Whom are you serving - God or money?
- What can we do to honor God? How does God feel honored? How do you liked to be honored? Is God like us or different from us in this respect?Have you ever been given a bizarre or disgusting gift? How did you feel receiving such a gift?
- [Note: Explain, if necessary, the concept of “love languages” to the group.]
Is your “love language” receiving gifts? Is there anyone else in your group or family who has that “love language”? If so, have them share how they feel when they receive a gift – try to explain what happens in your heart when you receive a gift.
Which aspects of that way of communicating love are applicable to our relationship with God and which ones aren’t?
- Have you ever thought of failure to give to God as “stealing” (Mal 3:8-10)? Why did God put the matter of giving/tithing in terms of stealing from Him? Is this guilt motivation from God?
What does this teaching mean to you?
- When you think of worship, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Does giving make the list? Why would God consider giving to be worship?
- Why do you think love for God and love of money are mutually exclusive? Think about our American culture for a moment. Is America more materialistic now as compared to the past? Has America’s love of God grown over the last few decades? At a broader cultural level, can you see a relationship between materialism and love for God?
- Can a person be both greedy and generous? What is the connection between greed and idolatry? When you think of idols, what do you think of? What are our idols?
- Why is love of money so dangerous?
- Do you ever re-gift or recycle gifts when it comes to God?