Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2018
Texts: 2 Timothy 3:1-9; Ezekiel 14:14; Philippians 4:4-13; Proverbs 3:5; 1 Peter 2:11, 12; Matthew 7:23; 25:21
Many in our world believe that the result of stewardship is wealth. They feel it’s worth a few sacrifices, be it financial or other, if the end result is riches. Sometimes we catch a glimpse of those not swayed by possessions, power, or prestige.
Mention Spring Break and a variety of thoughts and pictures flood one’s mind. Some may think of it as the last chance for a ski vacation as days warm and we move toward summer. Others may think of getting the yard ready for the coming season of planting and growing. Still, others may think of beaches filled with raucous parties that destroy property and often lead to poor decisions.
That is not the case with a group of students from University of Miami. These students spent their vacation time at a memory care facility in Aurora, Colorado working with dementia patients. While they chose service, they received blessings. They went to help but found the residents had much to offer them. Throughout the week they shared stories, learned history first-hand from those who experienced it, ate together, and created art.1 A life of stewardship is a life that transcends living for the moment. It can be demonstrated by giving time, sharing talent, and sharing resources.
In our Sabbath School lesson this quarter, we have learned that stewardship is all-inclusive. Being a steward means using resources in the best possible way, no matter what that resource may be. In this week’s lesson, stewardship extends beyond the social studies definition of managing resources. It includes the entire being, words, wealth, actions, time, thoughts, and the list goes on. Paul sums it up when he says he has learned to be content in various situations—in plenty or in want. Earlier in that same passage, he delineates what types of topics should take up our thoughts.
By dwelling on what God has taught—how we have always received love and grace—we will find that what we don’t have is of little consequence. In a society of grabbing what we can, of being better, of having more, the results of stewardship provide a calm and secure way of life—an existence free from the necessity to consume, to amass, and to take, no matter what the expense to others. Faithfulness in all aspects of our lives provides a view to others that transcends all the aggressiveness and greed. There is serenity that permeates any situation. Stewards can live at peace trusting God’s leading now, while looking forward to eternity.
~ For Reflection
Connecting: Sketch a simple drawing that illustrates one of your greatest fears. Tape your drawings on the whiteboard and review your art gallery together. Are your fears generally based on things or people?
Sharing: Read Philippians 4:6. How can we best live by the admonition to be anxious about nothing?
1. Praise God continually, no matter our circumstances.
2. Let go of our anxieties and trust that God will take care of us.
3. If we ignore our troubles, they tend to work themselves out.
4. It helps to regularly monitor our health (blood pressure, heart rate, etc.) and be vigilant about reducing the negative effects of anxiety.
5. Trusting Jesus produces a peace that can’t be understood or controlled. We can’t manufacture it by ourselves.
Applying: Someone says to you, “The church just wants my money.” How can you help this person understand that God really wants our hearts? Is it possible to help people understand that blessing others actually blesses them, even if they haven’t experienced this personally?
Valuing: What have you learned through this quarter’s lessons on stewardship? Will this study make a difference in your attitudes and stewardship practices?
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