Homework for Week 1
Scripture to Memorize:
“If therefore you have not been faithful in the use of worldly wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?” (Luke 16:11).
Use the Quizlet Memory Verse Tool
Before attending the first class:
1. Read or listen to the book Your Money Counts.
2. Memorize Luke 16:11.
3. Answer the homework questions.
1. What was the most helpful information you learned from reading "Your Money Counts"?
2. What are two practical principles from the book you can apply now?
Read Isaiah 55:8-9.
3. Based on this passage, do you think God’s way of handling money will differ from how most people handle it? What do you think would be the greatest differences?
4. What benefits do you hope to receive from participating in this study?
5. What are your personal goals concerning your income?
6.What are your personal goals concerning your giving?
7. What are your personal goals concerning your saving?
8. What are your personal goals concerning your getting out of debt?
Read or listen to the Introduction Notes.
9. What information especially interested you and why did it interest you?
10. When you learned the three reasons the Bible says so much about money, how did this challenge your thinking?
Please read or listen to the notes after completing Homework question 8.
This study will transform your life and finances as you learn what the God of the universe says about handling money. This study is for everyone—single or married, young or old, whether you earn a lot or a little.
The way most people handle money stands in sharp contrast to God’s financial principles. Isaiah 55:8 puts it like this: “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord” (NIV). The most significant difference between the two is the Bible reveals God is closely involved with our finances. Many people fail to realize it because He has chosen to be invisible to us and to operate in the unseen supernatural realm.
THE BIBLE AND MONEY
It may surprise you to learn how much the Bible has to say about finances. More than 2,350 verses address God’s way of handling money and possessions. What’s more, fifteen percent of everything Jesus Christ said has to do with money—how we view it and how we handle it. And He made such a major point of teaching these things for three reasons:
1. How we handle money impacts our fellowship with the Lord.
We may think we can separate our spiritual lives and our financial lives into two different compartments. Not so! Over and over, Jesus equates how we handle our money with the quality of our spiritual life. In Luke 16:11, He says, “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of worldly* wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?” The true riches in life grow out of a close relationship with the Lord.
It’s a simple fact: If we handle money according to the principles of Scripture, we will enjoy closer fellowship with Christ. The parable of the talents demonstrates this, as the master congratulates the servant who managed his money faithfully: “Well done, good and faithful [servant]. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21, emphasis added). We can enter into the joy of a more intimate relationship with the Lord as we handle money His way.
2. Money and possessions compete with God for first place in our lives.
We may never say it in so many words, but money is often a primary competitor with Christ for our affection. Jesus tells us we must choose to serve only one of these two masters. “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24, NIV). We use money, yes, but it’s impossible for us to serve money and still serve and love the Lord.
During the Crusades of the 12th Century, the Crusaders hired mercenaries to fight for them. Because it was a religious war, the mercenaries were baptized before fighting. Before going under the water, however, the soldiers would take their swords and hold them up out of the water to symbolize that Jesus Christ was not in control of their weapons. They claimed freedom to use their weapons in any way they wished.
Unfortunately, that illustrates the way many people today handle their money as they hold their wallet or purse “out of the water.” Their attitude is, “God, you may be Lord of my entire life—except in the area of money. I’m perfectly capable of handling that myself.”
3. God wants us to be money smart.
The Lord also talked so much about money because He knew that from time to time money problems would be a challenge for all of us. Stress and confusion in this area of life can impact our marriage, our family life, our happiness, and even our health. Because He loves and cares for us so deeply, He wanted to equip us to make the wisest possible financial decisions.
A DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITIES
Years ago, my close friend Jim Seneff asked me to join him in a study of the Bible to discover what the Lord said about money. Carefully reading through the pages of Scripture, we identified 2,350 verses related to money and possessions. As we arranged these passages topic by topic, we were amazed by how practical they were. In the process, we discovered an important pattern—or, what you might call a division of responsibilities in the handling of money.
Simply put, God has a role, and we have a role. As you progress through this study, you may be surprised to learn which responsibilities are God’s, and which are yours.
You will also discover that learning and applying God’s way of handling money is a marathon, rather than a sprint. In fact, gaining financial wisdom is a lifelong journey. When we learn God’s responsibilities and our own, we will experience contentment, hope, and confidence about our financial future.
Let the journey begin!
Compass-finances God's way mapTM
We have developed the map to help you on your journey to financial faithfulness. The map enables you to identify where you are, where you want to be, and your next step to take for financial progress. You will be able to download a full version of this map in Week 3.
At the end of most lessons, we recommend outstanding books, web sites, financial tools and calculators, and organizations that will help you on your journey.
The Compass web site is a dynamic site created to accompany this study. It contains online tools, videos and answers to frequently asked questions- many of which are included in this workbook. You can click on the Compass icon at the bottom of each chapter to get to the website. There are also links to social media, the Compass Blog and other online tools.
Each week there will be a Bible verse for you to memorize as part of your homework. These verses can be downloaded and printed out for your convenience to use throughout each week.
You can also use the online memory verse tool- Quizlet. You can memorize the verses through flashcards, games and more from any device.
Download the Memory Verses
Allow me to add this one personal note: As I wrote this study, I prayed for you. I truly did. No, I may never have the privilege of meeting you personally, but I prayed that each and every person that embarks on this journey would experience the tremendous sense of hope, peace, and encouragement that comes from discovering God's way of handling money. I am excited even as I write these words, because I know that great things are in store for you.