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Adult Bible Study Guide

Jan • Feb • Mar 2018

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Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide
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Stewardship: Motives of the Heart
Contents
1 The Influence of Materialism
2 I See, I Want, I Take
3 God or Mammon?
4 Escape From the World’s Ways
5 Stewards After Eden
6 The Marks of a Steward
7 Honesty With God
8 The Impact of Tithing
9 Offerings of Gratitude
10 The Role of Stewardship
11 Debt—A Daily Decision
12 The Habits of a Steward
13 The Results of Stewardship
Stewardship: Motives of the Heart
Our Goal

These lessons are geared to teach us


what our responsibilities as stewards
are, and how we can, through God’s
grace, fulfill those responsibilities not as
a means of trying to earn salvation but
as the fruit of already having it.
Stewardship: Motives of the Heart
Lesson 2, January 13

I See, I Want, I Take


I See, I Want, I Take
Key Text

Matthew 13:22, NKJV


“ ‘Now he who received seed
among the thorns is he who hears
the word, and the cares of this
world and the deceitfulness of
riches choke the word, and he
becomes unfruitful.’ ”
Initial Words
COUNSELS ON STEWARDSHIP 155.

The devil’s ploy to lure us through


materialism: “ ‘Make them care more
for money than the upbuilding of
Christ’s kingdom and the spread of the
truths we hate, and we need not fear
their influence; for we know that every
selfish, covetous person will fall under
our power, and will finally be separated
from God’s people.’ ”
I See, I Want, I Take
Quick Look

1. Self-centered Theology
(Matthew 13:22)
2. A Form of Selfishness
(2 Timothy 3:1-4)
3. Self-control Protection
(Galatians 5:22-25)
I See, I Want, I Take
1. Self-centered Theology
Matthew 13:22 NLT
“The seed that fell among the
thorns represents those who hear
God’s word,

but all too quickly the message is


crowded out by the worries of this
life and the lure of wealth, so
no fruit is produced.”
1. Self-centered Theology
The Prosperity Gospel

God wants to bless you, and the


proof of His blessing is the abundance
of material possessions that you own.
In other words, if you are faithful, God
will make you wealthy.
This has been called the prosperity
gospel. This is nothing but a false
theological justification for
materialism.
1. Self-centered Theology
The Prosperity Gospel

This belief creates dissonance with


Scripture and reflects a self-centered
theology that is nothing more than
half-truth clothed in biblical language.
At the core of this lie is the issue at
the core of all sin, and that is self and
the desire to please self above
everything else.
1. Self-centered Theology
The Prosperity Gospel

The theology teaches that, in giving to


God, we gain in return a guarantee of
material wealth.
But this makes God a vending
machine and turns our relationship
with Him into nothing but a deal:
I do this and You promise to do that in
return. We give, because of what we
get in return.
1. Self-centered Theology
Blurred Spiritual Insight

Christians have myopic vision when


they are fixated on the cares of this
world. And few things can blind their
eyes more than the deceitfulness
of riches.
Blurred spiritual eyesight puts eternal
salvation in jeopardy. It is not enough to
keep Jesus in view; we must keep Him
in focus.
1. Self-centered Theology
Blurred Spiritual Insight

First, Jesus warns us regarding “the


cares of this world” including financial
ones. We just need to be certain that
we don’t let such cares “choke the
word” in our lives.
Second, Jesus warns us of “the
deceitfulness of riches.” They possess
the power to deceive us in ways that
can lead to our ultimate destruction.
I See, I Want, I Take
2. A Form of Selfishness

2 Timothy 3:1-4 NKJV


“But know this, that in the last days
perilous times will come:

For men will be lovers of themselves,


lovers of money...lovers of pleasure
rather than lovers of God....”
2. A Form of Selfishness
The Steps of Covetousness

Like all sins, covetousness begins in


the heart. It starts inside us and then
works outward. The three steps we
take: I see, I want, I take.
Let covetousness surface, and it will
override any principle. “If selfishness be
the prevailing form of sin, covetous-
ness may be regarded as the prevailing
form of selfishness.”—John Harris, Mammon 52.
2. A Form of Selfishness
Greed—Having Things Your Way

Greed is a malady that wants


everything: passion, power, and
possessions. Again, I see, I want, I
take.
Notice Judas’ words: “ ‘What are you
willing to give me if I deliver Him to
you?’ ” (Matt. 26:15). Judas had been
privileged as very few people had been
in all history, and yet—look at what
2. A Form of Selfishness
Greed—Having Things Your Way

“In His teaching, Jesus dwelt upon


principles of benevolence that struck
at the very root of covetousness.
He presented before Judas the heinous
character of greed, and many a time
the disciple realized that his character
had been portrayed, and his sin pointed
out; but he would not confess and
forsake his unrighteousness.”—The Desire
I See, I Want, I Take
3. Self-control Protection

Galatians 5:22-25 NKJV


“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
peace, longsuffering, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,
self-control. ...
And those who are Christ’s have
crucified the flesh with its passions and
desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us
also walk in the Spirit.”
3. Self-control Protection
The Way of Escape

Self-control can be difficult when


it comes to greed, covetousness,
and the desire to own things.
Only through self-control, first of our
thoughts and then our actions, can
we be protected. We can exercise that
control only to the degree with which
we give ourselves over to the power
of the Lord.
3. Self-control Protection
The Way of Escape

None of us can defeat these sinful


traits, especially if they long have been
cultivated and cherished. We need the
working of the Holy Spirit if we are to
gain victory over these deceptions.
“God is faithful, who will not allow you
to be tempted beyond what you are
able, but...will also make the way of
escape...” (1 Cor. 10:13, NKJV).
Final Words
SPIRITUAL GIFTS 2:267

“Some love this world so much that


it swallows up their love for the truth.
As their treasures here increase, their
interest in the heavenly treasure
decreases. ... The more they possess,
the less do they have to bestow upon
others, for the more they have, the
poorer they feel. ... They will not see
and feel the wants of the cause of God.”