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God's Economy

Love Gives
/ Part
February 10, 2022
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Pastor Mike Hintz and Andrew Hunt prepared an excellent podcast to accompany this guide. You can listen to it at this link.

Challenge Follow-up

As you examined your priority list, did you find any places where your priorities were out of synch with God's priorities?

Ho-hum Dream Home

There is a show on HGTV called "My Lottery Dream Home." The premise is simple. A host takes a lottery winner - often a couple - on a search for the home they always dreamed about. The couple is usually blown away by the luxury and opulence available with their new found fortune. There is a lot of  bug-eyed "wow" moments. It makes for good TV. 

As a thought experiment let's think about a couple who has been quite wealthy for a decade appearing on the show. Will they have the same experience? Show them some Italian marble or a 500 square foot wine cellar. What reaction would you expect? They might be grateful for the experience and they might appreciate the elegance. After all, who doesn't like touring a fancy house. I suspect they would also be likely to spend  more time "kicking the tires" and checking out the goods like a practiced appraiser.  There's a good chance the second couple already lives in a fine house. They don't get the same kick out of seeing a house like the one they already live in.  

Stop and  consider that for a minute. A man with little is given much and is blown away by the possibilities. A man who already lives with those possibilities can be more ho-hum about them. 

Joy Jolts 

Few of us win the lottery of course, but we behave the same way when we manage to upgrade our stuff. When we buy a better car, upgrade our wardrobe, or remodel your kitchen - we get two parallel hits of joy - two joy jolts

The first joy jolt comes from getting something nice to enjoy. A new chair, a painting or a gas range gives us pleasure by being comfortable, looking beautiful or being useful. The second joy jolt is a sense of progress. It is what social scientists call a "positional good". We tend to judge ourselves by our position relative to others. When we get a new car we sense that we are "doing well for ourselves". The unspoken part whispers "better than some others." 

This is the tension that exists in the uneasy truce we have made with our culture. We strive along with those around us to do better - to rise - and we are rewarded with a sense of accomplishment. It is not necessarily evil. This ambition provides some of the fuel we use to work hard and build things. In my life God has used ambition in me to make me responsible and goal oriented. But we run the risk of missing God's economy. 

God's Economy

Our key passage this week is Matthew 6:31-34:

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

In God's economy the basic principle is dependency.  God is our source of provision. As we seek first the Kingdom of God our blinders come off. We begin to see that our resources are given to us by Him to use for His purposes. We can trust Him to provide. The more we depend on Him the more he proves Himself faithful. Our faith grows and He gives us more capacity to serve and give. Many of our decisions carry potential in heaven, and our resources can be marshaled to store up kingdom treasures!  The more we think this way the more capacity we have to serve. 

God's economy centers on 2 big ideas - Devotion and Hospitality. Jesus declared that all of His commands are wrapped up in these 2 ideas - Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. The "joy jolt" in God's economy is when we put Him at the center and He uses us to extend His kingdom into the lives of others through the resources He has provided to us. The closer we get to His heart and the more our security rests in Him, the more we find pleasure in blessing Him, His church, His people and this broken world. 

Discussion Questions

  1. God values Devotion and Hospitality - loving Him and loving our neighbor. What does it mean to you to "love God with all your heart soul mind and strangth"? What actions are involved in loving our neighbor? 
  2. We are taught to be wise with money, but sometimes our attitude comes from fear at not having enough. How "worried" are you about finances? Does it occupy a lot of time?  Talk about your concerns and pray together that God will give you His peace in this area.


Last week we asked you to take a look at your spending habits and time. Did you gain any insight into what you value? This week we want to take what we learned and rank our priorities. Make a list of what you value based on your spending. For most of us these things go into categories like Family, security, health and leisure. 

Remember, God's economy values devotion and hospitality. Where do your rankings fit in God's economy? Are you using your resources to advance His kingdom and to bless others? 

Next week we will talk specifically about investing in us, the body of Christ. Be praying that God will speak to you. 

God's Economy