North Way Christian Community Church in Pittsburgh, PA

Week 4 – Devotional 2

READ

Scripture: Matthew 6:19-24

Jesus presents us with another threat to true generosity: the pursuit of material wealth. This danger is every bit as present in our current culture as it was in Jesus’ time. Today’s passage gives us two reasons to fight the tide of materialism. First, material riches are far less valuable than spiritual gain, because one is temporary while the other is eternal. Second, it’s simply unhealthy for us to fixate on money—it leads our hearts to be devoted to greed. Jesus points out that on a practical level, we can’t both serve God and line our own pockets. But he’s also focusing on our hearts; it is impossible to love both God and money.

REFLECT

What are you pursuing or accumulating that can be stolen by thieves or destroyed by moths or rust?

How have you seen in your own life, for better or worse, the principle that your heart fixates on the things you find most valuable?

RESPOND

In this weekend’s sermon, we were challenged to shift some of our normal spending to something that benefits others. If you haven’t already done this, take some time to make a plan.

Download Week 4 Devotional.

Week 4 – Devotional 3

READ

Scripture: Mark 12:41-44

Jesus makes a statement here that, taken literally, is demonstrably untrue: “she has put more into the treasury than all the others.” From a mathematical standpoint she contributed far less money than each other donor. But Jesus is referring to the spiritual significance of the gifts! To God—who sees our hearts—her gift was much more important. Why? Not because she simply gave a larger percentage of her net worth than they did; rather, since she recognized that everything she had was God’s, she could give it all back to him. The rich donors viewed most of their money as their own, to do with as they pleased.

REFLECT

If you were asked to evaluate your own level of generosity, how would you go about doing so, i.e. what factors would you consider?

Is there an area of your life or possessions that you do not fully consider to be owned and entrusted to you by God?

RESPOND

Write a letter to God acknowledging that he is the true owner of everything you possess—especially anything you identified in the previous question.

Download Week 4 Devotional.