SOAP our new study, Lent, with us today!

There is an old saying,”‘money can’t buy happiness,” and a famous pop song that said, “money can’t buy me love.” Often society places a great weight on having all our needs met through financial wealth and material possessions.                                          

One of the national newspapers here in the United Kingdom annually compiles and publishes a “Rich List” of the top 350 wealthiest people in the country. It lists how many billions or millions they are worth and how they made their money. 

But as followers of Jesus, we know this is not where true wealth is found.

We do not look to the world to define our value but, instead, we go to God’s Word to see what defines true worth and how to have a godly perspective on wealth, riches, and possessions. Our Scripture for today comes from one of Jesus’ sermons found in Matthew chapters 5-7, known as The Sermon on the Mount.

In it, we find instruction on how to live, and the people we are to be. It’s also been referred to as the Manifesto of the Kingdom, where we discover that Jesus’ teaching of His upside down kingdom is very different from the ways of this world. Jesus instructs us how to live, how to love, how to give, and how to pray (amongst many other instructions in these three chapters).  

In this season of Lent, it is a good time to pause and reevaluate our attitude toward  many areas of our lives. Because Jesus teaches about wealth, treasure, money, and giving, we need to hear and heed what He has to say to us about these things.

“Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and devouring insect destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and devouring insect do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

It is clear that we are only to store up heavenly treasure. So what does that look like, and how do we do it?

First, we recognize that all we have has come from God.

The apostle Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 4:7, “What do you have that you did not receive?” Our Heavenly Father is the source of all blessing and provision. This acknowledgment that everything we have is God’s helps us realign our attitudes towards the true owner of whatever it is we possess. 

‘For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son….’ (John 3:16).

Not only is God the owner, but He is also our greatest example of someone who gives generously. Giving is at the very heart of who God is. He knew our need for a Savior, so He gave us Jesus. Surely then, having received such an indescribable gift, we would want to follow His example with a disposition of heart that delights in giving, showing love, desiring to do good, generously blessing others with kindness, and meeting needs as we share what has been given to us. 

It is crucial that we bear in mind that whatever we give was never ours to begin with anyway. This takes the pride out of giving, for it can be tempting to be pleased with ourselves when we do something to help others in need. We need to remind ourselves of the truth in David’s words in 1 Chronicles 29:14 that “…everything comes from you, and we have simply given back to you what is yours.”

It goes without saying that giving is not only about our financial resources.

Even if we do not have much money, God has blessed us in many other ways. We share those blessings by giving our time, using our gifts and abilities, praying faithfully for others, showing compassion, and practically responding to the needs of others. Our giving flows out of a heart that loves Jesus and lives to please Him.                                                                                                                         

We could volunteer for a Christian mission, help out at a local food bank, or babysit for the single mom who never gets any time for herself. We could commit to praying in partnership with the youth organizations or outreach activities at church. 

Many times, giving of ourselves can be more costly than a financial donation to a charity.

God’s Word tells us we are to give generously, cheerfully, sacrificially, and without expecting anything in return.

We can seek to store up heavenly treasure by investing in people. In serving others, we are honoring God. When we do these things, we will, in the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 6:19, “save up a treasure….as a firm foundation for the future and so lay hold of what is truly life.”

In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul also points us to the lovely example of believers in the Macedonian churches who gave voluntarily, joyfully, and generously, even in their circumstances of trial and poverty. They knew the blessing and fellowship that could be found in helping the saints. Their priorities were right. Paul says in verse five of this chapter, “They gave themselves first of all to the Lord and to us by the will of God.” Paul then encourages the believers in the church at Corinth to follow this pattern and excel in the grace of giving.

In this season of Lent, when we consider all we have been given in Christ Jesus as He gave Himself for us, may we be reminded of the treasure that is found only in loving and living for Him.                          

Let us share His goodness and blessings in every opportunity. May we grow in the grace of giving, storing up heavenly treasure as we make eternal investments for the Kingdom of God in the lives of others in this world He so loves.                                                                                         

And God is able to make all grace overflow to you so that because you have enough of everything in every way at all times, you will overflow in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8).

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Week 4 Challenge:

Part of emptying ourselves to be filled with Christ involves the practice of charity. Charity is an act of faith, indicating that we believe God will meet our needs as we give out of our abundance. This week, ask God to reveal to you where He wants you to give financially. If you feel you don’t have the means, ask Him to show you how you can still practice charity with what you do have.

Week 4 Reading Plan:

Find it in your journal or on the LGG App!

Week 4 Memory Verse:

Memorize Scripture with us for Week 4 of our Lent Bible study for women!

Katie Shott

Katie Shott

Katie Shott loves Jesus, loves people, and loves life! Born and bred in Northern Ireland, she lives in Belfast with her amazing husband, Andrew, where they are both involved in serving God in their local church and passionate about global missions. Katie’s heart is for our persecuted brothers and sisters across the world and she is constantly challenged by their courage and faith as they follow Jesus, whatever the cost. Katie loves to laugh and chat over coffee with friends; she knows all the best coffee shops in Northern Ireland, and if you ever come to visit her beautiful ‘wee’ country, she promises to take you to some!

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