At-Home Study:  Week 3

These workbook pages can be printed if you prefer a hard copy.

SUNDAY, THIRD WEEK

Jesus said:  Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you (Matt. 7:7).

READ MATTHEW 7:7-11

it is important for us to learn to receive.

That may come as a surprise to you.  You know that this workbook is part of a stewardship program that has to do with giving.  But before you can give freely, you must be able to receive.

Start by receiving what your church

is trying to give to you:

An awareness of God,

The good news that God loves you;

Human love that embodies God’s love;

The promise of fullness of life

Both here and hereafter.

Once your church has taught you what to look for, look and find it all around you:

  • Wherever there is beauty and genuine goodness,

  • Wherever there is love,

  • Wherever there is human nobility.

  • Wherever there is any experience that makes you

whole and free and happy and alive---

All these are expressions of God’s grace.

We need to learn how to recognize God’s Grace in all the life-giving things around us,

    take them into ourselves,

          and let them do for us what they can.

That is part of what it means to be saved by grace.

We should intentionally seek out those experiences in life that feed and heal and liberate and enable us.  God wants us to have them.

When we have received fully, we can give freely.

Where do you experience God’s Grace in your life?

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Prayer:  Thank you, God, for all you are giving.  Help me not to miss any of your gifts.  Amen.

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MONDAY, THIRD WEEK

Jesus said:  Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt. 6:21).

READ MATTHEW 6:19-21

All of us are tempted to spend our time and our money and our energy in accumulating material things, or getting for ourselves all the status or pleasure or security that this world has to offer.

But these things are vulnerable and easy to lose.

The process of getting them can push us back into the practice of serving some master other than God.

Those other masters can be very cruel, unforgiving, and hard to satisfy.  They can fill your life with anxiety, frustration, bitterness, and fatigue.

It is true that where we put our time, our money, and our energy, we also will put our hearts.

If we really want to give our hearts to God, we need to give our time, our money, and our energy to serving the purposes of God.

We really need to give!

                                                                       

We need to give so that we

can be set free from the

tyranny of getting.

 

We need to give so that we

can become a part of something

bigger and better.

Here is good news.  Laying up treasures in heaven does not mean postponing the joy of life until after you die.  It means finding greater joy in a special relationship with God and with life, which starts now and never ends.

 

What would it mean for you to start depositing your resources in a heavenly account?  Think about it.

Prayer:  Lord, I really want to give my heart to you.  Show me how.  Amen.

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TUESDAY, THIRD WEEK

Paul, the apostle, wrote:  Those who in the present age are rich . . . are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous and ready to share (1 Tim. 6:17a, 18).

READ 1 TIMOTHY 6:6-19

Most of us don’t think of ourselves as rich.

     But if we are realistic, most of us have been

     blessed with plenty.

Material prosperity is an opportunity to do good.

Money is a symbol of the ability to accomplish things.

     It can be exchanged for goods and services.

          It can be used to do good things.

If we consider ourselves stewards to whom God has entrusted all that we have, we should plan to use what has been entrusted to us to do what God wants done with it.

What might God want you to do with your material resources?

  • Provide for the needs of your family,

  • Reinvest in productive business enterprises,

  • Enable you and yours to enjoy life fully,

  • Help those less fortunate.

 

Certainly, God would want you to use part of your resources to enable your church to do God’s work.

Do you really believe the church is doing the work of God?

Do you really believe that what has been entrusted to you should be used in the service of God?

Will you write the work of God’s church into your budget?

Well, will you? _________________________

Prayer:  Lord, forgive me for thinking that all I have is mine and that I can spend it just as I want to.  Help me to remember that, ultimately, everything is yours.  Help me to use it as you want me to.  Amen

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WEDNESDAY, THIRD WEEK

Jesus said:  That a poor widow who put two pennies into an offering plate gave more than the wealthy people who gave large gifts.

READ MARK 12:41-44

What did Jesus mean by saying that?

     Obviously, a gift of $100 can do more than a

     gift of a surplus that won’t be missed.

It is a good custom to plan our giving in terms of a percentage of our income.

 

The Bible recommends the custom of tithing, giving the first 10 percent of your income to serve God through the church.

 

If you are not tithing now, you probably think you can’t afford it.  But you can!  You will be surprised.

If you have already committed so much of your income that you think you can’t tithe right now, what percentage of your income can you give?

Can you start by giving some possible percentage of your income now, and stepping up by one percent of your income per year until you are tithing?

How much will you plan to give through your church?

     Will you give 10%? __________

     What percent will you give? __________%

     How much does that mean you give each week? __________

     Will you step up your giving each year? __________

     How much will you probably give each week next year? __________

Prayer:  Lord, set me free to give generously and gladly.  Amen.

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THURSDAY, THIRD WEEK

Jesus took a sack lunch which a young boy shared and used it to feed a great multitude.

READ JOHN 6:1-14

God can do much more with what we give than we could ever do by ourselves.

Look what God can do with what we give through our church:

  1. Through our church, we have some of the most meaningful experiences that we can have:  programs for people from childhood to old age; friendships; opportunities to grow in our relationship with God; opportunities to serve.

  2. Through our church’s influence, God works to build a better community for our families.

  3. Through the benevolent outreach of our church, God meets desperate human needs of people around the world, offers the Christian faith, and works to build a better world.  Do you yearn for a world without injustice, starvation, and war?  The mission outreach of your church is your best chance to help make it happen.

 

Know what your gifts accomplish, and enjoy it.

       Yes, we really should enjoy our giving.

 

       Your church really gives you “More bang

       for your bucks.”  Shouldn’t you be putting

       more bucks---and hours, and other resources

       into that “bang”?

 

Find out what your church does with the money you give, so that you can feel good about it.

Prayer:  Thank you, God, for doing so much with what I give to you.  Amen.

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FRIDAY, THIRD WEEK

The apostle Paul said:  Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it (1 Cor. 12:27).

READ 1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-13, 27-31

It is not enough merely to be a customer of the church---to go to the church for the services you want, and then pay directly for what those services cost.

It is not enough just to be a patron of the church and hire someone else to do God’s work for you.

 

To be a follower of Jesus is to be a member of the church---a part of it, just like the parts of a person’s body are members of the whole.

Just as the members of a body are interdependent, so we who are parts of the church are dependent upon it for our spiritual life---and it is dependent upon us for its health and wholeness.

The church is called the Body of Christ because it does Christ’s work in the world.  We answer Christ’s call to service by participating in the work of the church.

We need the Church.

The Church needs us.

 

We must commit ourselves

to support the church by

our love, our attendance,

our witness, our gifts.

our time, and our energy.

Serve God through the Church.

 

How much time should we commit to serving in the Church?

 

Which of the following can you say to the leaders of your church?

_____ I have lots of time that needs to be invested meaningfully.  Keep me busy in God’s service.

_____ I will make time to spend two or three hours a week in God’s service, besides my time in Sunday worship.

_____ I will be in church and Sunday school on Sunday mornings.  Use me in some ways on Sundays.

_____ Call on me to serve in some monthly or occasional ways.

 

Prayer:  Lord, you must be awfully busy.  Thank you for not being too busy to care about me.  I won’t be too busy to serve you.  Amen.

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SATURDAY, THIRD WEEK

The apostle Paul said:  We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us (Rom. 12:6).

READ ROMANS 12:1-8

Just as Jesus did great things with the sack lunch that the young boy shared, so God can do great things with the time we spend in service through the church.

God has given each of us some ability to serve.

Paul talks about the spiritual participation we can offer to the fellowship of the church, and also about the functions we can perform in the work of the church.

 

Find your place in the work of the church.

What are you good at? (Remember not to hide your light.)

 

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What have you always wanted to try doing?

(Don’t be afraid.  It’s O.K. to ask for help.  It’s O.K. to fail.)

 

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Is there some aspect of the church’s work in which you would

like to offer leadership by serving on a committee?

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Select some opportunities from this list that you would enjoy:

                             ______ Ushering                                                        ______ Children’s Programs

                             ______ Greeting                                                         ______ Singing in the Choir

                             ______ Office Work                                                   ______ Leading Children’s Choir

                             ______ Telephoning                                                  ______ Instrumental Music

                             ______ Kitchen Work                                                ______ Handbells

                             ______ Praying                                                           ______ Preparing for Communion

                             ______ Scouting                                                         ______ Building Repairs

                             ______ Teaching Children                                        ______ Grounds Maintenance

                             ______ Teaching Youth                                            ______ Caring for Sick or Aged

                             ______ Teaching Adults                                            ______ Visiting Newcomers

                             ______ Youth Counselor                                          ______ Community Service Projects

                                                                                                                ______ Blood Donor

Others ___________________________________________________________________________________

______ I would like someone to talk with me about service opportunities and about my talents.

 

Prayer:  Lord, show me how you want me to serve you.  Amen.

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ABOUT OUR CHURCH

Port Huron First

United Methodist Church

  • PHFUMC Facebook

828 Lapeer Avenue

Port Huron, MI 48060

(810) 985-8107

phfumc@gmail.com

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