Ice Breaker (optional – choose one below)

  • How did you spend the snow days last week?
  • Would you rather spend your money on things you can own or experiences? Why?
  • Who is someone you looked up to when you were growing up?

Main Idea

We are used to thinking of “lust” in just a sexual sense. However, we learned this week there are several ways “the lust of the eyes” can lead mature, committed Christians to unwittingly open doors for Satan and his forces to wreak havoc in their lives – primarily around the area of our finances.

Discuss

What stood out to you from this weekend’s message?

We identified three key areas where the lust of the eyes can creep in and give Satan a foothold:

  • The lust of the eyes leads to greed, which opens a door for Satan in our lives.
  • The lust of the eyes leads to unbelief, which opens a door for Satan in our lives.
  • The lust of the eyes leads to fear, which opens a door for Satan in our lives.

In what ways do you see culture encouraging us to follow the “lust of our eyes?” Why do you think it is so effective?

What are some arguments you hear against investing money in the church? Do any of those arguments have greed, unbelief or fear at their core? Discuss.

What does the Bible say?

Read Malachi 3:7-12

  • What does God accuse the Israelites of doing in this passage? In what way were they doing this?
  • What does God challenge them to do in the area of their giving? How does this challenge apply to us today?
  • Why do you think tithing is mentioned so often in the Bible? How does tithing impact our spiritual maturity?
  • Do you have a “giving story?” A time when you were faithful with your giving and God showed up in an unexpected way? If you have a story that would encourage others that you feel comfortable sharing, please share with the group.

 

Apply the Message

“The lust of the eyes” tempts us to withhold from God to protect / enrich ourselves rather than obeying God with our finances and trusting in Him to provide us with our needs and wants.

  • What most often tempts you to want to withhold from God? Is that thought rooted in any of the three areas we learned about this weekend?
  • What thoughts do you need to repent of? What steps of obedience is God calling you to take? Here is a way to start:
    • Write down or make a note in your smart phone ways you may be giving the devil a foot in the door with your finances:
      • Fear of the future
      • Unbelief
      • Greed
  • Pray for wisdom and talk to God about your progress until we meet again. Let’s share ways God has worked with us in these areas when we return.
  • Remember, obedience is not about earning God’s love or favor – we already have this in Christ. Obedience helps us to close doors of opportunity for Satan to lead us away from a close relationship with God. Let’s pray for one another as we work through this area together this week.

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