Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Spending Crisis

Deuteronomy 28

1. On the posts of facebook, a popular website lists the number one hit song on the day you were born. It’s fun to take a walk down history lane and hear what songs were popular at that time. What was a popular song that you remember from your high school days?

2. History is a good teacher. Experience is a hard teacher. With experience it is said that the exam comes first, and then the lesson. How much more painless and practical it is to study the lesson first, and then take the exam! But we, as human beings, are prone to forget those valuable history lessons, even in our own lives. Read Psalm 105:1-5. What are several things we are instructed to do in this Psalm? What specifically are we told to do in verse 5?

3. Read I Corinthians 11:23-26. In observing the Lord’s Supper, what significance does the act of remembering hold?

4. God wants us to remember Him in all things. Read Deuteronomy 28:1-14. What is the essence of this section? What does God want us to do, and what are the consequences of these actions?

5. Much of the blessing described in Deuteronomy describes prosperity. We are at a unique point in American history, although many draw parallels between what we are experiencing economically today with people’s experience during the Great Depression. Do you know anyone (or are you someone) that lived during this era in our country? Who?

6. From a website there is an article entitled, “4 Personal Finance Principles That Would Make Your Grandfather Proud.” Part of the article reads: “Our grandfather’s generation wasn’t perfect. They had their own set of flaws and weaknesses. But they got a lot of things right. And one of those things is how to handle your finances. Grandpa learned his financial lessons from the school of hard knocks. He lived through the Great Depression, which taught him to live leanly, to save, and to be grateful for what he had. And he lived in a time where staying out of debt was a matter of independence, pride, and self-reliance, something he believed reflected on a man’s most precious resource–his character.”

7. Biblical principles work whether a person recognizes they are from the Bible or not. Truth is truth. Some lessons (not all) from the Great Depression were certainly founded on Biblical truth. What verses or sections of Scripture can you point to for the following financial principles:

• Living “leanly”

• Being grateful for what we have

• the importance of character

• a healthy work ethic

• saving

8. Deuteronomy 18:15-68 is a great contrast to the first part of the chapter. This entails the curses of disobedience. Read II Peter 3:9. What is the desire of God’s heart?

9. Read Hebrews 12:4-11. What is the intention of God’s discipline in our lives?

10. Can you think of a time in your life in which you, in retrospect, were financially undisciplined? Share one word to describe the consequence of that time.

11. Now, can you share a time in which you consciously made a disciplined financial decision and use one word to describe the benefit that came to you.

12. How big is the circle that benefits when you make wise financial decisions?