Relationships of the Believer
LESSON NINETEEN – THE BELIEVER AND MONEY
Lesson Goal: Our goal in this lesson is to better understand what the believer’s relationship to money and material possessions should be.
TITHING IN THE LAW OF MUSA
1. Read Leviticus 27:30-34–30 ” `A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to Allah; it is holy to Allah. 31 If a man redeems any of his tithe, he must add a fifth of the value to it. 32 The entire tithe of the herd and flock–every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod–will be holy to Allah. 33 He must not pick out the good from the bad or make any substitution. If he does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed.’ ” 34 These are the commands Allah gave Musa on Mount Sinai for the Israelites.
a. The tithe of Musa was how much?
b. The tithe belonged to whom?
2. Read Deuteronomy 26:10-12–10 and now I bring the firstfruits of the soil that you, O Allah, have given me.” Place the basket before Allah your God and bow down before him. 11 And you and the Levites and the aliens among you shall rejoice in all the good things Allah your God has given to you and your household. 12 When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. According to verse 12, how were the Israelites to use their tithe every third year?
GIVING IN THE INJIL
3. Read Romans 12:1–Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of Allah’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to Allah–this is your spiritual act of worship.
a. What are we told to do with our bodies (meaning our entire selves with our gifts and abilities)?
b. Thus, we need to keep in mind that our body and all that we are actually belongs to whom?
4. Read Matthew 6:33–But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
a. What should receive the believer’s first priority?
b. If that is our first priority, then what is Allah’s promise to us?
c. What does “all these things” refer to? (See the first lines of vss. 25 and 28–Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.)
NOTE: We have seen that the tithe of Musa was fixed at 1/10 of a person’s income. However, in the Injil we find no such rule. Rather, there we are taught that we are to regard everything we have as from Allah and rightfully belonging to him. Thus, we should be prepared to use all that we have for Allah’s glory if it is needed.
PROPER USE OF MONEY AND POSSESSIONS
5. To Help Brothers in Need.
a. Read Ephesians 4:28–He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
1) What should a thief no longer do?
2) Instead, what is he to do?
3) What is the purpose of his working?
b. Read Acts 11:27-30–27 During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) 29 The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. 30 This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.
1) What news was revealed by the Holy Spirit through the prophet Agabus?
2) As a result, what did the disciples decide to do?
3) How much did each give – the same amount or how much?
6. To Support Preaching. Read Philippians 4:14-20–14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the Injil, when I set out from Macedonia, not one congregation shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. 17 Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to Allah. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in al-Masih Isa. 20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
a. What did the congregation in Philippi do for Paul when he was in Thessalonica?
b. What are their gifts compared to in the end of verse 18?
c. If we are generous in giving to Allah’s work, what will Allah do for us?
OUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS MONEY
7. Read John 6:25-27–25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26 Isa answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him Allah the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
a. In verse 25, those who had eaten the bread and fish following Isa’s miracle the day before now began to search for whom?
b. Why does Isa say they are seeking him?
c. According to Isa, our greatest concern should be for obtaining what food?
d. Who alone is able to give us that food?
e. When the crowd understood that there would be no more free food, what did they do? (See John 66:66-68– 66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Isa asked the Twelve. 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
f. Those who would use religion as a means of material gain were present in Isa’s day. Are such people also found today? Explain.
8. Read 1 Timothy 6:6-8,17-19–6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in Allah, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
a. What will we take with us when we die?
b. What happens to those who desire to get rich?
c. What is at the root of all kinds of evil?
d. What should a rich person not do according to verse 17?
e. What should a rich person do?
9. Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-15–6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for Allah loves a cheerful giver. 8 And Allah is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to Allah. 12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of Allah’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to Allah. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise Allah for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the Injil of al-Masih, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace Allah has given you. 15 Thanks be to Allah for his indescribable gift!
NOTE: This passage gives instructions about help that was being collected to assist fellow believers who were suffering during a famine in Judea.
a. According to verse 7, what is the right and wrong attitude to have in giving?
b. According to vss. 10 and 11, what are the results of our generous giving to glorify Allah?
c. If, as a result of our generous giving, Allah richly blesses us, what is the purpose behind that blessing? (See vs. 11)
d. What are the good results of giving as described in verses 12-15?
10. a. Do you personally give anything for Allah’s work? Elaborate briefly.
b. What else do you think Allah might be wanting you to do in this area? What and how?
TO MEMORIZE – MATTHEW 6:33
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.