Open Hands, Open Hearts: Investment Advice

April 2, 2017 | Tom Swanson | Matthew 25:13-30


Getting Acquainted  

1) We have probably all received some investment tips or help at some time. Without getting into the deep weeds of specific stock tips (!), what is some of the best investment advice you have ever received? Who gave it to you? 

2) In the Bible passage we are looking at in Matthew 25, Jesus tells a story where we are to understand that we are in the role of servants. What do you think it would be like to be a servant? Are there things about that role that would rub you the wrong way? Are there things that might seem helpful or comforting? 

Getting into the Bible

3) The Biblical concept that we have been talking about is stewardship. The basic meaning of the word is ‘a household manager’. Stewards were slaves who were given responsibility to run things for the master of the house. Joseph (Genesis 39:4-6) and Erastus (Romans 16:23) are Biblical examples of stewards.  Look at 1 Peter 4:10-11, 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 and Luke 12:35-44 (here the word is translated manager in 25:42). What were some expectations of stewards? What was their relationship to the one who made them stewards? How do these principles apply in our lives where every square inch belongs to God? 

4) We all have the same 168 hours in a week, but it seems like for some of us they go by more quickly than for others! Read Psalm 39:4-6, James 4:13-17, Psalm 103:15-19, Ephesians 5:15-17 and Galatians 6:7-10. These are all passages that talk about time, our view of time and our use of time. What are some of the principles for life that you draw out of these passages?

Working it out in Life

5) Was there anything from last week’s sermon that particularly resonated with you or where you found yourself in disagreement? What was it and why did you respond that way? 

6) Look at the parable in this passage again. How would you describe the master? Do you see grace or firmness in his character (or both)? What is your impression of how the first two servants related to him? Do you think this gives us a good model for our understanding of how we are to relate to Christ? 

7) Pastor Tom mentioned that the third servant had a very dim view of the master. Why do you think he had that view when the other two seemingly did not share his assessment? How does a person’s view of God affect their attitude towards serving God? How can that issue be addressed? 

Digging Deeper

8) Think about the idea that we are stewards of the time and opportunities that God has entrusted to us. Depending on where you are in life, how might that influence how you look at your free time? At your retirement? At your hobbies? 

9) Can you think of a time when you had the sense that you really did respond favorably to opportunities that the Lord set before you? What led you to invest your time and energy at that time?