Ashes: Scarcity // Abundance

April 7th

Writer: Patrick McDonald

Key Passage: Ecclesiastes 5:8-6:12; Proverbs 13:20; Hebrews 10:24-25 

Big Idea: “Whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.” Easily said by the wealthiest king of Israel. Finances are a tool, not what drives our identity. Imagine what would happen if we lived our lives in total response to the turn of the market place. Like a sharp knife, God has intended us to use our resources with precision and intentionally rather than haphazardly. What gives our lives meaning: Giving, not hoarding.   

Silicon Valley is one of the most prosperous areas in the world right now. We live in the center of innovation, where the latest and greatest are available at our fingertips. Big companies in technology, business, and finance provide lucrative jobs for hundreds of thousands of people. Small startup businesses are formed every month with unlimited potential. You can drive through neighborhoods where every house is worth millions of dollars. We live in an area where people have so much money that well-off families can feel poor by comparison.  

We also live in area where the cost of living is high, and the cost of housing is even higher. Healthy size paychecks can disappear quickly just to pay for a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs, and clothes on our backs. All these factors create a culture with an unhealthy view of money and wealth. We think we need a lot of money just to make ends meet. We think more money will bring us more happiness and wealth will solve all our problems. 

Ecclesiastes shares a different view on wealth. Wealth is not a prerequisite to our happiness, and it is not a sign of God’s blessing on our lives. God blesses everyone in different ways, and He chooses to bless us with different types of resources and callings. We find our identity in God and in His mission, rather than in our possessions. Whether we are rich or poor, in the end we all die and leave our resources behind. God calls us to use our resources and our wealth to invest in His Kingdom and to bless others. 

Reading: Ecclesiastes 5:8-6:12 

Discussion Questions: 

  • How did your family handle finances when you were growing up? How has this influenced your view of wealth today? 
  • Have you ever lived in different areas or cultures that view wealth differently from our current Silicon Valley culture? What are some of the pros and cons you noticed? 
  • What are some of the pros and cons with the way Silicon Valley residents view wealth? 
  • How does God want us to view our wealth and our possessions? 
  • How have you seen God work when you used your possessions to serve His Kingdom? 
  • How is God challenging you to serve Him with your possessions or finances today?     

Daily Readings: 

4/8 Ecclesiastes 9:13-10:10 

4/9 Ecclesiastes 10:11-20 

4/10 Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 

4/11 Ecclesiastes 11:7-10 

4/12 Ecclesiastes 12:1-8 

4/13-14 – Ecclesiastes 12:9-14 

Prayer focus: Every resource is a tool we can use for God’s kingdom. This week let’s ask God to help you see your talents, resources, skills and assets with an open hand and consider how God might use them for His glory.