Lesson 8: More than Enough
Lesson Workbook (PDF) Click here
1. To help students realize that Jesus is the source for joy
2. To challenge students to give up temporary earthly treasures for eternal heavenly ones
3. For students to help meet the needs of others who have less by sharing generously
Caring, Contentment, Giving, Happiness, Joy, Sharing, Stewardship, Treasures
OPENING PRAYER (5 to 10 minutes)
GROUP BUILDING (10 minutes)
(Have everyone take a piece of paper and number it one to ten.
Then list who they believe are the ten richest people in the world in decending order.
See how well the class did.)
|1||Carlos Slim Helu||Mexico||Telmex||69.0 Billion|
|2||Bill Gates||USA||Microsoft||61.0 Billion|
|3||Waren Buffett||USA||Berkshire Hathaway||44.0 Billion|
|4||Bernard Arnault||France||Christian Dior||41.0 Billion|
|5||Amancio Ortega||Spain||Zara||37.5 Billion|
|6||Larry Ellison||USA||Oracle||36.0 Billion|
|7||Eike Batista||Brazil||Mining, oil||30.0 Billion|
|8||Stafan Persson||Sweden||H&M||26.0 Billion|
|9||Li Ka-shing||Hong Kong||Diversified||25.5 Billion|
|10||Karl Albrecht||Aldi||Germany||24.4 Billion|
Source 2011 Forbes.com
GETTING STARTED (10 minutes)
1. How hard do you think it is for these people to rely on Jesus?
2. What do you think these people do with all this money?
3. If you had as much money as say Bill Gates, what would you do with it?
We will get back to these types of questions later, but now let's begin our lesson.
DIGGING IN (30 minutes)
For our lesson today, we’re going to read the last part of the book of Philippians. Often, we think the content of a Biblical letter drops off towards the end, but this simply isn’t true with Philippians. Let’s read it and then jump in and see what God wants to tell us today.
Read Philippians 4:10-13
1. In verse 10 we hear the word rejoice again. Paul doesn’t seem to stop having joy. What is the source of his joy this time? (That others would show concern for him.)
2. Why, according to the text, were the Philippians concerned for Paul? (Because of his troubles. This is more plainly stated in verse 14.)
3. What did they do as a result of that concern? (Supported him, provided for him.)
Paul was a missionary, and missionaries need help. Whether it is a place to stay or money to provide for their needs. It was not uncommon for Paul and company to receive gifts from churches where they had visited. We also know that Paul earned a living as a tent maker, but it seems like from here and other passages that he had partners who helped support his missionary journeys.
4. When do you think Paul was most in need? (Opinion question, but probably never more than he is in need here.)
5. When do you think Paul had plenty? (Perhaps when he was staying someplace for a while and could earn an income, certainly during the days before he knew Jesus, he was comfortable.)
6. Paul says that no matter what, he knew how to be content. What is the source of his contentment? (Jesus.)
The Promises of God
The promises of God are few. That may not sound good, but God has only promised that we have food, shelter, and Him. He doesn’t promise us a fancy car, He doesn’t promise us a Playstation 3, and He doesn’t promise us a designer wardrobe.
He does promise that He will feed us, clothe us, and be with us. Though few, those are promises Paul was well aware of, as he had lived within them daily for years.
If God promises that He will feed us like the sparrows, clothe us like flowers, and be with us, where is He when:
7. When you hear statistics like that, what do you think of God’s promises? (Meant to stimulate discussion.)
8. God promises to shelter us and feed us. Has He made good on that promise in your life? (Meant to stimulate discussion.)
9. You are probably aware that some people die of starvation. Why doesn't God keep His promise in that case? (The truth is some people who have plenty don't share enough, so others still suffer.)
Read Philippians 4:14-23
1. Name the places Paul mentions being content/happy/etc. (In Thessalonica, presently.)
2. Name the places he mentions being in need. (When he first started out from Macedonia.)
3. Look at the passage again closely. Who provided for those needs? Name the sources. (From the Philippians, through Epaphroditus.)
It seems like God provided for Paul in lots of ways, not the least of which was through other people. It’s the people that Paul is praising here, along with his God. Put more correctly, he praises God for his Philippian friends. He thanks them profoundly in verses 14-19.
4. From our study in Philippians, name some cool things Paul did when he ministered here on earth. (There are many, just see what your students remember.)
5. Do you think Paul would’ve been able to do those things if it weren’t for his fellow Christians giving to him and supporting him in various ways? (Opinion question, but probably not. It would have at least have been harder.)
6. How would the world be different if people didn’t provide for people in need? (Opinion question, but it would certainly be bad.)
MAKING IT REAL (10 minutes)
If it weren’t for the Philippians, Paul may not have been able to do what he did. Yes, Paul says he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him. That’s the famous verse a lot of us know. But in the very next verse, he says it was still good that the Philippians shared, and he was grateful for it.
I want to challenge each of you with one very obvious truth, you have so that you can give away. God has given you things so that you can help provide for people in need. You might not have as much as Bill Gates or even as much as the person sitting next to you, but giving is less about the amount you have and more about your willingness to share what you do have.
I know you are teenagers, but I believe you are ready to hear this, if you hold onto money while other people do without, you are disrupting the potential of the gospel and your own spiritual wellbeing. These next questions are show of hand only, you don’t need to answer out loud.
• How many of you get an allowance?
• How many of you have a part-time job?
• How many of you spend more than 7 dollars a week?
• How many of you spend more than 30 dollars a month?
Why do I ask these questions? Did you know that the $7 you spend a week could feed a hungry person for a whole week? Did you know the $30 a month could feed a child for a whole month? What you have can and should be used to help those in need.
Optional Activity (5 minutes)
Here are a few simple ideas for your group to get involved in meeting the needs of others.
2. Go on a shopping spree. Everyone chip in 10 or 20 dollars and hit the supermarket. Fill a couple of carts, and take it to your local food bank or to a family you know could use it.
3. Start a piggy bank. Get an old coffee can, duct tape it good and tight, cut a slit on top and start pouring in the change. When it get’s full, put in the offering at church and mark it “missions.”
CLOSING PRAYER (2 minutes)
It is almost impossible to read the book of Philippians and not realize the deep partnership represented. Paul leaned heavily on his fellow Christians, and they provided. It’s time we do the same. Let’s pray that God causes us to feel the same urgency to help our brothers and sisters as the Philippians felt for Paul.