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During the sermon series, A Better Way, we will explore what it means to see and do things as Jesus would. We approach every situation based on our own experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives. We choose the way that seems best to us… the most comfortable or familiar way… the way someone we respect or admire would recommend… the "right" way. In the Gospels, however, we see Jesus approach life and its endless choices through a different lens... His lens. As our faith and trust increase, we find ourselves seeing things His way... a different way... a better way.
For each week of the study guide, your group will watch a brief video teaching that is designed to complement the corresponding sermon. The study guide includes at least one warm-up question designed to help your group focus on the primary Scripture passage and its theological implications. The discussion section will jump into the meaning and impact of the scripture’s major points, often providing you with a link to view the passage in several different translations of the Bible. We’ll wrap things up with questions that explore how the passage applies to us today as followers of Jesus in a modern and chaotic world. For all questions, including the warm-up, feel free to ask all of them or just select several that work best for your group. If you need more info and ideas to help you lead your group, visit our sermon series resource page.
Please also encourage your group members to check out Daily Steps, Cornerstone's companion devotional guide for individual reflection, prayer, and meditation on related Scripture selections throughout the week!
In his sermon for this week, Pastor Steve Ingold defined the term “affluenza" from the Merriam-Webster dictionary as, “The unhealthy and unwelcome psychological and social effects of affluence, causing such problems as lack of motivation and social isolation; extreme materialism and consumerism experienced by wealthy people, resulting in a life of chronic dissatisfaction, stress, and impaired relationships.”
In his book, How to Be Rich, Andy Stanley said, “Affluenza runs rampant. It causes bouts of arrogance and chronic dislocated hope. The symptoms aren’t always obvious either. They sneak up on you like an invisible growth that goes undetected while it eats away your insides.”
Think of the wealthiest person you’ve ever met (sharing names is optional). What are some of the ways you could tell that he or she was materially blessed? How did being around them make you feel?
As you think about the definition of affluenza and the quote from Andy Stanley, do you relate to the idea that having an overabundance of money, possessions, and convenience can “eat away your insides”? Why or why not?
WATCH THE VIDEO for WEEK 5
Watch this week’s video teaching from Pastor Steve “Sando” Sanderson, pastor of Cornerstone’s Hayward campus.
Feel free to ask all of these questions or just select several that work best for your group.
Read the following verses together and then answer this question for each one of them: What does this passage tell us about God’s perspective concerning wealth and possessions?
In the study guide video, Pastor Steve “Sando” Sanderson described the kind of stewardship and generosity that Jesus calls us to as His followers. He challenged us to place ourselves into the story of the rich young ruler found in Matthew 19:16-22. As you read that passage together, take the time to picture yourself having that conversation with Jesus.
Their exchange opens up with the young man getting Jesus’ attention by asking what good thing he needed to do to have eternal life. Jesus initially responds with the question, “Why are you asking me?” Other translations of the Bible have Jesus replying with variations of, “Why are you calling me good?” What do you think Jesus saw in his young questioner’s demeanor or his manner of approach that deserved such push back? (Leader Tip: If anyone in your group has a study Bible, take a look at the scholarly commentary for this verse.)
Jesus tells the man that if he wants to be perfect, he must sell all of his possessions, give everything to the poor, and follow after Him. Do you think that means all Christians are supposed to sell everything they have? In this man’s particular case, why was a sacrifice of all of his wealth necessary?
The interaction ends with the rich young man walking away very sorrowful, which would seem to indicate that he truly wanted to follow after Jesus. Even though he desired what Jesus taught, what was missing in the young ruler's heart and that subsequently prevented him from following through?
What kind of opportunities do you think the rich young ruler might have missed out on because of his decision?
If you were the rich young ruler, what fears, attachments and obligations would have held you back from doing as Jesus suggested?
Pastor Steve Ingold said in his sermon, “The better way to be rich, is to be rich in good deeds.” He explained that, “It’s really difficult to be arrogant, narcissistic, egocentric, or to put my hope in what I have if I spend all my time thinking about how to do good.” Read Acts 4:32-35 and 1 Timothy 6:17-18.
What are some examples of good deeds or lavish generosity that you’ve recently seen or heard about? What impression did it make on you? It can be examples of individuals, organizations, or corporations.
Imagine if churches of all denominations across the world lived according to the two passages you just read together. What kind of immediate and long-term impact would it have, both tangibly and spiritually on the world?
On an individual level, Pastor Steve talked about the difference between wants and needs. He suggested that we need to continually wrestle with the difference between the two and work to become lavishly generous. What does this kind of “wrestling" look like for you? Does it happen in prayer? When you go shopping? When you have conversations with friends?
Pastor Sando said we need to challenge each other with how we can pursue God’s definition of richness and not the world’s. Since how much money a person has and how they choose to spend it is generally a taboo subject in our modern culture, what are some ways that your group can create an environment of accountability and encouragement surrounding this often uncomfortable subject?
TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP
Everyone has a next step with Jesus...What's yours?
Spend Time Alone with God
Daily Steps is a weekly devotional message designed as a companion to this sermon study guide. You will be guided as you spend time with God through personal reflection, Scripture readings, and prayer prompts.
DAILY STEPS - A BETTER WAY TO BE RICH - WEEK 5
Get Your Worship On!
Do you love the worship music at Cornerstone? Then our new worship YouTube channel is for you! Enjoy all your favorites now featuring the worship teams from all of our campuses!
CF Worship Channel on YouTube