Author Topic: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 4--1st Quarter 2023--Offerings for Jesus  (Read 117 times)

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Wally

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 Lesson 4 January 21-27






Offerings  for Jesus





Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon







So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 4--1st Quarter 2023--Offerings for Jesus
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2023, 08:59:33 PM »
Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: 2 Cor. 9:6, 7; Deut. 16:17; Ps. 116:12-18; 1 Chron. 16:29; Mark 12:41-44; Mark 14:3-9.

Memory Text: “What shall I render unto the LORD [for] all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.” Psalm 116:12-14

Besides tithing, there are offerings, which come from the 90 percent that remains in our possession after our tithe is returned to God. This is where generosity begins. Different types of offerings were given by God’s people, such as sin offerings, given in response to God’s grace, or thank offerings, given to recognize God’s protection, and blessings of health, prosperity, and sustaining power. There were also offerings for the poor, and offerings to build and maintain the house of worship.

When we consider the magnitude of God’s gifts to us, we then begin to see our giving as more than just paving the parking lot or buying choir robes. We bring our gifts in response to what God has done for us, especially in the sacrifice of Jesus. “We love Him because He first loved us” 1 John 4:195. The church, then, whether it be local, conference, or worldwide, uses our gifts to advance the cause of God. This week we will review what the Bible has to say about offerings as part of our management of God’s business on the earth.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, January 28.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 4--1st Quarter 2023--Offerings for Jesus
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2023, 09:01:29 PM »


Sunday         January 22
Motivation for Giving


We love God because He first loved us. Our giving is in response to His amazing gift to us, Jesus. In fact, we are told, “The Lord does not need our offerings. We cannot enrich Him by our gifts. Says the psalmist: ‘All things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee.’ Yet God permits us to show our appreciation of His mercies by self-sacrificing efforts to extend the same to others. This is the only way in which it is possible for us to manifest our gratitude and love to God. He has provided no other.” — Ellen G. White, Counsels on Stewardship, p. 18.

Amen!!

When we surrender “our” money to Jesus, it actually strengthens our love for Him and for others. Therefore, money can be a real power for good. Jesus spent more time talking about money and wealth than just about any other subject. One verse in every six in Matthew, Mark, and Luke is about money. The gospel’s good news is that God can deliver us from the misuse and love of money.

Read Matthew 6:31-34 and Deuteronomy 28:1-14. What does God promise to do for us if we obey Him? Is it selfishness on our part to claim the promises of God?

Our offerings are an evidence of our willingness to self-sacrifice for God. They can be a deeply spiritual experience, an expression of the fact that our lives are wholly surrendered to God as our Lord. To us, as an English idiom says, it is “putting our money where our mouth is.” You can say you love God, but generous offerings help reveal (and even strengthen) that love.

An offering comes from a heart that trusts in a personal God who constantly provides for our needs as He sees best. Our offerings rest on the conviction that we have found assurance of salvation in Christ. They are not an appeasement or a search for God’s acceptance. Rather, our offerings flow from a heart that has accepted Christ by faith as the only and sufficient means of grace and redemption.

Read 2 Corinthians 9:6, 7. What is the Lord saying to us here? What does it mean to give as one “purposes in his heart” (NKJV)? How do we learn to give cheerfully?

Love the Lord our God with all of the heart.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 4--1st Quarter 2023--Offerings for Jesus
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2023, 09:06:30 PM »
Monday  January 23
What Portion for Offerings?


Read Deuteronomy 16:17. What criterion does God give as the basis for the amount of our offerings?

Our offerings are an acknowledgment and expression of our gratitude to God for His abundant gifts of life, redemption, sustenance, and constant blessings of many kinds. So, as we noted in the passage above, the amount of our offerings is based on what we have been blessed with. “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required” (Luke 12:48, NKJV).

Read Psalm 116:12-14. How are we supposed to answer the question posed in verse 12? How does money fit in with the answer?

How could we ever repay God for all His blessings to us? The simple answer is that we never could. It seems that the best we can do is be generous with the cause of God and in helping our fellow human beings. When Jesus sent out His disciples on a missionary trip, He told them, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matt. 10:8, NKJV). Our offerings contribute to the development of a Christlike character. We are thereby changed from selfishness to love; we are to be concerned for others and the cause of God as Christ was.

Let us always remember that “God so loved …, that He gave” (see John 3:16). In contrast — as sure as day follows night — the more we hoard for ourselves, the more selfish in our own hearts we will become, and the more miserable we will feel as well.

Bringing an offering to the Lord is a Christian duty with spiritual and moral implications. To neglect this is to do spiritual damage to ourselves, perhaps more than we realize too. In addition to that, it is up to us to determine what amount we give and what entity receives our gifts.

Amen! Like all sin, we suffer with spiritual and moral implications. Eating what we have been told not to eat is hurting not only God, His message, His church, and us.


What do your offerings, and your attitude about giving them, say about your relationship to God?

If we sin, we have no relationship with God, we do not love the Lord our God with all of the heart, thus we do not have salvation. Let the author say so.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 4--1st Quarter 2023--Offerings for Jesus
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2023, 09:07:44 PM »
Tuesday         January 24
Offerings and Worship


The Bible does not give us an order of service for worship. But it appears that at least four things are present in worship services. In the New Testament this list includes study/preaching, prayer, music, and tithes and offerings.

Three times each year the men (and families) of Israel were all to appear before the Lord in Jerusalem. And “they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed” (Deut. 16:16, NKJV). In other words, part of the worship experience was the returning of tithe and giving offerings. It was at Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles that God’s children brought their tithes and offerings. It’s hard to imagine someone coming to those feasts empty-handed.

In other words, for ancient Israel the giving of their tithes and offerings was a central part of their worship experience. Worship, true worship, isn’t just expressing in words and songs and prayer our thankfulness and gratitude to God, but also expressing that thankfulness and gratitude to God by the bringing of our offerings to the house of the Lord. They brought it to the temple; we bring it to the church on Sabbath (at least as one way to return our tithe and offerings), an act of worship.

Read 1 Chronicles 16:29; Psalm 96:8, 9; and Psalm 116:16-18. How do we apply the principles expressed here to our own worship experience?

As God’s children, who are tasked with the responsibility of managing His business on the earth, it is a privilege, an opportunity, and a responsibility to bring our offerings. If the Lord has given us children to raise for Him, we should share with them the joy of bringing tithes and offerings to Sabbath School and church services. In some places, people return their tithe online or by other means. However we do it, the returning of tithes and offerings is a part of our worship experience with God.

What has been your own experience with the role of returning tithe and offerings as part of worship? How does the practice impact your relationship with God?

When giving to support the ministry, even though apostate ministers receive of the tithe, it is a blessing to know we are supporting God's church which includes the faithful ministers.


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 4--1st Quarter 2023--Offerings for Jesus
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2023, 09:07:53 PM »
Wednesday ↥         January 25

God Takes Note of Our Offerings

Read Mark 12:41-44. Whether we are rich or not rich, what message can we take from this story? What’s the principle that this teaches us, and how can we apply it to our own worship experience?

Jesus and His disciples were in the temple courtyard where the treasury chests were located, and He watched those who were bringing their gifts. He was close enough to see that a widow had given two copper coins. She had put in all that she had. “But Jesus understood her motive. She believed the service of the temple to be of God’s appointment, and she was anxious to do her utmost to sustain it. She did what she could, and her act was to be a monument to her memory through all time, and her joy in eternity. Her heart went with her gift; its value was estimated, not by the worth of the coin, but by the love to God and the interest in His work that had prompted the deed.” — Ellen G. White, Counsels on Stewardship, p. 175.

Another very significant point is that this is the only gift Jesus ever commended — a gift to a church that was just about to reject Him, a church that greatly deviated from its calling and mission.

Read Acts 10:1-4. Why did a Roman centurion receive a visit from a heavenly angel? What two of his actions were noted in heaven?

Apparently, not only are our prayers heard in heaven, but the motive of our gifts is also noted. The passage notes that Cornelius was a generous giver. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21, NKJV). The heart of Cornelius followed his gifts. He was ready to learn more about Jesus. Prayer and almsgiving are closely linked and demonstrate our love to God and our fellow men — the two great principles of God’s law: “ “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,” and “your neighbor as yourself” ” (Luke 10:27, NKJV). The first is revealed in prayer, the second in almsgiving.

Yes, when we love God with all of the heart, we will love even our enemy.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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  • Posts: 43337
  • Grace, more than a word, it is transforming power
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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 4--1st Quarter 2023--Offerings for Jesus
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2023, 09:09:38 PM »
Thursday         January 26
Special Projects: Big Jar Giving


Research has shown that only about 9 percent of people’s assets are liquid and could be contributed as an offering on a moment’s notice. Cash, checking, savings, money market funds, etc., are generally considered liquid assets, at least for those possessing things like this. Most of our assets, about 91 percent, are “invested” in real estate, such as our homes, our livestock (if we are rural), or other nonliquid items.

The differences in the percentages of liquid and nonliquid assets can be illustrated by putting 1,000 pennies in two different glass jars, with 10 pennies representing each percentage point. So you would have 90 pennies in a small jar representing the 9 percent liquid assets and 910 pennies in a large quart-size jar representing the 91 percent of nonliquid assets.

Most people give their offerings or contributions from the small jar — from their liquid assets. This is what they have in their checking account or pocketbook. But when someone really gets excited about something, they give from the big jar. The Bible tells many such stories.

Some take this to mean they ought to sell their home so they can give from the big jar. No. Unless God pointedly calls you to sell your home, keep it. Like the Jews, their home was not be sold, but it was a means that they could be independent upon others, they and their children. So it is today. If you live in a big city, you ought to sell your home and move to the country where you can grow your own food. It will be needed very soon.



Read Mark 14:3-9 and John 12:2-8. Who were the main characters at Simon’s feast? What was the value of Mary’s gift? Why did she anoint Jesus at this time?

Mary’s gift was worth 300 denarii — a full year’s wages. It was, most likely, a “big jar” gift. Following this incident Judas betrayed Jesus for a little more than one third of that amount — a “little jar” gift, 30 pieces of silver (Matt. 26:15). It takes real love and commitment to make big jar gifts — from our investments. But when we get greedy, like Judas, we can sell our souls for next to nothing.

The work and activities of Barnabas are mentioned 28 times in the New Testament. We know him primarily as a companion to the apostle Paul and as a great missionary. But the foundation for all of this is established in the first passage where he is mentioned. In Acts 4:36, 37, we read of his giving, truly, a “big jar” offering. What a powerful example of Christ’s words: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21, NKJV).

Why is sacrificial giving as important for the givers as for the recipients?

It is more blessed to give than to receive.



Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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  • Posts: 43337
  • Grace, more than a word, it is transforming power
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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 4--1st Quarter 2023--Offerings for Jesus
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2023, 09:13:53 PM »
Friday          January 27

Further Thought: The heavenly record book of remembrance also notes the financial faithfulness of God’s family members. “The recording angel makes a faithful record of every offering dedicated to God and put into the treasury, and also of the final result of the means thus bestowed. The eye of God takes cognizance of every farthing devoted to His cause, and of the willingness or reluctance of the giver. The motive in giving is also chronicled. Those self-sacrificing, consecrated ones who render back to God the things that are His, as He requires of them, will be rewarded according to their works. Even though the means thus consecrated be misapplied, so that it does not accomplish the object which the donor had in view, — the glory of God and the salvation of souls, — those who made the sacrifice in sincerity of soul, with an eye single to the glory of God, will not lose their reward.” — Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 518.

Amen! God is so very good!


“God desires people to pray and to plan for the advancement of his work. But, like Cornelius, we are to unite praying with giving. Our prayers and our alms are to come up before God as a memorial. Faith without works is dead; and without a living faith it is impossible to please God. While we pray, we are to give all we possibly can, both of our labor and our means, for the fulfillment of our prayers. If we act out our faith, we shall not be forgotten by God. He marks every deed of love and self-denial. He will open ways whereby we may show our faith by our works.” — Ellen G. White, Atlantic Union Gleaner, June 17, 1903.


Discussion Questions:


    How do praying and giving go together? That is, how might praying help you know what to give to, when, and how much to give?

    A well-known magazine in the United States told about young professionals on Wall Street who were making so much money and yet were so miserable, so empty, so full of angst and worry. One of them, a portfolio manager, said: “What does it matter after I die if I had made an extra one percent gain in my portfolio?” What lessons can we take from this story about how giving, even sacrificial giving, can be so spiritually beneficial to the giver, in that it helps free us from the “deceitfulness of riches” (Matt. 13:22)?

    In the Ellen G. White quote above, notice the part about funds being “misapplied.” Why is it important for those of us who give to keep her point in mind?

Like the widow who gave her two mites, it makes no difference to God that the false teachers misused the money. It is the heart God wants, all of it. She gave it, thus she had love, joy, and peace in this world and will live forever in a world without sin.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.