Prosperity and Faith

Christians today are blessed with wealth. But what does money do to their spiritual bank account?

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Overview

Americans are the most prosperous people on earth. Compared to the rest of the world, Americans are fabulously wealthy. At $37,610, per capita income in the United States is the fifth largest in the world, after Luxembourg, Bermuda, Norway, and Switzerland. With a vastly greater population than the top four countries, the United States has more widely distributed wealth.

Yet prosperity can introduce profound spiritual problems. In CHRISTIANITY TODAY, Philip Yancey writes about the apparent contradiction of Christianity: “Groups organized around devotion and discipline tend to produce abundance, but ultimately that very success breaks down discipline and leads to indulgence and decadence.” Are American Christians corrupted by their own faithfulness? This study examines the spiritual challenges of wealth.

Table of Contents

SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 8:6-18; Ecclesiastes 6:1-6; Matthew 6:19-24; Matthew 19:16-26; Luke 12:22-34; Acts 4:32-35; 2 Corinthians 9:6-11

LEADER'S GUIDE

    • Identify the Current Issue

    • Discover the Eternal Principles

Teaching point one: Prosperity is a sign of God’s blessing, yet it is also a test of faith.
Teaching point two: The more our lives are filled with material things, the larger the spiritual challenge we face.
Teaching point three: The challenge of faith in the midst of prosperity is to exercise discipleship by distributing blessings on others.
    • Apply Your Findings

    • Recommended Resources

ARTICLE FROM CHRISTIANITY TODAY

    • Forgetting God: Why Decadence Drives Out Discipline, by Philip Yancey (September 2004, 11 printed pages)

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