Stewardship 3 – affections and security

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on security and affections relating to possessions.


Matthew 6:19-21

19  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Observations and reflections

Note: Matthew 6:19-34 contain Jesus’ revolutionary teachings on possessions, money and security.  We will focus on one or two such teachings each day and consider our own thoughts and actions in the light of his words.

  1. Read the text above again and in your own words summarize Jesus’ teaching regarding money contained in these verses.
  2. Regarding the “treasures on earth / in heaven” metaphor:
    1. What are the “treasures on earth”? What does Jesus mean? Give examples of what earthly treasures could be for you.
    2. Why does Jesus say one should not store up “treasures earth”? He mentions two things – but what is his core motive?
    3. What are the “treasures in heaven”? [hints: (1) what are the things God promise to reward eternally? (2) what remains beyond this life?]
    4. What two reasons do Jesus give to motivate the gathering of “heavenly treasures”?
    5. What is the link between one’s treasure and one’s heart?


  1. Consider the material possessions you cherish most – list it.
    1. In which ways can it be lost or destroyed?
    2. In the light of our eternity and the temporal nature of earthly things – how significant is this “earthly treasure”?
  2. Consider your [attempt at] monetary savings – why do you [desire to] do it?
    1. In the light of Jesus teachings in the text above – how should you consider your money now?
  3. What will you do today to “store up treasures in heaven”? Write it down as to-do list.


Ask the Lord to give you an eternal perspective that permeates through to your daily decisions.  Pray about your heart’s affections and security regarding earthly treasures.  Bring your desires from more and trust in much to God.  And commit to obey Him and store u treasures in heaven.

Biblical Interpretation – Preparing your heart 4

The aim this devotional study is to grown in appreciation for and understanding of God’s revelation through the Scriptures.


Psalms 19:1-14

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

2  Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.

3  There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.

4  Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun,

5  which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.

6  Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

7  The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;

8  the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;

9  the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.

10  More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.

11  Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

12  Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults.

13  Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.

14  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.


  1. What are names attributed to God in this Psalm? Write them down in your journal.
  2. In one sentence summarise this Psalm.
  3. Write down the three big thoughts in this Psalm. How do the three sections relate to each other?
  4. What do you read about creation as God’s revelation in this Psalm?
  5. In verses 7-9 David uses parallelism to list 8 attributes of the Word of God (hint: “perfect”, “sure”, “right”…). List them and then give a fitting synonym for each (so that you may make sure you understand what the author says).
  6. In verse 7-11 David lists 5 ministries (or what the Scriptures do for the reader). List them.
  7. The progression of the Psalmist’ view is from up there in the starts and sky, down to the book and then into the heart. How can you explain this response in the last section?

Application and Prayer

  1. (If you can look outside to creation now, do so now). What does creation reveal about God?  After making the list, use it to praise God and give thanks for this reflection of his might, character and nature.
  2. In verse 10 David writes how he desires and delights in reading God’s Word. How do you relate to this statement? (Write it down)  Speak to God about your affection and appreciation for His written word in response to your feelings and conviction.
  3. Pray the prayer of David in verses 12-14 (perhaps taking some time to memorize this short section).A section of the Book of Psalms found in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Biblical Interpretation – Preparing your heart 3

The aim of this session is to cultivate a correct view of Scripture and to grow in an understanding of how to correctly interpret Scripture.

Look at this short Video link on “Accuracy and Reliability of Scripture” by the New York Apologists


2 Peter 3:1-18

1  This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2  that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3  knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4  They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”

5  For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6  and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7  But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

8  But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

11  Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12  waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13  But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14  Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.

15  And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16  as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

17  You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.


  1. Peter had one major motive when he wrote this last part of his letter to the first readers. Summarize it in one sentence for yourself.
  2. There are several direct and indirect references to God’s Word / Scripture in this chapter, since it deals with the reliability of God’s promises. List these references.
  3. Peter addresses a specific erroneous argument of people who turn away from God in Christ in verse 4. Shortly write in your own words this erroneous argument, as well as how Peter corrects this error.
  4. Peter gives a few commands of holy living in response to Jesus’ pending return – list them.


  1. In this last chapter of 2 Peter, the author comfortably places the authority of God’s Creative Word (Genesis 1:3), history of Noah (in the book Genesis), the commands of Jesus (primarily found in the Gospels), the writings of the prophets (with specific reference to the destruction of the world and the New Creation) and apostles (mentioning Paul), and even the final Word of Judgment on equal footing – equating all these as the Word of God.
    1. What do you think when you read this statement?
    2. How do you feel about this statement?
    3. If this is true, how does it affect your approach to and regard of the Bible?
  2. If someone said to you today “It has been 2000 years since Jesus ascended into heaven. He said he will come back soon, but I wonder if that is true. Do you think he will come back literally?” Remembering Peter’s second letter, what will you answer him?
  3. Peter urges his readers to a life of holiness and deliberate growth in the knowledge and grace of Christ. Write down what the Spirit is pressing on your heart in response to this call.
  4. Peter writes that Jesus is coming soon, and he will judge the world – we will either be found in him and live, or the ungodly will be destroyed. When you read this text, who are you concerned about?  What will you do about it?  When?


Look at your application points and pray through each point as your heart responds to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Biblical Interpretation – Preparing your heart

The Aim of this devotional time is to reflect on the condition of your own heart and to ready your heart for God’s Word and respond appropriately towards God’s Word.

For a memorable summary on why you can trust that the Bible is reliable and accurate, see this 2min video clip


James 1:17-25

17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

18  Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

19  Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

20  for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

21  Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22  But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

23  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.

24  For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

25  But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Note: in reflecting on this text you might also compare it with Jesus’ parables of the Sower (Matthew 13:3-23) and the house on sand / rock (Luke 7:24-27).


  1. Write down what you observe about our relationship with “the Word” as James notes it in this section.
  2. James writes to his readers that they should clean their hearts of “filthiness and wickedness” to “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save [your] souls.” How do you understand that? (Compare with Matthew 13:22).
  3. In v22 James says one who listens but does not “do” the word is in danger of “deceiving himself”. How do you understand that? (Compare with Matthew 7:24-27)
  4. James promises one who “perseveres” in doing the word is “blessed in all he does”. What do you understand in “perseveres” in this section?  (Read James 1:2-4 to understand the situation of the readers; Compare Matthew 13:20-21).

Application and Prayer

  1. James addressed uncontrolled speech and anger throughout his letter, calling it “filthiness and wickedness”. What “filthiness and wickedness” must you “put away” for the Word of God to produce fruit in your heart?  Write the specifics down and repent of it.
  2. Is there anything righteous that you do / have done but you have felt resistance and have already given up, or want to give up? James says you need perseverance.  Write it down and pray for strength and patience – but don’t give up!
  3. Pray and allow the Holy Spirit time to show you where you have become a hearer and not a doer. Write it down, and commit to God in prayer to become a doer of the word.

(It is strongly recommended that you discuss with your Bible School Buddy / accountability friend these application points, so that you may encourage one another to continue in it).