“Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.’”
Open your group time by creating an environment in which you begin to develop a community of connection. Get to know one another through sharing prayer requests and experiences that provide members with an opportunity to engage.
Connecting in Prayer
Begin your time together with prayer and praise.
Connecting with One Another
Give an example of what it means to steward a family member or close relation under God’s rule and for His glory!
Use the space below to record your thoughts, key points and questions you would like to remember or discuss.
Growth through Understanding
All of life is a stewardship because all of life comes from and is under the authority of the King. Psalm 128 best exemplifies this by touching on every aspect of life according to God’s kingdom agenda. The kingdom agenda can be defined as: The visible manifestation of the comprehensive rule of God over every area of life.
In this week’s lesson, Dr. Evans takes us through Psalm 128, the scriptural basis for his magnum opus and ministry philosophy that outlines life as it is lived out under God’s rule or kingdom stewardship. The psalmist begins with the first two verses that teaches us that personal stewardship is to fear the Lord. To fear the Lord means to take God seriously. In other words, we are not to take the Lord’s word and His ways casually. How do you know if you fear God? You “walk in His ways.” Thus, you take God seriously when the fear of the Lord is ordering your steps, and your decisions are reflecting God’s kingdom perspective. When this takes place, your emotions are elevated because God’s word tells you, it will “be well with you.”
Next, the psalmist takes us to the family. Many of the social problems we are wrestling with in our churches, communities and country comes out of a broken family. The breakdown of the family has created social chaos in society. Yet, according to Psalm 128, when a family operates under a kingdom stewardship, each member of that family becomes a fruitful, productive and a contributing member of the world around them.
Additionally, we are given insight into the role of the church in the kingdom stewardship of the family. “Zion” was the Old Testament form of church. And in the passage, we are told a family’s blessings increases in their connection to the church. God calls us into community with each other to live out the “one-anothers“of scripture—love one another, serve one another, comfort one another, and so forth. It is in our giving to others that we become the hands and feet of Jesus.
Lastly, the psalmist refers to the community and connects its prosperity to it operating under God’s kingdom covenant. When kingdom stewards are engaging and contributing members of society, our cities, states and nation enter a season of prosperity and growth. God’s people become kingdom stewards when their personal, family, church and community lives come under the complete and comprehensive rule of God.
Growth through Discussion
As you dive into the heart of Dr. Evans’ teaching, use the following questions to generate discussion among your group.
- What do you think most people associate with the term “stewardship?” Why?
- Dr. Evans states that “all of life is a stewardship because all of life comes under the King.” What are some examples of kingdom stewardship that fall outside of money or tangible resources?
- What are some of the principal goals of the family according to Psalm 128? What are some of the results or rewards when a family is stewarded well?
- How do Satan’s attacks on the family ultimately and negatively impact society at large?
- In Jeremiah 29:6-7, God’s instructed the Israelites to be productive stewards in a pagan land. What does God say about the outcome of their contributions to the “well-being” of the country in which they were placed? How do you think this spiritual principle could apply to Christians living and working in secular America?
Now is the time to apply the wisdom of what you have learned to your life, as you demonstrate the depth of your relationship with God through service to Him and others.
Psalm 128 begins with the foundational truth of one person fearing God. This lays the groundwork for all else. To “fear God” is to take Him seriously. This week, what is one way you can demonstrate to God that you fear Him? This can be in thoughts, words or actions.
We often look for ways in which we can serve our church and other believers, but Jeremiah 29:6-7 makes it clear that we are to serve all others outside the household of faith. Think of something you can do this week that is outside your normal boundaries of service. Invest in your local community someway in order to increase its “well-being.”