Introduction: Daniel Pink authored a very popular book named
Drive. In it he explored what motivates us. You may be
surprised to learn that the answer is not money. Money is
important up to the point where we are comfortable – meaning
that we have a decent home and we can afford to eat some
meals at restaurants. After that point, what motivates
employees is autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Jesus tells us
in John 15:15 that God no longer calls us employees
(slaves), but friends. More than that He calls us His sons
and daughters. 2 Corinthians 6:18. Has Pink grasped a
Biblical principle – that God’s system of motivation for His
family is something other than money? Let’s plunge into our
beginning study on the topic of money in the Bible and find

I. Dominion

A. Read Genesis 1:26. Treat this like a job
description. What are your duties? (You are like
God! In workplace terms, you are like the chief
executive officer. You have dominion over all the

1. What does it mean to have “dominion?” (You are
in charge! God put you in charge.)

B. Read Genesis 2:15. What other work
responsibilities has God given you? (You are
assigned to “work” and “keep” a perfect garden.)

1. “Autonomy” is a critical motivator in Pink’s
book. How much autonomy has God given to us?
(We are given a huge amount of autonomy!)

C. We know the Genesis story. Humans got in trouble
for not obeying the rules. To what degree is our
autonomy limited by God’s rules? (Read Deuteronomy
4:1-2. We are guided by God’s rules. But,
interestingly, humans cannot validly add to God’s
rules. This does a great deal to preserve our
autonomy and dominion.)

II. Family

A. Read Ephesians 3:14-16. What does it mean to be
“named” after God? (Do you know a powerful family?
Would being a member of that family give you an
advantage? Would it confer power on you? That is
what is meant here. You are part of the family of
God. His spirit dwells in you and gives you

1. Does this add to your “autonomy” and
“mastery?” (Absolutely. You can do things
others would be afraid to do.)

B. Read Exodus 5:1. Can the most powerful people in
the world successfully stand against your family?
(No! Moses and Aaron invoked the name of their
father, “the Lord God of Israel,” against the most
powerful man in the world. We know how that
confrontation came out.)

C. Read Psalms 50:10-12. Add to your position that
you are the richest family on earth! How does this
impact your autonomy and mastery?

1. How would this deeper understanding of your
family affect your ability to get things done?
To change things?

2. How highly are you motivated to work in the
family business?

D. At this point you may be wondering what in the
world happened to you? Why are you poor? Why are
you in need? Do you feel like the black sheep of
the family? What is the answer to the great
practical conflict between what we have just
learned from the Bible and your situation? (If you
feel this conflict, let me ask whether you have
ever looked at your life (your family) the way
that we have discussed it here? If not, that might
be the answer to the conflict.)

III. The David Example

A. Read 1 Chronicles 17:1-2. What do you think is in
the heart of King David with regard to the Ark of
the Covenant? (David wants to build it a home.)

B. Read 1 Chronicle 17:4 and 1 Chronicle 17:11-13.
What does this teach us about our ambitious
projects for our Father or our family? (Even when
you are part of the family of God, even when you
are a King, you are still subject to the will of
God. David had a great thing in mind, but it was
not God’s will to have him do it.)

C. Read 1 Chronicles 17:16-18. This is just the
beginning of David’s responsive prayer to God. How
would you characterize it? (David is grateful. He
is humble in accepting God’s decision.)

D. Read 1 Chronicles 29:12, 1 Chronicles 29:14, and 1
Chronicles 29:16. What is King David’s attitude
about success and money? (He recognizes that all
we have comes from God. David is anxious to give
back to God. He wants to glorify God.)

IV. Law and Love

A. Read 1 John 5:1. What does this tell us about
loving others? (Loving God means that we love His

B. Read 1 John 5:2-3. What is the primary way that we
love God’s children? (We obey God’s commands.)

1. I have long argued in my Bible studies that
God’s Commandments are not primarily meant as
a tool to measure us for judgment, but rather
as guidance to make our lives better. Should
we apply God’s commands when we make decisions
on loving others? Loving the poor? Loving
family members?

a. How would you factor into your answer the
way Jesus loved us – He did for us more
than what is fair?

2. I read a book review today on the claimed
inequality in the United States. The review
cited the book as saying that those who do not
work have about the same income as many of
those who work. How is that possible? The non-
workers receive money and benefits from the
government. Money is taken by the government
from those who work and given to those who do
not. Is this consistent with God’s
commandments? (It is not. God’s system for the
poor required them to work. See, e.g.
Leviticus 19:9-10. By encouraging the poor not
to work, they can never improve their economic

C. Matthew 25:14-18 contains a parable about a master
who gave his servants property to handle while he
was gone. One servant received five talents,
another two, and the last one. Is the fact that
one servant received five times more than another
supposed to teach us something?

D. Read Matthew 25:19. The verses that follow recite
that all doubled the number of talents received
except the one talent servant. Read Matthew 25:25-
28. Are the “slothful” also “wicked?” Why give the
talent to the richest servant? What lesson is
being taught in this?

1. Is this parable about money or salvation?(The
entire chapter is about the coming judgment,
and therefore I think the lesson is mostly
about the contrast between those who accept
Jesus as Lord and those who are afraid of Him.
But, I think it has secondary lessons about
how we should treat slothful people.)

V. Moth Attack

A. Read Matthew 6:19-20. Is this a prohibition on
creating a retirement fund?

1. What specific point is being made? (Wealth on
earth is unreliable. Wealth in heaven is

2. Can you point to where I can open an account
in heaven’s bank? What interest rate does it
pay? (These simple questions reveal that the
two are not equivalents.)

B. Read Matthew 6:24. How does this reflect light on
the two bank question? How do we deposit in heaven
rather than on earth? (The point is whether you
are focused on advancing God’s kingdom or whether
you are focused on advancing your own financial

1. Notice a very odd part of this verse. It tells
us that if we serve our finances we will hate
God. If we serve God, we will hate money. Do
you know anyone who fits either of these

C. Read Genesis 29:30-31. Did Jacob hate Leah? (No.
Verse 30 reveals that he loved her less than
Rachel. This is the point of Matthew 6:24. We
should love money less than serving God. Why?
Loving money is not a very smart long-term

D. Friend, God has give you autonomy, mastery, and
purpose. If you turn it into a drive for more
money, you have made a very foolish decision. Not
only is money temporary, but you have missed the
most enjoyable things in life. Why not, right now,
choose God over money?

VI. Next week: God’s Covenants With Us.

Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail,
but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this
link: Pray for the guidance of the
Holy Spirit as you study.