Introduction: Have you heard the claim that the rich are greedy? Does
that seem right to you? If the rich are already rich, why would they
be greedy for more? Or, is this a reference to a time when the rich
were not rich? If it is a reference to the time when the rich were
poor, then wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that the poor are
greedy? Think about the time in your life when you had the least
money. Was money a focus? I know that my wife and I were a lot more
focused on money when we were first married and we were very poor.
Our lesson this week is about being different than the world, and
avoiding a focus on money. I think this is a lesson that everyone
needs, whether you feel you are rich or poor. Let’s dive into our
study of the Bible and learn about focus!

  1. The Right Focus

    1. Read Colossians 3:1. Who are the people who have been
      “raised with Christ?” (This seems to be a reference to
      baptism. If you accepted Jesus as the God who became a
      man, who lived a perfect life, died for our sins, and was
      raised to eternal life to retake His position in heaven,
      then this message is for you! This is a message to those
      who are already saved.)

      1. What does it mean to “set your hearts on things

    2. Read Colossians 3:2. Now we are told to set our “minds” on
      things above. Are we being asked to do two different
      things? (I think of my mind as being the seat of logic,
      and my heart as the seat of emotion. Perhaps we are told
      to set both our logic and our emotions “on things above.”)

      1. Tell me what specific thoughts or emotions you think
        are involved here?

    3. Read Colossians 3:3-4. What is our future? (That we will
      appear with Jesus in glory since we are now “hidden with”
      1. Why should our salvation direct our focus in life?
        (We should be focused on those things which are
        above, and not on earthly things because we died to
        things on earth.)

      2. How much do you think about your future? (Hopefully,
        we think more about our future than our past. God
        teaches us that the future for those who are saved is
        with Him in heaven. Thus, we should be focused on
        this future!)

      3. What does this say about stewardship? (Recall that
        when we discussed Luke 12:16-21, the story of the
        rich farmer who died, his problem was that he
        prepared for a future on earth and not a future in

      4. Is this concern about the future limited to
        Christians? (Think about all of the pagan cultures
        who, in their death ritual, try to transfer weapons,
        wealth and other things for the future use of the
        person who died.)

    4. Read Colossians 3:5. Now we get to some very clear
      specifics. What are we supposed to “put to death?”

      1. Does the suggestion that we put these things to death
        have any relationship to the fact that we died with
        Jesus and thus look forward to eternal life? (I think
        that is exactly what is being said here. We should
        leave these things behind.)

      2. Do you think the text seems to talk mainly about two
        things: sexual sins and greed? Or, do you view
        “impurity” and “evil desires” to be broader than
        sexual sins?

        1. Since our series is about stewardship, what is
          the specific problem with “greed?” (Colossians
          says it is “idolatry.”)

          1. How is greed idolatry? (The central
            problem with greed is that we depend on
            our money rather than depending on God.
            God saved us by grace, and therefore we
            should live by His grace!)

      3. How should we put these things to death? What
        practical approach do you think the Bible suggests?
        (This goes back to Colossians 3:1-2 which tells us to
        set our hearts and our minds on “things above,”
        rather than on the things we are trying to put to

        1. Can you control your mind or your heart? (This
          is where we especially need the help of the
          Holy Spirit.)

  2. The Coming Wrath

    1. Read Colossians 3:6. Why are these “earthly” things the
      cause of God’s impending wrath? (They are in conflict with
      God’s Kingdom, the “things above.” We are saved! Why
      should we continue with those things that will get the
      wicked destroyed by God?)

    2. Read Colossians 3:7-8. Yesterday, I had a very intense
      conversation with an acquaintance who wanted to convert me
      to Catholicism. In our discussion of the doctrines of the
      Catholic Church that prevent me from being a member, one
      that we discussed was my simple view of grace. My
      acquaintance quoted the Bible as saying that demons also
      believe in Jesus ( James 2:19). Do you think that this list
      of things of we must rid from our lives is a matter of
      salvation? (My Catholic friend did not give me a Bible
      cite or a full quote. James says demons believe “and
      shudder.” Obviously, demons do not believe in Jesus as
      their Savior. The list in Colossians is a “to do” list for
      those who are already saved – to bring their actions in
      line with their new relationship with Jesus.)

    3. Read Colossians 3:9-10. We previously discussed the need
      for the power of the Holy Spirit to bring our thoughts and
      actions in line with our new life. What tool do these
      verses mention to help us change into the image of our
      Creator? (Knowledge. Studying the Bible is important to
      these changes being made in our life.)

      1. Why do you think this verse specifically points out
        lies as a problem to be eliminated? (Consider the
        reference to knowledge. Lies specifically impair our
        ability to have a correct understanding of things.)

    4. Read Colossians 3:11. What else should change in our
      lives? (We should put away prejudice.)

      1. This text clearly refers to racial prejudice. What
        other prejudices does it cover? What kind of
        prejudice is included in “slave or free?” (Economic
        prejudice. Class prejudice. This goes both ways. We
        should not have prejudice against the poor. We should
        not have prejudice against the rich.)

    5. Read Colossians 3:12. You may be asking yourself whether
      we have lost sight of the topic of stewardship. Do these
      virtues have any relationship to stewardship? (They seem
      to be the emotional basis for stewardship – compassion,
      kindness, and humility.)

    6. Read Colossians 3:13. Is there a connection between
      forgiveness and stewardship? (You are less inclined to
      help someone who has made errors. I’m not suggesting that
      “tough” love is never the answer, but I know that God
      repeatedly forgives me for the same sins.)

    7. Read Colossians 3:14. What is the master attitude that
      makes these other attitudes work together? (Love.)

  3. Holy Spirit

    1. Read John 14:16-17. What is an essential part of living
      the new life and leaving the old life behind? (The Holy
      Spirit living in us.)

    2. Read John 16:7-13. What is the key to a change of our mind
      and hearts to reflect the kind of character and actions we
      have been studying in this lesson? (The Holy Spirit. We
      cannot change our hearts or our minds. But, the Holy
      Spirit living in us can.)

    3. Friend, will you change your focus to the future and your
      new life with Jesus? Will you ask the Holy Spirit to live
      in you and make these changes possible? Why not ask God
      for that right now?

  4. Next week: Stewards After Eden.