Convention Discussion Outlines
Texts to have at hand: Matthew 6:19-24, 33; II Thessalonians 2:10-12; I Timothy 6:10ff; I John 2:15-17.
The heritage of the PRC young people is a call from the church to love and lay up heavenly treasures. If you study themes and discussions of past conventions, you’ll see that this was a strong emphasis from the very beginning. This heritage is biblical heritage. The passages listed above are only a few of those that bring that calling to God’s covenant people.
Why has this been an emphasis among us? First, because it’s an emphasis the Scripture makes. But more, because every false teaching leads us to love the world more than heaven, and the world’s treasures more than heaven’s. And it’s not only the false teaching of common grace that inclines us to earthly-mindedness, it’s our own weak and sinful natures.
So work hard on this discussion. Prepare with this in mind: I want to help and be helped by the other young people to be heavenly minded, to love heavenly treasures. These are the treasures that will last, young people. That makes me think of what an elder told me recently: “I’ve never seen a U-Haul behind a hearse.” Think about it.
I. What are Heavenly Treasures and Earthly Treasures?
A. List some earthly treasures young people like to have (just list them here; discuss them later)
B. List some heavenly treasures (for example: the truth, godliness, communion of saints)
II. What does the Bible mean when it warns us not to love earthly treasures?
A. It doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to HAVE earthly possessions, even many of them.
- Prove that from both I Timothy 6:10 and the last part of that chapter.
2. Is it wrong or unwise to work hard in order to get earthly possessions? (perhaps save this question until the end)
B. The Bible warns against loving them, setting our hearts on them.
- Consider each of these elements of love: (both for wrong things and proper things)
a. To make a conscious decision to set your heart on something(someone) (Deut 7:7)
b. To have a passion for that thing (or person) (see Ps 42:1; the OT word for love means “to breathe after”)
c. To sacrifice yourself to get and enjoy that thing (or person) (think of John 3:16, etc).
d. To serve them, so that they direct our lives, guide us, rule us (see Matt 6:24).
2. Now, go back and think of how each of these elements comes into play with earthly treasures. And discuss why the Bible warns against loving earthly things.
a. What earthly treasures have you decided to pursue?
b. How does your life show you have a passion for them?
c. What do you sacrifice in order to get them?
d. How do they direct your life?
III. The Lord calls His covenant people to love and have heavenly treasures.
A. What does it mean to love heavenly things?
- Set your heart on them
2. Have a passion for them
3. Sacrifice yourself (time, possessions, and life itself) to get and enjoy them
4. Serve them so that they direct your life, guide you, rule you.
- Discuss what heavenly treasures you have, in light of the above four elements of love.
2. How can the child of God mature and make progress in loving heavenly treasures?
IV. The results of loving earthly treasures are devastating; loving heavenly treasures are blessed
A. Loving earthly treasures is folly and ruin:
1. Discuss I John 2:17
2. What we love becomes a part of us, our mind and will and heart. How can that be? (see I Cor. 15:33; I Cor. 10:20b; think of communion with Christ).
3. What reason does Matt 6:21 give?
B. Loving heavenly treasures:
- What are the fruits we reap as we seek the kingdom of heaven?
2. Is this incentive enough? Motivation is the key. What motivates you to seek and love heavenly treasures? (does Matt 6:33 give the answer?)
Other questions for discussion:
- What should be the relation between work and pleasure/entertainment/leisure?
- Compare how we (YP) use our time with how our parents and grandparents used their time? (keep in mind the caution of Ecclesiastes 7:10). How they used their money? Have things changed? What will the next generation be like?
- How much money should young people give in their offerings? How much should they save? What percentage may be used for earthly things and entertainments? Are there rules that apply here? Guidelines?
- What can we do to promote and encourage among ourselves that we seek spiritual things?
- What comes first? Earthly treasures or earthly hearts and minds? What leads to what? (see Matthew 6:21: “will be”). Can it go both ways? If so, discuss the practical importance of that.
- Discuss how Matt 6:33 can be the theme for the lives of all God’s people (be careful to understand what “first” means).