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Monday, August 6, 2007

"Giving Our Way to Prosperity" (Lesson One)

This book, originally published in 1968, needs to be read and reread in many congregations. Brother V.P. Black wrote this book, which has giving as its focus. While it is not the easiest book to find, many brotherhood bookstores still have copies available.

I was first introduced to the book in 2001, when I moved to Haleyville. The 9th Avenue church of Christ was using this book for its auditorium adult class. Since I had just moved there, the elders asked me to "visit around" in different classes. I got to sit in on several lessons in the series.

Since the chapters are actually lessons, I don't want to give long reviews of each, as I might with other books. The reason is simple: the book contains the study material, and brother Black's words are far better than mine. However, I will try to give a short overview of each chapter.

Lesson One: "It Is More Blessed to Give"

Each lesson contains a "thought for today." The thought for this lesson is, "The worst thing about money is, it costs too much." The main purpose of this first lesson is to help change our minds about giving. It is not a way of getting poor; rather, it is a way through which we receive rich blessings.

Acts 20:35, "It is more blessed to give than to receive," has been called "the most disbelieved verse in the Bible." While that may or may not be true, it should cause us to think. In our society, we think that getting is the way to have blessings.

The study of lesson one provides three reasons why giving is more blessed:
  1. Because it is an expression of love (pages 4-5).
  2. Because it makes the child of God strong (pages 5-6).
  3. Because it is rewarding (pages 6-7).

As with each lesson, this one ends with a long series of questions that basically walks one through the entire lesson. This would be most helpful for the instructor of a class.