Read: Matthew 5:1-10 and your notes from Sunday morning’s sermon.
Intro: At this point in Jesus’ ministry crowds are following Him. He now has a pretty constant audience and this is a time where he chooses to speak to the crowds in what is know as the sermon on the mount. This week we are looking at just the beatitudes, or the verses starting with: “blessed are…”
In the first four beatitudes Jesus describes 4 groups of people who are dependent on God – those poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. All of these express our dependance and need for God. The next three groups express the the fruits that would follow that dependence; The merciful, the pure in heart, and the peacemakers. The last beatitude refers to those who are persecuted. Jesus says that their reward in heaven will be great!
- When you hear the word “Blessed,” what do you think of? How might this be different from the passage we read?
2. Think of a time in your life when you were dependent on God. How did it feel and did it produce anything in you, or change how you viewed life?
3. Look at each of the groups Jesus describes – which do you relate to the most right now, and why?
What do all of these groups have in common and how does that give us hope?
Feel free to discuss or ask additional questions as they arise
Spiritual Practice: This week we will begin the spiritual practuce of prayer. Prayer is an inward discipline that is transformative in nature. This is arguably the most central of all the spiritual disciplines because it is the uninterrupted exchange of thoughts with our Father. It’s the way that God changes us and leads us to think how He thinks, see how He sees, and believe what He believes. Prayer doesn’t necessarily come easily to everyone though. But as we learn more about prayer, we will see that Jesus gives many examples on when to pray, and how to pray and His disciples show us how to prioritize prayer even when there are other things that seem more pressing and urgent. Throughout the next few weeks, we will practice praying, but we will also look at examples from of prayer the Bible so we can better understand it’s purpose and power. This week, if you don’t already, make prayer a part of your day each and every day. Set aside a specific time for it if you need to. Next week we will dive a little deeper into this practice.
Closing verse: Mark 1:35 “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”